Shakespeare, Practical Poetry and Rebuilding Ruins

Shakespeare, Practical Poetry and Rebuilding Ruins

In this post, the author ties Shakespeare and house construction to rebuilding the modern Church on the firm foundation of historic Christianity.

Recently, I stumbled on a little hard-cover book, published in England, called “A Shakespeare Treasury.” The compiler, Levi Fox, was Director of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust for more than a quarter of a century. He called this collection of excerpts from the bard’s work, a treasury, because “it contains good and precious things.”

One such good and precious thing is an excerpt culled from King Henry the Fourth. Fox titled it, “Housebuilding.”

When we mean to build We first survey the plot, then draw the model; And when we see the figure of the house, Then must we rate the cost of the erection; Which if we find outweighs ability,

What do we then but draw anew the model In fewer offices, or at least desist To build at all? Much more, in this great work, – Which is almost to pluck a kingdom down

And set another up, – should we survey The plot of situation and the model, Consent upon a sure foundation, Question surveyors; …

I couldn’t help but apply this poem to repairing the ruins of the Church. If we so choose to engage in this endeavor, we will undoubtedly be plucking down a tired modern kingdom, brick by brick, stone by faulty stone. In undertaking this task, we desperately need to be willing to survey the plot of situation, review the historic model, make certain we’re building wisely upon a sure foundation and question those within the modern world who consider themselves trustworthy surveyors. Do they have the right tools? Are the measuring from the right perspective? Will the building they produce be solid? And if not, are we willing to start fresh using tools from the past that have been proven and found to be true?

And whoever said poetry wasn’t practical?

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