Iris' Archives, November 2019

ANTHONY (an'tho-ni) b. c. 250

Egyptian hermit and famous pioneer Christian monk. As a rich young man, he gave all his wealth away, when he heard the words of Jesus, "Go and sell all", and "Take no thought for the morrow." Punished his body severely. The artists have loved to try to depict the demons that so fiercely tempted him. May have lived over a hundred years.

The Stingy Congregation

The poet Wordsworth had a nephew, the Rev. Christopher Wordsworth—afterwards Bishop of Lincoln—whose first and only parochial charge was a little country living in Berkshire, with the curious name of Stanford-in-the-Vale-cum-Goosey. The new vicar was much troubled on finding that the villagers had never been taught the duty and privilege of giving; their idea of religion was to receive all the Church doles, in the shape of coal, soup, blankets, etc., and to give nothing.

Mr. Wordsworth was himself a poet of no mean order, a talent which he had probably inherited, and he decided that the best way to teach his parishioners the duty of giving to God was to write a hymn inculcating this lesson and to have it sung in church at intervals of about a month. This method proved much more effective than sermons on "giving " would probably have been, and in time many of his people became really generous givers.

It is, therefore, to this "stingy congregation " that the Church owes the beautiful hymn which, when published, Wordsworth entitled " Charitable Collections ", and which begins,

O Lord of heaven, and earth, and sea,
To Thee all praise and glory be;
How shall we show our love to Thee,
Giver of all?

The seventh verse generally appears as,

We lose what on ourselves we spend;
We have as treasures without end
Whatever, Lord, to Thee we lend,
Who givest all.

But in a number of the newer editions of the older hymn-books, and in the entirely new collections of hymns, verse eight is omitted. It ran thus :

Whatever, Lord, we lend to Thee
Repaid a thousandfold will be;
Then gladly will we give to Thee,
Giver of all.


This symbol for our Lord consists of the initial letters for the Greek words for Jesus Christ arranged as a monogram.


Vicar: "Firstly, thank you whoever it was who put two button's in the collection plate last week - they turned out to be early Victortan, and I've just sold them on 'ebay' for £800 each!