Ambrosius (St. Ambrose), second son and third child of Ambrosius, Prefect of the Gauls, was born at Lyons, Aries, or Treves--probably the last--in 340 A.D. On the death of his father in 353 his mother removed to Rome with her three children. Ambrose went through the usual course of education, attaining considerable proficiency in Greek; and then entered the profession which his elder brother Satyrus had chosen, that of the law. In this he so distinguished himself that, after practising in the court of Probus, the Praetorian Prefect of Italy, he was, in 374, appointed Consular of Liguria and Aemilia. This office necessitated his residence in Milan. Not many months after, Auxentius, bishop of Milan, who had joined the Arian party, died; and m… Go to person page >
Translator: J. Williams
John Williams was born at Deerfield, Mass., in 1817; graduated at Trinity College, Hartford, in 1835; was ordained Deacon, 1838; Priest, 1841; Rector of S. George's, Schenectady, N.Y., 1842; President of Trinity College, 1848-1853; Assistant Bishop of Connecticut, 1851, and sole Bishop, by the death of Bishop Brownell, in 1865. He has edited a number of works of value.
--Annotations of the Hymnal, Charles Hutchins, M.A. 1872.… Go to person page >
Aeterne rerum conditor. St. Ambrose. [Sunday Morning.] This hymn by St. Ambrose is received as genuine by the Benedictine editors….
The use of this hymn has been most extensive. In the Mozarabic Breviary (1502, f. 2) it is the hymn at Matins on the 1st Sunday in Advent, and generally on Sundays in Advent, Lent, Palm Sunday, Whitsun Day, &c.; in the Sarum, York, Evesham, Hereford, and St. Alban's, at Lauds on Sundays from the Octave of the Epiphany to Lent, and from the 1st Oct. to Advent; in the Worcester at Matins (so also some old Breviaries of the Benedictine Order (Daniel, i. g. 15); and in the Roman, for Sundays at Lauds, from the Octave of the Epiphany to the 1st Sunday in Lent, and from the S. nearest to the 1st of Oct. to Advent.
The text of this hymn is found in the Junius of the 8th century, No. xxv., and in two llth century manuscripts in the British Museum (Harl. 2961, f. 2186; Jul. A. vi. f. 19). In the Latin Hymns of the Anglo-Saxon Church, 1851, it is printed from a Durham manuscript of the llth century, and is given in the following works: St. Ambrosii Opp., Paris, 1836, p. 200; Daniel, i. 15, iv. 3; Trench, 1864, 243; Cardinal Newman's Hymni Ecclesiae, 1838, &c. Daniel and Trench are specially rich in illustrative notes. The variations in the Roman Breviary are also found in these works. [Rev. W. A. Shoults, B. D.]
Translations not in common use:—
5. Creator eternal of earth, &c. Bishop Williams, 1845.
--Excerpts from John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology