In the wake of the French Revolution, political and religious reforms spread through Europe. As these changes jumped the English Channel into Britain, they aroused the concern of many Christians who believed that the liberalism and individualism of Enlightenment thinking were in opposition to the values of the Church. In 1833, a clergyman named John Keble preached a sermon called “National Apostasy” before a group of judges and magistrates. Keble argued that the nation was guilty of abandoning God and called the nation to repentance. In the wake of the sermon, a group of Oxford scholar-priests, including Keble, began publishing a series of tracts. Consequently, their movement became known as the Tractarian Movement.
They called the tracts Tracts for the Times. The tracts touch on a wide variety of topics, ranging from technical theology to devotional works on liturgy. One of the main concerns of the authors was that the Church of England had become too detached from its roots. They believed that the Reformation, while necessary in some ways, had been taken too far in the 300 years following the first Book of Common Prayer and that important beliefs and practices had been lost. In other words, the wheat had been torn out with the tares. The result was that the Church of England was now weak and in danger. The Tractarians (as they became known) encouraged a return to the teachings of the Church Fathers and stressed the importance of regular participation in the life of the Church. They emphasized the need for Christians to allow the beliefs and practices of the Church, not the prevailing culture, to act as the primary source of their beliefs and practices.
The Logos edition of Tracts for the Times allows you easy access to these 90 tracts’ vast amount of material. The tracts contain devotionals and liturgical materials, as well as theological and historical references. Every word is indexed, allowing for near-instant search results and allowing you to jump right to the information you are looking for. Greek, Latin, and Hebrew terms are linked to the language resources in your library. Scripture references appear on mouseover, and a click will take you to the reference in context.