The tie that binds

From: Alias Grace (1996), by Margaret Atwood:

“He keeps forgetting he is no longer rich, and therefore no longer entirely his own man.

He stands in front of his looking glass, attempting to tie his stock. He hates cravats and stocks, and wishes them at the Devil; he resents his trousers as well, and all stiff and proper clothing generally. Why does civilised man see fit to torture his body by cramming it into the strait-jacket of gentlemanly dress? Perhaps it is a mortification of the flesh, like a hair shirt. Men ought to be born in little woollen suits which would grow with them over the years, thus avoiding the whole business of tailors, with their endless fussing and snobberies.

At least he isn’t a woman, and thus not obliged to wear corsets, and to deform himself with tight lacing…”

From Wikipedia:

“John Fawcett (6 January 1739 – 25 July 1817) was a British-born Baptist theologian, pastor and hymn writer.

Fawcett was born on 6 January 1739 in Lidget Green, Bradford. In 1762, Fawcett joined the Methodists, but three years later, he united with the Baptist Church and became pastor of Wainsgate Baptist Church in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, England.

Fawcett served for seven years, despite a small income and a growing family. When he received a call in 1772 to the large and influential Carter’s Lane (Tooley Street) Baptist Church in London he planned to accept the call. But at the last minute he changed his mind, and remained at Wainsgate where his salary was £25 a year. To commemorate this event, in 1782 he wrote the words to his “Blest Be the Tie that Binds” hymn, his most famous hymn by far.

In 1777 a new chapel was built for him at Hebden Bridge, and about the same time he opened a school at Brearley Hall, his place of residence. In 1793 he was invited to become President of the Baptist Academy at Bristol, but declined. In 1811 he received a Doctor of Divinity from America.

Fawcett died in 1817 at the age of 78.”

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