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Decently Writ, IX

June 18, 2012

For your summer reading:

The Towers of Trebizond by Rose Macaulay is a delightful story about a High Church Anglican mission to Turkey.  The narrator and missionary, Laurie, speaks about the connection between her Aunt Dot’s proclivity for fishing and their family’s deeply ingrained Anglican roots.  She seems to think her aunt has confused the terms “Anglican” and “angling.”

It is not, therefore, strange that we should have inherited a firm and tenacious adherence to the Church of our country.  With it has come down to most of us a great enthusiasm for catching fish.

…Those of the family who took Holy Orders, brought up from infancy to this pastime, continued to practice it assiduously in the various pleasant livings which came their way.  The occupation had, of course, its snares.  At times the thoughts of these clergyman, angling away in their beautiful and tranquil surroundings, would ramble over speculative theological ground, and encounter, like a dragon in the path, some heresy and doubt.  Some of them were thus vanquished by the assaults of manicheeism, others by the innocent theories of Pelagius, others again by that kind of pantheism which is apt to occur in meadows and woods, others by the difficulties of thus thinking of the Trinity, and still more by plain Doubt.  Many became increasingly latitudinarian, some almost Deist, and as the nineteenth century advanced, they began joining the Modern Churchmen’s Union.

But, by and large, the more they fished, the Higher they grew.  And the more tenaciously and unswervingly Anglican they were, the better they fished.

Macaulay, Rose.  The Towers of Trebizond.  Farrar, Straus and Cudahy.  New York.  1956.

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