Archive for the ‘Samuel John Stone’ Tag

Feast of Samuel John Stone (November 19)   1 comment

4a24715v

Above:  Salisbury Cathedral, Between 1910 and 1920

Publisher and Copyright Claimant = Detroit Publishing Company

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-det-4a24715

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

SAMUEL JOHN STONE (APRIL 25, 1839-NOVEMBER 19, 1900)

Anglican Priest and Hymn Writer

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

One may not recognize the name of Samuel John Stone (1839-1900), but one might know “The Church’s One Foundation,” his most famous hymn.  Yet one may be aware that there are three versions of that hymn:

  1. the 1866 original version;
  2. the 1868 abbreviated version; and
  3. the 1885 expanded version, which he wrote for use as a processional at Salisbury Cathedral.

A hymn writer does have the right to revise, abbreviate, and extend his own lyrics, does he not?

Stone, born at Whitmore, Staffordshire, England, was a son of a priest of the Church of England.  Our saint studied at the Charterhouse, London, and at Pembroke College, Oxford University.  From the latter he graduated with an A.B. in 1862 and an A.M. ten years later.  Stone took Anglican Holy Orders and served congregations from 1862 to his death in 1900.

His first position was Curate of Windsor (1862-1870).  While there Stone wrote and published Lyra Fidelium (1866), a collection of twelve hymns explaining articles of the Nicene Creed.  Among these texts was the original form of “The Church’s One Foundation,” with seven stanzas.  The impetus for the composition of Lyra Fidelium was the controversy regarding the theology and deposition of John Colenso (1814-1883), Anglican Bishop of Natal from 1853 to 1863.  The bishop’s preference for higher criticism of the Bible, even questioning the historicity of much of the Old Testament, upset many people.  Stone was among his critics.  Colenso’s higher criticism has not disturbed me, however, for I have engaged in higher criticism and continue to do so.  Nevertheless, Colenso was not entirely above reproach, given his Universalism and his defenses of polygamists.

Our saint succeeded his father as the Curate of St. Paul’s, Haggerston, London, in 1870.  He remained at the poorest Anglican church in London, building it up, for twenty years and serving as Vicar from 1874.  During Stone’s tenure he published the following volumes:

  1. The Knight of Intercession, and Other Poems (1872);
  2. Sonnets of the Sacred Year (1875);
  3. Order of the Consecutive Church Service for Children, with Original Hymns (1883); and
  4. Hymns (Original and Translated) (1886).

In 1890 Stone became the Rector of All-Hallows-on-the-Walls, London.  He remained there for about ten years, until he died.  Our saint, recognizing human needs on the doorstep of his parish, transformed its facilities into a haven for urban commuters who would have had to wander the sidewalks until their places of employment opened otherwise.  While at All Hallows Stone also published another book, Lays of Iona, and Other Poems (1897), and served on the committee which produced the 1909 version of Hymns, Ancient and Modern.

Stone died at the Charterhouse, London, on November 19, 1900.  Posthumous tributes included Poems and Hymns (1903) and a chapter in In Good Company (1917).

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

OCTOBER 6, 2014 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF ALL CHRISTIAN BIBLE TRANSLATORS

THE FEAST OF SAINT BRUNO, FOUNDER OF THE CARTHUSIANS

THE FEAST OF HEINRICH ALBERT, GERMAN LUTHERAN COMPOSER AND POET

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM TYNDALE, BIBLE TRANSLATOR

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

Heavenly Father, Shepherd of your people,

we thank you for your servant Samuel John Stone,

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

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

we may by your grace grow into the stature of the

fullness of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ;

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Ezekiel 34:11-16

Psalm 23

1 Peter 5:1-4

John 21:15-17

–Adapted from, Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 718

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

Advertisements