Archive for the ‘Saints of the 1870s’ Category

Feast of James Woodrow (January 17)   Leave a comment

Above:  James Woodrow

Image Scanned by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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JAMES WOODROW (MAY 30, 1828-JANUARY 17, 1907)

Southern Presbyterian Minister, Naturalist, and Alleged Heretic

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Let the Church show herself the patroness of learning in everything…and let her never be subjected by mistaken friends, to the charge that she fears the light.

–James Woodrow, November 22, 1861; quoted in Ernest Trice Thompson, Presbyterians in the South, Vol. 1, 1607-1861 (1963), 508

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Above:  Logo of the Presbyterian Church in the United States

Image Scanned by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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James Woodrow, brother-in-law of Joseph Ruggles Wilson (1822-1903) and uncle of President (first of Princeton University then of the United States of America) Thomas Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924), comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via two authors.  For this post I draw from Clayton H. Ramsey’s article about Bethany Presbyterian Church, Greene County, Georgia, in the Autumn 2018 issue of Georgia Backroads magazine.  I also derive information from the first two volumes of Ernest Trice Thompson‘s magisterial three-volume work, Presbyterians in the South (1963-1973).  I also derive information from Journals of Southern Presbyterian General Assemblies.

James Woodrow, a native of England, spent most of his life in the United States.  He, born in Carlisle on May 30, 1828, emigrated with his family as a youth.  He graduated from Jefferson College, Washington, Pennsylvania, in 1849.  Then he studied under naturalist Louis Agassiz at the Lawrence Scientific School, Harvard.  After teaching in Alabama, Woodrow was a professor at Oglethorpe University, Midway, Georgia, from 1853 to 1861.  He taught geology, botany, chemistry, and natural philosophy.  Our saint also took a few years off to earn graduate degrees at the University of Heidelberg.  When he graduated in 1856, he could have become the Chair of Natural Sciences at Heidelberg, had he accepted the offer.  Woodrow studied theology after returning to Oglethorpe University.  He became a minister in the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. (Old School) on October 15, 1859; the ordination occurred at Bethany Presbyterian Church, Greene County, Georgia.

Columbia Theological Seminary, Columbia, South Carolina, created an endowed professorship, Woodrow’s next job, in 1861.  Judge John Perkins, of Mississippi, provided the funding for the position, with the intention that the Perkins Professor of Natural Science refute Evolution and prepare seminarians to do the same.  Woodrow, who started the job in late 1861, insisted on academic freedom, though.  He also carried into the professorship his conviction that God could not contradict himself in the Bible and in science, and that any seeming contradiction between the Bible and science must result from the misinterpretation of scripture.  This position left Woodrow, who refused to dismiss rock layers and fossil records, open to accepting Evolution, which he did by 1884.

The Presbyterian Church in the Confederate States of America (PCCSA) formed at First Presbyterian Church, Augusta, Georgia, on December 4, 1861.   Wilson became a charter member of the new denomination.

The Civil War disrupted elements of church life in the South.  Columbia Theological Seminary closed for most of the conflict.  Furthermore, The Southern Presbyterian did not always go to the presses.  Woodrow remained busy, though.

  1. He edited The Southern Presbyterian.
  2. He became the Treasurer of the PCCSA’s Foreign Mission Committee in 1861.
  3. He became the Treasurer of the PCCSA’s Home Mission Committee in 1863.
  4. He taught chemistry at the College of South Carolina.
  5. He managed the Medical and Chemical Confederate Laboratory, which made silver nitrate for wound care.

In December 1865, after Confederate defeat, the PCCSA renamed itself the Presbyterian Church in the United States (PCUS).

When Columbia Theological Seminary reopened and The Southern Presbyterian resumed publication, Woodrow’s roles at them resumed, also.  He was one of the more progressive members of his denomination; he favored friendly relations with the “Northern” (actually national) Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A.  As Woodrow became more accepting of Evolution, he moved in a direction opposite of that of the PCUS.  By 1884 his alleged heresy had become so controversial that the seminary closed for two years, reopening in 1886.  The seminary board requested in 1884 that Woodrow resign; he refused.  The heresy trial, held at Bethany Presbyterian Church, Greene County, Georgia, in 1886, ended in an acquittal.  Nevertheless, the seminary board fired our saint on December 8, 1886.

The PCUS General Assemblies of 1886, 1888, 1889, and 1924 passed resolutions taking the position opposite of Professor Woodrow.

Life went on for James Woodrow, who remained prominent in the PCUS.  He, the editor of The Southern Presbyterian consistently since 1866, continued in that role until 1893.  On the side, he continued to teach at the University of South Carolina, where he had been on faculty since 1869.  The seminary board forbade Columbia students to attend his lectures, though.  Woodrow went on to serve as the President of the University of South Carolina from 1891 to 1897.  Furthermore, he was, for a time, the President of the Central National Bank, Columbia.  In 1896, when the Presbytery of Charleston sought to prevent African-American men from becoming ordained ministers, Woodrow sided against the presbytery and with the Synod of South Carolina.  The General Assembly supported the position of the synod.

Woodrow retained the ability to create controversy at the end of his life.  The General Assembly of 1901 elected him the Moderator for a year.  The following year, at the General Assembly, our saint offended many in his sermon; he recognized the Roman Catholic Church as a Christian organization.  The General Assembly of 1902 passed a resolution NOT to print his sermon.

Woodrow, ailing in 1906, had surrendered his leadership roles in the church.  That year, as he neared death, the Board of Directors of Columbia Theological Seminary passed resolutions praising him for his piety and orthodoxy.

Woodrow, aged 78 years, died in Columbia, South Carolina, on January 17, 1907.

The General Assembly of 1969 affirmed:

Neither Scripture, nor our Confession of Faith, nor our catechisms, teach the creation of man by direct and immediate acts of God as to exclude the possibility of evolution as a scientific theory.

Woodrow would have approved.

Good science should always overrule bad theology.

The Christian Church has a mixed record regarding science, faith, and reason.  On the positive side are giants such as James Woodrow, Nicolaus Copernicus, and Galileo Galilei.  The Society of Jesus has a venerable tradition of astronomy.  One may reach back as far as St. Clement of Alexandria (d. 210/2015), the “Father of Christian Scholarship,” who affirmed the value of truth, whether or not of Christian origin.  One may also continue that line through his pupil, Origen.  When one skips a few centuries, one arrives at St. Albert the Great (d. 1280) and his student, St. Thomas Aquinas, who affirmed the compatibility of faith and reason.  On the negative side are figures such as St. Robert Bellarmine (who confronted Galileo and whom I will never add to my Ecumenical Calendar) and William Jennings Bryan (who, likewise, has less probability than  a snowball in Hell of joining the ranks at my Ecumenical Calendar).

All this is easy for me to write, for I am unapologetic product of the Northern Renaissance, the Scientific Revolution, the Enlightenment, and the best of Roman Catholic tradition.  My intellectualism and my acceptance of science inform my Christian faith.  God is not the author of confusion.  Furthermore, God does not deceive us with manufactured fossils and rock layers meant to test our faith.  God cannot lie, but human beings are capable of misunderstanding.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

AUGUST 6, 2019 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF THE TRANSFIGURATION

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God of grace and glory, you create and sustain the universe in majesty and beauty:

We thank you for James Woodrow and all in whom you have planted

the desire to know your creation and to explore your work and wisdom.

Lead us, like them, to understand better the wonder and mystery of creation;

through Jesus Christ your eternal Word, through whom all things were made.  Amen.

Genesis 2:9-20

Psalm 34:8-14

2 Corinthians 13:1-6

John 20:24-37

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 738

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Feast of Edmund Hamilton Sears (January 16)   1 comment

Above:  First Parish Church, Wayland, Massachusetts

Image in the Public Domain

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EDMUND HAMILTON SEARS (APRIL 6, 1810-JANUARY 16, 1876)

U.S. Unitarian Minister, Hymn Writer, and Biblical Scholar

Edmund Hamilton Sears left a fine legacy.  Anyone who has sung “It Came Upon the Midnight Clear,” written in 1849 and published the following year, has experienced the most popular part of that legacy.  One may not know that Sears wrote other hymns–Christmas carols, mostly–because the majority of his hymn texts have fallen into disuse.

Sears was a Unitarian minister.  He, born in Sandisfield, Massachusetts, on April 6, 1810, studied at Westfield Academy then at Union College, Schenectady, New York, graduating in 1834.  Our saint, intent on becoming an attorney, briefly read law under Thomas Twining, Sandisfield.  Then Sears became a teacher at Brattleboro, Vermont, and studied theology.  He completed theological studies at Harvard Divinity School in 1837.  Our saint, ordained on February 20, 1839, embarked on a religious career.

Sears was pastor of First Parish Church, Wayland, Massachusetts, in 1839-1840 and in 1848-1865.  He was an attentive pastor who initially overworked himself.  Sears, following medical advice, resigned in 1840.  He purchased a farm in the area and became healthier.  The pulpit at First Parish Church was open again in 1848, when the congregation welcomed him back.  Our saint, Christologically orthodox, wrote hymns, as I have mentioned.  At Wayland he also wrote the following books:

  1. Regeneration (1854);
  2. Pictures of the Olden Time, as Shown in the Fortunes of a Family of Pilgrims (1857); and
  3. Athanasia, or Foregleams of Immortality (First Edition, 1858; Second Edition, 1873).

He also became an editor of the Monthly Religious Magazine, a position he held until 1871.

Sears served as pastor of the First Parish Church, Weston, Massachusetts, from 1866 to 1876.  During those years, he received a Doctor of Divinity degree from Harvard (1871) and went on a lecture tour of England (1873).  He also published the following books:

  1. The Fourth Gospel, the Heart of Christ (1872), and
  2. Sermons and Songs of the Christian Life (1875).

Sears, aged 65 years, died in Weston on January 16, 1876.

A posthumous volume, Christ in the Life:  Sermons, with a Selection of Poems, debuted the following year.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

AUGUST 6, 2019 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF THE TRANSFIGURATION

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

Edmund Hamilton Sears 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

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Feast of Abby Kelley Foster and Stephen Symonds Foster (January 15)   Leave a comment

Above:  Liberty Farm, Worcester, Massachusetts

Image in the Public Domain

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STEPHEN SYMONDS FOSTER (NOVEMBER 17, 1809-SEPTEMBER 13, 1881)

husband of

ABBY KELLEY FOSTER (JANUARY 15, 1811-JANUARY 14, 1887)

Also known as Abby Kelly Foster

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U.S. QUAKER ABOLITIONISTS AND FEMINISTS

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I do not talk of woman’s rights, but of human rights, the rights of human beings.  I do not come to ask [for] them, but to demand them; not to get down on my knees and beg for them, but to claim them.

–Abby Kelley Foster, October 1850, at the first National Women’s Rights Convention, Worcester, Massachusetts

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In short, in the harangue of Abby, she simply demands that men and women should be treated as human beings, all alike….

The New York Herald, October 15, 1850, criticizing Abby Kelley Foster and her positions

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Abby Kelley Foster comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saint’s Days and Holy Days, via G. Scott Cady and Christopher L. Webber, A Year with American Saints (2006).  Stephen Symonds Foster joins her on the Ecumenical Calendar by virtue of being her husband and her fellow activist.  After all, one of my purposes in adding to the Ecumenical Calendar is to emphasize relationships and influences.

STEPHEN SYMONDS FOSTER

Stephen Symonds Foster, born in Canterbury, New Hampshire, became a radical, according to the standards of his time.  He, raised a Congregationalist, was a carpenter until the age of 22 years.  Foster decided to study to become a missionary, so he matriculated at Dartmouth College.  He eventually graduated, in 1838.  During his college years, Foster found a new direction in life and endured hardships.  He became an abolitionist.  He also went to jail for being in debt and spent time incarcerated with hardened, violent criminals.  This experience led to a movement that ended imprisonment for debt in New Hampshire.

Instead of becoming a missionary, Foster became an activist.  The three social causes for which he worked were feminism, temperance, and the abolition of slavery.  After graduating from Dartmouth College, he studied at Union Theological Seminary, New York, New York, in 1838-1839.  He left that institution because the leadership forbade him from hosting abolitionist meetings.  Our saint even rejected the offer of a scholarship in exchange for his silence regarding slavery.  Foster’s abolitionist activism led to his expulsion from the Congregational Church in 1841 and to a physical attack in Portland, Maine, the following year.  Our saint was outspoken in his criticism of religion that justified slavery.  He expressed himself in both writing and on the lecture circuit of the American Anti-Slavery Society.

ABBY KELLEY FOSTER

Abby Kelley was also making the rounds on the anti-slavery lecture circuit.

Kelley, born in Pelham, Massachusetts, on January 15, 1811, became a radical, also.  She came from a rigid, conservative society with gender norms–separate spheres.  Women did not address mixed-gender audiences.  Schools were not coeducational.  Women’s suffrage was out of the question.  The Quakers, her denomination, had a mixed record regarding opposition to slavery, but they were more progressive than many other Christian bodies.  Abby, a teacher, joined the Female Anti-Slavery Society at Lynn in 1837.  The following year, she began to lecture.  Eventually, she became a full-time lecturer.  Kelley made the connection between the rights of women and those of African Americans, many of whom were slaves.  To insist on the rights of one group while ignoring the rights of the other was wrong, she understood.  This was a minority position within the abolitionist movement in the United States.

THE FOSTERS

Abby Kelley married Stephen Symonds Foster in 1845.  Their marriage was, of course, unconventional.  They were a team of activists.  The Fosters purchased an estate, “Liberty Farm,” in 1847; their home became a station of the Underground Railroad.  After Abby gave birth to a daughter, Paulina Wright “Alla” Foster, in 1847, husband and wife took turns traveling on the lecture circuit, so that one parent would stay home with Alla.  More often that not, Stephen was a stay-at-home father.

Abby made her mark on the United States.  She helped to organize the first National Women’s Rights Convention at Worcester, Massachusetts, in late 1850, and spoke at it.  In 1854 she became the chief fundraiser for the American Anti-American Society.  After the Civil War, she advocated for the ratification of the 14th and 15th Amendments to the Constitution of the United States.  In 1868 she helped to organize the New England Women Suffrage Association.

The Fosters made their protest against the lack of women’s suffrage where they lived by refusing to pay taxes.  Their justification was the revolutionary cry,

No taxation without representation.

The local government sold Liberty Farm for unpaid taxes in 1874.  A sympathetic neighbor purchased the farm then sold it back to the Fosters.  This pattern repeated until both Abby and Stephen died.

Stephen, aged 73 years, died on September 13, 1881.

Abby, aged 75 years, died on January 14, 1887.

IN RETROSPECT

From my vantage point in the United States in 2019, the once-radical and marginal ideas becoming mainstream are mostly hateful and exclusionary.  They tend to be ideas such as white nationalism and Anti-Semitism, and frequently result in violence or other forms of abuse.  The radical and marginal ideas the Fosters espoused fall into a different category:  inclusion.  As the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta says,

DRAW THE CIRCLE WIDE.

The Fosters, ahead of their time, helped to create a better future.

May their ethic of recognizing the image of God, or as their Quaker theology put it well–the inner light–in others then acting accordingly inspire us to do the same.

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Loving God, who has implanted your image and inner light inside all people,

we thank you for the lives and legacies of your servants,

Abby Kelley Foster and Stephen Symonds Foster,

who affirmed the inherent human dignity in those whom

society defined as non-citizens or as second-class citizens.

May we, in our times and places, affirm the image of God in all human beings and treat them accordingly,

so that a moral revolution of values may lead people to define all your children as insiders.

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

Genesis 1:27

Psalm 97

Galatians 3:23-29

Luke 10:29-37

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

AUGUST 5, 2019 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF ALFRED TENNYSON, ENGLISH POET

THE FEAST OF ADAM OF SAINT VICTOR, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF ALBRECHT DÜRER, MATTHIAS GRÜNEWALD, AND LUCAS CRANACH THE ELDER, RENAISSANCE ARTISTS

THE FEAST OF GEORGE FREDERICK ROOT, POET AND COMPOSER

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Feast of Henry Alford (January 12)   1 comment

Above:  Henry Alford

Image in the Public Domain

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HENRY ALFORD (OCTOBER 7, 1810-JANUARY 12, 1871)

Anglican Priest, Biblical Scholar, Literary Translator, Poet, Hymn Writer, Hymn Translator, and Bible Translator

Henry Alford, Dean of Canterbury, used to be a famous man.  He translated Homer’s Odyssey and served on a committee that translated the New Testament.  His four-volume commentary, Greek Testament (1849-1861), although outdated in 2019, was a standard reference work in the late 1800s.  Alford also published books of sermons, poetry, and theology, as well as two hymnals.  He wrote or edited 50 books.

Alford, son of Henry Alford (Sr.), a priest in The Church of England, entered the world on October 7, 1810.  Henry (Jr.)’s mother died in childbirth.  Our saint followed in his father’s footsteps.  Henry (Jr.) graduated from Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1832 then became a priest the following year.  His first assignment was as Curate of Winkfield, Wiltshire, under his father.  Our saint later served in Comption, Wymeswold, and London before becoming the Dean of Canterbury in 1857.

Alford, an Evangelical Anglican and a moderate liberal by the standards of his day, was, from 1836, the husband of Fanny.  He could have been a bishop in the British Empire, had he accepted one of two offers.  Our saint founded the Contemporary Review in 1866 and edited it until 1870.

Alford’s relative fame in 2019 rests primarily on hymns he wrote or translated.  One of his compositions is “Ten Thousand Times Ten Thousand,” from The Year of Praise (1867).  Alford’s most famous hymn is “Come Ye Thankful People, Come,” from Psalms and Hymns (1844).

Alford, popular with Anglicans and nonconformists alike, died in Canterbury on January 12, 1871.  He was 60 years old.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

AUGUST 2, 2019 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF GEORG WEISSEL, GERMAN LUTHERAN PASTOR AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF ANNA BERNADINE DOROTHY HOPPE, U.S. LUTHERAN HYMN WRITER AND TRANSLATOR

THE FEAST OF CHRISTIAN GOTTFRIED GEBHARD, GERMAN MORAVIAN COMPOSER AND MUSIC EDUCATOR

THE FEAST OF JULIAN EYMARD, FOUNDER OF THE PRIESTS OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT, THE SERVANTS OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT, AND THE PRIESTS’ EUCHARISTIC LEAGUE; AND ORGANIZER OF THE CONFRATERNITY OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

Henry Alford 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

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Feast of Charles William Everest (January 11)   1 comment

Above:  Southwestern Connecticut, 1951

Scanned and cropped from Hammond’s Complete World Atlas (1951), 166

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CHARLES WILLIAM EVEREST (MAY 14, 1814-JANUARY 11, 1877)

Episcopal Priest, Poet, and Hymn Writer

The historical reputation of Charles William Everest rests mainly on one popular, frequently altered hymn published in 1833.  The text, from his Songs of the Fireside (1852), follows:

Take up thy cross!  the Saviour said,

If thou wouldst my disciple be:

Take up thy cross, with willing heart,

And humbly follow after me.

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Take up thy cross!  let not its weight

Fill thy weak soul with vain alarm;

His strength shall bear thy spirit up,

And brace thy heart, and nerve thine arm.

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Take up thy cross!  not head the shame,

And let thy foolish pride be still:

The LORD refused not e’en to die

Upon a cross, on Calvary’s hill.

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Take up thy cross, then, in His strength,

And calmly Sin’s wild deluge brave:

‘T will guide thee to a better home,

It points to glory o’er the grave.

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Take up thy cross, and follow on,

Nor think till death to lay it down;

For only he who bears the cross,

May hope to wear the glorious crown.

The biography of Everest is brief, even in the best hymnal companion volumes.  (I collect such books.)  Details are scarce, but archive.org is helpful, for it provides electronic copies of some of Everest’s books:

  1. Vision of Death:  A Poem (1837);
  2. Babylon:  A Poem (1838)
  3. The Moss-Rose, a Parting Token (1840), as editor;
  4. The Poets of Connecticut; with Biographical Sketches (1844), as editor;
  5. The Memento:  A Gift of Friendship (1849), as editor; and
  6. Songs of the Fireside (1852).

Everest was a priest in The Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Connecticut.  He, born in East Windsor, Connecticut, on May 14, 1814, graduated, from Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut, in 1838.  He began to publish his poetry prior to graduating.  Our saint, ordained to the priesthood four years later, served as a rector in Hamden (immediately north of New Haven) from 1842 to 1873.  He also served as an agent of the Society for the Increase of Ministry.  Everest, aged 62 years, died in Waterbury, Connecticut, on January 11, 1877.

His great hymn continues to inspire people, fortunately.

His poetry deserves a renaissance, however.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

AUGUST 2, 2019 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF GEORG WEISSEL, GERMAN LUTHERAN PASTOR AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF ANNA BERNADINE DOROTHY HOPPE, U.S. LUTHERAN HYMN WRITER AND TRANSLATOR

THE FEAST OF CHRISTIAN GOTTFRIED GEBHARD, GERMAN MORAVIAN COMPOSER AND MUSIC EDUCATOR

THE FEAST OF JULIAN EYMARD, FOUNDER OF THE PRIESTS OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT, THE SERVANTS OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT, AND THE PRIESTS’ EUCHARISTIC LEAGUE; AND ORGANIZER OF THE CONFRATERNITY OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

Charles William Everest 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

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This is post #1750 of SUNDRY THOUGHTS.

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Feast of Blessed Giuseppina Nicoli (December 31)   1 comment

Above:  Blessed Giuseppina Nicoli

Image in the Public Domain

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BLESSED GIUSEPPINA NICOLI (NOVEMBER 18, 1863-DECEMBER 31, 1924)

Italian Roman Catholic Nun and Minister to the Poor

Alternative feast day = February 3

Blessed Giuseppina Nicoli helped those whom civil authorities had dismissed as unimportant and/or beyond help.  Our saint, born into a large Roman Catholic family in Casatisma, Pavia, on November 18, 1863, joined the Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul at Turin, on September 24, 1883.  The order sent her to Sardegna Island in 1885.  There she spent most of the rest of her life.  She, a supporter of Eucharistic Adoration, became the director of the orphanage in June 1899.  She played an active role in the children’s religious education; the taught the rich and poor children alike.  Except for 1910-1914, when Nicoli was the provincial administrator and the director of the seminary in Turin, she lived and worked on Sardegna Island.  On the island she worked with the Urchins of Mary, orphaned and abandoned children.  She taught them basic subjects plus vocational skills and the catechism.  Nicoli died, aged 61 years, on December 31, 1924.

Pope Benedict XVI declared her a Venerable then beatified her in 2006.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 6, 2019 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF JOHN WYCLIFFE AND JAN HUS, REFORMERS OF THE CHURCH

THE FEAST OF GEORGE DUFFIELD, JR.; AND HIS SON, SAMUEL DUFFIELD, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN MINISTERS AND HYMN WRITERS

THE FEAST OF HENRY THOMAS SMART, ENGLISH ORGANIST

THE FEAST OF OLUF HANSON SMEBY, LUTHERAN MINISTER AND HYMN WRITER

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O God, your Son came among us to serve and not to be served,

and to give his life for the life of the world.

Lead us by his love to serve all those to whom the world offers no comfort and little help.

Through us give hope to the hopeless,

love to the unloved,

peace to the troubled,

and rest to the weary,

through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Hosea 2:18-23

Psalm 94:1-15

Romans 12:9-21

Luke 6:20-36

Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), 60

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Feast of William Adams Brown (December 30)   2 comments

Above:  Union Theological Seminary, New York, New York, 1910

Image Source = Library of Congress

Image Copyrighted by Irving Underhill

Reproduction Number = LC-USZ62-74646

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WILLIAM ADAMS BROWN, SR. (DECEMBER 29, 1865-DECEMBER 15, 1943)

U.S. Presbyterian Minister, Theologian, and Social Reformer

William Adams Brown, Sr., comes to this, my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via G. Scott Cady and Christopher L. Webber, A Year with American Saints (2006).

William Adams Brown, Sr., born in New York, New York, on December 29, 1865, grew up in a devout family with multi-generational ties to Union Theological Seminary.  He spent much of his life working at that institution.

Our saint, a son of Mary Elizabeth Adams and John Crosby Brown, a merchant banker, was well-educated.  After private education, he attended St. Paul’s Preparatory School in Concord, New Hampshire, followed by five years (four years as an undergraduate and one year as a graduate student) at Yale University.  Then Brown matriculated at Union Theological Seminary.  He graduated in 1890 then studied in Germany for two years.  Adolf von Harnack was one of his professors.

Brown taught at Union Theological Seminary from 1892 to 1936, when he retired.  He was an Instructor of Church History (1892-1893), an Instructor of Systematic Theology (1893-1898), the Roosevelt Chair of Systematic Theology (1898-1930), and a Research Professor in Applied Christianity (1930-1936).  Faith was active for Brown.  It led him to oppose corruption (Tammany Hall) in municipal politics and government and fight against prostitution and liquor.  Active faith also led Brown to lead the Missions Committee of the New York Presbytery of New York (Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A.), the Board of Missions of the PCUSA, the Department of Research and Education (Federal Council of Churches), the Religious Education Association, and the American Theological Association.

That active faith also made Brown a target for many conservative Presbyterians.  He was on the side of Modernism in the Modernist-Fundamentalist controversy in the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A.  Community outreach to poor immigrants via the American Parish on the Upper East Side and the Labor Temple in the East Village placed our saint in the midst of alleged hot beds of socialism.  In 1895, he helped to form the Union Settlement in East Harlem.  Students from Union Theological Seminary volunteered to provide community services.  Brown, speaking at Harvard in 1910, allegedly committed heresy in “The Old Theology and the New.”  The General Assembly of 1914 acquitted him.

Brown was also an active wartime ecumenist.  In 1917 and 1918, he served as the Secretary General of the Wartime Commission of the Churches.  He helped to arrange for Protestant, Roman Catholic, and Jewish military chaplains, and to advise regarding religious issues.

Brown married Helen Gilman Noyes in 1892.  The couple had four children:  John Crosby (b. 1892), William Adams Jr., (b. 1894), Winthrop Gilman “Bob” (b. 190?), and Helen (1910-1928; died of polio before she would have matriculated at Vassar College).

Brown, aged 77 years, died in New York, New York, on December 15, 1943.  He left a fine legacy.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 5, 2019 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT ANTONIO MARY ZACCARIA, FOUNDER OF THE BARNABITES AND THE ANGELIC SISTERS OF SAINT PAUL

THE FEAST OF GEORGES BERNANOS, FRENCH ROMAN CATHOLIC NOVELIST

THE FEAST OF HULDA NIEBUHR, CHRISTIAN EDUCATOR; HER BROTHERS, H. RICHARD NIEBUHR AND REINHOLD NIEBUHR, UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST THEOLOGIANS; AND URSULA NIEBUHR, EPISCOPAL THEOLOGIAN

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOSEPH BOISSEL, FRENCH ROMAN CATHOLIC MISSIONARY PRIEST AND MARTYR IN LAOS, 1969

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O God, your Son came among us to serve and not to be served,

and to give his life for the life of the world.

Lead us by his love to serve all those to whom the world offers no comfort and little help.

Through us give hope to the hopeless,

love to the unloved,

peace to the troubled,

and rest to the weary,

through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Hosea 2:18-23

Psalm 94:1-15

Romans 12:9-21

Luke 6:20-36

Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), 60

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