I went today to see the Wallace Collection in Central London. It's staggering to think that I've been here 30 years and never ventured in. Hertford House, Manchester Square is a magnificent 18th century home stacked full of beautiful items, mostly from pre-revolutionary France, collected by five generations of Hertford Marquis and eventually gifted to the nation. It's free to go in. I was on an organised trip and so we had a guided tour, which is always nice. We began with two huge oil paintings of Apollo by Boucher, actually studies for tapestries no longer extant, that once hung in the Bedroom that Louis XV and is first mistress Madame de Pompadour shared. They overlook the staircase, itself a work of art that took three years to install. We went on to look at a Boucher portrait of Madame de Pompadour, his last, and the most famous painting in the collection, Frans Hals' so-called Laughing Cavalier. We also looked at Sevres porcelain, two marble busts and the armoury room, before enjoying a cup of tea downstairs. Excellent stuff. The place is clearly worth another visit. We had to skip over the Landseer, Canaletto, Frgonard and Watteau. As its free then that's a real possibility. There is an excellent restaurant within the complex. One to remember for next December perhaps Website here.
Bonhoeffer uses a similar phrase 'worldly Christianity'. It's J Gresham Machen that I want to line up most closely with. See his Christianity and culture here. Having done commentaries on Proverbs (Heavenly Wisdom) and Song of Songs (Heavenly Love), a matching title for Ecclesiastes would be Heavenly Worldliness. For my stance on worldliness, see 3 posts here.