Archive for the ‘Henry Van Dyke’ Tag

Feast of Maltbie Davenport Babcock (May 18)   1 comment

Above:  Maltbie Davenport Babcock

Image in the Public Domain

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MALTBIE DAVENPORT BABCOCK (AUGUST 3, 1858-MAY 18, 1901)

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

Maltbie Davenport Babcock was the kind of person people have in mind when they say the good die young.

Babcock, a native of Syracuse, New York, was talented.  He, born on August 3, 1858, came from a socially prominent family.  From an early age he was a fine student, athlete, and musician with a magnetic personality.  Our saint was a natural leader.  At Syracuse University, where Babcock matriculated in 1875, he was a skilled organist, pianist, and vocalist.

Babcock became a minister.  After graduating from Auburn Theological Seminary in 1882, our saint began to serve as the pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Lockport, New York.  There he liked to walk in the nature, to, in his words, to see his Father’s world.  This was consistent with the Reformed idea of the Book of Nature.  At Lockport Babcock composed a poem, “My Father’s World,” which his widow, Katherine Eliot Tallman Babcock (1857-1943), whom he had married in 1882, had published in 1901, after his untimely death.

This is my Father’s world.

On the day of its wondrous birth

The stars of light in phalanx bright

Sang out in Heavenly mirth.

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This is my Father’s world.

E’en yet to my listening ears

All nature sings, and around me rings

The music of the spheres.

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This is my Father’s world.

I rest me in the thought

Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas,

His hand the wonders wrought.

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This is my Father’s world.

The birds their carols raise,

The morning light, the lily white,

Declare their maker’s praise.

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This is my Father’s world.

He shines in all that’s fair.

In the rustling grass I hear Him pass,

He speaks to me everywhere.

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This is my Father’s world.

From His eternal throne,

He watch doth keep when I’m asleep,

And I am not alone.

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This is my Father’s world.

Dreaming, I see His face.

I ope my eyes, and in glad surprise

Cry, “The Lord is in this place.”

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This is my Father’s world.

I walk a desert lone.

In a bush ablaze to my wondering gaze

God makes His glory known.

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This is my Father’s world.

Among the mountains drear,

‘Mid rending rocks and earthquake shocks,

The still, small voice I hear.

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This is my Father’s world.

From the shining courts above,

The Beloved One, His only Son,

Came–a pledge of deathless love.

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This is my Father’s world.

Now closer to Heaven bound,

For dear to God is the earth Christ trod,

No place but is holy ground.

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This is my Father’s world.

His love has filled my breast,

I am reconciled, I am His child,

My soul has found His rest.

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This is my Father’s world.

A wanderer I may roam,

Whate’er my lot, it matters not,

My heart is still at home.

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This is my Father’s world.

O let me ne’er forget

That tho’ the wrong seems oft so strong,

God is the ruler yet.

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This is my Father’s world.

The battle is not done.

Jesus who died shall be satisfied,

And earth and Heaven be one.

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This is my Father’s World.

Should my heart be ever sad?

The Lord is King–let the Heavens ring

God reigns–let the earth be glad.

–Quoted in Thoughts for Every-Day Living (1901), pages 180-182

This text became the source material for the hymn “This is My Father’s World,” set to music in 1915.

Our saint became a rising star among Presbyterian ministers.  From 1886 to 1900 Babcock was pastor of Brown Memorial Presbyterian Church, Baltimore, Maryland.  There he became a popular speaker on university campuses.  Our saint also raised funds to help Russian Jewish refugees fleeing Czarist pogroms.  In 1900 Babcock succeeded the great Henry Van Dyke (1852-1933), another hymn writer, as pastor of The Brick Presbyterian Church, New York City.  Babcock made a journey to the Holy Land the following year.  On that trip he died of natural causes at Naples, Italy, on May 18.  He was 42 years old.

I wonder what more Babcock would have done for God had he lived longer.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

OCTOBER 28, 2017 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS SIMON AND JUDE, APOSTLES AND MARTYRS

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

Maltbie Davenport Babcock and others, who have composed hymn texts.

May we, as you guide us,

find worthy hymn texts to be icons,

through which we see you.

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

Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 44:1-3a, 5-15

Psalm 147

Revelation 5:11-14

Luke 2:8-20

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 20, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS AMATOR OF AUXERRE AND GERMANUS OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS; SAINT MAMERTINUS OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT; AND SAINT MARCIAN OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK

THE FEAST OF JOHANNES BUGENHAGEN, GERMAN LUTHERAN PASTOR

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARCELLINUS OF EMBRUN, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF OLAVUS AND LAURENTIUS PETRI, RENEWERS OF THE CHURCH

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Feast of Henry Van Dyke (April 10)   6 comments

Above:  Henry and Ellen Van Dyke, Between 1910 and 1915

Image Source = Library of Congress

Image Publisher = Bain News Service

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-ggbain-17998

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HENRY JACKSON VAN DYKE (NOVEMBER 10, 1852-APRIL 10, 1933)

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

Henry Van Dyke was a Presbyterian minister, a diplomat, a poet, a theologian, a liturgist, and an author of pious fiction.

The great man debuted at Germantown, Pennsylvania, on November 10, 1852.  He graduated from the Polytechnic Institute, Brooklyn, New York, in 1869.  Then he studied at Princeton University (B.A., 1873; M.A., 1877).  Next Van Dyke traveled abroad before returning to the United States.  He became a Presbyterian minister in 1879.  Our saint married Ellen Reid of Baltimore, Maryland, in December 1881.  The couple had five children:

  1. Frances (age 16 at the time of the 1900 census);
  2. Terticus (1887-1956), a poet who wrote a biography (1935) of his father;
  3. Dorothea (age 12 at the time of the 1900 census);
  4. Elaine (age 8 at the time of the 1900 census); and
  5. Paula (age 1 at the time of the 1900 census).

Van Dyke served as the pastor of two congregations.  He was at the United Congregational Church, Newport, Rhode Island, from 1879 to 1883.  Then he served at The Brick Presbyterian Church, New York, New York, from 1883 to 1900.  Maltbie Davenport Babcock (1858-1901), author of “This is My Father’s World,” succeeded him.  Our saint became a respected scholar and writer, as well as a popular orator.

Two of Van Dyke’s gifts were poetry and prose.  He brought these to this position as a Professor of English Literature at Princeton University, starting in 1900.  Our saint also brought his literary skill to bear on The Book of Common Worship (1906), the first formal liturgy the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. authorized, created, and published, although not the first formal liturgy it published.  He served as the chairman of the committee that produced the volume, which many in the denomination considered too Roman Catholic.  During his time at Princeton Van Dyke also served as the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. (1902-1903), was a lecturer at the University of Paris (1908-1909), became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature (in England, 1910), and began to serve as the President of the National Institute of Arts and Letters (starting in 1912).

Van Dyke’s life became more international in 1913, when President Woodrow Wilson, his friend and former boss at Princeton, appointed him to serve as the Minister  (Ambassador) to The Netherlands and Luxembourg.  Our saint resigned that post in late 1916 and returned to the United States.  The following year he became a U.S. Navy chaplain with the rank of Lieutenant Commander.  Van Dyke, a Commander of the Legion of Honor since 1918, returned to civilian life in 1923 and devoted himself primarily to literary matters.

Van Dyke, who received many honorary doctorates, made one final contribution to Presbyterian liturgy.  In this late seventies he served as the chairman of the committee that produced The Book of Common Worship (Revised) (1932).

One might know of Van Dyke as a writer, probably for The Story of the Other Wise Man (1895) and/or his most famous hymn, “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee” (written in 1907 and published two years later).  The list of our saint’s publications long and impressive, including even a play.  I refer you, O reader, to archive.org, where you can find electronic copies of many of Van Dyke’s published works, not least of which is The Poems of Henry Van Dyke (1911).

I have added some of our saint’s hymns addressed to God at my GATHERED PRAYERS weblog.

Van Dyke died, aged 80 years, at Princeton, New Jersey, on April 10, 1933.

His legacy survives.  His hymns survive, although most have fallen into disuse.  The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), which published the sixth incarnation of the Book of Common Worship in 1993, is working on the seventh version.  [Aside:  The versions were those of 1906, 1932, 1946, 1966, 1970, and 1993.]  And, of course, one can read what he published.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 9, 2017 COMMON ERA

PALM SUNDAY:  THE SUNDAY OF THE PASSION, YEAR A

THE FEAST OF DIETRICH BONHOEFFER, GERMAN LUTHERAN MARTYR

THE FEAST OF SAINT CASILDA OF TOLEDO, ROMAN CATHOLIC ANCHORESS

THE FEAST OF JOHN SAMUEL BEWLEY MONSELL, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND POET; AND RICHARD MANT, ANGLICAN BISHOP OF DOWN, CONNOR, AND DROMORE

THE FEAST OF LYDIA EMILIE GRUCHY, FIRST FEMALE MINISTER IN THE UNITED CHURCH OF CANADA

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

thank you for those (especially Henry Van Dyke)

who have nurtured and encouraged the reverent worship of you.

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

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

1 Chronicles 25:1-8

Psalm 145

Revelation 15:1-4

John 4:19-26

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 27, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT JAMES INTERCISUS, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYR

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

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Feast of Clarence Dickinson (May 6)   Leave a comment

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Above:  Union Theological Seminary, New York, New York, Circa 1910

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-USZ62-74646

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CLARENCE DICKINSON (MAY 7, 1873-AUGUST 2, 1969)

U.S. Presbyterian Organist and Composer

Clarence Dickinson (1873-1969), church organist, choirmaster, and (with his wife, Adell) composer was born into a New School Presbyterian family.  Grandfather Baxter Dickinson, a professor at Auburn Seminary then Lane Theological Seminary, wrote the Auburn Declaration in 1837.  That document, in Clarence’s words,

separated the church into the old school and the new school, the conservative and the advanced.

Father William Cowper Dickinson, a Presbyterian minister, played with Harriet Beecher Stowe when he was young.  William, pastor of the Second Presbyterian Church, Lafayette, Indiana, in 1873, welcomed his son, Clarence, into the world.  Clarence, impressed with church organs since very young age, had only one destiny, for which he was well-suited.  He studied piano and organ as a youth and had become sufficiently advanced by age fifteen to assume the post of university organist at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio.  Later he attended Northwestern University, where he chose organ over classical languages.

Clarence’s life from 1892 to 1909 was eventful.  For five years he played the organ at the Church of the Messiah, Chicago, Illinois.  Then, in 1897-1898, he did the same at St. James Episcopal Church in the city.  From 1898 to 1901 our saint studied organ in Berlin (1898-1899) then in Paris (1899-1901).  In Europe he met his future wife, Adell, who earned her doctorate in philosophy from Heidelberg.  They married in 1904 and she collaborated with him creatively, including on his nearly 500 choir anthems.  Clarence led the Aurora Musical Club, Aurora, Illinois, from 1901 to 1906, then organized the fifty-member Musical Arts Society, devoted to performing classic works of church music, in Chicago.

In 1909, after three years with the Musical Arts Society, our saint became the organist and choirmaster at Brick Presbyterian Church, New York, New York, a post he held for more than fifty years.  The Reverend Henry Van Dyke, pastor, once told Clarence,

It hardly seems necessary to preach; the music has said it all.

Our saint also contributed to the larger church.  He founded the School of Sacred Music at Union Theological Seminary in 1928.  And he served as the Music Editor for The Hymnal (1933), which the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. used for over twenty years.  Dickinson as served as the Music Editor of The Hymnal (1941) for the Evangelical and Reformed Church, a forerunner of the United Church of Christ.

Clarence Dickinson devoted his life to glorifying God via music.  His was a noble legacy.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

OCTOBER 28, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS SIMON AND JUDE, APOSTLES AND MARTYRS

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Amended on December 9, 2013 Common Era

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Eternal God, light of the world and Creator of all that is good and lovely:

We bless your name for inspiring Clarence Dickinson and all those who

with music have filled us with desire and love for you;

through Jesus Christ our Savior, who with you and the Holy Spirit

lives and reigns, lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

1 Chronicles 29:14b-19

Psalm 90:14-17

2 Corinthians 3:1-3

John 21:15-17, 24-25

–After Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 728

Feast of Louis FitzGerald Benson (October 13)   5 comments

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Above:  Interior, Rear of the Church with the Organ Loft from the Altar, First Presbyterian Church, Binghamton, New York

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = HABS NY,4-BING,18–9

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LOUIS FITZGERALD BENSON (JULY 22, 1855-OCTOBER 10, 1930)

U.S. Presbyterian Minister and Liturgist

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Louis FitzGerald Benson was the son of a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, businessman and elder at the Tenth Presbyterian Church.  Our saint earned his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Pennsylvania then practiced law. After a few years, however, he perceived and followed a different vocation.  So he enrolled at Princeton Theological Seminary.  Benson, ordained the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. (1869-1958) in 1888, pastored one congregation, the Church of the Redeemer, Germantown, Pennsylvania, for six years.  Then he embarked upon his true calling.

Benson became an Editor at the Presbyterian Board of Publication and Sabbath-School Work in 1894.  He wrote and translated hymns, edited hymnals, and wrote about hymnody, becoming the foremost hymnodist in the United States during this lifetime and perhaps remaining unsurpassed after this death.  He produced the following volumes:

Our saint, a scholar of hymnody, had a 9,000-volume library.

Our saint shared the first draft of the following hymn, written on November 21, 1924, with his good friend, Henry Sloane Coffin.  Coffin provided praise and constructive criticism, which influenced the final draft.

For the bread, which Thou has broken;

For the wine, which Thou hast poured;

For the words, which Thou hast spoken;

Now we give Thee thanks, O Lord.

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By this pledge that Thou dost love us,

By Thy gift of peace restored,

By Thy call to heaven above us,

Hallow all our lives, O Lord.

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With our sainted ones in glory

Seated at our Father’s board,

May the Church that waiteth for Thee

Keep love’s tie unbroken, Lord.

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In Thy service, Lord, defend us;

In our hearts keep watch and ward;

In the world where Thou dost send us

Let Thy Kingdom come, O Lord.

As I researched our saint I found the following description of him at the Tenth Presbyterian website:

…the foremost hymnodist that America has produced.

I detect irony, for Benson was to the left of that congregation’s current theological position.  He associated with the likes of Henry Sloane Coffin and Henry Van Dyke, liberals in their denomination.  In 1981 Tenth Presbyterian Church affiliated with the Presbyterian Church in America (1973-), which is far to the right of Coffin, Van Dyke, and Benson.

Benson died at Philadelphia, his hometown, in 1930.  On November 2 that year Dr. Henry Van Dyke, speaking at a memorial service for our saint, advised churches to cultivate the following, which were Benson’s ideals for hymns:  cheerfulness, beauty, reverence, and spirituality.  Van Dyke said that

When singing in all our churches has these marks, the joy of worship will revive and the churches will fill up.

–Quoted in Robert Guy McCutchan, Our Hymnody:  A Manual of The Methodist Hymnal, 2d. Ed. (Nashville, TN:  Abingdon Press, 1937, page 437)

Indeed, beauty and reverence in hymnody, combined with great substance thereof, is proper.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 24, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF THE NATIVITY OF SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST

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

thank you for those (especially Louis FitzGerald Benson)

who have nurtured and encouraged the reverent worship of you.

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

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

1 Chronicles 25:1-8

Psalm 145

Revelation 15:1-4

John 4:19-26

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 27, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT JAMES INTERCISUS, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYR

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

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For Further Reference:

http://manuscripts.ptsem.edu/collection/25

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A Related Post:

http://blogatheologica.wordpress.com/2013/07/03/the-book-of-common-worship-revised-1932/

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