Plain Submission and Cheerful Obedience

John Keble.

It is something, at all events, to have upon record the deliberate protest of the Church of England against these lessons of base accommodation: something, that those who are yet willing to take advice from her Prayer-Book, should find there the good old principles, of plain submission and cheerful obedience, applied to a real and near example, and a condition of society like the present. But it is more, to have the verdict of Scripture herself (for such, undoubtedly, may the History of the Passion falling on this day be considered) in favour of those, who have followed their Saviour in making resignation all their glory. Whether wise or unwise in a worldly sense, the doctrine of the Cross is on their side, and can never, surely, be misapplied, when rehearsed to encourage us in imitating them. Again; could any thing tell more significantly against the too fashionable notion of I know not what fatal necessity, suspending, as it were, men’s accountable agency, when they yield to the “spirit of the times”—could any thing more unsparingly condemn the measuring political right and wrong by mere present visible expediency—than the parable selected for the Gospel of the day: our Lord’s own expressive rebuke to the Jewish rulers, Caiaphas and the rest? They were deceiving themselves, no doubt, more than they did any one else, with the specious plea of public welfare, and the little worth of one man’s blood, set against the safety of the whole nation. There was a voice which spoke home to their consciences, when it represented the husbandmen saying, “Come, let us kill the heir, and then the inheritance surely will be ours.” And it is our duty to repeat the warning, as long as we see people doing such things, or “taking pleasure in them that do them.”

— Sermon V. Danger of Sympathizing With Rebellion by John Keble;
Preached before the University of Oxford, January 30, 1831.

Published by Christian Clay Columba Campbell

Christian Clay Columba Campbell is a Roman Catholic of the Anglican Use. As Senior Warden of the Cathedral of the Incarnation (Orlando, FL), he organised the process by which the parish accepted the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus, petitioning to join the Catholic Church. The Anglican Cathedral is now the Church of the Incarnation in the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. Personal queries should be directed to me at eccentricbliss dot com.

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