We deny to claim "any Superiority to ourself
to defyne, decyde, or determyn any Article or Poynt
of the Christian Fayth and Relligion,
or to chang any Ancient Ceremony of the Church
from the Forme before received and observed
by the Catholick and Apostolick Church."

Norman Simplicity

Norman Simplicity
Click image for original | © Vitrearum (Allan Barton)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

"Too hard a word?"

Yesterday was too off-putting, no matter how long anticipated; but the new day has already begun.

The inimitable Keble:

These, which have been hitherto mentioned as omens and tokens of an Apostate Mind in a nation, have been suggested by the portion itself of sacred history, to which I have ventured to direct your attention. There are one or two more, which the nature of the subject, and the palpable tendency of things around us, will not allow to be passed over.

One of the most alarming, as a symptom, is the growing indifference, in which men indulge themselves, to other men's religious sentiments. Under the guise of charity and toleration we are come almost to this pass; that no difference, in matters of faith, is to disqualify for our approbation and confidence, whether in public or domestic life. Can we conceal it from ourselves, that every year the practice is becoming more common, of trusting men unreservedly in the most delicate and important matters, without one serious inquiry, whether they do not hold principles which make it impossible for them to be loyal to their Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier? Are not offices conferred, partnerships formed, intimacies courted,—nay, (what is almost too painful to think of,) do not parents commit their children to be educated, do they not encourage them to intermarry, in houses, on which Apostolical Authority would rather teach them to set a mark, as unfit to be entered by a faithful servant of Christ?

I do not now speak of public measures only or chiefly; many things of that kind may be thought, whether wisely or no, to become from time to time necessary, which are in reality as little desired by those who lend them a seeming concurrence, as they are, in themselves, undesirable. But I speak of the spirit which leads men to exult in every step of that kind; to congratulate one another on the supposed decay of what they call an exclusive system.

For a Novus Motus Oxoniensis:

"Sunday, July 14th, Mr. Keble preached the Assize Sermon in the University Pulpit. It was published under the title of 'National Apostasy.' I have ever considered and kept the day, as the start of the religious movement of 1833." So wrote John Henry Newman as the closing words of Part III of his Apologia Pro Vita Sua ...

Keble declared that England had for centuries been acknowledged as a Christian nation. Logically this meant that the nation was bound by the laws of Christ's church. If public opinion was calling for action in defiance of those laws, the nation was apostate.

Oxford men of the highest caliber gathered around Keble and tried to form a plan of action. Among these individuals were two notable scholars, John Henry Newman and Richard Hurrell Froude. In order to bolster its position, the high church movement sought a basis for authority in the past of the church. They looked to creeds and apostolic succession as outward manifestations of ancient authority. Some of the intellectuals who joined the movement also took an interest in reviving the architectural styles and arts which had long been associated with the faith. Newman and others sought a new level of spiritual life for the church with Newman's preaching a sermon titled "Holiness Necessary for Future Blessedness."

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