Saturday, August 8, 2009

"An anvil that has worn out many a hammer"

"These Scriptures we have tested. We find that they search our hearts, reproach us for our shortcomings, and prompt us to try to be our best. We have rested our hearts upon them in dire trouble and have found them the consolation and rejoicing of our hearts. Not only the word, but the book that conveys it to us, are dear...

The book is like a mother to us. The reputation of the book is like a mother's reputation. And so it comes to pass that our language regarding the Bible and every word of it is apt to be intense, unmeasured and sweeping, for love cannot bear qualifications. Strong feeling is impatient of nice calculations of less and more...

The Church as a whole and officially cannot commit herself to that which is provisional and subject to correction. Only when individual learning has done its work and won the consent of scholars generally can the Church express herself. Meanwhile, this work of Biblical analysis will be carried on by many men, of many minds, of many tastes, of many manners...

True, these are days of scorn and scoffing. But this is no new thing. All the ages down some men have superciliously declared, 'The days of religion are numbered.' But her sacred books outlast the critics. Resting her hand upon the Bible, the Church can say, 'Here is an anvil that has worn out many a hammer.'"

Bishop William Hobart Hare
Niobrara Convocation Address, 1899


Floridian said...

Thanks, Tim+

I love your Bishop Hare quotes. This one is special to me, as I am desperately collecting Scriptures and quotes on how God is both Father and Mother to those whose on parents abandoned them physically, emotionally due to death, divorce, abuse, addiction, adultery or failure to teach and live and reflect the Truth, Love and Life of Jesus Christ.

We cannot know the harm we do by not following Christ and living in His Way, until we are changed by grace and move from death to life...from blindness to sight.

TLF+ said...

Bishop Hare's biography is rich with wonderful insights from a true apostle - expressed with Anglican spirituality as it used to be in a true Via Media of "Evangelical Faith and Apostolic Order."

He has his flaws. Like any of us, he reflects some of the spirit of his age. But taken as a whole, a marvellous witness that transformed literally thousands of lives for Christ.

The grace of God is so great - why a person is moved to share a particular quote, article, picture or song online seems so often a work of the Holy Spirit. I am glad this post was a gift to you. I have been blessed in recent weeks by a guy who posts Bible verses on Twitter! He keeps tweeting just the verses I seem to need.

Alice C. Linsley said...

Lovely. But I wonder about this part: "True, these are days of scorn and scoffing. But this is no new thing. All the ages down some men have superciliously declared, 'The days of religion are numbered...' Today there is a full frontal attack on the Gospel worldwide, such as we have never seen.

Bishop Hare borrowed this line: "Here is an anvil that has worn out many a hammer." It was oft repeated in the Roman Catholic seminaries about Holy Tradition (which can never be in conflict with the Bible).

TLF+ said...

Alice - it would not surprise me to find that Hare borrowed that line from the RCs. He was quite close to Bp. O'Gorman (for whom the Catholic High School in Sioux Falls is named).

O'Gorman praised Hare as a "defender of the home" when the two worked together on Hare's long efforts to stop the Sioux Falls divorce mill. (SF had lax laws and rich people from the NE would come out for quick divorces and remarriages). Hare eventually prevailed.

O'Gorman was one of four speakers at Hare's funeral.

Hare spoke up for keeping Anglican distinctives but also avoided planting churches in such a way as to create conflict with existing churches of other Christian denominations. He was ecumenical but in the way that George Lindbeck argued a few decades back - not mushing everything together but working respectfully and cooperatively while keeping to one's own traditional distinctives.