Thursday, 7 August 2008

Thursday 7 August 2008

Today we commemorate the hymn writer J M Neale. I spoke a little about him at the Holy Communion service:

  • J M Neale Hymn Writer 1866
  • Today we commemorate John Mason Neale – died today age 48 in 1866
  • Familiar to Anglicans from small print in hymn books
    • All glory laud and honour

    • O come O come Emmanuel

    • Christ is made the sure foundation

  • Prolific – one-tenth of English Hymnal are his

  • Born 1818 – educated Sherborne and Trinity Cambridge – ordained 1841

  • Dogged by ill health all life – appointed incumbent of Crawley Sussex but health broke down before the institution service

    • Recuperated 3 years Madeira

    • Never able to take up parish ministry

    • Became Warden of Almshouse for rest of life

  • Interested in orthodox church liturgy – was anglo-catholic when it was fashionable to imitate the RC church – founded largest Anglican religious community for women dedicated to education of girls and nursing the sick

    • More hymn translator than writer

    • Almost all translations from old Latin or Greek texts

    • Hardly any original works

    • Hard to know what his own faith was, unlike Wesleys

    • One of his only original hymns is 418

    • Confession of faith rather like Peter’s in today’s gospel reading

O happy band of pilgrims,
if onward ye will tread
with Jesus as your fellow,
to Jesus as your head!

O happy if ye labour
as Jesus did for men;
O happy if ye hunger
as Jesus hungered then!

The cross that Jesus carried
he carried as your due;
the crown that Jesus weareth,
he weareth it for you.

The faith by which ye see him,
the hope in which ye learn,
the love that through all troubles
to him alone will turn.

What are they but forerunners
to lead you to his sight?
What are they save the effluence
of uncreated light?

The trials that beset you,
the sorrows ye endure,
the manifold temptations
that death alone can cure.

What are they but his jewels
of right celestial worth?
What are they but the ladder
set up to heaven on earth?

O happy band of pilgrims,
look upward to the skies,
where such a light affliction
shall win you such a prize!

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