OREMUS: 12 September 2006

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Mon Sep 11 21:53:33 GMT 2006

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OREMUS for Tuesday, September 12, 2006 
John Henry Hobart, Bishop of New York, 1830

O Lord, open our lips.
And our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

Blessed are you, God of the ages,
you call the Church to keep watch in the world
and to discern the signs of the times. 
You call us to proclaim your prophetic word with courage
and with the wisdom bestowed by the Spirit,
that the work you have set before us may be completed.
For these and all your mercies, we praise you:
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit:
Blessed be God for ever.

An opening canticle may be sung. 


Psalm 25

To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul;
   my God, I put my trust in you;*
 let me not be humiliated,
   nor let my enemies triumph over me.
Let none who look to you be put to shame;*
 let the treacherous be disappointed in their schemes.
Show me your ways, O Lord,*
 and teach me your paths.
Lead me in your truth and teach me,*
 for you are the God of my salvation;
   in you have I trusted all the day long.
Remember, O Lord, your compassion and love,*
 for they are from everlasting.
Remember not the sins of my youth
   and my transgressions;*
 remember me according to your love
   and for the sake of your goodness, O Lord.
Gracious and upright is the Lord;*
 therefore he teaches sinners in his way.
He guides the humble in doing right*
 and teaches his way to the lowly.
All the paths of the Lord are love and faithfulness*
 to those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.
For your name's sake, O Lord,*
 forgive my sin, for it is great.
Who are they who fear the Lord?*
 he will teach them the way that they should choose.
They shall dwell in prosperity,*
 and their offspring shall inherit the land.
The Lord is a friend to those who fear him*
 and will show them his covenant.
My eyes are ever looking to the Lord,*
 for he shall pluck my feet out of the net.
Turn to me and have pity on me,*
 for I am left alone and in misery.
The sorrows of my heart have increased;*
 bring me out of my troubles.
Look upon my adversity and misery*
 and forgive me all my sin.
Look upon my enemies, for they are many,*
 and they bear a violent hatred against me.
Protect my life and deliver me;*
 let me not be put to shame, for I have trusted in you.
Let integrity and uprightness preserve me,*
 for my hope has been in you.
Deliver Israel, O God,*
 out of all his troubles.

A Song of the Wilderness (Isaiah 35.1,2b-4a,4c-6,10)

The wilderness and the dry land shall rejoice,
the desert shall blossom and burst into song.

They shall see the glory of the Lord,
the majesty of our God.

Strengthen the weary hands,
and make firm the feeble knees.

Say to the anxious, 'Be strong, fear not,
your God is coming with judgement,
coming with judgement to save you.'

Then shall the eyes of the blind be opened,
and the ears of the deaf unstopped;

Then shall the lame leap like a hart,
and the tongue of the dumb sing for joy.

For waters shall break forth in the wilderness,
and streams in the desert;

The ransomed of the Lord shall return with singing,
with everlasting joy upon their heads.

Joy and gladness shall be theirs,
and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

Psalm 146

   Praise the Lord, O my soul!*
 I will praise the Lord as long as I live;
   I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.
Put not your trust in rulers,
   nor in any child of earth,*
 for there is no help in them.
When they breathe their last, they return to earth,*
 and in that day their thoughts perish.
Happy are they who have the God of Jacob
   for their help!*
 whose hope is in the Lord their God;
Who made heaven and earth, the seas,
   and all that is in them;*
 who keeps his promise for ever;
Who gives justice to those who are oppressed,*
 and food to those who hunger.
The Lord sets the prisoners free;
   the Lord opens the eyes of the blind;*
 the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;
The Lord loves the righteous;
   the Lord cares for the stranger;*
 he sustains the orphan and widow,
   but frustrates the way of the wicked.
The Lord shall reign for ever,*
 your God, O Zion, throughout all generations.

FIRST READING [Proverbs 11:1-31]:

A false balance is an abomination to the Lord,
   but an accurate weight is his delight.
When pride comes, then comes disgrace;
   but wisdom is with the humble.
The integrity of the upright guides them,
   but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them.

Riches do not profit in the day of wrath,
   but righteousness delivers from death.
The righteousness of the blameless keeps their ways
   but the wicked fall by their own wickedness.
The righteousness of the upright saves them,
   but the treacherous are taken captive by their
When the wicked die, their hope perishes,
   and the expectation of the godless comes to nothing.

The righteous are delivered from trouble,
   and the wicked get into it instead.
With their mouths the godless would destroy their
   but by knowledge the righteous are delivered.
When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices;

   and when the wicked perish, there is jubilation.
By the blessing of the upright a city is exalted,
   but it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked.
Whoever belittles another lacks sense,
   but an intelligent person remains silent.
A gossip goes about telling secrets,
   but one who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a
Where there is no guidance, a nation falls,
   but in an abundance of counsellors there is safety.

To guarantee loans for a stranger brings trouble,
   but there is safety in refusing to do so.
A gracious woman gets honour,
   but she who hates virtue is covered with shame.
The timid become destitute,
   but the aggressive gain riches.
Those who are kind reward themselves,
   but the cruel do themselves harm.
The wicked earn no real gain,
   but those who sow righteousness get a true reward.
Whoever is steadfast in righteousness will live,
   but whoever pursues evil will die.
Crooked minds are an abomination to the Lord,
   but those of blameless ways are his delight.
Be assured, the wicked will not go unpunished,
   but those who are righteous will escape.
Like a gold ring in a pig's snout
   is a beautiful woman without good sense.
The desire of the righteous ends only in good;
   the expectation of the wicked in wrath.
Some give freely, yet grow all the richer;
   others withhold what is due, and only suffer want.
A generous person will be enriched,
   and one who gives water will get water.
The people curse those who hold back grain,
   but a blessing is on the head of those who sell it.

Whoever diligently seeks good seeks favour,
   but evil comes to the one who searches for it.
Those who trust in their riches will wither,
   but the righteous will flourish like green leaves.
Those who trouble their households will inherit wind,
   and the fool will be servant to the wise.
The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life,
   but violence takes lives away.
If the righteous are repaid on earth,
   how much more the wicked and the sinner!

Words: William Boyd Carpenter (1841-1918)
Tune: St. Petersburg

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Before thy throne, O God, we kneel:
give us a conscience quick to feel,
a ready mind to understand
the meaning of thy chastening hand;
whate'er the pain and shame may be,
bring us, O Father, nearer thee.

Search out our hearts and make us true;
help us to give to all their due.
>From love of pleasure, lust of gold,
from sins which make the heart grow cold,
wean us and train us with thy rod;
teach us to know our faults, O God.

For sins of heedless word and deed,
for pride ambitions to succeed,
for crafty trade and subtle snare
to catch the simple unaware,
for lives bereft of purpose high,
forgive, forgive, O Lord, we cry.

Let the fierce fires which burn and try,
our inmost spirits purify:
consume the ill; purge out the shame;
O God, be with us in the flame;
a newborn people may we rise,
more pure, more true, more nobly wise.

SECOND READING [Hebrews 12:3-13]:

Consider him who endured such hostility against himself from sinners, so that you may
not grow weary or lose heart. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to
the point of shedding your blood. And you have forgotten the exhortation that
addresses you as children 
'My child, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
   or lose heart when you are punished by him;
for the Lord disciplines those whom he loves,
   and chastises every child whom he accepts.'
Endure trials for the sake of discipline. God is treating you as children; for what child
is there whom a parent does not discipline? If you do not have that discipline in which
all children share, then you are illegitimate and not his children. Moreover, we had
human parents to discipline us, and we respected them. Should we not be even more
willing to be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short
time as seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, in order that we may
share his holiness. Now, discipline always seems painful rather than pleasant at the
time, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been
trained by it.

Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight
paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be

The Benedictus (Morning), 
the Magnificat (Evening), or 
Nunc dimittis (Night) may follow.

Baptizing God,
you have plunged us into the waters as death to sin
and have raised us to be alive to you in joy and service.

For all whose eager and resolute living in you
makes them saints to us:
We thank you, Lord.

For the community made holy in Christ,
the living and the dead, the near and the far away:
We thank you, Lord.

For an awareness of our kinship
to holy and just men and women:
We thank you, Lord.

For reminding us that perfection in you is a journey
of consistent love to you and to others:
We thank you, Lord.

For sustaining us in the faithful use of means of grace,
that we may resolve to live in your love and peace:
We thank you, Lord.

Let your love, O Lord, be the bias of my soul,
the natural spring of my heart
and the one guide of my life.
Teach me to love your commandments
and to walk in them all my days;
for your own name's sake. Amen.

Revive your Church, Lord God of hosts, 
whenever it falls into complacency and sloth, 
by raising up devoted leaders, 
like your servant John Henry Hobart 
whom we remember today; 
and grant that their faith and vigor of mind 
may awaken your people 
to your message and their mission; 
through Jesus Christ our Lord, 
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, 
one God, now and for ever. Amen. 
Gathering our prayers and praises into one,
let us pray as our Savior has taught us.

- The Lord's Prayer

May God make safe to us each step,
May God open to us each door,
May God make clear to us each road.
May God enfold us in loving arms.Amen.

The psalms are from _Celebrating Common Prayer_ (Mowbray),
(c) The Society of Saint Francis 1992, which is used with permission.

The canticle is from _Common Worship: Daily Prayer, Preliminary Edition_,
copyright (c) The Archbishops' Council, 2002.

The biblical passage is from The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized
Edition), copyright (c) 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education
of  the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA. Used by
permission. All rights reserved.

The opening prayer of thanksgiving uses phrases from a prayer in
_Opening Prayers: Collects in Contemporary Language_.
Canterbury Press, Norwich, 1999.

The first collect is by Thomas Ken and the closing prayer is adapted from a prayer by
Bruce Prewer, 2001. 

The second collect is from _The Proper for the Lesser Feasts and
Fasts_, 3rd edition, (c) 1980 The Church Pension Fund.

After the American Revolution and the Independence of the United States, the
Episcopal Church, under public suspicion in many quarters because of its
previous association with the British government, did very little for about
twenty years. John Hobart was one of the men who changed this.
John Henry Hobart was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 14 September
1775, the son of a ship's captain. He was educated at the University of
Pennsylvania and Princeton University, ordained deacon in 1798 and priest in
1801. Called as assistant minister to Trinity Church, New York, in 1803, at age
36 he was elected assistant bishop of the diocese in 1811, becoming diocesan
in 1816.
To look at John Henry Hobart, you wouldn't have predicted greatness. Height
always distinguishes, and he was notably short. Blessed with attractive blue
eyes, he was nearsighted and forced to wear thick glasses. In an age of
marmoreal gestures in the pulpit, he was melodramatic. At a time of dignified
eloquence, he spoke rapidly, with emotion. When most men were reserved,
even with their families, he was warm, whether with ambassadors or farmers,
to the point of being thought odd.
Most bishops were content if they bestirred themselves for episcopal acts a
hundred miles from home. Hobart had the energy of ten men: horses dropped
under his exertions and he thought nothing of a winter visitation of 2,000 miles
in western New York or 4,000 at a more seasonal time.
Early in his career he tackled publicly issues still dubious in the American mind:
episcopacy and apostolic succession, arguably besting in print a redoubtable
Presbyterian opponent.
He founded two institutions: a college in Geneva (later Hobart College) and
General Theological Seminary in New York City, breaking his health to get
both off the ground.
He not only looked after the Diocese of New York (46,000 square miles and
virtual wilderness west and north of Albany) he served as rector of Trinity
Parish, the wealthiest and most influential church in the country. Agreeing to
oversee the diocese of Connecticut, since its high- and low-church party roils
had prevented the election of a bishop, he covered its parishes more thoroughly
than any bishop ever had. New Jersey, similarly bishopless, appealed to him,
and he looked after it as well.
He knew all the clergy in the Church generally and in his own diocese
intimately. He was aware of their background, remembered their families,
forgave their frailties, and appreciated their strengths. He watched over his
candidates for Holy Orders with a paternal interest, meeting with them weekly.
His instinct for politics never overrode his principles. Once convinced of
the rightness of his position, no wave of unpopularity would budge him. His
friends adored him and even his enemies credited him with frankness and
fearlessness. He held no grudges and played no games, two qualities that
endeared him to many. In a turbulent New York State election for governor, a
common saying was that only Hobart would have been easily elected.
He took 26 clergy at the beginning of his episcopate in 1811 and quintupled
them to 133 by his death; watched the number of parishes increase from about
50 to almost 170; and confirmed roughly 15,000.
This lovable, indefatigable, type-A bishop went virtually nonstop from his
ordination until his death. The only surprise was that he didn't die sooner. At
midnight, September 7, 1830, a young clergyman rode in a stage through
Auburn on his way to Binghamton. Passing the rectory of St. Peter's Church,
he was puzzled to see a light so late. He rapped for the stage to stop and soon
learned from the rector, John Rudd, that Bishop Hobart was ill. Francis
Cuming remained to assist in any way he could.
Hobart's illness wasn't that surprising. Troubled for years with what was most
likely a bleeding ulcer, with rest and medication he would generally rebound. In
Auburn he had preached and confirmed and other than a slight cold, seemed
fine. But soon the serious nature of his attack became clear and he cancelled
the remainder of his visitation. Over the next few days, he frequently requested
to hear portions of Lancelot Andrewes's litany, in which he would join.
Amidst his pain, Hobart found time to offer advice to Cuming: "Be sure that in
all your preaching the doctrines of the Cross be introduced: no preaching is
good for any thing without these." Cuming writes: "His pains were so severe
he could not give his mind to them unless they were short, and when I had
invoked our Heavenly Father to continue to be gracious to his suffering
servant; and that whereas he had studied to approve himself to God upon
earth, he might be permitted to stand approved by his Master in heaven, he
interrupted me by saying, 'Amen: O yes, God grant it, but with all humility I
ask it.'"
"On Friday, September 10th, just before the going down of the sun, and as its
last rays had forced themselves through the blinds, and were playing upon the
wall not far from the bed, he said, 'Open the shutters, that I may see more of
the light; O how pleasant it is; how cheering is the sun--but there is a Sun of
Righteousness, in whose light we shall see light.'"
Cuming again: "There were times when he was peculiarly oppressed. The
promises of the Gospel, however, would revive him. At one of those times he
said to me with the most remarkable emphasis, 'Comfort me.' The reply was
'Bishop, it is written, the blood of Christ cleanseth from all sin.' - 'So it is, so it
is,' he added; God be praised for that, God be praised for all his mercies - God
be merciful to me a sinner!'"
On Saturday, at a bedside service of the holy communion, when Rudd "came,
in the confession, to the words, 'by thought, word, and deed,'" the bishop
stopped him and said, 'You know the Church expects us to pause over those
words: pause now, repeating one of the words at a time till I request you to go
on.' This was done, and the pauses in each case were so long that a fear passed
over our minds that he had lost his recollection or fallen asleep. This, however,
proved not to be so; he repeated each word, and after the third pause added:
'Proceed, I will interrupt you no more.'"
Early Sunday morning, September 12, 1830, John Henry Hobart died, aged 55.
The funeral took place in New York City on September 16. The mourners
included the governor of the state and the mayor of New York City, and the
procession was estimated at nearly 3,000. The third bishop of New York is
buried under the chancel of Trinity Church, New York. [Cynthia McFarland]

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