"A kind of prelude to the renovation of all things": the Lenten Ember Days and the approach of Spring

On this second of the Lenten Ember Days, heralding the approach of Spring, a delightful passage from Bishop Horne - quoted by Mant in his Notes (1820) - on how the change of season reflects the Church's observance of Lent in preparation for Easter:

It was wisely foreseen, that, should the sinner be permitted to reserve to himself the choice of a “convenient season” wherein to turn from sin to righteousness, that “convenient season” would never come; and the specious plea of keeping every day holy alike would often be found to cover a design of keeping none holy at all. It seemed good therefore to the Church to fix a stated time, in which men might enter upon the great work of their repentance. And what time could have been selected with greater propriety than this “Lenten,” or, spring season, when universal nature, awakening from her wintry sleep, and coming out of a state of deformity, and a course of penance, imposed for the transgression, of man, her Lord and Master, is about to rise from the dead; and, putting on her garments of glory and beauty, to give us a kind of prelude to the renovation of all things? So that the whole creation most harmoniously accompanieth the voice of the Church, as that sweetly accordeth to the call of the apostle, “Awake thou that sleep and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.” 


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