A WEEK from today, on 13 October, a man dear to the hearts of everyone here will be canonized: John Henry Newman. I wonder, sometimes, if those who profess to admire him have actually read him, and in particular, if they are familiar with the sermons he preached as the Anglican vicar of the University church of Saint Mary the Virgin in Oxford. These sermons, immensely popular in the 1830s, are demanding, even relentless in their depiction of Christian commitment and its implications for the daily conduct of people who profess to follow Jesus. One of them, “The Strictness of

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