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Henry Vaughan's Silex ScintillansScripture Uses$
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Philip West

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780198187561

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198187561.001.0001

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Holy living, hourly living

Holy living, hourly living

(p.105) CHAPTER FOUR Holy living, hourly living
Henry Vaughan's Silex Scintillans

Philip West (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Henry Vaughan's poem The Mount of Olives; or, Solitary Devotions (1652) takes its title from the Bible (Luke 21:37). Such dutiful, incessant devotion in the night presides over Vaughan's book of instructions for holy living, instructions that derided and defied an age in which (as he believed) public shows of piety prevailed above unseen holiness of solitary devotions. The Mount of Olives distinguishes those who noisily profess Christian lives from those true Christians whose holy living excludes such self-publicity. Vaughan's devotions take heart in difficult times from ideas of Christian order and obedience and the virtues of patience and steadfastness that he derives from scripture, liturgy and Anglican apologetics. What is new and different about Vaughan's sense of order is that it derives largely from observing and meditating on the natural world, as viewed particularly through the scriptures, and especially Paul's epistle to the Romans.

Keywords:   Henry Vaughan, Bible, scriptures, holy living, English poetry, piety, Christianity, obedience, patience

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