Poetry series: Bp W on "Tintern Abbey" by Wordsworth
#1
There is a proverb which can be applied again and again to our apostate world of the 20th century: “In the land of the blind, the one-eyed is king”. The proverb applies to a mass of products of “Western culture”, including the noble poem “Tintern Abbey” of William Wordsworth (1770-1850), which is a classic of English literature.

For “Tintern Abbey” is like a manifesto of the worship of Nature. Now to worship Nature is not to keep the First Commandment, which requires of us to worship God. But Nature-worship does at least mean worshipping a creature of God, outside of man, which is much better than for man to be worshipping himself, which is what we see all around us today.. Therefore Wordsworth is a one-eyed king. After a brief sketch of the background of “Tintern Abbey”, let us admire its nobility in order to probe its inadequacy.


To read the entire article:

http://truerestoration.blogspot.com/2009...abbey.html
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#2
A classic example of the Bishop's quirky "logic":

"Now to worship Nature is not to keep the First Commandment, which requires of us to worship God. But Nature-worship does at least mean worshipping a creature of God, outside of man, which is much better than for man to be worshipping himself, which is what we see all around us today.. Therefore Wordsworth is a one-eyed king."

Huh?  ???

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#3
(06-27-2009, 10:53 PM)Benno Wrote: A classic example of the Bishop's quirky "logic":

"Now to worship Nature is not to keep the First Commandment, which requires of us to worship God. But Nature-worship does at least mean worshipping a creature of God, outside of man, which is much better than for man to be worshipping himself, which is what we see all around us today.. Therefore Wordsworth is a one-eyed king."

Huh?  ???

Going on the saying "in the land of the blind, the one-eyed is king," the worshipper of self is blind and the worshipper of Nature one-eyed. He can't see the whole truth -- that humanity is made to worship God -- but he can see part of the truth -- that humanity is made to worship something outside itself. He's still wrong, of course, but he's less wrong than those around him.

That doesn't seem so quirky to me.
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#4
OK, I was only saying he said it in a confusing way (to me and many others, I'm guessing).

But any way, if I was personally going to divide man from the rest of creatures in such a way, I'd prefer to think that traces of God are found more in man than in trees or cows. As Tintern Abbey shows, often nature-worship is an escape from the ugly aspects of man, whether in the self or in others. Wordsworth was a bit misanthropic sometimes, like many modern-day nature-worshippers, who would rather save trees than children, for example. Chesterton wrote some great stuff about that kind of thing. I know Bishop Williamson wasn't saying that kind of thing, but he seems to allude to it a bit in his comments about the modern world.
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#5
(06-28-2009, 02:03 AM)Benno Wrote: OK, I was only saying he said it in a confusing way (to me and many others, I'm guessing).

But any way, if I was personally going to divide man from the rest of creatures in such a way, I'd prefer to think that traces of God are found more in man than in trees or cows. As Tintern Abbey shows, often nature-worship is an escape from the ugly aspects of man, whether in the self or in others. Wordsworth was a bit misanthropic sometimes, like many modern-day nature-worshippers, who would rather save trees than children, for example. Chesterton wrote some great stuff about that kind of thing. I know Bishop Williamson wasn't saying that kind of thing, but he seems to allude to it a bit in his comments about the modern world.

That's more than fair. Trust me, I'm no great defender of Bishop Williamson's logic in general, except as regards actual truths of Faith.  ;)  And you're right, the syntax could have been a good deal clearer than it was.
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