Archive for the ‘Thomas Binney’ Tag

Feast of Edwin Paxton Hood (June 12)   Leave a comment

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Above:  Daisies for All, 1906

Image Copyrighted by E. W. Kelley

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-USZ62-56660

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EDWIN PAXTON HOOD (OCTOBER 24, 1820-JUNE 12, 1885)

English Congregationalist Minister, Philanthropist, and Hymn Writer

Today I add a biographer, hymn writer, philanthropist, and minister to the Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days.

Edwin Paxton Hood (1820-1885), the son of an able seaman and a domestic servant, became an orphan at a young age.  He had little formal education yet possessed an eager mind;  he was mostly self-educated.  At about age twenty Hood began to lecture about peace and temperance.  His oratorical skills helped greatly when he became an ordained Congregationalist minister in 1852.  And Hood remained a popular lecturer after his ordination.

Hood served various congregations, having to resign from one (Cavendish Street Church, Manchester) for political reasons; he belonged to the Liberal Party.  Finally Hood ministered at Falcon Street Church, Aldersgate Street, London, the city of his birth.

Hood was a prolific writer.  He edited and contributed to The Ecclectic and Congregational Review, composed texts for at least seventeen hymns , and wrote many popular books.  Among these were biographies of Oliver Cromwell, Emmanuel Swedenborg, and Thomas Binney.  One of Hood’s hymns was “God, Who Hath Made the Daisies” (1870), based on Matthew 19:13-15.  It debuted in The Children’s Choir (1870), which he edited.

God, who hath made the daisies,

And every lovely thing,

He will accept our praises,

And hearken while we sing.

He says, though we are simple,

Though ignorant we be,

“Suffer the little children,

And let them come to Me.”

—–

Though we are young and simple,

In praise we may be bold;

The children in the Temple

He heard in days of old;

And if our hearts are humble,

He says to you and me,

“Suffer the little children,

And let them come to Me.”

—–

He sees the bird that wingeth

Its way o’er earth and sky;

He hears the lark that singeth

Up in the heaven so high;

He sees the heart’s low breathings,

And says, well pleased to see,

“Suffer the little children,

And let them come to Me.”

—–

Therefore we will come near Him,

And joyfully we’ll sing;

No cause to shrink or fear Him,

We’ll make our voices ring;

For in our temple speaking,

He says to you and me,

“Suffer the little children,

And let them come to Me.”

Hood also devoted himself to philanthropic causes, especially the Royal Hospital for Incurables, founded by Andrew Reed in 1854.  That institution has become the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability.

Edwin Paxton Hood loved God with his mind, talents, and interests.  He, obeying our Lord and Savior’s instructions and following that great exemplar, helped others in practical ways.  Hood was a holy man, one whom I am proud to honor.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 24, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF THE MARTYRS OF ARMENIA

THE FEAST OF JOHANN WALTER, COMPOSER

THE FEAST OF THE SEVEN MARTYRS OF THE MELANESIAN BROTHERHOOD

THE FEAST OF WALTER RUSSELL BOWIE, EPISCOPAL PRIEST

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For Further Reading:

http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/webbin/book/lookupname?key=Hood%2c%20Edwin%20Paxton%2c%201820-1885

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O God, your Son came among us to serve and not to be served, and to give his life for the life of the world.

Lead us by his love to serve all those to whom the world offers no comfort and little help.

Through us give hope to the helpless,

love to the unloved,

peace to the troubled,

and rest to the weary,

through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord,

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

Hosea 2:18-23

Psalm 94:1-15

Romans 12:9-21

Luke 6:20-36

Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 60

Feast of Thomas Toke Lynch (May 9)   Leave a comment

Flag of England

Above:  Flag of England

THOMAS TOKE LYNCH (JULY 5, 1818-MAY 9, 1871)

English Congregationalist Minister and Hymn Writer

Thomas Toke Lynch (1818-1871), son of a doctor, entered the Congregationalist ministry.  An early pastorate, Highgate Independent Church, London (1847-1849), was a faltering assembly.  Lynch resigned from it then transferred to Mortimer Street Church (1849-1852) in the city.  That congregation relocated to Grafton Street; Lynch followed.  He resigned in 1856 due to ill health.

In 1855, 1856, and 1868, Lynch published editions of The Rivulet:  Hymns for Heart and Voice, so titled because, he wrote,

Christian poetry is indeed a river of the water of life, and to this river my rivulet brings its contribution.

Lynch intended for the contents of his volume for

stimulus and solace or to to sing in family and social communion.

He did not intend the controversy it caused in much of English Nonconformist Christianity.  The illustrious Thomas Binney defended Lynch, but Charles Spurgeon criticized Lynch’s alleged “negative theology” and “no-doctrine scheme.”  Lynch, a sensitive soul, replied,

We must conquer our foes by suffering them to crucify us, rather than by threatening them with crucifixion.

The controversy did disturb Lynch’s sensitive body and mind, undermining his already fragile health and hastening his death.

I have read excerpts from The Rivulet.  My opinion based on them is that Binney was correct.  Consider the following text from that volume, O reader:

Gracious Spirit, dwell with me!

I myself would gracious be;

And, with words that help and heal,

Would Thy life in mine reveal;

And, with actions bold and meek,

Would for Christ, my Saviour, speak.

—–

Truthful Spirit, dwell with me!

I myself would truthful be;

And, with wisdom kind and clear,

Let Thy life in mine appear;

And, with actions brotherly,

Speak my Lord’s sincerity.

—–

Tender Spirit, dwell with me!

I myself would tender be;

Shut my heart up like a flower

In temptation’s darksome hour;

Open it when shines the sun,

And His love by fragrance own.

—–

Holy Spirit, dwell with me!

I myself would holy be;

Separate from sin, I would

Choose and cherish all things good,

And whatever I can be

Give to Him who gave me Thee.

Improved health permitted Lynch to resume this ministry with his old congregation, relocated to Gower Street, London, in 1860, and to remain with it when the assembly moved again, becoming Mornington Church.  He died in that post.  His last words were,

Now I am going to begin to live.

James Moffatt wrote of Lynch:

His personal appearance was peculiar, and his preaching was far from popular, but he gathered round him by the individuality, freshness and spirituality of his pulpit work a congregation of thoughtful and devoted people.

Handbook to the Church Hymnary (Oxford University Press, 1927), page 409

I find myself drawn to the life Thomas Toke Lynch because of (A) his sensitive spirit and (B) the harsh criticism he endured.  Some people have said that I do not have “a mean bone” in my body.  This is true.  It was also true of Lynch.  I wish that I could say the same accurately about Charles Spurgeon.

I do draw a lesson from the Rivulet controversy:  We need to choose our words and tones of voice carefully, for we ought to be mindful of the impact we have on others.  Each of us should strive, as Lynch did, to live up the following words he wrote:

I myself would gracious be;

And, with words that help and heal,

Would Thy life in mine reveal;

And, with actions bold and meek,

Would for Christ, my Saviour, speak.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 20, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF CHRISTOPHER WORDSWORTH, HYMN WRITER AND ANGLICAN BISHOP OF LINCOLN

THE FEAST OF SAINT CUTHBERT, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF LINDISFARNE

THE FEAST OF ELIZA SIBBALD ALDERSON, POET AND HYMN WRITER; AND JOHN BACCHUS DYKES, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND HYMN WRITER

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For Further Reading:

http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/webbin/book/lookupname?key=Lynch%2c%20Thomas%20T%2e%20%28Thomas%20Toke%29%2c%201818-1871

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Eternal God, light of the world and Creator of all that is good and lovely:

We bless your name for inspiring Thomas Toke Lynch

and all who with words have filled us with desire and love for you,

through Jesus Christ our Savior, who with you and the Holy Spirit

lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

1 Chronicles 29:14b-19

Psalm 90:14-17

2 Corinthians 3:1-3

John 21:15-17, 24-25

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 728

Feast of Thomas Binney (February 28)   2 comments

Union Jack

Above:  The Union Jack

Image in the Public Domain

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THOMAS BINNEY (APRIL 30, 1798-FEBRUARY 24, 1874)

English Congregationalist Minister, Liturgist, and “Archbishop of Nonconformity”

Thomas Binney, raised in a Presbyterian family, educated himself while apprenticing under a bookseller.  The saint became a Congregationalist (notnfar from the tree; still Reformed), studied at the theological seminary at Coward College, Wymondley, Herts, and became an ordained minister.  He served congregations at Bedford, then the Isle of Wight before becoming senior pastor of Weigh House Chapel (founded in 1695), London, where he had a reputation as one of the greatest preachers in England.

Binney was a man of strong opinions.  He opposed slavery actively.   He also argued against The Church of England vigorously while being on friendly terms with some C of E bishops and participating in at least one interdenominational service with one in Australia.  Binney might have thought that The Church of England had damned more souls than it had saved, but he did not find everyone in it objectionable.  (Aside:  I, as an Episcopalian, have a different opinion of The Church of England.)  Binney also pioneered a relatively high order of worship, introducing chants and anthems into the services at Weigh House Chapel.  That was radical by the standards of the day, given the historic Calvinist principle of Jure Divino and how many adherents had interpreted it for so long.  He also published Historical Sketches on the Liturgical Forms of the Reformed Churches, by Charles W. Baird, of New York, New York.    The saint wrote the introduction and an appendix, asking,

Are Dissenters to have a Liturgy?

Binney also wrote many devotional poems–

cart loads,

he said.  Among them was “Eternal Light, which he composed at Newport, Isle of Wight, in 1826.

Eternal Light! Eternal Light!

How pure that soul must be,

When, placed within thy searching sight,

It shrinks not, but with calm delight

Can live, and look on thee.

O how shall I, whose native sphere

Is dark, whose mid is dim,

Before the Ineffable appear,

And on my naked spirit bear

The uncreated beam?

There is no way for man to rise

To that sublime abode;

An offering and a sacrifice,

A Holy Spirit’s energies,

An Advocate with God:

These, these prepare us for the sight

Of holiness above:

The sons of ignorance and night

May dwell in the eternal Light,

Through the eternal Love!

Binney also headed the Congregational Union of England and Wales, which, along with the former Presbyterian Church of England, has become part of The United Reformed Church.

The congregation of Weigh House Chapel disbanded in 1966.  Their former building has become home of the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Family in Exile.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 17, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF MARIA STEWART, EDUCATOR

THE FEAST OF EGLANTYNE JEBB, FOUNDER OF SAVE THE CHILDREN

THE FEAST OF FRANK MASON NORTH, U.S. METHODIST MINISTER

THE FEAST OF SAINT OLYMPIAS, ORTHODOX DEACONESS

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

thank you for those (especially Thomas Binney)

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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Revised on December 9, 2016

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