FYI March 31, 2017




On this day:

1717 – A sermon on “The Nature of the Kingdom of Christ” by Benjamin Hoadly, the Bishop of Bangor, provokes the Bangorian Controversy.

The Bangorian Controversy was a theological argument within the Church of England in the early 18th century, with strong political overtones. The origins of the controversy lay in the 1716 posthumous publication of George Hickes’s Constitution of the Catholic Church, and the Nature and Consequences of Schism. In it, Hickes, on behalf of the minority non-juror faction who had broken away from the Church of England after the Glorious Revolution, as Bishop of Thetford excommunicated all but the non-juror churchmen. Benjamin Hoadly, the Bishop of Bangor, wrote a reply entitled, Preservative against the Principles and Practices of Non-Jurors; in it his own Erastian position was sincerely proposed as the only test of truth.

The controversy itself began very visibly and vocally when Hoadly delivered a sermon on 31 March 1717 to George I of Great Britain on The Nature of the Kingdom of Christ. His text was John 18:36, “My kingdom is not of this world,” and from that Hoadly deduced, supposedly at the request of the king himself, that there is no Biblical justification for any church government of any sort. He identified the church with the kingdom of Heaven—it was therefore not of this world, and Christ had not delegated His authority to any representatives.

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Two competing visions of government were in play. On the one hand, there was a vision of God appointing the king and the bishops to be leaders, selecting them from all others and imbuing them with special characters, either through grace or in creation. This view held that the king, as the head of the Established Church, was not merely a secular leader of a state, but also a religious primate. Power and regulation flowed downward from God to the people. This was the aristocratic model that was favoured by the Tory party and which had been used to propose the divine right of kings.

The other view was that power flowed up from the people to the leaders, that leaders were no more intrinsically better than those led, and that God gives out revelation freely. This Whig view was also the view of the Puritans and the “Independents” (i.e., the various Congregational and Baptist churches, Quakers, etc.).

George I favoured the Whig party in Parliament and favoured a latitudinarian ecclesiastical policy in general. This was probably not due to any desire to give up royal prerogative, but rather to break the power of the aristocracy and the House of Lords. A significant obstacle to all kings of England had been the presence of bishops in the Lords. While a king could create peers, it was much more difficult for him to move bishops into and out of the Lords.

Sermon and aftermath
The sermon was immediately published and instantly drew counter-attacks. William Law (Three Letters to the Bishop of Bangor) and Thomas Sherlock (dean of Chichester), in particular, gave vigorous defences of church polity. Hoadly himself wrote A Reply to the Representations of Convocation to answer Sherlock, Andrew Snape, provost of Eton, and Francis Hare, then dean of Worcester. These three men, and another opponent, Robert Moss, dean of Ely, were deprived of their royal chaplaincies by the king. Hoadly did not, however, attempt to answer William Law. It has been claimed that, in all, over 200 pamphlets linked to the controversy were published, by 53 writers; of those, 74 were published in July 1717.[1][2][3]

In May 1717, the Convocation appointed a committee to study the sermon. When the report was ready for synodal sanction against Hoadly, the king dismissed the convocation, which did not meet again for over 130 years.



1998 – Netscape releases Mozilla source code under an open source license.
Mozilla is a free-software community created in 1998 by members of Netscape. The Mozilla community uses, develops, spreads and supports Mozilla products, thereby promoting exclusively free software and open standards, with only minor exceptions.[1] The community is supported institutionally by the Mozilla Foundation and its tax-paying subsidiary, the Mozilla Corporation.[2]

Mozilla has produced many products such as the Firefox web browser, Thunderbird e-mail client, Firefox OS mobile operating system, Bugzilla bug tracking system, Gecko layout engine and other projects.

According to Mozilla’s manifesto,[41] which outlines goals, principles, and a pledge, “The Mozilla project uses a community-based approach to create world-class open source software and to develop new types of collaborative activities”. Mozilla’s manifesto mentions only its beliefs in regards to the Internet and Internet privacy, and has no mention of any political or social viewpoints.

According to the Mozilla Foundation:[42]

The Mozilla Foundation pledges to support the Mozilla Manifesto in its activities. Specifically, we will:

Build and enable open-source technologies and communities that support the Manifesto’s principles;
Build and deliver great consumer products that support the Manifesto’s principles;
Use the Mozilla assets (intellectual property such as copyrights and trademarks, infrastructure, funds, and reputation) to keep the Internet an open platform;
Promote models for creating economic value for the public benefit; and
Promote the Mozilla Manifesto principles in public discourse and within the Internet industry.






Born on this day:

This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations.
1644 – Henry Winstanley, English painter and engineer (d. 1703)
Henry Winstanley (31 March 1644 – 27 November 1703) was an English painter and engineer who constructed the first Eddystone lighthouse after losing two ships on the Eddystone rocks. He died while working on the project during the Great Storm of 1703.

Early life and career
He was born in Saffron Walden, Essex, and baptised there on 31 March 1644. His father Henry became land steward to the Earl of Suffolk, owner of Audley End House, in 1652, and young Henry also worked at Audley End, first as a porter and then as a secretary. In 1666 Audley End House was bought by Charles II for use as a base when attending Newmarket races, and it became effectively a royal palace.

Winstanley developed an interest in engraving after a grand tour of Europe between 1669 and 1674, where he was impressed by Continental architecture and the engravings in which it was portrayed. On his return he is believed to have studied engraving with Wenceslas Hollar, and was employed at Audley End House as assistant to the Clerk of Works. In 1676 he embarked on a detailed set of architectural engravings of Audley End House which took him ten years to complete and which survive as an important early record of English manor house architecture. He also designed a set of playing cards which became very popular and sold well. He was appointed Clerk of Works at Audley End in 1679 on the death of his predecessor, and held the post until 1701.

Winstanley was well known in Essex for his fascination with gadgets both mechanical and hydraulic. He had a house built for him at Littlebury which he filled with whimsical mechanisms of his own design and construction, and the “Essex House of Wonders” became a local landmark popular with visitors. In the 1690s he opened a Mathematical Water Theatre known as “Winstanley’s Water-works” in London’s Piccadilly. This was a commercial visitor attraction which combined fireworks, perpetual fountains, automata and ingenious mechanisms of all kinds, including “The Wonderful Barrel” of 1696 which served visitors with hot and cold drinks from the same piece of equipment. It was a successful and profitable venture and continued to operate for some years after its creator’s death.

Construction of the Eddystone lighthouse
Winstanley became a merchant, investing some of the money he had made from his work and commercial enterprises in five ships. Two of them were wrecked on the Eddystone Rocks near Plymouth, and he demanded to know why nothing was done to protect vessels from this hazard. Told that the reef was too treacherous to mark, he declared that he would build a lighthouse there himself, and the Admiralty agreed to support him with ships and men.

Construction started on 14 July 1696. The octagonal tower was to be built from Cornish granite and wood, with ornamental features and a glass lantern-room in which candles would burn to provide the light, and was to be anchored to the rock by 12 huge iron stanchions. One notable incident during its construction occurred in June 1697. At this time Britain and France were at war, and a naval vessel had been assigned to protect the workers whenever they were on the reef. On this particular day, the commissioner at Plymouth, George St Lo, ordered the ship to join the fleet and did not provide a replacement. Instead, a French privateer destroyed the work done so far on the foundations and carried Winstanley off to France. Louis XIV, however, ordered his immediate release, with the words: “France is at war with England, not with humanity”. Winstanley returned to the Eddystone reef, construction resumed, and the first Eddystone Lighthouse was completed in November 1698.

The lighthouse suffered some weather damage during the winter of 1698 – 1699, and the light was often obscured by spray breaking over the top of the tower. Winstanley therefore had it rebuilt the following spring on a larger scale, with extra stonework and even more elaborate decoration. Both lighthouses fulfilled their function. During the five years of their operation, no ships were wrecked on the Eddystone.

Winstanley was recorded as having expressed great faith in his construction, going so far as to wish that he might be inside it during “the greatest storm there ever was”. He got his wish. The tower was entirely destroyed on the night of 27 November 1703, during the Great Storm of that year. Winstanley was visiting the lighthouse that night to make repairs, and he lost his life.

Eddystone Lighthouse
The Eddystone Lighthouse is on the dangerous Eddystone Rocks, 9 statute miles (14 km) south of Rame Head, England, United Kingdom. While Rame Head is in Cornwall, the rocks are in Devon[3] and composed of Precambrian gneiss.[4]

The current structure is the fourth to be built on the site. The first and second were destroyed by storm and fire. The third, also known as Smeaton’s Tower, is the best known because of its influence on lighthouse design and its importance in the development of concrete for building. Its upper portions have been re-erected in Plymouth as a monument.[5] The first lighthouse, completed in 1699, was the world’s first open ocean lighthouse although the Cordouan lighthouse preceded it as the first offshore lighthouse.[6]



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These are great!



1 comment

  1. I recently read The Evolution Of The West by Nick Spencer ( ). I’m surprised he didn’t mention the Bangorian Controversy, as it fits well into his narrative of politics in the Church. Thank you for the fascinating post, and many thanks for sharing my list of forms, too 🙂

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