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Feast of Charles Silvester Horne (May 2)   Leave a comment

Union Jack

Above:  The Union Jack

CHARLES SILVESTER HORNE (APRIL 15, 1865-MAY 2, 1914)

English Congregationalist Minister and Hymn Writer

Charles Silvester Horne (1865-1914), a son of a Congregationalist minister, studied at the University of Glasgow (graduating in 1866) then at Mansfield College, Oxford.  His reputation so preceded him that Allen Street Congregational Church, Kensington (now Kensington United Reformed Church), hired as its pastor two years before he had completed his theological studies.  The ministry was Horne’s second career, for journalism had been his first.  Thus the former newspaper editor became a minister in 1889.  Horne left Allen Street Church in 1903 for his second pastorate, Whitefield’s Central Mission, London (now home of the American Church in London), where he remained until he died.

Horne was also a statesman in matters of church and state.  In 1909 he served as Chairman of the Congregational Union of England and Wales.  And, from 1910 to his death, Horne was the Member of Parliament (Liberal Party) for Ipswich.  In 1913 he became the President of the National Brotherhood Council, an organization which addressed social problems.

The end came in 1914, shortly after Horne had delivered the Yale Lectures on Preaching.  His boat had just docked at Toronto, Ontario, Canada, when Horne dropped dead at the feet of his wife, Katharine Cozens-Hardy, the mother of his seven children.

James Moffatt, in the Handbook to the Church Hymnary (1927), on page 377, wrote of Horne:

His enthusiastic public spirit and zeal in all good causes, his burning interest in the social problem, and his strong yet winsome personality, made him an admired leader in his own denomination, and far beyond it, a power for righteousness.

Horne wrote the hymn, “For the might of Thine Arm We Bless Thee” for his London congregation.  The song debuted in print in The Fellowship Hymn Book (1909).

For the might of Thine arm we bless Thee, our God, our fathers’ God;

Thou hast kept Thy pilgrim people by the strength of Thy staff and rod;

Thou hast called us to the journey which faithless feet ne’er trod;

For the might of Thine arm we bless Thee, our God, our fathers’ God.

—–

For the love of Christ constraining, that bound their hearts as one;

For the faith in truth and freedom in which their work was done;

For the peace of God’s evangel wherewith their feet were shod;

For the might of Thine arm we bless Thee, our God, our fathers’ God.

—–

We are watchers of a beacon whose light must never die;

We are guardians of an altar that shows Thee ever nigh;

We are children of Thy freemen who sleep beneath the sod;

For the might of Thine arm we bless Thee, our God, our fathers’ God.

—–

May the shadow of Thy presence around our camp be spread;

Baptize us with the courage Thou gavest to our dead;

O keep us in the pathway that saintly feet have trod;

For the might of Thine arm we bless Thee, our God, our fathers’ God.

Charles Silverster Horne glorified God and aided his fellow human beings in his day.  May we do the same in ours.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 19, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOSEPH OF NAZARETH, HUSBAND OF MARY, MOTHER OF GOD

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For Further Reading:

http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/webbin/book/lookupname?key=Horne%2c%20Charles%20Silvester%2c%201865-1914

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Holy and righteous God, you have created us in your image.

Grant us grace to contend fearlessly against evil and to make no peace with oppression.

Help us, like your servant Charles Silvester Horne,

to work for justice among people and nations,

to the glory of your name, 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), page 60