Archive for April 2016

Feast of John Scrimger (August 7)   2 comments


Above:  John Scrimger

Source = The Winnipeg Tribune, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, Monday, August 9, 1915, Page 2

Accessed via



Canadian Presbyterian Minister, Ecumenist, and Liturgist

John Scrimger, a Canadian Presbyterian minister, worked for ecclesiastical union, which he did not live long enough to witness.  He, born at Dumfries Township (near Galt), Waterloo County, Ontario, Canada, on February 10, 1849, was the son of John Scrimger (1813-1890) and Janet McKenzie Scrimger (1826-1906), Scottish immigrants.  Our saint attended Galt Institute, Galt, Ontario.  Then he also studied at and graduated from the University of Toronto (B.A., 1869; M.A., 1871) and Knox College, a seminary attached to the University of Toronto (degree, 1873).  Scrimger, ordained into the former Canada Presbyterian Church (1861-1875) on August 28, 1873, served as the pastor of the St. Joseph Street Presbyterian Church (formed in 1863) for nine years.

Aside:  I traced the history of the congregation through 1940.  In 1887 the St. Joseph Street Presbyterian Church became the Calvin Presbyterian Church.  The congregation became the Calvin Westminster Presbyterian Church via amalgamation in 1916.  The name changed to the Calvin Westminster United Church in 1925, with the Presbyterian, Methodist, and Congregationalist merger forming The United Church of Canada.  In 1940 the congregation became the Westminster Central United Church via amalgamation.  My Internet searches for “Westminster Central United Church” in Montreal have yielded no current results.  Neither does that congregation appear on current records of the Montreal Presbytery of The United Church of Canada.  Many congregations have closed.  Others have amalgamated.  Still others have changed their names, sometimes after either amalgamation or relocation.  I do not know if the legacy of the Westminster Central United Church of Montreal continues.  If anyone reading this post does know, please inform me.

Scrimger, who received an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from the Wesleyan Theological Seminary, Montreal, in 1892, worked at The Presbyterian College, Montreal, from 1874 until his death in 1915.  He began as a lecturer in Old and New Testament exegesis then became a professor in 1882.  Prior to 1904 our saint served also as college librarian, in addition to his professorial duties.  Scrimger served as the principal of the college and as the chair of systematic theology from 1904 to 1915.  As an academic he spoke and published with regard to the Society of Jesus (the less we ponder these thoughts of his, the better), the Old Testament, and John Knox (1513-1572), among other topics.

With regard to Scrimger’s personal life, he married Catherine Charlotte Gairdner (1851-1921).  The couple had four children:

  1. John Tudor Scrimger (1875-1945),
  2. Anna Marks Scrimger Lyman (1877-1956),
  3. Francis Alexander Carron Scrimger (1880-1937), and
  4. Ethel Scrimger (1884-1884).

Our saint was active in denominational and ecumenical affairs.  For example, he served on the committees of The Presbyterian Book of Praise (1897) and The Book of Praise (1918), the second and third official hymnals of The Presbyterian Church in Canada (formed by merger in 1875).  (The first official hymnal was the Hymnal of the Presbyterian Church in Canada, 1880).  Scrimger also served on the committee for The Psalter (1912), for which he wrote “Lord, Who Shall Come to Thee,” a paraphrase of Psalm 15.  He was also active in the planning for Church union in 1925.  Our saint, asked to work on the Basis of Union of The United Church of Canada (1908), favored basing the document primarily on the Articles of Faith of the Presbyterian Church of England (1890) and Donald Fraser’s 1892 commentary upon them.  However, the consensus of the Canadian Joint Committee on Union was to made those documents a secondary basis of the Basis of Union and to found the Basis of Union mainly upon the Brief Statement of the Reformed Faith (Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., 1902).



Source:  The Hymnal (1911), Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A.

Scans by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

Scrimger and others who labored on the Basis of Union (approved in 1910-1912) sought to create a document which reflected both mild Calvinism and mild Arminianism, and was thereby acceptable to the great majority of Canadian Methodists, Presbyterians, and Congregationalists.

Our saint died at Bic, Quebec, on August 6, 1915, while on vacation.  He was 66 years old.






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

thank you for those (especially John Scrimger)

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






Feast of Charles Inglis (August 12)   3 comments


Above:  St. Paul’s Church, Halifax, Nova Scotia, 1910

Image Source = Halifax Public Libraries



Anglican Bishop of Nova Scotia

The feast day of Charles Inglis, the first bishop of The Church of England in the colonies and the first bishop in what became the Anglican Church of Canada, in The Church of Ireland is August 16.  In the Anglican Church of Canada his commemoration falls on August 12, the anniversary of his consecration as a bishop in 1787.  (That is his Canadian feast day in The Book of Common Prayer of 1962, yet his feast is absent from The Book of Alternative Services of 1985.  Both books have official status in Canada.)

The Church of England, for various reasons, never stationed a bishop in North America until 1787, when Inglis became the first Bishop of Nova Scotia, with jurisdiction over churches in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, Quebec, Ontario, and Bermuda.  Four years earlier, Samuel Seabury (1729-1796), a priest in Connecticut, had sailed to England  to seek ordination to the episcopacy.  He, being an American, could not swear loyalty to the British crown, so The Church of England refused to consecrate him.  In 1784 bishops of the Scottish Episcopal Church consecrated Seabury.  He became the first bishop in The Episcopal Church (organized in 1789) and the first Bishop of Connecticut (in 1785).  Seabury wore a mitre Charles Inglis had designed.

The Reverend Archibald Inglis (died in 1745) was the Rector of Glen and Kilcarr, in Ireland.  He had three sons, the eldest of which was Richard Inglis (born circa 1720), who succeeded him immediately.  The youngest son was Charles Inglis, born in 1734.  The death of Archibald when Charles was 11 years old prevented our saint from attending a university.  Nevertheless, Charles did read deeply in the Greek and Latin classics and learn some Hebrew.  From 1754 to 1758 our saint taught in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  Then he returned to England to become a priest.

Inglis was a priest in North American colonies from 1759 to 1783.  For six years he served in Delaware.  His parish was 33 miles long and 10-13 miles wide, containing four congregations, with the main one at Dover, when he started.  By the time Inglis left he had added a fifth congregation.  1764 was an eventful year for our saint.  Early in the year he married Mary Vining (born in 1733).  By the end of the year he had buried her and their twin daughters, all of whom died at childbirth.

Next Inglis served at Trinity Church, New York, New York, from 1765 to 1783, first as an assistant priest (1765-1776), then as the senior assistant priest (1776-1777), then as the rector (1777-1783).  During his time at Trinity Church our saint and his friend, Thomas Bradbury Chandler (1726-1790), worked together to advocate for the establishment of the episcopate in British North America.  Inglis was a staunch Loyalist and Royalist in revolutionary New York.  In 1776 he received a written request from George Washington, who was planning to attend church on a forthcoming Sunday, to omit the prayers for King George III and the royal family from the Litany in The Book of Common Prayer (1662).  Inglis ignored the note and read the Litany in full, with Washington in attendance.  Later that year our saint wrote and published a rebuttal to Thomas Paine’s Common Sense (1776).  New York Sons of Liberty burned copies of our saint’s text.  The following year, upon the death of Samuel Auchmuty, Rector of Trinity Church, Inglis became the rector of the parish.  Our saint had been de facto rector for a time in 1776-1777, when the ailing Auchmuty had taken time off.

Inglis married his second wife, Mary Crooke, in 1773.  The couple had four children:

  1. Charles Inglis (Jr.) (1774-1782), buried at Trinity Church, New York;
  2. Margaret Inglis (1775-1841), who, in 1799, married Sir Brenton Halliburton (1775-1860), who became the Chief Justice of Nova Scotia;
  3. Anne Inglis (1776-1827), who, in 1793, married George Pidgeon (1760-1818), a missionary priest in the Diocese of Nova Scotia; and
  4. John Inglis (1777-1850), who became a priest, his father’s assistant, and the third Bishop of Nova Scotia.

Inglis, who received two degrees from Oxford University (honorary Master of Arts, 1770; Doctor of Divinity, 1778), lost his wife, property, and parish in 1783.  Mary died; our saint buried her at Trinity Church.  Then, with the British Empire recognizing the fact that the United States (plural in those days) were not British via the Treaty of Paris of 1783, politics changed greatly in the former colonies.  American revolutionary governments seized the property of many Loyalists, including Inglis.  Furthermore, many Loyalists emigrated from former American colonies for various destinations in the British Empire.  Among those destinations were the maritime colonies of British North America.  Late in 1783 Inglis resigned from Trinity Church.  Then he and his children departed New York City for mother England.

Inglis lived in England for just a few years.  During that time he renewed his friendships with Samuel Seabury and Thomas Bradbury Chandler, for all three men were in London at the same time.  Seabury and Chandler, also Loyalists, eventually returned to the United States, for they made their peace with the revolution and found communities in which their politics were not insurmountable obstacles.  And, as I wrote at the beginning of this post, Inglis designed Seabury’s mitre.  Our saint also encouraged the Society for Propagating Christian Knowledge (SPCK) to translate The Book of Common Prayer (1662) into the Mohawk language.  In 1786, after Chandler, citing health problems, declined the offer to become the first Bishop of Nova Scotia, Inglis accepted the position.  The consecration occurred at Lambeth Palace on August 12, 1787.

Bishop Inglis presided over the Diocese of Nova Scotia, a vast territory spanning Ontario in west to the maritime colonies and Newfoundland and Labrador in the west to Bermuda even more to the west.  At the beginning of his episcopate the work was indeed daunting, for there was just one proper church building, that of St. Paul’s, Halifax.  Many colonists had little or no interest in organized religion.  Others, however, were Roman Catholics, Calvinists, and revivalists.  Inglis was critical of all of them.  Of dissenting Protestants he wrote:

Their wild notions are imbibed, which militate against both Church and State.  The minds of the people are hereby perverted against our excellent Church….For my part I shudder at the probable consequences of such a state of things, if continued.  I see in their embryo the same state which produced the subversion of Church and State in the time of Charles I.

Of revivalists he wrote:

Instantaneous conversion accompanied by strong bodily agitation, divine and immediate inspiration and even prophecy, with the impeccability of those who are once converted are among their favorite doctrines and pretensions.

Our saint, a man of the Anglican establishment, was equally critical of pre-Vatican II Roman Catholicism, labeling it an “intolerant sect.”  (To be fair, pre-Vatican II Roman Catholicism was also quite critical of Protestantism and Anglicanism.)

Inglis built up his see.  Although he expanded the Litany slightly to include civil officials in colonies, he insisted that priests otherwise follow The Book of Common Prayer (1662) to the letter.  He also oversaw the construction of more than 23 church buildings and visited congregations faithfully, confirming many people yet not converting the majority of the population to Anglicanism.  In 1789 our saint founded King’s College, Windsor, as a seminary.  Despite all his hard work, Inglis proved unable to fill all vacancies in missions.  That fact disturbed him.  In 1796 the bishop moved from Halifax, citing issues of climate and weather, and relocated to Clermont, a farm and orchard near Windsor.  And, in 1809, our saint joined His Majesty’s Council, ranking immediately after the Chief Justice.

Inglis worked closely with his youngest child, John Inglis (1777-1850).  The father ordained the son deacon in 1801 and priest the following year.  For 14 years John served at Aylesford, near Windsor.  During many of those years he served as his father’s assistant.  In 1807, at John’s urging, King’s College, Windsor, remaining a seminary, began to admit non-Anglicans, although subscription to the 39 Articles of Religion remained a requirement for earning a degree.

Inglis suffered a stroke in the summer of 1811.  He asked the Archbishop of Canterbury and other church leaders to appoint and consecrate John as the Bishop Coadjutor.  Our saint assumed that he would die soon; he survived until February 24, 1816, aged about 82 years, instead.  In 1812, however, eccelesiastical officialdom decided not to make John a bishop yet.  The stated reasons were the son’s inexperience and allegations of nepotism.  Neither did the church send another bishop until 1816.  The tenure of Robert Stanser, the second Bishop of Nova Scotia, was not a glorious age of church growth, for he spent 1817-1824 in England for health reasons before vacating the post.  Finally, in 1825, John Inglis, the Rector of St. Paul’s, Halifax, from 1816, became the third Bishop of Nova Scotia.  He served in that capacity for a quarter of a century.

Our saint’s published works (mostly sermons) included the following, apart from those to which I have provided links in this post already:

  1. An Essay on Infant Baptism:  In Which the Right of Infants to the Sacrament of Baptism, is Proved from Scripture, Vindicated from the Usual Objections, and Confirmed by the Practice of the First Four Centuries (1768);
  2. A Sermon on II Corinth. v. 6:  Occasioned by the Death of John Ogilvie, D.D., Assistant Minister of Trinity Church, New-York (1774);
  3. A Sermon Preached Before His Excellency of the Lieutenant Governor, His Majesty’s Council, and the House of Assembly, of the Province of Nova-Scotia:  in St. Paul’s Church at Halifax, on Sunday, November 25, 1787 (1787);
  4. A Charge Delivered to the Clergy of the Diocese of Nova Scotia, at the Primary Visitation Holden in the Town of Halifax, in the Month of June 1788 (1788);
  5. A Charge Delivered to the Clergy of the Province of Quebec, at the Primary Visitation:  Holden in the City of Quebec, in the Month of August 1789 (1789);
  6. A Charge Delivered to the Clergy of Nova-Scotia, at the Triennial Visitation Holden in the Town of Halifax, in the Month of June 1791 (1791);
  7. Steadfastness in Religion and Loyalty Recommended, in a Sermon Preached Before the Legislature of His Majesty’s Province of Nova-Scotia; in the Parish Church of St. Paul at Halifax, on Sunday, April 7, 1793 (1793);
  8. A Sermon Preached in the Parish Church of St. Paul at Halifax, on Friday, April 25, 1794:  Being the Day Appointed by Proclamation for a General Fast and Humiliation in His Majesty’s Province of Nova-Scotia (1794); and
  9. A Charge Delivered to the Clergy of the Diocese of Nova-Scotia at the Triennial Visitation:  Holden in the Months of June and August, 1803 (1803).

Useful sources of information about the bishop include the following:

  1. A Missionary Apostle:  A Sermon Preached in Westminster Abbey, Friday, August 12, 1887, on the Occasion of the Centenary of the Consecration of Charles Inglis, D.D., First Bishop of Nova Scotia (1887), by William Stephens Perry;
  2. A History of the Parish of Trinity Church in the City of New York, Part I:  To the Close of the Rectorship of Dr. Inglis, A.D. 1783 (1898), edited by Morgan Dix; and
  3. Leaders of the Canadian Church (1918), edited by William Bestal Heeney.

Charles Inglis did not hold political differences against those who opposed British rule.  Neither do I, an American, hold his Royalism against him.  He was an ecclesiastical pioneer, a proverbial giant upon whose shoulders others stand.  As the Bishop of Nova Scotia he sought the best interests of his diocese and the Kingdom of God.  Our saint was indeed a man people should continue to honor.








O God, our heavenly Father, who raised up your faithful servant Charles Inglis

to be a bishop and pastor in your Church and feed the 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

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


Feast of John Henry Hopkins, Jr., and John Henry Hopkins, III (August 13)   3 comments


Above:  The John Henry Hopkinses

Scan by Kenneth Randolph Taylor



Episcopal Priest and Hymnodist

uncle of


Episcopal Priest and Musician




In this post I use the suffixes “Sr.,” “Jr.,” and “III” for the sake of convenience and clarity.  Although one can find frequent listings of “John Henry Hopkins, Jr.” one can also find him listed in indices as “John Henry Hopkins (Jr.).”  Likewise, one might read simply of “John Henry Hopkins” in various sources.  He might be Sr. (the bishop) or the grandson, depending on the dates of his life.  I strive for clarity.




The Hopkins family has given much to The Episcopal Church.  These contributions began with one couple, John Henry Hopkins (Sr.) (1792-1868), and Melusina Muller (1795-1884).  Hopkins Sr., a native of Dublin, Ireland, had been an ironworker, a teacher, and an attorney prior to becoming a priest.  He was also a poet, painter, and architect.  Muller was a native of Hamburg, now in the Federal Republic of Germany.  They married in 1816 and had 13 children.  Their home nurtured artistic and literary excellence.  Among their children were John Henry Hopkins (Jr.) (1820-1891) and Theodore Austin Hopkins (1828-1889), father of John Henry Hobart (III) (1861-1945), the second saint in this post.

Hopkins Sr. was a major figure in The Episcopal Church in the 1800s.  He occupied the middle ground between the Low Church faction (Evangelicals) and the Anglo-Catholic wing of the church.  The theological and liturgical argument between them was the great ecclesiastical controversy of the day, with certain Evangelical Episcopalians going so far as to describe supporters of the Oxford Movement as being in league with Satan.  Hopkins Sr., although not an Evangelical Episcopalian, had the support of that party in the episcopal election in the Diocese of Pennsylvania in 1827.  Henry Ustick Onderdonk (1789-1858) won that election.  Hopkins Sr. became the Bishop of Vermont in 1832, serving until 1868.  From 1865 to 1868 he doubled as the Presiding Bishop of the national church.  He also helped The Episcopal Church to reunited rapidly after the end of the Civil War.  Unfortunately, he also defended slavery by quoting the Bible in writing in the 1850s and 1860s.  (Such defenses were, unfortunately, commonplace in the North, South, East, and West during the Antebellum period and the Civil War.)  Hopkins Sr.’s defenses of slavery, which he seemed not to have retracted, constituted the primary reason I decided not to add him to the Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days.  I have added some people to the Ecumenical Calendar despite such defenses, but other aspects of their lives outweighed this issue significantly.  I found no sufficient counterweight in the life of Hopkins Sr.


JOHN HENRY HOPKINS (JR.) (1820-1891)


John Henry Hopkins (Jr.), born at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on October 28, 1820, became a great hymnodist.  He graduated from the University of Vermont (A.B., 1839).  Next he worked as a reporter in New York City while studying law.  In 1842-1844 Hopkins Jr. lived in Savannah, Georgia, where he tutored the children of Stephen Elliott (1806-1866), who served as the first Bishop of Georgia from 1841 to 1866 and as the Presiding Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Confederate States of America from 1861 to 1866.  (Bishops Elliott and Hopkins Sr. were friends.)  Then Hopkins Jr. returned to the University of Vermont, from which he graduated with his M.A. in 1845.  After he graduated from the General Theological Seminary, New York, New York, in 1850, he joined the ranks of the Sacred Order of Deacons.

Hopkins Jr. contributed greatly to The Episcopal Church also.  In 1853 he founded the Church Journal, which he edited for 15 years.  He was also the first instructor of church music at the General Theological Seminary, teaching there from 1855 to 1857.  Hopkins Jr. also designed stained-glass windows, episcopal seals, and other ecclesiastical ornamenta.  He, ordained a priest in 1872, served as the Rector of Trinity Church, Plattsburg, New York, from 1872 to 1876 then of Christ Church, Williamsport, Pennsylvania, from 1876 to 1887.

Hopkins Jr. specialized in hymnody, composing both texts and tunes.  His hymn tunes included THREE KINGS OF ORIENT (for his most famous hymn, “We Three Kings of Orient Are“) and COME, HOLY GHOST.  An especially excellent text from 1863 was the following, for which our saint also composed the accompanying tune:

Alleluia!  Christ is risen today

From the tomb in the garden wherein he lay;

Shining angels raise their shout on high,

And on earth we exultingly make reply:

Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Amen.

Nature too, that, through long dreary gloom,

Lay embalmed in the shroud of her wintry tomb,

Rises now to meet her rising Lord,

And in myriad echo repeats word:

Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Amen.


See the streamlet burst its icy chain!

Leaping into sunlight it seeks the plain,

And its joy in liquid tones it tells

To the rocks and the woods and the winding dells:

Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Amen.

Giant pines, whose broad, up reaching arms

Bore the frosts and snows of the northern storms,

To the balmy breezes blowing now

Give a murmuring whisper on ev’ry bough:

Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Amen.


Little birds, that flew so far away,

Now return with a sweet, merry roundelay;

Through the shady grove, in soft refrain,

Lo, the voice of the turtle is heard again:

Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Amen.

In the old church-tower the swallows build,

And their nests with the tenderest young are filled;

And they join the chaunting when they hear

Both the organ and choir swelling loud and clear:

Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Amen.


Now the primrose greets the daffodil,

And the daisy is winking on every hill,

And the pansy drinks the light of day,

And the breath of the violet seems to say:

Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Amen.

Now the Rose of Sharon opens wide,

On the sunshiny banks of the mountain side;

And the lily of the valley blooms,

Filling every vale with its rich perfumes:

Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Amen.


While the fields are clothed in beauty rare,

Shall the altar of Jesus be cold and bare!

Shall the church no loving token show

That the Risen above is to rise below!

Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Amen.

Round the altar let bright flowers be seen,

With the fresh-budding branches of evergreen;

Let the earth, with us, her incense bring,

And the trees of the forest rejoice and sing:

Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Amen.

Our saint’s work in hymnody extended also to books.  His Carols, Hymns, and Songs went into three editions (1863, 1872, and 1882).  Hopkins Jr. also produced Canticles Noted with Accompanying Harmonies (1866), which also existed in multiple editions.  Various editors of hymnals found hymn texts in Poems by the Wayside (1883).  And in 1887, Hopkins Jr. edited Great Hymns of the Church, compiled by the late Bishop of Florida John Freeman Young (1820-1885).

Hopkins Jr., who never married, died at a friend’s home near Hudson, New York, on August 14, 1891.  A nephew, Charles Filkins Sweet, wrote a biography, A Champion of the Cross, Being the Life of John Henry Hopkins, S.T.D., Including Extracts and Selections from His Writings (1894).




Another nephew was John Henry Hopkins (III), born at Burlington, Vermont, on September 17, 1861.  His father was Theodore Austin Hopkins (1828-1889), a son of Hopkins Sr. and a brother of Hopkins Jr.   Theodore Austin Hopkins, an Episcopal priest, served as the principle of the Vermont Episcopal Institute, which Hopkins Sr. had founded, from 1860 to 1881, and married Alice Leavenworth Doolittle (1832-1904) in 1855.  Hopkins III graduated from the University of Vermont (A.B., 1883; D.D., 1906) and the General Theological Seminary (B.D., 1893).  He, a priest, ministered mostly in the midwestern United States.  The love of Hopkins III’s life was Marie Moulton Graves (1861-1933), whom he married in 1890.  He published her biography, The Life of Marie Moulton Graves, the Beloved Wife of John Henry Hopkins, and the Story of Their Life and Work Together (1934).  In 1906 he received an honorary degree from Western Theological Seminary.  Among his pastorates was the Church of the Redeemer, Chicago, Illinois, where he served from 1910 to 1929, and from which he retired.

Hopkins III was also a musician and a composer of hymn tunes.  From 1878 to 1890 he played the organ for various churches.  In 1888 he became the first organist at the General Theological Seminary.  Among his compositions were the components of the Communion Service in B-flat (1916) and the hymn tunes WESTERLY and GRAND ISLE, the latter of which is the tune for “I Sing a Song of the Saints of God.”  His final effort, which he considered the crowning joy of his long life, was work as a member of the Joint Commission on the Revision of the Hymnal (starting in 1937) and the Committee on Tunes for The Hymnal 1940, published in 1943.

Hopkins III’s other writings included the following:

  1. “Bible Lessons” in St. Andrew’s Cross (1895-1898);
  2. Articles in The Living Church;
  3. Germany’s World Ambitions and the Danger of a Prussianized Peace (1917);
  4. The Great Forty Years in the Diocese of Chicago, A.D. 1893 to A.D. 1934 (1936); and
  5. A Practical Course in Confirmation (1941).

Hopkins III retired to Grand Isle, Vermont, on Lake Champlain.  There he served at “The Lady Chapel” until he died on November 1, 1945.




The process of creating this post started long ago, when I wrote “John Henry Hopkins, Jr.” out of an index in The Pilgrim Hymnal (1931/1935).  That process began in earnest late his morning, when I examined the list of proposed saints with feast days in August and decided to read, take notes, and write about Hopkins Jr.  I consulted hymnals, hymnal companion volumes, and histories of The Episcopal Church before turning to the Internet.  Along the way I considered adding three John Henry Hopkinses to the Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, but decided upon two instead.

They are fine additions indeed.







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

thank you for those (especially John Henry Hopkins, Jr., and John Henry Hopkins, III)

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






Feast of Albert John Luthuli (July 21)   Leave a comment

Flag of South Africa 1994

Above:  The Flag of South Africa, 1994-Present

Image in the Public Domain



Witness for Civil Rights in South Africa

Albert John Luthuli struggled for civil rights in South Africa.  His life typified the sage counsel of the father of the Reverend Doctor Vernon Johns (1892-1965), predecessor of the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. (1939-1968), in Montgomery, Alabama:  when you see a good fight, get in it.

Our saint came from a Christian family.  His father, John Bunyan Lutuli, was a Seventh-day Adventist missionary.  Young Albert, born near Bulawayo, Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), in 1898, lost his father to death in 1908.  Luthuli and his mother, Mtonya Gumede, moved to her hometown, Groutville, in Natal, our saint’s uncle, Martin Lutuli, was the chief of the Christian Zulus in the area.  Martin had ties to the U.S. Congregationalist mission in the province.  Mtonya, a washerwoman, helped to put her son through Adams College, the U.S. Congregationalist institution of higher learning at Adams, near Durban.  Luthuli, who had become a Methodist, joined the faculty.  He was one of three African instructors at Adams College.

Luthuli worked as an educator.  In 1927 the instructor married Nokukhanya Bhengu, also a teacher.  Our saint, who also encouraged missions, advocated for a liberal arts education (not just a technical one) for Africans.  He became the Secretary of the African Teachers Association in 1928 and the President thereof five years later.  Also in 1933 tribal elders asked Luthuli to succeed his uncle as chief.  He finally accepted the offer three years later, after much consideration.

Luthuli joined the African National Congress (ANC) in 1945.  His roles and responsibilities in the organization increased until December 1952, when he became the President-General of the ANC.  His vocal opposition to Apartheid brought him into conflict with the national, White minority government.  Although that government had deposed him as chief in November 1952, he remained the de facto chief.  Upon the event of his dismissal as chief our saint issued a statement, “The Road to Freedom is Via the Cross.”  Luthuli was also a banned person from 1952 to 1956.  In 1956, after an ANC conference, the national government charged him and many others with treason.  A court acquitted everyone in 1961.  Luthuli, a banned person again from 1959 until his death, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1960.  His journey to Oslo and back in 1961 was a brief respite from his enforced isolation.

Being a banned person took its toll on Luthuli.  He suffered from discouragement, high blood pressure, and a stroke.  He died near his home on July 21, 1967, after a train struck him.

In a scene from Cry Freedom (1987) White liberal newspaper editor Donald Woods (1933-2001) speaks with a member of the cabinet.  The government minister explains that he fears what might happen to White South Africans should Apartheid end.  I contend, however, that fear of the potential negative consequences of ceasing oppression is not a moral justification for continuing to oppress people.  In fact, persisting in oppression is counterproductive.  It is like being concerned about a pot of boiling water spilling out onto an oven range yet turning up the heat anyway.  That which we do to others, we do also to ourselves; this is a moral law of the universe.

Luthuli understood all this well.  His political involvement had its origin in his faith:

My own urge because I am a Christian is to get into the thick of the struggle with other Christians, taking my Christianity with me and praying that it may be used to influence for good the character of the resistance.

I wonder how that sounded to his oppressors, many of whom belonged to the Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa, which quoted the Bible to defend Apartheid until 1992.  I wonder how Luthuli’s presence affected those who enforced his isolation.  I wonder how the work of enforcing that isolation damaged the souls of those who engaged in it.  In the case of oppression there are oppressors and victims–and only victims, for nobody can oppress another without harming himself or herself spiritually.







Eternal God, we thank you for the witness of Chief Luthuli, Nobel Laureate for Peace,

who was sustained by his Christian faith as he led the struggle against Apartheid in South Africa.

Strengthen us, after his example, to make no peace with oppression and to witness boldly for

our Deliverer, Jesus Christ, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns,

one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Numbers 20:9-11

Psalm 122

Ephesians 2:12-17

John 16:25-33

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 479


Feast of Elizabeth Ferard (July 18)   1 comment

Elizabeth Ferard

Above:  Elizabeth Ferard

Image in the Public Domain



First Deaconess in The Church of England

Sometimes that which seems new is merely a revival of something quite odd.  Hence that which is new is more traditional than the status quo.

Such was the case with the revival of the ancient order of deaconesses in Lutheran and Anglican/Episcopal denominations in the 1800s.  I have read a portion of the Lutheran side of this history in Frederick S. Weiser, Love’s Response:  A Story of Lutheran Deaconesses in America (Philadelphia, PA:  The Board of Publication of The United Lutheran Church in America, 1962).  According to Robert Prichard, A History of The Episcopal Church (Harrisburg, PA:  Morehouse Publishing, 1999), The Episcopal Church revived the order in 1889.  Other denominations, such as various Methodist bodies and The United Church of Canada, also resurrected the order.  In recent decades, with the ordination of women to orders formerly restricted to men in many denominations, the female diaconate has faded and folded into regular ministerial orders in a host of denominations.  In The Episcopal Church, for example, the female diaconate merged with the formerly exclusively male diaconate in the 1970s.  Nevertheless, the order of deaconesses provided many faithful women with opportunities to serve God and their fellow human beings in the 1800s and 1900s.

The listing for our saint in Common Worship:  Services and Prayers for the Church of England (2000) reads:

Elizabeth Ferard, first Deaconess of the Church of England, Founder of the Community of St. Andrew, 1883.

Elizabeth Catherine Ferard, born in London, England, United Kingdom, on February 22, 1825, had a vocation to care for people.  Her father, Daniel Ferard (1788-1839), was a solicitor.  Our saint’s mother, an invalid, died in 1858.  Ferard, who had provided care for her mother, received support from Archibald Campbell Tait (1811-1882), the Bishop of London, in pursuing her vocation.  He sent her to Germany, to visit Lutheran deaconesses.  More encouragement and assistance came from Thomas Pelham Dale (1821-1892), a priest who went on to suffer incarceration for his ritualism in 1880-1881, as part of the anti-ritualist policy of Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881).  In 1861, with Tait’s support, Ferard and Dale founded the North London Deaconess Institution (later renamed the Diocesan Deaconess Institution then the Community of St. Andrew), based on a monastic model.  Our saint was one of three original members.  On July 18, 1862 (hence her feast day in The Church of England), Ferard became the first deaconess in The Church of England and the Anglican Communion.  She worked among the poor of London as a teacher and a nurse.  Although health issues forced her to resign as the leader of the order in 1873, she operated a home for convalescing children after that year and before her death at London on Easter Sunday, April 18, 1883.

The poor will always be with us.  That statement is true and accurate for a host of reasons, but it provides no moral cover for throwing up one’s hands in discouragement or claiming that, because we cannot solve the problem, we must nor or will not do anything to address it.  After all, the commandments to love God as we love ourselves and to behave toward others as we want them to act toward us apply.  Furthermore, whenever we help “the least of these” we serve Jesus, and whenever we do not aid “the least of these” we do not serve Jesus.

Elizabeth Ferard served Jesus ably.







Almighty God, we praise you for your servant Elizabeth Catherine Ferard,

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 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 for ever.  Amen.

Jeremiah 1:4-10

Psalm 46

1 Corinthians 3:11-23

Mark 10:35-45

–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 60


Feast of Samson Occom (July 14)   Leave a comment

Samson Occom

Above:  Samson Occom

Image in the Public Domain


SAMSON OCCOM (1723-JULY 14, 1792)

U.S. Presbyterian Missionary to Native Americans

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), the guide to the calendar of saints of The Episcopal Church, lists our saint as Samuel Occum and describes him as a “Witness to the Faith in New England.”  “Occum” is one spelling of his last name, but the most common spelling I found is “Occom,” which I use in this post.

Samson Occom, born near New London, Connecticut, in 1723, was a member of the Mohegan nation.  By the age of sixteen, during the (First) Great Awakening, young Samson had become a Christian.  From 1743 to 1747 he studied at the Latin School of Eleazar Wheelock (1711-1779), a Congregationalist minister.  For the following two years our saint worked with the Revered Solomon Williams at New London.  Next Occom taught and preached to the Pequots on Long Island.  He also married Mary Fowler, a local woman, and helped members of the tribe adapt to the presence of Europeans.

Occom became the first Native American minister.  He, ordained by the Presbyterians in 1759, received a stipend from the Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge.  The promise of remuneration equal to that of White ministers never became reality, so he lived in poverty for much of his life.  Our saint traveled among and preached to members of the Iroquois nations in 1761-1763, with little success.  Then, in 1763, he settled at Mohecan, near New London, and began to teach.

Wheelock had founded a school for Native Americans at Lebanon, Connecticut, in 1754.  At his request Occom traveled in Great Britain in 1766-1767 to raise funds from wealthy donors for that institution.  Wheelock had promised that he would take care of our saint’s wife and children during Occom’s absence.  Our saint returned from a successful fundraising trip to learn that Wheelock had failed to keep that promise.  Wheelock also relocated to New Hampshire and founded Dartmouth College, for Englishmen, in 1769.

The double-crossed Occom struggled with the government of Connecticut regarding lack of payment for land Mohegans had sold.  Eventually he and many fellow Mohegans moved to upstate New York.  There Occom, Joseph Johnson (his son-in-law), and David Fowler (his brother-in-law) founded Brothertown, near Waterville.  Later Christian Mohicans founded New Stockbridge, near Oneida Lake, New York.  Our saint helped to secure civil charters for these settlements in 1787.

Occom died at Brothertown on July 14, 1792.







God, Great Spirit, whose breath gives life to the world and whose voice thunders in the wind:

We thank you for your servant Samson Occum, strong preacher and teacher among the Mohegan people;

and we pray that we, cherishing his example, may love learning and by love build up the communities

into which you send us, and on all our paths walk in beauty with Jesus Christ;

who with you and the Holy Spirit, is alive and reigns, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) 14:20-27

Psalm 29

Acts 10:30-38

Luke 8:16-21

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 463


Feast of Bartolome de Las Casas (July 18)   1 comment


Above:  Portrait of Bartolome de Las Casas

Image in the Public Domain


BARTOLOME DE LAS CASAS (1474/1484-JULY 18, 1566)

“Apostle to the Indians”




My background reading for this post included sources with diametrically opposed understandings of Bartolome de Las Casas.  He was imperfect, to be sure, but he was hardly the bete noir some have depicted him as being or the increasingly intolerant man of conscience of whom I read at the New Advent website.  (He was increasingly intolerant of slavery.  How is that a vice?)  I have concluded that The Church of England was correct to decide to celebrate his life, with a feast day of July 20.  Henry Irving Louttit, Jr., the Ninth (Episcopal) Bishop of Georgia, said in my presence while he was still the Rector of Christ Episcopal Church, Valdosta, Georgia, in the early 1990s that one can find a reason not to think of any given saint as a saint, and that such nitpicking was not a helpful endeavor.  What really mattered, Louttit argued, was whether one considered a saint was a person of God, especially at the end.  (That is also the point of view of Thomas J. Craughwell, author of Saints Behaving Badly:  The Cutthroats, Crooks, Trollops, Con Men, and Devil Worshippers Who Became Saints, 2006.)  The Episcopal Church, which maintains a calendar of saints without canonizing anyone formally, has established a set of standards by which to evaluate proposed saints.  Among them are significance, memorability, perspective, and Christian discipleship.  That denomination has decided to celebrate the life of Las Casas on July 18.  Likewise, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) have decided to remember him on July 17.




Bartolome de Las Casas changed much during his lifetime.  He, a native of Seville, Castille and Leon, came from nobility.  His father, Francisco Casas, returned from the second voyage (1493-1496) of Christopher Columbus with an Indian boy, who became our saint’s servant.  Las Casas studied law and theology at the University of Salamanca then practiced law.  In 1502 he sailed to the Spanish Antilles to begin work as an advisor to the government there.  Eight years later, at Santo Domingo, Las Casas became the first Roman Catholic priest ordained in the Americas.  Then the direction of his life changed.

Our saint came under the influence of Antonio de Montesinos, a Dominican friar and the first Spaniard to preach against Spanish cruelty to indigenous people in the Americas.  Las Casas accompanied Diego Velasquez’s expedition to Cuba in 1511-1512 and tried in vain to prevent the massacre of natives at Caonas.  The Spanish Empire employed a system called repartimiento, the allotment of encomiendas, or slaves to Spanish landowners for forced labor.  Defenders of this arrangement cited economic necessity and public safety as justifications for it.  In 1514 Las Casas, having concluded that this system was evil, renounced his rights within it and encouraged others to follow his example.  Then he commenced his decades-long effort devoted to the abolition of repartimiento.

This work began in Spain in 1515, when Las Casas spoke to King Ferdinand V of Castille and Leon (reigned 1474-1516)/Ferdinand II of Castille (reigned 1506-1516), “Ferdinand the Catholic.”  The monarch was a power-hungry and unscrupulous figure, so that stage in the great work failed.  In 1516, however, Cardinal Jimenes de Cisneros, the regent, appointed Las Casas to lead a commission to inquire as to the best way to alleviate the injustices inflicted upon the native peoples by Spanish settlers and conquistadors.  Our saint returned to Hispaniola,  While there he found the zeal of his fellow commissioners lacking.  In 1517 he returned to Spain.  King Charles I (reigned 1518-1556)/Holy Roman Emperor Charles V (1519-1556) was struggling to gain recognition for his claim to the throne.  There was a regency in place, however, and our saint spoke to people in power to make decisions.  He proposed an end to slavery for native peoples.  (That was good.)  To replace that slave labor force Las Casas proposed African slaves.  He disavowed that recommendation shortly thereafter and spent the rest of his life making apologies for it.  No part of this proposal bore fruit.  Our saint was able, however, to obtain royal approval for the founding of a model colony (without slave labor) at Cumana, on the coast of Venezuela.  That colony failed in 1521, due to the violence of conquistadors.  Powerful economic and military interests defended the enslavement of indigenous peoples tenaciously.

The effort continued.  In 1522 Las Casas entered the Dominican Order and the monastery at Santo Domingo.  There he wrote History of the Indies (published in 1875-1876), an account of early Spanish colonies in the Americas.  Our saint returned to Spain in 1530 and obtained a royal decree forbidding the enforcement of slavery in Peru.  He delivered it to Peru in person.  Circa 1535 Las Casas wrote The Only True Method of Attracting All People to the True Religion, in which he argued that preaching and good example, not enslavement, should be the first step in the process of converting Indians.  Next, in 1537-1538, our saint converted the fierce Tuzutlan tribe of Guatemala to Roman Catholicism.  He also changed the name of their territory from Tierra de Guerra (“Land of War”) to Vera Pax (“True Peace”).  The Dominican Order sent Las Casas to Spain to gather recruits in 1539.  At that time he wrote A Brief Account of the Destruction of the Indies (published in 1552).

On November 20, 1542, the New Laws took effect.  They were not all that Las Casas wanted, but they were more than many settlers considered wise.  The New Laws, prior to amendments which made them useless, were supposed to be the beginning of the end of the repartimeinto system.  Our saint, having declined to become the Bishop of Cuzco, in Peru, in 1542, became the Bishop of Chiapas, in Mexico, in 1544.  His tenure (1544-1547) was difficult, for he had to contend with constant opposition (related to the New Laws) from clergy, laymen, and authorities.  Our saint even refused absolution of sins to anyone who refused to free his Indian slaves.

Las Casas left the Americas for the last time in 1547.  He returned to Spain, where he spent most of the rest of his life living in monasteries.  In 1550 and 1551 our saint debated famed scholar and theologian Gines de Sepulveda in public on the topic of the enslavement and destruction of indigenous peoples.  Four years later, in 1555, Las Casas followed Prince Philip, soon to become King Philip II (reigned 1556-1598), to England, to prevent colonists from winning royal approval of the perpetual slavery of Indians.  Our saint died at Atocha Monastery, Madrid, on July 18, 1566.  The struggle against slavery in the Spanish Empire continued.




The designated collect from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010) emphasizes modern slavery.  That is appropriate, for Las Casas opposed slavery in his day.  One might think of religious-based slavery in Africa.  That practice is evil, I agree, but stopping there might lead one far away from Africa to think,

What can I do about that?

and do nothing else.  I live in Athens-Clarke County, Georgia, on the outskirts of the Metropolitan Atlanta Region.  (To be precise, I live just a few miles from part of the eastern border of that region.)   Southeast of my location is Atlanta, a hub of human trafficking.  Even closer to home, human trafficking is a problem in Athens-Clarke County.  The life of Las Casas challenges me to ask myself what I might do to resist slavery just a few miles from my front door.  As for religious-based slavery in Africa, certain organizations fight that evil.  They need support.

Evil, supported by powerful economic, political, and military interests and frequently dressed up in the attire of morality, surrounds us.  We cannot fight all of it successfully or partially so, but we can do our part.  God, I suppose, does not really need we mere mortals.  God is omnipotent, correct?  Yet we, I have heard, are God’s hands and feet.  Will I–will you, O reader, in the words of the Baptismal Covenant in The Book of Common Prayer (1979),

…seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself?


…strive for for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?

–Page 305

One of the great difficulties of timeless principles is that many people who agree to them differ when the question becomes how best to apply them.  If, for example, one accepts the proposition that one person’s rights end at the edge of the other person’s nose, how does one resolve the conflict of these two sets of rights?  May each of us, by grace, succeed in bringing honor to God and in respecting the dignity of every human being as we navigate and shape the circumstances of life.








Eternal God, we give you thanks for the witness of Bartolome de las Casas,

whose deep love for your people caused him to refuse absolution to those who would not free their Indian slaves.

Help us, inspired by his example, to work and pray for the freeing of all enslaved people of our world,

for the sake of Jesus Christ, our Redeemer; who lives and reigns with you

and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Isaiah 59:14-20

Psalm 52

Philemon 8-16

Matthew 10:26-31

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 469