Archive for the ‘John Wesley’ Tag

Feast of George Berkeley and Joseph Butler (June 16)   1 comment

British Flag 1707-1801

Above:  The British Flag, 1707-1801

Image in the Public Domain

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GEORGE BERKELEY (MARCH 12, 1685-JANUARY 14, 1753)

Irish Anglican Bishop and Philosopher

and

JOSEPH BUTLER (MAY 18, 1692-JUNE 16, 1752)

Anglican Bishop and Theologian

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INTRODUCTION

These two men come to my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days via The Church of England and The Episcopal Church.  Common Worship:  Services and Prayers for the Church of England (2000) lists June 16 as the feast day for Joseph Butler.  Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010) sets aside June 16 to commemorate the lives of Joseph Butler and George Berkeley.  Celebrating these two saints on the same day makes sense.  Yes, they had some major differences, but they had much more in common than not.  I, after taking notes on both men, have noted the following similarities, among others:

  1. They were contemporaries;
  2. They were great intellectuals;
  3. They, like John Locke, were empiricists;
  4. They criticized aspects of Locke’s philosophy;
  5. They influenced major subsequent philosophers;
  6. They were philosophers and theologians;
  7. They defended the truth of Christianity against assumptions of Deism;
  8. They were published authors;
  9. They were Anglican bishops; and
  10. They rejected speculative philosophy and theology in favor of practical theology.

The God of Deism was a non-interventionist figure.  He was like a watchmaker, for he, to follow the analogy, created the watch, wound it up, then left it alone.  The God of Deism was not the God to whom Psalmists in distress called out for help.  Deism was a theological system grounded in reason, not in reason and revelation or in revelation.  Its existence and prominence in the 1600s and 1700s fed a long-running debate in which our saints participated.  Another debater was the composer George Frederick Handel (1685-1759), whose Messiah (1742) argued against Deism.

I respond favorably to Christian intellectuals.  Christianity has an ancient and venerable tradition of reconciling science, reason, and philosophy with theology.

  1. One might consider, for example, St. Clement of Alexandria (circa 150-circa 210/215), the “Pioneer of Christian Scholarship,” who melded pagan Platonism with Christianity.  Truth is truth, St. Clement, insisted, regardless of its origin.  His star pupil, Origenes Adamantius (185-254), Origen, for short, carried on the good work.
  2. Pope Sylvester II (lived circa 945-1003; reigned 999-1003), unlike some of his contemporaries, did not fear technology (such as the abacus and the telescope) or classics of Greco-Roman literature and philosophy.  He did not care if valid knowledge and useful technology came from Muslims or ancient pagans.  For this reason many in the anti-intellectual wing of the Roman Catholic Church accused him of being in league with Satan.
  3. St. Thomas Aquinas (circa 1225-1274), who reconciled faith with reason, and Aristotelian philosophy with Christianity.
  4. St. Albert the Great (1200-1280), a Dominican priest and Roman Catholic Bishop, was also a scientist.
  5. The birth of modern science in the 1500s overlapped with the Protestant Reformation, the proper context in which to consider the Church’s shameful treatment of Galileo Galilei (1564-1642), a faithful Catholic who preferred good science to bad theology.
  6. The Society of Jesus has a mixed record regarding science, for many Jesuit priests have been scientists yet one of their greatest members, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955), labored under a Vatican-imposed gag order because of his synthesis of theology, reason, philosophy, and evolutionary science.
  7. The Roman Catholic Church has, fortunately, been more accepting of science since the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), than it was during the period immediately Vatican II.

Unfortunately, anti-intellectualism persists in much of Christianity.  According to an old joke, a fundamentalist says to a liberal,

I will agree to call you a Christian if you agree to call me a scholar.

That witticism is, due to its genre, necessarily an exaggeration, but it contains such truth.  Although some of the greatest Christian scholars have been Evangelicals, Calvinist (with ties to the Christian Reformed Church in North America and the Evangelical Presbyterian ChurchMark A. Noll, who has joined the faculty at the University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana, found ample material to research and write The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind (1994).  And Dr. Francis S. Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health since 2009, is an Evangelical Protestant who has led the Human Genome Project.  He wrote The Language of God (2006), in which he criticized Intelligent Design as failing to hold its own under scientific scrutiny.  He as received much condemnation for that last point.

I recall an awkward lunch I ate at home some years ago.  My father was pastor of Warwick United Methodist Church, Warwick, Georgia, U.S.A., in the borderlands of rural Worth and Crisp Counties.  One day I accompanied him to have lunch with two of his parishioners.  One of our hosts, a man I would never mistake for an intellectual, made a much too-broad comment about educational attainment and piety.  Well-educated people, he insisted, had a different (and implicitly inferior) type of faith than did others.  Both my father and I, aside from being well-educated, were also tactful in the moment.  Nobody created an unfortunate scene.

Now, without further ado, I proceed to summarize then lives and part of the thought of two saints who belied that man’s stereotype more than my father and I did.

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Bishop George Berkeley

Above:  Bishop George Berkeley, by John Smybert

Image in the Public Domain

GEORGE BERKELEY (MARCH 12, 1685-JANUARY 14, 1753)

Berkeley, a native of County Kilkenny, Ireland, was an empiricist and a metaphysical philosopher.  Our saint, of English ancestry, studied at Kilkenny school then at Trinity College, Dublin (1700-1704), from which he graduated.  He maintained an association with his alma mater until 1724, serving as a fellow (lecturing in the subjects of Greek, Hebrew, and theology) from 1707 to 1724.  He took some leaves of absence during that time, touring in Europe in 1713-1714 and 1716-1720, as well as spending time in London, where he associated with Jonathan Swift (1667-1745), Alexander Pope, and Joseph Addison.

Berkeley, a clergyman since 1709, served as the Dean of Dromore in 1721-1722.   In 1724 he resigned his fellowship at Trinity College, Dublin, to become the Dean of Derry, a post he held until 1733.  He sought unsuccessfully to found a college for colonists and Native Americans in Bermuda.  He married Anne Forster in 1728 then moved to Newport, Rhode Island.  There he encouraged higher education in North America until he left for Ireland in 1731.  He donated his library to Yale College (now University), New Haven, Connecticut, hence Berkeley College and Berkeley Divinity School at Yale University.  Another namesake is the city of Berkeley, California.

In 1734 Berkeley became the Bishop of Cloyne.  He retired in late 1752 and retired to Oxford, England.  There he died a few months later, on January 14, 1753, shortly after securing the admission of his son, George, as an undergraduate at Christ Church, Oxford.

Berkeley was a man of his time, responding to issues contemporary to him.  One issue was materialism, meaning not the accumulation of material goods but matter, that is, the stuff of which physical reality consists.  As a student at Trinity College, Dublin, Berkeley had studied the Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690), by John Locke (1632-1704).  Locke argued for the following propositions:

Ideas originate in one’s brain because of the influence of the universe, a material system in which the universe’s “bodies” act mechanically, that is, by “impulse,” upon each other and upon human senses.

  1. Ideas are the only things of which people can be directly aware.
  2. Ideas of “primary qualities” represent accurately the real character of material things.
  3. Ideas of “secondary qualities” do not represent accurately the real character of material things.
  4. We humans mistakenly “attribute reality” to smell, taste, sound, and color.
  5. There are also “immaterial substances,” but Locke admitted that he did not know how to prove this point.
  6. Consciousness might be nothing more than a property of matter, one rooted in memory.

Berkeley argued against these points, preferring immaterialism.  He countered that the physical world exists only in experiences of it.  He found no good reason to accept the existence of matter, as Locke understood it.  Rather, the principle of

Esse is percipi,

or

to be is to be perceived,

held sway in Berkeley’s thought.  Ergo:

For the mind of God is present always and everywhere; all ideas are always in the mind of God, and it is by direct communion with His mind that human beings are supplied with the ideas that make up their experience.  It is literally true that “in Him we live, and move, and have our being.”  Thus, the reality of the everyday world is secured by being made directly dependent upon the mind of God, and the notion of “matter,” the very foundation of the scientific world view, is simply rejected.

Encyclopedia Americana (1962), Volume 3, Page 554

Berkeley, true to his Anglicanism, rejected abstract speculations in favor of practical theology.  He affirmed one of the core principles of the Law of Moses–complete human dependence upon God.  As for Berkeley’s rejection of the basis of modern science, that point is up for debate.  (I favor science and theology.)

Berkeley’s philosophical theory of immaterialism became influential after he died.  Thomas Reid (1710-1796) criticized it in Inquiry into the Human Mind (1764).  The theory influenced subsequent philosophers such as David Hume (1711-1776), Immanuel Kant (1724-1804), Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834), and Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860).  Another critic was John Stuart Mill (1806-1873).

Berkeley was a varied thinker and an excellent literary stylist.  Major works included the following:

  1. Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge (1710) and its counterpart for the mass audience, Three Dialogues Between Hyles and Philonus (1713);
  2. An Essay Towards a New Theory of Vision (1709), a work of psychology;
  3. De Motu (1721), a work in Latin on the philosophy of science;
  4. Aleiphron, or the Minute Philosopher (1732), a defense of morality and religion against Deism;
  5. The Analyst (1734), a critique of Isaac Newton’s differential calculus;
  6. The Querist (1735-1737), regarding economic problems in Ireland; and
  7. Sirus (1744), regarding science and philosophy.

The author of the article about Berkeley in the Encyclopedia Britannica (1968), Volume 3, on page 508:

The most patent features of his style are precision, economy and a seemingly inevitable grace; with here and there salty satire and teasing wit; the roots of it are a natural logicality, a rare purity of sentiment and a deep philanthropy.

Archive.org provides copies of Berkeley’s works.  Examples include the following:

  1. The Works of George Berkeley, D.D., Late Bishop of Cloyne in Ireland; To Which is Added, an Account of His Life; and Several of His Letters to Thomas Prior, Esq., Dean Gervais, Mr. Pope, Etc. (1820)–Volumes I and II;
  2. The Works of George Berkeley, D.D., Formerly Bishop of Cloyne; Including Many of His Writings Hitherto Unpublished; With Prefaces, Annotations, His Life and Letters, and an account of His Philosophy (1871), by Alexander Campbell Fraser–Volumes I, II, III, and IV; and
  3. The Works of George Berkeley, D.D., Bishop of Cloyne (1897), edited by George Sampson–Volumes I, II, and III.

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Joseph Butler

Above:  Bishop Butler

Image in the Public Domain

JOSEPH BUTLER (MAY 18, 1692-JUNE 16, 1752)

Butler, a native of Wantage, Berkshire, England, was an empiricist thinker.  He differed from Berkeley by accepting science.  Butler’s rational orthodoxy stood in contrast to the Methodist enthusiasm of John Wesley (1703-1791), his fellow Anglican.  Our saint understood correctly that we humans act based on probabilities.  He also grasped that actions, not certainties, are the bases of religion.  Thus he rejected the quest for certainty, that idol of fundamentalism, and defended Christianity as a “rational probability.”

Butler, who came from a Presbyterian family, became a great Anglican theologian.  He was the youngest of eight children of a wealthy linen and woolen draper.  Our saint, educated at Gloucester then Tewkesbury, had once intended to become a Presbyterian minister, but he came to prefer Anglicanism instead.  He converted in 1714 and matriculated at Oriel College, Oxford, the following year.  He studied philosophy, one of his favorite subjects, if not his favorite subject.  Our saint found himself disenchanted with the conservatism of the course of study, for he noticed defenses of Aristotelian thought against Newtonian physics and the thought of Francis Bacon (1561-1626) and John Locke.  Butler complained:

Our people have never had any doubt in their lives concerning a received opinion.

–Quoted in Gibbs, The Middle Way (1991), page 48

Butler graduated with his B.A. degree in 1718.  Subsequent degrees from the same institution were Bachelor of Law (1721) and Doctor of Law (1733).

Our saint, ordained in 1719, found his niche in The Church of England.  From 1719 to 1725 he preached at Rolls Chapel, London.  He became the Rector of Stanhoppe in 1725 and maintained that title and received its income for 15 years.  From 1733 to 1736 Butler doubled as the Chaplain to Lord Chancellor Charles Talbot.  In 1736 he became the Clerk of the Closet to Queen Caroline of Ansbach (1683-1737), consort of King George II (reigned 1727-1760).  Butler and Queen Caroline became friends and engaged in theological discussions.  She spoke highly of him to King George II and recommended Butler for promotion.  (The monarch was the titular head of The Church of England.)  In 1738 Butler became the Bishop of Bristol, in charge of a poor see.  He remained as Rector of Stanhoppe until 1740, when be began to double as the Dean of St. Paul’s, London.  From 1746 to 1750 he did triple duty as the Clerk of the Closet to King George II.

As the Bishop of Bristol (1738-1750) Butler locked horns with John Wesley.  The founder of Methodism was preaching without authorization to miners in the Diocese of Bristol.  Wesley was not canonically resident in the Diocese of Bristol.  Butler ordered Wesley to go home and stated that he (Wesley) should cease to pretend to have received special revelations from the Holy Spirit.

Butler refused an offer to become the Archbishop of Canterbury in 1747.  According to an apocryphal story, he said,

It is too late for me to try to support a falling Church.

–Quoted in Gibbs, The Middle Way (1991), page 50

Our saint had complained about the “decay of religion” in England.  Certainly part of that decay was the influence of Deism.  His preferred method of supporting the “falling Church” in his final years was ritualism.  Thus Butler foreshadowed the Oxford Movement of the 1800s.  Critics accused him of having succumbed to Papism, an allegation tantamount to accusing one of being bound for Hell.

Butler, translated to the wealthy Diocese of Durham in 1750, died of stomach and intestinal disorders at Bath, Somerset, England, on June 16, 1752.  He never married, thus he lived in a manner consistent with his opposition to the marriage of the clergy.  He also lived simply and gave away the vast majority of his money.

Ernest Campbell Mossner, author of Bishop Butler and the Age of Reason:  A Study in the History of Thought (1936), wrote:

In the history of eighteenth century English culture, what Locke is to philosophy, what Newton is to physics, what Burke is to politics, Butler is to theology…And the spokesman is by no means unworthy of his distinguished associates.

–Quoted in Gibbs, The Middle Way (1991), pages 47-48

Butler affirmed science, reason, and orthodox Christianity.  He shared many yet by no means all of the points of Deism, for he argued against that system.  Our saint affirmed among other things, miracles, human sinfulness, the Incarnation of Jesus, the resurrection of Jesus, and the Atonement.  He also accepted scientific developments and knowledge, and had a high opinion of human reason.  Scripture, tradition, and reason–Richard Hooker’s Three-Legged Stool–defined Butler’s theology.

Butler rejected speculative thought in favor of practical theology.  He insisted that religion is a matter of practice, not certainty.  In his theology probability, not certainty, is the grounding of human knowledge and actions.  Furthermore, Butler wrote, nature contains much mystery, perplexity, and obscurity; reason and order do not rule supreme there.  Via experience one can discern facts upon which to infer probable truth.  Ergo, theological and natural forms of knowledge are equally indispensable and probable.  Simply put, the grounding of Christianity is divine revelation, not nature.  One can access much of truth via science and reason, but one cannot perceive other aspects of truth by those methods.  There is more than one way to perceive truth correctly.

Butler also thought deeply about psychology.  He criticized John Locke’s theory of psychological continuity, based in memories.  Our saint opposed blind obedience to “received wisdom,” but he also evaluated alternatives critically, as he should have done.

Butler also critiqued the philosophy of Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679), who argued that self-love directs all human actions.  That is simplistic, our saint thought.  He countered that benevolence is a second influence, benevolence, is also at work in human nature and in harmony with self-love.  Related to benevolence, Butler wrote, is conscience, which he understood to mean the voice of God inside one’s head.  According to Butler, therefore, the conscience is sovereign, to follow one’s conscience is to behave virtuously, and to obey the will of God, and conscience is consistent with reason.

Lee W. Gibbs wrote of Butler, who, like Berkeley, influenced David Hume and Immanuel Kant, that;

In short, the life and work of Bishop Joseph Butler was thoroughly representative of the middle way.  He exemplified that perennial Anglican openness to the changing historical circumstances of his day, while maintaining at the same time that continuous body of traditional beliefs held to be essential to the Christian faith.

The Middle Way (1991), pages 58-59

Archive.org makes available works by and about Butler.  They include the following:

  1. The Works of the Right Reverend Father in God Joseph Butler, D.C.L., Late Bishop of Durham; To Which is Prefixed, an Account of the Character and Writings of the Author, by Samuel Halifax, D.D. Late Lord Bishop of Gloucester (1828)–Volumes I and II;
  2. The Whole Works of Joseph Butler, LL.D., Late Lord Bishop of Durham (1852);
  3. The Works of Joseph Butler (1897), edited by William Ewart Gladstone (Prime Minister, 1868-1874, 1880-1885, 1886, and 1892-1894)–Volumes I, II, and III;
  4. Bishop Butler (1901), by William Archibald Spooner; and
  5. Bishop Joseph Butler (1923), by Albert Edward Baker.

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CONCLUSION

My Ecumenical Calendar of Saint’s Days and Holy Days recognizes a wide range of saints.  I imagine that, if by means of a time machine, I could gather all of them in one place and, via a universal translator, they could all understand each other, some fascinating discussions–even arguments–would occur.  I would, in such a fanciful and hypothetical situation, engage in some arguments.  If agreeing with me across the board were a criterion for inclusion on my Ecumenical Calendar, it would not exist.

I admit that I disagree with Berkeley and Butler on certain points.  That is fine, for they disagreed with each other.  They also share the same commemoration on the calendar of saints of The Episcopal Church.  Anglican collegiality permits such unity in the midst of differences.

I also admit that despite my attempts to understand that, despite my attempts to understand some of the philosophical arguments of Butler, I remain uncertain regarding the objective definition of what he wrote sometimes.  For example, the contents of his critique of Locke’s theory of personality and consciousness remain a mystery to me.  That is fine, for that fact has no bearing on my opinion of Butler as a saint and a seeker of God.  I still recognize him as one who engaged his intellect vigorously, thought deeply, and did so for the glory of God.  Butler, true to his convictions, avoided the opposite errors of idolizing “received wisdom” on one hand and more recent developments in science and technology on the other hand.  I respect that.

The process of taking notes, processing them, and drafting this post has taken parts of several days and constituted a workout for my intellect and my right hand, for the draft is lengthy.  Typing this post has given my fingers a workout also.  I am better informed for the process of creating this post.  May you, O reader, be better informed after reading it.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

FEBRUARY 11, 2016 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT ONESIMUS, BISHOP OF BYZANTIUM

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Holy God, source of all wisdom:

We give thanks for your servants George Berkeley and Joseph Butler,

who by their life and work strengthened your Church and illumined your world.

Help us, following their examples, to place our hearts and minds in your service,

for the sake of Jesus Christ; who with you and the Holy Spirit

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

Isaiah 6:6-10

Psalm 119:89-96

Acts 13:38-44

John 3:11-16

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 431

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Feast of John Byrom (September 26)   1 comment

Manchester Cathedral 1903

Above:  Manchester Cathedral, 1903

Image in the Public Domain

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JOHN BYROM (FEBRUARY 29, 1692-SEPTEMBER 26, 1763)

Anglican then Quaker Poet and Hymn Writer

John Byrom was an intriguing man.  He might have been a Jacobite or a double agent for the British government.  The skilled poet with a sharp pen coined the phrase “Tweedledum and Tweedledee” as a satire on the disagreement between composers George Frederick Handel and Giovanni Battista Bononcini.  His literary legacy has survived in everyday speech even as his political tendencies have remained mysterious.

Our saint’s father was Edward Byrom, a linen-draper of Manchester, England.  The future poet studied at Trinity College, Cambridge (B.A., 1711; M.A., 1715) and became a fellow of the college in 1714.  Two years later, however, he resigned because he could not take Holy Orders in good conscience.  From 1716 to 1718 our saint studied medicine in Montpelier, France.  He immersed himself in mystical texts on the side.  He returned to England in 1718 and chose not to practice medicine.  No, he invented and taught a system of shorthand instead.  Byrom taught that system of shorthand to many people and, in 1742, received from Parliament the exclusive right to teach it for twenty-one years.  Among his pupils were John and Charles Wesley, whom he met in 1738 and through whom he converted to Christianity.

Our saint, who inherited the family estates in 1740, when his brother, Edward, died, wrote and published many poems, some of which became hymns.  His nom de plume in The Spectator was “John Shadow.”  The posthumous two-volume collection, Miscellaneous Poems, rolled off the presses in 1773.  His friend, John Wesley, commented on Byrom’s verse, writing that it consisted of

…some of the finest sentiments that ever appeared in the English tongue–some of the noblest truths, expressed with the utmost energy of language and the strongest colors of poetry.

Byrom’s religious life changed over time.  He remained a mystic, but he switched from being a non-juring Anglican (hence the suspicion of being a Jacobite) to being a Quaker later in life.

Byrom’s hymns included “My Spirit Longs for Thee” and a famous Christmas text, “Christians, Awake! Salute the Happy Morn” (1749), which he wrote as a present for his daughter, Dolly.  The full version had fifty-two lines, but The Church Hymnary–Revised Edition (1927) printed only six of them.

Our saint died at Manchester on September 26, 1763.  His grave is in the Byrom Chapel of Manchester Cathedral.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 18, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF DONALD S. ARMENTROUT, U.S. LUTHERAN MINISTER AND SCHOLAR

THE FEAST OF CALVIN WEISS LAUFER, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER AND HYMNODIST

THE FEAST OF ROGER WILLIAMS, FOUNDER OF RHODE ISLAND

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM PENNEFATHER, ANGLICAN PRIEST, HUMANITARIAN, AND HYMN WRITER; AND HIS WIFE, CATHERINE KING PENNEFATHER, HUMANITARIAN AND HYMN WRITER

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

John Byrom 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 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

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

Moravian Minister, Musician, and Hymn Writer

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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

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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.

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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.

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They who Him their Saviour know,

Lowly at His footstool bow;

They to whom His Name is dear,

To offend Him greatly fear.

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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

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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 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

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Feast of Charlotte Elliott, Julia Anne Elliott, and Emily Elliott (September 22)   3 comments

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Above:  The Pier from the East, Brighton, England, Between 1890 and 1900

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-ppmsc-08044

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CHARLOTTE ELLIOTT (MARCH 18, 1789-SEPTEMBER 22, 1871)

Anglican Hymn Writer

sister-in-law of

JULIA ANNE ELLIOTT (1809-1841)

Anglican Hymn Writer

aunt of

EMILY ELIZABETH STEELE ELLIOTT (JULY 22, 1836-AUGUST 3, 1897)

Anglican Hymn Writer

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With this post I add three members of the Elliott family–one famous mostly for just one hymn out of the nearly 150 she wrote–the other saints not as well known.

The Elliotts came from the Evangelical branch of The Church of England.  The Reverend Henry Venn (1725-1797), Curate of Clapham, had been an associate of George Whitefield, John Wesley, and Charles Wesley.  The Reverend John Venn (1759-1813), also Curate of Clapham, had ministered to William Wilberforce and other abolitionists and presided (in 1799) over the founding of the Church Missionary Society.  Charlotte Elliott, daughter of Charles Elliott (a silk merchant) and Elmy Venn, was a granddaughter of Henry Venn and a niece of John Venn.  Two brothers–Henry Venn Elliott and Edward Bishop Elliott–were Anglican priests at Brighton.

Charlotte Elliott, born at Clapham, grew up in a religious household.  Swiss evangelist Cesar Malan (1797-1864) was a familiar presence in her life.  For the first thirty-two years of her life Charlotte lived in the household of her father at Clapham.  She, an invalid for the last fifty years of her life, suffered pain daily.  This pain led to spiritual crisis.  Then, via Malan, a spiritual epiphany inspired “Just as I Am, Without One Plea,” published in the 1841 edition of Charlotte’s The Invalid’s Hymn Book.

Charlotte, who lived at Brighton from 1823 until her death, composed that hymn there.  One day she was home alone.  The rest of the family had gone to a fundraiser for the future St. Mary’s Hall (founded in 1836), the brainchild of her brother, the Reverend Henry Venn Elliott.  St. Mary’s Hall offered subsidized education to the daughters of local Anglican clergymen.

“Just as I Am” is Charlotte’s most famous hymn, but she wrote about 150 others, many of which deserve attention also.  Some of them follow:

Charlotte published various collections of texts:

  • Hours of Sorrow Cheered and Comforted (1836);
  • Morning and Evening Hymns for a Week (1836);
  • The Invalid’s Hymn Book (1834-1841); and
  • Thoughts in Verse on Sacred Subjects (1869).

Some of her texts appeared also in Psalms and Prayers for Public, Private, and Social Worship (1835-1839), edited by her brother, Henry Venn Elliott.

One text from Morning and Evening Hymns for a Week follows:

Christian, seek not yet repose;

Hear thy guardian angel say,

“Thou art in the midst of foes:

Watch and pray.”

+++++

Principalities and powers,

Mustering their unseen array,

Wait for thy unguarded hours:

Watch and pray.

+++++

Gird thy heavenly armor on;

Wear it ever, night and day;

Ambushed lies the evil one:

Watch and pray.

+++++

Hear the victors who o’ercame;

Still they mark each warrior’s way;

All with one sweet voice exclaim,

“Watch and pray.”

+++++

Hear, above all, hear thy Lord,

Him thou lovest to obey;

Hide within thy heart His word,

“Watch and pray.”

+++++

Watch as if on that alone

Hung the issues of the day:

Pray that help may be sent down:

Watch and pray.

Henry Venn Elliott also published at least one text by his wife, Julia Anne Elliott (1809-1841) in the editions of Psalms and Hymns (1835-1839).  Julia Anne Marshall had been a parishioner before becoming Julia Anne Elliott.  Of her the Handbook to The Hymnal (1935), page 331, says:

She had a personality of great charm; she was affectionate, gentle, imaginative, devout.

Julia died after giving birth to her fifth child.

Among her hymns was “Hail, Thou Bright and Sacred Morn” (1833).

Emily Elliott (1836-1897), born at Brighton, was a niece of Charlotte and Julia and a daughter the Reverend Edward Bishop Elliott, priest at St. Mark’s Church.  For six years Emily edited The Church Missionary Society Juvenile Instructor, in which she published many of her hymns.  Among these was “Thou Didst Leave Thy Throne and Thy Kingly Crown” (1864), published therein in 1870.  She wrote this hymn for the children and choir of St. Mark’s Church, Brighton, and reprinted it, with some changes, in her Chimes for Daily Services (1880).  Emily also published Hymns of Consecration (1873) and Under the Pillow, a devotional book designed for placing under the pillow of an ill person.

Another one of Emily’s hymns was “There Came a Little Child to Earth” (1856), revised for Chimes for Daily Services (1880):

There came a little Child to earth

Long ago;

And the angels of God proclaimed His birth,

High and low.

Out on the night, so calm and still,

Their song was heard;

For they knew that the Child on Bethlehem’s hill

Was Christ the Lord.

+++++

Far away in a goodly land,

Fair and bright,

Children with crowns of glory stand,

Robed in white,

In white more pure than spotless snow;

And their tongues unite

In the psalms, which the angels sang long ago

On that night.

+++++

They sing how the Lord of that world so fair

A child was born,

And, that they might a crown of glory wear,

Wore a crown of thorn,

And in mortal weakness, in want and pain,

Came forth to die,

That the children of earth might for ever reign

With Him on high.

+++++

He has put on His kingly apparel now,

In that goodly land;

And He leads, to where fountains of water flow,

That chosen band;

And for ever more, in their robes most fair

And undefiled,

Those ransomed children His praise declare

Who was once a child.

These three women have bequeathed to us a laudatory literary and spiritual legacy.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

AUGUST 21, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF GEORGIA HARKNESS, UNITED METHODIST THEOLOGIAN

THE FEAST OF SAINT KENNETH OF WALES, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

Charlotte Elliott, Julia Anne Elliott, Emily Elizabeth Steele Elliott,

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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Revised on December 24, 2016

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Feast of James Allen and Oswald Allen (October 2)   Leave a comment

12298v

Above:  Kirby Londale Market Square, Between 1880 and 1890

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-ppmsca-12298

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JAMES ALLEN (JUNE 24, 1734-OCTOBER 31, 1804)

English Inghamite then Glasite/Sandemanian Hymn Writer

great-uncle of

OSWALD ALLEN (1816-OCTOBER 2, 1878)

English Glasite/Sandemanian Hymn Writer

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Before I write about our saints for today I must, for the sake of clarity, explain the terms “Inghamite” and “Glasite/Sandemanian.”

John Glas (1695-1773) was a minister of the Church of Scotland who left that denomination for a variety of reasons.  Among them was his opinion that there was no New Testament basis for having a national church.  The Church of Scotland suspended him in 1728 and defrocked him two years later.  Thus Glas became the leader of the Glasite sect, which practiced, among other things, weekly communion, communal ownership of property, and relative (to its culture) egalitarianism.  His son-in-law, Robert Sandeman (1718-1771), developed doctrines further and led the sect after Glas died.  The sect has become extinct, many of its last members converting to the Congregationalist Church.

Benjamin Ingham (1712-1772), ordained an Anglican priest in 1735, traveled to Georgia with John and Charles Wesley.  Ingham was

full of missionary zeal for the conversion of the Indians.

–Quoted in Henry Thompson Malone, The Episcopal Church in Georgia, 1733-1957 (Atlanta, GA:  The Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Atlanta, 1960, page 13)

In 1738 Ingham joined John Wesley, recently escaped from Georgia, on a trip to Germany.  Afterward he broke with Wesley, siding mostly with the Moravians they had gone to visit.  Ingham proceeded to found the Moravian Methodists, for Inghamites, at Yorkshire.  He built up eighty congregations, which he oversaw.  In 1754 Ingham broke with the Moravians; his congregations had become independent.  Six years later he adopted much Glasite/Sandemanian mysticism.  Then the Inghamite movement fell apart.  He became a Glasite/Sandemanian, taking thirteen congregations with him.  Most of the others became Methodists.

James Allen (1734-1804) grew up in The Church of England.  The family’s intention was that he would take Holy Orders, but he abandoned that plan at Cambridge, where he converted to the Inghamites.  Later he followed Ingham into the Glasite/Sandmanian sect.  Allen preached, finally at a chapel he built near his home.  He edited and contributed to the Kendall Hymn Book (1757).  Among his hymns was the following:

Glory to God on high!

Let earth and skies reply;

Praise ye his name:

His love and grace adore,

Who all our sorrows bore;

Sing aloud evermore,

Worthy the Lamb.

—–

Jesus, our Lord and God,

Bore sin’s tremendous load,

‘Praise ye his name:

Tell what his arm hath done,

What spoils from Death he won,

Sing his great name alone;

Worthy the Lamb.

—–

While they around the throne

Cheerfully join in one,

Praising his name:

Those who have felt his blood

Sealing their peace with God,

Sound his dear fame abroad,

Worthy the Lamb.

—–

Join, all ye ransomed race,

Our holy Lord to bless;

Praise ye his name:

In him we will rejoice,

And make a joyful noise,

Shouting with heart and voice,

Worthy the Lamb.

—–

What though we change our place

Yet shall we never cease

Praising his name:

To him, our gracious King,

And without ceasing sing,

Worthy the Lamb.

—–

Then let the hosts above,

In realms of endless love,

Praise his dear name:

To him ascribed be

Honor and majesty,

Through all eternity,

Worthy the Lamb.

James Allen’s great-nephew, Oswald Allen (1816-1878), grew up a Glasite/Sandemanian.  Oswald, like his father, was a banker.  Oswald, educated at home, had a life-long problem, which James Moffatt described as

a diseased spine.

Handbook to The Church Hymnary (London, UK:  Oxford University Press, 1927, page 251)

Oswald left his hometown, Kirkby Lonsdale, Westmorland, for Edinburgh, to work at the stock exchange there, but had to return home in 1848 due to his spine.  So he started a career at the Lancaster Banking Company, rising to Manager.  During the Winter of 1858-1860 Oswald, confined to his home, completed Hymns of the Christian Life, a collection of 148 texts published in 1861.  As James Moffatt wrote,

When the little book was published, the Bank staff, it is said, viewed this proceeding on the part of one of their officials with no little perturbation.

Handbook to The Church Hymnary, page 252

The original text of one of Oswald’s hymns begins

Today Thy mercy calls me….

but hymnal committees have traditionally changed the first-person singular to first-person plural.  The Church Hymnary (1927) omits one stanza yet The Lutheran Hymnal (1941) contains all of them.  So here is the version of that hymn from the latter volume:

Today Thy mercy calls us

To wash away our sin.

However great our trespass,

Whatever we have been,

However long from mercy

Our hearts have turned away,

Thy precious blood can cleanse us

And make us white today.

—–

Today Thy gate is open,

And all who enter in

Shall find a Father’s welcome

And pardon for their sin.

The past shall be forgotten,

A present joy be giv’n,

A future grace be promised,

A glorious crown in heav’n.

—–

Today our Father calls us,

His Holy Spirit waits;

His blessed angels gather

Around the heav’nly gates.

No question will be asked us

How often we have come;

Although we oft have wandered,

It is our Father’s home.

—–

O all-embracing Mercy,

O ever-open Door,

What should we do without Thee

When heart and eye run o’er?

When all things seem against us,

To drive us to despair,

We know one gate is open,

One ear will hear our prayer.

One name–Oswald Allen–launched me on the journey which culminates in this post.  Now I know more about English and Scottish church history and have read some lovely hymns.  I am better for all the above.  And I pray that you, O reader, are edified likewise.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 23, 2013 COMMON ERA

PROPER 7–THE FIFTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST, YEAR C

THE FEAST OF SAINT NICETAS OF REMESIANA, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF WIREMU TAMIHANA, MAORI PROPHET AND KINGMAKER

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

James Allen and Oswald Allen 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 Augustus Montague Toplady (November 4)   Leave a comment

Union Jack

Above:  The Union Jack

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AUGUSTUS MONTAGUE TOPLADY (NOVEMBER 4, 1740-NOVEMBER 11, 1778)

Anglican Priest and Hymn Writer

Augustus Montague Toplady lost his father, a Major in the Royal Army, in 1741.  Thus our saint grew up without his pious mother.  He attended Westminster School then Trinity College, Dublin.  At age sixteen, when Toplady was in Dublin, he had a conversion experience under the influence of a Wesleyan lay preacher.   Toplady, back in England, became an Anglican priest in 1764.  He served various congregations before becoming the Vicar of Broadhembury four years later.  The Calvinistic Toplady wrote vigorous criticisms of Arminianism and carried on a controversy with John Wesley.  Poor health forced Toplady to leave Broadhembury in 1775.  He spent the last three years of his life preaching at a Huguenot chapel in London.  The popular and powerful preacher died of tuberculosis when aged thirty-eight years.

Toplady wrote hymns, including the frequently sung “Rock of Ages” (1776).  He composed the following text five years prior:

A debtor to mercy alone,

Of covenant mercy I sing;

Nor fear, with Thy righteousness on,

My person and offering bring.

The terrors of low and of God

With me can have nothing to do;

My Saviour’s obedience and blood

Hide all my transgressions from view.

—–

The work which His goodness began,

The arm of His strength will complete;

His promise is Yea and Amen,

And never was forfeited yet.

Things future, nor things that are now,

Nor all things below or above,

Can make Him His purpose forgo,

Or sever my soul from His love.

—–

My name from the palms of His hands

Eternity will not erase;

Impressed on His heart it remains,

In marks or noble grace.

Yes, I to the end shall endure,

As sure as the earnest is given;

More happy, but not more secure,

The glorified spirits in heaven.

Some sources I consulted tried to explain the zest with which Toplady traded argument points with John Wesley.  Toplady, one source said, was probably not at his best due to poor health.  This might be true, but I do not care.  Maybe our saint just thought that Wesley was wrong.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 24, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF IDA SCUDDER, REFORMED CHURCH IN AMERICA MEDICAL MISSIONARY IN INDIA

THE FEAST OF EDWARD KENNEDY “DUKE” ELLINGTON, COMPOSER

THE FEAST OF JACKSON KEMPER, EPISCOPAL BISHOP OF WISCONSIN

THE FEAST OF MOTHER EDITH, FOUNDER OF THE COMMUNITY OF THE SACRED NAME

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Heavenly Father, shepherd of your people, we thank you for your servant Augustus Montague Toplady,

who was faithful in the care and nurture of your flock.

We pray that, following his example and the teaching of his holy life,

we may by your grace attain our full maturity in Christ,

through the same Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns

with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Ezekiel 34:11-16 or Acts 20:17-35

Psalm 84

1 Peter 5:1-4 or Ephesians 3:14-21

John 21:15-17 or Matthew 24:42-47

Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 60

Feast of John Cennick (July 3)   2 comments

AgnusDeiWindow

Above:  Logo of the Moravian Church in Stained-Glass

Image Source = JJackman

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JOHN CENNICK (DECEMBER 12, 1718-JULY 4, 1755)

British Moravian Evangelist and Hymn Writer

John Cennick died at London, England, on July 4, 1755, aged thirty-seven years and survived by a widow and two children.  He had traveled in Germany, England, and Northern Ireland, founding at least forty churches in six years before fever caught up with him.

Cennick came from a historically Quaker family yet grew up Anglican.  He became a land surveyor, a profession he abandoned to become a Methodist lay preacher after meeting John and Charles Wesley in 1739.  The following year John Wesley appointed Cennick to teach children at a school at Kingswood, England.  Yet Cennick fell out with the founder of Methodism almost immediately.  Three theological issues separated them:

  1. Cennick, unlike Wesley, distrusted the rampant emotionalism at early Methodist gatherings.  Wesley thought such outbursts were manifestations of the Holy Spirit.
  2. Wesley rejected all forms of Predestination.  Cennick was a Calvinistic Methodist.
  3. Wesley advocated the doctrine of Christian Perfection, something Cennick rejected.

So, from 1740 to 1745, Cennick worked with George Whitefield.  Then our saint joined the Moravian Church in 1745 and became an ordained minister and evangelist in that communion four years later.  From time to time Wesley and Cennick crossed paths and Wesley continued to oppose Cennick’s work.

Cennick wrote hymns and published collections:

  • Sacred Hymns for the Children of God in the Days of Their Pilgrimage (1741);
  • Sacred Hymns for the Use of Religious Societies (1743);
  • A Collection of Sacred Hymns (1749); and
  • Hymns to the Honour of Jesus Christ, Composed for Such Little Little Children as Desire to Be Saved (1754).

Among Cennick’s hymns was the following:

Children of the heavenly King,

As ye journey, sweetly sing;

Sing your Saviour’s worthy praise,

Glorious in His works and ways.

—–

We are travelling home to God,

In the way the fathers trod;

They are happy now, and we

Soon their happiness shall see.

—–

Lift your eyes, you sons of light;

Zion’s city is in sight.

There our endless home shall be,

There our God we soon shall see.

—–

Fear not, brethren; joyful stand

On the borders of your land;

Jesus Christ, your Father’s Son,

Bids you undismayed go on.

—–

Lord, obediently we go,

Gladly leaving all below;

Only Thou our Leader be,

And we still will follow Thee.

John Cennick did much for God in a brief span of time.  What is God calling you to do, O reader?  May you do that.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 15, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF THE FIRST U.S. PRESBYTERIAN BOOK OF COMMON WORSHIP, 1906

THE FEAST OF CAROLINE CHISHOLM, HUMANITARIAN

THE FEAST OF PIRIPI TAUMATA-A-KURA, ANGLICAN MISSIONARY

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

Almighty God, we praise you for your servant John Cennick,

through whom you have called the church to its tasks and renewed its life.

Raise up in our own day teachers and prophets inspired by your Spirit,

whose voices will give strength to your church and proclaim the reality of your reign,

through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns

with the the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Jeremiah 1:4-10

Psalm 46

1 Corinthians 3:11-23

Mark 10:35-45

Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 60