Archive for the ‘Charles Seymour Robinson’ Tag

Feast of Charles Seymour Robinson (February 1)   1 comment

Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church, New York, New York

Above:  Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church, New York, New York, Circa 1903

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-det-4a11085

Copyright Claimant = Detroit Publishing Company

This is an image of the 1901-present day structure, not the 1864-1901 building our saint knew.  A link to an image of the 1864-1901 structure is here.

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CHARLES SEYMOUR ROBINSON (MARCH 3, 1829-FEBRUARY 1, 1899)

U. S. Presbyterian Minister, Hymn Writer, and Hymnologist

Charles Seymour Robinson cared deeply about hymns, which constitute sung theology.  Toward that end he composed original texts and edited and compiled hymnals.  I have added one of his texts, “Savior, I Follow On” (1862), to my GATHERED PRAYERS weblog.

The native of Bennington, Vermont, became a Presbyterian minister.  He studied at Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts, from 1849 to 1852, then at Union Theological Seminary, New York, New York, from 1852 to 1853, at Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, New Jersey, from 1853 to 1855.  Our saint’s first pastorate was Park Street Presbyterian Church, Troy, New York, from 1855 to 1860.  For the next eight years he served as the minister at First Presbyterian Church, Brooklyn, New York.  Next, due to his wife’s health, Robinson relocated to Paris France, where he served as the pastor of the American Chapel from 1868 to 1870, with follow-up work there in 1871, after the Franco-Prussian War.  Then, from 1871 to 1887, he was the minister at Memorial Presbyterian Church, New York, New York.  During our saint’s tenure the congregation relocated and renamed itself Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church.

Robinson’s later career was a time of literary emphasis and two brief pastorates.  Wikipedia, which is notoriously inaccurate, states wrongly that our saint resigned from his last pastorate in 1887.  Actually, however, he resigned from two pastorates after that year.  During my research I followed leads and found documentation at newspapers.com.  Robinson became the Editor of the Illustrated Christian Weekly in 1876 and of Every Thursday four years later.  He served as the pastor of the Thirteenth Street Presbyterian Church, New York, New York, for about a year (1891-1892) before assuming that role at New York Presbyterian Church in the city.  That pastoral relationship (1892-1897) ended in acrimony, which the New York City press covered.

Sun, January 23, 1899, Page 3 01

Sun, January 23, 1899, Page 3 02

Sun, January 23, 1899, Page 3 03

Sun, January 23, 1899, Page 3 04

Sun, January 23, 1899, Page 3 05

Above:  An Article from The Sun, January 23, 1899, Page 3

Accessed via newspapers.com

Robinson died of pneumonia at New York City on February 1, 1899, after an extended period of illness.  My research uncovered coverage of his illness and death, indicating his prominence.

New York Times February 2, 1899, Page 7 01

New York Times February 2, 1899, Page 7 02

New York Times February 2, 1899, Page 7 03

New York Times February 2, 1899, Page 7 04

Above:  Robinson’s Obituary, The New York Times, February 2, 1899, Page 7

Accessed via newspapers.com

That prominence was also evident in his list of publications, a partial list of which follows:

  1. Songs of the Church: or, Hymns and Tunes for Christian Worship (1862);
  2. The Martyred President:  A Sermon Preached in the First Presbyterian Church, Brooklyn, New York (1865);
  3. Songs for the Sanctuary:  Or, Hymns and Tunes for Christian Worship (1865; Baptist Edition, 1869; Chapel Edition, 1872);
  4. Short Studies for Sunday-School Teachers (1868);
  5. Songs for Christian Worship in the Chapel and Family; Selected from “Songs of the Church” (1869);
  6. Bethel and Penuel (1873);
  7. Psalms and Hymns and Spiritual Songs:  A Manual of Worship for the Church of Christ (1875);
  8. Calvary Songs:  A Collection of New and Choice Hymns and Tunes for Sunday Schools and Families (1875), with Theodore Perkins;
  9. A Selection of Spiritual Songs with Music for Use in Social Meetings (1878, 1879, 1881);
  10. A Selection of Spiritual Songs with Music, for the Church and the Choir (1878, 1881);
  11. Studies in the New Testament (1880);
  12. The Calvary Selection of Spiritual Songs with Music for Use in Special Meetings (1881), with Robert S. MacArthur;
  13. A Selection of Spiritual Songs for the Sunday School (1881);
  14. A Selection of Spiritual Songs with Music; for the Sunday School (1881);
  15. Studies of Neglected Texts (1883);
  16. Laudes Domini:  A Selection of Spiritual Songs, Ancient and Modern (1884; 1887; 1888; Abridged Edition, 1888; 1890);
  17. Laudes Domini:  A Selection of Spiritual Songs, Ancient and Modern, for the Sunday School (1888);
  18. Sermons in Songs (1885);
  19. Sabbath Evening Sermons (1887);
  20. The Pharaohs of the Bondage and the Exodus (1887);
  21. Studies in Mark’s Gospel (1888);
  22. Simon Peter:  His Early Life and Times (1888);
  23. From Samuel to Solomon (1889);
  24. Laudes Domini:  A Selection of Spiritual Songs, Ancient and Modern for Use in the Prayer-Meeting (1890);
  25. The New Laudes Domini:  A Selection of Spiritual Songs, Ancient and Modern (1892; Miniature Edition, 1892);
  26. The New Laudes Domini:  A Secletion of Spiritual Songs, Ancient and Modern; for Use in Baptist Churches (1892); and
  27. Annotations Upon Popular Hymns; for Use in Praise Meetings (1893), a companion volume to Laudes Domini and The New Laudes Domini.

Robinson died in 1899.  May the fact that he lived remain in active memory among those of us who value well-written hymns.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 22, 2014 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT SYNCLETIA OF ALEXANDRIA, DESERT MOTHER

THE FEAST OF SAINT ABELARD OF CORBIE, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK

THE FEAST OF JOHN JULIAN, ANGLICAN PRIEST, HYMN WRITER, AND HYMNOLOGIST

THE FEAST OF SAINT VINCENT PALLOTTI, FOUNDER OF THE PALLOTINES

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

thank you for those (especially Charles Seymour Robinson)

who have nurtured and encouraged the reverent worship of you.

May their work inspire us to worship you in knowledge, truth, and beauty.

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

1 Chronicles 25:1-8

Psalm 145

Revelation 15:1-4

John 4:19-26

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 27, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT JAMES INTERCISUS, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYR

THE FEAST OF HENRY SLOANE COFFIN, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN THEOLOGIAN

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