Archive for March 2013

Feast of Alfred Rooker and Elizabeth Rooker Parson (May 27)   2 comments

08046v

Above:  College Green, Bristol England, 1890-1900

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-ppmsc-08046

Image from the Views of the British Isles Collection, 1905, Detroit Publishing Company

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ALFRED ROOKER (APRIL 1, 1814-MAY 27, 1875)

English Congregationalist Philanthropist and Hymn Writer

Brother of

ELIZABETH ROOKER PARSON (JUNE 5, 1812-1873)

English Congregationalist Hymn Writer

The Reverend William Rooker, an English Congregationalist minister, served as pastor of the Brook Street Independent Church (now Tavistock United Reformed Church), Tavistock, from 1796 to 1845.  There, in Tavistock, he and his wife, Elizabeth, on June 5, 1812, their daughter, Elizabeth, entered the world.  Their son, Alfred, followed on April 1, 1814.

Elizabeth Rooker (the younger) led the Willing Class, a group of young men and women at her father’s church who met on Sunday nights.  She also wrote eighteen hymns for that class.  One of them was:

Jesus, we love to meet

on this, thy holy day;

we worship round the seat

on this, thy holy day.

O tender heavenly Friend,

to thee our prayers ascend;

over our spirits end

on this, thy holy day.

—–

We dare not trifle now

on this, thy holy day;

in silent awe we bow,

on this, thy holy day.

Check every wandering thought,

and let us all be taught

to serve thee as we ought

on this, thy holy day.

—–

We listen to thy word

on this, thy holy day;

bless all that we have heard

on this, thy holy day.

Go with us when we part,

and to each longing heart

your saving grace impart

on this, thy holy day.

The author of that hymn married the Reverend Edgecombe Parson in 1844.  She died in 1873, at Plymouth.

08788vAbove:  Saltash Bridge, Plymouth, England, 1890-1900

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-ppmsc-08788

Image from the Views of the British Isles Collection, 1905, Detroit Publishing Company

Alfred Rooker became a solicitor and practiced in Plymouth.  He, a respected member of the community, was active in civic affairs.  He became an alderman in 1848 and the mayor a few years later.  Rooker, a member of the Sherwell Congregational Church (now Sherwell United Reformed Church) in town, opposed slavery, wrote about English church history (The Precursors of the English Reformation–1853), and wrote about literature (The Literature and Literary Men of Plymouth–1845).  He ran for Parliament (for the Liberal Party) in 1871, losing.  Rooker was the Mayor again in 1874, when he served as Chairman of the Board of the Guildhall School.  He died in Beirut, Syria (now Lebanon), during a tour of the Holy Land in 1875.  Admirers erected and sponsored a statue of him in the Guildhall Square.

Rooker wrote the following in 1867:

O be with us, gracious Father,

While before Thy feet we bow;

Let the angel of Thy presence

Hover o’er Thy temple now.

—–

Here are hearts that Thou canst soften,

Earthly dross to purge away;

Darkened minds, on which Thy Spirit

Yet may pour celestial day.

—–

From the world’s entrancing vision,

From the spirit’s sullen night,

From the tempter’s dark dominion,

Free us, by thy saving might.

—–

Let Thy Spirit’s glad communion

Waken thoughts of peace and love,

And prepare us for Thy presence

In the nobler courts above,

—–

There to join in perfect worship,

There to swell the angels’ song,

And in higher, sweeter measure,

Earth’s imperfect praise prolong.

I am glad to add this brother-sister team to the Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 30, 2013 COMMON ERA

HOLY SATURDAY

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOHN CLIMACUS, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK

THE FEAST OF SAINT INNOCENT OF ALASKA, RUSSIAN ORTHODOX BISHOP

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOAN OF TOULOUSSE, CARMELITE NUN; AND SAINT SIMON STOCK, CARMELITE FRIAR

THE FEAST OF KARL RAHNER, ROMAN CATHOLIC THEOLOGIAN

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For Further Reading:

http://www.tavistocktownhall.co.uk/Core/Tavistock-TH/Pages/portraits_in_the_hall-842.aspx

http://www.plymouthdata.info/Who%20Was%20Who-Rooker%20Alfred%201814%201875.htm

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Eternal God, light of the world and Creator of all that is good and lovely:

We bless your name for inspiring Alfred Rooker, Elizabeth Rooker Parson,

and all who with words have filled us with desire and love for you,

through Jesus Christ our Savior, who with you and the Holy Spirit

lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

1 Chronicles 29:14b-19

Psalm 90:14-17

2 Corinthians 3:1-3

John 21:15-17, 24-25

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 728

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Feast of Nicolaus Selnecker (May 24)   1 comment

Nikolaus-Selnecker

Above:  Nicolaus Selnecker

NICOLAUS SELNECKER (DECEMBER 5, 1532-MAY 24, 1592)

German Lutheran Minister, Theologian, and Hymn Writer

There are at least two ways to become controversial:

  1. To be extreme in one’s context, and
  2. To be moderate in one’s context, thereby offending extremists.

Nicolaus Selnecker proved controversial via the second method.

Selnecker, born in Hersbruck in 1532, became the organist at Nurnberg Chapel at the tender age of twelve years.  Later positions included the following:

  • Lecturer at the University of Wittenberg;
  • Preacher at Dresden;
  • Professor of Theology at Jena; and
  • Pastor of St. Thomas Church, Leipzig.

He wrote 175 theological works (many of them controversial) and composed Latin poems and 130 German hymns.  Selnecker, who had studied under Phillip Melanchthon at Wittenberg, also cowrote the Formula of Concord (1577).

Selnecker lived during a time of extremes and mutual exclusion.  The Protestant Reformation was underway.  Lutherans, Calvinists, and Roman Catholics engaged in invective and violence against each other.  And few people stood up for the Anabaptists.  Selnecker’s relative moderation in this setting made him a figurative hot potato, hence his relatively frequent career transitions.

The Yattendon Hymnal (1899) translation of one of Selnecker’s hymns follows:

Now cheer our hearts this eventide,

Lord Jesus Christ, and with us abide;

Thou that canst never set in night,

Our heavenly Sun, our glorious Light.

—–

May we and all who bear Thy Name

By gentle love Thy Cross proclaim,

Thy gift of people on earth secure,

And for Thy truth the world endure.

May gentle love never fall out of fashion.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 30, 2013 COMMON ERA

HOLY SATURDAY

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOHN CLIMACUS, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK

THE FEAST OF SAINT INNOCENT OF ALASKA, RUSSIAN ORTHODOX BISHOP

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOAN OF TOULOUSSE, CARMELITE NUN; AND SAINT SIMON STOCK, CARMELITE FRIAR

THE FEAST OF KARL RAHNER, ROMAN CATHOLIC THEOLOGIAN

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O God, by your Holy Spirit you give to some the word of wisdom,

to others the word of knowledge,

and to others the word of faith:

We praise your Name for the gifts of grace manifested in your servant Nicolaus Selnecker,

and we pray that your Church may never be destitute of such gifts;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit

lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Wisdom 7:7-14

Psalm 119:97-104

1 Corinthians 2:6-10, 13-16

John 17:18-23

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 720

Feast of Sylvester II (May 13)   3 comments

Vatican Flag

Above:  Vatican Flag

SYLVESTER II (CIRCA 945-MAY 12, 1003)

Also Known as Gerbert of Aurillac

Bishop of Rome

Today I add Pope Sylvester II (reigned April 2, 999-May 12, 1003) to my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days.  The Roman Catholic Church has not seen fit to canonize him; that constitutes an oversight.

I have been pondering adding Pope Sylvester II to my Ecumenical Calendar since the St. Abbo of Fleury post.  Part of the discipline inherent in working of these saints posts is staying on track and not chasing rabbits; one must return to some people later.  I have concluded that Sylvester II deserves a place on a place on my Ecumenical Calendar with one caveat:  My political theories are post-Enlightenment; he were pre-Enlightenment.  Thus I favor the separation of church and state for the benefit of the church, but Sylvester II supported theocracy.  That fact about him troubles me, but the rest of his life offsets that matter.  And he was a product of his times, just as I am a product of mine.

Gerbert of Aurillac was a great intellectual who accepted accurate knowledge wherever he found it.  For this reason many opponents within the Church accused him of being in league with Satan.  These anti-intellectuals shunned the classics of Greek and Roman philosophy and literature, calling them “vermin.”  But the works of Virgil, Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Horace, etc. were not “vermin.”  No, for Gerbert, born into humble origins and educated at Aurillac monastery, they were essential works.  One needed to master the classics and to hone one’s abilities to be an excellent orator, he claimed.

Gerbert was a Renaissance man who lived before the Renaissance.  He studied the night sky with a telescope regularly and mastered mathematics.  He knew how to use an abacus well.  He built clocks and pipe organs.  And, 972 forward, as head of the Rheims Cathedral School, he built up that institution’s reputation as a center of intellectual inquiry.  For Gerbert astronomy, mathematics, Greek classics, good morals, and excellent oratory went hand-in-hand:

With my efforts to lead a good life, I have always tried to speak well, as philosophy does not separate these two things.  While to live a good life is more important than to be a good speaker, still to those of us in public affairs, both powers are necessary.  For it is of the highest advantage to be able to persuade by well-fashioned speech, and by sweet words to restrain angry souls from violence.

–quoted in James Reston, The Last Apocalypse:  Europe at the Year 1000 A.D. (New York:  Doubleday, 1998), page 211

Gerbert’s intellectual reputation in 980 threatened that of Otric, head of the Magdeburg Cathedral School and tutor of German Emperor Otto II (reigned 973-983).  Otric had heard that Gerbert had promoted physics as a branch of mathematics, not as a separate discipline.  Otto II and a rapt audience observed as the intellectuals debated.  Gerbert won the debate and Otto II’s favor.

It was good to have a royal patron, Gerbert learned.  Otto II appointed Gerbert to lead the monastery at Bobbio, which had a vast library, in 983.  Yet mutual misunderstandings led to opposition to Gerbert as abbot.  Otto II died later that year, leaving a three-year-old Otto III (reigned 983-1002), whose throne Gerbert saved from a usurper.  Then, in 984, Gerbert returned to Rheims, where he helped make Hugh Capet (reigned 987-996) then King of France.

Royal and papal politics played major roles in Gerbert’s life in the 990s.  He succeeded to the Archbishopric of Rheims in 991 yet had to vacate that post four years later in favor of one Arnoul.  This was the same Arnoul whom Gerbert had succeeded.  There had been no papal approval for Gerbert’s appointment in 991.  Gerbert argued against such a necessity yet Arnoul favored it.  In 996 Gerbert became the tutor and advisor to his friend, Otto III, who appointed him Archbishop of Ravenna in 998 and pulled strings the next year to make him the Pope.

Gerbert, now Sylvester II, took his regnal name from St. Sylvester I (reigned 314-335), an ally of Roman Emperor Constantine I “the Great.”  From this pontiff Sylvester II drew inspiration for papal-imperial cooperation.  The new Pope dreamed of uniting Europe with the full cooperation of Otto III.

Sylvester II used the powers of the office.  He opposed simony, punished priests who lapsed in their vows of chastity, called for the election of abbots by their monks, and expanded the reach of the Church into Poland, Norway, and Hungary.  He also reversed a previous position, supporting Arnoul’s claim to be Archbishop of Rheims and affirming the papal right to appoint bishops.

Sylvester II’s brief tenure and his shared dream with Otto III faced a great challenge in 1001, when a rebellion forced both of them to flee Rome.  Otto III died in 1002 and Henry II (reigned 1002-1024), son of the usurper from 983, succeeded to the throne.  Sylvester II returned to Rome that year as a purely spiritual leader.

Sylvester II, Bishop of Rome, was a fearless intellectual who challenged the anti-intellectual prejudices of his day.  For that fact I honor him.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 28, 2013 COMMON ERA

MAUNDY THURSDAY

THE FEAST OF SAINT TUTILO, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK AND COMPOSER

THE FEAST OF KAROL SZYMANOWSKI, COMPOSER

THE FEAST OF SAINT GUNTRAM OF BURGUNDY, KING

THE FEAST OF HANS NIELSEN HAUGE, NORWEGIAN LUTHERAN LAY PREACHER

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O God, you have endowed us with memory, reason, and skill.

We thank you for the faithful legacy of Pope Sylvester II and all others

who have dedicated their lives to you and to the intellectual pursuits.

May we, like them, respect your gift of intelligence fully and to your glory.

In the Name of God:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Psalm 103

Philippians 4:8-9

Mark 12:28-34

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 6, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT CHRODEGANG OF METZ, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF EDMUND KING, ANGLICAN BISHOP OF LINCOLN

Feast of John Goss and William Mercer (May 10)   2 comments

Flag of England

Above:  Flag of England

SIR JOHN GOSS (DECEMBER 27, 1800-MAY 10, 1880)

Anglican Church Composer and Organist

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WILLIAM MERCER (1811-AUGUST 21, 1873)

Anglican Priest and Hymn Translator

John Goss (1800-1880) grew up at Fareham, England, where his father was the organist.  Young John followed in his father’s footsteps, becoming an organist himself.  Goss studied at the Chapel Royal, where Thomas Attwood taught and mentored him.  In 1838 Goss succeeded Attwood, whom he respected, as organist at St. Paul’s Cathedral, London.

Goss, trained also an an opera singer, focused on church music as an organist, a composer, and a theorist.  He edited the following:

  • Parochial Psalmody (1826);
  • An Introduction to Harmony and Thorough Bass (1833);
  • Chants, Ancient and Modern (1841); and
  • the music in William Mercer‘s Church Psalter and Hymn Book (1857).

And Goss composed church anthems and hymn tunes, prededing each effort with prayer.  Two of his more famous anthems were “Christ our Passover and “O Saviour of the World.”

The Church Psalter and Hymn Book (1857), the most popular English hymnal of its time, was the brain child of William Mercer (1811-1873), who sought to encourage congregational singing.  Mercer, a graduate of Trinity College, Cambridge, was an Anglican priest at Sheffield.  He translated hymns from Latin and German.  One such effort was “How Bright Appears the Morning Star“.  Another example was a translation of “O Come, All Ye Faithful.”  The Frederick Oakeley version is more famous, but is not the only rendering available.

The William Mercer translation follows:

O come, all ye faithful,

Joyfully triumphant,

To Bethlehem hasten now with glad accord;

Lo! in a manger

Lies the King of angels;

O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.

=====

Though true God of true God,

Light of light eternal,

The womb of a virgin He hath not abhorred;

Son of the Father,

Not made, but begotten;

O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.

=====

Raise, raise, choirs of angels,

Songs of loudest triumph,

Through heaven’s high arches be your praises poured,

“Now to our God be

Glory in the highest.”

O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.

=====

Amen! Lord, we bless Thee,

Born for our salvation!

O Jesus, for ever be Thy Name adored:

Word of the Father,

Now in flesh appearing;

O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.

Goss and Mercer devoted their talents to the worship of God–truly a noble cause.  May we honor them.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 27, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF CHARLES VILLIERS STANFORD, COMPOSER, ORGANIST, AND CONDUCTOR

THE FEAST OF CHARLES HENRY BRENT, EPISCOPAL BISHOP OF WESTERN NEW YORK

THE FEAST OF JOHN MARRIOTT, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT RUPERT OF SALZBURG, APOSTLE OF BAVARIA AND AUSTRIA

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Holy God, whose majesty surpasses all human definitions and capacity to grasp,

thank you for those, especially Sir John Goss and William Mercer,

who have nurtured and encouraged the reverent worship of you.

May their work inspire us to worship you in knowledge, truth, and beauty.

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

1 Chronicles 25:1-8

Psalm 145

Revelation 15:1-4

John 4:19-26

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 27, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT JAMES INTERCISUS, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYR

THE FEAST OF HENRY SLOANE COFFIN, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN THEOLOGIAN

Feast of Anna Laetitia Waring and Samuel Miller Waring (May 10)   Leave a comment

Union Jack

Above:  The Union Jack

SAMUEL MILLER WARING (MARCH 3, 1792-SEPTEMBER 19, 1827)

Hymn Writer

Uncle of

ANNA LAETITIA WARING (APRIL 19, 1823-MAY 10, 1910)

Humanitarian and Hymn Writer

Once there was an Englishman named Jeremiah Waring.  He had at least two sons:  Samuel Miller Waring and Elijah Waring.  Samuel Miller Waring (1792-1827), raised a Quaker, converted to The Church of England and wrote hymns.  He published a collection, Sacred Melodies, in 1826.  Samuel, born in Hampshire, died in Bath.  Almost no other information about him has come down to me.

Samuel did write the following words:

Now to Him who loved us, gave us

Every pledge that love could give,

Oped His heart’s pure fount to lave us,

Gave His life that we might live,

Give we glory;

His be glory,

By whose death, whose life, we live.

Elijah Waring (1788-1857), also raised a Quaker, became a Wesleyan Methodist preacher and a published memoirist.  He and his wife, Deborah Price Waring, daughter of a Quaker industrialist, brought Anna Laetitia Waring (1823-1910) into the world.  Anna, born in Wales and raised a Quaker, converted to The Church of England in 1842.  She learned Hebrew so she could read the Psalms in their original language, something she did daily for many years.  She also visited prisoners at Bristol, her adopted home, and assisted the Discharged Prisoners’ Aid Society.  And she had published thirty-nine hymns by 1863.

Among those hymns was the following, from 1850:

Father, I know that all my life

Is portioned out for me;

And the changes that are sure to come

I do not fear to see;

But I ask Thee for a present mind,

Intent on pleasing Thee.

—–

I ask Thee for a thoughtful love.

Through constant watching wise,

To meet the glad with joyful smiles,

And to wipe the weeping eyes,

And a heart at leisure from itself,

To soothe and sympathise.

—–

I would not have the restless will

That hurries to and fro,

Seeking for some great thing to do,

Or secret thing to know,

I would be treated as a child,

And guided where I go.

—–

Whatever in the world I am,

In whatsoe’er estate,

I have a fellowship with hearts

To keep and cultivate,

And a work of lowly love to do,

For the Lord on whom I wait.

—–

So I ask Thee for the daily strength

To none that ask denied,

And a mind to blend with outward life

While keeping at Thy side,

Content to fill a little space,

If Thou be glorified.

Amen.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 20, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF CHRISTOPHER WORDSWORTH, HYMN WRITER AND ANGLICAN BISHOP OF LINCOLN

THE FEAST OF SAINT CUTHBERT, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF LINDISFARNE

THE FEAST OF ELIZA SIBBALD ALDERSON, POET AND HYMN WRITER; AND JOHN BACCHUS DYKES, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND HYMN WRITER

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Eternal God, light of the world and Creator of all that is good and lovely:

We bless your name for inspiring Anna Laetitia Waring and Samuel Miller Waring

and all who with words have filled us with desire and love for you,

through Jesus Christ our Savior, who with you and the Holy Spirit

lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

1 Chronicles 29:14b-19

Psalm 90:14-17

2 Corinthians 3:1-3

John 21:15-17, 24-25

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 728

Feast of Thomas Toke Lynch (May 9)   Leave a comment

Flag of England

Above:  Flag of England

THOMAS TOKE LYNCH (JULY 5, 1818-MAY 9, 1871)

English Congregationalist Minister and Hymn Writer

Thomas Toke Lynch (1818-1871), son of a doctor, entered the Congregationalist ministry.  An early pastorate, Highgate Independent Church, London (1847-1849), was a faltering assembly.  Lynch resigned from it then transferred to Mortimer Street Church (1849-1852) in the city.  That congregation relocated to Grafton Street; Lynch followed.  He resigned in 1856 due to ill health.

In 1855, 1856, and 1868, Lynch published editions of The Rivulet:  Hymns for Heart and Voice, so titled because, he wrote,

Christian poetry is indeed a river of the water of life, and to this river my rivulet brings its contribution.

Lynch intended for the contents of his volume for

stimulus and solace or to to sing in family and social communion.

He did not intend the controversy it caused in much of English Nonconformist Christianity.  The illustrious Thomas Binney defended Lynch, but Charles Spurgeon criticized Lynch’s alleged “negative theology” and “no-doctrine scheme.”  Lynch, a sensitive soul, replied,

We must conquer our foes by suffering them to crucify us, rather than by threatening them with crucifixion.

The controversy did disturb Lynch’s sensitive body and mind, undermining his already fragile health and hastening his death.

I have read excerpts from The Rivulet.  My opinion based on them is that Binney was correct.  Consider the following text from that volume, O reader:

Gracious Spirit, dwell with me!

I myself would gracious be;

And, with words that help and heal,

Would Thy life in mine reveal;

And, with actions bold and meek,

Would for Christ, my Saviour, speak.

—–

Truthful Spirit, dwell with me!

I myself would truthful be;

And, with wisdom kind and clear,

Let Thy life in mine appear;

And, with actions brotherly,

Speak my Lord’s sincerity.

—–

Tender Spirit, dwell with me!

I myself would tender be;

Shut my heart up like a flower

In temptation’s darksome hour;

Open it when shines the sun,

And His love by fragrance own.

—–

Holy Spirit, dwell with me!

I myself would holy be;

Separate from sin, I would

Choose and cherish all things good,

And whatever I can be

Give to Him who gave me Thee.

Improved health permitted Lynch to resume this ministry with his old congregation, relocated to Gower Street, London, in 1860, and to remain with it when the assembly moved again, becoming Mornington Church.  He died in that post.  His last words were,

Now I am going to begin to live.

James Moffatt wrote of Lynch:

His personal appearance was peculiar, and his preaching was far from popular, but he gathered round him by the individuality, freshness and spirituality of his pulpit work a congregation of thoughtful and devoted people.

Handbook to the Church Hymnary (Oxford University Press, 1927), page 409

I find myself drawn to the life Thomas Toke Lynch because of (A) his sensitive spirit and (B) the harsh criticism he endured.  Some people have said that I do not have “a mean bone” in my body.  This is true.  It was also true of Lynch.  I wish that I could say the same accurately about Charles Spurgeon.

I do draw a lesson from the Rivulet controversy:  We need to choose our words and tones of voice carefully, for we ought to be mindful of the impact we have on others.  Each of us should strive, as Lynch did, to live up the following words he wrote:

I myself would gracious be;

And, with words that help and heal,

Would Thy life in mine reveal;

And, with actions bold and meek,

Would for Christ, my Saviour, speak.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 20, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF CHRISTOPHER WORDSWORTH, HYMN WRITER AND ANGLICAN BISHOP OF LINCOLN

THE FEAST OF SAINT CUTHBERT, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF LINDISFARNE

THE FEAST OF ELIZA SIBBALD ALDERSON, POET AND HYMN WRITER; AND JOHN BACCHUS DYKES, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND HYMN WRITER

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For Further Reading:

http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/webbin/book/lookupname?key=Lynch%2c%20Thomas%20T%2e%20%28Thomas%20Toke%29%2c%201818-1871

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Eternal God, light of the world and Creator of all that is good and lovely:

We bless your name for inspiring Thomas Toke Lynch

and all who with words have filled us with desire and love for you,

through Jesus Christ our Savior, who with you and the Holy Spirit

lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

1 Chronicles 29:14b-19

Psalm 90:14-17

2 Corinthians 3:1-3

John 21:15-17, 24-25

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 728

Feast of Charles Silvester Horne (May 2)   Leave a comment

Union Jack

Above:  The Union Jack

CHARLES SILVESTER HORNE (APRIL 15, 1865-MAY 2, 1914)

English Congregationalist Minister and Hymn Writer

Charles Silvester Horne (1865-1914), a son of a Congregationalist minister, studied at the University of Glasgow (graduating in 1866) then at Mansfield College, Oxford.  His reputation so preceded him that Allen Street Congregational Church, Kensington (now Kensington United Reformed Church), hired as its pastor two years before he had completed his theological studies.  The ministry was Horne’s second career, for journalism had been his first.  Thus the former newspaper editor became a minister in 1889.  Horne left Allen Street Church in 1903 for his second pastorate, Whitefield’s Central Mission, London (now home of the American Church in London), where he remained until he died.

Horne was also a statesman in matters of church and state.  In 1909 he served as Chairman of the Congregational Union of England and Wales.  And, from 1910 to his death, Horne was the Member of Parliament (Liberal Party) for Ipswich.  In 1913 he became the President of the National Brotherhood Council, an organization which addressed social problems.

The end came in 1914, shortly after Horne had delivered the Yale Lectures on Preaching.  His boat had just docked at Toronto, Ontario, Canada, when Horne dropped dead at the feet of his wife, Katharine Cozens-Hardy, the mother of his seven children.

James Moffatt, in the Handbook to the Church Hymnary (1927), on page 377, wrote of Horne:

His enthusiastic public spirit and zeal in all good causes, his burning interest in the social problem, and his strong yet winsome personality, made him an admired leader in his own denomination, and far beyond it, a power for righteousness.

Horne wrote the hymn, “For the might of Thine Arm We Bless Thee” for his London congregation.  The song debuted in print in The Fellowship Hymn Book (1909).

For the might of Thine arm we bless Thee, our God, our fathers’ God;

Thou hast kept Thy pilgrim people by the strength of Thy staff and rod;

Thou hast called us to the journey which faithless feet ne’er trod;

For the might of Thine arm we bless Thee, our God, our fathers’ God.

—–

For the love of Christ constraining, that bound their hearts as one;

For the faith in truth and freedom in which their work was done;

For the peace of God’s evangel wherewith their feet were shod;

For the might of Thine arm we bless Thee, our God, our fathers’ God.

—–

We are watchers of a beacon whose light must never die;

We are guardians of an altar that shows Thee ever nigh;

We are children of Thy freemen who sleep beneath the sod;

For the might of Thine arm we bless Thee, our God, our fathers’ God.

—–

May the shadow of Thy presence around our camp be spread;

Baptize us with the courage Thou gavest to our dead;

O keep us in the pathway that saintly feet have trod;

For the might of Thine arm we bless Thee, our God, our fathers’ God.

Charles Silverster Horne glorified God and aided his fellow human beings in his day.  May we do the same in ours.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 19, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOSEPH OF NAZARETH, HUSBAND OF MARY, MOTHER OF GOD

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For Further Reading:

http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/webbin/book/lookupname?key=Horne%2c%20Charles%20Silvester%2c%201865-1914

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Holy and righteous God, you have created us in your image.

Grant us grace to contend fearlessly against evil and to make no peace with oppression.

Help us, like your servant Charles Silvester Horne,

to work for justice among people and nations,

to the glory of your name, 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