No concord between Christ & textual atheists

Christopher ThomasConfessional Textual ViewLeave a Comment

“It is much the fashion to abuse the great men of the Reformation age, for what is called their intolerance and bitterness towards adversaries. Our moderns affect a great advance upon their manners, and are quite intolerant of their intolerance, and fierce in condemnation of their fierceness. The only thing which seems to be bad enough to excite the ire of these nonchalant gentlemen, is the ancient zeal for the truth; the only fault which is so outrageous in their eyes as to be beyond the pale of even their courtesy (and it must be something monstrous indeed which these models of charity cannot tolerate) is the fault of being thoroughly in earnest. They insist that whatever other errors are assailed, it shall be done with perfect measure, equanimity, and politeness. No ‘hard names’ must be called, no matter how ‘hard’ the deeds which are characterized…Hence, in the English Church, you shall hear the Evangelicals mildly and courteously intimating to the public, that their very estimable and valued brethren, the Ritualists, are going towards that Rome which they deem Antichrist. In the State, the Conservatives are seen suggesting, with the greatest possible suavity and respect, that the John Bright party is preparing for England another reign of terror, in which the throne, the religion, the liberties, and the constitution of the country, are to be whelmed in a sea of blood. Now this is all very nice, of course, and ‘excessively genteel,’ when contrasted with those rude old champions of a former age, a Knox, a Latimer, a Pym, who rescued Christianity and liberty from their foes, and bequeathed the precious inheritance to us. But these very chary and polished polemics may be sure that they will never conquer any error; that such as they will never arouse any people to save their jeopardized rights. If the premises and arguments of the Evangelicals are true, then your Ritualist is a mischievous and treacherous enemy to the dearest interests he is sworn and salaried to subserve; he is seeking to betray the Church whose bread he eats to her prescriptive enemy. But after all this, your genteel Evangelical proceeds to treat the person against whom he has brought so severe an indictment, as a marvellously proper gentleman! If the neat political essayist of the London Quarterly, or the Pall Mall Gazette, means what he says, then the English Radical of the school of Messieurs Mill and Bright (par nobile fratrum, Quaker and Infidel) is but a masked Marat or Danton, who should be hunted by a universal storm of execration into an obscurity where his madness and malice would be harmless. But Mr. Radical is his ‘very honorable friend,’ to whom he ventures to make, with most respectful consideration, the suggestion that his schemes involve the little inconveniences of revolution, anarchy, repudiation, and bloodshed. Such innocent little piping will never effect the work of the trumpet blast, which rouses a slumbering nation and shakes the mask off its assailants. The age needs men like Knox; and we fear, is very like to perish for want of them. The times demand ‘good haters.'” – R.L. Dabney, Laus Iracundiae (1869)

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