14 July 2010

A blessed Springtime?

We keep July 14 in memory of Mr Keble's Sermon on National Apostasy. Perhaps in future years we could keep July 13, when Mr Newman preached, in 1852, his Sermon on The Second Spring: I think it the most devastating and moving exercise in rhetoric that I know in any language I know. In the aftermath of the General Synod vote on How To Drive The Catholics Out, I found myself haunted by one passage in particular in which he talks about what happened to the Church of England at the Reformation:

The vivifying principle of truth, the shadow of St Peter, the grace of the Redeemer, left it. That old Church in its day became a corpse (a marvellous, an awful change!); and then it did but corrupt the air which once it beautified. So all seemed to be lost; and there was a struggle for a time, and then its priests were cast out or martyred. There were sacrileges innumerable. Its temples were profaned or destroyed; its revenues seized by covetous nobles, or squandered upon the ministers of a new faith ... It took a long time to do this thoroughly; much time, much thought, much labour, much expense; but at last it was done ... the fair form of Truth, moral and material, hacked piecemeal, and every limb and organ carried off, and burned in the fire, or cast into the deep! But at last the work was done. Truth was disposed of, and shovelled away, and there was a calm, a silence, a sort of peace ...

Now they are doing it again, but - no problem - we have a ver Benedictinum vere novum (neat, yes?) on offer.

3 comments:

Matthew the Curmudgeon said...

After all the Catholic Anglicans are driven out and all the Evangelical Anglicans are dispersed-is that the call to prayer I hear from Canterbury Cathedral bell tower? Sounds like it.
lORD have Mercy on their souls. They thought the conservatives were awful!

Rubricarius said...

Glorious springs in the United Kingdom are often deceptive. They are usually followed by wash-out summers, blustery autumns and bitter winters.

Fr John Hunwicke SSC, said...

Exacrtly the point Newman went on to make in the sermon!!!