Archive for the ‘Saints of the 1750s’ Category

Feast of Franz Joseph Haydn and Michael Haydn (March 30)   Leave a comment

model-of-st-stephens-cathedral-vienna

Above:  Model of St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Vienna, Austria

Image in the Public Domain

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FRANZ JOSEPH HAYDN (MARCH 31, 1732-MAY 31, 1809)

brother of

JOHANN MICHAEL HAYDN (SEPTEMBER 14, 1737-AUGUST 10, 1806)

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Composers

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The Haydn brothers (Franz Joseph and Johann Michael, often billed as “Michael Haydn”) were great composers.  They were two of twelve children of Mathias Haydn (a wheelwright and an amateur harpist) and Anna Marie Koller, of Rohrau, Austria.  The family was of German and Austrian peasant origin.

franz-joseph-haydn

Above:  Franz Joseph Haydn

Image in the Public Domain

The two brothers sang in the choir at St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Vienna; their tenures overlapped for three years.  Franz Joseph joined the choir at the age of seven years; he studied singing, learned to play the harpsichord and the violin, and was a soprano soloist.  Then, in 1749, his voice changed and he left the choir.  Johann Michael succeeded him as soloist and remained in the choir until 1755, having spent a decade there.

johann-michael-haydn

Above:  (Johann) Michael Haydn

Image in the Public Domain

From 1749 to 1757 Franz Joseph engaged in a series of youthful escapades and began to compose.  Among his influences were Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1714-1788).  Franz Joseph’s early compositions, some of which have not survived (at least not to our knowledge) included two Masses.

1757 was an important year in the lives of the brothers Haydn.  Franz Joseph spent the summer composing at Wenzinel Castle (near Melk), the property of Count Carl Joseph von Furnberg, of Austria.  Johann Michael became the kappelmeister at the cathedral at Grosswardein, serving for five years.

From 1759 to 1761 Franz Joseph worked as the music director to Count Ferdinand Maximilian Morzun, who had a summer castle at Lukavec, Bohemia.  On November 26 Franz Joseph married Maria Anna Keller.  The union was an unhappy and childless one.

Franz Joseph worked under the patronage of Esterhazys from 1761 to 1790.  In 1761 he became the assistant kappelmeister of the court orchestra of Prince Paul Anton Esterhazy.  The following year the Prince died.  Prince Nicolaus Joseph “the Magnificent” Esterhazy, a great patron of the arts, supported Haydn.  After Nicolaus Joseph died in 1790, Franz Joseph received a pension.  Among the composer’s students was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, starting in 1781.

Johann Michael lived and worked in Salzburg from 1762 until 1806, when he died.  At first he was the orchestral conductor to the Prince-Archbishop of Salzburg.  Later the composer added organist responsibilities at St. Peter’s Church to his duties.  In time Johann Michael traded organist responsibilities at St. Paul’s Church for those duties at St. Rupert’s Cathedral, Salzburg.  He married Maria Magdalena Lipp (1745-1827).  The couple had one child, a daughter who died in infancy.

Franz Joseph spent most of the remaining 19 years (1790-1809) of his life living in Vienna; he also traveled, as he did to London more than once.  Among his pupils was Ludwig von Beethoven, starting in 1790.

In the 1700s and early 1800s conventional wisdom held that Johann Michael was the better composer of the two.  Franz Joseph agreed, at least with regard to sacred works.  Franz Joseph was no slouch musically; he composed operas, symphonies, sacred works, songs, cantatas, concertos, and various instrumental works.  He also perfected the early symphonic form and invented the modern string quartet.  Among his sacred works were the Mass in Time of War (1796) and The Creation (1798), the latter work containing the great chorus “The Heavens are Telling.”  He died at Vienna on May 31, 1809, aged 77 years.

Johann Michael, composer of the Requiem (1771) and the Missa a due cori (1786), influenced Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Carl Maria von Weber.

Johann Michael’s reputation has had its ups and downs since his death.  His reputation as a composer has declined overall since 1806, just as his elder brother’s reputation as a composer has improved.  Johann Michael’s drinking problem has affected his personal reputation negatively.  The author of the article about him in the old Catholic Encyclopedia wrote in a judgmental tone, for example.  On the other hand, the scientific understanding of addiction has challenged old moralistic notions based on inaccurate assumptions regarding willpower.

Even church musicians and composers of sacred works have personal problems with which they wrestle.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

FEBRUARY 7, 2017 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF HELDER CAMARA, ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP OF OLINDA AND RECIFE

THE FEAST OF SAINT ADALBERT NIERYCHLEWSKI, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND MARTYR

THE FEAST OF MITCHELL J. DAHOOD, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND BIBLICAL SCHOLAR

THE FEAST OF SAINT MOSES, APOSTLE TO THE SARACENS

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Eternal God, light of the world and Creator of all that is good and lovely:

We bless your name for inspiring Franz Joseph Haydn, Johann Michael Haydn,

and all those who with music have filled us with desire and love for you;

through Jesus Christ our Savior, who with you and the Holy Spirit

lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

1 Chronicles 29:14b-19

Psalm 90:14-17

2 Corinthians 3:1-3

John 21:15-17, 24-25

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 728

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Feast of Johann Sebastian Bach, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, and Johann Christian Bach (March 21)   1 comment

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Above:  St. Thomas’s Church, Leipzig

Image in the Public Domain

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JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH (MARCH 21, 1685-JULY 28, 1750)

father of

CARL PHILIPP EMANUEL BACH (MARCH 8, 1714-DECEMBER 14, 1788)

half-brother of

JOHANN CHRISTIAN BACH (SEPTEMBER 5, 1735-JANUARY 1, 1782)

Composers

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Johann Sebastian Bach is an officially recognized saint on several calendars.  The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod and The Lutheran Church–Canada assign him the feast day of July 28, without any other composers.  The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada designate July 28 as the feast day for not only J. S. Bach but also Heinrich Schutz and George Frederick Handel.  The Episcopal Church, in A Great Cloud of Witnesses (2016), assigns July 28 to J. S. Bach, George Frederick Handel, and Henry Purcell.  Robert Ellsberg, All Saints:  Daily Reflections on Saints, Prophets, and Witnesses for Our Time (1997), celebrates the life of J. S. Bach on March 21.

For generations certain members of the Bach family were distinguished in creative endeavors, mostly in music.  I have chosen to focus on three of these Bachs–a father and two of his sons.

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JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH (1685-1750)

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Image in the Public Domain

Johann Sebastian Bach, born at Eisenach on March 21, 1685, was the youngest child of Elizabeth Lammerhirt (1644-1694) and Johann Ambrosious Bach (1645-1695), a string player.  In 1695 the orphaned J. S. Bach moved in with his eldest brother, Johann Christoph Bach (1671-1721), the organist at St. George’s Church, Eisenach, and a former pupil of Johann Pachelbel.  Johann Christoph Bach also taught his youngest brother to play keyboard instruments.  J. S. Bach, who joined the boys’ choir at St. Michael’s Church, Luneburg, in 1700, studied music in the school library there.  By 1702 he was apparently a skilled organist at Sangerhausen.  Johann Sebastian did not get that job, but he did join the ducal orchestra at Weimar the following year.  Later he became the organist at St. Boniface’s Church, Arnstadt.

Life changed for J. S. Bach in 1707.  That year he became the organist at St. Blasius, Muhlhausen.  He also married Maria Barbara Bach (1694-1720).  The couple went on to have seven children, including Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1714-1788).  J. S. Bach resigned his position at Muhlhausen in 1708 and accepted a new job as the court organist at Weimar.  In 1714 J. S. Bach became the concert master, with the responsibility of composing a cantata each month.  Two years later, a less qualified man became the kappelmeister, a position J. S. Bach wanted, at Weimar.  Our discontented saint departed the court in 1717.  He became the kappelmeister at Kothen, serving until 1723.  Maria Barbara died suddenly on July 4, 1720.  J. S. Bach married his second wife, Anna Magadalena Wilcken (1701-1760), on December 3, 1721.  The couple went on to have 13 children, including Johann Christian Bach (1735-1795).

In 1723 J. S. Bach accepted the position of cantor at Thomas’s Church, Lepizig.  His responsibilities included composing, teaching, and leading music, as well as providing musicians for that and three other congregations (New Church, St. Peter’s Church, and St. Nicholas’s Church).  From 1729 to 1737 and 1739 to 1741 J. S. Bach directed the Collegium Musicum, founded by Telemann in 1704, at Leipzig.  In 1736 he became the court composer at Leipzig.  Later in life J. S. Bach spent much time traveling; some of the time he was in the court of Frederick II “the Great” of Prussia, in Berlin.

J. S. Bach died, nearly blind and aged 65 years, at Leipzig on July 28, 1750.  His final act was to dictate “Before Thy Throne I Come.”

For J. S. Bach composing music, whether overtly sacred or not, was an act of praising God, not of glorifying himself.  He composed thousands of works yet saw only ten of them published.  Some of his compositions, unfortunately, have not survived to today.  J. S. Bach, a Lutheran church musician, became engaged in arguments regarding music with some Pietistic Lutherans, who thought that his music was too elaborate.  (Pietists!)  Most of our saint’s compositions remained forgotten until the 1800s.  In 1829 Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) started a J. S. Bach revival.  J. S. Bach’s compositions included cantatas, motets, Latin liturgical works, Passions, oratorios, chorales, chamber music, orchestral music, canons, works for keyboard instruments, and works for the lute.  Among his greatest sacred works were the St. Matthew Passion, the St. John Passion, the Christmas Oratorio, the Mass in B Minor, and the Cantata #80. (I prefer a modern performance of the latter work; period instruments do not blow the roof off the building, so to speak.)

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CARL PHILIPP EMANUEL BACH (1714-1788)

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Image in the Public Domain

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, born at Weimar on March 8, 1714, was Emanuel to those who knew him well.  Georg Philipp Telemann was his godfather.  C. P. E. Bach, who learned music from his father, studied law at Frankfurt, graduating in 1735.  From 1740 to 1767 C. P. E. Bach was the harpsichordist to Frederick II “the Great” of Prussia.  Frederick II’s insistence upon subservience in musicians bothered our saint, who was finally able to resign and become the kappelmeister at Hamburg, succeeding Telemann.  Meanwhile, C. P. E. Bach had married Johanna Maria Dannemann in 1744.  Three of their children survived childhood.

C. P. E. Bach, worthy to be his father’s successor, was a renowned composer, teacher, and performer of the harpsichord and the clavichord.  His Essay on the True Art of Playing Keyboard Instruments (Part I, 1753; Part II, 1762) influenced Franz Joseph Haydn (who called it “the school of schools”), Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and Ludwig von Beethoven.  C.  P. E. Bach’s compositions included symphonies, concertos, chamber music, sonatas, fantasias, dances, fugues, and sacred music.  His sacred music included a Magnificat and 21 Passions.

C. P. E. Bach died, aged 74 years, at Hamburg on December 14, 1788.

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JOHANN CHRISTIAN BACH (1735-1782)

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johann-christian-bach

Image in the Public Domain

Johann Christian Bach, born at Leipzig on September 5, 1735, was a half-brother of C. P. E. Bach.  J. C. Bach, trained in music by his father’s cousin, Johann Elias Bach (1705-1755), went to work with C. P. E. Bach in 1750, after the death of J. S. Bach.  Five years later J. C. Bach left for Italy; there he studied at Bologna.  His conversion from Lutheranism to Roman Catholicism offended much of his family.  From 1760 to 1762 he was the organist at the Basilica-Cathedral of the Nativity of St. Mary, Milan.

J. C. Bach spent most of the last two decades of his life in England.  There he preferred that people call him “John Bach.”  In 1762 he became the composer to the King’s theatre in London; he wrote Italian operas for it.  Later John Bach became the music master to Queen Charlotte (consort of King George III) and her children.  In 1773 John Bach married Italian singer Cecilia Grassi.  The couple experienced severe financial difficulties toward the end of his life; they were the victims of embezzlement.  The composer died, aged 46 years, in London, on January 1, 1782.  Queen Charlotte paid his estate’s debts and provided Cecilia with a pension.

J. C. Bach’s compositions included sonatas, polonaises, minuets, chamber quartets, symphonies, concertos, operas, oratorios, and various sacred works, including a Requiem and settings of the Magnificat, the Salve Regina, the Dies Irae, the Gloria, and the Te Deum.

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The music of these great composers has enriched the lives of many people, including me.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 24, 2017 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF THE ORDINATION OF FLORENCE LI TIM-OI, FIRST FEMALE PRIEST IN THE ANGLICAN COMMUNION

THE FEAST OF SAINT ANGELA MERICI, FOUNDER OF THE COMPANY OF SAINT URSULA

THE FEAST OF THE MARTYRS OF PODLASIE, 1874

THE FEAST OF SAINT SURANUS OF SORA, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT AND MARTYR

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Eternal God, light of the world and Creator of all that is good and lovely:

We bless your name for inspiring

Johann Sebastian Bach, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, and Johann Christian Bach,

and all those who with music have filled us with desire and love for you;

through Jesus Christ our Savior, who with you and the Holy Spirit

lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

1 Chronicles 29:14b-19

Psalm 90:14-17

2 Corinthians 3:1-3

John 21:15-17, 24-25

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 728

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Feast of Samuel Davies (February 19)   Leave a comment

samuel-davies

Above:  Samuel Davies

Image in the Public Domain

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SAMUEL DAVIES (NOVEMBER 3, 1723-FEBRUARY 4, 1761)

American Presbyterian Minister and Hymn Writer

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To preach repentance towards God, and faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ–To alarm secure impenitents; to reform the profligate; to undeceive the hypocrite; to raise up the hands that hang down, and to strengthen the feeble knees;–These are the doctrines I preach, these are the ends I pursue…’Tis the conversion and salvation of men I aim to promote…The design of the gospel is to bring perishing sinners to heaven…I cannot help thinking [he continued, comparing his own preaching with that of the Anglican ministers in Virginia] that they who generally entertain their hearers with languid harangues on morality or insipid speculations, omitting or but slightly touching upon the glorious doctrines of the gospel, which will be everlastingly found the most effectual means to reform a degenerate world; such as the corruption of human nature in its present lapsed state; the nature and necessity of regeneration, and of divine influences to effect it; the nature of saving faith, evangelical repentance, etc.  I cannot, I say, help thinking that they who omit, pervert, or but slightly hint at these and the like doctrines, are not likely to do much service to the souls of men.

–Samuel Davies to Thomas Sherlock, Bishop of London; quoted in Ernest Trice Thompson, Presbyterians in the South, Volume One:  1607-1861 (Richmond, VA:  John Knox Press, 1963), page 75

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Samuel Davies was a Presbyterian divine and an early President of the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University).  He also became the earliest American writer of widely accepted hymns.  His hymns included “Eternal Spirit, Source of Light,” “Lord, I am Thine,” and “While O’er Our Guilty Land, O Lord.”

Davies accomplished much.  He, born at New Castle, Delaware, on November 3, 1723, studied under Presbyterian ministers Samuel Blair of Chester County, Pennsylvania, and William Robinson of New Brunswick, New Jersey.  The Presbytery of New Castle licensed our saint to preach 1746.  The following year, although our saint’s health was fragile and even he thought he might die of tuberculosis shortly, became an evangelist in Virginia, starting in Hanover County.  Authorities in Virginia restricted the rights of religious dissenters (non-Anglicans), reserving the right to issue licenses to preach and to dictate who may evangelize.  Davies won limited yet expanded rights for dissenters, specifically those who registered their ministers and agreed to obey colonial law.  He also added many people to the rolls of Presbyterian churches in Virginia.  Davies published Miscellaneous Poems, Chiefly on Divine Subjects (1752) in two volumes.  The following year the Synod of New York (the New School faction in the North American colonies) commissioned our saint and Gilbert Tennant to travel to England to raise funds for the College of New Jersey.  Davies was so well-known that King George II invited him to preach at the Chapel Royal.  Davies, back in Virginia, helped to found the Hanover Presbytery, the first presbytery in Virginia, in late 1755.  The presbytery covered most of Virginia plus all of the Carolinas.  He led the presbytery in an evangelistic push and in numerical expansion.  After he left to become the President of the College of New Jersey in 1759, however, that growth stopped.  Davies died at Princeton, New Jersey, on February 4, 1761.  He was 36 years old.

Among the posthumous collections honoring Davies was Sermons on Important Subjects (1792)–Volumes I, II, and III.  In 1930 historian Wesley M. Gewehr described our saint’s style of preaching as

plain and pungent, peculiarly adapted to pierce the conscience and affect the heart.

–Quoted in Thompson, Presbyterians in the South, Volume One (1963), page 75

The historian continued:

His eloquence and his influence in developing a new type of oratory characterized alike by naturalness, warmth and directness of expression, and great dignity of style are too well-known to need further comment here.

–Quoted in Thompson, Presbyterians in the South, Volume One (1963), page 75

Davies filled his life with activities that glorified God and created long-lasting legacies that have continued to enrich the lives of many people, even to today.

Not all of us can leave such legacies, but we can glorify God via our lives.  We must also know that we will influence many people directly.  They will, in turn, influence others, who will influence still others, et cetera.  Thus we will influence many people indirectly.  Will we do so more for the good or for the bad?

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 4, 2016 COMMON ERA

THE SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT, YEAR A

THE FEAST OF SAINTS JOHN OF DAMASCUS AND COSMAS OF MAIUMA, THEOLOGIANS AND HYMNODISTS

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOHN CALABRIA, FOUNDER OF THE CONGREGATION OF THE POOR SERVANTS AND THE POOR WOMEN SERVANTS OF DIVINE PROVIDENCE

THE FEAST OF JOSEPH MOHR, AUSTRIAN ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF THOMAS COTTERILL, ENGLISH PRIEST, HYMN WRITER, AND LITURGIST

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O God, you have brought us near to an innumerable company of angels,

and to the spirits of just men made perfect:

Grant us during our earthly pilgrimage to become partakers of their joy;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns

with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

Wisdom 3:1-9

Psalm 34 or 34:15-22

Philippians 4:4-9

Luke 6:17-23

–Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 725

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Feast of Samuel Johnson (December 13)   6 comments

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Above:  Samuel Johnson

Image in the Public Domain

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SAMUEL JOHNSON (SEPTEMBER 18, 1709-DECEMBER 13, 1784)

“The Great Moralist”

With this post I add a second Samuel Johnson to my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days.  The other Samuel Johnson, his contemporary, was an American, a convert from Congregationalism to Anglicanism, the creator of a system of organizing library books, and a president of what became Columbia University, New York, New York.  Both Samuel Johnsons, I write without fear of contradiction, enrich this calendar of saints’ days and holy days.

Page 16 of Common Worship:  Services and Prayers for the Church of England (2000) lists December 13 as the date to recall the life of “Samuel Johnson, Moralist, 1784.”

The Great Moralist, also an essayist, literary critic, poet, translator, and influential lexicographer, came from Lichfield, England.  There he entered the world on September 7, 1709 (Julian Calendar)/September 18, 1709 (Gregorian Calendar).  His mother was Sarah Ford, an Anglican with Calvinist leanings.  She taught her son to memorize the collect for the day.  Our saint’s father was Michael Johnson, a bookseller and, at the time of Samuel’s birth, the Sheriff of Lichfield.  Michael was also a High Anglican with Jacobite sympathies.  The family was not prosperous.  That fact created much stress in Samuel’s life, as did his persistent bad health.

Johnson became well-educated.  The informal part of his education occurred at home and at his father’s bookstore.  The young bookworm read many books at his father’s place of business.  He also attended Lichfield grammar school (1717-1728) and Pembroke College, Oxford (1728-1729).  The Great Moralist had to drop out of college for medical and financial reasons, but his informal education continued.  Eventually he received two honorary doctorates–from Dublin University (1765) and Oxford (1775), hence “Doctor Johnson.”

Johnson became an educator.  In 1731 he accepted the position of undermaster of the Market Bosworth Grammar School, Leicestershire.  Four years later our saint married Elizabeth “Tetty” Potter, a widow 20 years his senior.  They remained married until she died in 1752.  In 1735 Johnson founded a boarding school at Lichfield.  He led that institution and taught Greek and Latin there until the school closed after two years of operation.

Then Johnson relocated to London.  He had already begun to compose and translate works.  Our saint had also contributed to the Gentleman’s Magazine, founded in 1732.  In London, starting in 1737 and continuing for years, Johnson picked up the pace of his literary efforts, which included poems and satirical prose.  Some of the writing was political.  Although our saint was no Jacobite, he was critical of governments during the Georgian Age.  The Dictionary of the English Language (1755), the basis of many subsequent dictionaries, set him on the road to financial security.  His education of Shakespeare (1765) also proved to be a classic.

Johnson was a High Anglican influenced by Greek stoicism.  [Stoicism (frequently misunderstood by many) recognized the difference between those things we can change and those we cannot change.  It is actually an optimistic philosophy, one which teaches a person to delight in the pleasure of life and to refrain from fretting about not doing what one cannot do.]  The basis of our saint’s faith was an understanding of human sinfulness and the necessity of redemption by Jesus Christ.  Johnson, who tolerated Roman Catholicism at a time when that attitude was frequently unpopular, did not hide his dislike of Calvinism.  His Prayers and Meditations debuted in print posthumously in 1785.

Johnson was neurotic and he knew it.  He was prone to melancholy and indolence.  Our saint also knew how to overcome these weaknesses:  surround himself with people.  Johnson’s household included the following, among others:

  1. Robert Levett, a doctor who tended to poor people;
  2. Francis Barber, a former African slave, whose education he financed; and
  3. Anna Williams.

She was the daughter of Zechariah Williams, with whom Johnson had written Longitude at Sea (1755).  Anna visited our saint at his home for years before moving in.  Eventually she went blind and he took care of her until she died in 1783.

Johnson, a loyal subject, supported his government’s position during the American Revolutionary period.  His Taxation No Tyranny (1775) argued that colonists should pay their taxes dutifully.

Johnson died at Lichfield on December 13, 1784.  He was 75 years old.  His legacy has remained impressive and instructive.  For example, his reminder that “patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel” has been relevant for a long time.  Johnson also elevated the tone of debates and the quality of arguments, for his intellectualism and manner forced his debating partners to improve their cases, to prepare to argue as effectively as possible against him.

The world needs more people of the caliber of Dr. Samuel Johnson.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

OCTOBER 28, 2016 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS SIMON AND JUDE, APOSTLES AND MARTYRS

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O God, you have endowed us with memory, reason, and skill.

We thank you for the faithful legacy of [Samuel Johnson and all others]

who have dedicated their lives to you and to the intellectual pursuits.

May we, like them, respect your gift of intelligence fully and to your glory.

In the Name of God:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Psalm 103

Philippians 4:8-9

Mark 12:28-34

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 6, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT CHRODEGANG OF METZ, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF EDMUND KING, ANGLICAN BISHOP OF LINCOLN

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Feast of Samuel Johnson, Timothy Cutler, Daniel Browne, and James Wetmore (August 17)   2 comments

Founders of Yale University

Above:  Founders of Yale University

Image in the Public Domain

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SAMUEL JOHNSON (OCTOBER 14, 1696-JANUARY 6, 1772)

Congregationalist Minister, Anglican Priest, Philosopher, President of King’s College, “Father of The Episcopal Church in Connecticut,” and “Father of American Library Classification”

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TIMOTHY CUTLER (MAY 31, 1684-AUGUST 17, 1765)

Congregationalist Minister, Rector of Yale College, and Anglican Priest

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DANIEL BROWNE (APRIL 26, 1698-APRIL 13, 1723)

Educator, Congregationalist Minister, and Anglican Priest

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JAMES WETMORE (SR.) (DECEMBER 31, 1695-MAY 15, 1760)

Congregationalist Minister and Anglican Priest

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INTRODUCTION

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The Episcopal Church celebrates the lives of Samuel Johnson, Timothy Cutler, and Thomas Bradbury Chandler on August 17.  That is a logical grouping of saints, for they worked toward the goal of the establishment of the Anglican episcopate in North America.  Furthermore, Johnson and Cutler were friends, and Johnson taught and mentored Chandler.  However, I, for other logical reasons, have assigned a Chandler the feast day of May 17 and grouped him with two Episcopal bishops in his family tree.  Furthermore, here at the Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, I have expanded the grouping of Johnson and Cutler to include Daniel Browne and James Wetmore (Sr.), thereby commemorating the Congregationalist ministers from New England who became Anglican priests in March 1723.

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SAMUEL JOHNSON (1696-1772) I

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The name “Samuel Johnson” is commonplace.  A perusal of entries in old encyclopedias reveals the existence of several prominent Samuel Johnsons over time and on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.  One might think first of Dr. Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), the great English poet, lexicographer, and essayist who noted in 1775 that

Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel,

thereby condemning false patriotism.  One might also think also of the Reverend Samuel Johnson (1822-1882), an American Transcendentalist, minister, and hymnodist who found the American Unitarian Association (1825-1961) too theologically rigid.  (He would fit in well in the Unitarian Universalist Association today.)  Or one might recall other noteworthy Samuel Johnsons, such as Dr. Samuel William Johnson (1830-1909), a prominent American chemist.  The Samuel Johnson I add to the Ecumenical Calendar today is the American clergyman and educational pioneer, however.

Samuel Johnson

Image in the Public Domain

Samuel Johnson, born on October 14, 1696, was a native of Guilford, Connecticut.  His parents were Samuel Johnson (1670-1726), a fuller and a Congregationalist deacon, and Mary Sage Johnson (1672-1726).  The couple had twelve children, at least five of whom lived to adulthood.  Our saint was the third of their children.  William Johnson (1630-1702), also a Congregationalist deacon, was our saint’s grandfather.  The grandfather taught the grandson how to read English and Hebrew and guided him in committing the Apostles’ Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, and other portions of scripture to memory.  All this happened through Johnson’s sixth year of life.  The elder Samuel Johnson sought properly challenging educational opportunities for his bookish son.  Some of them proved more helpful than others.  Finally, at age 14, our saint, having mastered both Latin and Greek and having proved to be too much for some teachers, began his studies at the relatively new Collegiate School at Saybrook (founded in 1701), which became Yale College then Yale University.  He graduated four years (in 1714) later with his A.M. degree, having commenced work as a teacher at the grammar school in Guilford in 1713.

Johnson was quite a scholarly young man.  He did, for example, complete the Revised Encyclopedia of Philosophy (1716), unpublished.  Then he became a Yale tutor during a time of schism in the college.  From 1716 to 1718 Johnson was the only faculty member and administrator at New Haven, Connecticut, teaching fifteen students and laboring with the assistance of a minister.  Our saint was also cataloging the 800 books colonial agent Jeremiah Dummer (1681-1739) had donated to the college library in 1714.  This process continued until 1719.  These volumes included works by Enlightenment figures such as Rene Descartes (1596-1650), John Locke (1632-1704), and Sir Isaac Newton (1643-1727).  Such material was, according to the dominant Puritan orthodoxy of the college, forbidden, corrupting, and faith-destroying.  The process of cataloging the books expanded Johnson’s mind, and he, without permission, introduced the forbidden knowledge into the curriculum at New Haven.

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DANIEL BROWNE (1698-1723) I

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In 1618 Daniel Browne became the second tutor at New Haven, joining Johnson on the faculty.  He, born at New Haven on April 26, 1698, had been a classmate of Johnson, graduating at the age of 16 1/2 in 1715.  Next Browne had worked as the assistant to Samuel Hopkins, the Rector of the Hopkins Grammar School, New Haven, for a year, then as Hopkins’s successor for two years.  Browne worked as a tutor at New Haven for four years.

The Yale schism ended in 1719, with Johnson become the sacrificial victim.  Did he resign or did his superiors fire him?  It was a distinction without a difference.  Timothy Cutler became the new college rector, with Browne as the only other faculty member.  Johnson, ordained a Congregationalist minister in 1720, remained in the immediate vicinity, serving at West Haven.  Cutler, his friend, permitted him to design the college curriculum.

A vital aspect of the context of the Yale-related content in this post is that the intention of Yale’s founders in 1701 was to establish an educational institution which would be a conservative alternative–a bastion of Puritan orthodoxy–in contrast to Harvard College, which many New England Puritans considered to be too liberal.  Yet Yale began to liberalize before the end of its second decade of existence.

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TIMOTHY CUTLER (1684-1765) I

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Timothy Cutler

Image in the Public Domain

Timothy Cutler, born at Charlestown, Massachusetts, on May 31, 1684, was a son of John Cutler (1650-1708) and Martha Wiswall Cutler (b. 1645).  The family had Jacobite sympathies.  Our saint, baptized in 1684,  graduated from Harvard College in 1701, at the age of 17 years.  Four years later he joined the Congregational Church at Charlestown.  Shortly thereafter the Congregational Church at Dartmouth, Massachusetts, invited him to become their minister, but he declined, citing parish dynamics.  In 1709, however, he accepted an offer to become the minister at Stratford, Connecticut; he was especially interested in combating the Anglican presence in the community.  The following year Cutler married Elizabeth Andrew (1690-1771), daughter of the Reverend Samuel Andrew, the Acting Rector of the Collegiate School at Saybrook.  Our saint and his wife had seven children from 1711 to 1724; five of them lived to adulthood.

Circa 1720 seven respected Congregationalist ministers formed a group to study the early church.  They were:

  1. Timothy Cutler;
  2. Samuel Johnson;
  3. Daniel Browne;
  4. Jared Eliot (1685-1763), minister at Killingworth and one of Johnson’s former teachers;
  5. John Hart (1682-1732), minister at East Guilford;
  6. Samuel Whittesley (1686-1752), minister at Wallingsford; and
  7. James Wetmore (Sr.) (1695-1760).

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JAMES WETMORE (SR.) (1695-1760) I

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James Wetmore (Sr.), born on December 31, 1695, was a son of the Reverend Izrahiah Wetmore (Sr.) (1656-1743) and Rachel Stow Wetmore (1666-1722), of Middletown, Connecticut.  Our saint, the third of nine children, at least seven of which lived to adulthood, came from a civic-minded family.  His father was not only a minister but a magistrate and a deputy of the General Court.  Wetmore, a classmate of Johnson at Yale, graduated from the college with his A.B. degree in 1714 and his A.M. degree three years later.  This saint became a Congregationalist minister in 1718 and served at North Haven, Connecticut, for four years.  Also in 1718 he married Anne Dwight (1697-1771).  They had six children from 1727 to 1737.

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THE “GREAT APOSTASY,” SEPTEMBER 13, 1722

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On September 13, 1722, the seven ministers presented the conclusion of their study of the early church in writing to the Trustees of Yale College.  Some of these clergymen were certain of the invalidity of their orders and others merely harbored doubts due to the lack of “visible communion with an Episcopal Church.”  This, the “Great Apostasy” at Yale College, founded as a bulwark of Puritan orthodoxy in contrast to the relatively liberal Harvard College, proved controversial in New England.  Three of the ministers recanted under pressure, but Johnson, Cutler, Browne, and Wetmore (Sr.) lost their positions.  By the end of the year they departed for England, where in March 1723, they became priests of the The Church of England.

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DANIEL BROWNE (1698-1723) II

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Browne, a bachelor, died of smallpox in London on April 13, 1723.  He was 24 years old.  In 1765, the Reverend Ezra Stiles (1722-1795), the President of Yale College from 1778 to 1795, wrote of Browne:

He was a gentleman of the most superior sense and learning of the four.

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TIMOTHY CUTLER (1684-1765) II

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Wetmore (Sr.), Cutler, and Johnson remained in England for much of the year.  Johnson and Cutler received honorary degrees from Oxford and Cambridge Universities.  The three men returned to North America under the auspices of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts (SPG).

Cutler went to Boston, Massachusetts, where, at the end of 1723, he held the first service at Christ Church, or Old North Church, of Midnight Ride of Paul Revere fame.  He served as the rector of the parish for the reset of his life.  He also founded other congregations, advocated for the advocacy of the Anglican episcopate in North America, criticized revivalism, founded an Anglican library in Boston, and resisted the Puritan theocracy in New England.  In April 1756 Cutler suffered a stroke.  The assistant priest assumed many of his duties.  Our saint died at Boston on August 17, 1765, aged 81 years.

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JAMES WETMORE (SR.) (1695-1760) II

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Wetmore became the Rector of Grace Church, Rye, New York, in 1726.  He served there for the rest of his life, dying on May 15, 1760.

A son, James Wetmore (Jr.), seems to have been a Loyalist, for he, born at Rye in 1727, died in Kings County, New Brunswick, in 1798.

Grace Church, Rye, became Christ’s Church, Rye, in 1795.

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SAMUEL JOHNSON (1696-1772) II

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Johnson returned to Connecticut.  He founded Christ Church, Stratford, the first parish in the colony.  By 1752 he had founded 24 more congregations, becoming the “Father of The Episcopal Church in Connecticut.”  He was an ardent controversialist, engaging in written conflict with Puritans via pamphlets, starting in 1733.  Johnson, like Cutler, resisted the Puritan theocracy in New England, argued against revivalism and the (First) Great Awakening, and lobbied for the establishment of the Anglican episcopate in North America.  The last matter was controversial, for many Congregationalists and Presbyterians considered it contrary to scripture and politically perilous, and many Southern Anglicans enjoyed their relative independence.

Johnson married twice and became a widower as many times.  His first wife was Charity Nicoll (1692-1758), a widow.  Thus our saint became a stepfather on September 26, 1725.  He raised William Nicoll (1715-1780) and Benjamin Nicoll (1718-1760) as if they were his own sons.  Charity and our saint had two sons, William Samuel Johnson (1727-1819) and William Johnson (1730-1760).  The younger son died of smallpox in England.  William Samuel Johnson opposed the Stamp Act (1765) and the Townshend Duty Act (1767) actively and served as the colonial agent for Connecticut from 1767 to 1771.  He became convinced that the U.S. War for Independence was both unnecessary and unwise yet made his peace with the result of the conflict.  He served in the Confederation Congress from 1785 to 1787, was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention (1787), presided over the drafting of the document, signed the Constitution, served as President of Columbia College, New York, from 1787 to 1800, and was a U.S. Senator from Connecticut from 1789 to 1791.  His wife (from 1749) was Elizabeth Ann Beach (1729-1796), daughter of William Beach (1694-1751), a businessman of Stratford, and his wife, Sarah Hull Beach (1701-1763).  Charity died on June 1, 1758.

Johnson’s second wife (from 1761) was Sarah Hull Beach (1701-1763), who died of smallpox on February 9, 1763.

Johnson continued to be an educator.  He opened a school at Stratford in 1723.  For decades he also operated a home-based seminary for students at Yale, educating and training 63 priests.  He also developed a system of classifying library books, hence his title, “Father of American Library Classification.”  In the early 1700s our saint redefined the curriculum at Yale College again, for it had reverted to an earlier state after the “Great Apostasy” of 1722.  In 1729-1731 Joseph Berkeley (1685-1753), later the Bishop of Cloyne, visited New England.  Johnson met him then and convinced him to donate land, money, and books to Yale College.  Our saint also became enamored of Berkeley’s philosophy, immaterialism.  The two men corresponded for decades.  Johnson, who received an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Oxford University in 1743, wrote and revised his textbook of moral philosophy several times.  The basis of his philosophy was the pursuit of happiness rooted in realism with regard to how things are.

Johnson, Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), the leaders Trinity Church, Wall Street, New York, and others spent years discussing details of founding a “new model” college.  There would be no religious test for admission.  Instruction would be in English, not Latin.  The study of theology would be optional, but the study of moral philosophy would be mandatory.  There would be a focus on professional preparation, and the curriculum would include the new discipline of English literature.  The result of these conversations was King’s College, later Columbia College then Columbia University, New York.  Some Presbyterians in the colonial government of New York tried to prevent the chartering of the college, labeling it an insidious Anglican plot.  The royal charter came through in 1754, however.  Johnson served as a professor and the first president, retiring in 1763, after the death of his second wife.

Johnson’s retirement (1732-1772) was active.  He returned to the office of Rector of Christ Church, Stratford, and performed his duties faithfully.  He also reopened his home-based seminary for students at Yale College.  Our saint also taught his grandsons William and Charles to read English and Latin, as his grandfather had instructed him.  Johnson wrote the first American grammars of the English and Hebrew languages and dedicated them to his grandsons.

Johnson’s accomplishments caught the attention of his English contemporary, Dr. Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), the essayist, poet, and lexicographer, who was a friend of William Samuel Johnson (1727-1819).

Samuel Johnson, the American, died on January 6, 1772, the Feast of the Epiphany.  He was 75 years old.

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CONCLUSION

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I realize, O reader, that I have asked you to follow some proverbial bouncing balls, but that is simply the nature of the material.  The legacies of Johnson, Cutler, and Wetmore are obvious.  That of Browne, however, is incomplete, due to circumstances beyond his control.  If he had lived he would have done much for the glory of God and the expansion of The Church of England.

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KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 3, 2016 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARIE-LEONIE PARADIS, FOUNDER OF THE LITTLE SISTERS OF THE HOLY FAMILY

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM WHITING, HYMN WRITER

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God of history, science, art, philosophy, and majesty, we thank you for the faithful quests of

Samuel Johnson, Timothy Cutler, Daniel Browne, and James Wetmore (Sr.),

whose intellectual inquisitiveness and fidelity to you led them to pursue Anglican Holy Orders.

May we never fear new knowledge.

May we seek the truths of you wherever we can find them

then pursue paths consistent with them,

for your glory and benefit of your people;

in the Name of God:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

–Kenneth Randolph Taylor, May 3, 2016 Common Era

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Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) 24:1-8

Psalm 32:8-12

1 Peter 2:1-10

Matthew 16:13-20

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 531

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Feast of Charles Inglis (August 16)   2 comments

WM HPL-PC-F0120

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

Image Source = Halifax Public Libraries

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CHARLES INGLIS (1734-FEBRUARY 24, 1816)

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.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 28, 2016 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF JOHN ROSS MACDUFF AND GEORGE MATHESON, SCOTTISH PRESBYTERIAN MINISTERS AND AUTHORS

THE FEAST OF THE FIRST U.S. METHODIST BOOK OF WORSHIP, 1945

THE FEAST OF SAINT GUALFARDUS, ROMAN CATHOLIC HERMIT

THE FEAST OF SAINT PETER CHANEL, PROTOMARTYR OF OCEANIA

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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

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Feast of Samson Occom (July 14)   Leave a comment

Samson Occom

Above:  Samson Occom

Image in the Public Domain

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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.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 22, 2016 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF GENE BRITTON, EPISCOPAL PRIEST

THE FEAST OF CESAR CHAVEZ, LABOR UNION LEADER

THE FEAST OF SAINT FIDELIS OF SIGMARINGEN, CAPUCHIN FRIAR AND MARTYR

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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

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