Today is the Feast Day of Charles Stuart, King and Martyr. Charles the First was the second born son of James I of England (and VI of Scotland), who became heir to the throne upon the death of his elder brother Henry. He became king on March 27, 1625. During his reign the Puritans, Calvinist extremists and schismatics unsatisfied with the Elizabethan settlement, stirred up strife, dissension, and rebellion contrary to the clear commands of the Scripture they falsely professed to be their highest and final authority. This eventually broke out into the English Civil War. The Puritan Roundheads (forerunners to the Whigs and Liberals) seized control of the country militarily, and forced Parliament, from which King Charles' supporters were illegally excluded, to establish a kangaroo court and try King Charles upon the trumped up charge of treason. He was found guilty and on January 30, 1649 was beheaded. Britain then fell under the evil dictatorship of Oliver Cromwell. After Cromwell's death, Charles' son who had been forced into exile was restored to the throne, and the restored Church of England canonized the martyred king, as a saint.
And yearly now, before the Martyrs’ King,
For thee she offers her maternal tears,
Calls us, like thee, to His dear feet to cling,
And bury in His wounds our earthly fears.
And Angels hear, and there is mirth in Heaven,
Fit prelude of the joy, when spirits won
Like thee to patient Faith, shall rise forgiven,
And at thy Saviour’s knees thy bright example own. - John Keble, "King Charles the Martyr", from The Christian Year
I have one essay left in the series of "Arts and Culture" themed essays which I began last fall. That essay, on the topic of multiculturalism, should be finished and posted at some point later this week.
I am still mulling over what I want to write about this year. There are a few "conservative classics" that I would like to write reviews about, if for no other reason than as an excuse to read them again. I have one or two topical essays in mind that I will be tackling as soon as I have finished the multiculturalism essay, including one on egalitarianism and one on feminism. I have a series of three essays on the subject of criticism (literary and cultural) planned for later in the year.
Unlike last year, I will not be dividing my essays into three major topical areas and deliberately devoting a portion of the year to each. Nevertheless, I expect that religious and theological essays will largely fall in the Ash Wednesday to Trinity Sunday period anyway, for the simple reason that my reading will be primarily theological and devotional writings during that period.
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