Wednesday, October 09, 2019

Henry Parry Liddon and the Political Sermon that Wasn’t

I’ve just completed readingThe Life and Letters of Henry Parry Liddon by John O. Johnson. Before reading it, about all I knew about Liddon is he was a friend of Dr. Pusey and wrote his biography.
So I was deeply impressed and moved to read of Liddon himself.  What a godly and dedicated man!  His example moved me to reexamine what I am doing with my life.  And he was gifted man as well.  He was recognized as one of the best preachers in England, and his sermons often packed out large churches.  Yet he was modest and self-critical.  And he turned down a bishop’s mitre a number of times.
Liddon was involved in the politics of the day, especially as they touched the Church of England.  He and Gladstone were good friends.  Yet he rarely discussed politics during his sermons.
In Life and Letters, there is a diary entry from Liddon that reflects this wisdom as well as his English humor (and which follows up yesterday’s post well.):
December 3rd[1876] – A large number of people came to St. Paul’s this afternoon expecting a political sermon.  I disappointed them.
Would all Christian leaders so “disappointed”.

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