Archive for May 2013

Feast of Erdmann Neumeister (August 18)   Leave a comment

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Above:  The Market Church, Hanover, Germany, Between 1890 and 1900

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-ppmsca-00456

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ERDMANN NEUMEISTER (MAY 12, 1671-AUGUST 18, 1756)

German Lutheran Minister and Hymn Writer

The Uechteritz-born Erdmann Neumeister was the son of an organist and a schoolmaster.  Our saint, a graduate of the University of Leipzig, taught there before becoming an ordained Lutheran minister.  Neumeister served at Bibre from 1697 to 1704 (as the assistant minister for the first year or so).  Then, from 1704 to 1706, he tutored the only daughter of Duke Johann Georg at Weissenfels, near to our saint’s birthplace.  He also served as the assistant court preacher then as court preacher.  Duke Georg’s daughter died, so our saint moved on to Sorau by the invitation of the Duke’s sister.  At Sorau he functioned as the court preacher.  Then, in 1715, our saint became the pastor of the Market Church, Hamburg.

Neumeister was a man of great innovation, much creativity, high culture, and strong opinions.  He opposed both Pietism and Moravianism, citing excessive subjectivity in their teachings.  Our saint was a High Lutheran.  He also wrote one of the earliest account of German poetry, composed cantatas, probably invented that musical form, and definitely wrote 650 hymns.

Among those hymns was the following, the original of which dates to 1718, in the context of a sermon about Luke 15:1.  The English translation (1858) by Emma Frances Bevan (1827-1909), as reproduced in The Church Hymnary (1927), is of four of the original eight German verses.

Sinners Jesus will receive:

Tell this word of grace to all

Who the heavenly pathway leave,

All who linger, all who fall;

This can bring them back again:

“Christ receiveth sinful men.”

——

Shepherds seek their wandering sheep

O’er the mountains bleak and cold;

Jesus such a watch doth keep

O’er then lost ones of the fold,

Seeking them o’er moor and fen:

Christ receiveth sinful men.

—–

Sick and sorrowful and blind,

I with all my sins draw nigh;

O my Saviour, Thou can’st find

Help for sinners such as I;

Speak that word of love again:

“Christ receiveth sinful men.”

—–

Christ receiveth sinful men,

Even me with all my sin;

Openeth to me heaven again,

With Him I may enter in.

Death hath no more sting nor pain:

Christ receiveth sinful men.

Erdmann Neumeister–pastor, scholar, composer, and theologian–honored God with his piety, art, and intellect.  May each of us do the same.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 25, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF NICOLAUS SELNECKER, GERMAN LUTHERAN MINISTER, THEOLOGIAN, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT ALDHELM, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF SAINT MADELEINE SOPHIE BARAT, MOTHER SUPERIOR OF THE SOCIETY OF THE SACRED HEART

THE FEAST OF VENERABLE BEDE OF JARROW, HISTORIAN AND ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

Erdmann Neumeister and others, who have composed hymn texts.

May we, as you guide us,

find worthy hymn texts to be icons,

through which we see you.

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

Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 44:1-3a, 5-15

Psalm 147

Revelation 5:11-14

Luke 2:8-20

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 20, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS AMATOR OF AUXERRE AND GERMANUS OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS; SAINT MAMERTINUS OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT; AND SAINT MARCIAN OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK

THE FEAST OF JOHANNES BUGENHAGEN, GERMAN LUTHERAN PASTOR

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARCELLINUS OF EMBRUN, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF OLAVUS AND LAURENTIUS PETRI, RENEWERS OF THE CHURCH

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Feast of John Jones of Talysarn (August 16)   Leave a comment

Flag of Wales

Above:  The Welsh Flag

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JOHN JONES OF TALYSARN (MARCH 11, 1797-AUGUST 16, 1857)

Welsh Calvinistic Methodist Minister and Hymn Tune Composer

Young John Jones had to work in a quarry, for his father had died.  But Jones did educate himself.  For years (even after his ordination) he was involved in one way or another in that industry, but did not find that satisfying.  No, his vocation was ordained ministry.  The Calvinistic Methodist Church gave him credentials in 1829.  Jones, gifted with a deep voice, a formidable personality, and an inquiring mind, preached to open-air congregations numbering in the thousands.  And, according to James Moffatt, in the companion volume to the 1927 Church Hymnary, Jones broke

the tyranny of the hyper-Calvinists (page 388).

Moffatt disliked hyper-Calvinists, apparently.

Jones settled at Talysarn, hence the description

of Talysarn

to distinguish him from other people named John Jones.

His legacies include hymn tunes, such as “Tan-y-castell,” named for his birthplace.

I am glad that Jones had the opportunity to pursue his vocation from God, for the benefit of others (many not born or imagined yet) and divine glory.  May all people have such opportunities and pursue them.  The willingness to pursue one’s vocation means nothing, however, without the opportunity.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 25, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF NICOLAUS SELNECKER, GERMAN LUTHERAN MINISTER, THEOLOGIAN, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT ALDHELM, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF SAINT MADELEINE SOPHIE BARAT, MOTHER SUPERIOR OF THE SOCIETY OF THE SACRED HEART

THE FEAST OF VENERABLE BEDE OF JARROW, HISTORIAN AND ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK

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O God, our heavenly Father, who raised up your faithful servant John Jones of Talysarn

to be a pastor in your church and to feed your flock:

Give abundantly to all pastors the gifts of your Holy Spirit,

that they may minister in your household as true servants of Christ

and stewards of your divine mysteries, through Jesus Christ our Lord,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Acts 20:17-35

Psalm 84 or 84:7-11

Ephesians 3:14-21

Matthew 24:42-47

–Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 719

Feast of William Croft (August 14)   Leave a comment

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Above:  Westminster Abbey, Between 1910 and 1920

Copyright Claimant = Detroit Publishing Company

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number =  LC-D4-73196

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WILLIAM CROFT (BAPTIZED DECEMBER 30, 1678-DIED AUGUST 14, 1727)

Anglican Organist and Composer

William Croft was one of the greatest composers of English church music.  He wrote hymn tunes (including “St. Anne,” the tune for “O God, Our Help in Ages Past;” and Hanover, the tune for “Ye Servants of God, Your Master Proclaim”), services, odes, anthems, and sonatas–even some incidental music–and influenced the cantatas of George Frederick Handel.  Croft’s Musica Sacra (1724) contained thirty of his anthems and his setting of the burial service from The Book of Common Prayer (1662).

Croft’s musical career began in the Chapel Royal, where, when he was quite young, he sang in the choir.  Later he became a church organist–first at St. Anne’s Church, Soho; then at the Chapel Royal (1704-1708, jointly with Jeremiah Clark through 1707); then at Westminster Abbey, beginning in 1708.  Croft divided his time between Westminster Abbey and the Chapel Royal, where he was a composer.  And Oxford University bestowed the Mus.Doc. degree upon him in 1713.

Croft died of an illness

occasioned by his attendance on his duty

at the coronation of King George II (reigned 1727-1760).  Our saint’s epitaph reads in part:

In his celebrated works, which for the most part he dedicated to God, he made a diligent progress; nor was it by the solemnity of the numbers alone, but by the force of his ingenuity; and the sweetness of his manner, and even his countenance, he excellently recommended them.  Having resided among mortals for fifty years, behaving with the utmost candor (not more conspicuous of any other office of humanity than a friendship and a love truly fraternal towards all whom he instructed), he departed to the heavenly choir,…that, being near, he might add his own Hallelujah to the concert of angels.

–Quoted in Robert Guy McCutchan, Our Hymnody:  A Manual of The Methodist Hymnal, 2d. ed. (Nashville, TN:  Abingdon Press, 1937, page 217)

I, as a lover of refined church music, appreciate William Croft’s contributions to the field.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 25, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF NICOLAUS SELNECKER, GERMAN LUTHERAN MINISTER, THEOLOGIAN, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT ALDHELM, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF SAINT MADELEINE SOPHIE BARAT, MOTHER SUPERIOR OF THE SOCIETY OF THE SACRED HEART

THE FEAST OF VENERABLE BEDE OF JARROW, HISTORIAN AND ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK

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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 William Croft and all those

who with music 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 Sarah Flower Adams and Eliza Flower (August 14)   2 comments

NPG 1514,Sarah Flower Adams,after Margaret Gillies

Above:  Sarah Flower Adams

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SARAH FLOWER ADAMS (FEBRUARY 22, 1805-AUGUST 14, 1848)

English Unitarian Hymn Writer

sister of

ELIZA FLOWER (APRIL 19, 1803-DECEMBER 12, 1846)

English Unitarian Composer

Once upon a time there was a man named Benjamin Flower (1775-1829), a Unitarian and a political radical.  He defended the French Revolution–something quite risky and illegal in the United Kingdom in the 1790s.  Flower published a criticism of Richard Watson, Bishop of Llandaff (1782-1816) which led to a six-months-long prison term (officially for libel) in 1799-1800.  During the prison term schoolmistress Eliza Gould (died 1810) visited him.  Flower and Gould married in 1800, after his release.  She died ten years later; their third child did not survive either.  But their first two children, Eliza Flower (1803-1846) and Sarah Fuller Flower (later Adams) (1805-1848)  lived to adulthood.

Sarah wrote prose and poetry.  She submitted works to The Repository, edited by the Reverend William Johnson Fox (1786-1864), a family friend and a Unitarian pastor in London.  He was also a journalist, an orator, a philanthropist, and, from 1847 to 1862, the Member of Parliament for Oldham, serving as a member of the Liberal Party.  When Benjamin Flower died in 1829, Fox became the guardian of Sarah and Eliza.

Eliza composed music.  Her first published work was Fourteen Musical Illustrations of the Waverly Novels (1831).  Three years later she published Songs of the Seasons.  And, in 1834, she began a platonic relationship with Fox, who had left his wife.

In 1841 Fox edited Hymns and Anthems, the Words Chiefly from the Holy Scripture and the Writings of the Poets.  Eliza edited the music, wrote sixty-three of the 150 tunes, and arranged and adapted others.  Sarah wrote thirteen of the hymns.  Among them was “Nearer, My God, to Thee.”

Sarah had married inventor and railroad engineer William Bridges Adams in 1834.  He also contributed political articles to The Repository, thus holding up his end of the political-literary salon which his wife and sister-in-law maintained.  They knew Robert Browning (1812-1899), who called Eliza

the incarnation of a poet’s dreams

and Sarah

a very remarkable person.

The sisters associated with John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) and feminist Harriet Taylor Mill (1807-1858).  The sisters were, by the standards of early 1800s England, unconventional women.

In 1841 Sarah published Vivia Perpetua, a five-act poem about early Christians.  Part of that work has become a hymn:

Part in peace: Christ’s life was peace,

Let us live our life in Him;

Part in peace:  Christ’s death was peace,

Let us die our death in Him.

—–

Part in peace:  Christ promise gave

Of a life beyond the grave,

Where all mortal partings cease;

Brethren, sisters, part in peace.

She wrote her hymns spontaneously, out of the conviction that the Spirit of God moved her.

In 1845 Sarah published The Flock and the Fountain, a children’s catechism with hymns.

Eliza contracted tuberculosis, dying of it in 1846.  Sarah, who had nursed her ailing sister, died of the same disease two years later.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 24, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF IDA SCUDDER, REFORMED CHURCH IN AMERICA MEDICAL MISSIONARY IN INDIA

THE FEAST OF EDWARD KENNEDY “DUKE” ELLINGTON, COMPOSER

THE FEAST OF JACKSON KEMPER, EPISCOPAL BISHOP OF WISCONSIN

THE FEAST OF MOTHER EDITH, FOUNDER OF THE COMMUNITY OF THE SACRED NAME

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For Further Reading:

http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/webbin/book/lookupname?key=Adams%2c%20Sarah%20Flower%2c%201805-1848

http://www.harvardsquarelibrary.org/UU_Composers/Eliza_Flower.html

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

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

Help us, like your servants Sarah Flower Adams and Eliza Flower,

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

Feast of Augustus Montague Toplady (November 4)   Leave a comment

Union Jack

Above:  The Union Jack

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AUGUSTUS MONTAGUE TOPLADY (NOVEMBER 4, 1740-NOVEMBER 11, 1778)

Anglican Priest and Hymn Writer

Augustus Montague Toplady lost his father, a Major in the Royal Army, in 1741.  Thus our saint grew up without his pious mother.  He attended Westminster School then Trinity College, Dublin.  At age sixteen, when Toplady was in Dublin, he had a conversion experience under the influence of a Wesleyan lay preacher.   Toplady, back in England, became an Anglican priest in 1764.  He served various congregations before becoming the Vicar of Broadhembury four years later.  The Calvinistic Toplady wrote vigorous criticisms of Arminianism and carried on a controversy with John Wesley.  Poor health forced Toplady to leave Broadhembury in 1775.  He spent the last three years of his life preaching at a Huguenot chapel in London.  The popular and powerful preacher died of tuberculosis when aged thirty-eight years.

Toplady wrote hymns, including the frequently sung “Rock of Ages” (1776).  He composed the following text five years prior:

A debtor to mercy alone,

Of covenant mercy I sing;

Nor fear, with Thy righteousness on,

My person and offering bring.

The terrors of low and of God

With me can have nothing to do;

My Saviour’s obedience and blood

Hide all my transgressions from view.

—–

The work which His goodness began,

The arm of His strength will complete;

His promise is Yea and Amen,

And never was forfeited yet.

Things future, nor things that are now,

Nor all things below or above,

Can make Him His purpose forgo,

Or sever my soul from His love.

—–

My name from the palms of His hands

Eternity will not erase;

Impressed on His heart it remains,

In marks or noble grace.

Yes, I to the end shall endure,

As sure as the earnest is given;

More happy, but not more secure,

The glorified spirits in heaven.

Some sources I consulted tried to explain the zest with which Toplady traded argument points with John Wesley.  Toplady, one source said, was probably not at his best due to poor health.  This might be true, but I do not care.  Maybe our saint just thought that Wesley was wrong.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 24, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF IDA SCUDDER, REFORMED CHURCH IN AMERICA MEDICAL MISSIONARY IN INDIA

THE FEAST OF EDWARD KENNEDY “DUKE” ELLINGTON, COMPOSER

THE FEAST OF JACKSON KEMPER, EPISCOPAL BISHOP OF WISCONSIN

THE FEAST OF MOTHER EDITH, FOUNDER OF THE COMMUNITY OF THE SACRED NAME

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Heavenly Father, shepherd of your people, we thank you for your servant Augustus Montague Toplady,

who was faithful in the care and nurture of your flock.

We pray that, following his example and the teaching of his holy life,

we may by your grace attain our full maturity in Christ,

through the same Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns

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

Ezekiel 34:11-16 or Acts 20:17-35

Psalm 84

1 Peter 5:1-4 or Ephesians 3:14-21

John 21:15-17 or Matthew 24:42-47

Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 60

Feast of William Walsham How and Frances Jane Douglas (August 10)   2 comments

Union Jack

Above:  The Union Jack

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WILLIAM WALSHAM HOW (DECEMBER 13, 1823-AUGUST 10, 1897)

Anglican Bishop of Wakefield and Hymn Writer

sister of

FRANCES JANE DOUGLAS (1829-DECEMBER 11, 1899)

Hymn Writer

I like to write about families of holy people.  Today I have the joy, therefore, to add a brother-and-sister team to the Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days.

William Wybergh How was a solicitor.  His famous son, William Walsham How (1823-1897), educated at Wadham College, Oxford, took Holy Orders in The Church of England in 1846.  He became the Bishop Suffragan of Bedford in 1879, having already declined opportunities to become the Bishop of  Manchester then of Durham.  How was among the greatest poets in The Church of England.  He had coedited Church Hymns (1871) and published his Poems and Hymns (1886) before becoming the Bishop of Wakefield in 1888, so his reputation was not in question.  How was sufficiently secure in his ego structure that his ambitions did not run amok.  Frances Pigou, Dean of Bristol, wrote of How:

William Walsham…was a man of great personal piety, which shone transparently in him…His well-known hymns are fragrant with it.  All brought into contact with him were conscious of it.  He was not a man of great intellectual power, but he was, like St. Barnabas, “a good man, full of faith and of the Holy Ghost”; and his ministry was singularly owned and blessed of God.  It is true that more men are won to God by holiness than by cleverness.

–quoted in Robert Guy McCutchan, Our Hymnody:  A Manual of The Methodist Hymnal, 2d. ed. (Nashville, TN:  Abingdon Press, 1937, page 244)

How served as the Bishop of Wakefield from 1888 to 1897.  He was

the poor man’s bishop

and

the people’s bishop,

a man who did not stand on ceremony.  Inscribed on his bishop’s staff was the Latin for

Feed with the word, feed with the life.

I have added the texts of some of his numerous hymns to my GATHERED PRAYERS blog.  Here is a link to my guide post for them:  http://gatheredprayers.wordpress.com/2011/09/05/william-walsham-how/.

Of Bishop How’s sister, Frances Jane (How) Douglas (spelled “Douglass in some sources) I can find little information, not even her date of birth.  I do know that she wrote hymns, including “For All Thy Love and Goodness” (1848) (http://gatheredprayers.wordpress.com/2011/03/31/for-all-thy-love-and-goodness/), which her brother revised for inclusion in Church Hymns (1871).  God knows the rest; that must suffice.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 23, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT DEDIDERIUS/DIDIER OF VIENNE, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF SAINT GUIBERT OF GORZE, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK

THE FEAST SAINT JOHN BAPTIST ROSSI, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST

THE FEAST OF NICOLAUS COPERNICUS, SCIENTIST

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For Further Reading:

http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/webbin/book/lookupname?key=How%2c%20William%20Walsham%2c%201823-1897

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

William Walsham How and Frances Jane Douglas and others, who have composed hymn texts.

May we, as you guide us,

find worthy hymn texts to be icons,

through which we see you.

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

Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 44:1-3a, 5-15

Psalm 147

Revelation 5:11-14

Luke 2:8-20

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 20, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS AMATOR OF AUXERRE AND GERMANUS OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS; SAINT MAMERTINUS OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT; AND SAINT MARCIAN OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK

THE FEAST OF JOHANNES BUGENHAGEN, GERMAN LUTHERAN PASTOR

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARCELLINUS OF EMBRUN, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF OLAVUS AND LAURENTIUS PETRI, RENEWERS OF THE CHURCH

Feast of George Frederick Root (August 5)   Leave a comment

US_flag_34_stars.svg

Above:  Flag of the United States of America, 1861-1863

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GEORGE FREDERICK ROOT (AUGUST 30, 1820-AUGUST 6, 1895)

Poet and Composer

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We will welcome to our numbers the loyal, true, and brave,

Shouting the battle-cry of Freedom;

And altho’ they may be poor, not a man shall be a slave,

Shouting the battle-cry of Freedom.

The union forever,

Hurrah! boys, Hurrah!

Down with the traitor, up with the star;

While we rally round the flab boys, rally once again,

Shouting the battle-cry of Freedom.

–George Frederick Root

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George Frederick Root (1820-1895), born in Sheffield, Massachusetts, studied music in Boston.  He began to serve an assistant organist  at Winter Street Congregational Church and Park Street Congregational Church there at the age of nineteen.  In 1841, at the age of twenty, our saint began to teach music in the Boston public school system.  There he worked with Lowell Mason (1792-1872), the famous choir director and hymn tune composer who made a lasting contribution to generations of hymnals.

In 1844 Root moved to New York City, where, during the next fifteen years, he taught at Jacob Abbot’s Young Ladies’ School, Rutger’s Female Institute, Union Theological Seminary, and the New York Institute for the Blind.  At the last school he taught Fanny J. Crosby, whose songs I have learned to despise.  (Everyone is entitled to an opinion.)  Root also played the organ at Mercer Street Presbyterian Church, the administrative successor of which is First Presbyterian Church.

In 1859 Root moved to Chicago, where he joined his brother’s musical publishing firm, Root & Cady (1858-1872).  During the Civil War he composed words and music for many popular songs, such as The Battle-Cry of Freedom and just the music for others, such as The Vacant Chair.

Root composed a variety of music, from cantatas to hymn tunes.  He wrote the music for When He Cometh for a Unitarian minister who converted to the Wesleyan Methodist Church (now the Wesleyan Church) later.  The Second Coming of Jesus being the hymn’s theme and the text being based on a passage of Scripture, the parson was relatively orthodox.

Root died at his summer home on Bailey’s Island, Maine, in 1895, twenty-four days short of his eighty-fifth birthday.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 23, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT DEDIDERIUS/DIDIER OF VIENNE, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF SAINT GUIBERT OF GORZE, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK

THE FEAST SAINT JOHN BAPTIST ROSSI, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST

THE FEAST OF NICOLAUS COPERNICUS, SCIENTIST

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For Further Reading:

http://pdmusic.org/root-gf.html

http://www.poemhunter.com/george-frederick-root/

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Lord God, you have surrounded us with so great a cloud of witnesses.

Grant that we, encouraged by the example of your servant George Frederick Root,

may persevere in the course that is set before us, and,

at the last, share in your eternal joy with all the saints in light,

through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you

and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Micah 6:6-8

Psalm 9:1-10

1 Corinthians 1:26-31

Luke 6:20-23

Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 59

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Feast of Christian Henry Bateman (July 27)   2 comments

TC_7191_2

Above:  The Right Reverend Keith Whitmore, Assistant Bishop of Atlanta, with Two Confirmands at Trinity Episcopal Church, Columbus, Georgia, Pentecost Sunday, May 19, 2013

Image Source = Bill Monk, Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta

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CHRISTIAN HENRY BATEMAN (AUGUST 9, 1813-JULY 27, 1889)

Anglican Priest and Hymn Writer

The Scottish-born Christian Henry Bateman, originally a Moravian minister, became a Congregationalist clergyman in 1843.  He served Congregationalist churches in Scotland and England for twenty-six years.  Then he took Holy Orders in The Church of England.  He served congregations and a chaplaincy in that communion for fifteen years, retiring in 1884. Bateman, who also edited hymnals for children and Sunday Schools, died at Carlisle, England, in 1889, aged seventy-five years.

Bateman wrote hymns, including the following one, from 1872:

Come, children, join to sing–Hallelujah! Amen!–

Loud praise to Christ our King; Hallelujah! Amen!

Let all, with heart and voice,

Before his throne rejoice;

Praise is His gracious choice:  Hallelujah! Amen!

—–

Come, lift your hearts on high; Hallelujah! Amen!

Let praises fill the sky; Hallelujah! Amen!

He is our Guide and Friend;

To us He’ll condescend;

His love shall never end;  Hallelujah! Amen!

—–

Praise yet the Lord again; Hallelujah! Amen!

Life shall not end the strain; Hallelujah! Amen!

On heaven’s blissful shore,

His goodness we’ll adore,

Singing for evermore, “Hallelujah! Amen!”

Bateman left a literary-spiritual legacy which honored God.  I honor him for that.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 21, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF JOHN ELIOT, PURITAN MISSIONARY AMONG THE ALGONQUIN

THE FEAST OF FREDERICK AUGUSTUS BENNETT, ANGLICAN BISHOP OF AOTEAROA

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

Christian Henry Bateman and others, who have composed hymn texts.

May we, as you guide us,

find worthy hymn texts to be icons,

through which we see you.

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

Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 44:1-3a, 5-15

Psalm 147

Revelation 5:11-14

Luke 2:8-20

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 20, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS AMATOR OF AUXERRE AND GERMANUS OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS; SAINT MAMERTINUS OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT; AND SAINT MARCIAN OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK

THE FEAST OF JOHANNES BUGENHAGEN, GERMAN LUTHERAN PASTOR

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARCELLINUS OF EMBRUN, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF OLAVUS AND LAURENTIUS PETRI, RENEWERS OF THE CHURCH

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Feast of Samuel Hanson Cox and Arthur Cleveland Coxe (July 20)   2 comments

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Above:  Library, New York University, 1904

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-det-4a11791

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SAMUEL HANSON COX (SR.) (AUGUST 25, 1793-OCTOBER 2, 1880)

U.S. Presbyterian Minister and Abolitionist

father of

ARTHUR CLEVELAND COXE (MAY 10, 1818-JULY 20, 1896)

Episcopal Bishop of Western New York, Hymn Writer, and Translator of Hymns

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Today I add a father and a son to the Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days.

Samuel Hanson Cox (1793-1880), born in Rahway, New Jesey, grew up a Quaker.  He renounced that denomination to serve in the United States armed forces during the War of 1812.  After that conflict Cox became a Presbyterian minister, serving at Mendham, New Jersey (1817-1821) then at the City of New York (1821-1834).  In 1932 he cofounded the University of the City of New York, now New York University, where he taught theology.  Cox’s opposition to slavery offended a sufficient number of people that a mob sacked his home and church building during the anti-abolitionist riots in 1834, forcing him to leave the city for safety.  So Cox became the pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Brooklyn, not yet part of the City of New York.  He also began to teach Ecclesiastical History at the Union Theological Seminary in time.  Cox, a prominent New School Presbyterian, served as the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. (New School) in 1849-1850.

[Historical Note:  The organizational roots of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. (1789-1838) went back to 1706, when The Church of Scotland founded the Presbytery of Philadelphia.  The PCUSA (1789-1838) divided over, among other things, the Second Great Awakening.  The Old School opposed it while the New School accommodated itself to the movement.  Just to confuse people, I suppose, each body which formed from the 1838 schism called itself simply the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A.  The New School divided over slavery 1858, with the United Synod of the South forming.  The Old School split likewise in 1861, spawning the Presbyterian Church in the Confederate States of America.  The PCCSA absorbed the United Synod of the South in 1864 and renamed itself the Presbyterian Church in the United States (PCUS) in 1865, after the Confederacy had ceased to exist.  The two PCUSAs reunited in 1869-1870 as the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. (what else?).  This body merged with the United Presbyterian Church of North America in 1958 to create The United Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., which reunited with the almost entirely Southern PCUS in 1983 to form the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).]

Cox retired in 1854.  He died at Broxville, New York, in 1880.

Cox had two sons, both of whom became Episcopal clergymen and added “e” to the last name.  One son, Samuel Hanson Coxe, Jr., served parishes in the State of New York.  The other son, Arthur Cleveland Coxe, rose to the office of bishop.

Arthur Cleveland Coxe was born at Mendham, New Jersey, in 1818, during his father’s tenure as the Presbyterian minister there.  Coxe attended the University of the City of New York, which his father had cofounded.  Coxe published throughout his life, beginning with poetry during his freshman year of college.  He graduated in 1838 then matriculated at General Theological Seminary.  Coxe, ordained to the Diaconate in 1841 and the Priesthood the next year, served at St. John’s Church, Hartford, Connecticut, from 1842 to 1854; Grace Church, Baltimore, Maryland, from 1854 to 1863; and Calvary Episcopal Church, New York, New York, from 1863 to 1865.  In 1865 Coxe became the Bishop Coadjutor of Western New York, having already declined an opportunity to become the Bishop of Texas.  His tenure as Bishop Coadjutor lasted for just a few months, for the bishop died, making Coxe the next bishop, a post he held for the rest of his life.

Coxe published prose and poetry, including hymns.  He wrote the following text in 1850:

Saviour, sprinkle many nations,

Fruitful let Thy sorrows be;

By Thy pains and consolations

Draw the Gentiles unto Thee.

Of Thy cross, the wondrous story,

Be it to the nations told;

Let them see Thee in Thy glory

And Thy mercy manifold.

—–

Far and wide, though all unknowing,

Pants for Thee each mortal breast;

Human tears for Thee are flowing,

Human hearts in Thee would rest.

Thirsting, as for dews of even,

As the new-mown grass for rain,

Thee they seek as God of heaven,

Thee as man for sinners slain.

—–

Saviour, lo!  the isles are waiting,

Stretched the hand and stained the sight,

For Thy Spirit, new-creating,

Love’s pure flame and wisdom’s light;

Give the word, and of the preacher

Speed the foot and tough the tongue,

Till on earth by every creature

Glory to the Lamb be sung.

Coxe was a humble man, one who, until the last four years of his life, refused to let any of his hymns appear in official Episcopal hymnals, even though he served on the denominational Hymnal Commission.  Of Coxe Robert Guy McCutchan wrote the following:

Bishop Coxe was a man of unusual gifts:  great personal charm, wonderful eloquence, a scholar of distinction, and a poet whose master-motive was his love of Christ, his love of souls.

Our Hymnody:  A Manual of The Methodist Hymnal, 2d. ed.  (Nashville, TN:  Abingdon Press, 1937, pages 149-150)

Bishop Coxe spoke out on a variety of issues.  He opposed any translation of the Bible other than the Authorized (King James) Version. (I disagree with him on that point.  That translation is, for me, properly a museum piece.)  He also opposed the dogma of the Immaculate Conception and defended the Apostolic nature of Anglican orders.  (I agree with him on both of those counts.)  But, regardless of how much I agree or disagree with Bishop Coxe, I honor him for his work for God.  And I honor his father’s efforts for God and the enslaved.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 20, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT ALCUIN OF YORK, DEACON AND ABBOT

THE FEAST OF SAINT HELENA, MOTHER OF EMPEROR CONSTANTINE I

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For Further Reading:

Samuel Hanson Cox:

http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/webbin/book/browse?type=lcsubc&key=Cox%2C%20Samuel%20H.%20(Samuel%20Hanson)%2C%201793-1880&c=x

Arthur Cleveland Coxe:

http://anglicanhistory.org/usa/accoxe/

http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/webbin/book/lookupname?key=Coxe%2C%20A.%20Cleveland%20(Arthur%20Cleveland)%2C%201818-1896

http://anglicanhistory.org/usa/wcdoane/coxe1896.html

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Heavenly Father, shepherd of your people, we thank you for your servants

Samuel Hanson Cox and Arthur Cleveland Coxe,

who were faithful in the care and nurture of your flock.

We pray that, following their examples and the teachings of their holy lives,

we may by your grace attain our full maturity in Christ,

through the same Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns

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

Ezekiel 34:11-16 or Acts 20:17-35

Psalm 84

1 Peter 5:1-4 or Ephesians 3:14-21

John 21:15-17 or Matthew 24:42-47

Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 60

Feast of Arthur Penrhyn Stanley (July 18)   Leave a comment

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Above:  Westminster Abbey, 1913

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number =  LC-USZ62-107039

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ARTHUR PENRHYN STANLEY (DECEMBER 13, 1815-JULY 18, 1881)

Anglican Dean of Westminster and Hymn Writer

A singularly gentle, attractive, and fascinating personality, he was universally beloved, and by his character won the homage of sceptic and believer alike, and of those who, theologically, were most implacably opposed to him.

–James Moffatt, Handbook to the Church Hymnary (London, UK:  Oxford University Press, 1927, pp. 507-508)

Arthur Penrhyn Stanley‘s family informed his adult life in profound ways.  His father was Edward Stanley (1779-1849), who became the Bishop of Norwich, serving from 1837 to 1849.  Our saint’s brother, Owen Stanley (1811-1850), joined the Royal Navy and explored the South Pacific Ocean.  The saint donated the baptismal font of ChristChurch Cathedral, ChristChurch, New Zealand (http://www.christchurchcathedral.co.nz/), in his memory.  Our saint’s sister, Mary Stanley (1813-1879), was a Tractarian who converted to Roman Catholicism and became a nurse who worked with Florence Nightingale, encouraged an active role for religion in nursing, and devoted herself to a variety of philanthropic causes.

Arthur, educated at Rugby School under Dr. Thomas Arnold (1795-1842), and at Balliol College, Oxford, published his biography of the old school master in 1844 and became the basis of a character in the Thomas Hughes novel, Tom Brown’s School Days (1857).  Our saint took Holy Orders in 1839.  He spent much of his career at Oxford, first as a tutor.  He was  Broad Churchman–a radical moderate–at a polarized tine.  Although he was neither an Evangelical (a Low Churchman) nor a Tractarian/Anglo-Catholic (a High Churchman), he favored toleration for adherents of both pieties.  Since High Church tendencies were especially odious to many, advocating for toleration of them proved quite controversial.  But Arthur did have a Roman Catholic (formerly Anglo-Catholic) sister, so he did know someone whose piety he defended yet did not share.

Arthur, like his father, was a liberal by the standards of the day.  He supported the continued establishment of The Church of England while advocating the end of the requirement that students at Oxford affirm the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion.  He favored The Book of Common Prayer (1662) yet thought that reciting the Athanasian Creed in public should be optional.  He focused on what united Christians instead of what divided them.  Thus he was a natural ecumenist who favored Presbyterians preaching from Anglican pulpits.   He also gave some Unitarian  scholars communion once, prompting strong criticism.  Our saint, the leading liberal Christian theologian in Great Britain at the time, earned widespread respect and much opposition from his right and his left simultaneously.  But his generosity of spirit was never in question.

Our saint wrote about twelve hymns, including the following one, which features a Transfiguration theme:

O Master, it is good to be

High on the mountain here with Thee,

Where stand revealed to mortal gaze

The great old saints of other days,

Who once received, on Horeb’s height,

The eternal laws of truth and right,

Or caught the still small whisper, higher

Than storm, than earthquake, or than fire.

—–

O Master, it is good t be

With Thee and with Thy faithful three:

Here, where the apostle’s heart of rock

Is nerved against temptation’s shock;

Here, where the Son of Thunder learns

The thought that breathes, the word that burns;

Here, where on eagle’s wings we move

With him whose last, best creed is love.

—–

O Master, it is good to be

Entranced, enwrapt, alone with Thee;

Watching the glistening raiment glow,

Whiter than Hermon’s whitest snow,

The human lineaments that shine

Irradiant with a light divine:

Till we too change from grace to grace,

Gazing on that transfigured face.

—–

O Master, it is good to be

Here on the mount with Thee;

When darkling in the depths of night,

When dazzling with excess of light,

We bow before the heavenly voice

That bids bewildered souls rejoice,

Though love wax cold and faith be dim,

“This is My Son!  O hear ye Him!”

Our saint published his Memoir (1851) of his father and the Commentary on the Epistles to the Corinthians (1855) after becoming the Canon of Canterbury Cathedral in 1851.  As Canon he toured Egypt and the Holy Land in 1852-1853.  Then he wrote a book based on his journey.

Arthur returned to Oxford as the Chair of Ecclesiastical History and the Canon of Christ Church Cathedral in 1856.  During that tenure he toured Russia in 1857.  Then he based a book on that task.

In 1863 our saint, passed over for an opportunity to become the Archbishop of Dublin, became the Dean of Westminster instead.  That year he married Lady Augusgta Bruce (died 1876), who was close to the royal family.

Arthur Penrhyn Stanley was correct:  It is better to focus on what unites us as Christians than on what separates us.  I distrust doctrinal purity tests, which seem designed chiefly to affirm the orthodoxy of those who design and/or apply them.  Besides, I fail such tests consistently.  So did Jesus, so our saint and I have much better company in our relative heterodoxy and generosity of spirit.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 19, 2013 COMMON ERA

PENTECOST SUNDAY, YEAR C

THE FEAST OF SAINT ANDREW BOBOLA, JESUIT MARTYR

THE FEAST OF SAINT DUNSTAN OF CANTERBURY, ARCHBISHOP

THE FEAST OF SAINT IVO OF CHARTRES, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF SAINT IVO OF KERMARTIN, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND ADVOCATE OF THE POOR

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Almighty God, we praise you for your servant Arthur Penrhyn Stanley,

through whom you have called the church to its tasks and renewed its life.

Raise up in our own day teachers and prophets inspired by by your Spirit,

whose voices will give strength to your church and proclaim the reality of your reign,

through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns

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

Jeremiah 1:4-10

Psalm 46

1 Corinthians 3:11-23

Mark 10:35-45

Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 60