September 12: John Henry Hobart Bishop of New York, 1830

Welcome to the Holy Women, Holy Men blog! We invite you to read about this commemoration, use the collect and lessons in prayer, whether individually or in corporate worship, and then tell us what you think. For more information about this project, click here.

About this commemoration

John Henry Hobart was one of the leaders who revived the Episcopal Church, following the first two decades of its independent life after the American Revolution, a time that has been described as one of “suspended animation.” Born in Philadelphia, September 14, 1775, Hobart was educated at the Universities of Pennsylvania and Princeton, graduating from the latter in 1793. Bishop William White, his longtime friend and adviser, ordained him deacon in 1798 and

priest in 1801.

After serving parishes in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Long Island, Hobart became assistant minister of Trinity Church, New York City, in 1800. He was consecrated Assistant Bishop of New York on May 29, 1811. Five years later he succeeded Bishop Benjamin Moore, both as diocesan bishop and as rector of Trinity Church. He died at Auburn, New York, September 12, 1830, and was buried beneath the chancel of Trinity Church in New York City. Within his first four years as bishop, Hobart doubled the number of his clergy and quadrupled the number of missionaries. Before his death, he had planted a church in almost every major town of New York State and had opened missionary work among the Oneida Indians. He was one of the founders of the General Theological Seminary, and the reviver of Geneva, now Hobart, College.

A strong and unbending upholder of Church standards, Hobart established the Bible and Common Prayer Book Society of New York, and was one of the first American Churchmen to produce theological and devotional manuals for the laity. These “tracts,” as they were called, and the personal impression he made on the occasion of a visit to Oxford, were an influence on the development of the Tractarian Movement in England. Both friends and foes respected Hobart for his staunch faith, his consuming energy, his personal integrity, and his missionary zeal.

COLLECTS

Revive thy Church, Lord God of hosts, whensoever it doth fall into complacency and sloth, by raising up devoted leaders, like thy servant John Henry Hobart whom we remember this day; and grant that their faith and vigor of mind may awaken thy people to thy message and their mission; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Revive your Church, Lord God of hosts, whenever it falls into complacency and sloth, by raising up devoted leaders, like your servant John Henry Hobart whom we remember today; and grant that their faith and vigor of mind may awaken your people to your message and their mission; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Lessons

Isaiah 18:1–3

Titus 1:7–9

John 17:11b–19

Psalm 78:3–7

Preface of a Saint (1)

Text From Holy, Women, Holy Men: Celebrating the Saints © 2010 by The Church Pension Fund. Used by permission.

We invite your reflections about this commemoration and its suitability for the official calendar and worship of The Episcopal Church. How did this person’s life witness to the Gospel? How does this person inspire us in Christian life today?

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12 Responses to September 12: John Henry Hobart Bishop of New York, 1830

  1. John LaVoe says:

    (“deacon in 1798 and priest in 1801. After serving parishes in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Long Island, Hobart became assistant minister of Trinity Church, New York City, in 1800.”)
    [JFL:] Is this timeline possible?

  2. John LaVoe says:

    ABOUT THE COLLECT: A good collect, with only one drawback, namely, many praying it may not see themselves as “leaders,” and for non-leaders it’s about “other people, not me.” (“God, send leaders; not me. Amen.”) Changing “leaders” to something more inclusive of every Baptized Christian, or keeping “leaders” but adding another term that also affirms the ministry of every Christian, would keep the prayer from being a “to do” list addressed to God. Prior to being an effective leader, Hobart had to be a faithful and devoted believer, disciple, follower of Christ, member of the Christian community — not just an orgaizational consultant.

  3. Michael Hartney says:

    Hebrew reading: Three verses. And they seem odd to me: “Ah, land of whirring wings beyond the rivers of Ethiopia, sending ambassadors by the Nile in vessels of papyrus on the waters! (NRSV)”

    Hobart did establish churches all along the Hudson and Mohawk Rivers, and the Erie Canal in upstate New York … but they are hardly the rivers of Ethiopia!🙂

    • Bruce Alan Wilson says:

      Given the transportation facilities of they day, they probably seemed almost as far away. Especially to died-in-the-wool New York City people, some of whom even today consider anything west of the Hudson a howling wilderness. (See the famous NEW YORKER cover.)

  4. Nigel Renton says:

    In line 5 of the third paragraph, let’s get rid of the inaccurate term “Indians”, and substitute ” Tribe of Native Americans”.

    In line 3 of the fourth paragraph substitute “scholars” for “Churchmen”. (We know he was male and a TEC functionary, and sex-specific terms are losing popularity.)

  5. Monte Mason says:

    I still believe that if the Episcopal Church is an institution that supports the arts, then the illustrator, artist, or photographer of the image presented should be given when known. It doesn’t add all that much ink, and commonly, the ascriptions are done up in a smallish font.

    Understandably, the creator of these images is not at all the main focus, but it would still be a gracious thing to include. If these people which we are commemorating are important enough to us now, let us understand their worlds a little better by knowing who was important enough to portray their likenesses in their own life-time.

  6. Michael Hartney says:

    The images reproduced above will not appear in HWHM (to the best of my knowledge), nor did they appear in LFF 06.

    The creator of this blog is providing them to give us a visual image of the commemorated person. I presume it is a courtesy to us. When you Google any of these persons there are often a goodly number of images to view.

  7. Leonel L. Mitchell says:

    There is really no question about the iimportance of Augustine, both historically and in the calendar. The new first reading appears a good choice and the second reading from Titus seems better than the Jude passage in LLF

  8. Leonel L. Mitchell says:

    I am a devout Hobartian and approve of his commemoration and of his ministry, since September 12 was a Sunday gthis year, I did not get to use the propers. Isaiah 18:1-3 seems a good choice and Titus 1:7-9 is good for any holy bishop. the collect and gospel are those from LLF.

  9. The Rev. Canon William T. Warne II says:

    Oh, how it would be so nice to have hundreds of deacons, priests and bishops in TEC today like Bishop Hobart; especially thankful that he revived Geneva College into Hobart College of which myself and our oldest son (The Rev. Dr. W. Thomas Warne III – H’89) are both alumni. Peace. The Rev. Canon William T. Warne II – H’63

  10. Pingback: September 12 – John Henry Hobart : St. Paul's Episcopal Church

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