Archive for the ‘Samuel Johnson’ Tag

THE ADMINISTRATION IS NOT THE NATION-STATE.   Leave a comment

john-adams

Above:  John Adams, President of the United States from 1797 to 1801

Image in the Public Domain

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The administration is not the nation-state.  This is a simple fact that political dissidents keep having to repeat, even in my native land, the United States of America.  To oppose the presidential administration is not to be disloyal.  The Constitution of the United States even builds debate and dissent into the political system, complete with contested elections.

The failure to acknowledge the fact that the administration is not the nation-state during the Quasi-War with France during the administration of President John Adams (1797-1801) contributed to the abomination that was the Sedition Act of 1798.

SECTION 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That if any persons shall unlawfully combine or conspire together, with intent to oppose any measure or measures of the government of the United States, which are or shall be directed by proper authority, or to impede the operation of any law of the United States, or to intimidate or prevent any person holding a place or office in or under the government of the United States, from undertaking, performing or executing his trust or duty, and if any person or persons, with intent as aforesaid, shall counsel, advise or attempt to procure any insurrection, riot, unlawful assembly, or combination, whether such conspiracy, threatening, counsel, advice, or attempt shall have the proposed effect or not, he or they shall be deemed guilty of a high misdemeanor, and on conviction, before any court of the United States having jurisdiction thereof, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars, and by imprisonment during a term not less than six months nor exceeding five years; and further, at the discretion of the court may be ho]den to find sureties for his good behaviour in such sum, and for such time, as the said court may direct.

SEC. 2. And be it farther enacted, That if any person shall write, print, utter or publish, or shall cause or procure to be written, printed, uttered or published, or shall knowingly and willingly assist or aid in writing, printing, uttering or publishing any false, scandalous and malicious writing or writings against the government of the United States, or either house of the Congress of the United States, or the President of the United States, with intent to defame the said government, or either house of the said Congress, or the said President, or to bring them, or either of them, into contempt or disrepute; or to excite against them, or either or any of them, the hatred of the good people of the United States, or to stir up sedition within the United States, or to excite any unlawful combinations therein, for opposing or resisting any law of the United States, or any act of the President of the United States, done in pursuance of any such law, or of the powers in him vested by the constitution of the United States, or to resist, oppose, or defeat any such law or act, or to aid, encourage or abet any hostile designs of any foreign nation against United States, their people or government, then such person, being thereof convicted before any court of the United States having jurisdiction thereof, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars, and by imprisonment not exceeding two years.

SEC. 3. And be it further enacted and declared, That if any person shall be prosecuted under this act, for the writing or publishing any libel aforesaid, it shall be lawful for the defendant, upon the trial of the cause, to give in evidence in his defence, the truth of the matter contained in Republication charged as a libel. And the jury who shall try the cause, shall have a right to determine the law and the fact, under the direction of the court, as in other cases.

SEC. 4. And be it further enacted, That this act shall continue and be in force until the third day of March, one thousand eight hundred and one, and no longer: Provided, that the expiration of the act shall not prevent or defeat a prosecution and punishment of any offence against the law, during the time it shall be in force.

APPROVED, July 14, 1798.

Source = The Avalon Project, Yale University

Adjusting dollar amounts for inflation is crucial.  Know then, O reader, that $2000 (1798) is $39,800 (2015) and that $5000 (1798) is $99,400, according to MeasuringWorth.com.

It was a partisan law applied to opposition newspaper editors and Representative Matthew Lyon of Vermont.  One might also notice that the law permitted (by omission) all manner of negative press and speech regarding the Vice President, who was Thomas Jefferson, a leader of the opposition party.  Newspaper editors went to prison, newspapers closed, and Lyon became a federal inmate.  Lyon was hardly the most polite of Congressmen, but all that he had uttered and published negatively regarding the Adams Administration fell within the bounds of the First Amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Federalists who supported the Sedition Act of 1798 mistook partisanship for treason and trampled upon the First Amendment.  Lyon had argued in a letter to Spooner’s Vermont Journal that the allegedly power-hungry president had “swallowed up” “every consideration of public welfare.”  He had written this letter prior to July 14, 1798, so the legal principle of ex post facto protected him prior to the date that Adams signed the Sedition Act into law.  After the law had gone into effect, however, Lyon repeated those charges repeatedly and added more criticisms of Adams and the Federalist majorities in Congress (such as that Adams fostered “ridiculous pomp, foolish adulation, and selfish avarice” and Congress should send the President to a mad house).  The federal indictment (October 5, 1798) accused Lyon of having “malicious intent to bring the President and the government of the United States into contempt.”  The verdict was guilty.  Lyon went on to win reelection from his prison cell.

Alas, Jefferson was not a paragon of virtue with regard to freedom of the press.  Although he, as Vice President, opposed the Sedition Act of 1798, which expired in 1801, he encouraged partisans to use similar state laws against Federalist critics of himself and of his administration.  There was, for example, People v. Croswell (1804), which targeted Harry Croswell (1778-1858), editor of The Wasp, a Federalist newspaper in Hudson, New York.  Croswell was openly critical of President Jefferson.  Croswell lost that case, in which the prosecution convicted him of having committed both libel and sedition.  The editor kept losing libel lawsuits.  In 1814 he left journalism for the Episcopal priesthood.

The unfortunate tendency to confuse the presidential administration for the nation-state has recurred frequently, drawing support from the “rally around the flag” mentality.  Resurgence of this confusion in the form of jingoism has been especially egregious during times of war, whether declared or otherwise.  During World War I, for example, the federal government sent some antiwar activists to prison not for inciting violence, but for inciting nonviolence.  Associate Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., disappointingly, compared the rhetoric of nonviolence during time of war to yelling “fire” in a crowded theater.  “My country, right or wrong” has never impressed me, for as the great Voltaire wrote,

It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong.

And, as the moralist Samuel Johnson observed,

Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.

Dissent is as American as the First Amendment.  That is a patriotic statement.  Those who enter public life should either have thick political skins already or grow them quickly.  President Harry Truman‘s maxim that those who want a friend in Washington, D.C., should bring a dog remains true much of the time.

I am convinced that another contributing factor to the identification of the administration with the nation-state is fear.  Out of fear individuals and institutions tend to trample people and ideals–even foundational principles.  A time of crisis, however, is properly a time to double down on acting in accordance with those foundational principles, such as freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and the fact that dissent is patriotic.  As Tom Dobbs, the character the late, great Robin Williams portrayed in Man of the Year (2006), said,

If dissent were unpatriotic, we would still be British.

I bristle whenever I read or hear someone accuse dissidents of being stupid at best or treasonous at worst.  One reason for my bristling is principled; I affirm that, in the words of The Use of Force in International Affairs (1961),

If what your country is doing seems to you practically and morally wrong, dissent is the highest form of patriotism.

What I think of the content of that dissent is irrelevant with regard to my estimate of the patriotism of the dissident.  Another reason is personal; I know the feeling of hearing and reading people question either my intelligence or my patriotism or both because of a political difference.  Dissent, however, is as American as the First Amendment.

Administrations come and go, but the United States of America persists.  The administration is not the nation-state.

As Martin Luther probably did not say,

Here I stand; I can do no other.

I will do no other.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

FEBRUARY 10, 2017 COMMON ERA

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I derived much material for this post from Geoffrey R. Stone, Perilous Times:  Free Speech in Wartime from the Sedition Act of 1798 to the War on Terrorism (New York, NY:  W. W. Norton and Company, 2004).

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Feast of Ben Salmon (February 18)   Leave a comment

ben-salmon

Above:  Icon of Ben Salmon

Image in the Public Domain

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BENJAMIN JOSEPH SALMON (OCTOBER 15, 1889-FEBRUARY 15, 1932)

Roman Catholic Pacifist and Conscientious Objector

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War is the health of the state.

–Randolph Bourne (1886-1918), 1918

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It is dangerous to be right in matters about which the established authorities are wrong.

–Francois-Marie Arouet, a.k.a. Voltaire (1694-1778)

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I may disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

–Evelyn Beatrice Hall (1868-1956); frequently attributed to Voltaire erroneously

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To refuse to commit or be complicit in violence when one’s government encourages violences can be dangerous and fraught with legal difficulty.

Consider, O reader, the case of Ben Salmon, born in Denver, Colorado, on October 15, 1889.  He grew up in a desert and working-class Roman Catholic family.  Our saint became involved in leftist social justice movements, in particular, with labor unionism.  According to some, he was even an agitator.  Salmon, who attended Mass frequently, married his longtime sweetheart in 1917.  Shortly thereafter, due to U.S. involvement in World War I and official intolerance of antiwar activism, his life changed for the worse.

President Woodrow Wilson, about whom I harbor mixed and mostly negative opinions, had predicted prior to April 1917 that, if the U.S.A. were to enter World War I, many Americans would forget that there was no such thing as tolerance.  He was correct.  He also led the charge of intolerance.  In 1917 and 1918 state and federal laws incarcerated peaceful opponents of that war.  The U.S. Government even treated Amish (yes, Amish!) conscientious objectors harshly.  Authorities, suspecting Amish and Mennonites of being pro-German, kept them under surveillance.  (For details, O reader, consult Steven M. Nolt, A History of the Amish, Revised and Updated Edition, 2003, pages 266-273.)  Laws in some states targeted those who worshiped in a language other than English, so populations ranging from Dutch-psalm-singing members of the Christian Reformed Church to Lutherans who worshiped in Danish or German felt pressure (sometimes in the form of vandalism) to assimilate.

The Amish had been pacifists since their founding, centuries prior to World War I, yet they were not safe from the assaults of the U.S. military over their refusal to fight in a war.  Neither was Salmon, whose pacifism, rooted in Roman Catholicism, put him at odds with the American bishops of his own church.  He responded to the draft by applying for conscientious objector status.  The Army refused to grant him that status, but offered non combatant status instead.  Even that constituted a violation of Salmon’s conscience.  In 1918 the military police arrested our saint.  In short order he had gone through a court-martial and received a guilty verdict and a death sentence, reduced to a term of 25 years.  For more than two years Salmon suffered as he refused to cooperate with his persecutors and oppressors, who retaliated by treating him inhumanely–including with much solitary confinement, sometimes in a vermin-infested cell above the prison sewer.  When, in 1920, our saint started a hunger strike, guards force-fed him.  Then the Army, arguing that he was not only a criminal but an insane person, had him committed to St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, Washington, D.C.  The new American Civil Liberties Union (A.C.L.U.) defended Salmon and other war resisters, sent to prison.

In prison Salmon, consulting only the Catholic Encyclopedia and the Bible, composed a 200-page refutation of just war theory.  No modern war, he argued, can fit that theory.  Furthermore, our saint insisted, militarism had become the new idolatry.  Such arguments did not convert many enemies into allies at a time when the “rally around the flag” mentality turned into jingoism, vigilantism, and religious intolerance–all in the name of national security.

President Warren G. Harding, of whom I also harbor mostly negative opinions, at least pardoned Salmon and other war resisters in late 1920.  The Army issued our saint a Dishonorable Discharge, however.  Salmon returned to his wife, with whom he had three children.  His prison experiences had broken his health.  He died, aged 42 years, at Chicago, Illinois, on February 15, 1932.

I have attempted and failed to be a pacifist.  Nevertheless, I have concluded that most violence is both avoidable and wrong.  I have also concluded that the mistreatment of pacifists is always wrong.  I have decided to place the persecutors and oppressors of Salmon in the same category as the Puritans who hanged Quakers in New England in the late 1600s:  evildoers who reacted out of fear.

National security is an invalid excuse for trampling the rights of people, in this case, a man who simply refused to commit violence or to be complicit in it.  As Dr. Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) stated,

Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.

Or at least a jingoist.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 4, 2016 COMMON ERA

THE SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT, YEAR A

THE FEAST OF SAINTS JOHN OF DAMASCUS AND COSMAS OF MAIUMA, THEOLOGIANS AND HYMNODISTS

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOHN CALABRIA, FOUNDER OF THE CONGREGATION OF THE POOR SERVANTS AND THE POOR WOMEN SERVANTS OF DIVINE PROVIDENCE

THE FEAST OF JOSEPH MOHR, AUSTRIAN ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF THOMAS COTTERILL, ENGLISH PRIEST, HYMN WRITER, AND LITURGIST

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Almighty God, whose prophets taught us righteousness in the care of your poor:

By the guidance of your Holy Spirit, grant that we may

do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly in your sight;

through Jesus Christ our Judge and Redeemer, who lives and reigns

with you and the same Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

Isaiah 55:11-56:1

Psalm 2:1-2, 10-12

Acts 14:14-17, 21-23

Mark 4:21-29

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 736

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Feast of Blessed Filip Siphong Onphithakt (December 16)   Leave a comment

thailand-2

Above:  Map of the Germane Region of Thailand

Image in the Public Domain

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BLESSED FILIP SIPHONG ONPHITHAKT (SEPTEMBER 7, 1907-DECEMBER 16, 1940)

Roman Catholic Catechist and Martyr in Thailand

Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel,

Dr. Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) stated.  He was correct.  More specifically, an appeal to national security has frequently become a justification for engaging in immoral actions.  In the case of the saints listed in this post, the context was the (Vichy) Franco-Thai War (1940-1941), during which Thai police forces in the vicinity of French Indochina persecuted Roman Catholics, suspected of being spies for the Vichy French.

Blessed Filip Siphong Onphithakt, born at Nong Seng, Nakhon Phanon, Thailand, on September 7, 1907, became a martyr.  In 1931 he married Marie Thong; the couple had five children.  Our saint, a catechist since 1926, assumed the leadership of his parish in Songkhon village in 1940, when persecution of Christians by police forced the priest to depart.  Onphithakt protested this persecution.  In December 1940 police summoned him to their headquarters at Mukhadon.  Our saint answered that summons.  He was en route when police ambushed, tortured, and murdered him at Muang Phaluka Phanom.

Ten days later police shot, killed, and martyred six nuns.  They were:

  1. Blessed Akatha Phutta Bi (born in 1882),
  2. Blessed Agnes Phila (born in 1909),
  3. Blessed Bibiana Khamphai (born on November 4, 1925),
  4. Blessed Cecilia Butsi (born on December 16, 1924),
  5. Blessed Lucie Khambang (born on December 22, 1917), and
  6. Blessed Maria Phon (born on January 6, 1929).

These martyrs had disobeyed police orders to cease speaking of Jesus.

Pope John Paul II declared the Seven Martyrs of Thailand venerable on September 1, 1988.  He beatified them on October 22, 1989.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

OCTOBER 28, 2016 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS SIMON AND JUDE, APOSTLES AND MARTYRS

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Gracious God, in every age you have sent men and women

who have given their lives in witness to your love and truth.

Inspire us with the memory of the Seven Martyrs of Thailand,

whose faithfulness led to the way of the cross, and give us courage

to bear full witness with our lives to your Son’s victory over sin and death,

for he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Ezekiel 20:40-42

Psalm 5

Revelation 6:9-11

Mark 8:34-38

–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 59

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Feast of Samuel Johnson (December 13)   6 comments

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Above:  Samuel Johnson

Image in the Public Domain

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SAMUEL JOHNSON (SEPTEMBER 18, 1709-DECEMBER 13, 1784)

“The Great Moralist”

With this post I add a second Samuel Johnson to my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days.  The other Samuel Johnson, his contemporary, was an American, a convert from Congregationalism to Anglicanism, the creator of a system of organizing library books, and a president of what became Columbia University, New York, New York.  Both Samuel Johnsons, I write without fear of contradiction, enrich this calendar of saints’ days and holy days.

Page 16 of Common Worship:  Services and Prayers for the Church of England (2000) lists December 13 as the date to recall the life of “Samuel Johnson, Moralist, 1784.”

The Great Moralist, also an essayist, literary critic, poet, translator, and influential lexicographer, came from Lichfield, England.  There he entered the world on September 7, 1709 (Julian Calendar)/September 18, 1709 (Gregorian Calendar).  His mother was Sarah Ford, an Anglican with Calvinist leanings.  She taught her son to memorize the collect for the day.  Our saint’s father was Michael Johnson, a bookseller and, at the time of Samuel’s birth, the Sheriff of Lichfield.  Michael was also a High Anglican with Jacobite sympathies.  The family was not prosperous.  That fact created much stress in Samuel’s life, as did his persistent bad health.

Johnson became well-educated.  The informal part of his education occurred at home and at his father’s bookstore.  The young bookworm read many books at his father’s place of business.  He also attended Lichfield grammar school (1717-1728) and Pembroke College, Oxford (1728-1729).  The Great Moralist had to drop out of college for medical and financial reasons, but his informal education continued.  Eventually he received two honorary doctorates–from Dublin University (1765) and Oxford (1775), hence “Doctor Johnson.”

Johnson became an educator.  In 1731 he accepted the position of undermaster of the Market Bosworth Grammar School, Leicestershire.  Four years later our saint married Elizabeth “Tetty” Potter, a widow 20 years his senior.  They remained married until she died in 1752.  In 1735 Johnson founded a boarding school at Lichfield.  He led that institution and taught Greek and Latin there until the school closed after two years of operation.

Then Johnson relocated to London.  He had already begun to compose and translate works.  Our saint had also contributed to the Gentleman’s Magazine, founded in 1732.  In London, starting in 1737 and continuing for years, Johnson picked up the pace of his literary efforts, which included poems and satirical prose.  Some of the writing was political.  Although our saint was no Jacobite, he was critical of governments during the Georgian Age.  The Dictionary of the English Language (1755), the basis of many subsequent dictionaries, set him on the road to financial security.  His education of Shakespeare (1765) also proved to be a classic.

Johnson was a High Anglican influenced by Greek stoicism.  [Stoicism (frequently misunderstood by many) recognized the difference between those things we can change and those we cannot change.  It is actually an optimistic philosophy, one which teaches a person to delight in the pleasure of life and to refrain from fretting about not doing what one cannot do.]  The basis of our saint’s faith was an understanding of human sinfulness and the necessity of redemption by Jesus Christ.  Johnson, who tolerated Roman Catholicism at a time when that attitude was frequently unpopular, did not hide his dislike of Calvinism.  His Prayers and Meditations debuted in print posthumously in 1785.

Johnson was neurotic and he knew it.  He was prone to melancholy and indolence.  Our saint also knew how to overcome these weaknesses:  surround himself with people.  Johnson’s household included the following, among others:

  1. Robert Levett, a doctor who tended to poor people;
  2. Francis Barber, a former African slave, whose education he financed; and
  3. Anna Williams.

She was the daughter of Zechariah Williams, with whom Johnson had written Longitude at Sea (1755).  Anna visited our saint at his home for years before moving in.  Eventually she went blind and he took care of her until she died in 1783.

Johnson, a loyal subject, supported his government’s position during the American Revolutionary period.  His Taxation No Tyranny (1775) argued that colonists should pay their taxes dutifully.

Johnson died at Lichfield on December 13, 1784.  He was 75 years old.  His legacy has remained impressive and instructive.  For example, his reminder that “patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel” has been relevant for a long time.  Johnson also elevated the tone of debates and the quality of arguments, for his intellectualism and manner forced his debating partners to improve their cases, to prepare to argue as effectively as possible against him.

The world needs more people of the caliber of Dr. Samuel Johnson.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

OCTOBER 28, 2016 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS SIMON AND JUDE, APOSTLES AND MARTYRS

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O God, you have endowed us with memory, reason, and skill.

We thank you for the faithful legacy of [Samuel Johnson and all others]

who have dedicated their lives to you and to the intellectual pursuits.

May we, like them, respect your gift of intelligence fully and to your glory.

In the Name of God:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Psalm 103

Philippians 4:8-9

Mark 12:28-34

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 6, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT CHRODEGANG OF METZ, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF EDMUND KING, ANGLICAN BISHOP OF LINCOLN

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Feast of Alfred the Great (October 26)   Leave a comment

England 878

Above:  Map of England in 878

Image in the Public Domain

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ALFRED THE GREAT (849-OCTOBER 26, 899)

King of the West Saxons

An old saying tells that power wears down those who do not have it.  That is certainly true in the Turkish Republic.  Even before the recent failed coup President (previously Prime Minister) Recep Tayyip Erdogan used the judiciary to imprison journalists whose reporting was critical of him.  He thereby proved that he lacked respect for the freedom of the press.  Now, after the coup, he is targeting not only soldiers but journalists, judges, academics, and civil servants en masse.  It is a witch hunt.  The republic is really a dictatorship.  Erdogan’s power wears down those who do not have it.  Patriotism and law and order are the last refuges of a scoundrel, to paraphrase Dr. Samuel Johnson (1709-1784).

Power need not wear down those who lack it, however.  If the right person uses power for proper purposes it builds up the nation–or, in the case, of King Alfred the Great, the only monarch in English history to be “the Great,” the kingdom as a whole.

Alfred the Great was the last King of the West Saxons (alternatively, the King of Wessex) and the first King of the Anglo-Saxons (from 878).  His mother was Osburh/Osburga (died in 854), a noblewoman.  Our saint’s father was King Aethelwulf (reigned 839-858).  Alfred, born in 849, was the youngest of five children who survived to adulthood.  Aethelwulf sent his four-year-old son to visit Rome, where Pope St. Leo IV (reigned April 10, 847-July 17, 855) sponsored the prince at his confirmation.  Two years later Alfred accompanied Aethelwulf on a pilgrimage to Rome.  The prince learned to read English prior to his twelfth birthday.  He did not learn to read Latin until 887, when he had been king for some time.  Aethelwulf’s three elder sons succeeded him, in order, prior to Alfred’s accession:

  1. Aethelbald (reigned 858-860),
  2. Aethelberht (reigned 860-865), and
  3. Aethelred I (reigned 865-871).

Alfred’s public life spanned 866-899.  That public life began with Alfred assisting his elder brother, Aethelred I, resist Danish invaders, a persistent threat for generations.  In 868 the prince married Ealhswith/Ealswitha (died 902), from the Mercian royal family.  Alfred succeeded Aethelred I in 871, becoming the King of the West Saxons (alternatively, the King of Wessex).  The fight against Danish invaders continued throughout his reign.  One phase of that struggle ended in 878, when Alfred took the title “King of the Anglo-Saxons.”  In that year Alfred did not kill Guthrum, the leader of the Danish invaders; no the monarch forced Guthrum to convert to Christianity and stood as his godfather.  Another stage of that struggle ended in 896.  Alfred left behind a military legacy, including a naval fleet and reorganized militias.  He was, in fact, the “Father of the English Navy.”

Alfred did more than maintain the independence of his realm and became one of the greatest early English monarchs.  He also built up his realm and improved the lives of his subjects.  The monarch, for example, issued a law code, joining the ranks of Hammurabi (reigned 1792-1750 B.C.E.) and Justinian I (reigned 527-565 C.E.).  He also encouraged art, architecture, education, and monasticism.  Alfred recruited experts from the continent of Europe to revitalize learning.  He also ordered that children in his court learn both English and Latin.  Furthermore, the king, in 892, began to translate major Latin texts in theology and philosophy.  Other also translated major Latin texts.  Over time confusion regarding which of these Alfred translated has developed.  The monarch also founded a convent and a monastery.  His attempt to revive monasticism failed, however, due to a lack of public interest.  Alfred was ahead of his time in that regard.

Alfred died on October 26, 899.  He was about 50 years old.  His son, Edward the Elder (reigned 899-924), succeeded him.

George P. Knapp, late Professor of English at Columbia University, wrote:

It should be borne in mind, however, that it is not the magnitude of Alfred’s military achievements, nor the extent of the country which he governed, that lift him into the ranks of the world’s great men, but the beauty and moral grandeur of his character.  In him were combined the virtues of the scholar and the patriot, the efficiency of the man of affairs with the wisdom of the philosopher and the piety of the true Christian.  His character, public and private, is without a stain, and his whole life was one of enlightened and magnanimous service to his country.

–Quoted in The Encyclopedia Americana (1962), Volume 1, page 380

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 28, 2016 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF FLORA MACDONALD, CANADIAN STATESWOMAN AND HUMANITARIAN

THE FEAST OF NANCY BYRD TURNER, POET, EDITOR, AND HYMN EDITOR

THE FEAST OF THE PIONEERING FEMALE EPISCOPAL PRIESTS, 1974 AND 1975

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O Sovereign Lord, you brought your servant Alfred to a troubled throne that he might

establish peace in a ravaged land and revive learning and the arts among the people:

Awake in us also a keen desire to increase our understanding while we are in this world,

and an eager longing to reach that endless life where all will be made clear;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns

with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Wisdom 6:1-3, 9-12, 24-25

Psalm 21

2 Thessalonians 2:13-17

Luke 6:43-49

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 653

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Feast of Samuel Johnson, Timothy Cutler, Daniel Browne, and James Wetmore (August 17)   2 comments

Founders of Yale University

Above:  Founders of Yale University

Image in the Public Domain

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SAMUEL JOHNSON (OCTOBER 14, 1696-JANUARY 6, 1772)

Congregationalist Minister, Anglican Priest, Philosopher, President of King’s College, “Father of The Episcopal Church in Connecticut,” and “Father of American Library Classification”

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TIMOTHY CUTLER (MAY 31, 1684-AUGUST 17, 1765)

Congregationalist Minister, Rector of Yale College, and Anglican Priest

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DANIEL BROWNE (APRIL 26, 1698-APRIL 13, 1723)

Educator, Congregationalist Minister, and Anglican Priest

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JAMES WETMORE (SR.) (DECEMBER 31, 1695-MAY 15, 1760)

Congregationalist Minister and Anglican Priest

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INTRODUCTION

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The Episcopal Church celebrates the lives of Samuel Johnson, Timothy Cutler, and Thomas Bradbury Chandler on August 17.  That is a logical grouping of saints, for they worked toward the goal of the establishment of the Anglican episcopate in North America.  Furthermore, Johnson and Cutler were friends, and Johnson taught and mentored Chandler.  However, I, for other logical reasons, have assigned a Chandler the feast day of May 17 and grouped him with two Episcopal bishops in his family tree.  Furthermore, here at the Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, I have expanded the grouping of Johnson and Cutler to include Daniel Browne and James Wetmore (Sr.), thereby commemorating the Congregationalist ministers from New England who became Anglican priests in March 1723.

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SAMUEL JOHNSON (1696-1772) I

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The name “Samuel Johnson” is commonplace.  A perusal of entries in old encyclopedias reveals the existence of several prominent Samuel Johnsons over time and on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.  One might think first of Dr. Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), the great English poet, lexicographer, and essayist who noted in 1775 that

Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel,

thereby condemning false patriotism.  One might also think also of the Reverend Samuel Johnson (1822-1882), an American Transcendentalist, minister, and hymnodist who found the American Unitarian Association (1825-1961) too theologically rigid.  (He would fit in well in the Unitarian Universalist Association today.)  Or one might recall other noteworthy Samuel Johnsons, such as Dr. Samuel William Johnson (1830-1909), a prominent American chemist.  The Samuel Johnson I add to the Ecumenical Calendar today is the American clergyman and educational pioneer, however.

Samuel Johnson

Image in the Public Domain

Samuel Johnson, born on October 14, 1696, was a native of Guilford, Connecticut.  His parents were Samuel Johnson (1670-1726), a fuller and a Congregationalist deacon, and Mary Sage Johnson (1672-1726).  The couple had twelve children, at least five of whom lived to adulthood.  Our saint was the third of their children.  William Johnson (1630-1702), also a Congregationalist deacon, was our saint’s grandfather.  The grandfather taught the grandson how to read English and Hebrew and guided him in committing the Apostles’ Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, and other portions of scripture to memory.  All this happened through Johnson’s sixth year of life.  The elder Samuel Johnson sought properly challenging educational opportunities for his bookish son.  Some of them proved more helpful than others.  Finally, at age 14, our saint, having mastered both Latin and Greek and having proved to be too much for some teachers, began his studies at the relatively new Collegiate School at Saybrook (founded in 1701), which became Yale College then Yale University.  He graduated four years (in 1714) later with his A.M. degree, having commenced work as a teacher at the grammar school in Guilford in 1713.

Johnson was quite a scholarly young man.  He did, for example, complete the Revised Encyclopedia of Philosophy (1716), unpublished.  Then he became a Yale tutor during a time of schism in the college.  From 1716 to 1718 Johnson was the only faculty member and administrator at New Haven, Connecticut, teaching fifteen students and laboring with the assistance of a minister.  Our saint was also cataloging the 800 books colonial agent Jeremiah Dummer (1681-1739) had donated to the college library in 1714.  This process continued until 1719.  These volumes included works by Enlightenment figures such as Rene Descartes (1596-1650), John Locke (1632-1704), and Sir Isaac Newton (1643-1727).  Such material was, according to the dominant Puritan orthodoxy of the college, forbidden, corrupting, and faith-destroying.  The process of cataloging the books expanded Johnson’s mind, and he, without permission, introduced the forbidden knowledge into the curriculum at New Haven.

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DANIEL BROWNE (1698-1723) I

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In 1618 Daniel Browne became the second tutor at New Haven, joining Johnson on the faculty.  He, born at New Haven on April 26, 1698, had been a classmate of Johnson, graduating at the age of 16 1/2 in 1715.  Next Browne had worked as the assistant to Samuel Hopkins, the Rector of the Hopkins Grammar School, New Haven, for a year, then as Hopkins’s successor for two years.  Browne worked as a tutor at New Haven for four years.

The Yale schism ended in 1719, with Johnson become the sacrificial victim.  Did he resign or did his superiors fire him?  It was a distinction without a difference.  Timothy Cutler became the new college rector, with Browne as the only other faculty member.  Johnson, ordained a Congregationalist minister in 1720, remained in the immediate vicinity, serving at West Haven.  Cutler, his friend, permitted him to design the college curriculum.

A vital aspect of the context of the Yale-related content in this post is that the intention of Yale’s founders in 1701 was to establish an educational institution which would be a conservative alternative–a bastion of Puritan orthodoxy–in contrast to Harvard College, which many New England Puritans considered to be too liberal.  Yet Yale began to liberalize before the end of its second decade of existence.

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TIMOTHY CUTLER (1684-1765) I

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Timothy Cutler

Image in the Public Domain

Timothy Cutler, born at Charlestown, Massachusetts, on May 31, 1684, was a son of John Cutler (1650-1708) and Martha Wiswall Cutler (b. 1645).  The family had Jacobite sympathies.  Our saint, baptized in 1684,  graduated from Harvard College in 1701, at the age of 17 years.  Four years later he joined the Congregational Church at Charlestown.  Shortly thereafter the Congregational Church at Dartmouth, Massachusetts, invited him to become their minister, but he declined, citing parish dynamics.  In 1709, however, he accepted an offer to become the minister at Stratford, Connecticut; he was especially interested in combating the Anglican presence in the community.  The following year Cutler married Elizabeth Andrew (1690-1771), daughter of the Reverend Samuel Andrew, the Acting Rector of the Collegiate School at Saybrook.  Our saint and his wife had seven children from 1711 to 1724; five of them lived to adulthood.

Circa 1720 seven respected Congregationalist ministers formed a group to study the early church.  They were:

  1. Timothy Cutler;
  2. Samuel Johnson;
  3. Daniel Browne;
  4. Jared Eliot (1685-1763), minister at Killingworth and one of Johnson’s former teachers;
  5. John Hart (1682-1732), minister at East Guilford;
  6. Samuel Whittesley (1686-1752), minister at Wallingsford; and
  7. James Wetmore (Sr.) (1695-1760).

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JAMES WETMORE (SR.) (1695-1760) I

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James Wetmore (Sr.), born on December 31, 1695, was a son of the Reverend Izrahiah Wetmore (Sr.) (1656-1743) and Rachel Stow Wetmore (1666-1722), of Middletown, Connecticut.  Our saint, the third of nine children, at least seven of which lived to adulthood, came from a civic-minded family.  His father was not only a minister but a magistrate and a deputy of the General Court.  Wetmore, a classmate of Johnson at Yale, graduated from the college with his A.B. degree in 1714 and his A.M. degree three years later.  This saint became a Congregationalist minister in 1718 and served at North Haven, Connecticut, for four years.  Also in 1718 he married Anne Dwight (1697-1771).  They had six children from 1727 to 1737.

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THE “GREAT APOSTASY,” SEPTEMBER 13, 1722

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On September 13, 1722, the seven ministers presented the conclusion of their study of the early church in writing to the Trustees of Yale College.  Some of these clergymen were certain of the invalidity of their orders and others merely harbored doubts due to the lack of “visible communion with an Episcopal Church.”  This, the “Great Apostasy” at Yale College, founded as a bulwark of Puritan orthodoxy in contrast to the relatively liberal Harvard College, proved controversial in New England.  Three of the ministers recanted under pressure, but Johnson, Cutler, Browne, and Wetmore (Sr.) lost their positions.  By the end of the year they departed for England, where in March 1723, they became priests of the The Church of England.

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DANIEL BROWNE (1698-1723) II

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Browne, a bachelor, died of smallpox in London on April 13, 1723.  He was 24 years old.  In 1765, the Reverend Ezra Stiles (1722-1795), the President of Yale College from 1778 to 1795, wrote of Browne:

He was a gentleman of the most superior sense and learning of the four.

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TIMOTHY CUTLER (1684-1765) II

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Wetmore (Sr.), Cutler, and Johnson remained in England for much of the year.  Johnson and Cutler received honorary degrees from Oxford and Cambridge Universities.  The three men returned to North America under the auspices of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts (SPG).

Cutler went to Boston, Massachusetts, where, at the end of 1723, he held the first service at Christ Church, or Old North Church, of Midnight Ride of Paul Revere fame.  He served as the rector of the parish for the reset of his life.  He also founded other congregations, advocated for the advocacy of the Anglican episcopate in North America, criticized revivalism, founded an Anglican library in Boston, and resisted the Puritan theocracy in New England.  In April 1756 Cutler suffered a stroke.  The assistant priest assumed many of his duties.  Our saint died at Boston on August 17, 1765, aged 81 years.

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JAMES WETMORE (SR.) (1695-1760) II

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Wetmore became the Rector of Grace Church, Rye, New York, in 1726.  He served there for the rest of his life, dying on May 15, 1760.

A son, James Wetmore (Jr.), seems to have been a Loyalist, for he, born at Rye in 1727, died in Kings County, New Brunswick, in 1798.

Grace Church, Rye, became Christ’s Church, Rye, in 1795.

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SAMUEL JOHNSON (1696-1772) II

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Johnson returned to Connecticut.  He founded Christ Church, Stratford, the first parish in the colony.  By 1752 he had founded 24 more congregations, becoming the “Father of The Episcopal Church in Connecticut.”  He was an ardent controversialist, engaging in written conflict with Puritans via pamphlets, starting in 1733.  Johnson, like Cutler, resisted the Puritan theocracy in New England, argued against revivalism and the (First) Great Awakening, and lobbied for the establishment of the Anglican episcopate in North America.  The last matter was controversial, for many Congregationalists and Presbyterians considered it contrary to scripture and politically perilous, and many Southern Anglicans enjoyed their relative independence.

Johnson married twice and became a widower as many times.  His first wife was Charity Nicoll (1692-1758), a widow.  Thus our saint became a stepfather on September 26, 1725.  He raised William Nicoll (1715-1780) and Benjamin Nicoll (1718-1760) as if they were his own sons.  Charity and our saint had two sons, William Samuel Johnson (1727-1819) and William Johnson (1730-1760).  The younger son died of smallpox in England.  William Samuel Johnson opposed the Stamp Act (1765) and the Townshend Duty Act (1767) actively and served as the colonial agent for Connecticut from 1767 to 1771.  He became convinced that the U.S. War for Independence was both unnecessary and unwise yet made his peace with the result of the conflict.  He served in the Confederation Congress from 1785 to 1787, was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention (1787), presided over the drafting of the document, signed the Constitution, served as President of Columbia College, New York, from 1787 to 1800, and was a U.S. Senator from Connecticut from 1789 to 1791.  His wife (from 1749) was Elizabeth Ann Beach (1729-1796), daughter of William Beach (1694-1751), a businessman of Stratford, and his wife, Sarah Hull Beach (1701-1763).  Charity died on June 1, 1758.

Johnson’s second wife (from 1761) was Sarah Hull Beach (1701-1763), who died of smallpox on February 9, 1763.

Johnson continued to be an educator.  He opened a school at Stratford in 1723.  For decades he also operated a home-based seminary for students at Yale, educating and training 63 priests.  He also developed a system of classifying library books, hence his title, “Father of American Library Classification.”  In the early 1700s our saint redefined the curriculum at Yale College again, for it had reverted to an earlier state after the “Great Apostasy” of 1722.  In 1729-1731 Joseph Berkeley (1685-1753), later the Bishop of Cloyne, visited New England.  Johnson met him then and convinced him to donate land, money, and books to Yale College.  Our saint also became enamored of Berkeley’s philosophy, immaterialism.  The two men corresponded for decades.  Johnson, who received an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Oxford University in 1743, wrote and revised his textbook of moral philosophy several times.  The basis of his philosophy was the pursuit of happiness rooted in realism with regard to how things are.

Johnson, Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), the leaders Trinity Church, Wall Street, New York, and others spent years discussing details of founding a “new model” college.  There would be no religious test for admission.  Instruction would be in English, not Latin.  The study of theology would be optional, but the study of moral philosophy would be mandatory.  There would be a focus on professional preparation, and the curriculum would include the new discipline of English literature.  The result of these conversations was King’s College, later Columbia College then Columbia University, New York.  Some Presbyterians in the colonial government of New York tried to prevent the chartering of the college, labeling it an insidious Anglican plot.  The royal charter came through in 1754, however.  Johnson served as a professor and the first president, retiring in 1763, after the death of his second wife.

Johnson’s retirement (1732-1772) was active.  He returned to the office of Rector of Christ Church, Stratford, and performed his duties faithfully.  He also reopened his home-based seminary for students at Yale College.  Our saint also taught his grandsons William and Charles to read English and Latin, as his grandfather had instructed him.  Johnson wrote the first American grammars of the English and Hebrew languages and dedicated them to his grandsons.

Johnson’s accomplishments caught the attention of his English contemporary, Dr. Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), the essayist, poet, and lexicographer, who was a friend of William Samuel Johnson (1727-1819).

Samuel Johnson, the American, died on January 6, 1772, the Feast of the Epiphany.  He was 75 years old.

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CONCLUSION

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I realize, O reader, that I have asked you to follow some proverbial bouncing balls, but that is simply the nature of the material.  The legacies of Johnson, Cutler, and Wetmore are obvious.  That of Browne, however, is incomplete, due to circumstances beyond his control.  If he had lived he would have done much for the glory of God and the expansion of The Church of England.

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KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 3, 2016 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARIE-LEONIE PARADIS, FOUNDER OF THE LITTLE SISTERS OF THE HOLY FAMILY

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM WHITING, HYMN WRITER

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God of history, science, art, philosophy, and majesty, we thank you for the faithful quests of

Samuel Johnson, Timothy Cutler, Daniel Browne, and James Wetmore (Sr.),

whose intellectual inquisitiveness and fidelity to you led them to pursue Anglican Holy Orders.

May we never fear new knowledge.

May we seek the truths of you wherever we can find them

then pursue paths consistent with them,

for your glory and benefit of your people;

in the Name of God:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

–Kenneth Randolph Taylor, May 3, 2016 Common Era

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Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) 24:1-8

Psalm 32:8-12

1 Peter 2:1-10

Matthew 16:13-20

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 531

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Feast of Thomas Bradbury Chandler, John Henry Hobart, and William Hobart Hare (May 17)   2 comments

Episcopal Flag

Above:  The Flag of The Episcopal Church

Image Source = Zscout370

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THOMAS BRADBURY CHANDLER (APRIL 26, 1726-JUNE 17, 1790)

Anglican Priest

His feast transferred from August 17

father-in-law of

JOHN HENRY HOBART (SEPTEMBER 14, 1775-SEPTEMBER 12, 1830)

Episcopal Bishop of New York

His feast transferred from September 12

grandfather of

WILLIAM HOBART HARE (MAY 17, 1838-OCTOBER 23, 1909)

Apostle to the Sioux and Episcopal Missionary Bishop of Niobrara then South Dakota

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INTRODUCTION

With this post I add to my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days three holy men from The Episcopal Church’s calendar of saints.  The Episcopal Church has, for logical reasons, assigned each man to a different date.  I, for my logical reasons also, have moved Chandler and Hobart to Hare’s feast day, May 17.  This is, after all my weblog, and the Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Says and Holy Days is my project.  I have concluded that the stories of these three men’s lives, told in one post, constitute a compelling account of active Christian faith across generational lines.  Also, combining what would have otherwise been three posts into one enables a readier to notice connections more easily.

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THOMAS BRADBURY CHANDLER (1726-1790)

The intergenerational story begins with Thomas Bradbury Chandler.  He was one of ten children of William J. Chandler (1698-1754) and Jemima Bradbury Chandler (circa 1703-1779) of Woodstock, Massachusetts.  Our saint grew up on the family farm and attended Yale College, from which he graduated in 1745.  He became the catechist and lay reader of St. John’s Church, Elizabethtown, New Jersey, in 1747.  The congregation had no priest at the time, and the consensus at St. John’s was that Chandler should fill that vacancy.  In 1751 our saint traveled to England, where Thomas Sherlock, the Bishop of London, ordained him to the priesthood and designated him the Rector of St. John’s Church, Elizabethtown.

Chandler spent most of the rest of his life as the Rector of St. John’s Church, Elizabethtown, and became beloved there.  He also traveled in the Northeast, functioning as a missionary.  Our saint, a stickler for doing things decently and in order, refused to permit the Anglican-Methodist revivalist George Whitefield (1714-1770), who visited Elizabethtown in 1763 and 1764, to fill the pulpit.

Chandler, whom Oxford University honored with a D.D. degree in 1766, took up a controversial cause his mentor, Samuel Johnson (1696-1772), Anglican priest, former Congregationalist minister, and first President of King’s College (now Columbia University), New York, New York, favored.  The Anglican congregations in America were in the jurisdiction of the Bishop of London.  There was no bishop in North America, and Johnson and Chandler thought there should be at least one.  This was a controversial position.  On the American side of the Atlantic Ocean many Congregationalists and Presbyterians, fearing that an Anglican bishop in North America would lead to the establishment of The Church of England in the Middle Atlantic colonies, opposed such an episcopal appointment vehemently.  Chandler published his case in An Appeal to the Public in Behalf of the Church of England in America (1767) and in The Appeal Defended, or, the Proposed American Episcopate Vindicated:  In Answer to the Objections and Misrepresentations of Dr. Chauncy and Others (1769).  (Dr. Charles Chauncy had published his rebuttal to Chandler’s Appeal (1767) in 1768.)

Our saint was, as were at least one-third of the subjects in the rebellious thirteen colonies, loyal to the British Empire during the American Revolutionary period.  Chandler was quite vocal in his political opinions, for he wrote and published at least two pamphlets:

  1. A Friendly Address to All Reasonable Americans on the Subject of Our Political Confusions (1774), and
  2. What Think Ye of Congress Now?  Or an Enquiry How Far the Americans are Bound to Abide by and Execute the Decisions of the Late Congress (1775).

Chandler had to leave Elizabethtown and America in 1775, for he was receiving threats from the Sons of Liberty.  He spent the next ten years in England.

The vestry of St. John’s Church, Elizabethtown, invited Chandler to return in 1785.  He accepted the offer.  By the time our saint arrived his health did not permit him to conduct regular services, but the vestry insisted that he be the official rector and reside in the rectory anyway.  In 1786 Chandler received word that he was the first choice of the Archbishop of Canterbury to become the first Church of England bishop in North America, headquartered in Nova Scotia.  Our saint, who had not sought the position, declined it for health reasons.  The post went to Charles Inglis (1734-1816), Rector of Trinity Church, New York, New York, from 1777 to 1783 instead.

[Aside:  The first Anglican bishop in North America was Samuel Seabury (1729-1796), whom bishops of The Church of England refused to consecrate because he, as an American (albeit a Royal Army chaplain during the Revolutionary War) could not swear allegiance to the crown.  Bishops of the Scottish Episcopal Church consecrated him at Aberdeen on November 14, 1784, however, and he became the first Bishop of Connecticut on August 3, 1785.]

Chandler died at Elizabethtown on June 17, 1790.  He was 64 years old, and Then Episcopal Church was less than one year old, having completed the process of separating from The Church of England in 1789.

Chandler had written The Life of Samuel Johnson, D.D., the First President of King’s College in New York yet not published it during his lifetime.  The volume became available in print in 1805.

Chandler’s legacy continued via his family.  His wife was Jane Emott Chandler (circa 1732-1801).  Their youngest daughter, Mary Goodwin Chandler (1774-1847), married a young clergyman named John Henry Hobart (1775-1830, who became the Bishop of New York.

Chandler-Hobart-Hare

Chart and Scan by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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JOHN HENRY HOBART (1775-1830)

John Henry Hobart was a great missionary bishop and a man of strong opinions.  He funded educational institutions, started congregations and left a legacy which even many who argued with him bitterly had to respect.

Hobart was a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  His parents were Enoch Hobart (1726-1776) and Hannah Pratt Hobart (1732-?).  Our saint studied at the Episcopal Academy, Philadelphia, before matriculating at The University of Pennsylvania.  He remained there for two years before transferring to the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University), graduating with his A.B. in 1793.  He worked in a counting house in Philadelphia for a few worlds, but commerce was not his vocation.

Hobart, realizing this fact, turned toward theology.  In 1777 and 1778, while working as a tutor at the College of New Jersey, our saint pursued theological studies under the direction of William White (1747-1836).  White was the Rector of St. Peter’s Church and Christ Church, Philadelphia (1779-1836), the Bishop of Pennsylvania (1787-1836), Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church (1789, 1795-1836), and the Chaplain of the United States Senate (1790-1800).  White ordained Hobart to the diaconate on June 3, 1798, and to the priesthood in 1800.  Our saint served the yoked congregations of Trinity Church, Oxford, Pennsylvania, and All Saints Church, Perkionmen, Pennsylvania, in 1798 and 1799.  He served briefly at Christ Church, New Brunswick, New Jersey, in 1799 and 1800.  On May 6, 1800, Hobart married Mary Goodwin Chandler (1774-1847), youngest daughter of Thomas Bradbury Chandler (1726-1790).  At the end of 1800 Hobart became the Assistant Rector of Trinity Church, New York, New York.  In 1811 he became both the Rector of Trinity Church and the second bishop coadjutor in the Diocese of New York.  He served as rector and bishop until his death, in 1830.

The first Bishop of New York was Samuel Provoost (1742-1815), who served in the diocese from 1787 to 1815 and as the Chaplain of the United States Senate (1789-1790) and the Presiding Bishop of the denomination (1792-1795).  Benjamin Moore (1748-1816) had become the first bishop coadjutor in the Diocese of New York in 1801.  When Provoost died Moore succeeded him and became the second Bishop of New York.  Moore died in February 1816, so Hobart automatically became the third Bishop of New York.  This made official was had been unofficial reality for several years, for both Provoost and Moore had not been well, so Hobart had been administering the diocese.

Hobart was an effective bishop.  Between 1816 and 1820 he increased the number of clergy in the diocese by a factor of two and the number of missionaries by a factor of four.  By the end of his tenure (and life) our saint had started missionary work among the Oneida Indians and planted a church in every major town in the state previously lacking one.  In 1817 Hobart helped to found the General Theological Seminary, New York, New York.  He served as its first dean and taught pastoral theology.  Our saint expanded education in the western part of the state, selecting the site of Geneva College (opened in 1822), Geneva, New York.  (It became Hobart College then Hobart and William Smith Colleges.)  Hobart also visited churches in Connecticut and New Jersey during times of vacancies in the episcopates of those dioceses.

This hard work damaged our saint’s health.  He took a sabbatical in 1823-1825 to recover while traveling in Europe.

Hobart was also a controversialist.  The bishop was a pre-Oxford Movement High Churchman.  The Oxford Movement, which started in England in the 1830s (after Hobart’s death), had a strong liturgical emphasis.  Hobart’s High Churchmanship pertained to questions of baptism and Apostolic Succession.  There were competing theologies of baptism and the episcopate.  Our saint argued strongly for his interpretations and cautioned against ecumenical cooperation with denominations with different understandings.  These matters, he insisted, were crucial.

One might recognize Apostolic Succession as one of four standards in the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral (1886 and 1888).  The other three standards for Christian unity there are the Old and New Testaments, the Nicene Creed, and the sacraments of baptism and the Holy Eucharist.

Hobart died at Auburn, New York, on September 12, 1830, two days before his fifty-fifth birthday.  Among the bishops who met a Chicago, Illinois, in 1886 to discuss the Quadrilateral was his grandson, William Hobart Hare (1838-1909), the Missionary Bishop of South Dakota (1883-1909), and a son of Elizabeth Catherine Hobart Hare (1810-1883).

Hobart’s immediate successor was Benjamin Tredwell Onderdonk (1791-1861).

Hobart’s published writings included the following:

  1. A Companion for the Altar, or, Week’s Preparation for the Holy Communion (First Edition, 1804; Fifth Edition, 1819)
  2. Feasts and Festivals (1804);
  3. An Apology for Apostolic Order (1807);
  4. Letters to the Vestry of Trinity Church (1811);
  5. The Christian’s Manual of Faith and Devotion (1814);
  6. The State of the Departed (1816);
  7. The Churchman (1819);
  8. Sermons on the Principal Events and Truths of Redemption (1824);
  9. The High Churchman Vindicated (1826); and
  10. The Christian Bishop Approving Himself Unto God (1827), preached at the consecration of Henry Ustick Onderdonk (1789-1858) in the Diocese of Pennsylvania.

Posthumous volumes about Hobart, most of them containing writings by him, included the following:

  1. A Great Man in Israel (1830), by John Frederick Schroeder;
  2. Memorial of Bishop Hobart:  A Collection of Sermons on the Death of the Right Reverend John Henry Hobart, D.D., with a Memoir of His Life and Writings (1831), by John Frederick Schroeder;
  3. The Posthumous Works of the Late Right Reverend John Henry Hobart, with a Memoir of His Life by the Rev. William Berrian, D.D. (1832), Volumes I, II, and III;
  4. The Early Years of the Late Bishop Hobart (1834), by John McVickar;
  5. The Professional Years of John Henry Hobart:  Being a Sequel to His “Early Years” (1836), by John McVickar;
  6. The Office of Devotion (Second Edition, 1846);
  7. Instruction and Encouragement for Lent (1859); and
  8. The Correspondence of John Henry Hobart (1911), Volumes I, II, III, IV, V, and VI.

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WILLIAM HOBART HARE (1838-1909)

Howe-Hare

Chart and Scan by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

William Hobart Hare shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ with people in the Dakotas, Japan, and China.

Our saint was a son of the church.  His family tree included, among others, Thomas Bradbury Chandler (1726-1790) and John Henry Hobart (1775-1830).  Hare’s parents were George Emlen Hare, Sr. (1808-1892), and Elizabeth Catherine Hare (1810-1883), daughter of Bishop Hobart.  George Emlen Hare, Sr., was a prominent Episcopal priest and Biblical scholar in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  He taught at and served as the dean of Philadelphia Divinity School (extant 1857-1974).  At the time of our saint’s birth in Princeton, New Jersey, in 1838, George Emlen Hare, Sr., was the Rector of Trinity Church in that city.  He wrote Christ to Return:  A Practical Exposition of the Prophecy Recorded in the 24th and 25th Chapters of the Gospel According to St. Matthew (1840) and Visions and Narratives of the Old Testament (1889).

Our saint became an Episcopal priest.  He attended yet did not graduate from The University of Pennsylvania.  Then he studied at the new Philadelphia Divinity School.  Hare became a deacon in 1859 and a priest in 1862.  At first he was assistant at St. Luke’s Church, Philadelphia, where Mark Antony DeWolfe Howe (1808-1895), later the first Bishop of Central Pennsylvania from 1871 to 1895, was the rector.  In 1861 Hare transferred to St. Paul’s Church, Chestnut Hill, and on October 30, married Howe’s daughter, Mary Amory (May 4, 1837-January 7, 1866).  The couple’s brief marriage produced one child, Hobart Amory Hare (September 22, 1862-June 15, 1931), a physician and author of medical texts.  The Hares spent parts of 1863 and 1864 in Michigan and Minnesota for Mary’s health.  Then, in 1864 Hare became the Vicar of the Church of the Ascension, Philadelphia,  He remained there until 1870, becoming rector in 1867.

Hare entered the missions field in 1870, when he became the Secretary and General Agent of the Foreign Committee of the Board of Missions.  He nearly left that job the following year, when the House of Bishops elected him to become the Missionary Bishop of Cape Palmas (in western Africa), but the House of Deputies concluded that he was invaluable in his then current position.  On All Saints’ Day 1872, however, the bishops elected him the Missionary Bishop of Niobrara, with a territory spanning the Dakotas.  The consecration occurred on January 9, 1873.

From 1873 to 1883 Hare administered the affairs of the Missionary District of Niobrara, ministering to Sioux and pioneers alike.  He divided the district into ten departments, each led by a priest.  This manner of organizing his see proved to be quite effective.  He wrote annual letters, published as pamphlets, to raise funds for the schools.  One such letter was Christian Schools Among the Indians:  Bishop Hare’s Circular (1874).

The Missionary District of Niobrara divided into the Missionary Districts of North and South Dakota in 1883.  Hare became the Missionary Bishop of South Dakota, a post he held for the rest of his life.  He oversaw a network of parochial schools and established his headquarters at Sioux Falls, South Dakota.  He lived in a wing of All Saints School (for Sioux and pioneer girls), near Calvary Episcopal Cathedral.  Our saint wrote of the schools one year in How the Church Schools in South Dakota Help Indian Boys and Girls.  (Archive.org provides 1850 as the date, but that is incorrect, for he would have been 11 or 12 years old at the time, and the document lists his title as Missionary Bishop of South Dakota.)

Hare’s job was demanding.  Nevertheless, our saint doubled as a missionary bishop in Japan in 1891 and in Japan and China in parts of 1891 and 1892, with a return to South Dakota separating those two tenures.  Furthermore, Hare’s health became an issue.  Thus he traveled in Europe from October 1895 to April 1896.  The work of the church in South Dakota continued, as another pamphlet, Indian Missions of the Protestant Episcopal Church in South Dakota:  Letter from Bishop Hare (1899), attested.  Hare eventually requested a bishop to assist him.  Answering that request affirmatively entailed altering the denominational canons.  In 1905 Frederick Foote Johnson (1866-1943) became the Assistant Bishop of South Dakota.

Hare visited sisters in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Atlantic City, New Jersey, from time to time.  He died at Atlantic City during one such visit on October 23, 1909.  He was 71 years old.

Johnson succeeded our saint as Missionary Bishop of South Dakota then left to become the Bishop Coadjutor of Missouri, serving under Daniel Sylvester Tuttle (1837-1923), Bishop of Missouri from 1886 to 1923 and Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church from 1903 to 1923.  Foote served as the Bishop of Missouri from 1923 to 1933, when he retired.

Archive.org is host to biographies of our saint and other published works by him:

  1. Reminiscences (1888);
  2. Addresses Relating to the Growth of the Church in the Missionary Jurisdiction of South Dakota:  From June, A.D. 1860 to June, A.D. 1898 (1898);
  3. Bishop Hare’s Indian Boarding Schools in South Dakota (1910);
  4. The Life and Labors of Bishop Hare:  Apostle to the Sioux (1914), by Mark Antony DeWolfe Howe (1864-1960), his late wife’s half-brother; and
  5. Zitkano Duzahan, Swift Bird:  The Indians’ Bishop; a Life of the Rt. Rev. William Hobart Hare (1915), by Mary B. Peabody.

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CONCLUSION

I ponder the contributions of these three men to the glory of God, to The Episcopal Church, to the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, and to the lives of the people they touched in positive ways then stand in awe of them.  These were men of God whose influences (both direct and indirect) was great.  I join others in standing on the shoulders of such giants.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 22, 2016 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT SYNCLETICA OF ALEXANDRIA, DESERT MOTHER

THE FEAST OF SAINT ABELARD OF CORBIE, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK

THE FEAST OF JOHN JULIAN, ANGLICAN PRIEST, HYMN WRITER, AND HYMNOLOGIST

THE FEAST OF SAINT VINCENT PALLOTTI, FOUNDER OF THE PALLTINES

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Heavenly Father, Shepherd of your people, we thank you for your servants

Thomas Bradbury Chandler, John Henry Hobart, and William Hobart Hare,

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

and we pray that, following their examples and the teaching of their holy lives,

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), page 718

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