Monday, April 21, 2014

Happy Birthday, Ma'am


Her Majesty the Queen, Supreme Governor of the Church of England, celebrates her 88th birthday today, in commemoration of which this new portrait has been published.

It is undeniable that our Queen is admired and respected all over the world, and very much loved by her loyal subjects throughout the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth. Where there is disapproval or antipathy, she is dignified in the presence of contention and gracious to her opponents. And she endures as our greatest national asset: While here-today-gone-tomorrow politicians win and lose, rise and fall, and come and go, Her Majesty provides a reassuring spiritual continuity and political stability in a world of frequent unthinking change and paralysing uncertainty.

And she is acutely involved in leading her people to salvation. As Richard Hooker explained in The Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity, church and society are one: "A gross error it is, to think that regal power ought to serve for the good of the body, and not of the soul; for men’s temporal peace, and not for their eternal safety." If the state were concerned solely with economics and the material, it would cease to be concerned with people’s welfare in respect of a right relationship with God. Hooker’s articulation of the prerogative of the Crown over its subjects’ religious welfare is the same as that which underlies the role of the Monarch in relation to the Church of England today.

From Article XXXVII
The Queen's Majesty hath the chief power in this Realm of England, and other her Dominions, unto whom the chief Government of all estates of this Realm, whether they be Ecclesiastical or Civil, in all causes doth appertain, and is not, nor ought to be, subject to any foreign Jurisdiction.

Where we attribute to the Queen's Majesty the chief government, by which Titles we understand the minds of some slanderous folks to be offended; we give not to our Princes the ministering either of God's Word, or of the Sacraments, the which thing the Injunctions also lately set forth by Elizabeth our Queen do most plainly testify; but that only prerogative, which we see to have been given always to all godly Princes in holy Scriptures by God himself; that is, that they should rule all estates and degrees committed to their charge by God, whether they be Ecclesiastical or Temporal, and restrain with the civil sword the stubborn and evildoers.
There are two distinct spheres of authority: i) the political, in which the Queen as Head of State has supreme and God-given authority under the law over every sector of society, including the Church. In the words of Canon A7: "We acknowledge the Queen’s excellent Majesty, acting according to the laws of the realm, is the highest power under God in his kingdom, and has supreme authority over all persons in all causes, as well ecclesiastical as civil." And ii) the spiritual, in which authority belongs to the Church and to its appointed ministers, and not to the Queen. But as she is responsible for the welfare of her subjects, she is tasked with ensuring that the Church as an institution is in a state to perform its spiritual tasks properly so that right relationship with God may be possible for all.

The Royal Supremacy in regard to the Church is in its essence the right supervision over the administration of the Church, vested in the Queen as the champion of the Church, in order that the religious welfare of the people may be duly provided for. We are truly blessed in having a Supreme Governor who submits to the headship of Christ, and proclaims His Lordship daily in her dutiful and dedicated service.

Happy Birthday, Ma'am.

God Save The Queen!

31 Comments:

Blogger non mouse said...

Goodness, Your Grace - I nearly missed it!

May one add one's voice to your greetings. God Save the Queen.

21 April 2014 at 01:15  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Yes indeed, God Save the Queen !

We are indeed, as Your Grace says, blessed to have such a gracious and genuinely Christian monarch.

Sadly she is forced by the constitution to sign some distinctly ungodly and unChristian laws into existence, of late, very much against her beliefs I am sure.

At the risk of getting somewhat off topic, the linkage between Church, State and Crown is now all but dead, having been hollowed our by successive governments. The House of Lords, now packed with media and ageing party politicos, is in its present incarnation distinctly less wise and edifying than it was when we had more of the crusty landed Lords knocking about there. And with so much power taken away from Parliament, and traitorously handed over to the EU as "pretender", I fear that the Constitution of which Her Majesty is part of, and over which she presides, is in fact in a distinctly parlous condition at.
It must be recovered, strengthened and renewed of course, and that will happen I am sure.

In the meanwhile it is more important than ever to say once more,

Happy Birthday, Your Majesty, God Save the Queen.

21 April 2014 at 08:07  
Blogger Edward Spalton said...

I am sure that most people agree with these loyal sentiments and join in wishing Her Majesty well.

However, the higher authorities of the C of E do not take Article XXXVII seriously and think very differently. It started a long time ago with the General Synod's "Britain in Europe - the social responsibility of the Church " (GS 95), a rabidly Europhile document, pledging the C of E's enthusiasm for dissolving Her Majesty's realm and sovereignty into the EU polity.

It was confirmed in Hansard at the time of the Maastricht treaty that Her Majesty was no longer sovereign but a mere "citizen" of the EU.

This has been symbolically reinforced by services in Westminster Abbey (of all places) for "Europe Day". On the 60th anniversary of the Schuman declaration this involved ceremonially parading the EU flag to the altar and the congregation committing themselves to further efforts in expanding the EU's power over us. The Dean intends to instal a memorial to Sir Edward Heath.

I believe that evensong in the Abbey on this occasion this year will have the same theme.

An independent peer tells me that the present Lords Spiritual are "Europhiles to a man" . So the enemy is not only within the gates but in command of Church as well as state. The Rt. Hon, Most Revd and Right Reverend gentlemen will speak honeyed words of loyalty and esteem but continue in acquiescence or active collaboration with the project of degrading the realm into a collection of mere offshore EU provinces.


Our fellow loyal subjects in the Australian Monarchist League inform me that the National Secular Society here is intending to mount a legal challenge to a Christian coronation service, as a breach of their human rights.

So the warm sentiments of loyal duty and affection need to be tempered with stern resolve with regard to the enemies of sovereign, faith and realm to
"Confound their politics, frustrate their knavish tricks" - whichever way round they wear their collars.
"

21 April 2014 at 09:31  
Blogger gentlemind said...

The powerless cannot act because of their powerlessness. The powerful do not act despite their power. The Queen either does not do her duty (despite her power) or because of powerlessness (in which case she does not understand herself to be the Queen).

21 April 2014 at 09:45  
Blogger Len said...

The Queen (God Bless Her) does a good job and stands head and shoulders over the despised political class.

But the Queen seems as powerless as the rest of the Christian Community to stem the flow of anti Christian propaganda endorsed by all classes of politicians the Media and the Godless EU.

21 April 2014 at 10:00  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Edward Spalton @ 09.31

Sadly you are all too right, in that the "higher authorities" do not take the 39 Articles seriously, full stop. It is ignored. I am about to complete a theology degree, to become a Lay Reader, within a predominantly liberal diocese, and I have hardly heard them mentioned. Most of my fellow students have not , I suspect, thought carefully about these foundational documents. They are not denigrated, just ignored !
However within the conservative evangelical wing of the C of E, Reform, the growing part, they are taken most seriously. Reform is active in my adjoining diocese. It is hardly surprising that I feel a growing empathy with Reform ?

21 April 2014 at 10:25  
Blogger John Wrake said...

gentlemind has summed up the situation regarding Her Majesty, but what is said is also true of Her loyal subjects.

Those subjects also fail in their duty, despite their power, because they continue to ignore the English Constitution which gives them the power to deal with the treason which infects all political life in this country. Those subjects are not powerless, unless they are wilfully ignorant of the written terms of the Constitution, or so careless of their responsibilities that they will believe the lies of those who want to enslave them.

May She defend our laws
And ever give us cause
To sing with heart and voice
God Save The Queen.

Confound their politics,
Frustrate their knavish tricks,
On Her our hopes we fix
Long may She reign.

God Save The Queen.

John Wrake.

21 April 2014 at 11:07  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Edward Spalton @ 09:31 raises the issue of the NSS mounting a legal challenge to a Christian coronation service as a violation of their human rights.

If a majority of the British public, however, DID favour a Christian service, would its absence violate THEIR rights? Would it come down to numbers?

With PC victim groups, the issue is simple. Members of the oppressor groups have no rights. End of. (De facto; although not de jure.) And being part of a majority consigns you to membership of an oppressor group by definition.

Many members of the NSS, however, are white, male and middle class. That disqualifies them from victim status three times over.

If it comes to a legal challenge, it's going to be a really tricky one for PC judges. Both groups are in the wrong.

21 April 2014 at 11:33  
Blogger Irene's Daughter said...

All the things spoken of by Edward Spalton and others are true. As a nation we have surrendered a great deal to the Godless EU monster. And in men's sight the Coronation Oath has been brought to the level of a mere ritual.

But 'God still reigns over the nations; (which includes the multitude of nations currently residing in Britain and our Godless secular and spiritual leaders!) God still sits on His holy throne. (see Ps 47:8)

And He is still the Judge of all the earth and He will do right. (Gen 18:25)

And in His Righteousness He has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and He has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; (1Co 1:27)

All is not lost! God, Himself, sets the boundaries within Europe(When He separated the sons of Adam, He set the boundaries of the peoples. - De 32:8) and His plans will prevail. The plans of men will be as nothing when He chooses to intervene.

Already He is acting by bringing His judgments on us. This nastion is in a pickle over just about everything. This is all part of His judgment! He has removed His restraining hand and allows us live with the consequences of our choice. But when His judgments are in the Earth the inhabitants of the world WILL learn righteousness. (Isaiah 26:9) And then many will turn and follow Him. He lets us live with the consequences of our foolishness today so that we will know what we have lost - and when we have had enough of living with Godlessness we will turn back, call out to Him and He will rescue us.

As a nation we have chosen the EU. He will allow us to live with the consequences of that choice until we do cry out to Him. All those who are concerned about Britain should be calling out to Him now - not bemoaning the current state of affairs. He alone rules and He alone has ALL the power and authority over the nations to bring change. If His people in Britain want freedom from the EU's tyranny and cry out to Him for mercy - He will let us have what we want. Which is to be a Christian country, ruled by His Laws, once again.

But do we want it yet? Have we had enough? Next months EU elections will give us the answer.

Your majesty. Many happy returns and may you know the Peace of God today as you and your family celebrate.

21 April 2014 at 11:54  
Blogger Albert said...

Happy Birthday!

I quite happy with the Queen being Supreme Governor (or Head depending on the reign) of any particular denomination that is pleased to submit to her. But the idea that she has it over all, as of right, is a problem and it is expressed in this bit:

which we see to have been given always to all godly Princes in holy Scriptures by God himself

There's the rub. What constitutes "godly"? For the Catholic, a monarch ceases to be godly in any relevant sense, once he or she ceases to be a Catholic. For the Anglican, as James II discovered together with the 50 more eligible potential monarchs passed over a generation later, a monarch ceases to be godly if he is a Catholic. What if the monarch becomes more Protestant than would be recognisably Anglican, e.g. by abolishing bishops etc.?

I don't think therefore that it is a concept with much content. It lends no legitimacy to anything, but only power.

21 April 2014 at 13:11  
Blogger Integrity said...

Your Grace,
Some very thought provoking comments above as a result of you interesting and well considered post.

There is much to ponder and on LBC today the issue of Cameron's speech on a 'Christian Britain' was being discussed in the context of the 50 secularists who wrote to the Telegraph. It was so hypocritical what he said, playing to the Christian Tories.
Her Majesty could say this is a Christian Country because she is a Christian.

God bless you Ma'am and Happy Birthday.

21 April 2014 at 13:34  
Blogger IanCad said...

Happy Birthday Your Majesty!

Good post! Edward Spalton @09:31.

21 April 2014 at 14:00  
Blogger Albert said...

Integrity,

It was so hypocritical what he said

Perhaps. My guess is that Mr Cameron is just a confused Anglican. The hypocrisy in this debate is to be found in the 50 secularists. They claim the PM is "enervating sectarianism." But look at the list of signatories. Is it a truly ethnically, culturally and religiously representative list? No. It is overwhelmingly white, educated and secular. At least they have stopped saying we must drop our Christian heritage because it offends Muslims - so perhaps they are growing in honesty.

Perhaps we should begin to speak of sectarian secularism.

21 April 2014 at 14:00  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Albert

Secularists like to maintain that their metaphysical presuppositions are somehow ontologically distinct from religious presuppositions. That way, they free themselves from all the restrictions they would place on religion in the public square. If "God does not exist" is not a religious statement then the state is free to act upon and tacitly promote that viewpoint. The original Humanist Manifesto declared itself the creed of a civic religion, but the authors soon realized their tactical mistake.

All men begin with a faith system. Secularists just don't want to admit it because they derive advantage from denying it.

carl

21 April 2014 at 15:26  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Albert @ 14:00

A confused Anglican, these days, is almost a tautology.

The unconfused ones are those with the spiritual resources to operate independently of most of their spiritual guides.

I wouldn't dream of asking my own priest for advice about anything.

21 April 2014 at 15:31  
Blogger Albert said...

Explorer,

I wouldn't dream of asking my own priest for advice about anything.

That literally made me laugh out loud!

21 April 2014 at 15:39  
Blogger Albert said...

Carl,

I think what you say is true for some secularists.

Secularists like to maintain that their metaphysical presuppositions are somehow ontologically distinct from religious presuppositions.

I think that many secularists don't have any idea that the have a metaphysic. Most secularists are shallow thinkers, intellectually indolent, or not very bright. They are not strategists, they really don't understand their own thought, let alone anyone else's.

Thank you for the pointer about the Humanist Manifesto:

FIRST: Religious humanists regard the universe as self-existing and not created.

One wonders what their evidence was.

SEVENTH: Religion consists of those actions, purposes, and experiences which are humanly significant. Nothing human is alien to the religious.

I think that's rather useful!

Religions have always been means for realizing the highest values of life. Their end has been accomplished through the interpretation of the total environing situation (theology or world view), the sense of values resulting therefrom (goal or ideal), and the technique (cult), established for realizing the satisfactory life.

Ditto!

21 April 2014 at 15:49  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Albert @ 15.49

Secularists. Yes most are pretty shallow, I agree.

The attraction to them of recognising only the material, is that you don't have to go beyond what you can see, or think deeply about values, life, death, relationships or the Universe. It is a lazy person's faith in a way. Some of the atheists, in the past, were much more considered about it than this lot.

Charles Whatshisname, of The Telegraph, wrote a good article on faith today. I blogged, congratulating him, and put up a short piece on the trajectory of society's ethics, in the absence of strong faith. One to two other Christians did the same, with short , well written paragraphs. Each "pro-faith" comment, was attacked, often in the most childish, rabid sort of trite one-liner way, real schoolboy stuff, yet they frequently accused us "faith-heads" as following a "childish belief system", "having imaginary friends" that sort of mindless thing - it's incredible how blind and limited some of these populists are. Needless to say none of us "faith-heads" bothered to reply - they can't handle thought.

21 April 2014 at 16:08  
Blogger Albert said...

David,

Thank you. Was the article on Bunting? I read that his morning and thought it was excellent. As far as I could see Bunting's view is that Christian culture is superior to the secular in everything except its teaching on sexuality. She seems content to give up a great deal that she values just to let people indulge themselves. The fact that there is so much evidence that the decline of Christian ethics in sexuality has resulted in massive amounts of unhappiness through STIs, unwanted pregnancies, abortion, broken relationships etc. seems to have gone unnoticed!

Some of the atheists, in the past, were much more considered about it than this lot.

Yes, the more Christianity ceases to be the default position for society, the more the secular position lacks critical thought. Widely accepted beliefs do tend to become intellectually flabby. Books like The God Delusion have done no end of harm to intellectual unbelief. It's now so intellectually exposed that all it will take is the loss of prosperity and it will become history.

21 April 2014 at 17:30  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Albert @ 17.30

No, Albert, it's Charles Moore's article on The Essay "The Retreating Roar", based upon Mathew Arnold's poem "Dover Beach", a metaphor for the long, retreat of faith as society's guiding principle. It was up on the Telegraphs electronic website but has been taken down - on paper copies it's on page 19, the Editorial and comments section. Moore writes very well as you know, and is a Catholic Christian.

21 April 2014 at 18:28  
Blogger Albert said...

Thanks David. Moore is an excellent writer.

21 April 2014 at 18:52  
Blogger The Explorer said...

The problem I've always had with 'Dover Beach' is that although the tide goes out, it comes back in again.

Great poem, though, about how it feels to be a sensitive atheist.

21 April 2014 at 19:10  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Those who care to look will find a number of excellent ,encouraging articles on the Anglican Mainstream website.

21 April 2014 at 19:11  
Blogger David Hussell said...

The explorer @ 19.10

"although the tide goes out, it come snack in again"

Yes, and what we all want is a Spring tide, backed by a gale from the south-east preferably with a low pressure over England and a high over europe ! It will happen !

21 April 2014 at 19:15  
Blogger Albert said...

As Moore points out, the tide has only really gone out from our shores. Tonight the sun goes down on more followers of Christ in the world than ever. Deo Gratias!

21 April 2014 at 19:17  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Albert @ 19.17

Exactly ! Christianity of all stripes is booming in China, South America and many parts of Africa. Russia too is shaking off the trauma of its 70 years experiment of trying to live without God, and is steadily returning to become Holy Russia again - it is truly exciting.

However our godless west continues its downward spiral wrapped in its relativism and following a sort of state enforced humanism. I think it will have to get a lot worse here before the rank and file, seeing how bad it is, and where the haughty cultural/political establishment has led them to, simply turn away from rampant individualism towards a more disciplined and God fearing lives. The establishment will never lead them in the right direction as they get too much money, celebrity and power from endlessly promoting godlessness.
This age will pass but probably after my time on earth is over. Still in the meanwhile there's work tom do...

21 April 2014 at 21:17  
Blogger bluedog said...

David Hussell and Albert, this communicant wonders if there isn't a general theory that can be advanced on the propensity of a population to embrace faith. Starting with thoughts on the nature of freedom we can say that even in a politically repressive and unfree society it is still possible for a people to do many things that they wish, a situation to be found in late Soviet and current, politically repressive China. Both societies evolved beyond the Stalinist regimentation stage to allow these limited liberties. The Chinese state remains paranoid about democracy.

Our own society of course is totally free in all regards, although the effectiveness of the citizen's democratic rights is a matter for debate. But that's another matter.

Returning to the partially free post-Communist states, is it merely a coincidence that both have experienced or are experiencing an extraordinary surge in Christian belief? Or does the intellectual rigour of Christianity and it's many challenging doctrines, such as the idea of original sin, have a deep appeal to an educated and capable people without other outlets for their hopes? Where Christianity excels is in offering hope. Christian morality and the idea of equality before God, and therefore more widely, are revolutionary thoughts in a Confucian society like China where paternalism, and the injunction to promote 'harmony', crush individualism for the greater good. Christianity provides the counter-point of individual freedom before God, 'No man cometh to the Father except through me'. Perhaps it is that statement which is causing Christianity to spread like wildfire through China. The people see in Christ someone greater than the Chinese Communist Party and to whom they can speak directly in prayer.

Russia is different in that the flame of Christian belief continued to flicker in the hearts of men and women throughout the Communist spiritual winter. Unreconstructed Stalinist Vladimir Putin declares himself Christian.

It follows that even as the secular nihilists tighten their grip, the unintended consequence of their actions will be the reaction of a resurgence of Christian belief in Britain.

If Cameron is not thrilled by the letter of protest he is insincere in his declaration of Christian belief. The rage of the secularists will be a sort of national exorcism.

21 April 2014 at 22:39  
Blogger Integrity said...

Your Grace,
Re. the photo on your post by David Baily. He was our idol when I was at art school studying photography in the mid sixties.

His subjects have changed since those days when Jean Shrimpton was a constant feature in Vogue.

21 April 2014 at 22:49  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Happy Jack likes the Queen and wishes her a very Happy Birthday.

Hip, hip ....

21 April 2014 at 23:38  
Blogger Albert said...

David,

I agree, except that I am unsure of the timing. The West will clearly change radically at some point in the future. The question is when. History shows great changes often occur when people least expect them.

That would imply a religious revival soon! (or not!)

22 April 2014 at 14:41  
Blogger Albert said...

Thank you Bluedog for an extremely thought provoking post, which I will ponder. As I read, I was reminded of Poland under the Communists and JPII. Perhaps there comes a point when the regime is so dehumanising that Christianity cannot but grow!

22 April 2014 at 14:42  

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