Archive for the ‘Sailors’ Society’ Tag

Feast of Walter John Mathams (October 30)   1 comment

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Above:  General View, Swanage, Dorset, England, Between 1890 and 1900

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-ppmsc-08875

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WALTER JOHN MATHAMS (OCTOBER 30, 1853-JANUARY 29, 1931)

British Baptist then Presbyterian Minister, Author, and Hymn Writer

Walter John Mathams led an interesting life.  He, born in London, England, on October 20, 1853, spent part of his early life at sea.  During one voyage he found himself shipwrecked and forced into the Brazilian Army during Brazil’s war with Paraguay (1864-1870).  Our saint did arrive back home safely, though.

Mathams spent part of his life as a Baptist minister.  In 1874 he commenced his studies at Regent’s Park Baptist College, Oxford.  For a few years he served a church at Preston, Lancashire, but bad health forced him to leave for Australia in 1879.  There he also served in the ministerial capacity.  Our saint returned to the British Isles, assuming a pastorate at Falkirk, Scotland, in 1883.  Five years later he transferred to Birmingham, England.

From 1900 to 1931 Mathams was a Presbyterian.  He served in Egypt as a chaplain in the Royal Army (1903-1906); as associate minister at Stronsay, Orkney (1906-1909); and as pastor at St. Columba’s Church, Mallaig, Inverness (1909-1919).  He retired to Roslin, Scotland.  After our saint’s wife, Alexa Jane Mathams, died, however, he relocated to Swanage, Dorset, England, where he died on January 29, 1931.

Mathams survived his son, Robert, who died in 1924 of World War I-related injuries.  Our saint did live long enough, however, to know his granddaughter, Anne Muirhead Mathams (1913-2011), an educator and advocate for those with physical disabilities.

Our saint wrote books and hymns.  His books included:

  1. At Jesu’s Feet (1876), a collection of hymns;
  2. Fireside Parables (1879);
  3. Rough Sermons;
  4. Jack Ahoy;
  5. Comrades All;
  6. Maxim Shots for Soldiers;
  7. A Bowl of the Golden Chants;
  8. Maxims for Boys; and
  9. Sunday Parables (1883).

Hymntime.com lists eighteen hymns Mathams wrote.  I have added three of these to my GATHERED PRAYERS weblog:

  1. Christ of the Upward Way;”
  2. Jesus, Friend of Little Children” (1882, for the Baptist Psalms and Hymns for School and Home); and
  3. Now in the Days of Youth” (debuted in Worship and Song, 1913, yet existed for years before that).

Hymntime.com also provides the words to two other hymns:

  1. God is With Us” (1896); and
  2. Stand Fast for Christ Thy Saviour!” (1913).

Mathams was involved in the Sailors’ Society (1818), an ecumenical ministry to seafarers.  This made sense, due to his maritime past.  In fact, he founded the Ladies’ Guild thereof.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 24, 2014 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF THOMAS A KEMPIS, SPIRITUAL WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINTS JOHN BOSTE, GEORGE SWALLOWELL, AND JOHN INGRAM, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYRS

THE FEAST OF JOHN NEWTON, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND HYMN WRITER

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

Walter John Mathams 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 Jemima Thompson Luke and James Edmeston (February 3)   1 comment

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Above:  London Bridge, Between 1890 and 1900

Image Published by Detroit Publishing Company, 1905

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-ppmsc-08569

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JEMIMA THOMPSON LUKE (AUGUST 19, 1813-FEBRUARY 2, 1906)

English Congregationalist Hymn Writer

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JAMES EDMESTON (SEPTEMBER 10, 1791-JANUARY 7, 1867)

Anglican Hymn Writer

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The Reverend Thomas Thompson (1785-1865) was an English Congregationalist minister at Blagdon.  He was also the husband of Elizabeth Pinckney (died in 1837), the father of Jemima Thompson Luke (1813-1906), and a cofounder of the British and Foreign Sailor’s Society (in 1818).  Once Thompson held a contest for fifty simple hymns.  The winner of the 20-pound prize was was James Edmeston (1791-1867), who won for his Cottage Minstrel (1821).

Edmeston, born in Wapping, London, England, came from a Nonconformist family yet converted to The Church of England, in which he was active.  He, by profession a prominent architect and surveyor, liked children, especially orphans.  Thus he visited the London Orphan Asylum, founded by Andrew Reed (https://neatnik2009.wordpress.com/2012/12/17/feast-of-andrew-reed-february-28/) in 1813, frequently.  Edmeston also wrote twelve volumes, mostly of religious poetry.  Two of the books were Sacred Lyrics (1821) (Volumes I, II, and III), Sacred Poetry (1848), and Infant Breathings.  For many years he wrote a hymn per week for use in family devotions.  Edmeston wrote more than 2,000 hymns.  A few of them are available at my GATHERED PRAYERS.

He died at Homerton, Surrey, in 1867.

Jemima Thompson Luke (1813-1906) wanted to become a missionary to India, but her health prevented that from becoming reality.  So she supported foreign missions throughout her life and edited a missionary magazine for children instead.  She, who began to submit poems to magazines at age thirteen, wrote books including The Female Jesuit  and its Sequel, an extended and hysterical anti-Roman Catholic rant, as well as The Broad Way and the Narrow Way.  She married the Reverend Samuel Luke (1809-1868), a Congregationalist minister in 1843.  Jemima died on the Isle of Wight in 1906, after having raised children and done much to bring glory to God.

Among her hymns was “I Think, When I Read That Sweet Story of Old” (1841):

I think, when I read that sweet story of old,

When Jesus was here among men,

How He called little children as lambs to His fold,

I should like to have been with them then;

I wish that His hand had been placed on my head,

That His arm had been His kind look when He said,

“Let the little ones come unto Me.”

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Yet still to His footstool in prayer I may go,

And ask for a share in His love;

And, if I now earnestly seek Him below,

I shall see Him and hear Him above,

In that beautiful place He is gone to prepare

For all who are washed and forgiven;

And many dear children are gathering there,

For of such is the Kingdom of heaven.

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But thousands and thousands, who wander and fall,

Never heard of that heavenly home;

I should like them to know there is room for them all,

And that Jesus has bid them to come.

I long for the joy of that glorious time,

The sweetest and brightest and best,

When the dear little children of every clime

Shall crowd to His arms and be blest.

Both James Edmeston and Jemima Thompson Luke acted on their concern for others, for the glory of God.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 10, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF JOHANN SCHEFFLER, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST, POET, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF GEORG NEUMARK, GERMAN LUTHERAN POET AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF JOHN HINES, PRESIDING BISHOP OF THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

Jemima Thompson Luke, James Edmeston, 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 9, 2016

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