Pages: 70— Pages: — He is Master of Trinity Hall, Cambridge. He has published extensively on modern religious history, including F. Even while seeking to bring greater nuance and sophistication to our understanding of High Church Anglicanism, it remains admirably clear in both tone and approach. These essays are a significant contribution This study is a magisterial historical overview and that is where its strength lies.
Contents Preface Abbreviations Introduction Chapter 1. Movements and regions: dynamics of local religious change Chapter 3. Sacramental renewal and popular religion Part Two - Continental perspectives Chapter 4. Outside influences: continental church tourism Chapter 5. Preaching the Oxford Movement Chapter 7. Ecclesiology and contested identities: the parting of the ways Chapter 8. Scripture and History: Mary and the nature of doctrine Conclusion Chapter 9.
Modern destinies: the Revival into the twentieth century Afterword Bibliography Index.
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All interested in the history of the Church of England, and in modern religious history in general, including those studying for ministry, at graduate and undergraduate level. Terms and Conditions Privacy Statement. Powered by: PubFactory. Our Lord took up all this language upon His own lips when, as St. So our Lord has, as recorded by St. Matthew, gone beneath the surface and based His kingdom, the character of His citizens, not upon actual poverty, but upon detachment. There is one verse in the Old Testament which describes this poverty of spirit.
Job took and used aright what God gave him, adoring the sovereignty of God. The sovereign took away what He had given; Job gave it up freely. Our Lord says then, Blessed are those who are thus detached; and of course we look to Him for illustration, for these beatitudes express His own character. He was detached. The Incarnation was a self-emptying. Paul says. He abandoned ease, popularity, the favour of the great, even the sympathy of His friends, even, last and greatest of all, on the cross, the consolation of the divine presence.
Each privilege in turn was abandoned without a murmur, not, speaking generally, on the ascetic principle, but because moral obedience to God in fulfilment of His mission required it. So we, like Him, are to be ready to surrender, ready to give up; and in proportion to this detachment, in proportion as we do really in will adore the sovereignty of God, and are ready to receive and to give up according to His will, in that proportion are all the hindrances removed by which the royalty of His kingdom is prevented from entering into our hearts and lives.
Before we pass on, let us observe how important it is that there should be at all times those in the Church who are capable, not merely of poverty in spirit, but voluntarily of poverty in fact. Upon all men our Lord enjoins detachment.
But upon one young man in particular He enjoined that he should give his possessions away, that he should sell all that he had and give to the poor. So in the Church there have been those who in the religious orders have dedicated themselves in voluntary poverty to the service of God and of man; and the Church has lost incalculably in ages when there have been none such. Like all other institutions, the religious orders have been liable to great abuses: they have been homes very often, not so much of scandalous vices, as of sloth and corporate greed; but we must not give up the ideal because there are abuses.
There is the command of the Lord to all to be, like Job, detached; there is the counsel of the Lord to some to be, in fact, voluntarily poor. These beatitudes follow one another, as St. Chrysostom says, in a golden chain. Once again our Lord is putting Himself in startling opposition to one of the favourite maxims of the world. What does that mean? Briefly: there are two chief kinds of mourning into which it is the duty of every true servant of our Lord to enter—the mourning for sin and the mourning for pain.
We must mourn for sin, for we are sinners. It is possible to hide the fact from our eyes, to prevent the inconvenient light from coming in upon our consciences, to suppose that things that are widely tolerated must be tolerable, that things that are frequently or habitually done must have something to say for themselves. But the Christian gets into the light; he lets the light of the divine word go down into his heart; he strives to see himself first, in the silence of his own soul, as the Lord sees him.
Paul, to have his own burden so well in hand, that he is able to leave the large spaces of his heart for other people to lay their sorrows upon. It is always possible to use the advantages of a comparatively prosperous position to exempt ourselves, to screen ourselves off, from the common lot of pain. This is to shut ourselves off from true fruitfulness and final joy. He that loveth his life, loseth it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.
And in proportion to the fullness with which you enter into penitence for sin and into sympathy for the sufferings of men, you shall get, not the miserable laughter of forgetfulness, which lasts but for a moment, but the comfort or encouragement of God. And here, by way of warning, let me point out that there is a false as well as a true mourning. It is possible to be discontented with the world but to lack the courage of faith which makes our discontent fruitful of reform. It is possible to be discontented with ourselves, and yet never so simply and humbly make our confession to God our Father as to get the joy which comes of being forgiven.
We are discontented; but our discontent is pride, not the humility of true sorrow. It will not be comforted, it will not thankfully take the divine offer of absolution. The false sorrow of pride was noticed by one of the leaders of monasticism in the west—Cassian, who describes and contrasts thus the true sorrow and the false: But the false sorrow is bitter, impatient, hard, full of rancour and fruitless grief, and penal despair, breaking off and recalling the man whom it has got into its grasp from industry and salutary sorrow, because it is irrational, and not only impedes the efficacy of prayers but also empties out of the soul all those spiritual fruits which the true sorrow knows how to impart.
Still our Lord is explaining the character of the kingdom by contrast to the ideals of the world. The meek—that is manifestly, those who are ready to be put upon as far as they themselves are concerned. Of course, from another point of view, we may be quite bound from time to time to assert ourselves. Our Lord recognizes that, as we shall have an opportunity of noticing in another connexion. We may have to assert ourselves for the sake of the moral order of the church and of the world.
That is the ideal to which we have to attain. That is the meekness which is appropriate to sinners like ourselves who know what we deserve, who on a general review of life can seldom feel that we are suffering unmerited wrong; but it is the meekness also of the sinless and righteous one. And the result of this entire absence of self-assertion is that we can make no claim on the world which God will not at the last substantiate.
An heir is a person who enters into rightful possession. He is in no fear that any other can ever come and turn him out. He moves at ease amongst his possessions, because the things that he inherits are really his. No one with a better claim can come to oust him. Now, if we go about the world making claims on society which God does not authorize, refusing to bear what God will have us bear, the day will come when the true Master appears, and we shall be exposed to shame.
We have made claims which He did not authorize; we have asserted ourselves where He gave us no right or title to assert ourselves; we shall be ousted.
Benjamin Jowett books
But the meek, who ever committed themselves to Him that judgeth righteously, have nothing to fear. They will simply, in steady and royal advance, enter into the full heritage of that which men kept back from them, but God has in store for them. In strong, bold outlines our Lord has begun by sketching for us the character of His citizens in marked contrast to the ideals of the world.
But He is not satisfied with giving us these, as it were, negative characteristics; He passes on to more positive traits. It is a strong craving, a craving which must be satisfied, or we perish.
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You cannot forget that you are hungry or thirsty. And in human pursuits we again and again see what is like hunger and thirst. You see an appetite for place; a man is bent upon it; he will by whatever means get that position which his soul desires. Go to the side of the Thames at Putney, and you may see two crews of eight men practising there for a famous race, their supporters and backers looking on.
All is eagerness, and there is not the slightest betrayal of consciousness that anything in the world could be more important than the winning of that race.
Sermons on Faith and Doctrine by the Late Benjamin Jowett, M.A., Master of Balliol College
That is what may be truly called a hunger and thirst. Righteousness, or rather the righteousness, that character which God has marked out for us, the character of Christ—blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after it. Brethren, we so often feel hopeless about getting over our faults. Let us hunger and thirst after righteousness, and we shall be filled. As our Lord saw of the travail of His soul and was satisfied, so, depend upon it, shall we.
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If you only seriously want to be good, your progress may be slow, but at the last you will be good. Christ is pledged to satisfy, if only you will go on wanting. There is not in the pursuit of goodness any failure except in ceasing to hunger and thirst—that is, in ceasing to want, to pray, to try. Do you want righteousness seriously, deliberately?