Feast of Andrew Reed (February 28)   2 comments

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Above:  The Flag of England

Image in the Public Domain

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ANDREW REED (NOVEMBER 27, 1787-FEBRUARY 25, 1862)

English Congregationalist Minister, Humanitarian, and Hymn Writer

Andrew Reed, son of a watchmaker, learned how to make watches–to follow in his father’s footsteps.  But Reed had a different vocation, which he followed.  So he studied for the Congregational ministry at Hackney College then served his home church, New Road Chapel, St. George’s-in-the-East, London, beginning in 1811.  There he continued until 1831, when the congregation, having outgrown its building, relocated and assumed a new name, Wycliffe Chapel.  He pastored that church until 1861.

Reed’s legacy has two main components:  hymns and humanitarian works.  He founded and raised funds for three orphanages and three mental asylums.  Reed’s rationale was:

We can never rise to the highest, nor are our moralities safe, till we can say, “of Him, and to Him are all things.”

Late in life, Reed, in reply to a question, summarized his life as follows:

I was born yesterday, I shall die to-morrow, and I must not spend to-day in telling what I have done, but in doing what I may for HIM who has done all for me.  I sprang from the people, I have lived for the people–the most for the most unhappy; and the people when they know it will not suffer me to die out of loving remembrance.

Reed composed twenty-one hymns and edited two hymnals (1817 and 1842).  One of these hymns, “Spirit Divine, Attend Our Prayers,” appeared in The Evangelical Magazine (June 1829) and his Hymn-Book (1842).  The hymn’s first singing occurred at London on Good Friday, 1829.

Spirit divine, attend our prayers,

And make this house Thy home;

Descend with all Thy gracious powers;

O come, great Spirit, come!

Come as the light: to us reveal

Our emptiness and woe;

And lead us in those paths of life

Where all the righteous go.

Come as the fire: and purge our hearts

Like sacrificial flame;

Let our whole soul an offering be

To our Redeemer’s Name!

Come as the dove: and spread Thy wings,

The wings of peaceful love;

And let Thy Church on earth become

Blest as the Church above.

Spirit divine, attend our prayers;

Make a lost world Thy home;

Descend with all Thy gracious powers;

O come, great Spirit, come!

Reed understood the proper relationship of creeds to deeds.  May the same be true of each of us.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 17, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF MARIA STEWART, EDUCATOR

THE FEAST OF EGLANTYNE JEBB, FOUNDER OF SAVE THE CHILDREN

THE FEAST OF FRANK MASON NORTH, U.S. METHODIST MINISTER

THE FEAST OF SAINT OLYMPIAS, ORTHODOX DEACONESS

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O God, your Son came among us to serve and not to be served, and to give his life for the life of the world.

Lead us by his love to serve all those to whom the world offers no comfort and little help.

Through us give hope to the hopeless,

love to the unloved,

peace to the troubled,

and rest to the weary,

through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Hosea 2:18-23

Psalm 94:1-15

Romans 12:9-21

Luke 6:20-36

Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 60

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Revised on December 9, 2016

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2 responses to “Feast of Andrew Reed (February 28)

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  1. Pingback: Feast of Edwin Paxton Hood (June 12) | SUNDRY THOUGHTS

  2. Pingback: Feast of Jemima Thompson Luke and James Edmeston (February 29) | SUNDRY THOUGHTS

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