Archive for the ‘Isaac Watts’ Tag

Feast of Isaac Watts (November 25)   6 comments

Above:  Isaac Watts

Image in the Public Domain

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

ISAAC WATTS (JULY 17, 1675-NOVEMBER 25, 1748)

English Congregationalist Minister and Hymn Writer

Church of England, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada feast day = November 25

Episcopal Church feast day = November 26

++++++++++++++++++++++

His dying crimson, like a Robe,

Spreads o’er His Body on the Tree;

Then I am dead to all the Globe,

And all the Globe is dead to me.

–Isaac Watts (1707); the usually omitted verse of “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross;” quoted in Armin Haeussler, The Story of Our Hymns:  The Handbook to the Hymnal of the Evangelical and Reformed Church (St. Louis, MO:  Eden Publishing House, 1952), 213

++++++++++++++++++++++

Isaac Watts was one of the greatest hymn writers in the English-speaking world.

Watts, born in Southampton, England, on July 17, 1675, came from a family of religious dissenters.  His father, Isaac (Sr.), spent time in prison due to religious opinions.  Our saint, well-educated from an early age, mastered Hebrew, Greek, and Latin.  His religious affiliation prevented him from attending Cambridge or Oxford, however.  Watts, therefore, attended and graduated from the academy at Stoke Newington (now in London).  Starting in 1702, he spent a decade as minister at Mark Lane Chapel, London.

Watts suffered from bad health most of his life.  Failing health forced him to leave active ministry in 1712.  Our saint lived in the household of the Abney family for 36 years.  He could do little more than write, which he did.  Watts wrote books about language, theology, and logic.  He also composed more than 600 hymns and helped to facilitate the transition from metrical psalms to hymns.

Hymns by Watts include:

  1. “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross;”
  2. “Joy to the World;”
  3. “Jesus Shall Reign;” and
  4. “O God, Our Hope in Ages Past.”

Watts died at Stoke Newington, England, on November 25, 1748.  She was 73 years old.

Many of his hymns continue to nourish faith, fortunately.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 19, 2019 COMMON ERA

GOOD FRIDAY

THE FEAST OF SAINTS MURIN OF FAHAN, LASERIAN OF LEIGHLIN, GOBAN OF PICARDIE, FOILLAN OF FOSSES, AND ULTAN OF PERONNE, ABBOTS; AND FURSEY OF PERONNE AND BLITHARIUS OF SEGANNE, MONKS

THE FEAST OF SAINT ALPHEGE, ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY, AND MARTYR

THE FEAST OF SAINT EMMA OF LESUM, BENEFACTOR

THE FEAST OF OLAVUS PETRI SWEDISH LUTHERAN THEOLOGIAN, HISTORIAN, LITURGIST, MINISTER, HYMN WRITER, HYMN TRANSLATOR, AND “FATHER OF SWEDISH LITERATURE;” AND HIS BROTHER, LAURENTIUS PETRI, SWEDISH LUTHERAN ARCHBISHOP OF UPPSALA, BIBLE TRANSLATOR, AND “FATHER OF SWEDISH HYMNODY”

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

God of truth and grace, you gave Isaac Watts singular gifts to present your praise in verse,

that he might write psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs for your Church:

Give us grace joyfully to sing your praises now and in the life to come;

through Jesus Christ our Savior, who lives and reigns with

you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

1 Chronicles 16:1-6

Psalm 108:1-6

Colossians 3:12-17

Luke 18:35-43

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 705

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

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

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

HENRY USTICK ONDERDONK (MARCH 16, 1789-DECEMBER 6, 1858)

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 hymnary.org.  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.

Archive.org 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.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 3, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF WILL CAMPBELL, AGENT OF RECONCILIATION

THE FEAST OF SAINT LIPHARDUS OF ORLEANS AND URBICIUS OF MEUNG, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOTS

THE FEAST OF THE MARTYRS OF UGANDA

THE FEAST OF SAINT MORAND OF CLUNY, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK AND MISSIONARY

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

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

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

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Feast of Ludolph Ernst Schlicht; John Gambold, Sr.; and John Gambold, Jr. (November 4)   3 comments

November 4 Saints

Above:  New Saints for November 4

Image Source = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

LUDOLPH ERNST SCHLICHT (NOVEMBER 4, 1714-MARCH 14, 1769)

Moravian Minister, Musician, and Hymn Writer

+++++++++++++++++++++++

JOHN GAMBOLD, SR. (APRIL 10, 1711-SEPTEMBER 13, 1771)

British Moravian Bishop, Hymn Writer, and Translator of Hymns

Father of

JOHN GAMBOLD, JR. (NOVEMBER 15, 1760-JUNE 21, 1795)

Moravian Composer

+++++++++++++++++++++++

The previous post in the Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days series started with research into one person and led to the addition of six others as well.  This post began with research into one person (Schlicht) and led to two others–a father and a son.  I also found areas of overlap with the previous post in this series.

Ludolph Ernst Schlicht (1714-1769), who attended the seminary at the University of Jena, arrived at Herrnhut, on the estate of Count Nicholas Ludwig von Zinzendorf (1700-1760) near Berthelsdorf, Saxony.  There Schlicht spent most of his time sharing his musical talents with young people.  He joined the Unitas Fratrum in 1739, became an ordained minister three years later, and served congregations in Ireland and England.  Schlicht began to serve the congregation at Bedford, England, in 1753.

Music has long been important in the Moravian Church, so one ought not to find accounts of Moravian clergymen who were also musicians surprising.  Schlicht, a skilled musician, used that skill for the glory of God by playing in worship services.  He also composed hymn texts, anthems, and cantatas.  Among the hymns were “Immanuel, We Sing Thy Praise,” “Lord, Grant Us, Though Deeply Abased,” and, with Bishop John Gambold, Sr. (1711-1771), “Ye Who Called to Christ’s Service Are.”  Schlicht collaborated with Bishop Gambold on the first official British Moravian hymnal, A Collection of Hymns for the Children of God in All Ages, From the Beginning Till Now, Designed Chiefly for the Use of Congregations in Union with the Brethren’s Church (1754).  This hymnal contained 1,055 hymn texts reaching all the way back to the Early Church and as late as the 1700s, including texts by great English hymn writers such as Isaac Watts and Charles Wesley.  Only fifty-one of these hymns came from the Moravian Church prior to its 1727 Renewal.  And, some of my sources indicate, Schlicht probably edited a British hymnal in 1746.  The only book which, according to my research, fit that description was James Hutton‘s private collection, The Tunes for the Hymns in the Collection with Several Translations from the Moravian Hymnbook (1742), with its 1746 supplement.

John Gambold, Sr. (1711-1771), son of the Anglican Vicar of Puncheston, Pembrokeshire, Wales, attended Christ Church, Oxford (B.A, 1730; M.A., 1734), took Holy Orders and served as the Vicar of Stanton Harcourt (1733-1742).  Gambold, who met John Wesley at Oxford, became part of the core group of earliest Methodism.  By 1741, however, he and Wesley had ceased to speak to each other.  (More than one person fell out with Wesley, probably due to the combination of personality clashes and theological disagreements.)  Gambold and Wesley, both whom had Moravian influences, moved in different directions after 1738.  Gambold, who met Count Zinzendorf in 1739, preferred the mysticism of the Greek Church Fathers to Wesley’s style of religion.  Thus it came to pass that Gambold entered the Unitas Fratrum in 1742.

Gambold, from the first British Moravian bishop (as of 1752), left a fine legacy in the realm of hymnody.  He, of course, edited the landmark hymnal of 1754.  Less famous was the 1769 hymnal he edited.  The Bishop also translated twenty-six hymns and wrote eighteen.  A hymn from 1741, as the Hymnal and Liturgies of the Moravian Church (Unitas Fratrum) (1923) contains it, follows:

They who know our Lord indeed,

Find in Him a Friend indeed,

And behold in Jesus’ face

Naught but mercy, truth, and grace.

+++++

They can cast by faith their care

On that Lord who heareth prayer;

And when they to Him draw nigh,

He doth all their wants supply.

+++++

They who Him their Saviour know,

Lowly at His footstool bow;

They to whom His Name is dear,

To offend Him greatly fear.

+++++

O how wondrous is His love,

To all who His goodness prove;

Lord, accept our thanks and praise

For Thy goodness, truth, and grace.

Other hymns included “O Grant Thy Servants,” “They Who Jesus’ Followers Are,” and “What Praise to Thee, My Saviour.”

Bishop Gambold left an impressive literary legacy, which included the following:

  1. The Maryrdom of Saint Ignatius (1740; published posthumously in 1773, with Bishop Benjamin Henry LaTrobe, Sr., as Editor);
  2. Maxims and Theological Ideas (1751);
  3. Sermons; and
  4. The History of Greenland, Volumes I and II, by David Crantz (1767, with Gambold as the Editor and one of the translators).

There were also posthumous collections:

  1. The Works of the Late Rev. John Gambold, A.M. (1789); and
  2. The Poetical Works of the Late Rev. John Gambold, A.M. (1816).

Also, The Oxford Methodists (1873) contains an account of his life on pages 155-200.

Bishop Gambold died at Haverford West, Wales, on September 13, 1771, when his son, John Gambold, Jr. (1760-1795), was two months short of being eleven years old.  John, Jr., went to study in Germany (at the time a geographical, not a political, designation) in 1774, at age fourteen.  There he remained for the rest of his brief life.  He studied at Niesky and Barby.  John, Jr., aspired to become a scholar yet the Church appointed him to teach young people instead.  On the side he composed six keyboard sonatas (published at Leipzig in 1788) and twenty-six vocal pieces.  John, Jr., whose health had always been fragile, died at Barby, Saxony, at age thirty-four.

The process of preparing these posts about saints is a rewarding one.  Along the way I learn of connections between and among people, of some of the circumstances of their lives, of what they did with their lives and strove to do with them, and of their legacies.  In this case the process had led me to some conclusions about these three men.  They were flawed people, of course, but perfection was not an option.  (Who among us is not flawed?)  They agreed and disagreed with others, engaged in interpersonal conflicts, sometimes had irreconcilable differences, had positive relationships also, and tried to walk as closely with God as possible.  To the extent that they succeeded grace made the difference between that and failure.  They also applied their talents to the glory of God.  And more of us ought to know their names and some of their accomplishments.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

AUGUST 7, 2014 COMMON  ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT VICTRICIUS OF ROUEN, ROMAN CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTOR AND ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF SAINT SIXTUS II, BISHOP OF ROME, AND HIS COMPANIONS, MARTYRS

THE FEAST OF JOHN MASON NEALE, FOUNDER OF THE SISTERHOOD OF SAINT MARGARET

THE FEAST OF MARION HATCHETT, LITURGIST AND EPISCOPAL PRIEST

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

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

We bless your name for inspiring Ludolph Ernst Schlicht; John Gambold, Sr.; John Gambold, Jr.;

and all those who with music or words have filled us with desire and love for you;

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

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

–Adapted from the Proper for Artists and Writers, Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 728

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Feast of Johann Olaf Wallin (June 30)   1 comment

johan_olof_wallin_femtio_portrc3a4tt_af_ryktbara_svenskar

Above:  Archbishop Wallin

Image in the Public Domain

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

JOHANN OLAF WALLIN (OCTOBER 15, 1779-JUNE 30, 1839)

Archbishop of Uppsala and Hymn Writer

Johann Olaf Wallin, or as I have also seen his name spelled, Johan Olof Wallin, is to Swedish Lutheran hymnody what people such as Charles Wesley, Isaac Watts, and Philip Doddridge are to traditional English hymnody.

Wallin, born at Stora Tuna, Delarna province, Sweden, was the son of a sergeant major in the Army.  Our saint became a scholar, earning his doctoral degree from the University of Uppsala at age twenty-four.  Wallin, ordained in 1806, became the theological assistant at Karlberg War College the following year.  In 1808 he became lecturer at the college and pastor at Solna.  Four years later our saint became pastor of the Adolf Frederik Church, Stockholm.  In 1818 he became Dean of Vasteras.  Three years later Wallin became pastor at Storkyrkan.  In 1824 he became a bishop (of which diocese I cannot determine).  After thirteen years our saint rose to Archbishop of Uppsala, the Primate of the Church of Sweden, having become chief royal preacher in 1830.  He died in 1839.

Wallin’s main contribution was literary, especially in the realm of hymnody.  He served on the committee which produced a proposed successor to the 1695 Psalmboken, or hymnal, in 1811.  That revision, criticized roundly, never became official.  Yet Wallin did forge the 1819 Psalm-Boken, which the Church of Sweden amended in 1920 and replaced in 1937.  The 1819 volume

represented both the high point in classic Swedish literary style and the blending of the new idealist romanticism with the older strict Lutheran theology.  In time it came to win such a secure place in the hearts of the Swedish people that no other book could completely replace it.

–Joel W. Lundeen in Marilyn Kay Stulken, Hymnal Companion to the Lutheran Book of Worship (Philadelphia, PA:  Fortress Press, 1981), pages 45-46

Yet the 1819 Psalm-Boken had its critics from the left and the right.  Pietists tended to find it too rigidly orthodox, so they prepared their own unofficial books.  And strict orthodox factions, objecting to the romanticism of the 1819 volume, prepared their unofficial hymnals.  One of these (from 1849) became the official (Swedish-language) hymnal of the old Augustana Synod in North America in 1892.

Wallin’s work dominated the 1819 Psalm-Boken, which contained 500 hymns.  He wrote 128 of them, translated twenty-three, and revised 178.  That influence remained strong in the book’s 1937 successor, with about one-third of whose content bore Wallin’s stamp.

I have added some of our saint’s hymns to my GATHERED PRAYERS weblog.  Wallin’s output being so numerous, I have chosen to include just two hymn texts in this post.  The first is his great Christmas hymn, translated by Ernst William Olson in The Hymnal and Order of Service (1925), Augustana Synod:

All hail to thee, O blessed morn!

To tidings long by prophets borne

Hast thou fulfillment given.

O sacred and immortal day,

When unto death, in glorious ray,

Descends the grace of heaven!

Singing,

Ringing,

Sounds are blending,

Praises sending

Unto heaven

For the Saviour to us given.

+++++

‘Tis God’s own Image and, withal

The Son of Man, that mortals all

May find in Him a brother.

He comes, with peace and love to bide

On earth, the erring race to guide

And help as could no other;

Rather

Gather

Closer, fonder,

Sheep that wander,

Feed and fold them,

Then let evil powers hold them.

+++++

He tears, like other men, will shed,

Our sorrows share, and be our aid,

Through His eternal power;

The Lord’s good will unto us show,

And mingle in our cup of woe

The drops of mercy’s shower;

Dying,

Buying

Through His passion

Our salvation,

And to mortals

Opening the heavenly portals.

+++++

He comes, for our redemption sent,

And by His glory heaven is rent

To close upon us never;

Our blessed Shepherd He would be,

Whom we may follow faithfully

And be with Him forever;

Higher,

Nigher,

Glory wringing,

Praises singing

To the Father

And His Son, our Lord and Brother.

And, to complete the process which the Incarnation began, there was Easter.  Thus I share the following text, translated by Brent Emil Bengston, and also from the 1925 Hymnal:

He lives! O fainting heart, anew

With joy thy Lord and Saviour view!

He from the silent chamber woke,

And speaks again as e’er He spoke.

A quickening hand He has to give:

He lives, and thou shalt also live.

+++++

O hear His voice and take His hand,

Thou traveler to a better land;

While passing through thy crucial test,

Lift up thy head,–a peaceful rest;

Thy trials over, He shall give:

He lies, and thou shalt also live.

+++++

Ye dead in sin, awake, arise!

The Lord is calling from the skies.

Repentant come, in faith remain,

And live in Him; from sin and pain

And death shall He salvation give:]

He lives, and thou shalt also live.

+++++

With Him thy guide lies smooth and bright

The pathway to the realms of light;

Abiding faith, undying love,

And hope lead to the home above.

Thy life into His keeping give:

He lives, and thou shalt also live.

+++++

Of glory shall His raiment be;

O’er time and o’er eternity

The Sun of righteousness shall shine;

In heaven’s throne He sits divine;

A footstool earth to Him shall give:

He lives, and thou shalt also live.

Thanks be to God for the life and work of Archbishop Wallin!

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 18, 2014 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF THE CONFESSION OF SAINT PETER, APOSTLE

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

Johann Olaf Wallin 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

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Feast of Philip Doddridge (June 26)   4 comments

philip-doddridge

Image in the Public Domain

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

PHILIP DODDRIDGE  (JUNE 26, 1702-OCTOBER 26, 1751)

English Congregationalist Minister and Hymn Writer

Philip Doddridge, along with people, such as Isaac Watts and Charles Wesley, occupies space in the pantheon of English-language hymn writers.  He wrote over 400 hymns as follow-ups to sermons.  Unfortunately, as the contents of hymnals change with each generation, the number of great hymns decreases (with some exceptions) as the proportion of substandard praise music (“seven-eleven songs” and other texts with few words) increases (with some exceptions).  One lineage of hymn books documents this pattern.  The Methodist Hymnal (1905) contains twenty-two Doddridge hymns.  The Methodist Hymnal (1935) has eight.  The Methodist Hymnal/The Book of Hymns (1966) contains seven.  And The United Methodist Hymnal (1989) has a not-so-grand total of one.

Doddridge was born in London, England, in 1702.  His father was a wealthy oil merchant.  His mother was the daughter of a Lutheran pastor who had fled persecution in Bohemia.  Family life was devout yet brief, for our saint became an orphan at a young age.  Doddridge, educated at Kingston Grammar School then at the Nonconformist (Congregationalist) school at Kibworth, declined an opportunity to study for Anglican Holy Orders.  He became a Congregationalist minister in 1723 instead.

Doddridge, minister at Kibworth for for a few years, moved to the Castle Hill Meeting (now a congregation of the United Reformed Church) at Northampton in 1729.  There he ministered to a flock of poor people and founded a seminary, where he taught most of the subjects and trained hundreds of clergymen.  This work ended in 1750, when our saint contracted tuberculosis.  He, seeking to restore his health, traveled to Lisbon, Portugal, yet died there the following year.

The publication of Doddridge’s hymns occurred posthumously. And his collected theological works–many of them influential across decades and centuries–filled ten volumes:  I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, and X.  I have added some of Doddridge’s texts to my GATHERED PRAYERS weblog.  There are too many others to include all of them in this post, but here are two:

How gentle God’s commands!

How king his precepts are!

Come, cast your burdens on the Lord,

And trust his constant care.

+++++

Beneath his watchful eye

His saints securely dwell;

That hand which bears all nature up

Shall guard his children well.

+++++

Why should this anxious load

Press down your weary mind?

Haste to your heavenly Father’s throne,

And sweet refreshment find.

+++++

His goodness stands approved,

Unchanged from day to day:

I’ll drop my burden at his feet,

And bear a song away.

and

Ye servants of the Lord,

Each in his office wait,

Observant of his heavenly word,

And watchful at his gate.

+++++

Let all your lamps be bright,

And turn the golden flame;

Gird up your loins, as in his sight,

For awful is his name.

+++++

Watch, ’tis your Lord’s command:

And while we speak he’s near;

Mark the first signal of his hand,

And ready to appear.

+++++

O happy servant he

In such a posture found!

He shall his Lord with rapture see,

And be with honor crowned.

Doddridge’s legacy is a wonderful one.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 15, 2014 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR., NATIONAL BAPTIST PASTOR

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

Philip Doddridge 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