Archive for the ‘Arthur Cleveland Coxe’ Tag

Feast of William Croswell (November 9)   1 comment

Christ Church, Boston

Above:  Christ Church (Old North Church), Boston, Massachusetts

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-USZC4-402

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WILLIAM CROSWELL (NOVEMBER 7, 1804-NOVEMBER 9, 1851)

Episcopal Priest and Hymn Writer

William Croswell was the third son of Harry Croswell (1778-1858) and Susan Sherman Croswell (1779-1855).  Harry was a Federalist newspaper editor twice convicted of criminal libel.  The standard for criminal libel was political then.  The Sedition Act of 1798, a Federalist measure, targeted Jeffersonian Republicans, shutting down newspapers, imprisoning Jeffersonian Republican critics (but not High Federalist ones) of the John Adams Administration, and racking up a 100% conviction rate.  Then came the Jefferson Administration in 1801.  Jefferson, hardly the paragon of free speech some imagine him to have been, condoned and encouraged libel suits against Federalist journalists, such as Harry Croswell, one half of People v. Croswell (1804).  The journalist had accused Jefferson of paying James Callender to publish stories critical of the President’s opponents.  New York Attorney General Ambrose Spencer, one target of Croswell’s criticisms, took the editor to court on grounds of libel and sedition.  The jury convicted Croswell.  In 1805, however, the New York legislature passed a law providing for the defense of truthfulness in libel suits.

Harry Croswell was working as the editor of a newspaper in Hudson, New York, when William debuted on November 7, 1804.  The family moved to Albany, New York, in 1809.  There the father edited another newspaper and had to contend with more harassment in the form of libel suits.  Finally he changed careers and became an Episcopal priest in 1814.  Harry served briefly at Christ Church, Hudson, New York, before become the Rector of Trinity-on-the-Green Episcopal Church, New Haven, Connecticut, where he served from 1815 to 1858 (his death).  While at Trinity Church he grew the parish, helped to increase the number of Episcopal congregations from one to eight, wrote books (mostly religious), and founded a night school for African Americans.

William Croswell graduated from Yale College in 1822.  He took a few years to settle on a career.  He considered becoming an attorney.  The private school he and brother Sherman Croswell operated at New Haven from 1822 to 1824 proved not to be his calling either.  Our saint even tried editing a political newspaper, the Albany Argus, with his cousin, Edwin Croswell, for two years.  (The politics of the Argus favored the nascent Democratic Party.)  Finally, in 1826, William decided to study theology.  He matriculated at the General Theological Seminary, New York, New York, that year, but health forced him to leave.  Thus, in the following year, he resumed theological studies at Hartford College.  In the meantime he worked as an editor of the Episcopal Watchman, which published some of his poetry. Ordination in the Episcopal Church came in 1828.

Our saint’s first parish was Christ Church, Boston, Massachusetts, or Old North Church, as in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow‘s verse,

One if by land, and two if by sea,

in reference to the famous midnight ride of Paul Revere.  Croswell served there from 1828 to 1839.  During that time he married Amanda Tarbell (1808-1880).

Our saint’s second parish was St. Peter’s Church, Auburn, New York, of which he was the Rector from 1839 to 1844.  He left there to become the founding Rector of the Church of the Advent, Boston, Massachusetts, which he served until he died at the end of the morning service on November 9, 1851. Between his departure from Auburn and his departure from this life Croswell received a D.D. degree from Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut, in 1846.

William Croswell was a respected man who contributed to his communities.  Manton Eastburn, Bishop of Massachusetts from 1843 to 1872, censured our saint for taking certain liberties with the rites of the Church, but Croswell was an excellent pastor and public citizen.  Arthur Cleveland Coxe (1818-1896), Bishop of Western New York from 1865 to 1896, who edited and published our saint’s Poems, Sacred and Secular (1859), wrote of him:

As a pastor, few have been more exemplary and devoted than Dr. Croswell.  He delighted to find Christ in his poor; and yet he was always beloved and admired by many among the most refined and affluent.  As a preacher, he was chaste and fervent in his style, felicitous in his illustrations and expositions of Holy Scripture, and clear and evangelical in his statements of doctrine.

Charles Dexter Cleveland (1802-1869) included some of Croswell’s hymns on pages 83-86 of Lyra Sacra Americana: or, Gems from American Sacred Poetry (1868).  Harry Croswell had published the Memoir (1851) of his son in 1851.  That volume contained many poetic works.

Our saint’s literary legacy is secure, fortunately.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 17, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE SEVENTH SUNDAY OF EASTER, YEAR B

THE FEAST OF SAINT PASCHAL BAYLON, FRANCISCAN

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM CROSWELL DOANE, EPISCOPAL BISHOP OF ALBANY

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

William Croswell 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 Samuel Hanson Cox and Arthur Cleveland Coxe (July 20)   2 comments

4a11791v

Above:  Library, New York University, 1904

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-det-4a11791

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SAMUEL HANSON COX (SR.) (AUGUST 25, 1793-OCTOBER 2, 1880)

U.S. Presbyterian Minister and Abolitionist

father of

ARTHUR CLEVELAND COXE (MAY 10, 1818-JULY 20, 1896)

Episcopal Bishop of Western New York, Hymn Writer, and Translator of Hymns

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Today I add a father and a son to the Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days.

Samuel Hanson Cox (1793-1880), born in Rahway, New Jesey, grew up a Quaker.  He renounced that denomination to serve in the United States armed forces during the War of 1812.  After that conflict Cox became a Presbyterian minister, serving at Mendham, New Jersey (1817-1821) then at the City of New York (1821-1834).  In 1932 he cofounded the University of the City of New York, now New York University, where he taught theology.  Cox’s opposition to slavery offended a sufficient number of people that a mob sacked his home and church building during the anti-abolitionist riots in 1834, forcing him to leave the city for safety.  So Cox became the pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Brooklyn, not yet part of the City of New York.  He also began to teach Ecclesiastical History at the Union Theological Seminary in time.  Cox, a prominent New School Presbyterian, served as the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. (New School) in 1849-1850.

[Historical Note:  The organizational roots of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. (1789-1838) went back to 1706, when The Church of Scotland founded the Presbytery of Philadelphia.  The PCUSA (1789-1838) divided over, among other things, the Second Great Awakening.  The Old School opposed it while the New School accommodated itself to the movement.  Just to confuse people, I suppose, each body which formed from the 1838 schism called itself simply the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A.  The New School divided over slavery 1858, with the United Synod of the South forming.  The Old School split likewise in 1861, spawning the Presbyterian Church in the Confederate States of America.  The PCCSA absorbed the United Synod of the South in 1864 and renamed itself the Presbyterian Church in the United States (PCUS) in 1865, after the Confederacy had ceased to exist.  The two PCUSAs reunited in 1869-1870 as the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. (what else?).  This body merged with the United Presbyterian Church of North America in 1958 to create The United Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., which reunited with the almost entirely Southern PCUS in 1983 to form the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).]

Cox retired in 1854.  He died at Broxville, New York, in 1880.

Cox had two sons, both of whom became Episcopal clergymen and added “e” to the last name.  One son, Samuel Hanson Coxe, Jr., served parishes in the State of New York.  The other son, Arthur Cleveland Coxe, rose to the office of bishop.

Arthur Cleveland Coxe was born at Mendham, New Jersey, in 1818, during his father’s tenure as the Presbyterian minister there.  Coxe attended the University of the City of New York, which his father had cofounded.  Coxe published throughout his life, beginning with poetry during his freshman year of college.  He graduated in 1838 then matriculated at General Theological Seminary.  Coxe, ordained to the Diaconate in 1841 and the Priesthood the next year, served at St. John’s Church, Hartford, Connecticut, from 1842 to 1854; Grace Church, Baltimore, Maryland, from 1854 to 1863; and Calvary Episcopal Church, New York, New York, from 1863 to 1865.  In 1865 Coxe became the Bishop Coadjutor of Western New York, having already declined an opportunity to become the Bishop of Texas.  His tenure as Bishop Coadjutor lasted for just a few months, for the bishop died, making Coxe the next bishop, a post he held for the rest of his life.

Coxe published prose and poetry, including hymns.  He wrote the following text in 1850:

Saviour, sprinkle many nations,

Fruitful let Thy sorrows be;

By Thy pains and consolations

Draw the Gentiles unto Thee.

Of Thy cross, the wondrous story,

Be it to the nations told;

Let them see Thee in Thy glory

And Thy mercy manifold.

—–

Far and wide, though all unknowing,

Pants for Thee each mortal breast;

Human tears for Thee are flowing,

Human hearts in Thee would rest.

Thirsting, as for dews of even,

As the new-mown grass for rain,

Thee they seek as God of heaven,

Thee as man for sinners slain.

—–

Saviour, lo!  the isles are waiting,

Stretched the hand and stained the sight,

For Thy Spirit, new-creating,

Love’s pure flame and wisdom’s light;

Give the word, and of the preacher

Speed the foot and tough the tongue,

Till on earth by every creature

Glory to the Lamb be sung.

Coxe was a humble man, one who, until the last four years of his life, refused to let any of his hymns appear in official Episcopal hymnals, even though he served on the denominational Hymnal Commission.  Of Coxe Robert Guy McCutchan wrote the following:

Bishop Coxe was a man of unusual gifts:  great personal charm, wonderful eloquence, a scholar of distinction, and a poet whose master-motive was his love of Christ, his love of souls.

Our Hymnody:  A Manual of The Methodist Hymnal, 2d. ed.  (Nashville, TN:  Abingdon Press, 1937, pages 149-150)

Bishop Coxe spoke out on a variety of issues.  He opposed any translation of the Bible other than the Authorized (King James) Version. (I disagree with him on that point.  That translation is, for me, properly a museum piece.)  He also opposed the dogma of the Immaculate Conception and defended the Apostolic nature of Anglican orders.  (I agree with him on both of those counts.)  But, regardless of how much I agree or disagree with Bishop Coxe, I honor him for his work for God.  And I honor his father’s efforts for God and the enslaved.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 20, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT ALCUIN OF YORK, DEACON AND ABBOT

THE FEAST OF SAINT HELENA, MOTHER OF EMPEROR CONSTANTINE I

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For Further Reading:

Samuel Hanson Cox:

http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/webbin/book/browse?type=lcsubc&key=Cox%2C%20Samuel%20H.%20(Samuel%20Hanson)%2C%201793-1880&c=x

Arthur Cleveland Coxe:

http://anglicanhistory.org/usa/accoxe/

http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/webbin/book/lookupname?key=Coxe%2C%20A.%20Cleveland%20(Arthur%20Cleveland)%2C%201818-1896

http://anglicanhistory.org/usa/wcdoane/coxe1896.html

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Heavenly Father, shepherd of your people, we thank you for your servants

Samuel Hanson Cox and Arthur Cleveland Coxe,

who were faithful in the care and nurture of your flock.

We pray that, following their examples and the teachings of their holy lives,

we may by your grace attain our full maturity in Christ,

through the same 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

Psalm 84

1 Peter 5:1-4 or Ephesians 3:14-21

John 21:15-17 or Matthew 24:42-47

Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 60