…we could not go to church, so Joseph must needs get up a congregation in the garret; and, while Hindley and his wife basked downstairs before a comfortable fire — doing anything but reading their Bibles, I’ll answer for it — Heathcliff, myself, and the unhappy ploughboy were commanded to take our prayer-books, and mount: we were ranged in a row, on a sack of corn, groaning and shivering, and hoping that Joseph would shiver too, so that he might give us a short homily for his own sake.
There are no more uses of "homily" in the book.
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The patriarch of Constantinople died in exile for criticizing the imperial court in his homilies.
History of Christianity - Wikipedia -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Christianity(retrieved 05/20/06)
Bennington delivered a homily based on this scene.