Archive for the ‘John Knox’ Tag

Feast of George Wishart and Walter Milne (March 1)   Leave a comment

Above:  The Flag of Scotland

Image in the Public Domain

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GEORGE WISHART (CIRCA 1513-MARCH 1, 1546)

Scottish Calvinist Reformer and Martyr, 1546

Also known as George Wisehart

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WALTER MILNE (CIRCA 1476-LATE APRIL 1558)

Scottish Protestant Martyr, 1558

Also known as Walter Mill and Walter Myln

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The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.

–Tertullian (150-220)

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I, after taken a detour into drafting lectionary-based devotions (for publication at other weblogs, starting in March) and writing about episodes of Starhunter Redux for a few months, return to augmenting this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, with new posts about saints with feast days in March.  The first five posts cover six saints, four of whom died as Roman Catholics.  Today, however, we have two saints who died because they insisted on being Protestants.

George Wishart came from a prominent family and received a fine education.  He, born circa 1513 in Kincaidineshire, Scotland, was a son of James Wishart (d. 1525) and Elizabeth Learmont.  Our saint finished growing up under the guidance of his mother and his uncle, Sir James Learmont.  Wishart (M.A., King’s College, Aberdeen; then University of Leuven, Belgium, 1531) began to study Reformed theology in Europe.   He worked as the schoolmaster and a teacher of the New Testament (in Greek) at Montrose, Angus, until 1538, when the Bishop of Brechin terminated that employment for suspicion of heresy.

Allegations of heresy pursued Wishart for the remainder of his life.  He arrived in England in 1538, and left the following year; Thomas Cromwell investigated him for heresy.  Wishart, after traveling in Germany and Switzerland, returned to England by 1542.  That year he was studying and teaching at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.  The following year, however, Wishart returned to Scotland and resumed teaching at Montrose.  From 1544 to 1546 Wishart was an itinerant preacher, often traveling with his protégé, John Knox, who, in 1560, founded The Church of Scotland (Presbyterian).  Wishart’s life was in danger due to charges of heresy.  Cardinal David Beaton (1494-1516), the Archbishop of St Andrews (1539-1546), ordered Wishart’s arrest.

Cardinal Beaton, one of the bêtes noires of this account, suppressed alleged heresy ruthlessly.  Another target was Walter Milne (born circa 1476), a Scottish priest who, while in Europe, had imbibed Protestant theology then returned to the homeland as a changed man.  Milne, not wanting to burn at the stake, fled.  He also married.

Beaton and his agents caught up with Wishart in 1546.  Patrick Heaton, Lord Bothwell, had Wishart arrested at Ormiston, East Lothian, in January.   Our saint, eventually taken to St Andrews, received a show trial from Beaton.  Burning at the stake followed on March 1.  Wishart was about 33 years old.

This execution backfired on Beaton and helped to cause his assassination on May 29, 1546.

John Hamilton (1512-1571), the next Archbishop of St Andrews as not a paragon of religious toleration either.  He also sought out heretics so he could have been burned at the stake.  Among his victims was Walter Milne, who became a prisoner on April 20, 1558, at Dysart, Fife, Scotland.  Milne, defiant to the end, died at the stake before the end of the month.  He was the last Scottish Protestant martyr prior to 1560.

Milne’s widow, still alive in 1573, began that year to receive an income from benefices.

I write to highlight the piety and the unjust executions of George Wishart and Walter Milne, not to condemn the Roman Catholic Church.  One may know that Holy Mother Church has acknowledged and repented of these and many other sins; I accept the apology.  One may also know that, within Christianity alone, the Roman Catholic Church has no monopoly on martyring Christians.  My adopted tradition, the Anglican Communion, has the blood of Roman Catholic martyrs on its hands, for example.  Furthermore, the blood of many Anabaptist martyrs stains the hands of more than one Protestant tradition.  Here, at my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, one may read of Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Protestant, and Anglican martyrs.

I also write to condemn the practice of executing heretics, whether actual or alleged.  Depending on the circumstances, the accused may or may not be heretics, but executing the accused makes one a heretic.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 12, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FIRST SUNDAY AFTER THE EPIPHANY, YEAR A:  THE BAPTISM OF OUR LORD

THE FEAST OF SAINT BENEDICT BISCOP, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT OF WEARMOUTH

THE FEAST OF SAINT AELRED OF HEXHAM, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT OF RIEVAULX

THE FEAST OF SAINT ANTHONY MARY PUCCI, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST

THE FEAST OF HENRY ALFORD, ANGLICAN PRIEST, BIBLICAL SCHOLAR, LITERARY TRANSLATOR, HYMN WRITER, HYMN TRANSLATOR, AND BIBLE TRANSLATOR

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARGUERITE BOURGEOYS, FOUNDRESS OF THE SISTERS OF NOTRE DAME

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Gracious Lord, in every age you have sent men and women

who have given their lives for the message of your love.

Inspire us with the memory of those martyrs for the Gospel

[like George Wishart and Walter Milne]

whose faithfulness led them in the way of the cross,

and give us courage to bear full witness with our lives

to your Son’s victory over sin and death; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Ezekiel 20:40-42

Psalm 5

Revelation 6:9-11

Mark 8:34-38

–Adapted from the Lutheran Book of Worship (1978), 37

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Feast of John Scrimger (August 7)   2 comments

Scrimger

Above:  John Scrimger

Source = The Winnipeg Tribune, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, Monday, August 9, 1915, Page 2

Accessed via newspapers.com

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JOHN SCRIMGER (FEBRUARY 10, 1849-AUGUST 6, 1915)

Canadian Presbyterian Minister, Ecumenist, and Liturgist

John Scrimger, a Canadian Presbyterian minister, worked for ecclesiastical union, which he did not live long enough to witness.  He, born at Dumfries Township (near Galt), Waterloo County, Ontario, Canada, on February 10, 1849, was the son of John Scrimger (1813-1890) and Janet McKenzie Scrimger (1826-1906), Scottish immigrants.  Our saint attended Galt Institute, Galt, Ontario.  Then he also studied at and graduated from the University of Toronto (B.A., 1869; M.A., 1871) and Knox College, a seminary attached to the University of Toronto (degree, 1873).  Scrimger, ordained into the former Canada Presbyterian Church (1861-1875) on August 28, 1873, served as the pastor of the St. Joseph Street Presbyterian Church (formed in 1863) for nine years.

Aside:  I traced the history of the congregation through 1940.  In 1887 the St. Joseph Street Presbyterian Church became the Calvin Presbyterian Church.  The congregation became the Calvin Westminster Presbyterian Church via amalgamation in 1916.  The name changed to the Calvin Westminster United Church in 1925, with the Presbyterian, Methodist, and Congregationalist merger forming The United Church of Canada.  In 1940 the congregation became the Westminster Central United Church via amalgamation.  My Internet searches for “Westminster Central United Church” in Montreal have yielded no current results.  Neither does that congregation appear on current records of the Montreal Presbytery of The United Church of Canada.  Many congregations have closed.  Others have amalgamated.  Still others have changed their names, sometimes after either amalgamation or relocation.  I do not know if the legacy of the Westminster Central United Church of Montreal continues.  If anyone reading this post does know, please inform me.

Scrimger, who received an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from the Wesleyan Theological Seminary, Montreal, in 1892, worked at The Presbyterian College, Montreal, from 1874 until his death in 1915.  He began as a lecturer in Old and New Testament exegesis then became a professor in 1882.  Prior to 1904 our saint served also as college librarian, in addition to his professorial duties.  Scrimger served as the principal of the college and as the chair of systematic theology from 1904 to 1915.  As an academic he spoke and published with regard to the Society of Jesus (the less we ponder these thoughts of his, the better), the Old Testament, and John Knox (1513-1572), among other topics.

With regard to Scrimger’s personal life, he married Catherine Charlotte Gairdner (1851-1921).  The couple had four children:

  1. John Tudor Scrimger (1875-1945),
  2. Anna Marks Scrimger Lyman (1877-1956),
  3. Francis Alexander Carron Scrimger (1880-1937), and
  4. Ethel Scrimger (1884-1884).

Our saint was active in denominational and ecumenical affairs.  For example, he served on the committees of The Presbyterian Book of Praise (1897) and The Book of Praise (1918), the second and third official hymnals of The Presbyterian Church in Canada (formed by merger in 1875).  (The first official hymnal was the Hymnal of the Presbyterian Church in Canada, 1880).  Scrimger also served on the committee for The Psalter (1912), for which he wrote “Lord, Who Shall Come to Thee,” a paraphrase of Psalm 15.  He was also active in the planning for Church union in 1925.  Our saint, asked to work on the Basis of Union of The United Church of Canada (1908), favored basing the document primarily on the Articles of Faith of the Presbyterian Church of England (1890) and Donald Fraser’s 1892 commentary upon them.  However, the consensus of the Canadian Joint Committee on Union was to made those documents a secondary basis of the Basis of Union and to found the Basis of Union mainly upon the Brief Statement of the Reformed Faith (Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., 1902).

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Source:  The Hymnal (1911), Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A.

Scans by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

Scrimger and others who labored on the Basis of Union (approved in 1910-1912) sought to create a document which reflected both mild Calvinism and mild Arminianism, and was thereby acceptable to the great majority of Canadian Methodists, Presbyterians, and Congregationalists.

Our saint died at Bic, Quebec, on August 6, 1915, while on vacation.  He was 66 years old.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

THE FEAST OF SAINTS BOSA OF YORK, JOHN OF BEVERLEY, WILFRID THE YOUNGER, AND ACCA OF HEXHAM, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS

THE FEAST OF SAINT CATHERINE OF SIENA, ROMAN CATHOLIC NUN

THE FEAST OF TIMOTHY REES, ANGLICAN BISHOP OF LLANDAFF

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

thank you for those (especially John Scrimger)

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 William Kethe (June 6)   Leave a comment

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Above:  Geneva, Switzerland, and Mont Blanc, Between 1860 and 1890

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-USZ62-108842

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WILLIAM KETHE (DIED JUNE 6, 1594)

Presbyterian Hymn Writer

Surviving information about the life of William Kethe is sketchy.  He was of Scottish origin.  During the reign of Queen Mary I of England (1553-1558) he resided on the European mainland, mainly in Geneva.  The accession of Queen Elizabeth I (reigned 1558-1603) did not prompt Kethe’s immediate return to Britain.  No, in 1559-1561, our saint, who had helped to translate the Geneva Bible (1560), served as an emissary to English-speaking congregations in Europe.  When he did return to the British Isles, Kethe assumed pastoral duties at Childe Okeford near Blandford).  He, a good friend of John Knox, also functioned as a chaplain to the forces of Ambrose Dudley, the Earl of Warwick, during the campaigns of 1563 and 1569.

Kethe’s main contribution was musical, however.  He, “no unready rhymer,” wrote metrical versions of Psalms.  The Scottish Psalter of 1564-1565 contains all of them; the Anglo-Genevan Psalter of 1561 has twenty-five.  Perhaps Kethe’s most famous metrical text is this classic , the version of Psalm 100, as the Scottish Psalter of 1650 presents it:

All people that on earth do dwell,

Sing to the Lord with cheerful voice.

Him serve with mirth, His praise forth tell;

Come ye before Him and rejoice.

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Know that the Lord is God indeed;

Without our aid He did us make;

We are His folk, He doth us feed,

And for His sheep He doth us take.

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O enter then His gates with praise,

Approach with joy His courts unto;

Praise, laud, and bless His name always,

For it is seemly so to do.

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For why the Lord our God is good;

His mercy is for ever sure;

His truth at all times firmly stood,

And shall from age to age endure.

That is a fine legacy.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 6, 2014 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF THE EPIPHANY OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

William Kethe 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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