Mathew Arnold "Culture and Anarchy"

Topics: State religion, Church of England, Freedom of religion Pages: 349 (140972 words) Published: March 6, 2013
Culture and Anarchy
Matthew Arnold
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This etext was produced by Alfred J. Drake, Ph.D.


Chapter Notes: I have indicated the author's notes with a superscript asterisk *, my own substantive notes with a superscript + sign, and my nonsubstantive notes with a superscript ± symbol.

Pagination: The text following a given page number in brackets marks the beginning of that page, as in the following example: [22] This is page twenty-two. [23] This is page twenty-three.


Preface: iii-lx
I: 1-50 (Sweetness and Light)
II: 51-92 (Doing as One Likes)
III: 93-141 (Barbarians, Philistines, Populace)
IV: 142-166 (Hebraism and Hellenism)
V: 166-197 (Porro Unum est Necessarium)
VI: 197-272 (Our Liberal Practitioners)

*Note: in the first edition, chapters are numbered only, not named. I have added the third edition's titles for reference.



[iii] My foremost design in writing this Preface is to address a word of exhortation to the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. In the essay which follows, the reader will often find Bishop Wilson quoted. To me and to the members of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge his name and writings are still, no doubt, familiar; but the world is fast going away from old-fashioned people of his sort, and I learnt with consternation lately from a brilliant and distinguished votary of the natural sciences, that he had never so much as heard of Bishop Wilson, and that he imagined me to have invented him. At a moment when the Courts of Law have just taken off the embargo from the recreative religion furnished on Sundays by my gifted acquaintance and others, and when St. Martin's Hall [iv] and the Alhambra will soon be beginning again to resound with their pulpit-eloquence, it distresses one to think that the new lights should not only have, in general, a very low opinion of the preachers of the old religion, but that they should have it without knowing the best that these preachers can do. And that they are in this case is owing in part, certainly, to the negligence of the Christian Knowledge Society. In old times they used to print and spread abroad Bishop Wilson's Maxims of Piety and Christianity; the copy of this work which I use is one of their publications, bearing their imprint, and bound in the well-known brown calf which they made familiar to our childhood; but the date of my copy is 1812. I know of no copy besides, and I believe the work is no longer one of those printed and circulated by the Society. Hence the error, flattering, I own, to me personally, yet in itself to be regretted, of the distinguished physicist already mentioned.

But Bishop Wilson's Maxims deserve to be circulated as a religious book, not only by comparison with the cartloads of rubbish circulated at present under this designation, but for their own sake, and even by comparison with the other works of the same [v] author. Over the far better known Sacra Privata they have this advantage, that they were prepared by him for his own private use, while the Sacra Privata were prepared by him for the use of the public. The Maxims were never meant to be printed, and have on that account, like a work of, doubtless, far deeper emotion and power, the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, something peculiarly sincere and first-hand about them. Some of the best things from the Maxims have passed into the Sacra Privata; still, in the Maxims, we have them as they first arose; and whereas, too, in the Sacra Privata the writer speaks very often as one of the clergy, and as addressing the clergy, in the Maxims he almost always speaks solely as a man. I am not saying a word against the Sacra Privata, for which I have the highest respect;...
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