Monday, May 5, 2014

Sanctification is noticeable

"O God, save us from the fury of the Northmen!"

And then, all of a sudden, the Northmen weren't so bad. They got baptized. They started building churches instead of sacking them. They replaced Beowulf's moral code of blustery boasting (reminiscent, as Prof. Balot used to say, of both Homer's Achilles and any ganga rapper) with the code of chivalry. 

All that is to say that sanctification is noticeable. Yes, every sin is damnable, even a teeny-weeny sin because every sin comes from the desire for God to die so that we can be gods. But we should not let that pious truth blind us to another pious truth: faith in Christ is always connected to love for Christ and walking in His footsteps. Just look at what happened to the Northmen!

And now look what is happening to them as Christianity has largely been tossed aside: 

"In 2013, an estimated 53 million prescriptions for antidepressants were issued in England. That is roughly the total number of people in England."

Methinks, O John of Gaunt, thou prophet new inspired, that thou hast misunderestimated!

This royal throne of kings, this scepter'd isle,
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other Eden, demi-paradise,
This fortress built by Nature for herself
Against infection and the hand of war,
This happy breed of men, this little world,
This precious stone set in the silver sea,
Which serves it in the office of a wall,
Or as a moat defensive to a house,
Against the envy of less happier lands,
This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England,
This nurse, this teeming womb of royal kings,
Fear'd by their breed and famous by their birth,
Renowned for their deeds as far from home,
For Christian service and true chivalry,
As is the sepulchre in stubborn Jewry,
Of the world's ransom, blessed Mary's Son,
This land of such dear souls, this dear dear land,
Dear for her reputation through the world,
Is now leased out, I die pronouncing it,
Like to a tenement or pelting farm:
England, bound in with the triumphant sea
Whose rocky shore beats back the envious siege
Of watery Neptune, is now bound in with shame,
With inky blots and rotten parchment bonds:
That England, that was wont to conquer others,
Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.
Ah, would the scandal vanish with my life,
How happy then were my ensuing death! 

+HRC

1 comment:

  1. And Now, the Rest of the Story ...

    "O God, save us from the fury of the Northmen!"

    And then, all of a sudden, the Northmen weren't so bad. They got baptized. They started building churches instead of sacking them. They replaced Beowulf's moral code of blustery boasting (reminiscent, as Prof. Balot used to say, of both Homer's Achilles and any ganga rapper) with the code of chivalry. INSERT: They saved Saxon butt at Lutzen, in selfless exchange for their chivalric sovereign's life (as a certain seminary plaque, guarding an entrance door, most commendably memorializes).

    All that is to say that sanctification is noticeable. INSERT: As is the contemporary persistence of Beowulf's moral code, obviously.

    And really. Admit it, gentlemen. The Saxon immigrants strongly admired and hankered after the ecclesiastical polity of the Lutheran Northmen (at least, when they were Lutheran. And men ... none of this pagan priestess stuff, thank you.). Prof. Forster documents such intense longings, thoroughly and convincingly.

    Not that the fluoxetine-swilling English are to be confused with mead-chugging Northmen, technically. No more than we should think of the English in essence as Romans, or even as Jamaicans. Canute and Danelaw aside, Alfred the Great would be spinning in his grave if such were to be seriously maintained, and I must firmly part with the learned and methinking reverend father, on this one.

    Then again, I suppose Duke William the Bastard of Normandy could well have deemed himself to be the offspring of a drakkar-rider ... at least when he wasn't sporting one those silly berets and surrendering Paris in the spring, as customary to the Frankish hoards around him. But if we keep this up, we'll soon be calling TLH more the inspired product of vikings, than something Anglican.

    Then what's Prof. Scaer going to do?


    Your (unworthy) servant,
    Herr Doktor

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