Archive for the ‘John Campbell Shairp’ Tag

Feast of John Campbell Shairp (September 18)   Leave a comment

07583v

Above:  Edinburgh from the Castle, Between 1890 and 1900

Published by the Detroit Publishing Company

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-ppmsc-07583

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JOHN CAMPBELL SHAIRP (JULY 30, 1819-SEPTEMBER 18, 1885)

Scottish Poet and Educator

John Campbell Shairp, born at Houstoun, Linlithgowshire, attended Edinburgh Academy, the University of Edinburgh, and Baillol College, Oxford.  He pondered taking Anglican Holy Orders yet chose to remain a layman instead and to enter the field of education.  For eleven years he served as the Headmaster of Rugby School.  In 1856 he became Deputy Professor of Greek at the University of Glasgow.  From 1857 to 1861 our saint was an Assistant Professor of Humanity at the University of St. Andrews, St. Andrews, Scotland.  He served as the Chair of Humanity there from 1861 to 1868.  Then, from 1868 to 1885 Shairp was the Principal of the United College of St. Salvator and St. Leonard, St. Andrews, doubling as a Professor of Poetry at Oxford from 1877 to 1885.

Shairp was a great intellectual and a poet.  He wrote a biography of Robert Burns (1759-1796) and authored the following volumes:

  • Kilmahoe, a Highland Pastoral, with Other Poems;
  • Glen Desseray and Other Poems;
  • The Bushaboon Traquais;
  • Studies in Poetry and Philosophy;
  • The Poetic Interpretation of Nature;
  • Culture and Religion; and
  • Aspects of Poetry.

Among his hymns was the following, from 1871:

‘Twixt gleams of joy and clouds of doubt

Our feelings come and go;

Our best estate is tossed about

In ceaseless ebb and flow.

No mood of feeling, form of thought,

Is constant for a day;

But Thou, O Lord, Thou changest not:

The same Thou art alway.

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I grasp Thy strength, make it mine own;

My heart with peace is blest;

I lose my hold, and then comes down

Darkness, and cold unrest.

Let me no more my comfort draw

From my frail hold of Thee,

In this alone rejoice with awe—

Thy mighty grasp of me.

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Out of that weak, unquiet drift

That comes but to depart,

To that pure heaven, my spirit lift

Where Thou unchanging art.

Lay hold of me with Thy strong grasp,

Let Thy almighty arm

In its embrace my weakness clasp,

And I shall fear no harm.

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Thy purpose of eternal good

Let me but surely know;

On this I’ll lean—let changing mood

And feeling come or go,–

Glad when Thy sunshine fills my soul,

Not lorn when clouds o’ercast,

Since Thou within Thy sure control

Of love dost hold me fast.

Our saint had good character, for people knew him to be delightful, charming, generous, humorous, and a good friend.  The combination of keen intellect, good character, and deep spirituality was excellent and most commendable.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 12, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF EDWIN PAXTON HOOD, ENGLISH CONGREGATIONALIST MINISTER, CONGREGATIONALIST, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF EMMEGAHBOWH, EPISCOPAL PRIEST

THE FEAST OF SAINT FREDERICK OF UTRECHT, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP AND MARTYR; AND SAINT ODULT OF UTRECHT, ROMAN CATHOLIC MISSIONARY PRIEST

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For Further Reading:

http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/webbin/book/lookupname?key=Shairp%2C%20John%20Campbell%2C%201819-1885

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

John Campbell Shairp 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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