The paper, the printing, the plates, were all of the meanest description.
Seldom has any man united so many and such various gifts in his own person and carried them so easily - a playful wit, a vivid imagination, oratorical and literary eloquence and, above all, a profound knowledge of human nature both male and female, of every class and rank, from the king to the meanest citizen.
Chubb dwells with special emphasis on the fact that Christ preached the gospel to the poor, and argues, as Tindal had done, that the gospel must therefore be accessible to all men without any need for learned study of evidences for miracles, and intelligible to the meanest capacity.
The point of Aristotle was to draw a line between rational and other evidences, to insist on the former, and in fact to found a logic of rhetoric. But if in the Rhetoric to Alexander, not he, but Anaximenes, had already performed this great achievement, Aristotle would have been the meanest of mankind; for the logic of rhetoric would have been really the work of Anaximenes the sophist, but falsely claimed by Aristotle the philosopher.
When at last the inevitable revolt came in 1820 he grovelled to the insurgents as he had done to his parents, descending to the meanest submissions while fear was on him, then intriguing and, when detected, grovelling again.
By public disputation and private conference, as well as by preaching, he enforced his doctrines, both ecclesiastical and political, and shrank no more from urging what he conceived to be the truth upon the most powerful officers than he did from instructing the meanest followers of the camp. Cromwell disliked his loquacity and shunned his society; but Baxter having to preach before him after he had assumed the Protectorship, chose for his subject the old topic of the divisions and distractions of the church, and in subsequent interviews not only opposed him about liberty of conscience, but spoke in favour of the monarchy he had subverted.
The meanest of the fancies of the mind and the most casual of its whims he regarded as a better warrant for the being of God than any single object of nature.
Bunyan's own account of his family as the "meanest and most despised of all the families of the land" must be put down to his habitual self-depreciation.
On the other hand, as the result in part of the theory of Stoicism, religion passed into the hands of the politicians: cults were encouraged or suppressed from political motives, the membership of the colleges of pontifices and augurs, now conferred by popular vote, was sought for its social and political advantages, and augury was debased till it became the meanest tool of the politician.