Jeremy Taylor

Today the Episcopal Church is observing the feast of Bishop Jeremy Taylor.

I was scanning through his biographical details, which are primarily concerned with his role as a royalist and traditional Anglican during the time of Cromwell’s protectorate, and his career following the restoration of the monarchy.

I was struck by this particular paragraph in his Wikipedia article:

“His great plea for toleration is based on the impossibility of erecting theology into a demonstrable science. It is impossible all should be of one mind. And what is impossible to be done is not necessary it should be done. Differences of opinion there must be; but heresy is not an error of the understanding but an error of the will. He would submit all minor questions to the reason of the individual member, but he set certain limits to toleration, excluding whatsoever is against the foundation of faith, or contrary to good life and the laws of obedience, or destructive to human society, and the public and just interests of bodies politic. Peace, he thought, might be made if men would not call all opinions by the name of religion, and superstructures by the name of fundamental articles. Of the propositions of sectarian theologians he said that confidence was the first, and the second, and the third part.”

Read the full article here.

Fits with what Barth seems to cautioning against, and makes perfect sense when viewed against events of Taylor’s time in history.

(Which is good because it will give me something to talk about during the sermon at noon in the Cathedral today.)

Author: Nick Knisely

Episcopal bishop, dad, astronomer, erstwhile dancer...