Feast of William John Blew (November 20)   Leave a comment

Flag of England

Above:  Flag of England

Image in the Public Domain

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WILLIAM JOHN BLEW (APRIL 13, 1808-DECEMBER 27, 1894)

English Priest and Translator of Hymns

Robert Campbell (1814-1868) was a Tractarian who translated hymns from Latin into English.  So was William John Blew (1808-1894), a native of London and a priest of The Church of England.  Blew, who attended Wadham College, Oxford (B.A., 1830; M.A., 1832), took Holy Orders and served as, in order:

  1. the Curate of Nuthurst and Cocking;
  2. the Curate of St. Anne’s, Westminster; and
  3. the Incumbent of St. John’s, near Gravesend.

Many of Blew’s translations debuted as single-sheet copies for use in his congregation, but The Church Hymn and Tune Book (First Edition, 1852; Second Edition, 1855), which he and Henry John Gauntlett (1805-1876) edited, shared them with a larger audience.  Among the translations our saint prepared was the following, a collaboration with Edward Caswall (1814-1878):

All ye a certain cure who seek

In trouble and distress,

Whatever griefs the spirit break,

Or sins the soul oppress:

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Jesus, who gave Himself for men,

Upon the cross to die,

For you unlocks His heart; O then

Unto that heart draw nigh!

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Ye hear His gracious voice and free,

Ye hear His summons blest:

“O all ye weary, come to me,

And I will give you rest!”

Our saint’s publications included more than translations of hymns:

  1. The Iliad, Books I and II (1831)
  2. Ecclesia Dei:  A Vision of the Church (1848);
  3. Breviarium Aberdonense (1854);
  4. Hymns and Hymn-Books, with a Few Words on Anthems:  A Letter to the Rev. William Upton Richards, M.A. (1858);
  5. God Save the Men of Denmark! (1864);
  6. On the New Latin Prayer-Books:  A Letter to a Friend in the Shires (1865);
  7. Church Life:  Its Grounds and Obligations (1867); and
  8. The Second Year of the Reign of King Edward VI:  The Altar Service of the Church of England for That Year, to Which is Added That of the Third Year (1549) (1877).

Blew died on December 27, 1894.

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

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

William John Blew and others, who have translated 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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