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Showing posts from January, 2021

Thackeray on Tyranny

  William Thackeray published essays on each of the first four King Georges.  While describing King George III, he spoke positively of how he tried to make use of what gifts were given him.  Speaking of his courage, he reflected on what was grand about it, though I think he is being sarcastic.  It was grand in that he exercised it in a grand way against all who opposed him. "The battle of the King with his aristocracy remains yet to be told by the historian who shall view the reign of George more justly ... It was he, with the people to back him, who made the war with America; it was he and the people who refused justice to the Roman Catholics; and on both questions he beat the patricians.  He bribed: he bullied: he darkly dissembled on occasion: he exercised a slippery perseverance, and a vindictive resolution, which one almost admires as one thinks his character over.  His courage was never to be beat.  It trampled North under foot; it beat the stiff neck of younger Pitt: even h

The Nature of Good History Writing

An excellent presentation on History writing by a Princeton Univ prof - lasts the first 33 minutes. From the Intercollegtiate Studies Institute.

This is the way

I'm noting a personal experience here.  More than once, I have had an unusually encouraging and prosperous day, only to find out that my bishop has prayed for me on that day.  What of that? First, it certainly makes me have greater respect for my bishop!  God hears his prayers - and they make a difference!  I trust they are doing the same for my fellow clergy as well.   Second, I note the kind of encouragement that comes to me on those days.  If this is God answering someone's prayers for me, then surely the kinds of things I'm encouraged about are things that the Lord wants me doing.  Such encouragements are important for me, for it's easy for me to feel lost about my life vocationally.  There are several reasons for that, of course, but it's a life-long affliction, actually.  But what I'm considering today is that these answers to my bishop's prayers are perhaps a way that God is whispering behind me, "this is the way, walk therein (Isaiah 30:21).&quo

A Prayer on the Tower

It was one of those wild, clear, winter nights when the stars are like clouds covering the sky.  The air was crisp and the moon was yet to rise. Silhouetted upon the church tower stood a very large man.  His hair was long and rather unkempt.  He wore a coat of fur and held a staff in his hand.  His head was upturned to the sky. Then on the horizon, like a red jewel, was Mars, twinkling like a fire, peering down upon the earth with its martial gaze.  The great  man looked upon it and sighed - not with the sigh of despair, but with the sigh of determination. Dire times were at hand.  The flicker of Mars brought to his mind the flicker of fire - fire consuming British villages and churches; a fire set upon the land by Saxon hands.  He briefly closed his eyes and tried to shake the vision from his mind.  He crossed himself, and turned to descend the tower.   As he did so, the moon began to rise and a prayer formed in his heart: a prayer for Logres, for the school, for the King that would l

Never Give Up

Some thoughts after recently watching - again - the 2017 movie "Darkest Hour": We must, as God fearing people, survive the coming tragedy in our country.  We may no longer have a geographic territory to preserve for the freedom-loving people of the world, but we can keep the ideal of godly liberty alive, until such a time as God deems it best that such a territory arise again for the hope of an oppressed and suffering mankind.  We must fight for the Gospel and the good of men, as best we can. The forces arrayed against the Church and all god-fearers here, led by mad and lawless people, are, humanly speaking, very dangerous and powerful.  But free people have been in this situation before.  Nothing good can be achieved by compromise or surrender.  We must stick by the Great Commission and the example of our Captain and never give up.  Greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world.  In the end, our Lord will prevail - one way or another - as he so wisely sees fit.

The Table of the King, by F. R. Havergal

  A lovely meditation upon the Lord's Supper from a traditional, Prayer Book perspective, by Francis Ridley Havergal: "As for Mephibosheth, said the King, he shall eat at my table, as one of the king's sons." In every thought connected with the King's table we see Jesus only.  He prepares the feast, - 'Thou preparest a table before me.'  He gives the invitation - 'Come thou over with me, and I will feed thee with me.'  He gives the qualifying position of adoption, receiving as 'the King's sons.'  He brings us into 'His banqueting-house.'  He bids us partake, saying, 'Eat, O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved.'  He is with us at the feast, for 'the King sitted at His table.'  He Himself is the heavenly food, the bread and the meat of His table; for He says, 'The bread that I will give is my flesh,' and 'My flesh is meat indeed.' He Himself!  Nothing less if offered to us, for nothing

Ills of Social Media

From Time to Build , by Yuval Levin (ISBN: 9781541699274), p. 135-136. [This is why I've limited my social media use:] "...there is no denying that the social media platforms have undercut our social lives.  They plainly encourage the vices most dangerous to a free society.  They drive us to speak without listening, to approach others confrontationally rather than graciously, to spread conspiracies and rumors, to dismiss and ignore what we would rather not hear, to make the private public, to oversimplify a complex world, to react to one another much too quickly and curtly.  They eat away at our capacity for patient toleration, our decorum, our forbearance, our restraint.  They leave us open to manipulation - by merchants, algorithms, even real-life Russian agents [and I would add Chinese agents].  They cause us to mistake expression for reflection, affirmation for respect, and reaction for responsibility.  They grind down our democratic soul." [It's more meaningful,

well adjusted...?

 A good one.  We are to be in the world, but not of it.

Essential Thanksgiving

I just sent this to supporters of my work at UTC:   Dear Friend of the Study Center, One of America's most prolific hymn writers was Johnson Oatman, Jr., of New Jersey.  By the time he went to his reward in 1922, he had about three thousand hymns to his credit!  One of his many famous songs is "Count Your Many Blessings."  As it is often sung to a tune by Ira Sankey, the light-hearted feel of lyric and note can have a rather superficial sense to it.  However, there are times when "count your many blessings" is serious and important spiritual counsel!  We are in one of those times. We are familiar these days with many voices speaking ill of our country and its Christian roots.  This cynical spirit is part of the philosophy of the world we live in today.  Sadly, many in the official Church, we might call it, have imbibed this spirit.  These people, while professing the faith of Christianity, are not thankful for our Christian tradition.  However, the Christian is