Preface of a Saint (1)
[Common of a Missionary]
[For the Mission of the Church]
PRAYER (traditional language)
O loving God, who orderest all things
by thine unerring wisdom and unbounded love: Grant us in all things to
see thy hand; that, following the example and teaching of thy servant Charles
Simeon, we may walk with Christ in all simplicity, and serve thee with
a quiet and contented mind; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and
reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
PRAYER (contemporary language)
O loving God, who order all things by
your unerring wisdom and unbounded love: Grant us in all things to see
your hand; that, following the example and teaching of your servant Charles
Simeon, we may walk with Christ in all simplicity, and serve you with a
quiet and contented mind; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and
reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
Lessons revised at GC 2009
This commemoration appears in A Great Cloud of Witnesses.
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Last updated: 16 Sept. 2018
TEACHER, PROMOTOR OF MISSIONARY WORK (12 NOV
hundred years ago, students at the English Universities were required
to attend church regularly, and to receive the Holy Communion at least
once a year. This latter requirement often had bad effects, in that it
encouraged hypocrisy and an irreverent reception of the sacrament. Occasionally,
however, it had a very good effect, as with the Cambridge student Charles
Simeon. He wrote: "On 29 January 1779 I came to college. On 2 February
I understood that at division of term I must attend the Lord's Supper.
The Provost absolutely required it. Conscience told me that, if I must
go, I must repent and turn to God."
By this experience his life was transformed. Upon finishing
his college work he was ordained, and shortly appointed chaplain of Holy
Trinity, Cambridge, where he remained for 55 years, until shortly before
his death on 12 November 1836. His ministry helped to transform the lives
of many undergraduates, of whom we may mention two in particular. Henry
Martyn (see 19 Oct), inspired by Simeon, abandoned his intention of
going into law and instead devoted his life and his considerable talents
to preaching the Gospel in India and Persia. William
Wilberforce (20 July), also led in part by Simeon's ministry of teaching
and example, devoted his life to the abolition of slavery throughout the
British Empire. Simeon's enthusiasm and zeal brought him much ridicule
and abuse, which he bore uncomplainingly. Though he himself remained in
one place, his influence extended through the Anglican world.
by James Kiefer