Archive for the ‘Presbyterian Church in Canada’ Tag

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 Robert Murray (December 10)   1 comment

Flag of Canada 1868-1921

Above:  Flag of Canada, 1868-1921

Image in the Public Domain

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ROBERT MURRAY (DECEMBER 25, 1832-DECEMBER 10, 1910)

Canadian Presbyterian Minister and Hymn Writer

Some people set out upon a course–a godly one–yet find themselves pursuing a different path–also a godly one.  That statement applies to Robert Murray (1832-1910).

Our saint was a child of John William Murray and Christina Matheson Murray, who emigrated from Scotland to Nova Scotia in 1822.  He, born at Earltown, near Truro, Nova Scotia, on Christmas Day, 1832, was a talented you who read theology and composed poetry prior to his tenth birthday.  Murray seemed destined for parish ministry when he graduated from the Halifax Free Church College and received a license to preach.  He became an editor instead.

From 1855, when Murray was 22 years old, to 1910, when he died, our saint edited the Presbyterian Witness (1841-1925).  During our saint’s tenure the affiliation of the Witness changed due to a series of ecclesiastical unions.  It went from being a publication of the Synod of the Free Church of Nova Scotia (1844-1860) to one of the Synod of the United Presbyterian Church of Nova Scotia (1860-1866) to one of the Synod of the Presbyterian Church of the Lower Provinces (1866-1875) to one of the Presbyterian Church in Canada (1875-1925).  Murray, who supported Canadian confederation (not a universally popular political change, especially in Nova Scotia) in 1867, advocated church union.  Part of this Protestant ecumenism was, for him, a product of anti-Roman Catholicism.  Murray, also an opponent of Anglo-Catholicism, which he considered destructive to souls, was a man of his time, culture, and subculture.  I, as a post-Vatican II Episcopalian with Roman Catholic tendencies, invoke my Anglican collegiality, thereby recognizing him as a saint while offering no excuses for his anti-Catholicism.  Murray, who died fifteen years before the formation of The United Church of Canada in 1925 from Congregationalist, Methodist, and Presbyterian denominations, probably would have supported that union also, for he favored the union of all Protestant denominations in Canada.

Our saint married Elizabeth Carey (1835-1920) on August 24, 1867.  The couple had seven children, five of whom survived into adulthood.

Murray, a hymn writer, composed at least seven hymns.  He also published hymns in the Presbyterian Witness, with only “M.” to identify the author.  He sought to avoid giving the impression of claiming equality with other Canadian poets.

Our saint died at Halifax, Nova Scotia, on December 10, 1925.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 3, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF WILL CAMPBELL, AGENT OF RECONCILIATION

THE FEAST OF SAINT LIPHARDUS OF ORLEANS AND URBICIUS OF MEUNG, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOTS

THE FEAST OF THE MARTYRS OF UGANDA

THE FEAST OF SAINT MORAND OF CLUNY, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK AND MISSIONARY

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

Robert Murray 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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