Feast of John Scrimger (August 7)   2 comments

Scrimger

Above:  John Scrimger

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

Accessed via newspapers.com

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JOHN SCRIMGER (FEBRUARY 10, 1849-AUGUST 6, 1915)

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).

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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.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

THE FEAST OF SAINTS BOSA OF YORK, JOHN OF BEVERLEY, WILFRID THE YOUNGER, AND ACCA OF HEXHAM, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS

THE FEAST OF SAINT CATHERINE OF SIENA, ROMAN CATHOLIC NUN

THE FEAST OF TIMOTHY REES, ANGLICAN BISHOP OF LLANDAFF

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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

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 27, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT JAMES INTERCISUS, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYR

THE FEAST OF HENRY SLOANE COFFIN, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN THEOLOGIAN

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2 responses to “Feast of John Scrimger (August 7)

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  1. Pingback: Lord, Who Shall Come to Thee | GATHERED PRAYERS

  2. Pingback: 3.5 Sunday is Yesterday – andy-luke.com

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