How does his congregation regard Mr. Hooper before he began wearing the veil? How does the veil reflect his relationship with his congregation?

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Before he began to wear the black veil, Mr. Hooper's congregation regarded him as "a good preacher, but not an energetic one: he strove to win his people heavenward by mild, persuasive influences, rather than to drive them thither by the thunders of the Word."  In other words, Mr. Hooper...

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Before he began to wear the black veil, Mr. Hooper's congregation regarded him as "a good preacher, but not an energetic one: he strove to win his people heavenward by mild, persuasive influences, rather than to drive them thither by the thunders of the Word."  In other words, Mr. Hooper was never a fire-and-brimstone type of preacher; he was more gentle than that, and he was thought of as being rather easygoing and placid.  Now, however, all that's changed.  the first sermon he gave wearing the veil, was "greatly the most powerful effort that [his congregation] had ever heard from their pastor's lips."  Mr. Hooper suddenly seems a great deal more sober, and less peaceful, than before.

Further it used to be that Old Squire Saunders would "invite Mr. Hooper to his table, where the good clergyman had been wont to bless the food, almost every Sunday since his settlement," but no more.  His parishioners' sense of awe and wonder and even fright now overshadows all of their dealings with their minister.  Where once he seemed like a kindly man one might ask to dinner, he now inspires a sense of dread as a result of the "terrible thing" on his face.

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