Musings Over the “Christian Year” and “Lyra Innocentium.” By Charlotte Mary Yonge;
together with a few Gleanings of Recollections of the Rev. John Keble, gathered by several friends

Online text of Musings over the Christian Year

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Musings over the Christian Year and Lyra Innocentium includes the following:

"Gleanings from Thirty Years’ Intercourse with the Late Rev. John Keble” p. i – lvi
"Recollections of Hursley Vicarage,” by Frances M. Wilbraham, p. lvii – cxxxvii
"The Fairford and Hursley Windows,” p. cxxxviii– cxlviii
" ‘Quanto men si mostra, tanto è piu bella,’ ” p. cxlix– clxii
"A Few Words of Personal Description,” by the Rev. T. Simpson Evans, Plumstead Common, p. clxiii– clxv

Extract from this book – King Charles the Martyr

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made available by Project Canterbury

What did they think at the time?

The New Englander and Yale Review published comments on Yonge's Musings in its Notices of New Books section (under the heading Miscellaneous ! ) (Volume 30, Issue 116 July 1871 pp. 544-545 – Cornell University Library).

The text is as follows:

MUSINGS OVER THE CHRISTIAN YEAR.*~The subject of this book—Keble and his “Christian Year,” now among the religious classics of our language—will attract a multitude of readers; and a more miscellaneous circle will be drawn to the principal writer when she is recognized as the author of “The Heir of Redclyffe,” “Heartsease,” and other popular tales. For both reasons it can not fail to be pleasant reading. Of course it is churchy, yet not being combative nor obtrusively dogmatic, and dealing with sentiment rather than with argument and in a kindly and reverent way, it may find favor with Christians generally, and even with the milder sort of radicals. The “Musings” may be most conveniently read at intervals in connection with the several poems that have occasioned them, and can scarcely be appreciated otherwise. The “Recollections,” however, which occupy the first third of the volume, may be read independently. They consist chiefly of “Gleanings from thirty years’ intercourse with the late Rev. John Keble,” by Miss Yonge, and “Recollections of Hursley l.Ticarage,” by Frances M. Wllbraham. And most cordial and graceful tributes they are to the man who is called “a saint, a poet, a scholar and a pastor,” and to his congenial family and home. Only women, and such women, could have written thus. Particularly in these few pages of Miss Yonge we have exquisite etchings, in her own felicitous style, of the vicar and the vicarage, his person, mind and manners, his festivals and schools, his marked individuality and domestic and pastoral surroundings, all as seen through an affectionate intimacy of many years. As we read, we seem to breathe the atmosphere of that English home and parish. Hursley is linked with Keble as Bemerton with Herbert. It seems to have come as near as any other to realizing the ideal of Anglo-Catholicism before it flowered or degenerated into the later “ritualism.” The picture, while evidently drawn to the life, has the look of an earlier time. For ourselves individually we confess to liking it not the less because it takes on no supercilious airs of“the nineteenth century.” English ecclesiasticism, whatever mixture it has of truth and error, gets much of its hold on minds at once devout and cultured through the alliance here shown with poetry and art. The authors of the Oxford Tracts could not have done their work without Keble. The extent of his pastoral supervision—which, like Herbert’s, may be cited as a model in some other branches of the church—is seen in the fact mentioned by Miss Yonge, that while preparing for Confirmation she went to him twice a week from August to October, and afterward his care of others was yet fuller and more minute. We have most pleasing glimpses also of his relation to her as a partial yet fastidious critic of her earlier writings in the stages of their composition. As might be expected, thoroughly amiable as he was, his ecclesiastical prepossessions could warp his judgments and contract his sympathies. With our sturdier Puritan traditions we are still amused rather than offended when he betrays prejudice against Milton, and still more when he loves and venerates Charles I. as “our own, our royal Saint,” while acknowledging his “failures in truth !“ The more we see of diversity in the materials brought together in the true church, and here and there even mutual repugnance between them, the more account we will make of the one only foundation. The true Israelites are not all of the same tribe, but “Verily, Thou art our Father!”

* Musings Over the “Ohristian Year” and “Lyra Innocentium.” By CHARLOTTE MARY YONGE; together with a few Gleanings of Recollections of the Rev. John Keble, gathered by several friends. New York D. Appleton & Co. 1871. 12mo. pp. 431.

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