257B O Trinity Of Blessed Light

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O Trinity Of Blessed Light John Mason Neale 1818-1866 [John M. Neale (1818-1866)] Born: Jan­u­a­ry 24, 1818, Con­du­it Street, Lon­don, En­gland. Died: Au­gust 6, 1886, East Grin­stead (near Lon­don), En­gland. Buried: East Grin­stead, En­gland. [John M. Neale (1818-1866)] [John M. Neale (1818-1866)] We know John Ma­son Neale (1818-1866) to­day as a hymn­o­graph­er, the trans­lat­or or adapt­er of an­cient and med­ie­val hymns. It is by the hymns below and sim­i­lar hymns that most of us know Neale, if we know him at all. But Neale’s achieve­ments in other ar­eas as well de­serve our re­cog­ni­tion. Neale was born in Lon­don, Eng­land, the son of a cler­gy­man, his fa­ther dy­ing when he was five years old. At Cam­bridge (1836-1840), Neale be­came a High Church­man, and de­vel­oped a fas­ci­na­tion with church arch­i­tect­ure. Ev­en at this youth­ful age, Neale par­ti­ci­pat­ed in the ca­tho­lic re­viv­al of the Es­tab­lished Church, as he and some friends found­ed the Cam­bridge Cam­den So­ciety of an­ti­quar­i­ans. Their per­i­od­ic­al prompt­ly ad­dressed it­self to the di­lap­i­dat­ed con­di­tion of ma­ny En­glish church build­ings; their rec­om­mend­a­tions were ve­ry in­flu­en­tial in the Vic­tor­i­an cam­paign of church con­struct­ion, and they came to have ma­ny sup­port­ers in Church ranks. Amer­i­cans apt to think af­fect­ion­at­ely of the taste­ful­ness and charm of Eng­lish church­es will be im­pressed by the de­script­ions of ru­in­ous build­ings en­count­ered by Neale and his con­temp­o­rar­ies. Neale al­so cru­sad­ed against the ug­ly stoves that were placed in some church­es to heat them. One is­sue of The Ec­cles­i­ol­o­gist, for ex­ample, rec­ord­ed "a large Ar­nott stove" in the mid­dle of the chan­cel, whose flue rose to the height of the priest and crossed his face be­fore ex­it­ing the build­ing via a hole in the glass of the north win­dow. Neale es­pe­cial­ly raged against the high walled box pews—"pues" or "pens," the So­ci­e­ty called them—where wealthy fam­i­lies se­ques­tered them­selves in the midst of the com­mon peo­ple. In their pews, they might re­cline at their ease up­on so­fas, and one lo­cal aris­to­crat ev­en ate lunch dur­ing the serv­ice. The Cam­bridge So­ci­e­ty champ­i­oned the cause of "Vic­tor­i­an Goth­ic." The edi­tion of a med­ie­val text on ec­cles­i­as­tic­al sym­bol­ism that Neale and a friend pre­pared set forth their con­vict­ions about ar­chi­tect­ur­al de­tails. Neale’s health pre­vent­ed his re­main­ing a parish priest (he was or­dained in May 1842), but, in his semi-in­va­lid­ism, he had much time for an­ti­quar­i­an and schol­ar­ly en­dea­vor. From May 1846 on, he was War­den of Sack­ville Coll­ege, an in­sti­tu­tion re­sem­bling that of a fict­ion­al Vic­tor­i­an cler­gy­man, An­thony Trol­lope’s "Ward­en," Sep­tim­us Hard­ing. Like Hard­ing, Neale gave much thought to church mu­sic. Neale held that the hymns of Isaac Watts and other pop­u­lar com­pos­ers im­part­ed er­ron­e­ous doc­trine, as well as of­fend­ing against taste. So in 1842, for ex­am­ple, Neale pro­duced Hymns for Child­ren. How­e­ver, aside from his car­ol Good King Wen­ces­las, it is not Neale’s orig­in­al com­po­si­tions that are most wide­ly rec­og­nized, but his trans­la­tions and adap­ta­tions of an­cient and med­ie­val works, which he worked on through­out his life. The var­i­ous edi­tions of the an­no­tat­ed hymn­al he and his as­so­ci­ates pre­pared—the Hymn­al Noted—and his hymns of the Or­tho­dox church­es have con­trib­ut­ed hymns such as those list­ed above. It is es­tim­at­ed Neale and his col­lab­o­rat­ors pro­duced over 400 hymns, se­quences and car­ols. Ano­ther ob­ject of Neale’s in­ter­est was the his­to­ry of the East­ern Church­es. In 1847, Neale’s book on the Pa­tri­arch­ate of Alex­an­dr­ia ap­peared. In 1850, it was fol­lowed by a Gen­er­al In­tro­duct­ion to the Or­tho­dox church of the East. A third vol­ume, ed­it­ed by George Will­iams, ap­peared in 1873. One as­pect of Neale’s out­look not dwelt upon much by his bi­og­raph­ers is his con­vict­ion that di­vine judg­ment was the lot of those who ap­prop­ri­at­ed prop­er­ty that had been con­se­crat­ed. With an as­so­ci­ate, in 1846 he pub­lished, anon­y­mous­ly, an up­dat­ed edi­tion of Sir Hen­ry Spel­man’s His­to­ry of Sa­cri­lege. The book shows how di­sas­ters, the fail­ure of the male line, and/or great ex­cess­es of mor­al de­prav­ity came up­on per­sons who took land that had been giv­en to the Church, or their suc­cess­ors. When such lands had be­longed to the Church, rev­e­nues from these lands had been em­ployed to feed the hun­gry as well as to sup­port the some­times lux­ur­i­ous way of life of cer­tain cler­gy­men. Here we see the an­ti­quar­i­an and the man of Christ­ian com­pass­ion unit­ed. Such a union is very ev­i­dent in Neale’s found­a­tion of the So­ci­ety of St. Mar­ga­ret, one of the first An­gli­can con­vent­u­al sis­ter­hoods (1855). As War­den of Sack­ville Coll­ege at East Grin­stead, Neale came to know the pov­er­ty of some of the near­by vil­lag­ers. Fe­ver vic­tims might die un­at­tend­ed. So his sis­ters of char­i­ty be­gan their work, with Neale as their pas­tor-conf­ess­or-adm­in­is­tra­tor. How­ev­er, the sis­ter­hood was ver­bal­ly and even phys­ic­al­ly at­tacked as a wedge of "Rom­an­ism" in the En­glish Church. In 1857, the "Lewes Riot" oc­curred, in­sti­gat­ed by an Evan­gel­ic­al cler­gy­man whose daugh­ter had been one of the Sis­ters, and who had died of scar­let fever, be­queath­ing 400 pounds to the So­ci­e­ty. Neale was used to op­po­si­tion by then. Years be­fore the So­ci­e­ty’s found­a­tion, Neale had been in­hib­it­ed by the Bis­hop of Chi­chest­er from ex­er­cis­ing his priest­ly du­ties in the vil­lage, ev­i­dent­ly on ac­count of the bis­hop’s re­sent­ment of Neale’s church furn­ish­ings, etc., at Sack­ville Coll­ege. John Ma­son Neale had his light­er side, too, as evi­denced by a joke he once played on John Keble. As re­lat­ed by Neale’s as­soc­ia­te Ger­ard Moul­trie and quot­ed in A. G. Lough, The In­flu­ence of John Ma­son Neale (Lon­don, SPCK 1962, p. 95): [Neale] was in­vit­ed by Mr. Ke­ble and the Bi­shop of Sal­is­bu­ry to as­sist them with their new Hymn­al, and for this reas­on he paid a vis­it to Hurs­ley Par­son­age [Keble’s res­i­dence]…[Keble] re­lat­ed that hav­ing to go to ano­ther room to find some pa­pers he was de­tained a short time. On his re­turn, Dr. Neale said, "Why Ke­ble! I thought you told me that the Christ­ian Year was en­tire­ly orig­in­al!" "Yes," he an­swered, "it cer­tain­ly is." "Then how comes this?" And Dr. Neale placed be­fore him the La­tin of one of Ke­ble’s hymns for a Saint’s day—I think it was for St. Luke’s. Keble pro­fessed him­self ut­ter­ly con­found­ed. There was the En­glish, which he knew that he had made, and there too no less cer­tain­ly was the La­tin, with far too un­plea­sant a re­sem­blance to his own to be for­tu­i­tous. He pro­test­ed that he had ne­ver seen this "orig­in­al," no, not in all his life! etc. etc. Af­ter a few min­utes, Neale re­lieved him by own­ing that he had just turned it into La­tin in his ab­sence. Never in his life­time was Neale ad­e­quate­ly ap­prec­i­at­ed in his own church. Neale’s Doctor of Di­vin­i­ty de­gree was conf­erred by Trin­i­ty Coll­ege, Hart­ford, Con­nec­ti­cut, in 1860. At Neale’s fun­er­al the high­est ranking cler­gy­men were Or­tho­dox. Neale could ne­ver have guessed how much he ac­comp­lished for the church and for gen­er­a­tions of Christ­ians who would sing the hymns he gave them. Biography © 1997 Dale J. Nelson. Used by permission. To re­quest per­miss­ion to re­pro­duce this text, or to get the full ver­sion of the ar­ti­cle, click here. Sources Julian, pp. 785-90 Towle Translations Again the Lord’s Own Day Is Here All Glo­ry, Laud, and Hon­or Alleluia, Song of Glad­ness Almighty God, Who from the Flood And Wilt Thou Par­don, Lord Around the Throne of God a Band Art Thou Wea­ry, Art Thou Lan­guid? As Jo­nah, Is­su­ing from His Three Days’ Tomb Be Pre­sent, Ho­ly Trin­i­ty Blessed City, Hea­ven­ly Sa­lem Blessed Feasts of Bless­èd Mar­tyrs Blessèd Sav­ior, Who Hast Taught Me Brief Life Is Here Our Por­tion Christ Is Born! Tell Forth His Fame! Christ Is Made the Sure Found­a­tion Christ’s Own Martyrs, Val­iant Co­hort Christian, Dost Thou See Them? Come, Ho­ly Ghost, with God the Son Come, Thou Ho­ly Par­a­clete Come, Thou Re­deem­er of the Earth Come, Ye Faith­ful, Raise the An­them Come, Ye Faith­ful, Raise the Strain Creator of the Stars of Night Day, A Day of Glo­ry!, A Day Is Past and Over, The Day, O Lord, Is Spent, The Day of Re­sur­rect­ion, The Dewy Fresh­ness that the Fur­nace Flings, The Draw Nigh and Take the Bo­dy of the Lord Eternal Gifts of Christ the King, The Eternal Glo­ry of the Sky Eternal Mon­arch, King Most High O Lord Most High, Eter­nal King Fast, as Taught by Ho­ly Lore, The Father of Peace, and God of Con­so­la­tion Fierce Was the Wild Bil­low Foe Be­hind, the Deep Be­fore, The For Thee, O Dear, Dear Coun­try From Church to Church From God the Fa­ther, Vir­gin-Born From Lands That See the Sun Arise Gabriel, from the Hea­ven De­scend­ing Gabriel’s Mess­age God the Fa­ther! Whose Cre­a­tion God Whom Earth, and Sea, and Sky, The Good Christ­ian Men, Re­joice Good King Wen­ces­las Great and Mighty Won­der, A Great Fore­run­ner of the Morn, The Heavenly Word Pro­ceed­ing Forth, The Here Is Joy for Ev­ery Age Him, of the Fa­ther’s Very Es­sence Holy Child­ren Bold­ly Stand, The Holy Fa­ther, Thou Hast Taught Me How Vain the Cru­el Her­od’s Fear The Star Pro­claims the King Is Here Hymn for Con­quer­ing Mar­tyrs Raise, The If There Be That Skills to Reck­on In Days of Old on Si­nai Into the Dim Earth’s Low­est Parts De­scend­ing Jerusalem the Gold­en Jesu! Names All Names Above Jesu, the Fa­ther’s On­ly Son Jesu! The Ve­ry Thought is Sweet! Jesu, the Vir­gins’ Crown Joy Dawned Again on East­er Day Lamb’s High Ban­quet We Await, The Lamb’s High Ban­quet Called to Share, The Let Our Choir New An­thems Raise Let Us Now Our Voic­es Raise Let Us Rise in Ear­ly Morn­ing Lift Up, Lift Up Your Voic­es Now Light’s Abode, Ce­les­tial Sa­lem Light’s Glit­ter­ing Morn Be­decks the Sky Lo! Now Is Our Ac­cept­ed Day Lord and King of All Things, The Maker of Earth, to Thee Alone Merits of the Saints, The Now That the Day­light Fills the Sky Now to Our Sav­ior Let Us Raise Christ Is Gone Up O Blest Cre­at­or of the Light O Come, O Come, Em­man­u­el O God, Cre­a­tion’s Se­cret Force O God, of All the Strength and Pow­er O God of Truth, O Lord of Might O God, Thy Sol­diers’ Crown and Guard O God, Thy Sol­diers’ Great Re­ward O God, We Raise Our Hearts to Thee The Earth, O Lord, Is One Wide Field O Hap­py Band of Pil­grims O Lord of Hosts, Whose Glo­ry Fills O Mer­ci­ful Cre­at­or, Hear O Sons and Daugh­ters, Let Us Sing! O Thou Who by a Star Didst Guide O Thou Who Through This Ho­ly Week O Trin­i­ty of Bless­èd Light O Un­i­ty of Three­fold Light O Ve­ry God of Ve­ry God O What Their Joy and Their Glo­ry Must Be O Won­drous Mys­te­ry, Full of Pass­ing Grace O Wond­rous Sight! Of the Fa­ther’s Love Be­got­ten Our Fa­ther’s Home Eter­nal Raise, Raise Thine Eye a Lit­tle Way Rod of the Root of Jes­se Royal Ban­ners For­ward Go, The Royal Day That Chas­eth Gloom Safe Home, Safe Home in Port! Saint of God, Elect and Pre­cious Sing, My Tongue, the Glor­i­ous Bat­tle Stars of the Morn­ing Strain Up­raise of Joy and Praise, The Th’Abyss of Ma­ny a Form­er Sin That East­er­tide with Joy Was Bright That Fear­ful Day Thee, O Christ, the Fa­ther’s Splen­dor They Whose Course on Earth Is o’er Those Eter­nal Bow­ers Thou Hal­lowed Chos­en Morn of Praise To the Name of Our Sal­va­tion To Thee Be­fore the Close of Day Triumphs of the Saints, The We Have Not Seen, We Can­not See When Christ’s Ap­pear­ing Was Made Known Wingèd Her­ald of the Day, The With Christ We Share a Mys­tic Grave World Is Ve­ry Evil, The Yesterday, with Ex­ult­a­tion