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Posts Tagged ‘Massachusetts’

There’s a song in the air! There’s a star in the sky!
There’s a mother’s deep prayer and a baby’s low cry!
And the star rains its fire while the beautiful sing,
For the manger of Bethlehem cradles a King!

There’s a tumult of joy o’er the wonderful birth,
For the virgin’s sweet Boy is the Lord of the earth.
Ay! the star rains its fire while the beautiful sing,
For the manger of Bethlehem cradles a King!

In the light of that star lie the ages impearled;
And that song from afar has swept over the world.
Every hearth is aflame, and the beautiful sing
In the homes of the nations that Jesus is King!

We rejoice in the light, and we echo the song
That comes down through the night from the heavenly throng.
Ay! we shout to the lovely evangel they bring,
And we greet in His cradle our Savior and King!

Josiah Gilbert Holland died this date 10/12/1881, in New York.  He was a medical doctor, a teacher, and an editor in that order.  His editing work was done for the Republican a paper then printed at Spring­field, Mass­a­chu­setts.  He helped found the Scribner Magazine and wrote some novels.  He is best remember in Christian circles for this “There’s a Song in the Air” (published in 1872).  He was born 7/24/1819, at Bel­cher­town, Mass­a­chu­setts.

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This is the ship of pearl, which, poets feign,

Sails the unshadowed main, –

The venturous bark that flings

On the sweet summer wind its purpled wings

In gulfs enchanted, where the Siren sings,

And coral reefs lie bare,

Where the cold sea-maids rise to sun their streaming hair.

 

Its webs of living gauze no more unfurl;

Wrecked is the ship of pearl!

And every chambered cell,

Where its dim dreaming life was wont to dwell,

As the frail tenant shaped his growing shell,

Before thee lies revealed, —

Its irised ceiling rent, its sunless crypt unsealed!

 

Year after year beheld the silent toil

That spread his lustrous coil;

Still, as the spiral grew,

He left the past year’s dwelling for the new,

Stole with soft step its shining archway through,

Built up its idle door,

Stretched in his last-found home, and knew the old no more.

 

Thanks for the heavenly message brought by thee,

Child of the wandering sea,

Cast from her lap, forlorn!

From thy dead lips a clearer note is born

Than ever Triton blew from wreathèd horn!

While on mine ear it rings,

Through the deep caves of thought I hear a voice that sings: –

 

Build thee more stately mansions, O my soul,

As the swift seasons roll!

Leave thy low-vaulted past!

Let each new temple, nobler than the last,

Shut thee from heaven with a dome more vast,

Till thou at length art free,

Leaving thine outgrown shell by life’s unresting sea!

 

Oliver Wendell Holmes, M.D., died this date, 10/7/1894, at Boston, Massachusetts.   Holms published several works in the medical field, but is more remembered for his poems such as “Old Ironsides,” “The Last Leaf,” and the above.  Holmes was born 8/29/1809 (same year as President Lincoln) at Cambridge, the son of a minister.

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George Whitefield died this date, 9/30/1770 (5:00 AM), in Newburyport, Massachusetts.  Whitfield, of course, was a Brit but liked coming to American – in fact he died on his seventh visit here. 

 

He was seen by many as the most striking orator to come out of 18th century English revivalism.  (Wesley spoke more people but Whitefield speaking skills passed Wesley’s.) 

 

Whitfield’s last spoken words are said to be, “I had rather wear out, than rust out.”

He was only 56 years old.

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Though the angry surges roll
On my tempest driven soul,
I am peaceful, for I know,
Wildly though the winds may blow,
I’ve an anchor safe and sure,
That can evermore endure.

Refrain

And it holds, my anchor holds:
Blow your wildest, then, O gale,
On my bark so small and frail;
By His grace I shall not fail,
For my anchor holds, my anchor holds.

Mighty tides about me sweep,
Perils lurk within the deep,
Angry clouds o’ershade the sky,
And the tempest rises high;
Still I stand the tempest’s shock,
For my anchor grips the rock.

I can feel the anchor fast
As I meet each sudden blast,
And the cable, though unseen,
Bears the heavy strain between;
Through the storm I safely ride,
Till the turning of the tide.

Troubles almost ’whelm the soul;
Griefs like billows o’er me roll;
Tempters seek to lure astray;
Storms obscure the light of day:
But in Christ I can be bold,
I’ve an anchor that shall hold.

William Clark Martin died this date, 8/30/1914, at Ri­al­to, Florida.  Martin pas­tored Grace Bap­tist Church (for­mer­ly Cra­mer’s Hill), Cam­den, New Jer­sey, No­ank Bap­tist Church, Noank, Con­nec­ti­cut,  Grace Bap­tist Church, Som­er­ville, Massachusetts and First Bap­tist Church, Fort My­ers, Florida. (He seems to have had some connection also with Bluff­ton, In­di­a­na.)  He also wrote “The Name of Jesus” “Still Sweeter Every Day” and at least 30 other songs.  He was born 12/25/1864 at Hights­town, New Jersey.

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So live that when thy summons comes to join
The innumerable caravan, that moves
To the pale realms of shade, where each shall take
His chamber in the silent halls of death,
Thou go not, like the quarry-slave at night,
Scourged to his dungeon, but sustain’d and sooth’d
By an unfaltering trust approach thy grave,
Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch
About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams.

William Cullen Bryant died this date 6/12/1878 in NYC.  He wrote, Thanatopsis (at 17 yrs. of age), Popular History of the United States (pub.1879) “Thou Whose Un-measured Temple Stands” and several other works.  Bryant was born 11/3/1794 in Cummington,  Massachusetts.

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“The  Day  of  Doom”

  (these lines from near the end)

 This O New-England hast thou got

By riot, and excess:

This hast thou brought upon thy self

By pride and wantonness.

Thus must thy worldlyness be whipt.

They, that too much do crave,

Provoke the Lord to take away

Such blessings as they have.

 

We have been also threatened

With worser things than these:

And God can bring them on us still,

To morrow if he please.

For if his mercy be abus’d,

Which holpe us at our need

And mov’d his heart to pitty us,

We shall be plagu’d indeed.

 

Beware, O sinful Land, beware;

And do not think it strange

That sorer judgements are at hand,

Unless thou quickly change.

Or God, or thou, must quickly change;

Or else thou art undon:

Wrath cannot cease, if sin remain,

Where judgement is begun.

 

Michael Wigglesworth died this date 6/10/1705, at Malden, Massachusetts.  He graduated from Harvard in 1851.  His famous The Day of Doom is thought to have been first published in 1662.  (At least one source says he died 5/27/1705.)  He appears to have been born in England and that most likely on 10/18/1631.

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Village Blacksmith

Under a spreading chestnut-tree
The village smithy stands;
The smith, a mighty man is he,
With large and sinewy hands;
And the muscles of his brawny arm
Are strong as iron bands.

His hair is crisp, and black, and long,
His face is like the tan;
His brow is wet with honest sweat,
He earns whate`er he can,
And looks the whole world in the face,
For he owes not any man.

Week in, week out, from morn till night,
You can hear his bellows blow;
You can hear him swing his heavy sledge,
With measured beat and slow,
Like a sexton ringing the village bell,
When the evening sun is low.

And children coming home from school
Look in at the open door;
They love to see the flaming forge,
And hear the bellows roar,
And catch the burning sparks that fly,
Like chaff from a threshing-floor.

He goes on Sunday to the church,
And sits among his boys;
He hears the parson pray and preach,
He hears his daughter`s voice,
Singing in the village choir,
And it makes his heart rejoice.

It sounds to him like her mother`s voice,
Singing in Paradise!
He needs must think of her once more
How in the grave she lies;
And with his hard, rough hand he wipes
A tear out of his eyes.

Toiling, – rejoicing, – sorrowing,
Onward through life he goes;
Each morning sees some task begin,
Each evening sees it close;
Something attempted, something done,
Has earned a night`s repose.

Thanks, thanks to thee, my worthy friend,
For the lesson thou hast taught!
Thus at the flaming forge of life
Our fortunes must be wrought;
Thus on its sounding anvil shaped
Each burning deed and thought.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow died this date (3/24/1882) in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  He wrote “Psalm of Life” “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day”  Evangeline” “Paul Revere’s Ride” etc

.

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“The Sky Can Still Remember”  (stanza 3)

O angels sweet and splendid, throng in our hearts and sing
The wonders which attended the coming of the King;
Till we too, boldly pressing where once the shepherds trod,
Climb Bethlehem’s Hill of Blessing, and find the Son of God.

Phillips Brooks born 12/13/1835 in Boston, Massachusetts.  He was a minister whose people sent him abroad for a year.  His schedule brought him to the Holy Land and on Christmas Eve, brought him to Bethlehem.  The little town (seen in 19th century “lighting”) helped him produced his simple but so loved Carol “O Little Town of Bethlehem.”   Brooks, who never married, loved children and they him.  After his death a story was told of a litttle girl’s reponce to her pastor being in heaven.  She is said to have said to her mother, “Oh mama, how happy the angels will be.”

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“Thou Whose Unmeasured Temple Stands (stanza 3)

And let the Comforter and Friend,
Thy Holy Spirit, meet,
With those who here in worship bend
Before Thy mercy seat.

 

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

 

“To a Waterfowl”  (last stanza)

He who, from zone to zone,

Guides through the boundless sky thy certain flight,

In the long way that I must tread alone,

Will lead my steps aright.

 

William Cullen Bryant was born 11/2/1794 in Massachusetts.  He founded the New York Review, edited the New York Evening Post, and found time to write many poems and/or hymns, the most famous being “Thanatopsis,” the major part of which was penned when he was seventeen (17).

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