Feast of Ludolph Ernst Schlicht; John Gambold, Sr.; and John Gambold, Jr. (November 4)   3 comments

November 4 Saints

Above:  New Saints for November 4

Image Source = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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LUDOLPH ERNST SCHLICHT (NOVEMBER 4, 1714-MARCH 14, 1769)

Moravian Minister, Musician, and Hymn Writer

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JOHN GAMBOLD, SR. (APRIL 10, 1711-SEPTEMBER 13, 1771)

British Moravian Bishop, Hymn Writer, and Translator of Hymns

Father of

JOHN GAMBOLD, JR. (NOVEMBER 15, 1760-JUNE 21, 1795)

Moravian Composer

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The previous post in the Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days series started with research into one person and led to the addition of six others as well.  This post began with research into one person (Schlicht) and led to two others–a father and a son.  I also found areas of overlap with the previous post in this series.

Ludolph Ernst Schlicht (1714-1769), who attended the seminary at the University of Jena, arrived at Herrnhut, on the estate of Count Nicholas Ludwig von Zinzendorf (1700-1760) near Berthelsdorf, Saxony.  There Schlicht spent most of his time sharing his musical talents with young people.  He joined the Unitas Fratrum in 1739, became an ordained minister three years later, and served congregations in Ireland and England.  Schlicht began to serve the congregation at Bedford, England, in 1753.

Music has long been important in the Moravian Church, so one ought not to find accounts of Moravian clergymen who were also musicians surprising.  Schlicht, a skilled musician, used that skill for the glory of God by playing in worship services.  He also composed hymn texts, anthems, and cantatas.  Among the hymns were “Immanuel, We Sing Thy Praise,” “Lord, Grant Us, Though Deeply Abased,” and, with Bishop John Gambold, Sr. (1711-1771), “Ye Who Called to Christ’s Service Are.”  Schlicht collaborated with Bishop Gambold on the first official British Moravian hymnal, A Collection of Hymns for the Children of God in All Ages, From the Beginning Till Now, Designed Chiefly for the Use of Congregations in Union with the Brethren’s Church (1754).  This hymnal contained 1,055 hymn texts reaching all the way back to the Early Church and as late as the 1700s, including texts by great English hymn writers such as Isaac Watts and Charles Wesley.  Only fifty-one of these hymns came from the Moravian Church prior to its 1727 Renewal.  And, some of my sources indicate, Schlicht probably edited a British hymnal in 1746.  The only book which, according to my research, fit that description was James Hutton‘s private collection, The Tunes for the Hymns in the Collection with Several Translations from the Moravian Hymnbook (1742), with its 1746 supplement.

John Gambold, Sr. (1711-1771), son of the Anglican Vicar of Puncheston, Pembrokeshire, Wales, attended Christ Church, Oxford (B.A, 1730; M.A., 1734), took Holy Orders and served as the Vicar of Stanton Harcourt (1733-1742).  Gambold, who met John Wesley at Oxford, became part of the core group of earliest Methodism.  By 1741, however, he and Wesley had ceased to speak to each other.  (More than one person fell out with Wesley, probably due to the combination of personality clashes and theological disagreements.)  Gambold and Wesley, both whom had Moravian influences, moved in different directions after 1738.  Gambold, who met Count Zinzendorf in 1739, preferred the mysticism of the Greek Church Fathers to Wesley’s style of religion.  Thus it came to pass that Gambold entered the Unitas Fratrum in 1742.

Gambold, from the first British Moravian bishop (as of 1752), left a fine legacy in the realm of hymnody.  He, of course, edited the landmark hymnal of 1754.  Less famous was the 1769 hymnal he edited.  The Bishop also translated twenty-six hymns and wrote eighteen.  A hymn from 1741, as the Hymnal and Liturgies of the Moravian Church (Unitas Fratrum) (1923) contains it, follows:

They who know our Lord indeed,

Find in Him a Friend indeed,

And behold in Jesus’ face

Naught but mercy, truth, and grace.

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They can cast by faith their care

On that Lord who heareth prayer;

And when they to Him draw nigh,

He doth all their wants supply.

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They who Him their Saviour know,

Lowly at His footstool bow;

They to whom His Name is dear,

To offend Him greatly fear.

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O how wondrous is His love,

To all who His goodness prove;

Lord, accept our thanks and praise

For Thy goodness, truth, and grace.

Other hymns included “O Grant Thy Servants,” “They Who Jesus’ Followers Are,” and “What Praise to Thee, My Saviour.”

Bishop Gambold left an impressive literary legacy, which included the following:

  1. The Maryrdom of Saint Ignatius (1740; published posthumously in 1773, with Bishop Benjamin Henry LaTrobe, Sr., as Editor);
  2. Maxims and Theological Ideas (1751);
  3. Sermons; and
  4. The History of Greenland, Volumes I and II, by David Crantz (1767, with Gambold as the Editor and one of the translators).

There were also posthumous collections:

  1. The Works of the Late Rev. John Gambold, A.M. (1789); and
  2. The Poetical Works of the Late Rev. John Gambold, A.M. (1816).

Also, The Oxford Methodists (1873) contains an account of his life on pages 155-200.

Bishop Gambold died at Haverford West, Wales, on September 13, 1771, when his son, John Gambold, Jr. (1760-1795), was two months short of being eleven years old.  John, Jr., went to study in Germany (at the time a geographical, not a political, designation) in 1774, at age fourteen.  There he remained for the rest of his brief life.  He studied at Niesky and Barby.  John, Jr., aspired to become a scholar yet the Church appointed him to teach young people instead.  On the side he composed six keyboard sonatas (published at Leipzig in 1788) and twenty-six vocal pieces.  John, Jr., whose health had always been fragile, died at Barby, Saxony, at age thirty-four.

The process of preparing these posts about saints is a rewarding one.  Along the way I learn of connections between and among people, of some of the circumstances of their lives, of what they did with their lives and strove to do with them, and of their legacies.  In this case the process had led me to some conclusions about these three men.  They were flawed people, of course, but perfection was not an option.  (Who among us is not flawed?)  They agreed and disagreed with others, engaged in interpersonal conflicts, sometimes had irreconcilable differences, had positive relationships also, and tried to walk as closely with God as possible.  To the extent that they succeeded grace made the difference between that and failure.  They also applied their talents to the glory of God.  And more of us ought to know their names and some of their accomplishments.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

AUGUST 7, 2014 COMMON  ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT VICTRICIUS OF ROUEN, ROMAN CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTOR AND ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF SAINT SIXTUS II, BISHOP OF ROME, AND HIS COMPANIONS, MARTYRS

THE FEAST OF JOHN MASON NEALE, FOUNDER OF THE SISTERHOOD OF SAINT MARGARET

THE FEAST OF MARION HATCHETT, LITURGIST AND EPISCOPAL PRIEST

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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 Ludolph Ernst Schlicht; John Gambold, Sr.; John Gambold, Jr.;

and all those who with music or 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 the Proper for Artists and Writers, Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 728

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3 responses to “Feast of Ludolph Ernst Schlicht; John Gambold, Sr.; and John Gambold, Jr. (November 4)

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  1. Pingback: John Gambold, Sr. | GATHERED PRAYERS

  2. Pingback: Ludolph Ernst Schlicht | GATHERED PRAYERS

  3. Pingback: Adjusting to America: Moravians, 1735-1848 | BLOGA THEOLOGICA

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