Chambers, John David, M.A., F.S.A., son of Captain Chambers of the R. N., was born in London in 1805, and educated at Oriel College, Oxford, graduating with honours, in 1827 (M.A. 1831). He was called to the Bar by the Inner Temple in 1831. In 1842 he published an elaborate treatise on the Jurisdiction of the Court of Chancery over the persons and property of Infants, and was appointed Recorder of New Sarum the same year. At Salisbury his attention was specially attracted to the Liturgical and other Ecclesiastical lore appertaining to the Cathedral, and to St. Osmund, its Bishop, 1078. St. Osmund compiled from different sources a series of Divine Offices, and Rules for their celebration within his diocese. These Rules were in two parts, t… Go to person page >
Deus tuorum militum. [Feasts of Martyrs.] This anonymous Ambrosian hymn is in two forms, one in 32 lines and the second in 16 lines. It dates probably from the 6th century. The question as to what was the original form of the hymn has not been determined. Daniel's (i., No. 97) heading of the texts (both forms) is "De Communiunius Martyris," and he remarks that the hymns for the Common of Saints are nearly always of greater length in old and un¬altered Breviaries than in those which are of more recent date, or which have been revised. The older hymns having reference to some particular saint, certain stanzas are afterwards cut out to make the hymn suitable for general use. If this view be taken of the present hymn, then the longer form is the original, and the shorter form given in the Breviaries is an abbreviation therefrom. Against this conclusion there are two facts, the first that the lines in the fuller form, which are not given in the Breviaries, do not apply to any special martyr, and second, that the oldest form in which we now have the hymn is (omitting the doxology) in 16 lines. This form, with slight variations in the text, is in the Mozarabic Breviary. (Toledo, 1502, 317 b); in a 10th century manuscript at Munich, where it is adapted for the Nativity of St. Laurence, quoted by Mone, No. 740; and in the Latin Hymns of the Anglo-Saxon Church, Surtees Soc, 1851, from an 11th cent. ms. at Durham. This would suggest that the shorter form of the hymn is the older of the two. As the translations into English are generally from the Roman Breviary, it may be noted that this is the shorter form, with slight variations in lines 6, 7 and 11. This hymn is also found in four manuscripts of the 11th century, in the British Museum (Jul. A. vi. f. 66; Vesp. D. xii., f. 107; Harl. 2961, f. 248 b; Add. 30851, f. 153 b.). [Rev. W. A. Shoults, B.D.]
Translation in common use:
4. Of all Thy warrior Saints, 0 Lord. By J. D. Chambers, given in his Lauda Syon, Pt. ii., 1866, p. 12, and repeated in the People's Hymnal, 1867.
--Excerpts from John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)