Archive for the ‘Johann Christian Schwedler’ Tag

Feast of Johann Christian Schwedler (December 20)   1 comment

Above:  Map of Silesia, 1758

Image in the Public Domain

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JOHANN CHRISTIAN SCHWEDLER (DECEMBER 21, 1672-JANUARY 12, 1730)

German Lutheran Minister and Hymn Writer

Johann Christian Schwedler comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via The Hymnal (1941), of the old Evangelical and Reformed Church.

Schwedler was from Silesia, a region mostly in contemporary Poland, but with parts in contemporary Germany and the Czech Republic, too.  Our saint, born in Krobsdorf, Silesia (now Krobica, Poland), on December 21, 1672, was a son of farmer and magistrate Anton Schwedler.  Young Johann studied at Zittau for six years then for two years at the University of Leipzig (M.A., 1697).

Schwedler became a Lutheran minister.  Our saint began to serve as the assistant diaconus, under Diaconus Christoph Adolph, at Niederwiese (now Niederwiesa, Germany) near Greiffenberg, in 1698.  In December of that year, Adolph died; Schwedler succeeded him. Schwedler became the pastor of the parish in 1701.  Our saint drew crowds when he preached from 5:00 or 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 or 3:00 p.m.  Schwedler, a friend and neighbor of Count Nicolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf (1700-1760), eventually renewer of the Moravian Church, founded a home for orphans.  Our saint also composed at least  462 hymns in his spare time.  Few of these hymns have come into English-language hymnody.

Two that that have joined English-language hymnody are:

  1. “Ask Ye What Great Thing I Know” (1741), and
  2. “Do You Ask What Most I Prize?”

Schwedler married Elizabeth Adolph, daughter of Christoph Adolph.  The couple had four children, all of whom died as minors.

Our saint, aged 57 years, died in Niederwiese, Silesia, on the night of January 12, 1730.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

AUGUST 19, 2021 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT SIXTUS III, BISHOP OF ROME

JTHE FEAST OF BLAISE PASCAL, FRENCH ROMAN CATHOLIC SCIENTIST, MATHEMATICIAN, AND THEOLOGIAN

THE FEAST OF IGNAZ FRANZ, GERMAN ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST, HYMN WRITER, AND HYMNAL EDITOR

THE FEAST OF SAINTS MAGNUS AND AGRICOLA OF AVIGNON, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS OF AVIGNON

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM HAMMOND, ENGLISH MORAVIAN HYMN WRITER

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

Johann Christian Schwedler 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 Benjamin Hall Kennedy (April 6)   Leave a comment

Benjamin Hall Kennedy

Above:  Benjamin Hall Kennedy, by William Walter Ouless

Image in the public domain

Confirmed here

BENJAMIN HALL KENNEDY (NOVEMBER 6, 1804-APRIL 6, 1889)

Greek and Latin Scholar, Bible Translator, and Anglican Priest

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…a man of brilliant scholarship and vast and accurate learning, a telling speaker, and an original Latin poet.

–James Moffatt, Handbook to The Church Hymnary (London:  Oxford University Press, 1927), pages 392-393

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Benjamin Hall Kennedy (1804-1889) was a man of God and the academy, a master of the classics, and a Bible translator.  His legacy merits more attention than it receives in some circles.

Kennedy, ordained a priest in The Church of England, held church positions yet was best known for the academic career.  He taught at Harrow School before becoming the Headmaster of Shrewsbury School in 1836.  Kennedy made that institution of learning a famous center of classical scholarship.  In 1867 he became a Professor of Greek at Cambridge.  And Kennedy wrote influential Greek and Latin textbooks and translated editions of Greek and Latin classics–works by figures such as Philo, Virgil, Sophocles, and Aeschylus.  One aspect of his legacy was a Latin professorship named for him at Cambridge.

Kennedy also worked on the Revised Version of the Bible (1881), published a translation of the Psalter, published sermons, and edited Hymnologia Christiana (1863), a volume which contained thousands of hymns.  Among them was his translation of Johann Christian Schwedler‘s text, “Ask Ye What Great Thing I Know.”

Ask ye what great thing I know

That delights and stirs me so?

What the high reward I win?

Whose the name I glory in?

Jesus Christ the Crucified.

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Who defeats my fiercest foes?

Who consoles my saddest woes?

Who revives my fainting heart,

Healing all its hidden smart?

Jesus Christ the Crucified.

—–

Who is life in life to me?

Who the death of death will be?

Who will place me on His right,

With the countless hosts of light?

Jesus Christ the Crucified.

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This is that great thing I know;

This delights and stirs me so:

Faith in Him who died to save,

Him who triumphed o’er the grave,

Jesus Christ the Crucified.

Unfortunately, Christian history contains chapters of anti-intellectualism, especially regarding the Greek and Latin classics.  Gerbert of  Aurillac, who served as Pope Sylvester II (999-1003), incurred much suspicion and opposition because of his openness to knowledge wherever he found it, for example.  And I have encountered many Evangelical and Fundamentalist anti-intellectuals.  Fortunately, I have also met many Christian intellectuals of varying stripes and their written work.  (N. T. Wright, for example, is no intellectual slouch.)  My intellectualism predisposes me to my denominational choice (The Episcopal Church) and to a fondness for Christian intellectuals, such as Benjamin Hall Kennedy.  I thank God for them.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 9, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT SOPHRONIUS OF JERUSALEM, ROMAN CATHOLIC PATRIARCH

THE FEAST OF SAINT GREGORY OF NYSSA, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

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For Further Reading:

http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/webbin/book/lookupname?key=Kennedy%2c%20Benjamin%20Hall%2c%201804-1889

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Proper for Scholars:

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

We thank you for the faithful legacy of Benjamin Hall Kennedy 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