Above: The Flag of Scotland
Image in the Public Domain
ROBERT CAMPBELL (DECEMBER 19, 1814-DECEMBER 29, 1868)
Scottish Episcopalian then Roman Catholic Translator of Hymns
His translations are smooth, musical, and well sustained.
—William Gustave Polack, The Handbook to the Lutheran Hymnal (1942), page 489
Robert Campbell, a native of Trochraig, Ayrshire, Scotland, was an attorney with theological interests. Manifestations of theology included translating hymns from Latin and working to improve the lives of poor people, especially young ones, via a focus on their education, in particular. In 1848 our saint began to translate hymns from Latin. Some of those renderings debuted in print in Hymns and Anthems for Use in the Holy Services of the Church within the United Diocese of St. Andrews, Dunkeld, and Dunblane (1850), a.k.a. the St. Andrews Hymnal. Other translations were “At the Lamb’s High Feast” and “Christians, Come in Sweetest Measures.” The traditional attribution of the latter hymn to Adam of St. Victor (died between 1172 and 1192) has come into question, but the text is wonderful nonetheless.
Campbell converted from the Scottish Episcopal Church to the Roman Catholic Church in 1852. He continued to work with the impoverished youth and to translate hymns from Latin. He died at Edinburgh on December 29, 1868, aged 54 years.
KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR
JULY 30, 2015 COMMON ERA
THE FEAST OF WILLIAM PINCHON, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP
THE FEAST OF HORATIUS BONAR, SCOTTISH PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER AND HYMN WRITER
THE FEAST OF WILLIAM WILBERFORCE, ABOLITIONIST
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.
—Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 60