Archive for the ‘Archibald Campbell Tait’ Tag
Above: Archbishop Randall Davidson
Image in the Public Domain
RANDALL THOMAS DAVIDSON (APRIL 7, 1848-MAY 25, 1930)
Archbishop of Canterbury
Randall Davidson was the Archbishop of Canterbury for about a quarter of a century. The native of Edinburgh, Scotland, born on April 7, 1848, grew up a Presbyterian. The son of Henrietta Swinton and Henry Davidson, a grain merchant, grew up in The Church of Scotland. Our saint, educated at the Harrow School and at Trinity College, Oxford, converted to Anglicanism. He, ordained in 1875, became the chaplain to Archbishop of Canterbury Archibald Campbell Tait in 1877 then to Edward White Benson, Tait’s immediate successor. Davidson married Tait’s daughter, Edith (died in 1936), in 1878. Our saint gained the confidence of Queen Victoria and advised her regarding ecclesiastical appointments. Through her favor he succeeded to the posts of Dean of Windsor (1883), Bishop of Rochester (1891), and Bishop of Winchester (1895). In February 1903 he succeeded Frederick Temple as Archbishop of Canterbury.
Davidson had a passion for reconciliation, ecclesiastical and political. He sought to find common ground in theological arguments (such as the one regarding ritualism), favored the League of Nations, and became an ecumenical leader. Our saint supported Anglican-Roman Catholic dialogue, favored closer Anglican-Eastern Orthodox ties, and argued for retaining the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. He also opposed religious persecution in Russia and spoke out on behalf of the rights of indigenous peoples, thereby making the work of Anglican missionaries easier.
Davidson retired, aged 80 years, in November 1928, shortly after the Parliament refused to approve the proposed Book of Common Prayer, meant to replace the Prayer Book of 1662. He had hoped that Parliament would approve the proposed Prayer Book. He died on May 25, 1930, aged 82 years, in London.
KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR
MARCH 16, 2017 COMMON ERA
THE FEAST OF SAINT ADALBALD OF OSTEVANT, SAINT RICTRUDIS OF MARCHIENNES, AND THEIR RELATIONS
THE FEAST OF SAINT ABRAHAM KIDUNAIA, ROMAN CATHOLIC HERMIT, AND SAINT MARY OF EDESSA, ROMAN CATHOLIC ANCHORESS
THE FEAST OF SAINT JOHN CACCIAFRONTE, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK, ABBOT, BISHOP, AND MARTYR
THE FEAST OF SAINT MEGINGAUD OF WURZGURG, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK AND ABBOT
Heavenly Father, you have raised up faithful bishops of your church,
including your servant Randall Davidson.
May the memory of his life be a source of joy for us and a bulwark of our faith,
so that we may serve and confess your name before the world,
through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Ezekiel 34:11-16 or Acts 20:17-35
1 Peter 5:1-4 or Ephesians 3:14-21
John 21:15-17 or Matthew 24:42-47
–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 60
Above: Archibald Campbell Tait
Image in the Public Domain
ARCHIBALD CAMPBELL TAIT (DECEMBER 21, 1811-DECEMBER 3, 1882)
Archbishop of Canterbury
Archibald Campbell Tait, a Broad Churchman, occupied the middle ground in an ongoing dispute between the Evangelical and Anglo-Catholic wings of The Church of England.
Tait, born at Edinburgh, Scotland, on December 21, 1811, was a son of Craufurd Tait (1777-1832) and Susan Campbell (1777-1814) He grew up a Presbyterian, but felt drawn to the Scottish Episcopal Church. Our saint studied at Edinburgh High School; Edinburgh Academy; Glasgow University; and Baillol College, Oxford. At Oxford he converted to The Church of England. Our saint was 19 years old. He remained associated with Baillol College until 1842, serving as a tutor from 1835 to 1842. Tait had become an Anglican deacon and curate in 1836 and a priest two years later.
Tait left Oxford for Rugby School. In 1842 he succeeded Thomas Arnold as headmaster. The following year our saint married Catherine Spooner (1819-1878). He had the misfortune of burying her and all their children.
Tait’s ascent into the Anglican hierarchy continued. From 1849 to 1856 he was the Dean of Carlisle Cathedral. Next our saint served as the Bishop of London (1856-1868), due to an appeal by Queen Victoria. He was already upsetting members of both the Evangelical and Anglo-Catholic wings of The Church of England by being a Broad Churchman. Of course, had Tait been an Evangelical Anglican, he would have antagonized many Anglo-Catholics anyway. Likewise, if he had been an Anglo-Catholic, our saint would have upset many Evangelicals anyway. What was the man supposed to do and be? He was just not going to satisfy some people. As the Bishop of London Tait performed the job well; he founded churches and provided more clergymen to those congregations in need of them.
From 1868 to 1882 Tait served as the Archbishop of Canterbury. Although he initially opposed the disestablishment of The Church of Ireland, he accepted it as being inevitable after Queen Victoria spoke to him. Tait also secured the best possible deal for The Church of Ireland. He also attempted unsuccessfully to have the unwieldy Athanasian Creed removed from the services of The Church of England. Our saint, as part of an attempt to create peace in The Church of England by writing the first draft of the Public Worship Regulation Act (1874), which emerged from the Parliament in an altered, more Protestant, and stricter form, to which he objected. The law, in its final form, created ecclesiastical courts for priests accused of practicing ritualism and led to the imprisonment of four priests, starting in 1877 and ending in 1882. However, Tait secured veto powers and worked to render the law obsolete. Backlash against the Act completed the process of rendering it obsolete.
Tait died at December 3, 1882, at Addington, Surrey, England. He was 70 years old. He had labored to bring peace to The Church of England, a denomination with three distinct branches. His efforts proved the truth of the statement that for every action there is an equal and opposite criticism.
KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR
NOVEMBER 6, 2016 COMMON ERA
ALL SAINTS’ SUNDAY
THE FEAST OF CHRISTIAN GREGOR, FATHER OF MORAVIAN CHURCH MUSIC
THE FEAST OF GIOVANNI GABRIELI AND HANS LEO HASSLER, COMPOSERS AND ORGANISTS; AND CLAUDIO MONTEVERDI AND HEINRICH SCHUTZ, COMPOSERS AND MUSICIANS
THE FEAST OF SAINT THEOPHANE VENARD, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST, MISSIONARY, AND MARTYR IN VIETNAM
THE FEAST OF WILLIAM TEMPLE, ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY
Almighty Father, whose blessed Son before his passion prayed for his disciples
that they might be one, as you and he are one:
Grant that your Church, being bound together in love and obedience to you,
may be united in one body by the one Spirit,
that the world may believe in him whom you have sent,
you Son Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, now and for ever Amen.
John 17:6a, 15-23
—A Great Cloud of Witnesses: A Calendar of Commemorations (2016), page A48
Above: Edward White Benson
Image in the Public Domain
EDWARD WHITE BENSON, JR. (JULY 14, 1829-OCTOBER 11, 1896)
Archbishop of Canterbury
Edward White Benson was a leading figure in The Church of England in the late 1800s.
Benson was a native of Birmingham, England, where he entered the world on July 14, 1829. His mother was Harriet Baker Benson (1805-1850). Our saint’s father, Edward White Benson, Sr. (1802-1843), was a manufacturing chemist. His death impoverished the family. Benson studied at King Edward’s School, Birmingham. James Prince Lee (1804-1869), the headmaster, influenced the young saint greatly. Benson revered Lee, who went on to become the Bishop of Manchester in 1847 Our saint even preached at Lee’s funeral. At King Edward’s School Benson forged lifelong friendships with other future leading lights of The Church of England and continued to be their classmate at Trinity College, Cambridge. These friends were:
- Joseph Barber Lightfoot (1828-1889), later the Bishop of Durham (1879-1889);
- Brooke Foss Westcott (1825-1901), who succeeded Lightfoot immediately as the Bishop of Durham; and
- Fenton John Anthony Hort (1828-1892), who, like Lightfoot and Westcott, was a Biblical scholar and translator.
Benson, who graduated from Trinity College in 1852, won the Chancellor’s medal there that year and became a fellow of that institution in 1853.
Benson became a priest and an educator. From 1852 to 1858 he served as the Assistant Headmaster of Rugby School, succeeding George Edward Lynch Cotton (1813-1866), later the Bishop of Calcutta and Metropolitan of India. Frederick Temple (1821-1902) became the Headmaster of Rugby School in 1858. On June 23, 1859 he conducted the marriage ceremony of our saint and Mary Sidgwick (1841-1918). Also in 1859 Benson, on the recommendation of Temple, became the first headmaster of Wellington College, an institution for the orphans of army officers.
The Bensons had six children:
- Martin White Benson (1860-1878), who died of tubercular meningitis at the age of 17 years;
- Arthur Christopher Benson (1862-1925), who became a school master, a prolific writer, the biographer of his brother Robert Hugh Benson as well as his father, and who wrote the lyrics of “Land of Hope and Glory;”
- Mary Eleanor Benson (1863-1890), who became an activist for poor people and died of diphtheria, contracted while engaging in that work;
- Margaret Benson (1865-1916), an Egyptologist and author;
- Edward Frederic Benson (1867-1940), a prolific novelist; and
- Robert Hugh Benson (1871-1914), an Anglican priest (1895-1903), convert to Roman Catholicism (1903), Roman Catholic priest (1904-1914), and papal chamberlain (1911f).
None of the Bensons’ children married and all seem to have suffered from congenital mental illness. Our saint was subject to fits of depression, and not just because he buried two of his children. (Aside: One might wonder how much better their lives would have been if certain medications would have been available to them.)
Benson built up Wellington College. It began as a poorly endowed institution, but he transformed it into a great school by the time he left for Lincoln. Our saint, while leader of Wellington College, began his study of the life of St. Cyprian of Carthage (died in 258). Benson’s interest in patristics and ecclesiastical symbolism was obvious in the architecture, mosaics, carvings, and windows of the college chapel, the construction of which he oversaw.
Benson served in other capacities prior to becoming the Archbishop of Canterbury. As the Chancellor of Lincoln (Cathedral) from 1873 to 1877 he founded a theological college and established night schools and university extension lectures. As the first Bishop of Truro our saint revitalized Anglicanism in Cornwall, an area in which religious nonconformity was strong He also founded the cathedral, the construction of which continued after he died.
Archibald Campbell Tait (1811-1882), former Headmaster of Rugby School (1842-1848) and Archbishop of Canterbury (1868-1882), died, creating the vacancy Benson filled in 1883. As the leader of The Church of England our saint opposed attempts to disestablish the Welsh Church, supported high church ritualism at a time when that was controversial, opened talks with the Russian Orthodox Church, and re-established the Anglican bishopric in Jerusalem. Benson also resolved the schism in the Natal resulting from the heterodoxy of John William Colenso (1814-1883), the deposed and excommunicated Bishop of Natal (1853-1883), who, due to legal maneuverings, retained his title despite his deposition and excommunication. The official bishop in the area from 1869 to 1892 was William Macrorie (1831-1905), the Bishop of Maritzburg. Arthur Hamilton Baynes (1854-1942) succeeded Macrorie in 1892 and Colenso the following year, serving until 1901. (Aside: “The Church’s One Foundation” contains references to the Colenso Affair. Consider, O reader, “By schisms rent asunder,/By heresies distressed.”) Benson was also properly suspicious of the Roman Catholic investigation into the validity of Anglican holy orders relative to Apostolic Succession, for Holy Mother Church ruled Anglican holy orders invalid in 1896.
Benson’s published works included the following:
- Work, Friendship, Worship: Three Sermons Preached Before The University of Cambridge, October, 1871 (1872);
- Phoebe the Servant of the Church: A Sermon, Preached at St. Peter’s Church, South Kensington, on May 11, 1873, in the Aid of the Parochial Mission-Women Fund (1873);
- Scholae Cancellarii: Training of Candidates for Holy Orders at Lincoln: A Letter to the Right Reverend the Lord Bishop of the Diocese (1875);
- Singleheart (1877);
- The Cathedral: Its Necessary Place in the Life and Work of the Church (1878);
- The Voice and Its Homes: A Sermon Preached in Behalf of the Incorporated Church Building Society, in S. Paul’s Cathedral, London, on May 20, 1881: Being the First Anniversary of the Foundation of Truro Cathedral (1881);
- The Primate and Church Defense (1883);
- Boy-Life, Its Trial, Its Strength, Its Fulness: Sundays in Wellington College, 1859-1873: Three Books–New Edition (1883);
- Report of a Speech Delivered at the 183rd Annual Public Meeting of the Society: Held in St. James’s Hall, on Tuesday, June 17, 1884 (1884);
- The Seven Gifts (1885);
- The Liquor Traffic with Native Races: A Letter from the Archbishops (1887);
- An Address Given at Croyden: At a Meeting of the Canterbury Diocesan Church Reading Society, on Monday, Nov. 28th, 1887 (1887);
- Christ and His Times: Addressed to the Diocese of Canterbury on His Second Visitation (1890);
- Technical Education and Its Influence on Society: An Address (1892);
- The Church in Wales: Shall We Forsake Her? A Speech by His Grace the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury at the Church Congress, Rhyl, on Tuesday, October 6, 1891 (1892);
- Fishers of Men: Addressed to the Diocese of Canterbury in His Third Visitation (1893); and
- Living Theology (1893).
Benson died at Hawarden, Wales, on Sunday, October 11, 1896. He, a house guest of former Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone (1809-1898) at Hawarden Castle, had returned from an exhausting tour of Ireland. Our saint suffered a stroke while attending a morning service at the local parish church. He was 67 years old. Frederick Temple succeeded him as the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Benson left some unpublished writings, which others made available to the public via printing presses. These works included the following;
- Archbishop Benson in Ireland: A Record of the Irish Sermons and Addresses (1896);
- Cyprian: His Life, His Times, His Work (1897);
- The Apocalypse: An Introductory Study of the Revelation of St. John the Divine, Being a Presentment of the Structure of the Book and of the Fundamental Principles of Its Interpretation (1900); and
- On Convocation: A Letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury; and a Speech in the Upper House of the Convocation of the Southern Province (1917).
Arthur Christopher Benson wrote his father’s biography, The Life of Edward White Benson, Sometime Archbishop of Canterbury (1899)–Volumes I and II.
Edward White Benson worked to glorify God and benefit his fellow human beings. He pursued these goals in particular ways, at a particular era, and in a particular setting. The details of his spiritual vocation were specific to him. Nevertheless, the general calling to glorify God and to benefit others remains unbounded by identity, geography, and time.
KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR
JULY 19, 2016 COMMON ERA
THE FEAST OF SAINTS POEMEN, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT; AND JOHN THE DWARF AND ARSENIUS THE GREAT, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONKS
THE FEAST OF SAINT AMBROSE AUTPERT, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT
THE FEAST OF SAINT JOHN PLESSINGTON, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND MARTYR
THE FEAST OF SAINT MACRINA THE YOUNGER, ROMAN CATHOLIC NUN
O God, our heavenly Father, who raised up your faithful servant Edward White Benson
to be a faithful bishop and pastor in your Church and to feed your 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.
Psalm 84 or 84:7-11
–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men: Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 719