Above: Grace and St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Hamden, Connecticut
Image in the Public Domain
CHARLES WILLIAM EVEREST (MAY 27, 1814-JANUARY 11, 1877)
Episcopal Priest and Hymn Writer
The Reverend Cornelius Bradford Everest (1789-1870) was a Congregationalist pastor in New England. His was an artistic family. One son, Cornelius, taught music, played the organ, and composed patriotic songs. Cornelius (Jr.) married Ellen, a famed opera diva at the time. A second son, Henry G., taught music. And a third son, Charles William, became an Episcopal priest and wrote the great hymn, “Take Up Thy Cross.”
At age 19 Charles William Everest published his first volume of poetry, Visions of Death, which included “Take Up Thy Cross.” Everest, from 1842 to 1873 the Rector of Grace Episcopal Church (now Grace and St. Peter’s Episcopal Church), Hamden, Connecticut, left this hymn as his main legacy. So read the words and understand the faith behind them:
1. “Take up thy cross,” the Saviour said,
“If thou wouldst my disciple be;
Deny thyself, the world forsake,
And humbly follow after me.”
2. Take up thy cross; let not its weight
Fill thy weak spirit with alarm;
His strength shall bear thy spirit up,
And brace thy heart and nerve thy arm.
3. Take up thy cross, nor heed the shame;
Nor let thy foolish pride rebel;
Thy Lord for thee the cross endured,
To save thy soul from death and Hell.
4. Take up thy cross and follow Christ;
Nor think till death to lay it down;
For only he who bears the cross
May hope to wear the glorious crown.
(Words from The Methodist Hymnal, 1935)
Charles William Everest: Born at East Windsor, Connecticut, May 27, 1814; died at Waterbury, Connecticut, January 11, 1877
Kenneth Randolph Taylor
May 16, 2010
The Seventh Sunday of Easter
Almighty God, beautiful in majesty, majestic in holiness: You have shown us the splendor of creation in the work of your servant Charles William Everest. Teach us to drive from the world all chaos and disorder, that our eyes may behold your glory, and that at last everyone may know the inexhaustible richness of your new creation in Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Isaiah 28:5-6 or Hosea 14:5-8 or 2 Chronicles 20:20-21
Philippians 4:8-9 or Ephesians 5:18b-20
Adapted from the Proper for Artists and Scientists from Evangelical Lutheran Worship, 2006, the hymnal of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada
Revised on November 14, 2016