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By Gary Lachman

The occult used to be a very important effect at the Renaissance, and it obsessed the preferred thinkers of the day. yet with the Age of cause, occultism was once sidelined; basically charlatans stumbled on any use for it. Occult principles didn't disappear, notwithstanding, yet fairly went underground. It built right into a fruitful resource of notion for lots of vital artists. Works of brilliance, occasionally even of genius, have been produced less than its effect. In a dismal Muse, Lachman discusses the Enlightenment obsession with occult politics, the Romantic explosion, the futuristic occultism of the fin de siècle, and the deep occult roots of the modernist circulation. a few of the writers and thinkers featured during this hidden heritage of western proposal and sensibility are Emanuel Swedenborg, Charles Baudelaire, J. okay. Huysmans, August Strindberg, William Blake, Goethe, Madame Blavatsky, H. G. Wells, Edgar Allan Poe, and Malcolm Lowry.

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He conformed (unlike his brother, a Presbyterian minister) in 1662 and held posts in London. He was a friend of the Cambridge Platonist Henry More, to whom he sent accounts for More’s edition of Glanvill’s Saducismus Triumphatus (1681) and in 1676 More ensured that Fowler was granted a prebendal stall in Gloucester Cathedral originally intended for him. In 1681 he became vicar of St Giles Cripplegate, a huge parish (with a population greater than Bristol’s) where he practised his beliefs in Protestant unity against the threat of Catholicism (in June 1679 he had smashed a window at Gloucester Cathedral as a ‘vile relic of popish superstition’).

Christian died some time after 1696, and Bedford, apparently childless, remarried Martha Jones (d. 9 Bedford’s most prominent activity prior to 1703 was in Bristol’s Society for the Reformation of Manners, established in 1699. Bedford believed passionately that such reformation was required if England was to avoid God’s judgment and fulfil the opportunity created by William’s Godgiven deliverance of the nation from popery and slavery in 1688. He sought to direct the Society towards supporting Anglican preaching (a course of sermons at Read’s St Nicholas) and education of poor children, using materials from the SPCK, of which he was the local correspondent.

See also his sermons: Unity, Love and Peace Recommended (Bristol, 1714); The Doctrine of Obedience and Non-Resistance (1717); Three Sermons Preach’d on Three Particular Subjects (1717); A Sermon at St Mary Redcliffe 21 October 1717 (Bristol, 1717); The Obligations Which Lie upon Both Magistrates and Others (1718); A Sermon Preached to the Societies for Reformation of Manners (1734).  See also his Temple Musick (Bristol, 1706) and Excellency of Divine Music (1733).  Serious Reflections on the Abuse and Effects of the Stage (Bristol, 1705); A Second Advertisement Concerning the Profaneness of the Play-House (Bristol, 1705); The Evil and Danger of Stage-Plays (Bristol, 1706); Serious Remonstrance (reissued 1730, when he had renewed the attack with A Sermon Preached in the Parish Church of St Botolph’s Aldgate (1729)).

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