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Monday, March 28, 2005

Taylor's keen eye

In the mid 17th century, Bishop Jeremy Taylor writes in his discourse on the Liberty of Prophesying some keen words on the nature of what is produced by those who suffer from the Pope in their belly! You can see that entry below. In the Church after the Reformation in England, and leading up to the Civil War, there were men, and still are today who as Taylor writes,

"make every opinion an article of faith, every article of faith a ground of quarrel and envy, which, in turn, led to faction; and every faction, pretending in its zeal for God, went its busy way convincing men that, except they hated their brothers and persecuted every religion but their own, they lacked the very virtue of religion."

Every time I read this or come across it in reading something else, such as Andrewes' view of the Supernatural, I cannot help but recognise this as something all too common. When the Church continues in our day to be splintering and creating more and more sects of what "true religion" supposedly is, when will the faithful stand up and take note of what we are doing to one another? The most difficult thing in correcting this schismatic error is getting men to recognise that their zeal for God, may not in actuality be directed down the right path and have rather chosen to make a brother an enemy. But to even write or suggest something like this is to "lack the virtue of religion." How does one get through to God's people who set themselves up in this way? It's almost as mysterious to me as the Resurrection itself. Maybe we would all do well to mediate on Paul's statement to the Corinthians in 2 Corinthians 3:5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.

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    O God, most glorious, most bountiful, accept, we humbly beseech thee, our praises and thanksgivings for thy holy Catholic Church, the mother of us all who bear the name of Christ; for the faith which it hath conveyed in safety to our time, and the mercies by which it hath enlarged and comforted the souls of men; for the virtues which it hath established upon earth, and the holy lives by which it glorifieth both the world and thee; to whom, O blessed Trinity (+), be ascribed all honour, might, majesty and dominion, now and for ever. Amen.
    --Bishop Lancelot Andrewes

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