Feast of Maltbie Davenport Babcock (May 18)   3 comments

Above:  Maltbie Davenport Babcock

Image in the Public Domain

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

MALTBIE DAVENPORT BABCOCK (AUGUST 3, 1858-MAY 18, 1901)

U.S. Presbyterian Minister, Humanitarian, and Hymn Writer

Maltbie Davenport Babcock was the kind of person people have in mind when they say the good die young.

Babcock, a native of Syracuse, New York, was talented.  He, born on August 3, 1858, came from a socially prominent family.  From an early age he was a fine student, athlete, and musician with a magnetic personality.  Our saint was a natural leader.  At Syracuse University, where Babcock matriculated in 1875, he was a skilled organist, pianist, and vocalist.

Babcock became a minister.  After graduating from Auburn Theological Seminary in 1882, our saint began to serve as the pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Lockport, New York.  There he liked to walk in the nature, to, in his words, to see his Father’s world.  This was consistent with the Reformed idea of the Book of Nature.  At Lockport Babcock composed a poem, “My Father’s World,” which his widow, Katherine Eliot Tallman Babcock (1857-1943), whom he had married in 1882, had published in 1901, after his untimely death.

This is my Father’s world.

On the day of its wondrous birth

The stars of light in phalanx bright

Sang out in Heavenly mirth.

+++++

This is my Father’s world.

E’en yet to my listening ears

All nature sings, and around me rings

The music of the spheres.

+++++

This is my Father’s world.

I rest me in the thought

Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas,

His hand the wonders wrought.

+++++

This is my Father’s world.

The birds their carols raise,

The morning light, the lily white,

Declare their maker’s praise.

+++++

This is my Father’s world.

He shines in all that’s fair.

In the rustling grass I hear Him pass,

He speaks to me everywhere.

+++++

This is my Father’s world.

From His eternal throne,

He watch doth keep when I’m asleep,

And I am not alone.

+++++

This is my Father’s world.

Dreaming, I see His face.

I ope my eyes, and in glad surprise

Cry, “The Lord is in this place.”

+++++

This is my Father’s world.

I walk a desert lone.

In a bush ablaze to my wondering gaze

God makes His glory known.

+++++

This is my Father’s world.

Among the mountains drear,

‘Mid rending rocks and earthquake shocks,

The still, small voice I hear.

+++++

This is my Father’s world.

From the shining courts above,

The Beloved One, His only Son,

Came–a pledge of deathless love.

+++++

This is my Father’s world.

Now closer to Heaven bound,

For dear to God is the earth Christ trod,

No place but is holy ground.

+++++

This is my Father’s world.

His love has filled my breast,

I am reconciled, I am His child,

My soul has found His rest.

+++++

This is my Father’s world.

A wanderer I may roam,

Whate’er my lot, it matters not,

My heart is still at home.

+++++

This is my Father’s world.

O let me ne’er forget

That tho’ the wrong seems oft so strong,

God is the ruler yet.

+++++

This is my Father’s world.

The battle is not done.

Jesus who died shall be satisfied,

And earth and Heaven be one.

+++++

This is my Father’s World.

Should my heart be ever sad?

The Lord is King–let the Heavens ring

God reigns–let the earth be glad.

–Quoted in Thoughts for Every-Day Living (1901), pages 180-182

This text became the source material for the hymn “This is My Father’s World,” set to music in 1915.

Our saint became a rising star among Presbyterian ministers.  From 1886 to 1900 Babcock was pastor of Brown Memorial Presbyterian Church, Baltimore, Maryland.  There he became a popular speaker on university campuses.  Our saint also raised funds to help Russian Jewish refugees fleeing Czarist pogroms.  In 1900 Babcock succeeded the great Henry Van Dyke (1852-1933), another hymn writer, as pastor of The Brick Presbyterian Church, New York City.  Babcock made a journey to the Holy Land the following year.  On that trip he died of natural causes at Naples, Italy, on May 18.  He was 42 years old.

I wonder what more Babcock would have done for God had he lived longer.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

OCTOBER 28, 2017 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS SIMON AND JUDE, APOSTLES AND MARTYRS

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

Maltbie Davenport Babcock and others, who have composed 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

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Advertisements

3 responses to “Feast of Maltbie Davenport Babcock (May 18)

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Pingback: Feast of Henry Van Dyke (April 10) | SUNDRY THOUGHTS

  2. Pingback: Devotion for Christ the King Sunday, Year B (Humes) | ORDINARY TIME DEVOTIONS

  3. Pingback: God is the Ruler Yet III | BLOGA THEOLOGICA

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: