OREMUS: 12 September 2007

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Tue Sep 11 17:00:01 GMT 2007

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OREMUS for Wednesday, September 12, 2007 
John Henry Hobart, Bishop of New York, 1830

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

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 18:1-28

I love you, O Lord my strength,*
 O Lord my stronghold, my crag and my haven.
My God, my rock in whom I put my trust,*
 my shield, the horn of my salvation and my refuge;
   you are worthy of praise.
I will call upon the Lord,*
 and so shall I be saved from my enemies.
The breakers of death rolled over me,*
 and the torrents of oblivion made me afraid.
The cords of hell entangled me,*
 and the snares of death were set for me.
I called upon the Lord in my distress*
 and cried out to my God for help.
He heard my voice from his heavenly dwelling;*
 my cry of anguish came to his ears.
The earth reeled and rocked;*
 the roots of the mountains shook;
   they reeled because of his anger.
Smoke rose from his nostrils
   and a consuming fire out of his mouth;*
 hot burning coals blazed forth from him.
He parted the heavens and came down*
 with a storm cloud under his feet.
He mounted on cherubim and flew;*
 he swooped on the wings of the wind.
He wrapped darkness about him;*
 he made dark waters and thick clouds his pavilion.
>From the brightness of his presence, through the clouds,*
 burst hailstones and coals of fire.
The Lord thundered out of heaven;*
 the Most High uttered his voice.
He loosed his arrows and scattered them;*
 he hurled thunderbolts and routed them.
The beds of the seas were uncovered,
   and the foundations of the world laid bare,*
 at your battle cry, O Lord,
   at the blast of the breath of your nostrils.
He reached down from on high and grasped me;*
 he drew me out of great waters.
He delivered me from my strong enemies
   and from those who hated me;*
 for they were too mighty for me.
They confronted me in the day of my disaster;*
 but the Lord was my support.
He brought me out into an open place;*
 he rescued me because he delighted in me.
The Lord rewarded me because of my righteous dealing;*
 because my hands were clean he rewarded me;
For I have kept the ways of the Lord*
 and have not offended against my God;
For all his judgements are before my eyes,*
 and his decrees I have not put away from me;
For I have been blameless with him*
 and have kept myself from iniquity;
Therefore the Lord rewarded me
   according to my righteous dealing,*
 because of the cleanness of my hands in his sight.
With the faithful you show yourself faithful, O God;*
 with the forthright you show yourself forthright.
With the pure you show yourself pure,*
 but with the crooked you are wily.
You will save a lowly people,*
 but you will humble the haughty eyes.

A Song of the Messiah (from Isaiah 9

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light;
those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,
upon them the light has dawned.

You have increased their joy and given them great gladness;
they rejoiced before you as with joy at the harvest.

For you have shattered the yoke that burdened them;
the collar that lay heavy on their shoulders.

For to us a child is born and to us a son is given,
and the government will be upon his shoulder.

And his name will be called: Wonderful Counsellor,
the Mighty God;
the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.

Of the increase of his government and of peace
there will be no end,

Upon the throne of David and over his kingdom,
to establish and uphold it with justice and righteousness.

>From this time forth and for evermore;
the zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this. 

Psalm 147:13-end

Worship the Lord, O Jerusalem;*
 praise your God, O Zion;
For he has strengthened the bars of your gates;*
 he has blessed your children within you.
He has established peace on your borders;*
 he satisfies you with the finest wheat.
He sends out his command to the earth,*
 and his word runs very swiftly.
He gives snow like wool;*
 he scatters hoarfrost like ashes.
He scatters his hail like bread crumbs;*
 who can stand against his cold?
He sends forth his word and melts them;*
 he blows with his wind and the waters flow.
He declares his word to Jacob,*
 his statutes and his judgements to Israel.
He has not done so to any other nation;*
 to them he has not revealed his judgements.

FIRST READING [Colossians 3:1-11]:

So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things
that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand
of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on
things that are on earth, for you have died, and your
life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is
your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed
with him in glory.
Put to death, therefore, whatever in you is earthly:
fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed
(which is idolatry). On account of these the wrath of God
is coming on those who are disobedient. These are the
ways you also once followed, when you were living that
life. But now you must get rid of all such things anger,
wrath, malice, slander, and abusive language from your
mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have
stripped off the old self with its practices and have
clothed yourselves with the new self, which is being
renewed in knowledge according to the image of its
creator. In that renewal there is no longer Greek and
Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian,
slave and free; but Christ is all and in all! 

Words: John Samuel Bewley Monsell, Jr., 1860
Tune: Pentecost

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Fight the good fight with all thy might,
Christ is thy strength and Christ thy right;
lay hold on life, and it shall be
thy joy and crown eternally.

Run the straight race, through God's good grace,
lift up thine eyes and seek his face;
life with its way before us lies,
Christ is the path and Christ the prize.

Cast care aside, lean on thy Guide;
his boundless mercy will provide;
trust, and thy trusting soul shall prove
Christ is its life and Christ its love.

Faint not nor fear, his arms are near;
he changeth not, and thou art dear;
only believe, and thou shalt see
that Christ is all in all to thee.

SECOND READING [Luke 6:20-26]:

Then he looked up at his disciples and said:
'Blessed are you who are poor,
   for yours is the kingdom of God.
'Blessed are you who are hungry now,
   for you will be filled.
'Blessed are you who weep now,
   for you will laugh.

 'Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and
defame you on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice on that day and leap for joy, for
surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the
'But woe to you who are rich,
   for you have received your consolation.
'Woe to you who are full now,
   for you will be hungry.
'Woe to you who are laughing now,
   for you will mourn and weep.

 'Woe to you when all speak well of you, for that is what their ancestors did to the
false prophets. 

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

Bountiful God, you give us every good gift; 
hear us as we offer our prayers to you.

We pray for our family and friends
and for all who are dear to us,
that in following you and rejoicing in your mercy,
they may share in your joy for ever.
Bountiful God,
hear our prayer.

We pray for those who are worn by their work,
for older persons and for children,
that they may know you are the strength of the weak
and the refuge of the distressed.
Bountiful God,
hear our prayer.

We pray for all who follow Christ,
that they may grow in their sense of discipleship
and calling to proclaim the Good News to others.
Bountiful God,
hear our prayer.

We pray for all in the medical professions,
that they may work wisely to promote health,
knowing that you are source of all healing.
Bountiful God,
hear our prayer.

We pray for all who are persecuted 
for the sake of righteousness
and for all who are oppressed,
that they may gain the true liberation which comes from you alone.
Bountiful God,
hear our prayer.

Praise to you, God of our salvation;
you come to our help and set us free.
May your strength be our shield
and your word be our lamp,
that we may serve you with pure hearts and find victory
through our Savior Jesus Christ. 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 and the invitation to the Lord's Prayer are from _Celebrating Common
Prayer_ (Mowbray), (c) The Society of Saint Francis 1992, which is used with

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 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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