OREMUS: 3 November 2007

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Fri Nov 2 19:56:48 GMT 2007

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OREMUS for Saturday, November 3, 2007 
Richard Hooker, Priest, Anglican Apologist, Teacher of the Faith, 1600

O Lord, open our lips.
And our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

Blessed are you, Holy God,
your justice is without partiality
and your  mercy embraces all who live.
You have shown us through your Son
that through love of you and our neighbor,
hatred may yield to forgiveness
and quarrels give way to reconciliation.
For these and all your mercies, we praise you:
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit:
Blessed be God for ever.

An opening canticle may be sung. 


Psalm 94

O Lord God of vengeance,*
 O God of vengeance, show yourself.
Rise up, O Judge of the world;*
 give the arrogant their just deserts.
How long shall the wicked, O Lord,*
 how long shall the wicked triumph?
They bluster in their insolence;*
 all evildoers are full of boasting.
They crush your people, O Lord,*
 and afflict your chosen nation.
They murder the widow and the stranger*
 and put the orphans to death.
Yet they say, 'The Lord does not see,*
 the God of Jacob takes no notice.'
Consider well, you dullards among the people;*
 when will you fools understand?
He that planted the ear, does he not hear?*
 he that formed the eye, does he not see?
He who admonishes the nations, will he not punish?*
 he who teaches all the world, has he no knowledge?
The Lord knows our human thoughts;*
 how like a puff of wind they are.
Happy are they whom you instruct, O Lord!*
 whom you teach out of your law;
To give them rest in evil days,*
 until a pit is dug for the wicked.
For the Lord will not abandon his people,*
 nor will he forsake his own.
For judgement will again be just,*
 and all the true of heart will follow it.
Who rose up for me against the wicked?*
 who took my part against the evildoers?
If the Lord had not come to my help,*
 I should soon have dwelt in the land of silence.
As often as I said, 'My foot has slipped',*
 your love, O Lord, upheld me.
When many cares fill my mind,*
 your consolations cheer my soul.
Can a corrupt tribunal have any part with you,*
 one which frames evil into law?
They conspire against the life of the just*
 and condemn the innocent to death.
But the Lord has become my stronghold,*
 and my God the rock of my trust.
He will turn their wickedness back upon them
   and destroy them in their own malice;*
 the Lord our God will destroy them.

A Song of the Righteous (Wisdom 3:1,2a,3b-8)

The souls of the righteous are in the hand of God
 and no torment will ever touch them.

In the eyes of the foolish, they seem to have died;
 but they are at peace.

For though, in the sight of others, they were punished,
 their hope is of immortality.

Having been disciplined a little,
 they will receive great good,
 because God tested them and found them worthy.

Like gold in the furnace, God tried them
 and, like a sacrificial burnt offering, accepted them.

In the time of their visitation, they will shine forth
 and will run like sparks through the stubble.

They will govern nations and rule over peoples
 and God will reign over them for ever.

Psalm 149

   Sing to the Lord a new song;*
 sing his praise in the congregation of the faithful.
Let Israel rejoice in his maker;*
 let the children of Zion be joyful in their king.
Let them praise his name in the dance;*
 let them sing praise to him with timbrel and harp.
For the Lord takes pleasure in his people*
 and adorns the poor with victory.
Let the faithful rejoice in triumph;*
 let them be joyful on their beds.
Let the praises of God be in their throat*
 and a two-edged sword in their hand;
To wreak vengeance on the nations*
 and punishment on the peoples;
To bind their kings in chains*
 and their nobles with links of iron;
To inflict on them the judgement decreed;*
 this is glory for all his faithful people.

FIRST READING [Romans 11:1-6, 11-12, 25-29]:

I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! I
myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member
of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not rejected his people
whom he foreknew. Do you not know what the scripture says
of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel? 'Lord,
they have killed your prophets, they have demolished your
altars; I alone am left, and they are seeking my life.'
But what is the divine reply to him? 'I have kept for
myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to
Baal.' So too at the present time there is a remnant,
chosen by grace. But if it is by grace, it is no longer
on the basis of works, otherwise grace would no longer be
So I ask, have they stumbled so as to fall? By no means!
But through their stumbling salvation has come to the
Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous. Now if their
stumbling means riches for the world, and if their defeat
means riches for Gentiles, how much more will their full
inclusion mean!
So that you may not claim to be wiser than you are,
brothers and sisters, I want you to understand this
mystery: a hardening has come upon part of Israel, until
the full number of the Gentiles has come in. And so all
Israel will be saved; as it is written,
'Out of Zion will come the Deliverer;
   he will banish ungodliness from Jacob.'
'And this is my covenant with them,
   when I take away their sins.'
As regards the gospel they are enemies of God for your
sake; but as regards election they are beloved, for the
sake of their ancestors; for the gifts and the calling of
God are irrevocable. 

Words: John Byrom (1691-1763)
Tune: Maria, jung und zart

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My spirit longs for thee,
within my troubled breast,
though I unworthy be
of so divine a Guest.

Of so divine a Guest
unworthy though I be,
yet has my heart no rest
unless it come from thee.

Unless it come from thee,
in vain I look around;
in all that I can see
no rest is to be found.

No rest is to be found
but in thy blessed love;
O let my wish be crowned
and send it from above.

SECOND READING [Luke 14:1, 7-11]:

On one occasion when Jesus was going to the house of a leader of the Pharisees to eat
a meal on the sabbath, they were watching him closely.
When he noticed how the guests chose the places of honour, he told them a parable.
'When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet, do not sit down at the place
of honour, in case someone more distinguished than you has been invited by your host;
and the host who invited both of you may come and say to you, "Give this person your
place", and then in disgrace you would start to take the lowest place. But when you
are invited, go and sit down at the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he may
say to you, "Friend, move up higher"; then you will be honoured in the presence of all
who sit at the table with you. For all who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those
who humble themselves will be exalted.' 

The Benedictus (Morning), 
the Magnificat (Evening), or 
Nunc dimittis (Night) may follow.

God of all time,
we bless you for the gift of this day
and for our hope in Christ Jesus.
In the midst of all that demands our attention,
free us to love you with all our hearts
and to love the world with your mercy and justice.

Let our love be genuine:
Kyrie eleison

Let our affections be tempered with holiness:
Kyrie eleison

Let our desires be shaped by the vision
of a new heaven and a new earth:
Kyrie eleison

Let our actions reflect the balance of love
for your reign in all things:
Kyrie eleison

Let our perceptions and feelings be ordered
by the hope we have in Christ:
Kyrie eleison

Lord our God, judge of all,
before whom no secrets are hidden:
let your justice shine forth
and your righteousness sweep wickedness from its throne,
that we may live for your glory;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

O God of truth and peace, 
you raised up your servant Richard Hooker 
in a day of bitter controversy 
to defend with sound reasoning and great charity 
the catholic and reformed religion: 
Grant that we may maintain that middle way, 
not as a compromise for the sake of peace, 
but as a comprehension for the sake of truth;
through Jesus Christ Son our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Gathering our prayers and praises into one,
let us pray as our Savior has taught us.

- The Lord's Prayer

May the coming of Christ in glory find us
ever watchful in prayer,
strong in truth and love,
and faithful in the breaking of the bread.
Then, at last, all peoples will be free,
and all divisions healed. Amen.

The psalms and the invitation to the Lord's Prayer are from _Celebrating Common
Prayer_ (Mowbray), (c) The Society of Saint Francis 1992, which is used with

The canticle is from _Common Worship: Daily Prayer, Preliminary
Edition_, copyright (c) The Archbishops' Council, 2002.

The biblical passage is from The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized
Edition), copyright (c) 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education
of  the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA. Used by
permission. All rights reserved.

The second collect is from _The Proper for the Lesser Feasts and
Fasts_, 3rd edition, (c) 1980 The Church Pension Fund.

On any list of great English theologians, the name of Richard Hooker would
appear at or near the top. His masterpiece is The Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity.
Its philosophical base is Aristotelian, with a strong emphasis on natural law
eternally planted by God in creation. On this foundation, all positive laws of
Church and State are developed from Scriptural revelation, ancient tradition,
reason, and experience.
The occasion of his writing was the demand of English Puritans for a
reformation of Church government. Calvin had established in Geneva a system
whereby each congregation was ruled by a commission comprising two thirds
laymen elected annually by the congregation and one third clergy serving for
life. The English Puritans (by arguments more curious than convincing) held
that no church not so governed could claim to be Christian.
Hooker replies to this assertion, but in the process he raises and considers
fundamental questions about the authority and legitimacy of government
(religious and secular), about the nature of law, and about various kinds of law,
including the laws of physics as well as the laws of England. In the course of
his book he sets forth the Anglican view of the Church, and the Anglican
approach to the discovery of religious truth (the so-called via media, or middle
road), and explains how this differs from the position of the Puritans, on the
one hand, and the adherents of the Pope, on the other. He is very heavy
reading, but well worth it. (He says, on the first page of Chapter I: "Those unto
whom we shall seem tedious are in no wise injuried by us, seeing that it lies in
their own hands to spare themselves the labor they are unwilling to endure."
This translates into modern English as: "If you can't take the intellectual heat,
get out of the kitchen. If you can't stand a book that makes you think, go read
the funny papers.")
The effect of the book has been considerable. Hooker greatly influenced John
Locke, and (both directly and through Locke), American political philosophy
in the late 1700's. Although Hooker is unsparing in his censure of what he
believes to be the errors of Rome, his contemporary, Pope Clement VIII (died
1605), said of the book: "It has in it such seeds of eternity that it will abide
until the last fire shall consume all learning."
Hooker's best short work is his sermon, "A Learned discourse of Justification."
In an earlier sermon, Hooker had expressed the hope of seeing in Heaven many
who had been Romanists on earth. A Puritan preacher took him to task for
this, saying that since the Romanists did not believe the doctrine of Justification
by Faith, they could not be justified. Hooker replied at length in this sermon, in
which (1) he sets forth the Doctrine of Justification by Faith, and agrees with
his opponent that the official theology of Rome is defective on this point; (2)
he defends his assertion that those who do not rightly understand the means
that God has provided for our salvation may nonetheless be saved by it, in
which connection he says: "God is no captious sophister, eager to trip us up
whenever we say amiss, but a courteous tutor, ready to amend what, in our
weakness or our ignorance, we say ill, and to make the most of what we say
aright." [James Kiefer]

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