Feast of John David Chambers (August 22)   1 comment

Above:  Salisbury Cathedral from the Bishop’s Grounds, by John Constable

Image in the Public Domain

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JOHN DAVID CHAMBERS (1805-AUGUST 22, 1893)

Anglican Hymn Writer and Translator

John David Chambers comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via The Methodist Hymnal (1966).  Hymnary.org lists five hymn texts he translated and fifteen he wrote.   That website also lists him as the composer of one hymn tune.

Hymns are sung theology, whether they be proverbial oceans, tide pools, of something in-between.  Therefore, those who write or translate hymns play a crucial role in ecclesiastical and spiritual life.

Chambers, son of a captain in the Royal Navy, debuted in London, England, in 1805.  Our saint graduated from Oriel College, Oxford, with honors in 1827.  After graduating from Oriel College with his M. A., in 1831, he joined the Bar at the Inner Temple that year.  He specialized in ecclesiastical law.  Early on, he wrote and published the following:

  1. A Complete Dictionary of the Law and Practice of the Election of a Member of Parliament (1837), and
  2. A Practical Treatise on the Jurisdiction of the High Court of Chancery (1842).

In 1842, Chambers became the Recorder of New Sarum (Salisbury).  At Salisbury, our saint studied ecclesiastical and liturgical Rules, especially those of St. Osmund of Salisbury (d. 1099), Bishop of Salisbury from 1078 to 1099.  These Rules and Divine Offices, with adaptations, spread throughout England, Wales, and Ireland during the ensuing centuries.  Our saint also translated and published the following works:

  1. A Review of the Gorham Case (1850);
  2. The Psalter, or Seven Ordinary Hors of Sarum, with Hymns for the Year, and the Variations of the York and Hereford Breviaries (1852);
  3. An Order of Household Devotion for a Week, with Variations for the Seasons and Festivals, from the Ancient English of Sarum Use (1854);
  4. A Companion for Holy Communion for Clergy or Laity; with a Prefatory Office for Confession from the Ancient English Offices for Sarum Use (1855);
  5. Strictures, Legal and Historical, on the Judgment of the Consistory Court of London, in December 1855, in the Case of Westerton Versus Liddell, Containing a Complete Exposition of Law and Fact on the Subjects in Dispute (1856);
  6. The Encheiridion; or, Book of Daily Devotion of the Ancient Christian Church According to Sarum Use (1860);
  7. Lauda Syon, Ancient Latin Hymns of the English and Other Churches, Translated into Corresponding Metres (1857, 1866);
  8. Divine Worship in England in the 13th and 14th Centuries, Contrasted with and Adapted to That in the Nineteenth (1877); and
  9. The Theological and Philosophical Works of Hermes Trismegestus, Christian Platonist (1882).

Much of our saint’s research and published works contributed to the Oxford Movement in The Church of England and the wider Anglican Communion.

Chambers, aged about 88 years, died in Westminster, London, England, on August 22, 1893.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

FEBRUARY 13, 2021 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS AQUILA, PRISCILLA, AND APOLLOS, COWORKERS OF SAINT PAUL THE APOSTLE

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

thank you for those (especially John David Chambers)

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 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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One response to “Feast of John David Chambers (August 22)

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  1. Very interesting! Also…I have this print framed (for over twenty years now) and on my wall…one of my favorites! c

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