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Jan Hus

1369 - 1415 Person Name: John Hus Meter: Author of "To Avert from Men God's Wrath" in Hymns to the Living God [John Huss] Jan Hus was born in Bohemia (part of the region, along with Moravia, we now call the Czech Republic), ca. 1370. He studied philosophy and theology at Prague University. Though only regarded as an average student, he received an undergraduate degree in 1396 and a Masters in 1398. In 1402 he was ordained as a priest in the Catholic Church and became rector and priest at Bethlehem Chapel. Hus lived in a time of great political and religious upheaval and to fully understand the man and his circumstances, some background is necessary. Domestic political turmoil was emerging in Bohemia and in the early 1400s the Catholic Church was enmeshed in the Great Schism in which three rival popes vied for control of the church. The schism led to the formation of the Council of Constance (1414-1418). This Council would prove pivotal to the fate of Jan Hus. It could be said that the story of Hus actually began in Oxford, England. Although Hus never studied there, Oxford was the home of Hus' greatest human influence, Jon Wyclif. Wyclif died in 1384 but several Bohemians were students at Oxford in the late 1300s and, upon their return to Bohemia, they brought many of Wyclif's writings with them. These were soon translated into Czech. Hus himself translated some of Wyclif's work at the turn of the century. Needless to say, the Catholic Church despised Wyclif. In 1415, the aforementioned Council of Constance condemned Wyclif, ordered his writings to be burned, and directed his bones to be exhumed and cast out of the consecrated ground where he was buried. In 1428, under papal command, his remains were dug up, burned, and the ashes were thrown in a nearby stream! As the Wyclif movement waned in England, it found traction in Bohemia through the preaching of Hus. He became the chief exponent and defender of Wyclif at Prague University where he also was appointed dean of the faculty of Philosophy in 1402. Drawing large crowds, he became an extremely popular preacher among the common people and the aristocracy. Hus sought to reach the general populace with the word of God by preaching in Czech as well as Latin. Though not his intent, his Czech preaching stimulated an increasingly fervent nationalism. Hus' themes were staunchly anti-clergy. His reputation for unblemished purity stood in sharp contrast with the corruption and worldliness of the existing religious clergy, especially in Bohemia. He denounced evil and immorality in the church. He once wrote, "The church shines in its walls, but starves in its poor saints; it clothes its stones with gold, but leaves its children naked." He held that Christ, not Peter, was the foundation of the church, and he taught, like Wyclif, that popes were not inerrant but some had been heretics! One might describe Hus as Wyclif in action. In his premier work, De ecclesia, Hus followed Wyclif on several matters. He taught that the Roman pope and cardinals were not the church. He held that, "Not every priest is a saint, but every saint is a priest." E.H. Gillett summarized Hus' views on church organization: "In the early church there were but two grades of office, deacon and presbyter; all beside are of later and human invention. But God can bring back his church to the old pattern." In following Wyclif, Hus consistently elevated the Bible over church tradition and viewed it as the only binding principle in life. Even Wyclif's teachings were only accepted when Hus found them in agreement with scripture. These were dangerous ideas to hold in the early 15th century, especially in the cultural, religious, and political atmosphere of central Europe. In 1408, Wyclif's Czech translations came under scrutiny from the Catholic hierarchy. In 1409, the archbishop of Prague became openly antagonistic toward both Wyclif and Hus. By 1410, Pope Alexander V issued a papal bull ordering the surrender and burning of all of Wyclif's writings. Hus refused to relinquish his copies and the archbishop excommunicated him. Hus defied this order and continued preaching in Bethlehem Chapel. Despite receiving support from the nobility, pressure was mounting. Yet, Hus would not be deterred. In a letter to the Pope, Hus stated that he was bound to speak the truth and that he was ready to suffer a dreadful death, rather than declare something contrary to the will of Christ. That same year he antagonized the pope when he publicly denounced the selling of indulgencies in order to finance a crusade against the king of Naples. By 1412 Hus' preaching had alienated him from the archbishop, the university, and the clergy. At the advice of the king Hus withdrew from Prague. His popularity grew as he continued preaching in the fields, forests, and marketplaces of southern Bohemia. About this time he wrote that for one, "to cease from preaching, in obedience to the mandate of the pope or archbishop, would be to disobey God and imperil his own salvation." Czech sentiment remained with him, but Hus' writings and reputation began to draw negative attention across Europe. In 1414, the Council of Constance began. Sigismund (king of the Romans and heir to the throne of Bohemia) convinced Hus to appear before the Council and guaranteed his safe conduct to Constance and back. Hus could have remained in Bohemia under the protection of many loyal princes, but he was hoping his arguments would be heard and was willing to be convinced if proven wrong. It was his goal to confirm his beliefs with the truth. He once wrote, if anyone can "instruct me by the sacred Scriptures or by good reasoning I am willing to follow him. From the outset of my studies, I have made it a rule to joyfully and humbly recede from a former opinion when in any matter I perceive a more rational opinion." Hus would not get this opportunity at Constance. Almost immediately upon his arrival — despite the guarantee of safety — Hus was sent to prison on November 25, 1414. He was interrogated, abused, and fell ill. During his lengthy imprisonment, he was deprived of all books including the Bible. He was tried on several counts related to his embrace of Wyclif's writings. The Council repeatedly aligned Hus with the already regarded, though dead, heretic Wyclif. Among the final charges levied against him was that he defended Wyclif as a good Christian, salvation did not depend on the pope, and only God himself could excommunicate someone from the church. Several attempts were made to get Hus to recant. He refused them all. His final sentence came on July 6, 1415. At the sentencing, he was placed on a high stool in the middle of the church and sentenced to death. The chronicler of the events noted that they placed a hood over his head, with pictures of the devil and the word "heresiarch" (a leader of heretics), then committed his soul to the devil. Hus responded, "And I commit myself to the most gracious Lord Jesus." In a letter written the night before his sentencing, Hus prayed that if his death would contribute anything to God's glory, then he might be able to meet it without fear. Hands bound behind his back, Hus was chained to the stake. Wood and hay were piled up to his chin. Rosin was sprinkled on it. He was given one last chance to recant and be set free. Bravely, he refused and said, "I shall die with joy today in the faith of the gospel which I have preached." As they lit the flames around him he sang out twice, "Christ thou Son of the Living God, have mercy upon me." He died singing and praying. It is no wonder that historians refer to Wyclif and Hus as "pre-reformers." Luther was not directly influenced by Hus, and was unaware of his work when he began his own reform movement. But, as he learned of Hus he grew to admire him. Luther condemned the burning of Hus and wrote of him, "If such a man is to be regarded as a heretic, then no person under the sun can be looked upon as a true Christian." In the Prague library, there is a hymn to Hus' memory, dating from 1572, with three medallions pictured. On the first medallion is a picture of Wyclif striking sparks against a stone. The second shows Hus kindling fire from the sparks. And the third depicts Luther holding aloft a flaming torch. (excerpts)

A. A. Wild

Person Name: A. A. Wild, ?-1903 Meter: Composer of "RIZE" in The Cyber Hymnal

Lawrence A. Wik

Meter: Author of "Holy God of Power and Might" in Discipleship Ministries Collection

J. S. Jones

1831 - 1911 Person Name: John S. Jones Meter: Author of "Now the Busy Week Is Done" in The Cyber Hymnal Born: March 2, 1831, London, England. Died: 1911, London, England. Jones, John Samuel, b. in London in 1831 and ordained in Ireland in 1858. He has held several benefices, including St. Philip, Clerk en well; Christ Church, Liverpool; and Knight's Enham, Hants. His hymns include:— 1. I was made a Christian. [For the young.] Written about 1880 for use at Enham Sunday School, and published in The Children's Hymn Book, 1881, and subsequently in the 1904 ed. of Hymns Ancient & Modern. 2. Now the busy week is done. [Saturday Evening.] This hymn is attributed on p. 1582, ii.. to the Rev. S. J. Jones, Rector of Batsford, in error. It was contributed to the 1889 Suppl. Hymns to Hymns Ancient & Modern. Mr. Jones's latest work is A Christian Week: And other Verse, 1906. --John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, New Supplement (1907)

Frederick A. Jackson

1867 - 1942 Person Name: Frederick Jackson Meter: Author of "Standing in the market-place" in The Hymnary of the United Church of Canada Jackson, Frederick Arthur, was born Jan. 28, 1867, at Longford, Warwick. He entered the Baptist ministry in 1888 and since 1901 has been minister at Old Basford, Nottingham. He published a volume of poems in 1902 as Just Beyond. Of the hymns noted here No. l was written for the Christian Endeavour Hymnal 1906, the rest for the Sunday School Hymnary, 1905. 1. Come home, sad heart, come home. The Prodigal. 2. Father, now we thank Thee. For Infants. 3. Fight for the right, boys. Boys' Brigade. 4. Join we all in gladsome singing. For the Sunday School. 5. There is a Book that comes to me. Holy Scripture. 6. Where the flag of Britain flies. National. In the Sunday School Hymnary, 1905, the hymn "If I were a beautiful twinkling star" is given as by "Grace Gleam, (circa 1880) and F. A. Jackson, 1905." Mr. Jackson adapted the hymn for that collection. --John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, New Supplement (1907) =============================== Jackson, Frederick Arthur. (Foleshill, Warwickshire, UK, January 28, 1867--December 4, 1942, Little Brington, Northants, UK). No record of marriage. Graduated Spurgeon's College, 1889. Baptist clergyman. Pastor: Old Swan Church, Liverpool, 1889-1890; Baptist Church, Syston, 1890-1895; Thomas Cooper Memorial Church, Lincoln, 1895-1902; High Street Baptist Church, Old Basford, Nottingham, 1902-1906; Baptist Church, Astwood Bank, 1906-1918; Tetley Street Church, Bradford, 1918-1927; Baptist Church, Chipping Campden, 1927-1937; Baptist Church, Little Brington, Northants, 1937-1942. Secretary for German Missions, 1895-1902; lecturer in literature, Spurgeon's College, 1906-1918. President of several clergymen's associations throughout the years. Jackson, a nephew of the British Baptist pastor, theological, and author, Charles Hadden Spurgeon, was described by his colleagues as one of the Baptist Church's "most gifted writers." He wrote a number of articles, many of them of a mystical bent, for The Baptist and The Baptist Times, as well as other journals. His one volume of poetry, Just Beyond, appeared in 1902. There is a record of Jackson publishing seven hymns, all of which first appeared in England: "Father, Now We Thank Thee," "Fight for the Right, Boys," "Join We All in Gladsome Singing," "There is a Book that Comes to Me," and "Where the Flag of Britain Flies" all first appeared in Sunday School Hymnary in 1905; "Come Home, Sad Heart, Come Home" was published in the Christian Endeavour Hymnal of 1906, and "Master, We Thy Footsteps Follow" appeared in The Baptist Church Hymnal in 1933. --C. Bernard Ruffin, DNAH Archives

Paul Heinlein

1626 - 1686 Person Name: Paul Heinlein, 1626-1686 Meter: Composer (melody) of "JESU, JESU, DU MEIN HIRT" in The Hymnal 1982 Born: Ap­ril 11, 1626, Nuremburg, Ger­ma­ny. Died: Au­gust 6, 1686, Nuremburg, Ger­ma­ny. Heinlein’s (also Hainlein) first train­ing came from a lo­cal mu­si­cian who taught him to play the key­board and wind in­stru­ments. He went on to stu­dy in Linz, Austria; Mu­nich, Germany, and in It­a­ly (1646). He was ap­point­ed Raths­mu­sik­us in Nuremburg in 1650; or­gan­ist at St. Ägy­di­en in 1655, Ka­pell­meis­ter at the Church of Our La­dy in 1656, and or­gan­ist at St. Se­bald’s Ca­the­dral in 1656. His works in­clude six books of mourn­ing and fun­er­al hymns, and tunes con­trib­ut­ed to other col­lect­ions. Music JESU, JESU, DU MEIN HIRT

Edward C. Bairstow

1874 - 1946 Meter: Composer of "MEMENTO MORI"

Bradley P. Lehman

b. 1964 Meter: Composer of "STORM (Lehman)"

Lois Horton Young

Meter: Author of "Christian Men, Arise and Give" in Fifteen New Bible Hymns Lois Horton Young is a resident of Baltimore, Maryland. She is active in the program of Christian Education in her local church, Milford Mill Evangelical United Brethren where he husband, Dr. Carl E. Young, is the pastor. Her special responsibility is as director of the church's kindergarten which has an enrollment of 300 children and a staff of 32. Mrs. Young is the author of twenty-three books and many articles written for religious periodicals. Her work has been published by Judson, Pilgrim, Otterbein, Friendship, and Abingdon Presses as well as by magazine publishers. She is the author of one of the Christian Education Hymns published by the Hymn Society. She is a member of the Curriculum Committee for the Graded Series of the National Council. --Fifteen New Bible Hymns, 1966. Used by permission.

Charles Parkin

1894 - 1994 Meter: Author of "See the Morning Sun Ascending" in The United Methodist Hymnal Parkin, Charles. (England, 1894--?). Studied at Oxford University, served in the British Army, 1916-1919, went to the United States in 1923 and was ordained a minister in the Maine Conference of the Methodist Church. Among his pastorates in Maine were parishes in Brunswick, Farmington, Bangor, Portland, and Ocean Park. --The Hymn Society, DNAH Archives =============================== From 1950 to 1952, [Parkin] was superintendent of the Portland District of the Maine Conference. From 1952 to 1964, Mr. Parkin was on the administrative and cultivation staffs of his church's Board of Missions, with offices in Philadelphia and New York. Throughout his active ministry and now "in retirement", Mr. Parkin has written many hymns, poems, and articles on missionary topics which have found wide use in the religious press of the nation. His hymn, "See the morning sun ascending", is one of the new "hymns of adoration" in The Methodist Hymnal, 1966. --Seven New Hymns of Hope , 1971. Used by permission.


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