Adelaide Procter: The Church in 1849 … And Now

Anti-Emancipation cartoon, 1829

I intended just to share one of Adelaide Procter’s Christmas poems, but “The Church in 1849″ seemed too relevant to skip. We all think we’re sailing through unique trials that will shake the church, but every generation faces such trials. We will have our difficulties, particularly since a majority of our coreligionists voted for a man actively hostile to our beliefs, but try to keep it in perspective, and remember this: the Catholic Emancipation Act passed in Procter’s lifetime, 20 years before she wrote these lines.

Here is Procter writing about the state of her church in 1849. Every line could be written today.


by Adelaide Procter

OH, mighty Mother, hearken! for thy foes
Gather around thee, and exulting cry
That thine old strength is gone and thou must die,
Pointing with fierce rejoicing to thy woes.
And is it so? The raging whirlwind blows
No stronger now than it has done of yore:
Rebellion, strife, and sin have been before;
The same companions whom thy Master chose.
We too rejoice: we know thy might is more
When to the world thy glory seemeth dim;
Nor can Hell’s gates prevail to conquer Thee,
Who hearest over all the voice of Him
Who chose thy first and greatest Prince should be
A fisher on the Lake of Galilee.

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