Archive for the ‘Christian Socialism’ Tag

Feast of Churchill Julius (September 23)   Leave a comment

Above:  The Flag of New Zealand

Image in the Public Domain

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CHURCHILL JULIUS (OCTOBER 15, 1847-SEPTEMBER 1, 1938)

Anglican Bishop of Christchurch

Primate and Archbishop of New Zealand

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I am a Socialist because I find Socialism in every page of the New Testament.

–Bishop Churchill Julius, 1891

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Archbishop Churchill Julius comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via The Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia.

Archbishop Julius, born in Richmond, Surrey, England, on October 15, 1847, grew up in the Evangelical wing of The Church of England.  Our saint’s mother was Ellen Hannah Smith.  His father was surgeon Frederic Gilder Julius.  Our saint studied at various local schools before matriculating at the junior department of King’s College, London.  Then he studied at Worcester College, Oxford (B.A., 1869; M.A., 1873; D.D., 1893).

Julius went into ordained ministry.  He, ordained to the diaconate (1871) and the priesthood (1872), served first in England.  He was:

  1. the Curate of St. Giles, Norwich (1871-1973);
  2. the Curate of South Brent, Somersetshire (1873-1875);
  3. the Vicar of Shapwick (1875-1876); and 
  4. the Vicar of Holy Trinity, Islington (1884-1890).

Then Julius transferred to the Southern Hemisphere.  He served at the cathedral in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia (1884-1890).  Then, in 1890, he became the Bishop of Christchurch, New Zealand.

Above:  Archbishop Churchill Julius

Image in the Public Domain

Julius, always in the Evangelical wing of Anglicanism, harbored some High Church liberalism.  His experiences ministering in the Islington slum influenced his social progressivism.  In 1891, our saint pronounced that he was a Christian Socialist.  Indeed, Julius spent the rest of his life defending trade unions, labor rights, and workers’ rights to safe to working conditions.  These views were unpopular within the conservative corners of Anglicanism.

He also sympathized with the goals of the Prohibition movement in New Zealand.  Yet Julius initially opposed their tactics as being ineffective; he favored moral persuasion.  Given the unintended consequences of Prohibition in the United States, Julius was correct.  Then he was wrong, for he came to favor Prohibition.

Julius had a mix of liberalism and conservatism that will unsettle almost everyone in 2021.  He favored higher Biblical criticism.  Our saint supported the right of women to participate in the governance of the Anglican Church.  (I approve of the first two.)  Yet, in a racist turn, Julius opposed contraception, partially on the grounds that it would decrease the number of White people.  And he opposed secular, public education in New Zealand, in favor of denominational schools.  In 1899, Julius told the diocesan convention:

We regard the secularization as not merely indifferent, but actively hostile to religion.

On the other hand, this attitude fostered our saint’s vigorous support of parochial schools, denominational colleges, parochial day schools, and Sunday schools.

Julius, unlike some other Anglican bishops of his time, tolerated people from the other side of the Evangelical-Anglo-Catholic divide.  He permitted Anglo-Catholic ritualism in parishes and missions.  Our saint also permitted and encouraged the presence of religious orders in his diocese.

For years Julius lobbied for establishing a primatial see in New Zealand.  He wanted that see to be that of Wellington.  Our saint got his wish, sort of.  In 1922, he became the first Primate and Archbishop of New Zealand, while remaining as the Bishop of Christchurch.  Julius opposed the title “archbishop,” yet he was the first Archbishop of New Zealand.  Furthermore, the prospect of people addressing him as “Your Grace” appalled our saint.  Julius, Archbishop of New Zealand for only a few years, retired in 1925, after 35 years as the Bishop of Christchurch.

Julius married Alice Frances Rowlandson of Bouremouth, Hampshire, England, on June 18, 1872.  At the time, he was the Curate of St. Giles, Norwich.  The couple raised five daughters and three sons.  Alice was a deep introvert; her husband was an extrovert.  Alice was active in a range of organizations, but she also had fragile health.  Therefore, she was not as active in those organizations as she would have been otherwise.  That fragile health caused her death two decades before her husband shuffled off his mortal coil.

Julius, aged 90 years, died on September 1, 1938.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 22, 2021 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT DEOGRATIAS, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF CARTHAGE

THE FEAST OF EMMANUEL MOURNIER, PERSONALIST PHILOSOPHER

THE FEAST OF JAMES DE KOVEN, EPISCOPAL PRIEST

THE FEAST OF THOMAS HUGHES, BRITISH SOCIAL REFORMER AND MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM EDWARD HICKSON, ENGLISH MUSIC EDUCATOR AND SOCIAL REFORMER

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Gracious God,

your servant Churchill Julius

won your people’s love and respect

by his faithful witness;

give us a like soundness of advice,

and a steadfast care for all in need;

through him who came among us

as servant of all,

Jesus Christ our Saviour.  Amen.

or

Jesus Christ,

heart and head of the Church,

we thank you for Churchill Julius,

worthy leader and archbishop in his generation;

may we build wisely

on the foundation he and his companions laid.  Amen.

Micah 6:6-8

Psalm 1 or Psalm 112

Philippians 4:4-9

Matthew 10:32-42

–The Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia

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Feast of Octavia Hill (August 13)   1 comment

Above:  Octavia Hill, by John Singer Sargent

Image in the Public Domain

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OCTAVIA HILL (DECEMBER 3, 1838-AUGUST 13, 1912)

English Social Reformer

Octavia Hill comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via The Church of England.

Hill devoted most of her long life to helping poor people.  She was simultaneously of her time and ahead of it.  Our saint, for example, opposed women’s suffrage; she accepted the “separate spheres” theory, then a societal norm.  Hill, who did much to provide affordable housing for poor people, also opposed affordable public housing.  Furthermore, her opposition to government programs to help the impoverished extended to social services and social security.  Yet Hill did much to create the National Trust, preserving green areas and places of historical interest for the common good.

One can acknowledge the good a person did while partially disagreeing with him or her.

Hill, born in Wisbach, Isle of Ely, England, Cambridgeshire, on December 3, 1838, came from a once-prosperous family.  Her father was James Hill, a corn merchant and a former banker.  James Hill, twice widowed, had five sons and daughter when he married his former governess, Caroline Southwood Smith, in 1835.  By 1840, he had collapsed mentally and gone bankrupt.  Caroline’s father, Dr. James Southwood Smith, provided for the family financially and emotionally.  He helped to raise his granddaughter, Octavia, eighth daughter and tenth child of James Hill.

Our saint’s upbringing informed the rest of her life.  The grandfather’s influence in Octavia’s life became obvious over time.  He, a pioneer in urban sanitary reform, took a great interests in social problems, such as affordable urban housing and child labor in mines.  Caroline Hill’s special interest in progressive education also influenced our saint.  Frederick Denison Maurice (1805-1872), a family friend and a leader in the Christian Socialist movement, added her influences, too.

Hill grew up to become quite a formidable, functional presence.  Friend Henrietta Barnett (1844-1913) noted our saint’s obliviousness to fashion.  Others considered Hill ruthless and despotic.  Frederick Temple (1821-1902) encountered our saint while he was still the Bishop of London (1885-1896).  At an ecclesiastical meeting, she spoke for about half an hour.  The future Archbishop of Canterbury recalled,

I never had such a beating in all my life.

Hill worked for the improvement of the lives and circumstances of poor people starting when she was 14 years old.  At that young age, she began to lead a workroom for a guild providing employment for poor school children.  She taught these women how to make toys for children.  Our saint knew these children and their terrible living conditions.  Throughout the rest of her life, making and maintaining a personal connection with those she helped was crucial in her mind.  For example, the impersonal nature of public housing was why she opposed it.

Hill also emphasized teaching self-reliance.  She approved any well-intentioned effort (especially public) she perceived as threatening self-reliance.  Yet Hill was no “pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps” person.  And she was obviously not a Social Darwinist, one who insisted that the wealthy were superior because they were rich, and, therefore, owed the less fortunate nothing.  To the contrary, our saint affirmed that the more fortunate must never ignore their obligations to the poor.

That sense of obligation, combined with a moral critique of legislative attempts to provide affordable housing, led her to provide affordable housing.  When our saint learned of the shortage of affordable housing for poor people for whom and to whom she was accountable, she started providing affordable housing.  With the help of friend John Ruskin (1819-1900), another humanitarian, she became a land lady at Paradise Place, Marylebone, London, in 1865.  Over the years, the number of cottages, initially three, increased.  Ruskin used his inheritance to acquire cottages for rent; Hill managed them.  Our saint and her rent collectors (all female) doubled as social workers.  Hill was building a community.

As the years passed, Hill managed more communities in London.  She worked hard, as did her employees.  So did her tenants.  In fact, Hill overworked herself.  After collapsing in 1877, our saint had to rest for several months.

Hill, demanding of herself and others, also recognized the importance of access to open spaces and the blue sky, especially in the cases of the urban poor.  Therefore, our saint worked to conserve open, green spices.  She coined the term “Green Belt,” lobbied and helped to conserve and preserve London suburban woodlands, and laid the foundation for the National Trust, founded in 1893.  Furthermore, Hill lobbied against any encroachment of industrialization upon natural beauty in certain areas.  Proposed construction of railroads in some places aroused her formidable ire.

As years passed, Hill’s influence spread.  Others in England and abroad copied her model for providing affordable housing.

Our saint, aged 81 years, died in Marylebone, London, on August 13, 1912.

The lack of affordable housing remains a major problem around the world.  It is a major problem in Athens-Clarke County, Georgia, where I live.  The local unified government is working with the private sector to alleviate the matter.  How to provide affordable housing in the optimal matter is a quandary for which more than one proper solution exists.  Local circumstances are always germane.  What works well in one place may not work well somewhere else.  The solution for which Octavia Hill advocated for which she put into effect, therefore, may fit in some localities yet not in others.  General principles are timeless.  Yet the mechanics of putting them into effect are not.  So be it.

But let us–you, O reader, and I–remember Octavia Hill as one who did something, did it well, and made a major, positive difference in the lives of vulnerable people where and when she was.  May we, empowered by grace, what out saint did–leave our corner of the world better than we found it.  That is our task.  That is also the task of those who will come after us.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 5, 2021 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF KARL RAHNER, JESUIT PRIEST AND THEOLOGIAN

THE FEAST OF AMBROSE PHILLIPPS DE LISLE, ENGLISH ROMAN CATHOLIC CONVERT, SPIRITUAL WRITER, AND TRANSLATOR OF SPIRITUAL WRITINGS; FOUNDER OF MOUNT SAINT BERNARD ABBEY

THE FEAST OF SAINT CHRISTOPHER MACASSOLI OF VIGEVANO, FRANCISCAN PRIEST

THE FEAST OF SAINT EUSEBIUS OF CREMONA, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT AND HUMANITARIAN

THE FEAST OF SAINT ION COSTIST, FRANCISCAN LAY BROTHER

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Lord 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,

peace to the troubled, 

and rest to the weary;

through your Son Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Hosea 2:18-23

Psalm 94:1-14

Romans 12:9-21

Luke 6:20-36

Lutheran Book of Worship (1978), 37

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Feast of G. Bromley Oxnam (August 13)   1 comment

Above:  The Cover of the Dust Jacket to A Testament of Faith (1958)

Image Source = archive.org

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GARFIELD BROMLEY OXNAM (AUGUST 14, 1891-MARCH 12, 1963)

U.S. Methodist Bishop

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INTRODUCTION

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Bishop G. Bromley Oxnam comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via G. Scott Cady and Christopher L. Webber, A Year with American Saints (2006).

If you love me, you will keep my commandments.

–John 14:15, Revised Standard Version (1952)

Bishop Oxnam liked to quote that verse.  For him, Christian faith was not a doctrinal confession one signed at the bottom of the page.  No, Oxnam’s Christian faith was a love-infused lifestyle. This lifestyle entailed obeying Matthew 25:31-46.

“Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.”

–Matthew 25:40b, Revised Standard Version (1952)

Oxnam was, in many ways, a counterpoint to his fellow bishop and contemporary, Gerald Kennedy (1907-1980).  Yet both men had much in common.  And both of them earned their places here, on my Ecumenical Calendar.  (I admit, though, that I feel more affinity for Bishop Oxnam than with Bishop Kennedy.)

Richard Brookhiser, writing derisively of Oxnam in the February 1992 issue of First Things, commented:

Theologically, Oxnam was a liberal by default, since he barely thought of theology at all.

Yet, as I have written repeatedly in lectionary-based devotions at some of my other weblogs, deeds reveal creeds.  As one thinks, one is.  And as one thinks, one acts.  In Hebrew theology, God is like what God has done and does.  Ergo, we are like what we have done and do.  And, as the Letter of James tells us:

For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so faith apart from works is dead.

–2:26, Revised Standard Version (1952)

Oxnam showed his faith by his works (James 2:26).

I could continue to paraphrase Oxnam, but his words are better than mine in expressing his faith.  So, without further ado:

I find it hard to understand men who “accept Christ” and then become sadistic as they deal with others who try to “love God with heart and mind and soul, and brother as self,” but who cannot in honesty accept the obscurantism that is presented as “the faith,” especially when the presentation is accompanied by the clanking of Inquisition chains and the fires at the stake.  The coercion by the bigoted is in itself a rejection of the spirit of Christ.  He relied on the compulsion of love.  If I were called upon to choose one word to describe Christianity, it would be love.  I believe nothing can separate us from the love of God.  I believe God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself.  I believe God sent Jesus because He “loved the world.”

A Testament of Faith (1958), viii-ix

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THE FIRST FORTY-THREE YEARS

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Oxnam, born in Los Angeles, California, on August 14, 1891, moved away from his family theological roots.  They were conservative.  Our saint’s father, a mining engineer and a mine owner, oversaw the construction of chapels for inhabitants of mining camps.  Oxnam’s mother was a charter member of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (W.C.T.U.).  At age 17, at a revival, our saint vowed to become a minister.

Oxnam left the conservative religion of his youth behind and embraced the Social Gospel.  He graduated from the University of Southern California (B.A., 1913) then Boston University (S.T.B., 1915).  Our saint, who married Ruth Fisher on August 19, 1914, had joined the Southern California Conference of the old Methodist Episcopal Church (1784-1939) as a licensed preacher the previous year.  The Conference ordained him a deacon in 1915 then an elder in 1917.

After serving in Poplar, California, Oxnam became the pastor at the Church of All Nations, Los Angeles, California (1917-1926), in the Eastside.  The Church of All Nations was a multi-ethnic, immigrant, and impoverished flock.  Our saint presided over an extensive network of social services, openly identified with labor unions, opposed nativism and xenophobia, suggested that teachers’ informed opinions should influence educational policies, aroused suspicions that he was a communist, and ran unsuccessfully for a seat on the school board.  He also taught social ethics at the University of Southern California.  In fact, Oxnam was neither a communist nor a Marxist; he was a Christian Socialist.

Then Oxnam turned to academia full-time.  He was a Professor of Social Ethics at Boston University (1927-1928).  Next, our saint made his mark as the President of DePauw University, Greencastle, Indiana (1928-1936).  Oxnam, a pacifist, first made participation in the R.O.T.C. optional.  (It had been mandatory.)  Then, in 1934, he presided over the end of the R.O.T.C. at DePauw University.  He also helped students to find jobs in New Deal programs, expanded library holdings, and increased attendance at voluntary chapel services.  These were dignified services; Oxnam insisted on that.

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BISHOP OXNAM

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Oxnam became the then-youngest Methodist bishop in the United States in 1936; he was 45 years old.  (Gerald Kennedy broke that record, at age 40, in 1948.)  Our saint was based in, in order:

  1. Omaha, Nebraska (1936-1939);
  2. Boston, Massachusetts (1939-1944);
  3. New York, New York (1944-1952); and
  4. Washington, D.C. (1952-1960).

Our saint was active on the denominational level of the old Methodist Episcopal Church (1784-1939) and the merged Methodist Church (1939-1968). 

  1. He chaired the Division of Educational Institutions, the General Board of Education (1939-1944).
  2. He chaired the Division of Foreign Missions, the General Board of Global Ministries (1944-1952).
  3. He led the Methodist Crusade for World Order (1944-1948).  The Methodist Crusade for World Order opposed a return to pre-World War II isolationism, favored an internationalist foreign policy, and supported the United Nations.
  4. He was active in the Methodist Federation for Social Service (later Social Action), which Frank Mason North (1850-1935) had helped to found in 1917.  The Federation, a target of conservative elements within the denomination, suffered a strong rebuke in 1952.  “Methodist” ceased to be in its name, and The Methodist Church established the new Board of Social and Economic Relations.

Oxnam was also an ecumenist.

  1. He served as the President of the old Federal Council of Churches (1946-1948).
  2. He helped to found the National Council of Churches (1950).
  3. He was one of the Presidents of the World Council of Churches (1948-1954).
  4. He sat on the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches.
  5. Oxnam’s ecumenism had its limits.  It did not extend to fundamentalists and pre-Vatican II Roman Catholics, who thought he was going to Hell anyway.

Despite what Red-baiting conservatives claimed, Oxnam was a patriot. 

  1. He was a staunch man of the Christian Left.
  2. He was a member of the Civil Advisory Committee to the Secretary of the Navy during World War II.
  3. After the war, he chaired the Commission to Study Postwar Relief Conditions in Germany.
  4. He opposed mandatory military training and service in peacetime.
  5. He argued that using atomic weapons was immoral.

In July 1953, Oxnam testified before the U.S. House Un-American Activities Committee, which was itself un-American.  He rebutted allegations that he was and ever had been a communist or a Marxist.  Our saint produced evidence to document that charges to the contrary from Representative Donald L. Jackson (1910-1981) were objectively false.  Oxnam also condemned McCarthyism and those who practiced it.

A new breed of self-appointed un-American vigilantes threatens our freedom.  Profaning our American traditions and desecrating our flag, masquerading as defenders of our country against the infiltration of communism and the aggression of Russia, they play the red game of setting American against American, of creating distrust and division, and of turning us from the problems that must be solved in order to become impregnable.  These vigilantes produce hysteria, prepare sucker lists, and live upon the generous contributions of the fearful.  They exploit the uninformed patriot.  They profiteer in patriotism.  These vigilantes do not carry the noosed rope, but they lynch by libel.  They prepare their lying spider-web charts.  They threaten educators and ministers, actors and broadcasters.  Unthinking boards and commissions bow to their tyranny, forgetting that to appease these forerunners of Hitler, of Mussolini, and of Stalin is to jeopardize freedom, and to prepare the wrists for the shackles and the mouth for the gag.  In the name of law, vigilantes break the law.

–Quoted in A Year with American Saints (2006), 281-282

Above:  Wesley Theological Seminary, American University, Washington, D.C,

Image Source = Google Earth

Bishop Oxnam, while based in Washington, D.C., helped to build up the denomination-affiliated American University.  In 1958, he supervised the relocation of Westminster Theological Seminary, Westminster, Maryland (founded in 1882) to the campus of American University.  The relocated seminary became Wesley Theological Seminary.  That year, our saint also helped to found the School of International Service at American University.

Above:  The School of International Service, American University, Washington, D.C.

Image Source = Google Earth

Oxnam, suffering from Parkinson’s Disease, retired in 1960.  He, aged 73 years, died in White Plains, New York, on March 12, 1963.

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EVALUATION

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When evaluating a historical figure, one ought to avoid two opposite errors:  relativizing everything or too much and relativizing nothing or too little.  Timeless standards exist, of course.  Yet context remains crucial.  Also, people change during a lifetime.  To be fair, one must consider that fact.

Oxnam was mostly correct.  He was correct to favor the rights of workers, for example.  He was correct to condemn the greed of those who exploited workers.  He was correct to oppose McCarthyism and to challenge practitioners of McCarthyism to their faces.  Like most Americans, traumatized by World War I, he overreacted in ways that seemed reasonable between the World Wars yet came across as naïve in retrospect after World War II.  

Just as I stand to the left of Bishop Gerald Kennedy, I stand slightly to the right of Bishop G. Bromley Oxnam.  I am a Neo-Orthodox, after all.  I stand with Reinhold, Ursula, and H. Richard Niebuhr in recognizing the limitations of the Social Gospel.  I do so while affirming what was positive about the Social Gospel.

Yet, as I have written in this post, I feel more affinity with Oxnam than with Kennedy.  And I count both of them as members of my family of faith.

I invite you, O reader, if you are so inclined, to read Oxnam’s writings available at archive.org:

  1. “The Mexican in Los Angeles from the Standpoint of the Religious Forces of the City” (1921),
  2. Contemporary Preaching:  A Study in Trends (1931),
  3. Personalities in Social Reform (1941),
  4. Preaching in a Revolutionary Age (1944), 
  5. I Protest (1954), and
  6. A Testament of Faith (1958).

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

FEBRUARY 23, 2021 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT IGNATIUS OF ANTIOCH, BISHOP AND MARTYR, 107/115; SAINT POLYCARP OF SMYRNA, BISHOP AND MARTYR, 155/156; AND SAINT IRENAEUS OF LYONS, CIRCA 202 

THE FEAST OF SAINT ALEXANDER AKIMETES, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT

THE FEAST OF SAMUEL WOLCOTT, U.S. CONGREGATIONALIST MINISTER, MISSIONARY, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT STEFAN WINCENTY FRELICHOWSKI, POLISH ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND MARTYR, 1945

THE FEAST OF SAINT WILLIGIS, ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP OF MAINZ; AND SAINT BERNWARD, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF HILDESHEIM

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Holy and righteous God, you 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 G. Bromley Oxnam] to use our freedom

to bring justice among people and nations, to the glory of your name;

through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Hosea 2:18-23

Psalm 94:1-14

Romans 12:9-21

Luke 6:20-36

–Adapted from the Lutheran Book of Worship (1978), 37

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Feast of John Dalberg Acton (June 19)   1 comment

Above:  John Dalberg Acton

Image in the Public Domain

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JOHN EMERICH EDWARD DALBERG ACTON, FIRST BARON ACTON AND THIRTEENTH MARQUESS OF GROPPOLI

(JANUARY 10, 1834-JUNE 19, 1902)

English Roman Catholic Historian, Philosopher, and Social Critic

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Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

–Lord Acton

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John Dalberg Acton comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via Robert Ellsberg, All Saints:  Daily Reflections on Saints, Prophets, and Witnesses for Our Time (1997).

The first issue I choose to address is the question of the hyphen.  Depending on the source one consults, one may read our saint’s name as John Dalberg Acton or as John Dalberg-Acton.  If one consults editions of our saint’s writings published during his lifetime, as one can easily do at archive.org, one sees his name listed both ways.  I choose to forgo the hyphen.

Lord Acton was a child of expatriates.  His grandfather had been Sir John Francis Edward Acton, Sixth Baronet Acton (1736-1811), a Neopolitan admiral and prime minister.  Our saint’s mother was German, hence “Dalberg” in his name.  Lord Acton’s father was Sir Richard Acton, who died before 1840.  Our saint, born in Naples, Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, on January 10, 1834, grew up with his stepfather, Granville George Leveson-Gower, Second Earl Granville (1815-1891).  The stepfather, prominent in the Liberal Party, brought Lord Acton into the orbit of William Ewart Gladstone (1809-1898), Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (1868-1874, 1880-1885, 1886, and 1892-1894).  Lord Acton became one of Gladstone’s chief advisors.

First, however, Lord Acton had to study and travel.  He studied at Oscott College, Warwickshire, then continued his studies in Munich.  Our saint’s teacher and mentor in Munich was Father Johann Josef Ignaz von Döllinger (1799-1890), a Roman Catholic priest, historian, and theologian.  Döllinger taught Lord Acton proper historical methodology.  The two men remained friends and allies for the rest of Döllinger’s life.  Our saint also traveled in Europe and the United States before returning to England in 1858.

[Aside:  I have made a note to myself to add Father Döllinger to this Ecumenical Calendar eventually, on schedule.]

Lord Acton blended public service and private-sector religious activity for a while.  From 1859 to 1864, he edited The Rambler, renamed Home and Foreign Review in 1862.  (He succeeded John Henry Newman in that role.)  Our saint could not imagine not being a Roman Catholic, even when maintaining that identity became difficult for him.  Pope Pius IX (reigned 1846-1878) was, for most of his papacy, a reactionary; he disapproved of modernism, science, constitutional government, the loss of the Papal States to the new Kingdom of Italy, et cetera.  Lord Acton, however, approved of all of the above.  According to our saint, there was no discrepancy between correct Christian doctrine and the properly rigorous, scientific study of the past, and, for that matter, science.

Lord Acton retired for public life circa 1870.  He, the First Baron Acton from 1869, openly disagreed with Pio Nono and papal allies in person at the First Vatican Council (Vatican I) in 1870.  Our saint never supported papal infallibility.  Father Döllinger also argued against papal infallibility and kept doing so after Vatican I.  He, excommunicated in 1871, joined the Old Catholic Church and continued as a priest.  Lord Acton somehow talked his way out of an excommunication.  That conversation with Henry Edward Manning (1808-1892), the Archbishop of Westminster from 1865 to 1892, must have been exceptional.  Lord Acton was not renowned for personal diplomacy.  In fact, he did not suffer fools easily.  His customary bluntness made him many enemies.

Lord Acton married Bavarian Countess Marie von Arco-Vallery in 1865.  The couple raised three daughters and one son.

Lord Acton offered a distinct political philosophy.  He would have argued with Samuel and Henrietta Barnett regarding Christian Socialism.  (I support disagreement among saints on my Ecumenical Calendar.)  Lord Acton drew influences from Edmund Burke (1729-1797) and Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859).  Our saint, an opponent of nationalism, had an internationalist approach.  His background informed that opinion.  Our saint argued that the union of sacred and temporal power was dangerous.  He also distrusted any state with what he considered excessive power.  Such a state posed a threat to liberty, he insisted.  And, when one’s conscience conflicted with the state, our saint favored acting on conscience.  Lord Acton was neither an anarchist nor a libertarian.  The state was necessary and could be a force for he good, he understood.  Our saint also made a distinction between the nation and the state, and understood the Biblical concept of collective responsibility.  He cautioned

The nation is responsible to heaven for the acts of the state.

Lord Acton was primarily a historian after Vatican I.  He wrote and lectured on an elite academic level.  Our saint, the Regius Professor of Modern History at Cambridge (1895-1902), died in Tegernsee, Bavaria, German Empire, on June 19, 1902.

Lord Acton was a man of his time.  He pondered principles quoted in his faith, in real time.  He also changed his mind over time, as well-adjusted people have done since time immemorial.

His example challenges us to do the same in our contexts.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 10, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FIFTH SUNDAY OF EASTER, YEAR A

THE FEAST OF SAINT ENRICO REBUSCHINI, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND SERVANT OF THE SICK; AND HIS MENTOR, SAINT LUIGI GUANELLA, FOUNDER OF THE DAUGHTERS OF SAINT MARY OF PROVIDENCE, THE SERVANTS OF CHARITY, AND THE CONFRATERNITY OF SAINT JOSEPH

THE FEAST OF ANNA LAETITIA WARING, HUMANITARIAN AND HYMN WRITER; AND HER UNCLE, SAMUEL MILLER WARING, HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT IVAN MERZ, CROATIAN ROMAN CATHOLIC INTELLECTUAL

THE FEAST OF JOHN GOSS, ANGLICAN CHURCH COMPOSER AND ORGANIST; AND WILLIAM MERCER, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND HYMN TRANSLATOR

THE FEAST OF SAINT VASILE AFTENIE, ROMANIAN ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP AND MARTYR, 1950

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O God, you have endowed us with memory, reason, and skill.

We thank you for the faithful legacy of [John Dalberg Acton and all others]

who have dedicated their lives to you and to the intellectual pursuits.

May we, like them, respect your gift of intelligence fully and to your glory.

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

Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Psalm 103

Philippians 4:8-9

Mark 12:28-34

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 6, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT CHRODEGANG OF METZ, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF EDMUND KING, ANGLICAN BISHOP OF LINCOLN

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Feast of Samuel and Henrietta Barnett (June 17)   4 comments

Above:  Portrait of Samuel and Henrietta Barnett, by Hubert von Herkoner

Image in the Public Domain

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SAMUEL AUGUSTUS BARNETT (FEBRUARY 8, 1844-JUNE 17, 1913)

Anglican Canon of Westminster, and Social Reformer

husband and partner of

HENRIETTA OCTAVIA WESTON ROWLAND BARNETT (MAY 4, 1851-JUNE 10, 1936)

Social Reformer

June 17 is the feast day of the Barnetts in The Church of England.

Even if The Church of England had not paired the Barnetts on a feast day, I would have decided to do so anyway.  The couple was a team from the day they married in 1873 to the day Samuel Barnett died in 1913.  I have established emphasizing relationships and influences as a goal for this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days.

Samuel Augustus Barnett, born in Bristol, England, on February 8, 1844, was a son of Mary Gilmore and iron manufacturer Francis Barnett.  Our saint, an 1867 graduate of Wadham College, Oxford, joined the ranks of Anglican clergymen that year and became the Curate of St. Mary’s, Bryanston Square, Marylebone, London.  He married Henrietta Octavia Weston Rowland in 1873.

Henrietta, born in London, England, on May 4, 1851, was a socially conscious heiress.  Her mother was Henrietta Monca Margaretta Didges.  Our saint’s father was Alexander William Rowland (d. 1869), in the oil business.  Her mother predeceased her father.  Young Henrietta, altruistic from an early age, attended a boarding school in Devon.  Starting in 1869 or so, she worked with Octavia Hill (1838-1912), active in efforts to improve slums in London.

The work in which the Barnetts engaged together, starting in 1873, flowed from their faith and their Christian Socialist ideals.  Samuel served as the Vicar of St. Jude’s, Whitechapel, London, from 1873 to 1894.  He led an congregation in a slum.  He, the founder (1869) of the Charity Organization Society, worked with Henrietta in improving the lives of people in Whitechapel.  The couple addressed housing.  Substandard housing was a major problem.  The Barnetts lobbied for building suitable residences.  They also enriched slum dwellers’ lives with art; the couple founded the Whitechapel Art Gallery.  Urban children needed countryside holidays.  The Barnetts raised funds and arranged for those holidays.  Entertainment was another need the Barnetts worked to provide.  Education was, of course, vital.  The Barnetts founded a night school for adults.  Samuel also served on school committees.  Through Toynbee Hall, of which Samuel was the first warden (1884-1906) and in which Henrietta taught, tutors from Oxford lived and taught in the slum.  Jane Addams (1860-1935) and Ellen Gates Starr (1859-1940) modeled Hull House, Chicago, Illinois, on Toynbee Hall.  Henrietta’s sister, Alice Marion Rowland Hart (1848-1931) also taught at Toynbee Hall.

Above:  Toynbee Hall

Image in the Public Domain

The Barnetts wrote books together.  These included:

  1. Practicable Socialism:  Essays on Social Reform (1888, 1894),
  2. Religion and Progress (1907),
  3. Towards Social Reform (1909),
  4. Religion and Politics (1911),
  5. Worship and Work (1913), and
  6. Vision and Service (1917).

Samuel also wrote Perils of Wealth and Poverty, published posthumously in 1920.

Samuel, a Canon of Westminster (1906-1913), died in London on June 17, 1913.  He was 69 years old.

Henrietta continued in good works until 1936.  She founded Barnett House, Oxford, for the study of social sciences, in Samuel’s honor.  She wrote Canon Barnett:  His Life, Work, and Friends (1918)–Volumes I and II.  She also wrote books on topics ranging from child rearing to working for economic justice.  Our saint had formed the Hampstead Garden Suburb Trust, which entailed building mixed-income housing, in 1903.  Henrietta, form 1924 a Commander of the British Empire, took up painting during her final years.  She, aged 85 years, died in London on June 10, 1936.

The Barnetts understood the Biblical mandate to help the less fortunate.  They knew that those blessed with privilege have a responsibility to aide those not blessed in that way.  Our saints accepted that the more one has, the more responsibilities one has.  They acted accordingly, for the glory of God and the benefit of many people.  They were faithful partners of God.

The poor will always be with us.  That is a fact.  Increasing numbers of the impoverished can, of course, cease to be poor.  Poverty is a function of various factors, not the least of which is institutionalized artificial scarcity.  Therefore, individual actions help alleviate the problem, but institutional revolution is necessary to make substantial dents in poverty.  The ultimate solution to institutionalized artificial scarcity resides in the purview of God, whose partners we are supposed to be.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 8, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF JULIANA OF NORWICH, MYSTIC AND SPIRITUAL WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT ACACIUS OF BYZANTIUM, MARTYR, 303

THE FEAST OF HENRI DUMONT, ROMAN CATHOLIC COMPOSER AND ORGANIST

THE FEAST OF SAINT MAGDALENA OF CANOSSA, FOUNDRESS OF THE DAUGHTERS OF CHARITY AND THE SONS OF CHARITY

THE FEAST OF SAINT PETER OF TARENTAISE, ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP

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Almighty God, whose prophets taught us righteousness in the care of your poor:

By the guidance of your Holy Spirit, grant that we may

do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly in your sight;

through Jesus Christ, our Judge and Redeemer, who lives and reigns

with you and the same Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

Isaiah 55:11-56:1

Psalm 2:1-2, 10-12

Acts 14:14-17, 21-23

Mark 4:21-29

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 736

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Feast of Ellen Gates Starr (March 20)   3 comments

Above:  Ellen Gates Starr, Between 1915 and 1917

Image Creator = Bain News Service

Image Source = Library of Congress

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ELLEN GATES STARR (MARCH 19, 1859-FEBRUARY 10, 1940)

U.S. Episcopalian then Roman Catholic Activist and Social Reformer

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I became a Socialist because I was a Christian.  The Christian religion teaches that all men are to be regarded as brothers, that no one should wish to profit by the loss or disadvantage of others; as all winners must do under a competitive system; that none should enjoy “two coats” while others are coatless; that, in effect, “none should have cake til all have bread.”  “Civilized” life is in grotesque contrast to all this.  All the individual, acting individualistically, is helpless to modify it very much….”Society” or “the state” must see to it that strangers are entertained; that the hungry are fed and the destitute provided for.  Does it?

–Ellen Gates Starr, quoted in G. Scott Cady and Christopher L. Webber, A Year with American Saints (2006), 470

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Ellen Gates Starr was more than a social reformer, although she was that.  She was a social revolutionary.  Perhaps her Unitarian upbringing contributed to her social conscience.  American Unitarianism did have a reputation for being on the vanguard of social justice efforts.  Throughout her life, whether Starr was in her Unitarian, Episcopalian, or Roman Catholic phase, social justice was an integral part of her faith.  Our saint, born in Laona, Illinois, on March 19, 1859, was a daughter of Allen Starr and Susan Gates Child (Starr).  Ellen was a classmate of Jane Addams (1860-1935) at Rockford Female Seminary in 1877-1878.  Their collaboration began.

Starr, who joined The Episcopal Church in 1883, worked with Addams to help the poor, especially immigrants.  The two women toured Europe, studying efforts to help the poor, in 1888.  Upon returning to Chicago, they founded Hull House in 1889.  The model for Hull House was Toynbee Hall, a settlement house in London.  Hull House began by offering educational opportunities, as well as concerts and other cultural enrichment programs.

Starr objected to the ills of industrialization and worked for a better society.  She worked to improve the working conditions in factories.  She advocated to end child labor.  Starr organized labor strikes and went to jail for doing so at least once.  She embraced Christian Socialism.  Our saint also developed an interest in the arts and crafts movement, going as far as to found the Chicago Society of Arts and Crafts in 1897.

Starr had a long-term interest in Roman Catholicism.  Her faith wedded doctrines, prayer, and sacraments to social activism.  In 1894 our saint joined the Society of the Companions of the Holy Cross, founded by Emily Malbone Morgan (1862-1937) in 1884.  Starr finally converted to Roman Catholicism in 1920.  Starr, in failing health during her final years, moved to a convent of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus in Suffern, New York, in 1931.  The sisters took care of our saint for the rest of her life.  She, aged 80 years, died on February 10, 1940.

My Western culture (especially the conservative portion of it) overemphasizes individualism.  Biblical ethics contain both individual and collective elements; moral responsibility is both individual and collective.  Many instances of “you” and “your” in the Bible are plural.  This is more obvious in languages with different words for singular and plural second-person pronouns.

Starr understood the collective aspects of Biblical ethics.  She grasped both collective and individual responsibility.  Our saint was correct; how much one person can do is minor compared to what we can do together.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 22, 2020 COMMON ERA

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

THE FEAST OF ALEXANDER MEN, RUSSIAN ORTHODOX PRIEST AND MARTYR, 1990

THE FEAST OF LADISLAO BATTHÁNY-STRATTMANN, AUSTRO-HUNGARIAN ROMAN CATHOLIC PHYSICIAN AND PHILANTHROPIST

THE FEAST OF LOUISE CECILIA FLEMING, AFRICAN-AMERICAN BAPTIST MISSIONARY AND PHYSICIAN

THE FEAST OF SAINT VINCENT PALLOTTI, FOUNDER OF THE SOCIETY FOR THE CATHOLIC APOSTOLATE, THE UNION OF CATHOLIC APOSTOLATE, AND THE SISTERS OF THE CATHOLIC APOSTOLATE

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Holy and righteous God, you 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 Ellen Gates Starr] to use our freedom to bring justice among people and nations,

to the glory of your name; through your Son Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Hosea 2:18-23

Psalm 94:1-14

Romans 12:9-21

Luke 6:20-36

–Adapted from the Lutheran Book of Worship (1978), 37

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Feast of Frank Mason North (December 17)   2 comments

Above:  Frank Mason North

Image in the Public Domain

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FRANK MASON NORTH (DECEMBER 3, 1850-DECEMBER 17, 1935)

U.S. Methodist Minister, Social Reformer, and Hymn Writer

The best of the liberal strain of Christianity has fought for humanitarian causes, including decent standards for low-income housing, workplace safety, and the abolition of slavery and child labor.  From that tradition came Frank Mason North, who understood that morality had to do with much more than personal peccadilloes, and that the Golden Rule applied to societies as well as to individuals.

North, who became a leading advocate of the Social Gospel and Christian Socialism, was a son of Charles Carter North and Elizabeth Mason (North).  Our saint, born in Madison, New Jersey, on December 3, 1850, graduated from Wesleyan University (B.A., 1872; M.A., 1875) and became a minister in the Methodist Episcopal Church (1784-1939).  Through 1892 he served as a pastor, serving in Florida, New York, and Connecticut.

North worked beyond the parish level, starting in 1892.  He was an urban missionary headquartered in New York City, through whose harbor immigrants entered the country.  Social concerns, such as urban poverty, mattered much to our saint, also; he was active in the labor movement and the movement to end child labor.  As the Corresponding Secretary of the New York Church Extension and Missionary Society, he also edited the Christian City and helped to draft the Social Creed of the Methodist Episcopal Church (1908).  North was also a founder of the Methodist Federation for Social Service (1907).  Then, in 1912, North made the turn toward foreign missions.  He went to work for the denominational Board of Missions in 1912.  Later, starting in 1919, our saint served as the Secretary of the denominational Board of Foreign Missions.  This work led to him serving on the International Mission Council from 1921 to 1928.  Furthermore, North served on the Methodist Committee on Unification (1920-1928), ahead of the three-way reunion in 1939.

North was also an ecumenist.  He helped to found the Federal Council of Churches (1908) then served as its President (1916-1920).

North married twice.  His first wife was Frances L. “Fannie” Stewart (1848-1878).  The couple had two sons:  Adolphus Stewart (1875-1913) and Mason Longacre North (1877-1878).  North’s second wife was Louise J. McCoy, whom he married in 1885.

North, aged 85 years, died on December 17, 1935.

North’s reputation seems to rest primarily on one hymn, “Where Cross the Crowded Ways of Life” (1903).  He wrote at least seven more hymns:

  1. O Master of the Waking World” (1928), a socially-conscious missionary hymn;
  2. Jesus, the Calm that Fills My Breast;”
  3. O Christ, My Lord, Whose Perfect Life;”
  4. The World’s Astir; the Clouds of Storm;”
  5. Thou Lord of Light, Across the Years;”
  6. Touch Thou, O Lord, the Century’s Crest;” and
  7. “Where Lies our Path, We Seek to Know.”

More of our saint’s hymns should become more popular.

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God of compassion and the Incarnation, we thank you for the life, work, and legacy of Frank Mason North,

who understood the importance of domestic and foreign missions, of ecumenism, and of social justice.

We also thank you for his enduring legacy of hymnody as we recognize the continued relevance of his texts.

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

Leviticus 19:1-16

Psalm 100

1 Corinthians 1:10-17

Matthew 28:16-28

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 4, 2019 COMMON ERA

INDEPENDENCE DAY (U.S.A.)

THE FEAST OF SAINTS ADALBERO AND ULRIC OF AUGSBURG, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS

THE FEAST OF SAINT ELIZABETH OF PORTUGAL, QUEEN AND PEACEMAKER

THE FEAST OF SAINT PIER GIORGIO FRASSATI, ITALIAN ROMAN CATHOLIC SERVANT OF THE POOR AND OPPONENT OF FASCISM

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Feast of Frederick Denison Maurice (April 1)   4 comments

Frederick Denison Maurice

Above: Portrait (1854) of Frederick Denison Maurice, by Jane Mary Hayward

Image in the Public Domain

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FREDERICK DENISON MAURICE (AUGUST 29, 1805-APRIL 1, 1872)

Anglican Priest and Theologian

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INTRODUCTION

In 1843 Karl Marx called religion the “opiate of the masses.”  Indeed, one of the uses of religion by the powerful has been as just that, so that, for example, the peasants might not rebel again this year.  In the same year that Marx wrote his famous comment about religion Frederick Denison Maurice wrote,

We have been dosing our people with religion when what they want is not this but the living God.

–Quoted in Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 300

Although Marx opposed theism, Maurice favored it.

(John) Frederick Denison Maurice, son of a Unitarian minister, became a great Anglican divine.    Our saint, a native of Normaston, Suffolk, England, debuted on August 29, 1805.  His mother left the Unitarianism for the Calvinistic Baptists when he was ten years old.  That religious change disrupted the family’s harmonious home life.  Our saint, still a Unitarian as a young man, lived with an Evangelical (Low Church) Anglican family in London while preparing the study civil law at Trinity College, Cambridge University.  He graduated in 1827 but could not received his degree because he was a dissenter.  Maurice moved to London, where he edited the London Literary Chronicle until 1830.  Next he edited the Athenaeum briefly.  Then our saint, a newly-minted member of The Church of England, entered Exeter College, Oxford, to study for the priesthood.

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SIMULTANEOUSLY REVOLUTIONARY AND CONSERVATIVE

(“Conserve” is the root word of “conservative.”)

Maurice, a priest from 1834, was simultaneously revolutionary and conservative during an age when the spectre of the French Revolution (1789-1799) haunted the fears of many in Britain.  He served as the Curate of Bubbenhall, Warwickshire, then as the Chaplain of Guy’s Hospital.  In Subscription No Bondage, or the Practical Advantages Afforded by the Thirty-Nine Articles as Guides in All the Branches of Academic Education (1835) our saint defended the Articles as requirements in universities, an opinion he did not change.  From 1840 to 1853 he was Professor of English History and Literature (doubling as the Chair of Divinity from 1846 to 1853) at King’s College.  During this time Maurice began his service as the Chaplain at Lincoln’s Inn, for students.  Theological Essays (First Edition, 1853; Second Edition, 1854; Third Edition, 1871) prompted allegations of heresy and forced his resignation from King’s College yet not from the Chapel of Lincoln’s Inn.

Our saint’s theology of sin and the Atonement alarmed many people to his right.  Maurice noted that human sin was the actual beginning point for much of Christian theology.  He considered this an error.  The proper beginning of Christian theology, Maurice argued, was Christ, specifically his restoration of people to their true lives as bearers of the image of God.  God, our saint wrote, had created and redeemed all people in Christ, only in whom all people can find their proper identity.  Maurice defined sin as the refusal to acknowledge Christ as central, leading to the effort to establish false independence from God.  Thus Christ, in the thought of our saint, was the transformer and converter of societies.

Related to this theological position was the assertion that members of all social classes were “in it together,” to use words far less eloquent than Maurice’s.  Thus the proper solution to social problems, especially those related to class (in the rigid British class system and in the context of the economic chasm separating the haves from the have nots) was for people to become aware of their fraternity for each other across class lines and to act accordingly.  Our saint, with Charles Kingsley (1819-1875), a founder of British Christian Socialism, was therefore to the right of other Christian Socialists, for he disagreed on the topic of tactics.

Christian Socialism is the assertion of God’s order.  Every attempt to bring it forth I honour and desire to assist.  Every attempt to hide it under a great machinery, call it Organization of Labour, Central Board, or what you like, I must protest against as hindering the gradual development of what I regard as a divine purpose, as an attempt to create a new constitution of society, when what we want is that the old constitution should exhibit its true function and energies.

–Quoted in John C. Cort, Christian Socialism:  An Informal History (Maryknoll, NY:  Orbis Books, 1988), page 147

The revolution Maurice sought was first spiritual then economic and political, not the other way around.  Aubrey de Vere, a critic from our saint’s left, complained,

Listening to Maurice is like eating pea soup with a fork.

–Quoted in Cort, Christian Socialism (1988), page 142

Maurice sought reconciliation and unity yet found himself persona non grata in many ecclesiastical quarters.  On his left he faced allegations of heresy and sympathized with the oppressed and the downtrodden.  Our saint also encouraged his students to consider and act on the social implications of the Gospel, something which entailed changing society.  His theology of eternal life, grounded in the definition (knowing God via Christ) of that term in the Gospel of John, caused some to accuse him of heresy.  Maurice’s masterpiece, The Kingdom of Christ (First Edition, 1838; Second Edition, 1842–Volumes I and II), denounced religious partisanship and laid the foundations of Anglican ecumenism.  Although our saint affirmed Apostolic Succession and the episcopal office, he, unlike many Tractarians, refused to classify those who had abandoned those traditions as being outside the fold.   God was the only proper judge of that matter, Maurice insisted.

On the right Maurice, a Broad (as opposed to Low or High) Churchman, opposed Higher Criticism of the Bible and certain economic and political structures which many of his fellow Christian Socialists favored.  He also insisted on six signs of the Church:

  1. Baptism, which he called “the sacrament of constant union,”
  2. The Apostles’ Creed and the Nicene Creed,
  3. The Book of Common Prayer,
  4. The Holy Eucharist,
  5. Holy Orders, and
  6. The Bible.

These were essential, our saint insisted.  Of the liturgy he wrote:

I do not think we are to praise the liturgy but use it.  When we do not want it for our life, we may begin to talk of it as a beautiful composition.

–Quoted in Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 300

Maurice practiced what he preached.  The Church, he said, must educate and stimulate the public conscience.  He fulfilled his role in that effort.  Our saint helped to found Queen’s College, London (1848), for women and served as its first Principal.  Six years later he helped to found the Working Men’s College, London, and served as its first Principal.  He also founded cooperatives for workers.

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OTHER DETAILS

Maurice’s career during his final years played out in London and Cambridge.  From 1860 to 1869 he was the Incumbent of St. Peter’s, Vere Street, London.  In 1866 he became Professor of Casuistry and Moral Theology at Cambridge.  And, from 1870 to 1872, our saint served as the Incumbent of St. Edward’s, Cambridge.

The definition of casuistry, according to Funk and Wagnalls New Practical Standard Dictionary of the English Language–Britannica World Language Edition (1956), is:

The science or doctrine of resolving doubtful cases of conscience or questions of right or wrong according to the injunctions or sacred books or of individual authority or social conventions, rather than on grounds of moral reason.

Maurice married twice.  His first wife, Anna Barton, died in 1845, leaving him to raise to young boys.  Our saint’s second wife was Georgiana Hare.

Maurice wrote and published much.  I found links to many of his works at archive.org during the research phase of the development of this post.  Others also wrote and published about him, both positive and negative.  I also found such works at archive.org.  I have decided, however, to forgo creating a catalog of those in this post and to refer you, O reader, to that website.

Maurice died at Cambridge on April 1, 1872, which was Easter Sunday, as he prepared to receive the Holy Eucharist.

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CONCLUSION

If I had established complete agreement with someone as a standard for sainthood, this Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days would never have come into existence.  Although I disagree with Maurice regarding much, I also agree with him regarding much more.  My bottom line is that Maurice was worthy of inclusion on calendars of saints.  I have therefore followed the lead of The Church of England, The Episcopal Church, and The Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 17, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF MARY CORNELIA BISHOP GATES, U.S. DUTCH REFORMED HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF FRANK MASON NORTH, U.S. METHODIST MINISTER

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Almighty God, you restored our human nature to heavenly glory

through the perfect obedience of our Savior Jesus Christ:

Keep alive in your Church, we pray, a passion for justice and truth;

that, like your servant Frederick Denison Maurice,

we may work and pray for the triumph of the kingdom of your Christ;

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

Genesis 33:1-10

Psalm 72:11-17

Ephesians 3:14-19

John 18:33-37

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 301

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Feast of Thomas Hughes (March 22)   2 comments

Christ Church Episcopal, Rugby, TN

Above:  Christ Church Episcopal, Rugby, Tennessee

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-highsm-14791

Photograph by Carol M. Highsmith

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THOMAS HUGHES (OCTOBER 20, 1822-MARCH 22, 1896)

British Social Reformer and Member of Parliament

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Thomas Hughes was an Oxford-educated jurist, writer, and social reformer.  He joined the bar in 1848, the same year he became a Christian Socialist under the influence of Charles Kingsley and Frederick Denison Maurice.  Hughes became a Queen’s Counsel in 1869 and a Court Judge in 1882.  And he served as a Member of Parliament (from the Liberal Party) from 1865 to 1874.  His politics included pro-labor union, antislavery, and anti-opium trade stances.  His abolitionism led him to support the federal side in the U.S. Civil War, given the proslavery position of the Confederacy.

Hughes also wrote books.  Tom Brown’s School Days (1857), the volume by which he beame famous, was an autobiographical work of fiction about his time as a pupil at the Rugby School when Dr. Thomas Arnold (1795-1842) was the headmaster.  A sequel, Tom Brown at Oxford, was less successful.  Other works included:

  • The Scouring of the White Horse (1859), a vacation narrative;
  • Alfred the Great (1869), a biography;
  • Memoir of a Brother (1873);
  • The Manliness of Christ (1879);
  • Life of Daniel Macmillan (1882);
  • James Fraser, Second Bishop of Manchester (1887); and
  • David Livingstone (1890).

Hughes traveled to the United States several times.  One effect of these trips was the 1879-1880 founding of Rugby, Tennessee, a utopian colony (http://www.historicrugby.org/).  It was supposed to be a classless society with certain English customs, but it was over by 1887.

Hughes wrote one hymn, “O God of Truth, Whose Living Word” (1859), the text of which follows:

O God of Truth, whose living Word

Upholds whate’er hath breath,

Look down on Thy creation, Lord,

Enslaved by sin and death.

—–

Set up Thy standard, Lord, that we

Who claim a heavenly birth

May march with Thee to smite the lies

That vex Thy groaning earth.

—–

Ah! would we join that blest array

And follow in the might

Of Him the Faithful and the True,

In raiment clean and white.

—–

We fight for Truth, we fight for God,

Poor slaves of lies and sin.

He who would fight for Thee on earth

Must first be true within.

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Then, God of Truth, for whom we long,

Thou who wilt hear our prayer,

Do Thine own battle in our hearts,

And slay the falsehood there.

—–

Still smite! still burn! till naught is left

But God’s own truth and love;

Then, Lord, as morning dew come down,

Rest on us from above.

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Yea, come! Then, tried as in the fire,

From every lie set free,

Thy perfect truth shall dwell in us,

And we shall live in Thee.

This hymn seems to have fallen out of favor in recent hymnals.  I have surveyed my collection not found it in any volume published after 1940.  And rarely have I found all seven verses together, much less unaltered.

Hymns fall out of favor and utopian experiments fail, but that which compelled Thomas Hughes to work for a better, more just society persists.  The love of Christ persists.  May it compel us to leave our corners of the world better than we found them.  And, with God’s help, may we succeed.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 19, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SARGENT SHRIVER, U.S. STATESMAN

THE FEAST OF SAINT CAESARIUS OF ARLES, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP; AND SAINT CAESARIA OF ARLES, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBESS

THE FEAST OF SAINT HENRY OF UPPSALA, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF SAINT WOLFSTAN OF WORCESTER, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

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Holy and righteous God, you 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 Thomas Hughes, 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

Feast of Charles Kingsley (January 23)   3 comments

Flag of England

Above:  Flag of England

Image in the Public Domain

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CHARLES KINGSLEY (JUNE 12, 1819-JANUARY 23, 1875)

Anglican Priest, Novelist, and Hymn Writer

Charles Kingsley, son of an Anglican priest, witnessed the Bristol Riots of 1831 when he was a boy.  The riots were related to denied demands to redistribute parliamentary seats, to establish proper representation.  Violence followed frustration and led to the destruction of property and the loss of life.  The riots made a deep depression on the young Kingsley, who had a sensitive nature.

Kingsley continued his education, which terminated formally at Magdalene College, Cambridge.  He, ordained priest in 1842, served as Curate of Eversley until 1844, when he became Rector there.  Later positions included chaplain to Queen Victoria (1859-1860), Professor of Modern History, Cambridge (1860-1869), Canon of Chester (1869-1873), and Canon of Westminster (1873-1875).

Kingsley, a British liberal, supported Darwinian Evolution (even in 1859, making him an early defender of the great scientist) and advocated for Christian Socialism.  Needless to say, he was no stranger to controversy.  He, a skilled novelist who wrote very descriptive passages, published Christian Socialist novels, including Acton Locke (1850) and Yeast (1851).  The politics of these novels led to Kingsley’s temporary inhibition by the Bishop of London.  The priest also wrote historical novels, including Hypatia (1853) and Westward Ho (1855).

James Moffatt, in his companion volume to the 1927 Scottish Presbyterian Hymmary, struggled with Kingsley’s Christian Socialism.  Moffatt commended Kingsley for being a

chivalrous friend of the poor (page 393)

yet wrote in a cautious tone regarding Christian Socialism.  Nevertheless, Moffatt did leave a final verdict:  Kingsley was a

courageous idealist

who sought to act kindly.

Yet, reality being as complicated as it is, acting out of idealism can prove difficult sometimes.  In 1865, in Jamaica, economic injustice mixed with frustrations led to riots in which innocent people died.  Finally, the colonial governor, Edward Eyre, sent in troops to end the uprising.  This action led to the threat of legal jeopardy for Eyre.  Some people sought to scapegoat Eyre, in fact.  Kingsley joined a committee to oppose this attempted scapegoating.  Perhaps nobody in the Jamaican events was on the side of the angels.  I suppose that Kingsley’s memories of the 1831 Bristol Riots influenced his thinking in 1866.  And I leave the final verdict to God.

Kingsley also debated with John Henry Newman; the latter was the superior controversalist.  But Kingsley did have a sensitive nature, one not well attuned to debating.  Yet, if you, O reader, ever found Newman’s Apologia Pro Vita Sua helpful, you have the debate with Kingsley to thank for that book’s existence.

On December 4, 1871, at the laying of the foundation for a new wing of Queen’s Hospital, Birmingham, a thousand-voice choir debuted a new hymn by Kingsley.  Hymnals omit the first two verses and entitle the hymn “From Thee All Skill and Science Flow.”  Robert Guy McCutchan, in his 1937 companion volume to the U.S. Methodist Hymnal (1935), quoted an unidentified source which called this hymn

the epitome of his [Kingsley’s] life, and a mirror of his mind and heart.  (page 453)

The full lyrics follow:

Accept this building, gracious Lord,

No temple though it be;

We raised it for our suffering kin

And so, good Lord, for Thee.

Accept our little gift, and give,

To all who here may dwell,

The will and power to do their work,

Or bear their sorrows well.

From Thee all skill and science flow,

All pity, care and love,

All calm and courage, faith and hope:

O pour them from above!

And part them, Lord, to each and all,

As each and all shall need,

To rise, like incense, each to Thee,

In noble thought and deed.

And hasten, Lord, that perfect day

When pain and death shall cease,

And Thy just rule shall fill the earth

With health and light and peace;

When ever blue the sky shall gleam,

And ever green the sod,

And man’s rude work deface no more

The paradise of God.

Charles Kingsley’s legacy is one of caring for others.  Jesus and the Hebrew prophets would have approved.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 30, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT ANDREW THE APOSTLE, MARTYR

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Almighty God, we praise you for hour servant Charles Kingsley,

through whom you have called the church to its tasks and renewed its life.

Raise up, in our own day, teachers and prophets inspired by your Spirit,

whose voices will give strength to your church and proclaim the reality of your reign,

through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Jeremiah 1:4-10

Psalm 46

1 Corinthians 3:11-23

Mark 10:35-45

–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2o06), page 60

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Revised on November 21, 2016

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