Archive for the ‘Henry Ustick Onderdonk’ Tag

Feast of John Henry Hopkins, Jr., and John Henry Hopkins, III (August 13)   3 comments


Above:  The John Henry Hopkinses

Scan by Kenneth Randolph Taylor



Episcopal Priest and Hymnodist

uncle of


Episcopal Priest and Musician




In this post I use the suffixes “Sr.,” “Jr.,” and “III” for the sake of convenience and clarity.  Although one can find frequent listings of “John Henry Hopkins, Jr.” one can also find him listed in indices as “John Henry Hopkins (Jr.).”  Likewise, one might read simply of “John Henry Hopkins” in various sources.  He might be Sr. (the bishop) or the grandson, depending on the dates of his life.  I strive for clarity.




The Hopkins family has given much to The Episcopal Church.  These contributions began with one couple, John Henry Hopkins (Sr.) (1792-1868), and Melusina Muller (1795-1884).  Hopkins Sr., a native of Dublin, Ireland, had been an ironworker, a teacher, and an attorney prior to becoming a priest.  He was also a poet, painter, and architect.  Muller was a native of Hamburg, now in the Federal Republic of Germany.  They married in 1816 and had 13 children.  Their home nurtured artistic and literary excellence.  Among their children were John Henry Hopkins (Jr.) (1820-1891) and Theodore Austin Hopkins (1828-1889), father of John Henry Hobart (III) (1861-1945), the second saint in this post.

Hopkins Sr. was a major figure in The Episcopal Church in the 1800s.  He occupied the middle ground between the Low Church faction (Evangelicals) and the Anglo-Catholic wing of the church.  The theological and liturgical argument between them was the great ecclesiastical controversy of the day, with certain Evangelical Episcopalians going so far as to describe supporters of the Oxford Movement as being in league with Satan.  Hopkins Sr., although not an Evangelical Episcopalian, had the support of that party in the episcopal election in the Diocese of Pennsylvania in 1827.  Henry Ustick Onderdonk (1789-1858) won that election.  Hopkins Sr. became the Bishop of Vermont in 1832, serving until 1868.  From 1865 to 1868 he doubled as the Presiding Bishop of the national church.  He also helped The Episcopal Church to reunited rapidly after the end of the Civil War.  Unfortunately, he also defended slavery by quoting the Bible in writing in the 1850s and 1860s.  (Such defenses were, unfortunately, commonplace in the North, South, East, and West during the Antebellum period and the Civil War.)  Hopkins Sr.’s defenses of slavery, which he seemed not to have retracted, constituted the primary reason I decided not to add him to the Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days.  I have added some people to the Ecumenical Calendar despite such defenses, but other aspects of their lives outweighed this issue significantly.  I found no sufficient counterweight in the life of Hopkins Sr.


JOHN HENRY HOPKINS (JR.) (1820-1891)


John Henry Hopkins (Jr.), born at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on October 28, 1820, became a great hymnodist.  He graduated from the University of Vermont (A.B., 1839).  Next he worked as a reporter in New York City while studying law.  In 1842-1844 Hopkins Jr. lived in Savannah, Georgia, where he tutored the children of Stephen Elliott (1806-1866), who served as the first Bishop of Georgia from 1841 to 1866 and as the Presiding Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Confederate States of America from 1861 to 1866.  (Bishops Elliott and Hopkins Sr. were friends.)  Then Hopkins Jr. returned to the University of Vermont, from which he graduated with his M.A. in 1845.  After he graduated from the General Theological Seminary, New York, New York, in 1850, he joined the ranks of the Sacred Order of Deacons.

Hopkins Jr. contributed greatly to The Episcopal Church also.  In 1853 he founded the Church Journal, which he edited for 15 years.  He was also the first instructor of church music at the General Theological Seminary, teaching there from 1855 to 1857.  Hopkins Jr. also designed stained-glass windows, episcopal seals, and other ecclesiastical ornamenta.  He, ordained a priest in 1872, served as the Rector of Trinity Church, Plattsburg, New York, from 1872 to 1876 then of Christ Church, Williamsport, Pennsylvania, from 1876 to 1887.

Hopkins Jr. specialized in hymnody, composing both texts and tunes.  His hymn tunes included THREE KINGS OF ORIENT (for his most famous hymn, “We Three Kings of Orient Are“) and COME, HOLY GHOST.  An especially excellent text from 1863 was the following, for which our saint also composed the accompanying tune:

Alleluia!  Christ is risen today

From the tomb in the garden wherein he lay;

Shining angels raise their shout on high,

And on earth we exultingly make reply:

Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Amen.

Nature too, that, through long dreary gloom,

Lay embalmed in the shroud of her wintry tomb,

Rises now to meet her rising Lord,

And in myriad echo repeats word:

Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Amen.


See the streamlet burst its icy chain!

Leaping into sunlight it seeks the plain,

And its joy in liquid tones it tells

To the rocks and the woods and the winding dells:

Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Amen.

Giant pines, whose broad, up reaching arms

Bore the frosts and snows of the northern storms,

To the balmy breezes blowing now

Give a murmuring whisper on ev’ry bough:

Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Amen.


Little birds, that flew so far away,

Now return with a sweet, merry roundelay;

Through the shady grove, in soft refrain,

Lo, the voice of the turtle is heard again:

Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Amen.

In the old church-tower the swallows build,

And their nests with the tenderest young are filled;

And they join the chaunting when they hear

Both the organ and choir swelling loud and clear:

Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Amen.


Now the primrose greets the daffodil,

And the daisy is winking on every hill,

And the pansy drinks the light of day,

And the breath of the violet seems to say:

Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Amen.

Now the Rose of Sharon opens wide,

On the sunshiny banks of the mountain side;

And the lily of the valley blooms,

Filling every vale with its rich perfumes:

Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Amen.


While the fields are clothed in beauty rare,

Shall the altar of Jesus be cold and bare!

Shall the church no loving token show

That the Risen above is to rise below!

Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Amen.

Round the altar let bright flowers be seen,

With the fresh-budding branches of evergreen;

Let the earth, with us, her incense bring,

And the trees of the forest rejoice and sing:

Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Amen.

Our saint’s work in hymnody extended also to books.  His Carols, Hymns, and Songs went into three editions (1863, 1872, and 1882).  Hopkins Jr. also produced Canticles Noted with Accompanying Harmonies (1866), which also existed in multiple editions.  Various editors of hymnals found hymn texts in Poems by the Wayside (1883).  And in 1887, Hopkins Jr. edited Great Hymns of the Church, compiled by the late Bishop of Florida John Freeman Young (1820-1885).

Hopkins Jr., who never married, died at a friend’s home near Hudson, New York, on August 14, 1891.  A nephew, Charles Filkins Sweet, wrote a biography, A Champion of the Cross, Being the Life of John Henry Hopkins, S.T.D., Including Extracts and Selections from His Writings (1894).




Another nephew was John Henry Hopkins (III), born at Burlington, Vermont, on September 17, 1861.  His father was Theodore Austin Hopkins (1828-1889), a son of Hopkins Sr. and a brother of Hopkins Jr.   Theodore Austin Hopkins, an Episcopal priest, served as the principle of the Vermont Episcopal Institute, which Hopkins Sr. had founded, from 1860 to 1881, and married Alice Leavenworth Doolittle (1832-1904) in 1855.  Hopkins III graduated from the University of Vermont (A.B., 1883; D.D., 1906) and the General Theological Seminary (B.D., 1893).  He, a priest, ministered mostly in the midwestern United States.  The love of Hopkins III’s life was Marie Moulton Graves (1861-1933), whom he married in 1890.  He published her biography, The Life of Marie Moulton Graves, the Beloved Wife of John Henry Hopkins, and the Story of Their Life and Work Together (1934).  In 1906 he received an honorary degree from Western Theological Seminary.  Among his pastorates was the Church of the Redeemer, Chicago, Illinois, where he served from 1910 to 1929, and from which he retired.

Hopkins III was also a musician and a composer of hymn tunes.  From 1878 to 1890 he played the organ for various churches.  In 1888 he became the first organist at the General Theological Seminary.  Among his compositions were the components of the Communion Service in B-flat (1916) and the hymn tunes WESTERLY and GRAND ISLE, the latter of which is the tune for “I Sing a Song of the Saints of God.”  His final effort, which he considered the crowning joy of his long life, was work as a member of the Joint Commission on the Revision of the Hymnal (starting in 1937) and the Committee on Tunes for The Hymnal 1940, published in 1943.

Hopkins III’s other writings included the following:

  1. “Bible Lessons” in St. Andrew’s Cross (1895-1898);
  2. Articles in The Living Church;
  3. Germany’s World Ambitions and the Danger of a Prussianized Peace (1917);
  4. The Great Forty Years in the Diocese of Chicago, A.D. 1893 to A.D. 1934 (1936); and
  5. A Practical Course in Confirmation (1941).

Hopkins III retired to Grand Isle, Vermont, on Lake Champlain.  There he served at “The Lady Chapel” until he died on November 1, 1945.




The process of creating this post started long ago, when I wrote “John Henry Hopkins, Jr.” out of an index in The Pilgrim Hymnal (1931/1935).  That process began in earnest late his morning, when I examined the list of proposed saints with feast days in August and decided to read, take notes, and write about Hopkins Jr.  I consulted hymnals, hymnal companion volumes, and histories of The Episcopal Church before turning to the Internet.  Along the way I considered adding three John Henry Hopkinses to the Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, but decided upon two instead.

They are fine additions indeed.







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

thank you for those (especially John Henry Hopkins, Jr., and John Henry Hopkins, III)

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






Feast of Thomas Bradbury Chandler, John Henry Hobart, and William Hobart Hare (May 17)   6 comments

Episcopal Flag

Above:  The Flag of The Episcopal Church

Image Source = Zscout370



Anglican Priest

His feast transferred from August 17

father-in-law of


Episcopal Bishop of New York

His feast transferred from September 12

grandfather of


Apostle to the Sioux and Episcopal Missionary Bishop of Niobrara then South Dakota



With this post I add to my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days three holy men from The Episcopal Church’s calendar of saints.  The Episcopal Church has, for logical reasons, assigned each man to a different date.  I, for my logical reasons also, have moved Chandler and Hobart to Hare’s feast day, May 17.  This is, after all my weblog, and the Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Says and Holy Days is my project.  I have concluded that the stories of these three men’s lives, told in one post, constitute a compelling account of active Christian faith across generational lines.  Also, combining what would have otherwise been three posts into one enables a readier to notice connections more easily.



The intergenerational story begins with Thomas Bradbury Chandler.  He was one of ten children of William J. Chandler (1698-1754) and Jemima Bradbury Chandler (circa 1703-1779) of Woodstock, Massachusetts.  Our saint grew up on the family farm and attended Yale College, from which he graduated in 1745.  He became the catechist and lay reader of St. John’s Church, Elizabethtown, New Jersey, in 1747.  The congregation had no priest at the time, and the consensus at St. John’s was that Chandler should fill that vacancy.  In 1751 our saint traveled to England, where Thomas Sherlock, the Bishop of London, ordained him to the priesthood and designated him the Rector of St. John’s Church, Elizabethtown.

Chandler spent most of the rest of his life as the Rector of St. John’s Church, Elizabethtown, and became beloved there.  He also traveled in the Northeast, functioning as a missionary.  Our saint, a stickler for doing things decently and in order, refused to permit the Anglican-Methodist revivalist George Whitefield (1714-1770), who visited Elizabethtown in 1763 and 1764, to fill the pulpit.

Chandler, whom Oxford University honored with a D.D. degree in 1766, took up a controversial cause his mentor, Samuel Johnson (1696-1772), Anglican priest, former Congregationalist minister, and first President of King’s College (now Columbia University), New York, New York, favored.  The Anglican congregations in America were in the jurisdiction of the Bishop of London.  There was no bishop in North America, and Johnson and Chandler thought there should be at least one.  This was a controversial position.  On the American side of the Atlantic Ocean many Congregationalists and Presbyterians, fearing that an Anglican bishop in North America would lead to the establishment of The Church of England in the Middle Atlantic colonies, opposed such an episcopal appointment vehemently.  Chandler published his case in An Appeal to the Public in Behalf of the Church of England in America (1767) and in The Appeal Defended, or, the Proposed American Episcopate Vindicated:  In Answer to the Objections and Misrepresentations of Dr. Chauncy and Others (1769).  (Dr. Charles Chauncy had published his rebuttal to Chandler’s Appeal (1767) in 1768.)

Our saint was, as were at least one-third of the subjects in the rebellious thirteen colonies, loyal to the British Empire during the American Revolutionary period.  Chandler was quite vocal in his political opinions, for he wrote and published at least two pamphlets:

  1. A Friendly Address to All Reasonable Americans on the Subject of Our Political Confusions (1774), and
  2. What Think Ye of Congress Now?  Or an Enquiry How Far the Americans are Bound to Abide by and Execute the Decisions of the Late Congress (1775).

Chandler had to leave Elizabethtown and America in 1775, for he was receiving threats from the Sons of Liberty.  He spent the next ten years in England.

The vestry of St. John’s Church, Elizabethtown, invited Chandler to return in 1785.  He accepted the offer.  By the time our saint arrived his health did not permit him to conduct regular services, but the vestry insisted that he be the official rector and reside in the rectory anyway.  In 1786 Chandler received word that he was the first choice of the Archbishop of Canterbury to become the first Church of England bishop in North America, headquartered in Nova Scotia.  Our saint, who had not sought the position, declined it for health reasons.  The post went to Charles Inglis (1734-1816), Rector of Trinity Church, New York, New York, from 1777 to 1783 instead.

[Aside:  The first Anglican bishop in North America was Samuel Seabury (1729-1796), whom bishops of The Church of England refused to consecrate because he, as an American (albeit a Royal Army chaplain during the Revolutionary War) could not swear allegiance to the crown.  Bishops of the Scottish Episcopal Church consecrated him at Aberdeen on November 14, 1784, however, and he became the first Bishop of Connecticut on August 3, 1785.]

Chandler died at Elizabethtown on June 17, 1790.  He was 64 years old, and Then Episcopal Church was less than one year old, having completed the process of separating from The Church of England in 1789.

Chandler had written The Life of Samuel Johnson, D.D., the First President of King’s College in New York yet not published it during his lifetime.  The volume became available in print in 1805.

Chandler’s legacy continued via his family.  His wife was Jane Emott Chandler (circa 1732-1801).  Their youngest daughter, Mary Goodwin Chandler (1774-1847), married a young clergyman named John Henry Hobart (1775-1830, who became the Bishop of New York.


Chart and Scan by Kenneth Randolph Taylor



John Henry Hobart was a great missionary bishop and a man of strong opinions.  He funded educational institutions, started congregations and left a legacy which even many who argued with him bitterly had to respect.

Hobart was a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  His parents were Enoch Hobart (1726-1776) and Hannah Pratt Hobart (1732-?).  Our saint studied at the Episcopal Academy, Philadelphia, before matriculating at The University of Pennsylvania.  He remained there for two years before transferring to the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University), graduating with his A.B. in 1793.  He worked in a counting house in Philadelphia for a few worlds, but commerce was not his vocation.

Hobart, realizing this fact, turned toward theology.  In 1797 and 1798, while working as a tutor at the College of New Jersey, our saint pursued theological studies under the direction of William White (1747-1836).  White was the Rector of St. Peter’s Church and Christ Church, Philadelphia (1779-1836), the Bishop of Pennsylvania (1787-1836), Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church (1789, 1795-1836), and the Chaplain of the United States Senate (1790-1800).  White ordained Hobart to the diaconate on June 3, 1798, and to the priesthood in 1800.  Our saint served the yoked congregations of Trinity Church, Oxford, Pennsylvania, and All Saints Church, Perkionmen, Pennsylvania, in 1798 and 1799.  He served briefly at Christ Church, New Brunswick, New Jersey, in 1799 and 1800.  On May 6, 1800, Hobart married Mary Goodwin Chandler (1774-1847), youngest daughter of Thomas Bradbury Chandler (1726-1790).  At the end of 1800 Hobart became the Assistant Rector of Trinity Church, New York, New York.  In 1811 he became both the Rector of Trinity Church and the second bishop coadjutor in the Diocese of New York.  He served as rector and bishop until his death, in 1830.

The first Bishop of New York was Samuel Provoost (1742-1815), who served in the diocese from 1787 to 1815 and as the Chaplain of the United States Senate (1789-1790) and the Presiding Bishop of the denomination (1792-1795).  Benjamin Moore (1748-1816) had become the first bishop coadjutor in the Diocese of New York in 1801.  When Provoost died Moore succeeded him and became the second Bishop of New York.  Moore died in February 1816, so Hobart automatically became the third Bishop of New York.  This made official was had been unofficial reality for several years, for both Provoost and Moore had not been well, so Hobart had been administering the diocese.

Hobart was an effective bishop.  Between 1816 and 1820 he increased the number of clergy in the diocese by a factor of two and the number of missionaries by a factor of four.  By the end of his tenure (and life) our saint had started missionary work among the Oneida Indians and planted a church in every major town in the state previously lacking one.  In 1817 Hobart helped to found the General Theological Seminary, New York, New York.  He served as its first dean and taught pastoral theology.  Our saint expanded education in the western part of the state, selecting the site of Geneva College (opened in 1822), Geneva, New York.  (It became Hobart College then Hobart and William Smith Colleges.)  Hobart also visited churches in Connecticut and New Jersey during times of vacancies in the episcopates of those dioceses.

This hard work damaged our saint’s health.  He took a sabbatical in 1823-1825 to recover while traveling in Europe.

Hobart was also a controversialist.  The bishop was a pre-Oxford Movement High Churchman.  The Oxford Movement, which started in England in the 1830s (after Hobart’s death), had a strong liturgical emphasis.  Hobart’s High Churchmanship pertained to questions of baptism and Apostolic Succession.  There were competing theologies of baptism and the episcopate.  Our saint argued strongly for his interpretations and cautioned against ecumenical cooperation with denominations with different understandings.  These matters, he insisted, were crucial.

One might recognize Apostolic Succession as one of four standards in the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral (1886 and 1888).  The other three standards for Christian unity there are the Old and New Testaments, the Nicene Creed, and the sacraments of baptism and the Holy Eucharist.

Hobart died at Auburn, New York, on September 12, 1830, two days before his fifty-fifth birthday.  Among the bishops who met a Chicago, Illinois, in 1886 to discuss the Quadrilateral was his grandson, William Hobart Hare (1838-1909), the Missionary Bishop of South Dakota (1883-1909), and a son of Elizabeth Catherine Hobart Hare (1810-1883).

Hobart’s immediate successor was Benjamin Tredwell Onderdonk (1791-1861).

Hobart’s published writings included the following:

  1. A Companion for the Altar, or, Week’s Preparation for the Holy Communion (First Edition, 1804; Fifth Edition, 1819)
  2. Feasts and Festivals (1804);
  3. An Apology for Apostolic Order (1807);
  4. Letters to the Vestry of Trinity Church (1811);
  5. The Christian’s Manual of Faith and Devotion (1814);
  6. The State of the Departed (1816);
  7. The Churchman (1819);
  8. Sermons on the Principal Events and Truths of Redemption (1824);
  9. The High Churchman Vindicated (1826); and
  10. The Christian Bishop Approving Himself Unto God (1827), preached at the consecration of Henry Ustick Onderdonk (1789-1858) in the Diocese of Pennsylvania.

Posthumous volumes about Hobart, most of them containing writings by him, included the following:

  1. A Great Man in Israel (1830), by John Frederick Schroeder;
  2. Memorial of Bishop Hobart:  A Collection of Sermons on the Death of the Right Reverend John Henry Hobart, D.D., with a Memoir of His Life and Writings (1831), by John Frederick Schroeder;
  3. The Posthumous Works of the Late Right Reverend John Henry Hobart, with a Memoir of His Life by the Rev. William Berrian, D.D. (1832), Volumes I, II, and III;
  4. The Early Years of the Late Bishop Hobart (1834), by John McVickar;
  5. The Professional Years of John Henry Hobart:  Being a Sequel to His “Early Years” (1836), by John McVickar;
  6. The Office of Devotion (Second Edition, 1846);
  7. Instruction and Encouragement for Lent (1859); and
  8. The Correspondence of John Henry Hobart (1911), Volumes I, II, III, IV, V, and VI.




Chart and Scan by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

William Hobart Hare shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ with people in the Dakotas, Japan, and China.

Our saint was a son of the church.  His family tree included, among others, Thomas Bradbury Chandler (1726-1790) and John Henry Hobart (1775-1830).  Hare’s parents were George Emlen Hare, Sr. (1808-1892), and Elizabeth Catherine Hare (1810-1883), daughter of Bishop Hobart.  George Emlen Hare, Sr., was a prominent Episcopal priest and Biblical scholar in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  He taught at and served as the dean of Philadelphia Divinity School (extant 1857-1974).  At the time of our saint’s birth in Princeton, New Jersey, in 1838, George Emlen Hare, Sr., was the Rector of Trinity Church in that city.  He wrote Christ to Return:  A Practical Exposition of the Prophecy Recorded in the 24th and 25th Chapters of the Gospel According to St. Matthew (1840) and Visions and Narratives of the Old Testament (1889).

Our saint became an Episcopal priest.  He attended yet did not graduate from The University of Pennsylvania.  Then he studied at the new Philadelphia Divinity School.  Hare became a deacon in 1859 and a priest in 1862.  At first he was assistant at St. Luke’s Church, Philadelphia, where Mark Antony DeWolfe Howe (1808-1895), later the first Bishop of Central Pennsylvania from 1871 to 1895, was the rector.  In 1861 Hare transferred to St. Paul’s Church, Chestnut Hill, and on October 30, married Howe’s daughter, Mary Amory (May 4, 1837-January 7, 1866).  The couple’s brief marriage produced one child, Hobart Amory Hare (September 22, 1862-June 15, 1931), a physician and author of medical texts.  The Hares spent parts of 1863 and 1864 in Michigan and Minnesota for Mary’s health.  Then, in 1864 Hare became the Vicar of the Church of the Ascension, Philadelphia,  He remained there until 1870, becoming rector in 1867.

Hare entered the missions field in 1870, when he became the Secretary and General Agent of the Foreign Committee of the Board of Missions.  He nearly left that job the following year, when the House of Bishops elected him to become the Missionary Bishop of Cape Palmas (in western Africa), but the House of Deputies concluded that he was invaluable in his then current position.  On All Saints’ Day 1872, however, the bishops elected him the Missionary Bishop of Niobrara, with a territory spanning the Dakotas.  The consecration occurred on January 9, 1873.

From 1873 to 1883 Hare administered the affairs of the Missionary District of Niobrara, ministering to Sioux and pioneers alike.  He divided the district into ten departments, each led by a priest.  This manner of organizing his see proved to be quite effective.  He wrote annual letters, published as pamphlets, to raise funds for the schools.  One such letter was Christian Schools Among the Indians:  Bishop Hare’s Circular (1874).

The Missionary District of Niobrara divided into the Missionary Districts of North and South Dakota in 1883.  Hare became the Missionary Bishop of South Dakota, a post he held for the rest of his life.  He oversaw a network of parochial schools and established his headquarters at Sioux Falls, South Dakota.  He lived in a wing of All Saints School (for Sioux and pioneer girls), near Calvary Episcopal Cathedral.  Our saint wrote of the schools one year in How the Church Schools in South Dakota Help Indian Boys and Girls.  ( provides 1850 as the date, but that is incorrect, for he would have been 11 or 12 years old at the time, and the document lists his title as Missionary Bishop of South Dakota.)

Hare’s job was demanding.  Nevertheless, our saint doubled as a missionary bishop in Japan in 1891 and in Japan and China in parts of 1891 and 1892, with a return to South Dakota separating those two tenures.  Furthermore, Hare’s health became an issue.  Thus he traveled in Europe from October 1895 to April 1896.  The work of the church in South Dakota continued, as another pamphlet, Indian Missions of the Protestant Episcopal Church in South Dakota:  Letter from Bishop Hare (1899), attested.  Hare eventually requested a bishop to assist him.  Answering that request affirmatively entailed altering the denominational canons.  In 1905 Frederick Foote Johnson (1866-1943) became the Assistant Bishop of South Dakota.

Hare visited sisters in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Atlantic City, New Jersey, from time to time.  He died at Atlantic City during one such visit on October 23, 1909.  He was 71 years old.

Johnson succeeded our saint as Missionary Bishop of South Dakota then left to become the Bishop Coadjutor of Missouri, serving under Daniel Sylvester Tuttle (1837-1923), Bishop of Missouri from 1886 to 1923 and Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church from 1903 to 1923.  Foote served as the Bishop of Missouri from 1923 to 1933, when he retired. is host to biographies of our saint and other published works by him:

  1. Reminiscences (1888);
  2. Addresses Relating to the Growth of the Church in the Missionary Jurisdiction of South Dakota:  From June, A.D. 1860 to June, A.D. 1898 (1898);
  3. Bishop Hare’s Indian Boarding Schools in South Dakota (1910);
  4. The Life and Labors of Bishop Hare:  Apostle to the Sioux (1914), by Mark Antony DeWolfe Howe (1864-1960), his late wife’s half-brother; and
  5. Zitkano Duzahan, Swift Bird:  The Indians’ Bishop; a Life of the Rt. Rev. William Hobart Hare (1915), by Mary B. Peabody.



I ponder the contributions of these three men to the glory of God, to The Episcopal Church, to the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, and to the lives of the people they touched in positive ways then stand in awe of them.  These were men of God whose influences (both direct and indirect) was great.  I join others in standing on the shoulders of such giants.








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

Thomas Bradbury Chandler, John Henry Hobart, and William Hobart Hare,

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

and we pray that, following their examples and the teaching of their holy lives,

we may by your grace grow into the stature of the fullness

of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ;

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Ezekiel 34:11-16

Psalm 23

1 Peter 5:1-4

John 21:15-17

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 718


Feast of Henry Ustick Onderdonk (December 6)   3 comments

Flag of Pennsylvania

Above:  The Flag of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

Image in the Public Domain



Episcopal Bishop, Liturgist, and Hymn Writer

Causes of ecclesiastical controversies interest me, especially long after the fact.  In England, when the Reverend Isaac Watts (1674-1748), the “Father of English Hymnody,” played his crucial role in the transition from psalmody to hymnody in much of the English-speaking Christian world, he created a controversy which outlived him on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.  During the 1800s and into the 1900s the Oxford Movement divided parishes and dioceses in the Anglican Communion.  In 1868, for example, the addition of the singing of creeds and the prayers at Christ Episcopal Church, Macon, Georgia, prompted protests from Low Churchmen, who considered the changes “Papist.”  In 1869 the rector of the parish resigned from Christ Church to serve the breakaway parish (still inside the Diocese of Georgia at the time) of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Macon, where his changes were popular. That controversy came more than thirty years after Christ Church’s organ, the first in the city, had upset many people.

Christ Church and St. Paul’s Church, Macon, have been parishes of the Diocese of Atlanta since 1907, when the Diocese of Georgia divided for reasons of geography and the excessive workload on the Bishop of Georgia, then based out of Atlanta.

Our saint for today spent many years at the eye of the storm of High Churchmanship versus Low Churchmanship.  Henry Ustick Onderdonk, born at New York New York, on March 16, 1789, studied medicine at Columbia College, Manhattan (B.A., 1895; M.A., 1808), and at the University of Edinburgh, in Scotland (M.D., 1810).  He did not remain in the medical field for long, for theology beckoned.  Onderdonk, ordained an Episcopal deacon in 1815 and a priest the following year, served as a missionary at Canandaigua, New York, before becoming the Rector of St. Anne’s Church, New York, New York, in 1820.  Seven years later he became the Assistant Bishop of Pennsylvania amid much controversy.  The High Church-Low Church controversy divided the Diocese of Pennsylvania, so nobody could have won election without acrimony.  Low Churchmen failed to block Onderdonk’s election, and no Low Church clergymen, including bishops, participated in his consecration service.  Onderdonk became the Bishop of Pennsylvania in 1836.  He served until 1844, when he resigned and the House of Bishops suspended him indefinitely.  The de jure cause of the suspension was Onderdonk’s alcoholism, which had started after a doctor prescribed spirits as treatment for a chronic digestive disorder.  The Bishop of Pennsylvania had reformed his life prior to his resignation and suspension, but partisan pressures led to his suspension.

At the same time his brother, Benjamin Tredwell Onderdonk (1791-1861), the Bishop of New York from 1830 to 1861, was in trouble also.  The Bishop of New York, a High Churchman like his brother, was on trial in 1844 and 1845 due to charges of improper touching of women.  He denied the allegations.  (I do not know if the charges were accurate, so I make no judgment in that matter.  Determining actual guilt or innocence in 2015 in this case might be impossible.)  The majority of the House of Bishops decided that the Bishop of New York was guilty, so it suspended him indefinitely in 1845 and never lifted the suspension.  He retained the title “Bishop of New York” until his death, but Provisional Bishops served there until 1861.  Regardless of whether the Bishop of New York was actually guilty, strong objections to his High Churchmanship influenced the House of Bishops and increased the level of interest in his case.

Henry Ustick Onderdonk was a capable hymn writer and a liturgist.  He helped to prepare the Hymns Suited to the Feasts and Fasts of the Church and Other Occasions (1826), or the Prayer Book Collection, informally, due to the fact that the Church ordered it bound with The Book of Common Prayer (1789).  The Prayer Book Collection, to which Onderdonk contributed nine hymns, marked the transition from psalmody to hymnody in The Episcopal Church.  He also worked on Plain Music for the Book of Common Prayer (1854).  The Hymnal of 1874 superceded that volume and the Prayer Book Collection (1826).  Most of our saint’s hymns fell out of Episcopal Church hymnody after the Hymnal of 1892.  The Hymnal 1916 (1918), The Hymnal 1940 (1943), and The Hymnal 1982 (1985), retained just one of his texts.

One can, however, read his hymns at  I have added some of his texts to my GATHERED PRAYERS weblog also.

The former Bishop of Pennsylvania, whose suspension the House of Bishops lifted in 1856, died at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on December 6, 1858. offers some of our saint’s publications:

  1. An Inaugural Dissertation on the Stone of the Bladder (1810);
  2. The New-York Medical Magazine, Volume I (1814, with Valentine Mott, M.D.);
  3. A Sermon [on Isa. lxii. 12] Preached at the Opening of the General Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States in St. Paul’s Chapel, New York, October 17, 1832 (1832);
  4. The Rule of Faith:  A Charge to the Clergy of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania:  Delivered in Philadelphia, May 22, 1833, at the Opening of the Convention (1833);
  5. Episcopacy Tested by Scripture (1834; 1860 reprint);
  6. Episcopacy Examined and Re-Examined, Comprising the Tract “Episcopacy Tested by Scripture,” and the Controversy Concerning that Publication (1835); and
  7. An Essay on Regeneration (1835).

Our saint had to struggle with addiction, which is a medical condition, not a sin.  (Much of what one does in the maintenance of an addiction is sinful, however.)  Brain scans, which were not available in the 1800s, prove that the brains of addicts and non-addicts differ chemically.  May people cease to classify diseases as sins, and therefore stop imposing more burdens on those who need grace and help, not guilt and recrimination.








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

thank you for those (especially Henry Ustick Onderdonk)

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