Wednesday, September 16, 2020

The year was 1882 and we remember E.B. Pusey. The reading is from Pusey, writing on Christian contentment.

It is the 16th of September 2020. Welcome to the Christian History Almanac, brought to you by 1517 at I'm Dan van Voorhis.

The year was 1882.

It was the year that saw the deaths of the outlaw Jesse James and President Garfield's assassin Charles Giteau. The bride of the previously assassinated President, Mary Todd Lincoln, also died this year. 1882 also saw the deaths of both Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry Wordsworth Longfellow.

But for what the world lost (for good and ill) it gained in people of future fame. These included Virginia Woolf, James Joyce, and A.A. Milne, all born in 1882. They were joined by future president Franklin Delano Roosevelt, future painter Edward Hopper, and future actor Bela Lugosi of "Dracula" fame.

1882 was the last year that boxers fought competitively without gloves. "The Boston Strong Boy" John L. Sullivan won the last bare-knuckle title this year. 1882 also saw the first, but not yet official, World Series. The Fall Classic would officially become known as the World Series in 1903. And it was first called the World Series in 1884. But it was in 1882 that the thing got going.

The old Cincinnati Red Stockings had been booted from the National Baseball League for selling beer in stadiums and playing games on Sunday. In 1882 the team joined five other rowdy teams in cities such as Baltimore, St. Louis, and Pittsburgh. This new "American Association" formed and when the Cincinnati club won the American Association's new pennant. They challenged their old foes, the Chicago White Stockings, to the best of three series. The National League team won. Since 1903 the American League has won 66 World Series titles to the National League 49. However, one of those 66 wins belongs to the Astros. And we don't recognize cheaters on this show.

The late 19th century is sometimes referred to as the age of assassinations. We've already made mention of the assassinations of Presidents Lincoln and Garfield, and almost every European head of state had one or more attempts on their life. In 1882 Queen Victoria escaped the last of her eight different assassination attempts. This last attempt took place outside a train station when a mentally ill man took a shot at the queen before being captured and pummeled by the crowd.

One of the issues that caused such consternation and upheaval in Great Britain was the transition from being a confessional protestant state of being a modern secular state. And the conversation has to do with the change in English church-state relations was influenced and mirrored in the life of Edward, or E.B. Pusey, who died on this, the 16th of September in 1882.

Pusey attended Oriel College, Oxford, and it was there that he met John Keble and John Henry Newman. The three would become the leaders of the Oxford Movement. The Oxford Movement would also be labeled as the "Tractarians" and as "Puseyites." The so-called "tracts" argued that catholicity meant adherence to the historic catholic teachings, not necessarily to the Catholic church in Rome. Although Newman would go to the Roman church, Pusey stayed in his Anglican church, where his teachings on the Lord's Supper made him both famous and infamous. Pusey taught that Christ was present in the Eucharist in a way opposed to the Anglican church's generally Zwinglian teachings. In a very simplified way, think of it as the church arguing for the Eucharist as a memorial with a "spiritually" present Christ. Pusey argued that whatever was present, it was more like Christ and less like a gnostic memorial.

Despite his sharp elbows, theologically speaking, Pusey was known for his charity. He built St. Saviour's church in Leeds with his own money and spent the plague year of 1866 tending personally to those with Cholera. Bookish and short with a bit of a humpback, the Oxford scholar published editions of the church fathers, wrote and published sermons, and was a proponent of what we might call a high church Anglicanism. The man of whom John Henry Newman said, "he at once gave us a position and a name." E.B. Pusey, the father of Puseyites in the Oxford or Tractarian movement, was born in 1800 and died on this, the 16th of September, in 1882.

The reading for today comes from Pusey himself writing on Christian contentment.

Never allow thyself to dwell on the wish that this or that had been, or were, otherwise than it was, or is. God Almighty loves thee better and more wisely than thou dost thyself. Never dwell on the morrow. Remember that it is God's, not thine. The heaviest part of sorrow often is to look forward to it. "The Lord will provide."

This has been the Christian History Almanac for the 16th of September 2020 brought to you by 1517 at The show is produced by a man who certainly knows that a 12-inch disc would be the size of an LP, not a CD, Christopher Gillespie. The show is written and read by a man still confused by inches and centimeters, Dan van Voorhis. You can catch us here every day. and remember that the rumors of grace, forgiveness, and the redemption of all things are true…. Everything is going to be ok.

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