Bonhoeffer uses a similar phrase 'worldly Christianity'. It's J Gresham Machen that I want to line up most closely with. See his Christianity and culture here. Having done commentaries on Proverbs (Heavenly Wisdom) and Song of Songs (Heavenly Love), a matching title for Ecclesiastes would be Heavenly Worldliness. For my stance on worldliness, see 3 posts here.

Fun link


I found this on Rhodri's new blog.The blog is here.

Le livre est arrivé!


So at last it's here. I had to read it through to see what it was like and if there were any mistakes. I spotted no typos but there are one or two minor 'continuity errors'. I hope it will be a help to young Christians and serioous unbelievers who want to explore the subject. What a privilege to be involved in such a project. Do check it out. I think it goes for around 7.99.

New Feature


Hope you like the new feature - blogs to see. It's for my own use as much as anything. I sometimes miss things. Do check out these links featured at the time of writing this: one serious (interview with Philip Eveson) and one for fun (Ben Thomas sglefrolio amser maith yn ol).

Hymn of the week 26


We haven't had this feature for a little while but I so enjoyed singing Joseph Hart's hymn yesterday that I wanted to put it here in case anyone doesn't know it. Previously it was in Grace Hymns and not in Christian Hymns. Chiefly for this reason my father-in-law would always choose it for the services on the weekend before the Aber conference, knowing he wasn't choosing something people would be singing again that week. In this way the hymn was brought to many people's attention and now features in the new Christian Hymns. They didn't like one or two things for some reason and have changed them. This is the original:


A Man there is, a real Man,
With Wounds still gaping wide,
From which streams of Blood once ran
In hands, and feet, and side.

'Tis no wild Fancy of our Brains,
No Metaphor we speak:
The same dear Man in Heav'n now reigns,
That suffer'd for our sake.

This wond'rous Man, of whom we tell,
Is true Almighty God.
He bought our souls from death and hell;
The price his own heart's blood.

That human heart he still retains,
Tho' thron'd in highest bliss;
And feels each tempted
Member's pains: for our affliction's his.

Come then, repenting sinner, come;
Approach with humble faith:
Owe what thou wilt, the total sum,
Is cancell'd by his death.

His blood can cleanse the blackest soul;
And wash our guilt away,
He shall present us sound and whole
In that tremendous day.

Baptism



This Lords' Day past was a red letter day for us in Childs Hill as there was a baptism in the evening. I preached in the morning from the next part of Mark's Gospel (on the sending out of the Twelve). I always like to have baptisms in the evening as things seem a little anti-climactic come the evening otherwise. It meant that one or two couldn't be there but most oncers made the effort to be there twice or switched services. Our usual small congregation (under 20) was swollen by friends and family to around 50 or so. I was baptising my eldest son's girlfriend, Sibyl. They met in school and talked endlessly about the Bible. She has no background in Christian things. She began to come to church but was beginning to lose heart but was booked in for last year's Aber Conference. She nearly pulled out but her family urged her to go as long as she didn't get converted. Well, she listened to the first part anyway. She is not the sort of person who revels in public speaking and so it was a special blessing to hear her testimony and then to baptise her. It always surprises me how quick the actual baptism itself is (about 30 seconds or so). Before that I preached from Ruth 2:11, 12 endeavouring to explain the great change that has happened to Sibyl and presenting an apologetic to the feminists in the audience. After the baptism we sang 'A man there is a real man' which Sibyl chose. That is a great hymn (even after the editors of Christian Hymns have tinkered with it).
I'll welcome Sibyl into membership next week. She is soon off overseas for her gap year. We have a tradition in Childs Hill of baptising people then saying goodbye to them. I have baptised no more than 20 people over the years, I believe. How I wish there had been more. Let's see what happens next. There are at least seven young people I am praying for.

Bloggy Special 28


Another three days



On Wednesday I was at Spring Court with the older folk in the morning. I also had a haircut on the Kilburn High Road. At night it was our usual midweek meeting for prayer and Bible study. In the afternoon headed into town to Tottenham Court Road, had a nose in the electrical shops and drunk a coffee then met up with another member of the Westminster Conference committee to look at The American Church. The buildings date from the fifties and obviously get a lot of use but will be adequate for our use next December. A very nice man with a penchant for irony helped us sort out what we were going to do. Various auditions appeared to be going on in the different rooms. One interesting room had some historical artifacts including a portrait of Whitefield that I'd never seem before. I'm not sure how old it is. The site is where Whitefield once had a church. Augustus Toplady is buried somewhere on the premises I understand.
I spoke this evening on Christ's intercession using something I found in Turretin. After the church meeting we had a short church members meeting where we heard a testimony in preparation for an intended baptism on Sunday. Eleri and Rhodri joined us for this. They had gone to the Hampstead School prizegiving. The speaker was a former pupil who is now a backing singer for Amy Winehouse (Eleri pointed him out to me when we saw a bit of Glastonbury while she was looking for footage of Cerys Matthews there - she now has a child in the same school as our youngest two). Rhodri's girlfriend got a biology prize. Guess what they gave here? Richard Dawkins' God delusion. It is a pretty humanist school I know but considering that is not a biology book and Sibyl is the one we are baptising it seemed a little odd.
Thursday went mostly on preparation for Sunday. Up in Golders Green Jews for Jesus were out in full force. It was nice to meet Stephen Pacht their UK director. I also got talking to a Jewish PR man called Nick who saw me reading the Calvinistic Methodist Fathers book and struck up a conversation with me. He took note of the book for further reference and recommended some Jewish reading for me.
On Friday we had a meet up over a Chinese meal (Green Cottage) to say farewell to a former member and assistant here who is off back to America on Monday after a six month stint in the UK. Mark Raines is about to become assistant to Mark Chanski in the Reformed Baptist in Holland, Michigan. Among his hearers will be Al Martin, now in retirement from Essex Fells. In the evening we had the clubs for children and young people. I was leading - on Jairus's daughter. We also got the baptistry prepared.
Saturday morning we had a bit of a clean up over at the church in preparation for the baptism. The rest of the day it was more preparation and more reading from Welsh Methodist history while listening to Thijs Van Leer.

Beware of sharks


Missing Teeth

Someone once asked why missing teeth look so charming on children and so horrible on adults. Perhaps it's to do with the fact that children's missing teeth will be replaced.

Stapleford etc


On Monday we were meeting again at the Evangelical Library near Baker Street where we are still inching towards a sale of the property. Further developments look to be in the right direction. Watch this space!
Then I was out all day Tuesday. Bright and early Eleri took me to the London Gateway Services near the bottom of the M1 (did you know that the M1 has no Junction 3?) where I met up with Jeremy Walker (Maidenbower Baptist) to travel to Stapleford, just off the M1 between Derby and Nottingham. In a chapel there I was at my first full committee organising upcoming Westminster Conferences. It was good to be amongst august company. One of the EP directors was able to give me a first glimpse of my book on regeneration, which Jeremy told me he also had a copy of. I'm still yet to have one of my own.
The next Westminster Conference (2008) is all set. I have listed the subjects here
. Speakers are to be Iain Murray (Lessons from the Puritans), John J Murray (Recovering the Reformed vision), Paul Brown (Kevan and law), American Professor Robert Godfrey (Tradition good and bad), Jonathan Watson of Banner (Thomas Brooks) and Faith Cook (Grimshaw).
The conference is becoming a little nomadic. Having begun in Westminster Chapel and been in the Friends House near Euston for a short while, this year's conference (December 9, 10) will be at the American Church in Tottenham Court Road.
As for 2009 (December 8, 9) things are shaping up well. We are hoping to have papers on Calvin (two of these), one on the 1859 Revival, one concerning Darwin and Darwinism, one on the Elizabethan settlement of 1559 and, to round off, one on the Moravians. It is shaping up to be a very good conference. Do come along.
The church kindly made us hot drinks and given us a light lunch. One of the ladies said that they had had a baptism last Sunday of the husband of a church member, a man they had been praying for, for some 32 years! Praise the Lord!
After the committee those who wished were kindly invited to have a meal at the nearby home of a former committee member now retired. We had a lovely time chatting and enjoying hospitality there, sharing news and anecdotes, etc. This man has preached some 700 sermons since he retired 10 years ago, which shows that life is hardly over just because you retire.
We then headed home. I was back by 9 pm but Jeremy took another 2 hours to get through London. It was my suggestion to head through the city I hope that wasn't what made him so late.

Great Tube Advert

I'm not a tennis fan but I am interested in popular culture and for Wimbledon fortnight the sponsor's HSBC have this brilliant ad on the tube. This version has been cropped so you can't see the Cliff Richard CD in the bottom left hand corner but most of the other references are observable if you click above. Do look out for Tim Henman. Let me know if you spot any really subtle ones. There should be more than ten! (If you count the Cliff Richard).
PS I can see the Cliff Richard CD after all - down on the right next to the Wimbledon mug!

Fun products

Have you seen this?

(I found it on Mike de Jong's blog from a while back)

Other Holy Clubbers

The lives of the Wesleys and Whitefield are well known and we have endeavoured to say something about Ingham, Gambold, Broughton, Hervey and Clayton. As for the others mentioned we know little about
Charles Kinchin (1711-1742), except that he was born at Woodmancote, Hampshire. Educated from 1725 at Corpus Christi, he was elected fellow 1731, dean 1736. He led the Holy Club after the Wesleys left. He was ordained and appointed Rector of Dummer, Hampshire, 1735, being assisted by a succession of evangelical curates including Whitefield and Hervey. In his later years he was drawn towards the Moravians. He died in London of smallpox, January 1742.
Robert Kirkham (c 1708-1767), a student at Merton College, who was the son of Rev Lionel Kirkham, rector of Stanton, Gloucestershire, whom he succeeded as rector, 1739-1766.
William Morgan (c 1712-1732) was born in Dublin, the son of Richard Morgan sen. He entered Christ Church 1728. His poor physical and mental health and early death were by some attributed to his adherence to the strict rules of the Holy Club, a charge rebutted by Wesley in a letter to Richard Morgan sen. 19 October, 1732.
William Smith (c 1707-1765) of Leicester, was a student and fellow of Lincoln College. He proceeded BA 1729, MA 1732.
The ODNB has articles on Westley Hall and John Simpson.
Westley Hall (1711–1776), a dissenter, was born Salisbury 17 March 1711. His father, Thomas, was a clothier and his mother, Margaret, daughter of Thomas Westley, rector of Imber, near Warminster. Her brother, Robert, became Lord Mayor of London and was knighted 1744. The Halls were in comfortable circumstances. Westley inherited Hornington Manor from his father and a house at Fisherton, near Salisbury, from his mother. He received his early education from his mother's brother, Thomas, Rector of Berkeley, near Frome, and matriculated as a gentleman commoner at Lincoln College, Oxford, 26 January 1731. At his entry he presented the college with two silver sauce boats and at his departure he gave rector, Euseby Isham, ‘who was always kind to me’, a copy of Raphael's cartoons.
He became a pupil of Wesley, who recalled later that he had been ‘holy and unblamable in all manner of conversation’ and was an assiduous Holy Club member, making so favourable an impression on Wesley that he was invited to his home at Epworth. He became secretly engaged to Wesley's elder sister, Martha, whom he had met when she was staying with her uncle, Matthew, in London. A few months later, however, he proposed to younger sister, Keziah, and gained the family's consent. When Martha revealed her engagement, he abandoned Keziah and married Martha, 1735. His action was strongly condemned by Charles and Samuel Wesley, who described him as a ‘smooth-tongued hypocrite’. More immediately John reconciled himself to the marriage, which was highly praised in verses in the Gentleman's Magazine September 1735. For a time Keziah resided with the Halls, later becoming a pupil teacher at Lincoln and dying young - her death hastened, according to John, by Hall's treatment.
Hall, who left Oxford 1734 without a degree, was made deacon and priest by the Bishop of London with a view to his becoming chaplain at Savannah in the newly established colony of Georgia in succession to Samuel Quincy. He joined the Wesleys and other members of the intended expedition at Gravesend 1735 but (in spite of having spent £100 on clothing and furniture), partly because of objections from his family, he opted out, informing Governor Oglethorpe that he had been offered a living by an uncle. He became a curate at Wootton Rivers, Wiltshire, moving to his mother's Fisherton house, 1735. There he was joined by Wesley's widowed mother, Susanna. She then described him as a ‘man of extraordinary piety and love to souls’. In 1739 the household moved to London, where he became actively engaged in promoting the youthful Methodist society, preaching against the Moravian doctrine of ‘stillness’ and urging expulsion of 2 members of the society for failing to adhere to the principles of the Church of England. Within a year he had himself adopted Moravian tenets, converting Susanna to the ‘witness of the Spirit’ and strongly criticising John's management of the society as well as his religious teaching.
In 1743 ‘poor Moravianized Mr Hall’ (Charles Wesley) returned to Salisbury, where he set up a religious society which he urged John and Charles to join, but his views were to become increasingly extreme, moving from Moravianism to deism, repudiating the sacraments, denying the resurrection and preaching and practising polygamy. His wife, whom he treated with little consideration, remained loyal to the C of E. ‘You are’, Wesley wrote to him, 18 August 1743, ‘a weak, injudicious, fickle, irresolute man, deeply enthusiastic and highly opinionated. You need a tutor now more than when you first came to Oxford’. In a strongly worded letter, 22 December 1747, Wesley remonstrated with Hall for his heterodox religious teaching and immoral manner of life, listing some of his many affairs.
Hall was, however, to persist in his eccentric opinions, seeking to disturb Charles prayer meetings at Bristol, 1750-51, for which Charles was to criticise him in his Funeral Hymns (no 11). Shortly afterwards, accompanied by his mistress, he moved to the West Indies, visiting Essequibo in Guiana and Barbados, where in 1758 his mistress apparently saved his life when some black people entered his house and tried to slit his throat by hurling a pewter tankard at the miscreant's head!
On his return to England he took clerical duty and became reconciled to his wife; John commented to brother Charles, ‘Is it right that my sister, Patty, should suffer Mr Hall to live with her? I almost scruple giving her the sacrament, seeing he does not pretend to renounce Betty Rogers [the seamstress whom Hall had seduced]’. Nevertheless John and Charles took over the responsibility for the maintenance and education of the Halls' eldest son, Westley, but the boy died from smallpox at 14, much mourned by Charles in his Funeral Hymns (no 10): ‘unspotted from the world, and pure and saved and sanctified by grace’. His father, with characteristic ineptitude, had addressed a tract to the boy entitled The Art of Happiness, or, The Right Use of Reason, in which he strongly criticised orthodox religious teaching. In all Hall had apparently 12 sons and daughters, of whom at least 2 were illegitimate, of whom only 3 were still living 1774. After suffering much ill health, Hall died at Bristol 3 January 1776. John was too late to visit him but helped at his burial service, commenting in his journal: ‘God had given him deep repentance. Such another monument of divine mercy, considering how low he had fallen, and from what height of holiness, I have not seen, no, not in 70 years’. Hall was a plausible and charismatic figure, especially where women were concerned, but of a very unstable character. His wife, Martha, survived him, dying 12 July 1791. She was buried in the ground attached to the New Chapel in the City Road, London.

John Simpson (1709/10 - c 1766), evangelist and preacher, was the son of Thomas Sympson. Brought up in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire it was possibly under the influence of Wesley, in nearby Epworth, that he entered Lincoln College, Oxford, aged 18 as a servitor, 1728. There he became Wesley's pupil and a Holy Club member. He graduated 1731, and after ordination obtained a valuable Leicestershire living.
During the 1730s he kept in touch with Wesley, and when the evangelical revival began, he was drawn in. By November 1739 he was in London, the revival centre. He preached in Ingham's Yorkshire societies, and, January 1740, visited Ingham's Nottingham followers. Wesley seems to have left him in charge of his fledgling Foundery Society, established for his London followers because he disapproved of the doctrine of ‘stillness’ that was taking hold of the Fetter Lane Society. But by April Simpson had himself espoused ‘stillness’, rejecting the sacraments, and led opposition to Charles Wesley in both societies. The dispute resulted in the Wesleys' withdrawal from Fetter Lane that July.
In November 1740 Simpson, who had by now resigned his living, moved to Ockbrook, Derbyshire, and became leader of the societies established by Ingham's followers there and in Nottingham. In 1741 his ‘stillness’ teaching annoyed the Countess of Huntingdon - though she believed he was ‘a good man and means well’ - and she asked Fetter Lane to recall him. They replied that they had not sent him but asked him to return, but he declined.
By now the Moravians had taken over Fetter Lane. When Simpson visited, August 1741, they judged him ‘honest but peculiar’. They remonstrated with him for going to Ockbrook, acting unilaterally and fostering error. In April 1742 Moravian opposition to his planned marriage to an unconverted woman prompted him to repudiate them. Meetings with Lady Huntingdon and the Wesleys ensued, but he stood by his teachings and, though initially thought to have made common cause with the Wesleys, remained independent.
His support in Ockbrook grew (2 houses were built for him), and he visited Nottingham quarterly, but in 1743 several members of his society withdrew after the Moravians, who thought he acted ‘like a madman’, publicly disowned him for refusing to obey directions. By May just 10 remained; 30 of his former followers requested Moravian supervision, January 1744.
Wesley's journal entries recording meetings with Simpson display continued affection: ‘Whatever he does is in the uprightness of his heart. But he is led into a thousand mistakes by one wrong principle … the making inward impressions his rule of action, and not the written word’; ‘the oddest, honestest enthusiast, surely, that ever was upon earth’; this ‘original enthusiast … spoke many good things, in a manner peculiar to himself … what pity it is this well-meaning man should ever speak without an interpreter!’. In November 1747 he aroused Wesley's sympathy when drawn to London by the offer of a living, but was then asked to stop preaching outside church - a condition to which he could not agree.
Still living and preaching in Ockbrook, 1748–9, his repeated drunkenness and the content of his conversations to and about women gave offence. He railed against the Moravians, seeming ‘crazy if not fuddled’ when doing so in a Bedford inn. He was in Derby gaol by January 1751, and still there October 1753. By 1757 he was out of prison, still living in Ockbrook and preaching to 5 or 6 every Sunday. He is last recorded living in Ockbrook 1766; details of his date and place of death are unknown.

John Clayton

Another member of the Holy Club was John Clayton (1709–1773) who became a Church of England clergyman. Born Manchester 9 October 1709, eldest of four, his father William Clayton (1679-1725) was a bookseller–stationer, whose wife was Martha Mosson (1678/9–1730). He was educated at Manchester grammar school and Brasenose College, Oxford, where he matriculated with a school exhibition 17 July 1725, proceeding BA 16 April 1729, MA 8 June 1732. In 1732 he became associated with Wesley's Holy Club. He had a significant influence on the Oxford Methodists, extending their social work and deepening their devotional life under the influence of primitive Christian beliefs and practices. He had a taste for mystical writings, acquired under the guidance of non jurors in Manchester and elsewhere (Thomas Deacon, John Byrom, William Law).
He was ordained 29 December 1732 and made perpetual curate of Sacred Trinity, Salford, 1733. Wesley continued to seek advice from him and his circle and preached for him in Manchester and Salford, as did Whitefield. Wesley, however, became less strict in his devotion to ‘primitive’ precedents, and his increasing irregularities after his evangelical conversion made Clayton alarmed and critical. A letter from Wesley, probably to Clayton (28 March 1739) rejected Anglican restraints famously proclaiming ‘I look upon all the world as my parish’. This probably marked the end of their friendship and in later years Clayton cold-shouldered the Wesleys on their Manchester visits.
In 1736 he acted as chaplain to Darcy Lever, high sheriff of Lancashire, and published an assize sermon preached at Lancaster entitled The necessity of duly exercising the laws against immorality and profaneness. He was elected chaplain, 6 March 1740, and fellow, 28 June 1760, of Manchester collegiate church. His high-church Tory sympathies were shown in his support for the agitation to stop the erection of a poorhouse in Manchester, dominated by whigs and dissenters, 1729–31. During the Jacobite invasion 1745 he said grace for Bonny Prince Charlie and allegedly knelt and prayed for him in the street. This is said to have led to his ecclesiastical suspension, though he was later reinstated. He did not, as was once thought, go into hiding only to be reinstated at the general amnesty for rebels; rather he was indicted for treason at Lancaster, though not convicted. For a time after 1745 he was subjected to attacks for his Jacobitism by Thomas Percival of Royton, Presbyterian Josiah Owen of Rochdale and ‘Tim Bobbin’ (John Collier). In later years he modulated his loyalties towards the Hanoverian dynasty, for which he was denounced as two-faced.
From at least 1738 he conducted an academy in Salford which was naturally patronised by local Tory and Jacobite families and produced a number of university entrants. For their use he published Anacreontis et Sapphonis carmina (1754) and created a 6000 volume library. He was elected a feoffee of Chetham's Hospital and Library 1764. His Friendly Advice to the Poor (1755) reacted to economic changes in Manchester by blaming the poor for idleness, extravagance and bad management, though he left money 1772 to aid poor tradesmen and farmers. (This was reported lost by 1826). ‘Joseph Stot’ (Robert Whitworth) replied satirically in his A Sequel to the Friendly Advice to the Poor (1756). Apart from his early influence on Wesley's religious development Clayton is perhaps chiefly significant as an example of the overlapping religious and political culture of high-churchmen, Tories and Jacobites in Manchester and elsewhere.
Clayton was described as standing about 5' 8", somewhat portly, dignified in gait, with an enormous wig: he was a disciplinarian to his pupils and a meticulous observer of clerical duty. It has been claimed that he was married, but evidence is indecisive. His sister Jennet kept house for him.
He died (probably of the stone) 25 September 1773 at Back Salford and was buried 28 September in the Derby chapel of the collegiate church, Manchester. After his death his former pupils founded a society of Cyprianites and erected a monument in his memory. His library was also dispersed in this year.

Thomas Broughton

The ODNB tells us that Holy Club member Thomas Broughton (1712–1777) was a Church of England clergyman born in the parish of St Martin Carfax, Oxford and the son of Thomas Broughton, gentleman. He matriculated at University College, Oxford, 17 December 1731, aged 19. In March 1733 he joined Wesley's ‘Methodists’. He was elected Petreian fellow at Exeter College 30 June 1733 and full fellow 14 July 1734. By December 1734 he was increasingly at odds with some of the Methodists, though he remained an ally for some time, even assisting in Wesley's unsuccessful attempt at preferment to the living at Epworth April 1735.
For a time, beginning in late 1735, he was curate of Cowley, near Uxbridge. In 1736 he became curate at the Tower of London and occasionally rode in the cart with condemned criminals to Tyburn, in the manner depicted by Hogarth. He took his BA 22 March 1737. A year later he challenged, as too Moravian, Wesley's claims of instantaneous conversion and assurance of faith, and consequently became estranged from the Methodists. Having both obtained and lost a lectureship at St Helen's, Bishopsgate, through the influence of Whitefield, in 1741 he became lecturer of All Hallows, Lombard Street. In July 1741 he resigned his fellowship at Exeter; and in the following year he married a Miss Capel. They had 15 children; five died in infancy.
Broughton was appointed secretary of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge 28 June 1743, a position that occupied him on weekdays for the rest of his life. As the first ordained clergyman to hold the position, he managed the society's publications and assistance to charity schools, missions and workhouses, but seems to have gained no personal notoriety thereby. A portrait of Broughton by Robert Dunkarton still hangs in the SPCK HQ. On 7 November 1752 he was installed rector of the church of St John the Evangelist in Wotton, Surrey, a living which also included Oakwood Chapel. Broughton died in London on the morning of 21 December 1777, as he was preparing for St Thomas Day services; he was found by friends on his knees in clerical attire in the society's house in Hatton Garden. Broughton's published writings include two sermons: The Christian Soldier, or, The Duties of a Religious Life Recommended to the Army, preached 1737 at the Tower, printed 1738 (12th ed, 1818), and translated into Gaelic (An saighdear Criosduidh) 1797; and A Serious and Affectionate Warning to Servants (1746; 9th ed, 1818).
This Thomas Broughton should not be confused with another almost contemporary Thomas Broughton (1704-1774) Anglican clergyman and author.

James Hervey

Once again we rely on ODNB.
James Hervey (1714–1758), Church of England clergyman and writer, was born 26 February 1714 at Hardingstone (nr Northampton), son of William Hervey (1679/80–1752), rector of Collingtree and Weston Favell. Taught by his mother until he was 7, he was then sent to the free grammar school, Northampton, where he learnt Latin and Greek. In 1731 he went up to Lincoln College, Oxford, where his tutor was Richard Hutchins, later to become rector; the then rector, Dr Euseby Isham, appointed him shortly after he entered the college to a Creweian exhibition of £20 pa, which he held until September 1736. He was a student of civil law 4 years, but changed faculties after the college told him that to qualify for holy orders he must hold a BA. For the first two years he was idle, receiving little guidance from his tutor. In 1733 he joined the Oxford Methodists and came under Wesley's powerful influence. Wesley unofficially taught him Hebrew. Having been admitted April 1736 to the BA degree, he was ordained deacon 19 September by John Potter, Bishop of Oxford.
Accounts differ as to whether Hervey now returned home to serve for a short time as his father's curate. By the end of 1736 he was curate to Charles Kinchin at Dummer, near Basingstoke, Hampshire (a curacy briefly held before him by Whitefield). In June 1737 he refused the invitation of the Collingtree people to settle among them. In 1738 he moved for 2 years to Stoke Abbey, Devon, the estate of Paul Orchard, another Oxford friend; they signed a pact 28 November 1738 stating that they had been brought together by providence and agreeing to watch over each other's conduct. After Orchard's death Hervey provided a sketch of his character in the dedication of the second volume of Meditations and Contemplations (1747) to his godson, Orchard's son Paul. In December 1739 he was ordained priest at Exeter, and from 1740 was curate of Bideford for 30 months. During this period he firmly committed himself to the doctrines of free grace and justification by faith that he was to teach the rest of his life, and embarked on what was to be an extraordinarily successful literary career. His friends collected money to raise his small stipend to £60 pa. In 1743 the new rector of Bideford, who disliked his views, dismissed him. Though the parishioners offered to maintain him he returned to Weston Favell as his father's curate. His health, always precarious, became much worse, and in June 1750 his friends tricked him into staying in London to convalesce, partly with Whitefield and partly with his brother, William, in Miles's Lane. He did not return until May 1752, when on his father's death he succeeded to the Weston Favell and Collingtree livings. In order to hold both, jointly worth £160-£180 pa (out of which he paid curate Abraham Maddock), he had by a tortuous and expensive process to obtain a Cambridge MA and a dispensation from Canterbury before being instituted by the Bishop of Peterborough. He was thus able to support his mother and sister, with whom he lived at Weston the rest of his life.
As an evangelical clergyman Hervey thought differences between denominations over forms of prayer and manner of worship unimportant; what mattered was correct doctrine. He told Watts in an admiring letter 10 December 1747 that he had introduced his hymns into his church services. In a letter 18 August 1748 to an unidentified recipient he wrote, ‘Though I am steady in my Attachment to the established church, I would have a Right-hand of Fellowship, and a Heart of Love, ever ready, ever open, for all the upright evangelical Dissenters’. There seem to have been particularly open relationships between churchmen and dissenters in the Northampton area. His friends and correspondents in the established church were mostly Methodists or of evangelical persuasion: Wesley, Whitefield, James Stonhouse, Thomas Hartley, Moses Browne, the Countess of Huntingdon and Lady Frances Shirley. His chief friends among the dissenters were Doddridge (who dedicated Christ's Invitation to Thirsty Souls to him 1748), Risdon Darracott, John Collett Ryland, Richard Pearsall and William Cudworth. He sent many of these friends manuscript copies of his works in progress, asking for comments and corrections both theological and literary.
As a writer Hervey had two main aims: to propagate the Reformation theology that he believed, like other members of the evangelical movement, had been abandoned by the Church of England, and to draw on the intellectual and aesthetic interests of the wealthy and polite in order to draw them to Christ—‘to bait the Gospel-Hook, agreeably to the prevailing Taste’. With this end in view he combined his extensive interest in physico-theology (derived mainly from Keill's Anatomy, Derham's Physico-Theology and Astro-Theology, and Pluche's Spectacle de la nature) and classical and modern poetry (especially Homer, Virgil, Milton, Thomson and Edward Young) with a commitment to the Bible as the central text of literature as well as religion. His most popular work, Meditations and Contemplations (1746–7; rev ed 1748), consisted in its final form of 6 parts in two volumes. Volume 1 contained ‘Meditations among the tombs’, ‘Reflections on a flower-garden’ and ‘A descant upon creation’, and the second ‘Contemplations on the night’, ‘Contemplations on the starry heavens’ and ‘A winter-piece’. The first two parts, dedicated to the daughter of George Thomson, Vicar of St Gennys, Cornwall, were first printed as pamphlets by Samuel Richardson. Hervey's peculiar ecstatic style, which delighted many and disgusted others, was the result of his attempt to combine the language of puritan meditation with that of The Spectator and Shaftesbury's Moralists (though he never mentioned the latter). His ideal was what he called Christ's style: ‘Majestic, yet familiar; happily uniting Dignity with Condescension; it consists, in Teaching his Followers the sublimest Truths, by spiritualizing on the most common Occurrences’. He reinterpreted for the 18th Century the ancient notion of God's two books of nature and Scripture, teaching his readers ‘the Christian's Natural Philosophy’ by encouraging them to view the world with an evangelical telescope and with an evangelical microscope.
His second substantial work, Theron and Aspasio (3 vols., 1755; two rev eds same year), which was intellectually far more demanding than the Meditations, was devoted to what he regarded as the key gospel doctrine, the imputation of Christ's righteousness to sinners. The narrative, in the form of 17 dialogues and 12 letters, portrays the slow conversion to Reformation Christianity of the polite and cultivated Theron by his friend Aspasio (who resembles Hervey in his earlier literary tastes and his preference for the Bible). Theron thinks this is not a religion for gentlemen. The process whereby he is brought to believe otherwise is a skillful combination of the Puritan conversion narrative with Shaftesburian dialogue. The argument is supported both by analysis of the precise meaning of biblical texts and by much quotation from Milton and Young. The polite reader is enticed by descriptions of landscape and works of art and by physico-theological illustrations, a process Hervey called setting apples of gold in pictures of silver. He intended to write a further volume on gospel holiness, for which he sketched a plan, but instead he felt obliged to defend his theological principles from Wesley's attack.
Though Hervey described himself as a moderate Calvinist, when Wesley read Theron and Aspasio in print (he had commented on the first 3 dialogues in manuscript) he decided that Hervey was ‘a deeply-rooted Antinomian’ whose views would dangerously undermine holiness. Hervey ignored Wesley's lengthy critical letter 15 October 1756, so Wesley included it in A Preservative Against Unsettled Notions in Religion (1758). With encouragement from Cudworth, whom Wesley intemperately described to Hervey as ‘an evil man’ (November 1758), Hervey spent his dying months preparing a clear and carefully argued defence of his theological principles, supported by much discussion of biblical texts in Hebrew and Greek. Shortly before his death he told his brother William not to publish it, as its transcription for the press was not complete, but after a surreptitious edition appeared William brought it out as Eleven Letters from the Late Rev Mr Hervey, to the Rev Mr John Wesley (1765) (later editions Aspasio Vindicated). The deeply wounded Wesley said that Hervey died ‘cursing his spiritual father’.
Hervey had mixed feelings about writing mainly for the polite. His aim was to be a polished shaft in God's quiver (Isa 49: 2), an image he often referred to in correspondence. He was reluctant to cut Theron and Aspasio but at the same time was anxious to reach a wide audience who would be discouraged by the size and cost of a 3-volume edition. These fears proved groundless. Both major books were printed in 2 sizes at different prices, octavo and duodecimo, and achieved enormous sales, usually in editions of 5-6000. He gave away the proceeds to the poor; the Meditations brought c£700. An extempore preacher who rarely used notes, he published only a few sermons in his lifetime, The Cross of Christ the Christian's Glory, preached at the visitation of the archdeacon of Northampton (1753), and three fast sermons (1757). These were evangelical in content and deliberately plain in style. He wrote critical Remarks on Lord Bolingbroke's Letters on the Study and Use of History (1752) at Lady Frances Shirley's request, originally as private letters. He was passionately interested in 17th Century Puritan and Calvinist writing, his favourites being Walter Marshall, Benjamin Jenks and Dutch theologian Witsius. As a result of his recommendation in the third edition of Theron and Aspasio of Marshall's Gospel-Mystery of Sanctification as his desert-island choice besides the Bible, it was republished with a statement dated 5 November 1756 that until he resumed his own account of holiness it was to be regarded as the fourth volume of his own work. He also provided recommendations for Richard Burnham's Pious Memorials and Jenks's Meditations.
Hervey died Christmas day 1758 in Weston Favell and was buried three days later in the parish church. William Romaine, in a funeral sermon preached at St Dunstan-in-the-West, London, 4 January 1759, gave a full account of his activities as a clergyman but left his writings to speak for themselves. Their popularity held until the middle of the 19th Century — Meditations had reached 26 eds by 1800 — then evaporated. Critical reaction was mixed. Evangelical dissenters such as Ryland and Thomas Gibbons saw him as an exponent of the true sublime. The Gentleman's Magazine (1760) described his manner and writings, particularly his published letters, as conceited and effeminate. Cowper thought him ‘one of the most Spiritual & truly Scriptural Writers in the World’, but later laughed at an acquaintance who formed his style on Theron and Aspasio. Newton warned ministerial students not to imitate him. Not popular today he was one of the most widely read writers of the evangelical revival.
(George Ella produced a biography some years ago).

Benjamin Ingham


According to ODNB Benjamin Ingham (1712–1772) was an evangelist and preacher. He was born on 11 June 1712, probably at 7–9 Town End, Ossett, Yorkshire, third son of William Ingham, a farmer and hatter, and his wife, Susannah (d 1755). Ingham was good-natured and is said to have been extremely good-looking - ‘too handsome for a man’. He was educated at Batley grammar school and at Queen's College, Oxford (1730–34). After meeting the Wesleys 1733 he became an ‘Oxford Methodist’ and after graduating held religious meetings in his mother's home. Ordained deacon by Bishop Potter June 1735 he sailed to Georgia that October (after a brief curacy in Matching, Essex) with the Wesleys, Charles Delamotte and some Moravians, who so attracted him that in May 1736 he (unsuccessfully) sought to join their church. He left Georgia February 1737, visiting Moravians in Pennsylvania on his way home. He preached in churches around Ossett, and by April 1738 had societies in neighbouring villages. In June he crossed to the continent with John Wesley, visiting Moravian congregations in Marienborn (where he met Zinzendorf and was admitted to communion) and Herrnhut, and returning in October. His December visit to his schoolfriend Jacob Rogers kindled a revival in Bedford. In February 1739 he began a remarkable evangelistic ministry in Yorkshire. Banned from the churches in June, he preached in houses, barns, yards and fields, and soon led some 40 societies. Having vainly attempted to reunite the Fetter Lane Society behind the Wesleys in 1740, in 1741 he sided with the Moravians, barring Wesleyan John Nelson from preaching for him. On 12 November 1741 he married the Earl of Huntingdon's sister Lady Margaret Hastings (1700–1768). They resided at Aberford Hall, near Tadcaster, Yorkshire.
In July 1742 the Moravians told Ingham they would only work with his societies if he handed them over completely, which he did - without joining them. He attended their 1743 general synod in Germany and in 1744 purchased and leased them the site for their Yorkshire settlement, Fulneck, but soon felt that he had been made to surrender his societies under duress. He complained about the Moravians' authoritarianism, abuse of the lot, debts, extravagance with wealthy supporters' money and separation from the Church of England, also finding their developing spirituality difficult.
In the later 1740s he gradually developed his own preaching circuit, concentrating on the Craven area of Yorkshire, Lancashire and (from 1749) Westmorland, but also visiting Cheshire, Derbyshire, and even Lincolnshire. He first visited Craven May 1742, at the invitation of the family of William Delamotte's Cambridge contemporary Lawrence Batty. Invited to Colne, Lancashire, February 1743, he met William Grimshaw, Vicar of Haworth, on the way; they later often preached for and with each other. (He also toured with Whitefield 1749, 1750, 1756.) In July 1748 the vicar of Colne, George White, roused a mob to break up one of Ingham's meetings; the following week Ingham had a number of places registered under the Toleration Act, and settled his first society in Craven. His Collection of Hymns also appeared in 1748.
Ingham had attended the Moravians' 1747 general synod in Germany, and in 1748 placed his son Ignatius (1746–1815) in their boarding-school. Secretly received into Moravian membership in July 1749, in 1750–52 he occasionally led worship and preached at Fulneck. Tensions resurfaced 1751, however. In April 1752 (having expended in total more than £2300 on Fulneck and borrowed £1000 more on the Moravians' behalf), Ingham expressed himself ‘desirous to be at peace and to part in mutual love’ . In February 1753 he withdrew Ignatius from the school and publicly distanced himself from the Moravians. Ingham's friendly visits to Fulneck (which the Moravians eventually purchased) continued, however; in 1761 the Moravians noted that his preachers tried to prevent him from meeting them, because ‘it takes him 14 days until he is himself again’. From 1752 his circuit gradually became a connexion. The first chapel having been built in 1750, others followed in 1752, 1754 (3) and 1757 (2). He sought union with the Wesleys, but in May 1753 their conference decided that it could only unite with him ‘when he returns to the old Methodist doctrine’. Wesley rejected a further approach in May 1755, allowing him to attend the Leeds conference as an observer, but not his preachers. Meanwhile one of the societies had declared its separation from the Church of England. Ingham was forced to organise his connexion as a separate denomination. In June 1756 a preachers' conference chose him as general overseer, and William Batty and James Allen as his assistants; he ordained them in September. He made one final approach to the Wesleys; Charles was favourable, but John not.
In 1759 he read the writings of Scots congregationalist John Glas (1695–1773) and his son-in-law Robert Sandeman (1718–1771). In June 1761 Batty and Allen were commissioned to visit the Glasites in Scotland. ‘That horrid blast from the North’, as Romaine described Glasite influence, fragmented the connexion. Objecting to Ingham's authority, use of the lot and delays in introducing a fully Glasite church order, Allen seceded in November 1761. Some followed him, but many more joined other groups. Ingham gave the 10 or 11 remaining societies a quasi-Glasite church order 1762, and in 1763 defended Sandemanian teaching in A Discourse of the Faith and Hope of the Gospel. According to Seymour the disruption of Ingham's connexion affected his mental stability, leaving him ‘liable to sudden transitions from the highest flow of spirits to the utmost depression’. Lady Margaret died 30 April 1768 and Ingham 2 December 1772 at Aberford Hall. He was buried at Ledsham parish church, Yorkshire, 10 December.

John Gambold

The ODNB tells us that John Gambold (1711–1771) was a bishop of the Moravian church, born 10 April 1711 at the rectory, Puncheston, Pembrokeshire, he was the eldest of the five children of William Gambold (1672–1728), rector of Puncheston with Llanychâr, and Elizabeth (d 1744). Initially educated by his father, he entered Christ Church, Oxford, as a servitor 1726. His father's death and deathbed exhortations 1728 profoundly affected him, turning a wild teenager who loved reading poetry and drama into a man concerned only about his salvation. For over a year he was ‘in a despairing mood and totally neglected all care of his person and clothes’. By March 1730 he was sufficiently improved to desire like-minded company. He introduced himself to his fellow Christ Church undergraduate Charles Wesley and became one of the Oxford Methodists. Although he participated in their meetings and prison visiting, he preferred to remain in his room, reading and meditating on the fathers, especially mystical writers. Ordained in September 1733, in 1735 he became vicar of Stanton Harcourt, Oxfordshire, where he was looked after by his sister Martha (1713–1741) and, for about two years (1736–8), by the Wesleys' sister Kezziah. He performed his parochial duties conscientiously, but otherwise shut himself away, devoting himself to the Greek fathers, philosophical speculation and mysticism. By October 1738 he had even given up the fathers and described himself as ‘almost swallowed up with melancholy’, ‘peevish … by an hypochondriac constitution, and an internal religion ending in despondency’.
It was moving from Oxford Methodism, with its emphasis on fasting, liturgical prayer, and good works, to a Lutheran reliance on justification by faith alone, as taught by the Moravian church, which was to rescue Gambold from melancholy. He had read Luther in the mid-1730s but his gradual change of position was prompted by the Moravian Peter Böhler, when he visited Oxford in February 1738. In 1739 Gambold met the Moravian leader Count Zinzendorf in Oxford. By now he ‘thought the Brethren peculiarly happy and their Doctrine true but could not apply it to myself’. In April 1740 he described himself as still ‘mostly pensive and dejected, surrounded with solitude, sickness and silence, … contracting an abjectness, that blunts every finer sentiment, and damps every nobler ardor of the soul’. That year he did, however, compose a dramatic poem, The Martyrdom of Ignatius (published 1773).
In December 1740 Gambold's brother Hector (1714–1788) gave him an attractive account of his life in London with members of the Moravian-led Fetter Lane Society. Gambold went and experienced it for himself, and was drawn into the Moravian circle. This resulted in July 1741 in a breach with the Wesleys. Despite occasional meetings, the friendship was never restored. In Gambold's December 1741 university sermon, published as Christianity, Tidings of Joy, he spoke of baptismal regeneration in high Anglican fashion but the Moravians' emphasis on faith, their spirituality and community life were the answer to his depression. In October 1742 he finally resigned his living and moved to London. On 31 October he was received, as a founder member, into the London Moravian congregation. Writing to his parishioners, he stressed that his resignation did not imply criticism of the Church of England's liturgy or constitution. It was simply that he needed the sort of daily fellowship and pastoral care which the Moravian church offered and which he could find nowhere else.In December 1742 Gambold became a teacher at the Moravian boarding-school at Broadoaks, a manor house near Thaxted, Essex, where he married Elizabeth Walker (1719–1803) on 14 May 1743. Of their five children, one son and one daughter reached adulthood. In the autumn they moved to Haverfordwest, where Gambold kept a school and preached in local churches. Gambold had felt happy in the gentle but intense atmosphere of the Moravian school, describing himself in April 1743 as ‘at peace’ but was not suited to schoolmastering. By his own admission he had never loved children, found their concerns trivial, and preferred silent solitude. In Haverfordwest he was ‘too feeble’ to keep order and unwilling to punish. The venture failed.
In November 1744 Gambold returned to London. It helped the Moravians' image to have a learned Anglican priest as the stated preacher at their Fetter Lane Chapel, which Gambold remained until 1768. He also interpreted when Zinzendorf preached; his translation was both precise and praised by the count as of ‘heavenly beauty’. In the autumn of 1746 Gambold was Zinzendorf's intermediary in abortive negotiations with Archbishop John Potter for recognition of the Moravians as a society within the Church of England under Potter's personal oversight, helping to develop the proposals. A visit to the Moravian centre at Herrnhaag in Wetteravia for the 1747 general synod served to seal his commitment to the current Moravian spirituality and community life.
In 1742 Gambold had published anonymously an edition of the Greek text of the New Testament. His editing and translation skills were now employed in the service of the Moravian church. Beginning with Acta fratrum unitatis in Anglia (1749) he became the chief translator and editor of a series of books designed to promote the Moravians' image in England, including Zinzendorf's Maxims (1751). Assisted by James Hutton, he was responsible for most of the literary defence mounted when they came under attack between 1753 and 1755. He was the editor of Peremtorisches Bedencken (1753), A Modest Plea for the Church of the Brethren (1754), The Representation of the Committee of the English Congregations in Union with the Moravian Church (with Hutton, 1754), and probably also The Plain Case of the Representatives of the People Known by the Name of the Unitas Fratrum (1754). Hutton's Essay towards Giving some Just Ideas of the Personal Character of Count Zinzendorff (1755) included a letter about the count by Gambold. Later Gambold revised the translation of David Cranz's History of Greenland (1767). He also used his editorial skills commercially, acting as proof-reader and editor for the publisher William Bowyer.
Gambold also played a considerable part in the preparation of the Moravians' Londoner Gesangbuch of 1754, and edited A Collection of Hymns (2 vols., 1754), to which he contributed 11 translations and 28 original hymns, A Hymnbook for the Children (1756), and A Collection of Hymns (1769). Assisted by Ludolf Ernst Schlicht, he also edited the 1759 Litany Book. His sermon The Reasonableness and Extent of Religious Reverence was published in 1756, and his Short Summary of Christian Doctrine in 1765.
In November 1754 Gambold was consecrated the first English Moravian bishop. As such he consecrated chapels in Bristol and Kingswood (1757) and Leominster (1761). In 1764 he attended the Moravian church's constitutive general synod (following Zinzendorf's death), and inaugurated the congregations in Haverfordwest in 1763 and Cootehill, co. Cavan, during a visitation to Ireland in 1765. When his health failed in 1768 Gambold returned to Haverfordwest as minister of the congregation there. Despite breathlessness, dropsy, and increasing pain he remained in office until his death in Haverfordwest on 13 September 1771.
Lewis Morris said of Gambold, ‘Such were the bishops of primitive times’. In becoming a Moravian, Gambold had embraced poverty; in 1759 Richard Morris even thought he ‘delights in appearing poor and slovenly’. To John Wesley, Gambold was one of the ‘most sensible men in England’. In his edition of Gambold's Works (1789) Benjamin La Trobe wrote
Such a Bishop would have been justly esteemed an honour to any church, whether ancient or modern, if disinterestedness of spirit, humility of mind, devotion of heart, a benevolent disposition to all men, and a voluntary submission to the service not only of the church in general, but of every member thereof though in their most inferior status, be the proper qualifications and distinguished ornaments of the christian episcopacy.
Gambold was much loved.

Holy Club

John and Charles Wesley and a handful of other Oxford students devoted themselves to a rigorous search for holiness and service to others.
The Holy Club, the name given to John and Charles Wesley’s group by their fellow collegians in mockery of their emphasis on devotions, was the first sign of what later became Methodism. Begun by Charles and led by John after his return to Oxford University in 1729, the Holy Club members fasted until 3 pm on Wednesdays and Fridays, received Holy Communion once each week, studied and discussed the Greek New Testament and the Classics each evening in a member’s room, visited (after 1730) prisoners and the sick, and systematically brought all their lives under strict review. The Holy Club never exceeded 25 members, but many of those made significant contributions, in addition to those of Charles and John Wesley. Looking back from 1781 John Wesley saw in the Holy Club the “first rise” of Methodism.

1. George Whitefield, who joined the club just before the Wesleys departed for Georgia, was associated both with the Great Awakening in America and the Evangelical Revival in England. He was a powerful evangelist on both sides of the Atlantic.
2. Welshman John Gambold later became a Moravian bishop
3. Benjamin Ingham became a Yorkshire evangelist
4. James Hervey became a noted religious writer
5. Thomas Broughton became secretary of the SPCK
6. John Clayton became a distinguished Anglican churchman. He remained a high churchman
Others include
Co-founder Westley Hall, Charles Kinchin, Robert Kirkham, William Morgan, John Simpson, William Smith, etc.

Methodist

I knew that Methodist was a nickname and I knew it was to do with their methodical approach to godliness. What I'd not picked up is that the nickname Methodist refers back to a group of Roman physicians who were called Methodists because of their approach to health. This is mentioned on page 55 of the newly translated Calvinistic Methodist Fathers which I am very much enjoying. Apparently this explanation is found in (John) Wesley himself.

LTS End of Year


Last Saturday it was the end of year service at London Theological Seminary. Things were a little different this year in that there was a second service after the main one to mark the retirement of Principal Philip Eveson. On reflection this might have been better arranged. Combined with a bit of ill-discipline in the lengths of the two services it meant we were sat for a long time listening and tea on the lawn was a rather rushed affair. Ah well, as the chairman Irving Steggles pointed out we won't be doing this too often, hopefully.
The preacher in the first service was Michael Haykin. He spoke very well on the power of God's Word. My father-in-law reached in the second service - a very appropriate and personal message for Philip from Psalm 92. My only fear was that the non-Welsh might find it a little difficult but hopefully not. In the first service we had the usual report on activities and the testimonies of the leaving students. We were particularly interested in Fred from Madagascar who has been a member of our congregation during his time in LTS (see pic). We were also glad to see Derek Sewell of LIP completing four years of part time study. Others leaving include Claudio who was sponsored by members of our church adn Andrew Hill who is due to become the new minister at nearby Highgate Road Chapel. In the second service Graham Harrison spoke (on behalf of the faculty) and Dr David Earl (on behalf of students).

Cuilidh


Well in the end I bought the whole album from i-tunes. It's all in Gaelic but my it's really good.

Check out these links



Lawson Calvin 03

Lawson Calvin 02


Lawson Calvin 01

It was my turn to lead the Theological Study Group at the John Owen Centre yesterday. We were looking at Steve Lawson's book on Calvin's preaching and I prepared a study sheet for it. part 1 is above. [Click to enlarge]. We plan to look at Abraham Booth's Reign of Grace next time.

Ai am fy meiau i

I just posted this here.

Ai am fy meiau i
Dioddefodd Iesu mawr,
Pan ddaeth yn ngrym ei gariad Ef
O entrych nef i lawr?

Cyflawnai 'r gyfraith bur,
Cyfiawnder gafodd iawn;
A'r ddyled fawr, er cymaint oedd,
A dalodd Ef yn llawn.

Dioddefodd angau loes,
Yn ufudd ar y bryn;
A'i waed a ylch yr Ethiop du,
Yn làn fel eira gwyn.

Bu 'n angau i'n hangau ni,
Wrth farw ar y pren;
A thrwy ei waed y dygir llu,
Trwy angau, i'r nefoedd wen.

Pan grymodd Iesu ei ben,
Wrth farw yn ein lle,
Agorodd ffordd, pan rwygai 'r llen,
I bur drigfannau 'r ne'.

Gorchfygodd uffern ddu,
Gwnaeth ben y sarph yn friw;
O'r carchar caeth y dygir llu,
Trwy ras, i deulu Duw.

Did he for my mistakes,
Great Jesus, face such plight,
When, in power, his love came down
To earth from heaven's height?

The law so pure he kept
To justice true he stayed;
The massive debt, although so great,
In full he now has paid.

Obedient on the hill,
He suffered death in woe;
His blood the black Eth-iop-ian cleans
As pure as pure white snow.

His death it is our death,
Through his work on the cross;
A legion, because of his blood,
Through death to glory pass.

When dying in our place
He, Jesus, bowed his head,
A way he made, through the rent veil,
To heaven's pure abode.

He conquered a black hell,
The serpent's head he bruised;
Through grace, from jail, to join God's own,
He brought a legion loosed.

Hùg Air A' Bhonaid Mhòir


"Celebrate the great bonnet". I'm obviously in a folk phase at present. I find this spell binding stuff. (PS This is recent footage - in case you're wondering)

Drink Dr Pepper


I was not really aware of Dr Pepper growing up. It was an American drink. It is seen more often here now. It's okay. The most interesting thing about it is that it was invented before Coca Cola. Wikipedia has a long article. Part of it is reproduced here.

Dr P is a well known soft drink marketed in the Americas and Europe by the Dr Pepper Snapple Group. It was invented by Charles Alderton. The HQ is in Plano, Texas, a Dallas suburb. There is also a diet version, as well as a line of flavoured versions first introduced in the 2000s. W W Clements, former Dr P/7-Up CEO and president, described the taste as one of a kind, saying "I've always maintained you can't tell anyone what Dr Pepper tastes like because it's so different. It's not an apple, it's not an orange, it's not a strawberry, it's not a root beer, it's not even a cola. It's a different kind of drink with a unique taste all its own." (Sounds like fair comment to me - if you've ever tasted it).
The exact date of Dr P's conception is unknown, but the US Patent Office recognises December 1, 1885 as the first time Dr P was served. It was introduced nationally in the USA at the 1904 Lousiaian Purchase Expo as a new kind of cola, made with 23 flavours. Contrary to popular belief, Dr P was far from being the first carbonated soft drink, or even the first soft drink in the US for that matter. Vernors Ginger Ale and Hires Root Beer share the title for first American-born soft drink, both debuting in 1866. However, Dr P's introduction in 1885 did precede the introduction of Coca-Cola by one year.
It was formulated by German
pharmacist Charles Alderton in Morrison's Old Corner Drug Store in Waco, Texas. To test his new drink, he first offered it to store owner Wade Morrison, who also found it to his liking. After repeated sample testing by the two, he was ready to offer his new drink to some of the fountain customers. Other patrons at Morrison's soda fountain soon learned of Alderton's new drink and began ordering a "Waco". Alderton gave the formula to Morrison. A popular belief is that the drink was named after Morrison's former employer in Texas, but this has been disputed by the Dr P company itself.
There is also a Dr P Museum in downtown Waco located in the downtown Artesian Manufacturing and Bottling Company building and opened to the public in 1991. The AMBC building was the first building to be built specifically to bottle Dr Pepper. The building was completed in 1906 and Dr Pepper was bottled there until the 1960s. The museum has three floors of exhibits, a working old-fashioned soda fountain, and a gift store full of Dr Pepper memorabilia.
Dr P almost became a Coca-Cola
brand in the mid-to-late 1980s. Dr P became insolvent in the early 1980s, prompting an investment group to take the company private. Several years later, Coca-Cola attempted to acquire Dr P, but was blocked from doing so by the US FTC. Around the same time, 7-Up (watch this space) was acquired from Phillip Morris by the same investment company that bailed out Dr P. Upon the failure of the Coca-Cola merger, Dr P and 7-Up merged (creating Dr Pepper/Seven Up, Inc., or DPSU), giving up international branding rights in the process. After the DPSU merger, Coca-Cola obtained most non-US rights to the Dr P name (with PepsiCo taking the 7-Up rights).

Thomas Adams on Psalm 71:18

I just posted this here. Worth taking note of - especially we older ones.
18 Forsake me not; until, etc Apostasy in old age is fearful. He that climbs almost to the top of a tower, then slipping back, hath the greater fall. The patient almost recovered, is more deadly sick by a relapse. There were stars struck from heaven by the dragon's tail (Re 12:4); they had better never have perched so high. The place where the Israelites fell into that great folly with the daughters of Moab, was in the plain, within the prospect of the Holy Land; they saw their inheritance and yet fell short of it. So wretched is it for old men to fall near to their very entry of heaven, as old Eli in his indulgence (1 Sam 2); old Judah in his incest (Gen 38); old David with Bathsheba; old Asa trusting in the physicians more than in God (2 Chr 16:12); and old Solomon built the high places. Some have walked like cherubs in the midst of the stones of fire, yet have been cast as profane out of God's mountain. Eze 28:14, 16. Thus the seaman passeth all the main, and suffers wreck in the haven. The corn often promises a plenteous harvest in the blade, and shrinks in the ear. You have seen trees loaden with blossoms, yet, in the season of expectation, no fruit. A comedy that holds well many scenes, and goes lamely off in the last act, finds no applause. Remember Lot's wife (Lu 17:32): think on that pillar of salt, that it may season thee.
As found in Spurgeon's Treasury of David

Bloggy Special 27

Blogging is contagious - it gets under your skin

Drink Root Beer


Okay now it's almost a series. Alan was slightly ahead of me but I had thought to cover root beer next. Like him my first experience of it was in MacDonald's (Golders Green in my case). In the early years (typical Americans) your choice was root beer, coke or something else. They eventually caught on. It reminded me of the dentists. I'd not realised that taste is cloves. According to Wikipedia root beer is the same as sasparilla (which I thought was going to be next in my series) and is a carbonated beverage originally created from sassafras. Root beer, popularised in North America, comes in two forms: alcoholic and non-alcoholic.
The soft drink version is generally made using extracts or flavoured syrups diluted into carbonated water. It is not as widely popular as other soft drinks and constitutes only 3% of the US soft drink market. The alcoholic version is made by fermenting a solution of extract and sugar with yeast. Typically this will yield a beverage with about 0.4% alcohol, compared to more than 4% for most regular beers. Root beer extract may contain a variety of flavours, coming from the wide range of ingredients. Bark from the roots of the sassafras tree was the typical flavour in root beer historically, and is the primary flavour most individuals associate with the beverage. It is slightly red at times. Sassafras bark was banned in the US in 1960 because of the carcinogenic properties of its constituent chemical safrole. A safrole-free variety is now used, with some claiming that it has a weaker flavour than the pre-1960 variety (they would). Acacia is also used.
There are hundreds of root beer brands in the USA, produced in every US state and there is no standardised recipe. The primary ingredient, sassafras, is complemented with other flavours, common ones being vanilla, wintergreen (which is why it tastes like germoline - did you get that Alan?), cherry tree bark,liquorice root, sarsaparilla root, nutmeg, anise, molasses, cinnamon, clove (that;'s what I thought). Homemade root beer is usually made from concentrate, though it can also be made from actual herbs and roots. Both alcoholic and non-alcoholic root beers have a thick and foamy head when poured, often enhanced through the addition of yucca extract.
Root beer was sometimes used as a herbal medicine. Throughout history, the beverage was often mildly alcoholic. As a medicine it was used for treating cough and mouth sores.
Commercial root beer was developed by Charles Elmer Hires in 1866. Hires presented root tea powder at the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition, and in 1893 he began selling bottled, carbonated root beer. His choice of a name seemed unfortunate at the time, as the word "beer" drew the wrath of the temperance movement. However, Hires had his product tested by a laboratory, and trumpeted their conclusion that root beer contained less alcohol than bread.
His His beer became the "Temperance drink"— among other slogans. There was an upsurge in the popularity of root beer in the US during Prohibition. It was at its most popular in the period during and after prohibition, and has since declined in popularity. Today, root beer is often mixed with ice cream as a root beer float.

Drink Dandelion and Burdock


Now I didn't actually promise not to do a series and three's not a series anyway so indulge me with a quick look at Dandelion and burdock as seen in Wikipedia. I haven't had the stuff in years but it is a childhood memory.

It is a traditional British soft dink, traditionally made from fermented dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) and burdock (Arctium lappa) roots (no surprises there then) and is naturally fizzy. However the "dandelion and burdock" drink for sale in many retail outlets usually contains neither plant (nor surprises there either). The retail drink is often carbonated and contains artificial sweeteners. An alcoholic version, the 'DB&G' is made by mixing dandelion and burdock with gin. There have been a small number of stories concerning its origin, most now widely considered to be apocryphal. One notable example has it that St Thomas Aquinas, after praying for inspiration for a full night, walked from his place of prayer straight into the countryside and, "trusting in God to provide", concocted the drink from the first plants he encountered. It was this drink that aided his concentration when seeking to formulate his theological arguments that ultimately culminated in the Summa Theologica.
Dandelion and burdock shares a historical origin with a number of drinks originally made from lightly fermented root extracts, such as (don't tempt me) rootbeer and sa(r)s(a)parilla. They were included for a supposed health benefit. The dominant flavour in these drinks is usually sassafras or wintergreen, both now derived artificially rather than from the plant itself, in part because during the 1960s safrole, the major component of the volatile oil of sassafras, was found to be carcinogenic. All of these drinks, while tasting similar, do have their own distinct flavour. Dandelion and burdock is most similar in flavour to sa(r)s(a)parilla. It is best served chilled and is a light refreshing soft drink popular amongst children. The drink has recently seen an increase in popularity after previously poor sales. Like many other mass-produced soft drinks, commercial dandelion and burdock drinks often contain a source of phenylanine because they are sweetened with aspartame. This is marked on the containers because it is a risk for sufferers of the congenital condition phenylketonuria. This ingredient is not, however, essential. A dandelion and burdock drink contains basic ingredients found in most other similar drinks including carbonated water,high fructose corn syrup, sugar, manmade colourings, phosphoric acid, citric acid, manmade flavourings.

Hunt the links

I noticed this interesting link over at Jonathan's new wordpress blog (not my cup of tea musically I'm afraid). I was also interested in what Jeremy Brooks had to say as I was dubious (like Jonathan) about a man leaving the pastorate. See here.

Vashti Bunyan

There is a series on Radio 4 at present on lost albums fronted by Pete Paphides. (See here). I enjoyed the one on Beach Boy Denis Wilson's album but hardly listened to the Duran Duran one. Then today I caught most of one on an album by a woman called Vashti. It was a very poignant tale. She had been depressed, travelled to Scotland, made an album, had a bad review and then not picked up her guitar for 30 years! The only Vashti I had heard of was Vashti Bunyan whose name I'd seen on a track in my son's i-pod. At the end of the programme they played her most famous song (Diamond Day) which I knew from the T-mobile advert. Anyway I checked her out in i-tunes and Wikipedia as I do. All very interesting.
This English singer-songwriter has been labelled "the Godmother of Freak Folk". Her 1970 debut LP, Just Another Diamond Day, is considered an important album in the psych folk genre. Following the release of this LP, Bunyan disappeared from the music industry until interest in her music was reignited in the early 2000s.
The surname rings an obvious bell and yes she is directly descended from the author of Pilgrim's Progress. Vashti was born in London in 1945 to John and Helen. In the early sixties she studied at The Ruskin School of Drawing and fine art at Oxford University but was expelled for failing to turn up to classes and spending her time writing songs. At 18 she travelled to New York and discovered Bob Dylan through The Freewheelin Bob Dylan album and decided to become a full-time musician. Returning to London she was discovered by Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham and in June 1965, under his direction, she released her debut single, "Some Things Just Stick In Your Mind" (by Jagger and Richards - their own version is on the outtakes compilation Metamorphosis) for Decca. Released using simply the name Vashti, it was backed with her own song "I Want to Be Alone". The single and her follow up "Train Song", released on Columbia in May 1966, produced by Canadian Peter Snell, received little attention. Her only other performance of this time to find release was her distinctive vocal on "The Coldest Night of the Year" with Twice as much (which eventually turned up on their second and final LP, That's All, on Oldham's Immediate label in 1968). After recording further songs for Immediate Records, which remain unreleased, and making a brief appearance in the 1967 documentary Tonite let's all make love in London, performing her song "Winter Is Blue", she decided to travel with her boyfriend Robert Lewis by horse and cart to the Isle of Skye to join a commune planned by friend and fellow folk singer Donovan. During the trip she began writing the songs that would eventually become her debut album.
During a break from her trip at Christmas-time 1968, she met Joe Boyd through a friend and he offered to record an album of her travelling songs. A year later Vashti returned to London and recorded her debut LP with assistance from Simon Nicol and Dave Swarbrick (Fairport Convention), Robin Williamson (Incredible String Band) and string arranger Robert Kirby, today best known for his work on Nick Drake's first two albums. The album appeared on Philips to warm reviews in December 1970, but struggled to find an audience. Disappointed, she left the music industry and moved to The Incredible String Band's Glen Row cottages, then Ireland. Much of the ensuing 30 years were spent raising her three children and tending animals. In this time, entirely unbeknown to her, the original album slowly became one of the most sought-after records of its time. It has sold on eBay for as much as $2000.
In 2000, Just Another Diamond Day was re-released on CD (with bonus tracks), assuring her influence over a new generation of folk artists. She has now had an influence on a new generation of folk musicians. Details at Wikipedia. A second album (35 years on)
was well received by critics and fans alike. Her music reached a much wider audience when "Just Another Diamond Day" was used in a TV advert for a mobile phone company.

Drink Ginger Beer

Far from wanting to start a series here I happened to buy and drink a bottle of ginger beer yesterday and thought I might check out some details from our friends at Wikipedia here.
Ginger beer is a type of carbonated alcoholic or soft drink, flavoured primarily with ginger, lemon and sugar. It originated in England in the mid-1700s, and reached its peak of popularity in the early 1900s. It became very popular in Britain and North America, with, in 1935, 3000 breweries in Britain, 300 in the USA (which had been affected by Prohibition) and 1000 in Canada. It is often sold as a nonalcoholic soda; an example being the Regatta brand. The original recipe requires only ginger, sugar and water, to which is added a gelatinous substance called "ginger beer plant" (see below). Fermentation over a few days turns the mixture into ginger beer. Lemon may be added.
Instead of using the ginger beer plant, some other form of live culture may be used to produce fermented ginger beer. This is often baker's or brewer's yeast but can also be a culture of lactic acid bacteria, etc. Ginger beer is fizzy due to carbon dioxide. The alcohol content when produced by the traditional process can be high, up to 11% though it is possible to ferment ginger beer in such a way as to produce little alcohol. Ginger beer may be mixed with beer (usually a British ale of some sort) to make one type of shandy and with rum to make a drink, originally from Bermuda, called a Dark 'n' stormy. The soda version of ginger beer is the main ingredient in the Moscow Mule cocktail.
The beverage produced industrially today is often not brewed (fermented). Such ginger beer is carbonated with pressurized CO2, does not contain alcohol, and is sold as a soft drink. Ginger beer is similar to ginger ale except that it has a significantly stronger ginger taste, often being described as ginger ale with a kick to it. Its other distinctive properties include its traditional cloudy appearance, its predominately citrus sour taste base and its spicy ginger bite.
It became very popular in Britain and North America, with, in 1935, 3000 breweries in Britain, 300 in the USA (which had been affected by Prohibition) and 1000 in Canada. It is often sold as a nonalcoholic soda; an example being the Regatta brand.
It was brought to the Ionian Islands by the British Army in the 19th Century and is still made by older villagers in rural Corfu as a local specialty, along with plum pudding.