Keble's Holy Light  

Posted by Joe Rawls

Today the Anglican calendar commemorates John Keble (1792-1866), whose 1833 Assize Sermon is generally reckoned as the jumping-off point of the Oxford Movement.  He wrote a number of theological treatises including a translation of Irenaeus, a critical edition of the works of Richard Hooker, and several of the Tracts for the Times.  But his greatest fame was as a poet.  The Christian Year, a poetic anthology dealing with the feasts and seasons of the liturgical calendar, appeared in 1827 and achieved great popularity, going through numerous editions for the rest of the 19th century.  He was Professor of Poetry at Oxford from 1831-1841 and spent the last thirty years of his life as vicar of Hursley, a small country parish.  Keble College Oxford was named in his honor.

Keble wrote a number of hymns  and these are probably how he is likely to be known by the average Anglican.  The following translation of Phos hilaron, made from the Greek in 1834, gives a taste of his talent as a hymnographer.


Hail, Gladdening Light

Hail, gladdening Light, of His pure glory poured,
Who is immortal Father; heavenly blest;
Highest and holiest--Jesus Christ our Lord!
Now are we come to the sun's hour of rest;
All times are ordered in Thy Word alone,
Therefore the day and night Thy glories own.

The lights of evening now around us shine;
We hymn Thy blest humanity divine;
Worthiest art Thou at all times to be sung,
By grateful hearts, with undefiled toungue,
Son of our God, Giver of life, alone!
Therefore shall all the worlds Thy glories own.

This entry was posted on Thursday, March 29, 2012 at Thursday, March 29, 2012 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .



This man didn't think the Irish should be released from unjust church taxes-he thought they sdhould continue to pay for a church that they not only didn't belong to but which had actively persecuted them and their own church recently.

April 11, 2012 at 4:51 PM

Yes, in other words the mind of a medieval churchman. "Error"(that is what we/I declare to be "error")has no rights. The Second Vatican Council got rid of it as earlier the English Church had done.

January 13, 2015 at 12:40 AM

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