Archive for the ‘John Woolman’ Tag

Feast of Anthony Benezet (January 31)   Leave a comment

Above:  Anthony Benezet

Image in the Public Domain

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ANTOINE BÉNÉZET (JANUARY 31, 1713-MAY 3, 1784)

French-American Quaker Abolitionist

Anthony Benezet comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via G. Scott Cady and Christopher L. Webber, A Year with American Saints (2006).

Antoine Bénézet, born in Saint-Quentin, Aisne, France, on January 31, 1713, and raised in a Huguenot family, changed the world.  He and his family, part of a persecuted minority, moved to London, England, in 1715.  Sixteen years later, they immigrated to Pennsylvania.  Benezet worked with John Woolman (1720-1772) to persuade Quakers of the evils of slavery.  Our saint, one of the rare non-racist white people of the time, taught in a Quaker school for white and black children.  He worked in various schools (both day schools and night schools) in the Philadelphia area over the years; he even started a night class for poor black children in his home in 1750.  Furthermore, Benezet opened the first public school for girls in North America in 1754.  In 1770, after operating private classes for poor black youth at night for two decades, Benezet, with official Quaker support, opened a formal school for that population in Philadelphia.

Benezet wrote of the evils of slavery, an institution he had opposed strongly since the 1750s.  He wrote tracts, corresponded with other abolitionists (including John Wesley), and wrote to Queen Charlotte (consort of King George III).  Our saint and Woolman persuaded the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends to denounce slavery.  Benezet also helped to form the Pennsylvania Abolition Society in 1775.  Furthermore, in 1780, Benezet helped to defeat a proposal in Pennsylvania to return many former slaves to servitude.

Benezet, aged 71 years, died in Philadelphia on May 3, 1784.  Others carried on his fight against chattel slavery for generations.

Slavery comes in many forms, all of them morally indefensible.  The legacy of Anthony Benezet challenges us to condemn all forms of slavery, to act, and to persuade others to create a more just society.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

SEPTEMBER 2, 2019 COMMON ERA

LABOR DAY (U.S.A.)

THE FEAST OF F. CRAWFORD BURKITT, ANGLICAN SCHOLAR, HYMN WRITER, AND HYMN TRANSLATOR

THE FEAST OF DAVID CHARLES, WELSH CALVINISTIC METHODIST MINISTER AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF THE MARTYRS OF NEW GUINEA, 1942 AND 1943

THE FEAST OF SAINT WILLIAM OF ROSKILDE, ENGLISH-DANISH ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

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O God, your Son came among us to serve and not to be served, and to give his life for the life of the world.

Lead us by his love to serve all those to whom the world offers no comfort and little help.

Through us give hope to the hopeless,

love to the unloved,

peace to the troubled,

and rest to the weary,

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

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

Hosea 2:18-23

Psalm 94:1-15

Romans 12:9-21

Luke 6:20-36

Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), 60

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Feast of Dora Greenwell (March 29)   Leave a comment

I Both Hold and am Held

Above:  I Both Hold And Am Held

Image in the Public Domain

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DORA GREENWELL (DECEMBER 6, 1821-MARCH 29, 1882)

Poet and Devotional Writer

These days, in most of the Western World, women have professional opportunities due to the successes of feminism.  But Dora Greenwell did not live during a time in which she could enjoy these advantages.  Her legacy, however, was–and is–quite impressive.

Dora Greenwell was a sister of two priests of The Church of England.  William, eventually Dean of Durham Cathedral, and Alan, Rector of Golborne then Clifton.  From 1848 to 1854 Dora lived with one brother then the other, helping in the work of each sibling’s parish.  Then, in 1854-1872, she lived with her widowed mother at Durham.  From 1872 to 1881 Dora resided at Tarquay then Clifton the  London, advocating for proper mental health care.  In 1881 an accident led to her death, which occurred at Alan’s home at Clifton, near Bristol.

Dora published volumes of poetry:

  • Carmina Crucis (1869);
  • Songs of Salvation (1873);
  • The Soul’s Legend (1873); and
  • Camera Obsucra (1876).

She also published volumes of devotional prose:

  • A Present Heaven;
  • The Covenant of Life and Peace;
  • Two Friends;
  • Essays;
  • Liber Humanitatis;
  • The Life of John Woolman;
  • The Life of Lacordaire;
  • Colloquia Crucis; and
  • The Patience of Hope, which John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892) classed with devotional classics.

She wrote extensively on the Atonement.  Dora’s chosen symbol was Luther’s heart set against a black cross amid white roses–thereby signifying the joy, peace, and consolation found in Christ’s cross.  The poet, referring to her position relative to the cross, said,

I both hold and am held.

One of the texts in Songs of Salvation (1873) was “I Am Not Skilled to Understand,” the text of which follows:

I am not skilled to understand

What God hath willed, what God hath planned;

I only know at His right hand

Stands One who is my Saviour.

—–

I take God at His word and deed:

“Christ died to save me”–this I read;

And in my heart I find a need

Of Him to be my Saviour.

—–

And was there no other way

For God to take?–I cannot say;

I only  bless Him, day by day,

Who saved me through my Saviour.

—–

That He should leave His place on high

And come for sinful man to die,

You count it strange?–so do not I,

Since I have known my Saviour.

—–

And O that He fulfilled may see

The travail of His soul in me,

And with His work contented be,

As I with my dear Saviour!

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Yea, living, dying, let me bring,

My strength, my solace, from this spring,

That He who lives to be my King

Once died to be my Saviour.

Amen.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 31, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF CHARLES FREDERICK MACKENZIE, ANGLICAN BISHOP OF CENTRAL AFRICA

THE FEAST OF MENNO SIMONS, MENNONITE LEADER

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Almighty God, beautiful in majesty, majestic in holiness:

You have shown us the splendor of creation in the work of your servant Dora Greenwell.

Teach us to drive from this world all chaos and disorder,

that our eyes may behold your glory,

and that at last everyone may know the inexhaustible richness of your new creation

in Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Isaiah 28:5-6 or Hosea 14:5-8 or 2 Chronicles 20:20-21

Psalm 96

Philippians 4:8-9 or Ephesians 5:18b-20

Matthew 13:44-52

–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 61

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Revised on December 24, 2016

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Feast of John Woolman (October 7)   2 comments

Above:  John Woolman

Image in the Public Domain

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JOHN WOOLMAN (OCTOBER 19, 1720-OCTOBER 7, 1772)

Quaker Abolitionist

John Woolman, born in Burlington, New Jersey, on October 19, 1720, was an itinerant Quaker preacher in the American colonies.

As a young man Woolman discovered a robin’s nest full of hatchlings and their mother.  He threw rocks at the mother robin, killing her.  Filled with remorse and realizing that the young birds could not live much longer without her, he removed the nest from the tree and killed the hatchlings quickly and out of  mercy.  This was a turning point in Woolman’s life, for thereafter he loved all living things.

As an adult Woolman opposed slavery actively, convincing many fellow Quakers to free their slaves.  He wore undyed clothing because the manufacture of dyes entailed slave labor.  Also, he paid slaves whenever a slaveholder extended him hospitality.  Woolman’s writings on slavery contributed to the increase of abolitionism among the Friends.

Being a Quaker, Woolman was a pacifist.  Hence he protested the French and Indian War, and refused to pay taxes used to support that conflict.

In 1772 Woolman traveled to England (in steerage, voluntarily, consistent with his creed of simplicity).  At London he convinced that Yearly Meeting to oppose slavery.  Shortly thereafter he died of smallpox at York.

KRT

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A Prayer by John Woolman, from The Communion of Saints: Prayers of the Famous, edited by Horton Davies:

O Lord my God! The amazing horrors of darkness were gathered round me, and covered me all over, and I saw no way to go forth; I felt the depth and extent of the misery of my fellow-creatures separated from the Divine harmony, and it was heavier than I could bear, and I was crushed down under it; I lifted my hand, I stretched out my arm, but there was none to help me; I looked round about, and was amazed.  In the depths of misery, O Lord, I remembered that thou art omnipotent; that I had called thee Father; and I felt that I loved thee, and I was made quiet in my will, and I waited for deliverance from thee.  Thou had pity on me, when no person could help me; I saw that meekness under suffering was showed to us in the most affecting example of thy Son, and thou taught me to follow him, and I said, “Thy will, O Father, be done!”

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Holy and righteous God, you created us in your image.  Grant us grace to contend fearlessly against evil and to make no peace with oppression.  Help us, like your servant John Woolman, to work for justice and peace among people and nations, to the glory of your name, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Hosea 2:18-23

Psalm 94:1-15

Romans 12:9-21

Luke 6:20-36