Archive for the ‘The Handbook to the Lutheran Hymnal (1942)’ Tag

Feast of William Bingham Tappan (June 18)   Leave a comment

American Sunday School Union

Above:  An Advertisement from the Pittsburgh Daily Post, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, May 24, 1848, Page 4

Accessed via newspapers.com

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WILLIAM BINGHAM TAPPAN (OCTOBER 24 OR 29, 1794-JUNE 18, 1849)

U.S. Congregationalist Minister, Poet, and Hymn Writer

William Bingham Tappan comes to my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days via The Pilgrim Hymnal (1931/1935).

Our saint came from a Congregationalist family of New England.  He had a younger brother, Daniel Dana Tappan (1798-1890), who became a prominent Congregationalist minister.  Daniel, like his older brother, wrote poetry, such as “The Prince of Peace” (1889).  The brothers’ parents were Samuel Tappan (a schoolmaster) and Aurelia Bingham Tappan, who married on April 26, 1789, at Beverly, Massachusetts.  Our saint, christened on November 9, 1794, at Beverly, grew up with both parents until April 29, 1806, when his father died.  Our saint was 12 years old and in the sixth grade at Portsmouth, New Hampshire.  That event changed Tappan’s life.  Out of necessity he dropped out of school, moved to Boston, Massachusetts, and apprenticed himself to a clock maker.  There he remained for nine years, until 1815.  In Boston Tappan, in the words of The Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal (1942), “fell in with evil companions” (page 587).  Aurelia prayed for him and helped to rescue him from a life defined by bad choices.

Tappan, as an adult on the straight and narrow path, lived in various places.  He worked in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from 1815 to 1818.  Then he studied in Somerville, New Jersey, for a time.  Next, from 1819 to 1826, he taught in Philadelphia.  On August 31, 1822, our saint married Amelia Colton (1796-1886).  In 1826, at Philadelphia, he became superintendent of the American Sunday School Union, founded two years earlier.  Tappan worked for that organization for the rest of his life, traveling extensively to speak on behalf of the religious education of children and youth.  He relocated to Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1829, moved back to Philadelphia in 1834, and settled in Boston in 1838.  Tappan became a Congregationalist minister in 1841.

The Second Great Awakening had stimulated the growth of Sunday schools, some of which overshadowed worship services in certain locations.  There was a need for educational materials suitable for this movement.  Although the American Sunday School Union was an ecumenical organization, its theological orientation was heavily Reformed.  In fact, state branches in New England functioned as branches of the Congregationalist Church.

Tappan wrote poems and published collections of them.  They were:

  1. New England, and Other Poems (1819),
  2. Lyrics (1822),
  3. Poems (1822),
  4. Lyric Poems (1826),
  5. The Poems of William B. Tappan (1834),
  6. The Poems of William B. Tappan, Not Contained in a Former Volume (1836),
  7. The Poet’s Tribute:  Poems of William B. Tappan (1840),
  8. Poems and Lyricks (1842),
  9. The Daughter of the Isles, and Other Poems (1844),
  10. Poetry of the Heart (1845),
  11. The Sunday School, and Other Poems (1848),
  12. Sacred and Early Poems (1848), and
  13. Late and Early Poems (1849).

Later volumes of Tappan’s verse included the following:

  1. Poetry of Life (1850), and
  2. Gems of Sacred Poetry (1860).

Tappan’s work appeared in various collections, including volumes of hymns with temperance and antislavery themes.  Some of his poems also graced Lyra Americana, or, Verses of Praise and Faith from American Poets (1865), selected and edited by the Rev. George T. Rider, M.A.

Most of Tappan’s hymns have fallen into disuse since the 1800s.  This is unfortunate, for the quality of his texts far exceeds that of most contemporary contributions to hymnals.  One text from 1818 follows:

There is an hour of peaceful rest;

To mourning wanderers given;

There is a joy for souls distrest;

A balm for every wounded breast:

‘Tis found above–in heaven.

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There is a soft, a downy bed,

‘Tis fair as breath of even;

A couch for weary mortals spread

Where they may rest the aching head

And find repose–in heaven.

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There is a home for weary souls,

By sin and sorrow driven,–

When tossed on life’s tempestuous shoals,

Where storms arise and ocean rolls,

And all is drear–but heaven.

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There faith lifts up her cheerful eye,

To brighter prospects given;

And views the tempest passing by,

The evening shadows quickly fly,

And all serene–in heaven.

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There fragrant flowers immortal bloom,

And joys supreme are given;

There rays divine disperse the gloom;

Beyond the confines of the tomb

Appears the dawn of heaven.

The following text dates to 1822:

‘Tis midnight; and on Olive’s brow

The star is dimm’d that lately shone:

‘Tis midnight; in the garden now

The suff’ring Saviour prays alone.

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‘Tis midnight; and, from all removed,

Emmanuel wrestles lone with fears:

E’en the disciple that he loved

Heeds not his Master’s grief and tears.

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‘Tis midnight; and, for others’ guilt,

The Man of Sorrows weeps in blood:

Yet he that hath in anguish knelt

Is not forsaken by his God.

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‘Tis midnight; from the heav’nly plains

Is borne the song that angels know:

Unheard by mortals are the strains

That sweetly soothe the Saviour’s woe.

Tappan’s mother, Aurelia, died in 1846, aged 77 years.  He followed her in death on June 18, 1849, at West Needham, Massachusetts.  He was 54 years old, and the cause of death was cholera.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

FEBRUARY 5, 2016 COMMON ERA

THE SAINT OF SAINT AVITUS OF VIENNE, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF EDWARD HAYES PLUMPTRE, ANGLICAN PRIEST

THE FEAST OF THE MARTYRS OF JAPAN

THE FEAST OF SAINTS PHILEAS AND PHILOROMUS, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYRS

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

William Bingham Tappan 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 Johann(es) Matthaus Meyfart (November 9)   Leave a comment

Fort, Coburg

Above:  The Fort, Coburg, Thuringia, Germany, 1890

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-ppmsca-01086

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JOHANN(ES) MATTHAUS MEYFART (NOVEMBER 9, 1590-JANUARY 26, 1642)

German Lutheran Educator and Devotional Writer

I grew up in rural United Methodist congregations in southern Georgia, U.S.A., in the 1980s and early 1990s.   The dominant form of piety in those churches was akin to that one found in neighboring Southern Baptist churches.  It was like that old joke that Methodists are Baptists who can read.  Then, in late 1991, I became an Episcopalian, for my inherent piety was closer to Roman Catholicism yet somewhat Protestant.  Five years later, shortly before the presidential election, I watched a dual biography of President Bill Clinton and Senator Robert Dole on public television.  The narrator described the nature of United Methodism in Kansas, prompting me to think that I preferred that to the character of United Methodism in rural southern Georgia.  A few years ago I started exploring Lutheranism via books, such as the Book of Concord and various service books-hymnals.  I have enjoyed this ongoing process, which has convinced me that German and Scandinavian hymnody is superior to the one inflicted upon me as a child.  Unfortunately, that inferior hymnody has been pursuing me even into The Episcopal Church during the last few years, prompting me sometimes to resort to speaking in two languages within one conversation, using French strategically.  On other occasions I have maintained a passive-aggressive silence instead.  But I digress, as much as I remain an unrepentant European classicist.

Johann(es) Matthaus Meyfart (1590-1642) contributed to the treasures of Lutheran hymnody.  His father was a Lutheran pastor at Wahlwinkel, near Gotha, in the Holy Roman Empire.  Our saint’s mother was visiting her parents at Jena when she gave birth on November 9, 1590.  Meyfart studied at the Universities of Wittenberg and Jena (M.A., 1611; D.D. 1624).  His career was mainly an academic one.  He taught philosophy at Jena for a few years before moving to Coburg in 1616.  There he served as a professor at the gymnasium until becoming director in 1623.  At that school, as The Handbook to the Lutheran Hymnal (1942) informs me,

he had great moral power.

–Page 546

To state that differently, in the words of The Hymnal 1940 Companion (1949),

he exerted a remarkable influence on all his pupils.

–Page 504

Our saint’s tenure at Coburg ended due to his dissertation on church discipline, De Disciplina Ecclesiastica (1633).  Many of his colleagues complained to the government because they disagreed with the dissertation’s contents.

The future Duke Ernst I of Gotha came to Meyfart’s rescue, offering him a new position.  Our saint became a professor of theology at the University of Erfurt.  In 1634 he became the Rector of the University.  And, starting in 1636, Meyfart served as the pastor of the Prediger Church in town.  Controversy followed our saint, for another writing on the subject of church discipline caused problems for him at Erfurt.  These controversies affected Meyfart adversely.

Meyfart seemed drawn to controversies.  He wrote a text, Anti-Becanus, in the context of a debate with Martin Becanus (1563-1624), a Jesuit, regarding Socinianism.  Becanus condemned not only Socinianism but all Protestant theology.  He and Meyfart, therefore, had the denunciation of Socinianism in common.  Our saint, however, was a Lutheran, therefore in a position to argue against Becanus.

Socinianism is multi-faceted; here is a partial explanation:

  1. The Roman Catholic Church condemns Socinianism as a heresy.
  2. Socinianism teaches that Jesus was purely human nature, that God adopted him as the Son of God, that Jesus embodied the Word or will of God, that Jesus is nevertheless worthy of adoration, and that God bestowed the government of the world on him after the Ascension.
  3. Therefore Socinianism denies the Holy Trinity.  In fact, Socinianism influenced the development of Unitarian theology, especially with regard to the nature of Jesus.

Meyfart wrote devotional works, from which hymns came.  These books indicated great literary skill and a firm grasp of theology.  Eduard Emil Koch (1809-1871) wrote of Meyfart in 1871.  Our saint was

a German Dante, full of learning and fantasy, an individual that one would seldom encounter anywhere.

The Handbook to the Lutheran Hymnal (1941) indicated that these devotional books were

noted for their vivid portrayals and their earnest calls to repentance and amendment of life.

–Page 546

One of Meyfart’s hymns, drawn from Tuba Novissima (1626), exists in English in various translations and altered forms thereof.  Catherine Winkworth (1827-1878) published her translation in the second volume of her Lyra Germanica (1858).  (Consult pages 237-239, O reader.)  The Lutheran Hymnal (1941) contains an altered version of the Winkworth translation as “Jerusalem, Thou City Fair and High.”  The Lutheran Book of Worship (1978) calls the hymn “Jerusalem, Whose Towers Touch the Skies.”  Lutheran Worship (1982) and the Lutheran Service Book (2006) list the hymn as “Jerusalem, O City Fair and High.”  William Rollinson Whittingham (1805-1879), Episcopal Bishop of Maryland from 1840 to 1879, prepared his own translation, which debuted in Hymns for Church and Home, Compiled by Members of the Protestant Episcopal Church, as a Contribution to Any Addition That May Be Made to the Hymns Now Attached to the Prayer-Book (1860):

Jerusalem! high tower thy glorious walls,

Would God I were in thee!

Desire of thee my longing heart enthralls,

Desire at home to be;

Wide from the world outleaping,

O’er hill and vale and plain,

My soul’s strong wing is sweeping

Thy portals to attain.

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O gladsome day and yet more gladsome hour!

When shall that hour have come

When my rejoicing soul its own free power

May use in going home,

Itself to Jesus giving

In trust to his own hand,

To dwell among the living

In that blest fatherland?

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A moment’s time, the twinkling of an eye

Shall be enough, to soar

In buoyant exultation, through the sky

And reach the heavenly shore.

Elijah’s chariot bringing

The homeward traveller there;

Glad troops of angels winging

It onward through the air.

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Great fastness thou of honor! thee I greet!

Throw wide thy gracious gate,

An entrance free to give these longing feet;

At last released, though late,

From wretchedness and sinning,

And life’s long weary way;

And now, of God’s gift, winning

Eternity’s bright day.

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What throng is this, what noble troop, that pours,

Arrayed in beauteous guise,

Out through the glorious city’s open doors,

To greet my wondering eyes?

The host of Christ’s elected,

The jewels that he bears

In his own crown, selected

To wipe away my tears.

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Of prophets great, and patriarchs high, a band

That once has borne the cross,

With all the company that won that land,

By counting gain for loss,

Now float in freedom’s lightness,

From tyrant’s chains set free;

And shine like suns in brightness,

Arrayed to welcome me.

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Once more at last arrived they welcome there,

To beauteous Paradise;

Where sense can scarce its full fruition bear

Or tongue for praise suffice;

Glad hallelujahs ringing

With rapturous rebound,

And rich hosannahs singing

Eternity’s long round.

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Unnumbered choirs before the Lamb’s high throne

There shout the jubilee,

With loud resounding peal and sweetest tone,

In blissful ecstasy:

A hundred thousand voices

Take up the wondrous song;

Eternity rejoices

God’s praises to prolong.

Meyfart died at Erfurt on January 26, 1642.

Reading about Meyfart reminds me of the fact that many gems of German Lutheran hymnody do not exist in any English-language translation.  That fact makes me with that the opposite were true.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 22, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF RICHARD BIGGS, ACTOR

THE FEAST OF GEORG GOTTFRIED MULLER, GERMAN-AMERICAN MORAVIAN MINISTER AND COMPOSER

THE FEAST OF JULIA BULKLEY CADY CORY, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN HYMN WRITER

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

Johann(es) Matthaus Meyfart 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 Gottfried Wilhelm Sacer and Frances Elizabeth Cox (September 8)   2 comments

Holy Roman Empire 1648

Above:  The Holy Roman Empire, 1648

Image Source = Hammond’s World Atlas–Classics Edition (1967)

Scan by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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GOTTFRIED WILHELM SACER (JULY 11, 1635-SEPTEMBER 8, 1699)

German Lutheran Attorney and Hymn Writer

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FRANCES ELIZABETH COX (MAY 10, 1812-SEPTEMBER 23, 1897)

English Hymn Writer and Translator

With this post I add two holy people–a pious lawyer and the translator of at least one of his hymns–to the Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days.

Gottfried Wilhelm Sacer (1635-1699), among the greatest hymn writers of his generation, was a native of Naumberg, Saxony, where his father was the senior burgomaster.  The saint was a capable poet from an early age.  For his literary ability he received honors from the Emperor of Austria later in life.  Sacer wrote 65 hymns, which his son-in-law published as Geistliche Liebliche Lieder (1714).  The Handbook to the Lutheran Hymnal (1942) described his hymns as having

poetic flow, dramatic force, euphony of expression, Scriptural content, and excellent style.

–page 573

And most of them have remained untranslated from German into English.

Sacer’s day job was usually in law, but sometimes in education.  He studied law and philosophy at the University of Jena from 1655 to 1657.  Then he tutored some young noblemen until 1665, when he started his two years of military service.  A tour (with some young noblemen from Holstein) of Denmark and Holland followed immediately upon our saint’s return to civilian life.  By 1670 he was practicing law at Brunswick.  He received his J.D. degree the following year.  Sacer relocated to Wolfenbuttel in 1683; there remained for the rest of his life.  At first he was the lawyer of the exchequer; he advanced to the position of counselor of the exchequer after seven years.  Our saint did much pro bono work for poor clients and earned a reputation as a statesman and a conscientious lawyer.

Unfortunately, only one of Sacer’s hymns seems to be in use in the English-speaking world today.  That means that up to 64 gems of Sacer’s composition are not in use in the English-speaking world.  At least we have “Lo! God to Heaven Ascendeth” (1665), which Frances Elizabeth Cox (1812-1897) translated.  It is a text for the Feast of the Ascension.

Information about the life of Ms. Cox is scarce.  I can, in fact, state just a few facts about her:

  1. She entered the world at Oxford, England, on May 10, 1812.
  2. Her father was George V. Cox.
  3. She earned her reputation as one of the finest translators of German hymns into English.
  4. One Baron Bunsen, the Prussian ambassador to the United Kingdom from 1841 to 1854, was one of her friends.  He suggested texts for her to translate.
  5. She translated about 80 texts.
  6. She published Sacred Hymns from the German (1841), containing 49 texts.
  7. She published Hymns from the German (1864), containing 56 texts.
  8. She also wrote hymns, few of which have survived.
  9. She was apparently a devout Anglican.
  10. She died at Headington, England, on September 23, 1897.

I have added three of her translations to my GATHERED PRAYERS weblog.  Other wonderful hymn translations by Ms. Cox include:

  1. “Sing Praise to God Who Reigns Above” (1864),
  2. “Heavenward Still Our Pathway Leads” (1841),
  3. “Who Are These Like Stars Appearing” (1841), and
  4. “Jesus Lives! Thy Terrors Now” (1864).

These two saints left fine legacies.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 12, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE SECOND SUNDAY OF EASTER, YEAR B

THE FEAST OF ALFRED LEE, PRESIDING BISHOP OF THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH

THE FEAST OF SAINT JULIUS I, BISHOP OF ROME

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM SLOANE COFFIN, SOCIAL ACTIVIST

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

Gottfried Wilhelm Sacer, Frances Elizabeth Cox, and others,

who have composed and/or translated 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 William Morton Reynolds (September 5)   Leave a comment

Pennsylvania College, Gettysburg, August 1863

Above:  Pennsylvania College, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, August 1863

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-ppmsca-35100

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WILLIAM MORTON REYNOLDS (MARCH 4, 1812-SEPTEMBER 5, 1876)

U.S. Lutheran Minister, Episcopal Priest, Educator, and Hymn Translator

The name of William Morton Reynolds came to my attention via W. G. Polack, The Handbook to the Lutheran Hymnal, Second Edition (1942).  I am glad that it did.

Reynolds, son of a veteran of the U.S. War for Independence, was a native of Fayette County, Pennsylvania.  He attended Lutheran Theological Seminary, Gettysburg (1828-1830), and Jefferson College, Canonsburg (1830-1832).  Reynolds taught in New Jersey for a year (1832-1833) before becoming the principal of the preparatory department of and Professor of Latin at Pennsylvania College, Gettysburg (1833-1835).  He resigned due to concerns that his abolitionist stance on slavery would alienate Southern donors.  Thus our saint, licensed to preach in 1835 and ordained in the Ministerium of Pennsylvania the following year, served as the pastor of a Lutheran church in Deerfield, New Jersey, for about a year.

Our saint spent most of his career as an educator.  Pennsylvania College called him back to his old job in 1836; there he remained until 1850, when he became the President of Capital University, Columbus, Ohio, the seminary of the Joint Synod of Ohio and Other States.  In 1853 Reynolds left Capital University to become the principal of a female seminary in Easton, Pennyslvania.  After that he served as the principal of a classical school (a forerunner of Muhlenberg College) in Allentown, Pennsylvania.  From 1857 to 1860 our saint served as the President of Illinois State University.  His next post was principal of a female seminary in Chicago.

Reynolds–abolitionist, educator, and liturgist–supported progressive causes in the context of doctrinal orthodoxy.  (There were always prominent Lutherans to his right, however.  He was, therefore, slightly to the right of the Lutheran center at the time.)

  1. Abolitionism, although widely accepted today, was controversial in the 1800s.  It was, sadly, never a majority opinion (even in the North) during the antebellum period.  Other antislavery positions, such as colonization, free soil, and free labor, competed in the marketplace of antislavery arguments.  Many Northerners, however, did not object to slavery.
  2. As for internal Lutheran politics,  the relationship between the Ministerium of Pennsylvania (founded in 1748), the oldest Lutheran jurisdiction in the United States, and the General Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the U.S.A. (1820-1918) was tense.  The Ministerium, a charter member of the General Synod, departed in 1823, citing doctrinal concerns.  It returned thirty years later, only to leave again in 1864, citing doctrinal concerns.  The Ministerium helped to form the more conservative General Council of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in North America (1867-1918).  The General Synod and the General Council were two of the three bodies which reunited to form the United Lutheran Church in America (1918-1962).  Our saint’s ordination came via the Ministerium in 1836, as I have written already.  Six years later he was chiefly responsible for the formation of the East Pennsylvania Synod, which affiliated with the General Synod and covered the same territory as the Ministerium.
  3. Reynolds and Charles Philip Krauth founded and edited the Evangelical Review, the first issue of which rolled off the presses in July 1849.  The Review was a publication devoted to doctrinal orthodoxy, as Reynolds and Krauth understood it.  Many of our saint’s English-language translations of German hymns appeared in the Review.

Reynolds was a liturgist. He served on the committee which produced Hymns, Original and Selected, for Public and Private Use, in the Evangelical Lutheran Church (1850), a hymnal of the General Synod.  And, as I indicated above, he translated German hymns.  Locating unaltered versions of his translations in my large collection of hymnals (many of them old) has proven challenging.  Even The Lutheran Hymnal (1941) contains an altered translation.  I did find an unaltered text in The Lutheran Hymnary (1935), however.  The last three stanzas of a Christmas hymn, “Come, Thou Savior of Our Race,” a text originally in Latin, were, according to Reynolds:

From the Father forth He came,

And returneth to the same,

Captive leading death and hell:

High the song of triumph tell.

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Equal to the Father now,

Though to dust Thou once didst bow;

Boundless shall Thy kingdom be:

When shall we its glories see?

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Brightly doth Thy manger shine,

Glorious is its light divine:

Let not sin o’ercloud this light,

Ever be our faith thus bright.

Reynolds became an Episcopal priest in 1864 and spent the rest of his life in parish ministry.  He served as the Rector of St. Paul’s Church, Warsaw, Illinois (1865-1871), and Christ Church, Oak Park (then called Harlem), Illinois (1872-1876).  Our saint’s academic pursuits continued, as his annotated translation (1874) of A History of New Sweden; or, the Settlements on the River Delaware, by Israel Acrelius, attests.

The legacy of William Morton Reynolds is a fine one.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 12, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE SECOND SUNDAY OF EASTER, YEAR B

THE FEAST OF ALFRED LEE, PRESIDING BISHOP OF THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH

THE FEAST OF SAINT JULIUS I, BISHOP OF ROME

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM SLOANE COFFIN, SOCIAL ACTIVIST

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Holy God, whose majesty surpasses all human definitions and capacity to grasp,

thank you for those (especially William Morton Reynolds)

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 John Bajus (August 13)   1 comment

Flag of Slovakia

Above:  Flag of Slovakia

Image in the Public Domain

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JOHN BAJUS (APRIL 5, 1901-AUGUST 14, 1971)

U.S. Lutheran Minister and Hymn Translator

Emigration of Lutherans from Slovakia to the United States in the late 1800s led to the establishment of a new denomination in 1902.  The Slovak Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Augsburg Confession in the U.S.A. renamed itself the Slovak Evangelical Lutheran Synod of the U.S.A. in 1913.  This body became the Slovak Evangelical Lutheran Church in 1945 then the Synod of Evangelical Lutheran Churches in 1959.  Finally, in 1971, it merged into the The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod and became the SELC District thereof.

John Bajus, born into a Slovak-American Lutheran family at Raritan, New Jersey, on April 5, 1901, lived for slightly longer that the Slovak Synod existed.  He graduated from Concordia Institute (now College), Bronxville, New York, in 1921.  Four years later he graduated from Concordia Theological Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri, and became an ordained minister of the Slovak Synod, then the Slovak Evangelical Lutheran Synod in the U.S.A.  He served at St. John Church, Granite City, Illinois, then at the West Frankfort-Stanton, Illinois, parish.  His biography from the 1942 Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal (1941) mentioned these congregations.  By 1949 Bajus was at Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, Chicago, Illinois.  The congregation moved to Norridge in 1963; our saint remained the pastor there until 1971, the year of his death.  His son, Luther John Bajus, a 1953 graduate of Concordia Theological Seminary, became the pastor at Zion Church on October 21, 1971.  He remains the minister there as of the typing of this post.

Our saint served on the synodical and intersynodical levels also.  He, a charter member of the Slovak Luther League in 1927, was its president from 1928 to 1930, its field secretary from 1928 to 1930 and again from 1933 to 1935, and the editor of its Courier from 1929 to 1946.  In 1949 Bajus became the Vice President and Statistician of the Slovak Synod, then the Slovak Evangelical Lutheran Church.  And he served on the committee for The Lutheran Hymnal (1941), which contains four of his translations.  I have added some of his translations to my GATHERED PRAYERS weblog.

Here is our saint’s 1940 translation of an anonymous mid-seventeenth century hymn:

Lo, Judah’s Lion wins the strife

And reigns o’er death to give us life.

Hallelujah!

Oh, let us sing His praises!

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‘Tis He whom David did portray

When he did strong Goliath slay.

Hallelujah!

Oh, sing with gladsome voices!

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Like Samson, Christ great strength employed

And conquered hell, its gates destroyed.

Hallelujah!

Oh, let us sing His praises!

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The power of death He brake in twain

When He to life arose again.

Hallelujah!

To Him all praise be given!

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He led to freedom all oppressed

And pardon won for sin-distressed.

Hallelujah!

Oh, praise Him for His mercy!

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In festal spirit, song, and word,

To Jesus, our victorious Lord,

Hallelujah!

All praise and thanks be rendered.

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All honor, glory, praise be given

Our Triune God, who reigns in heaven.

Hallelujah!

Now gladly sing we:  Amen.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

FEBRUARY 10, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT BENEDICT OF ANIANE, RESTORER OF WESTERN MONASTICISM; AND SAINT ARDO, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT

THE FEAST OF HENRY WILLIAMS BAKER, ANGLICAN PRIEST

THE FEAST OF PHILIP ARMES, ANGLICAN CHURCH ORGANIST

THE FEAST OF SAINT SCHOLASTICA, ABBESS AT PLOMBARIOLA

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

John Bajus and others, who have translated 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 Adam of St. Victor (August 5)   Leave a comment

Abbey of St. Victor, Paris (Late 1700s)

Above:  Abbey of St. Victor, Late 1700s

Image in the Public Domain

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ADAM OF ST. VICTOR (DIED BETWEEN 1172 AND 1192)

Roman Catholic Monk and Hymn Writer

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Christians, come, in sweetest measures,

Sing of those who spread the treasures

In the holy Gospels shrined;

Blessed tidings of salvation,

Peace on earth their proclamation,

Love from God to lost mankind.

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See the rivers four that gladden

With their streams the better Eden,

Planted by our Savior dear.

Christ the Fountain, these the waters,

Drink, O Zion’s sons and daughters;

Drink and find salvation here.

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Here our souls, by Jesus sated,

More and more shall be translated

Earth’s temptations far above;

Freed from sin’s abhorred dominion,

Soaring on angelic pinion,

They shall reach the Source of love.

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Then shall thanks and praise ascending

For Thy mercies without ending

Rise to Thee, O Savior blest.

With Thy gracious aid defend us,

Let Thy guiding light attend us,

Bring us to Thy place of rest.

–In W. G. Polack, The Handbook to the Lutheran Hymnal, Second and Revised Edition (St. Louis, MO:  Concordia Publishing House, 1942), page 206; translation altered from Robert Campbell, Hymns and Anthems for Use in the Holy Services of the Church within the United Diocese of St. Andrews (1850)

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The original Latin text (in ten stanzas) begins

Iucundare, plebs fidelis.

The author of that text was Adam of St. Victor, of whom we lack much information.  This is a common difficulty in history, the study of the past, for documentation is frequently lacking.

We do know some facts about our saint, however.  People who knew him called him “Brito,” indicating that he was either a Briton or a Breton.  Adam, educated at Paris, entered the Abbey of St. Victor, a center of learning at Paris, in 1130, when he was a young man.  He remained there for the rest of his life.  He composed prose works, hymns, and sequences for the Mass.  At least 106 hymns and sequences he wrote he survive.  Perhaps he wrote more which remain, but without his name on them.  And who know how many have not survived the ravages of time?  We do have three volumes (I, II, and III) of Adam’s liturgical poetry (with English translations), fortunately.

Archbishop Richard Chevinix Trench (1807-1886) included some of Adam’s Latin texts, including the basis of the English translation I quoted at the beginning of this post, in Sacred Latin Poetry (first edition, 1849; second edition, 1864; third edition, 1874).  Trench included a biographical sketch of Adam on pages 53-61 of the second edition.  In the same edition one can find untranslated texts by our saint on pages 62-83, 111-113, 123-128, 153-156, 161-181, 187-194, 202-205, 212-216, 219-220, and 227-233.

Trench wrote that Adam of St. Victor was

the foremost among the sacred poets of the Middle Ages.

The great Medieval sacred poet has become the newest addition to the Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

FEBRUARY 8, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FIFTH SUNDAY AFTER THE EPIPHANY, YEAR B

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOSEPHINE BAKHITA, ROMAN CATHOLIC NUN

THE FEAST OF SAINTS JOHN OF MATHA AND FELIX OF VALOIS, FOUNDERS OF THE ORDER OF THE MOST HOLY TRINITY

THE FEAST WINFIELD SCOTT HANCOCK, U.S. ARMY GENERAL

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Holy God, whose majesty surpasses all human definitions and capacity to grasp,

thank you for those (especially Adam of St. Victor)

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 Heinrich Lonas (June 30)   Leave a comment

Neuwied

Above:  Neuweid, Germany, Southwest of Bonn

Scanned from the Rand McNally World Atlas–Imperial Edition (1968)

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HEINRICH LONAS (MARCH 26, 1838-MARCH 30-1903)

German Moravian Organist, Composer, and Liturgist

Heinrich Lonas (1838-1903), born at Herrnhut, the Moravian Church headquarters in Saxony, Germany, studied music at Herrnhut and nearby Zittau.  He served as the organ sit at Herrnhut from 1856 to 1870.  Then, from 1870 to 1873, he worked as the organist and an instructor at Schmidt Conservatory in Berlin.  Lonas spent the last thirty years of his life as the organist at Neuwied.  His wider influences came via his compositions (choral anthems) and the revised German Choralbuch, based on the classic Choralbuch (1784) of Christian Gregor (1723-1801), the Father of Moravian Music.  Lonas retained much of Gregor’s work and supplemented it with more recent material.  Our saint wrote one anthem, “Heilig, Heilig, Heilig ist Gott der Herr” (1892), with brass music, for the three hundredth anniversary of the birthday of John Amos Comenius (1592-1670), the Father of Modern Education.

Here ends the June run of “new” Moravian saints; more will follow in the July run.  I have scheduled more “new” saints with June dates, taken notes on some of them, and drafted posts on several of those.  I also have yet to take notes on some of the other “new” saints of June.  One step in the process of adding some of these “new” saints to the Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days will be to add more hymn texts to my GATHERED PRAYERS.  The names of the remaining “new” saints for June come from The Handbook to the Lutheran Hymnal (1942), the companion volume to The Lutheran Hymnal (1941).  Hymnal companion volumes, I have found, are excellent sources for names for my calendar of saints.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 9, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS PEPIN ON LANDEN, ITTA OF METZ, THEIR RELATIONS, AMAND, AUSTREGISILUS, AND SULPICIUS II OF BOURGES, FAITHFUL CHRISTIANS ACROSS GENERATIONAL LINES

THE FEAST OF SAINT ADRIAN OF CANTERBURY, ABBOT

THE FEAST OF SAINT ANTHONY MARY PUCCI, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST

THE FEAST OF JULIA CHESTER EMERY, NATIONAL SECRETARY OF THE WOMEN’S AUXILIARY OF THE BOARD OF MISSIONS, THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH

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Holy God, whose majesty surpasses all human definitions and capacity to grasp,

thank you for those (especially Heinrich Lonas)

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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