Quakers in Choir-style Meeting
I wasn’t sure this brief examination of Rev. George Keith’s journal notes, with his advises on Church of England mission work to London, ought to be posted here or at the Anglomethodist. Though we see much affinity with Keith’s advises to Mr. Wesley’s General Rule, the ‘communtarian’ (monkish) aspects of the Quakers resonated with religious societies in general from the Puritans to those Anglican fellowships which flourished in the Restoration era. Each sect possessed certain social rules that resembled the Quakers, and if we consider Quakerism to be a radical sect of Puritanism (or Congregationalism), then we can fathom a certain (perhaps remote) proximity to the former Establishment. Much is pragmatic and common-sense regarding these rules, but I thought it good to review Keith’s recommendations for Anglican mission, seeing much should be imitated for our time, as well as how cultural aspects of ‘holiness groups’ like Quakers might be incorporated into something like a national church. Continue reading
Trenton New Jersey State Building, c. 1800
Episcopalians are generally raised on the myth the original Protestant Episcopal Church (PECUSA or PEC) never formally adopted the Articles of Religion as a standard for doctrine. More critical observers may qualify this claim by mentioning the later adoption of the 39-Articles, amended to American circumstances, at the General Convention of 1801 and their ultimate insertion into the American Prayer Book. More skeptical persons insist the Articles never made their way into PECUSA’s subscription formula when compared to the English. Indeed, if contrasting the terms of subscription between American and English forms, the matter evidently boils down to what early-PECUSA meant by its “doctrine and discipline”. However, the Articles were part of a larger theological settlement and had import for making a national church.
de Bibliotheca de Annapolis
Perhaps it’s well-known that Anglicans suffer an acute identity crisis. Once modern higher criticism– with its advanced social agenda– is questioned, we’re often left to ponder the war-weary and topsy-turvy landscape left behind by Victorian Party strife. However inimical to one another these factions might have been, they seem to often mutual in their abuse or dismissal of the Georgian Church. Such joint-criticism usually amounts to the 18th-century Era being characteristically sluggish, superficial, worldly, and excessively whiggish. However, the 18th-century– called by some historians the peak of the Church of England’s “Long Reformation”– was likely ‘torpid’ for very good reasons; namely, it was a relatively stable and triumphant period for the Established Church. And, if the stagnant nature of the Georgian Church is true, why not ground one’s hermeneutic upon the Divinity which advanced this relative dominance? This post will briefly discuss something of the historical framework our blog, Anglican Rose, has been slowly moving toward as well as our other related projects. Continue reading
About a month ago, I was asked to provide an update to an older post called “UE General Convention“. My UE Convention post detailed the national meeting of UE clergy and laity at Prescott in 2014 as well as provided quite a bit of opinion regarding some possible vectors in the continuum. Since then, a very long Q/A emerged in the comments section. Other than these messages, I haven’t given any updates on the UE besides an article in Harbinger #3 about the 2015 Western Missionary District’s Convocation. The addition of children to our house has caused us to miss the last three Western Convocations (held yearly). Nonetheless, we sent letters updating our labors in the Fremont and San Jose cities of California. Given the sustained interest in UECNA, I decided to post our latest letter shared this year in October at Tucson (below). The letter informs happenings with the William E. Littlewood Chapel as well as possible directions the UECNA might pursue for the Far West. I’ll try to conclude this post with some of my own private commentary respecting our Convocation. Continue reading
Fletcher’s Barn & Vicarage
Our fellowship’s class meeting aims to have no practice without historical consideration or precedent. As a consequence, we’ve examined a number of Protestant Rules (especially Wesley’s) going back to Josiah Woodward’s discipline in the 1690’s. While ultimately adopting Wesley’s 1739 Order for ourselves, we noticed slight variations from local society to society. Recently read was the Rule for the Society at Madeley written by the Rev. John Fletcher. Fletcher’s Rule is fascinating, if nothing else, for his frequent reference to Church authority for the Evangelical Society. And, by this preoccupation with Establishment, we get a glimmer of how Religious Society was inspired by the Prayer Book and exhortations for Holy Communion. In other words, Fletcher hints an older connection between Evangelical and High Church principle. Continue reading
Winning Heathens at Jamestown
The following essay takes quotes from a Sermon, delivered for our 1790 Independence Day, by the Rev. Dr. William Smith of the American Episcopal Church. The address considers our Temporal and Spiritual Salvation as a nation, and how sorts of blessings work together for the expansion of Kingdom of Christ. Dr. Smith reminds his esteemed audience their duties following their Independence, and how our early-Republic fit into a latter-day Gospel economy. Smith’s sermon(s) lay much groundwork for an American civil religion, identifying the American states with God’s elect, and their extension to the fullness of Gentiles. Smith gives us a nice example Christian Patriotism. The larger text is from the Book of Isaiah, Chapter 52, reading thusly: Continue reading
Regular Family Instruction
The Rev. William Burkitt, a late-Stuart rector who also saw the reign of William of Orange, was best known for his biblical commentaries (recommended by the Victorian Charles Spurgeon). But, he also wrote a number of pastoral advises anticipating the early Anglican evangelical movement. An SPCK favorite was The Poor Man’s Help enjoying more than thirty editions throughout the 18th century. Within the Help is a chapter on the ‘Glorifying God in Family Worship’, accompanied with a number of private prayers and a basic catechism for family governors. Burkitt’s work also shows the relation the early-evangelical movement had with the Lord’s Table, building off the deposit of devotional works common to the interregnum. Continue reading
the Good Samaritan
Modern liberals have basically run amok with the Christian notion of Love, turning it into a radical leveling or egalitarian creed disconnected from other salutary virtues such as Duty or Justice. The older Protestant view better joined these categories. I’ve discussed this subject in relation to John Wesley’s recommended ‘circles of reproof‘ with the second-half of the same essay touching wider Anglican divinity. Not long thereafter I came across the same in Bishop Gilbert Burnet’s Exposition of the Church Catechism, and it appears to be quite a familiar notion in England’s Long Reformation as to what it means to ‘love thy neighbor’. Below are relevant extracts from Burnet’s Exposition coupled with his late-contemporary, the Rev. Dr. White Kennett, on Christian charity. Continue reading
Dissenting Reading Desk w/ Pulpit
Note: This essay was also posted at River Thames Beach Party (RTBP).
Oftentimes the 1928 BCP is identified as part of PECUSA’s downward slide by reason of eroding older penitential language. Some changes were indeed unfortunate but few consider the flexibility of rubrics which may compensate for much of what’s missing. Shouldn’t we be more careful about lumping, say, the 1928 BCP together with its 1979 counterpart? Or, for that matter, doing the same with any of the American BCPs? In time, I’d like to develop a robust defense of the 1928 and older American versions, but in this post I will begin to tackle a common complaint about the 1928, namely, its tendency to displace ‘sin’ out of the prayer book, starting with the Penitential Office. Continue reading
I usually keep posts related to Liturgical matters confined to the River Thames Beach Party (RTBP) blog. However, since the following essay is basically a continuation of ‘Cummins’s Lost Evangelicals’, I felt it worthwhile to link the post here. This essay examines a third-point of relief wanted by mid-19th century Evangelicals, namely, amending the Baptismal Office for Children by either omitting or explaining the controverted term “regenerate”. Indeed, this is an old demand, and one considered nugatory by successive reviewers of the Prayer Book on the Anglican-side. Even for the 1689 Commission (which sought comprehension with moderate Dissent) this was true, and from that same sensibility the 1785 American Book was also based. Anyway, here is the post at the RTBP blog.
Bp. George D. Cummins
The Rev. George D. Cummins (former assisting-bishop of Kentucky for the Protestant Episcopal Church [from 1866-73], then, first Bishop of the Reformed Episcopal Church in New York [until his death in 1876]) gives something of a retrospect of the Book of Common Prayer respecting the ‘germs of Romanism’ or sacerdotalism therein. In the midst of this letter, Cummins interestingly reflects upon those conditions that might have kept the Evangelical clergy in the Episcopal Church, at least prior to his own departure.