Wednesday, July 13, 2005

After reading Newman last night I read that Henry Tristram regarded the start of the Oxford Movement as a sermon entitled: Personal Influence, the Means of Propagating the Truth from January 22nd 1832. I thought it would be nice if I could read it and I found it online. This couple of paragraphs are very interesting, they talk about truth needing to be revered. Whilst academics merely want to treat it like sport. Just for a moment move yourself back173 years and imagine listening to this:

19. (1.) First, every part of the Truth is novel to its opponent; and seen detached from the whole, becomes an objection. It is only necessary for Reason [Note 1] to ask many questions; and, while the other party is investigating the real answer to each in detail, to claim the victory, which spectators will not be slow to award, {89} fancying (as is the manner of men) that clear and ready speech is the test of Truth. And it can choose its questions, selecting what appears most objectionable in the tenets and practices of the received system; and it will (in all probability), even unintentionally, fall upon the most difficult parts; what is on the surface being at once most conspicuous, and also farthest removed from the centre on which it depends. On the other hand, its objections will be complete in themselves from their very minuteness. Thus, for instance, men attack ceremonies and discipline of the Church, appealing to common sense, as they call it; which really means, appealing to some proposition which, though true in its own province, is nothing to the purpose in theology; or appealing to the logical accuracy of the argument, when every thing turns on the real meaning of the terms employed, which can only be understood by the religious mind.
20. (2.) Next, men who investigate in this merely intellectual way, without sufficient basis and guidance in their personal virtue, are bound by no fears or delicacy. Not only from dulness, but by preference, they select ground for the contest, which a reverent Faith wishes to keep sacred; and, while the latter is looking to its stepping, lest it commit sacrilege, they have the unembarrassed use of their eyes for the combat, and overcome, by skill and agility, one stronger than themselves.

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