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Phillips Brooks

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  • United States
  • English

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Phillips Brooks (1835 - 1893) was one of the finest and most famous clergyman in the nineteenth century; he was acknowledged as a masterful preacher. His teachings were filled with understanding, compassion, and encouragement. He spent most of his life as rector of Trinity Church, Boston, and served briefly as Episcopal bishop of Massachusetts at the end of it (1891 - 1893). His life was a course of gaining an increasing name as preacher and patriot. In addition to his moral stature, he was a man of great physical bearing as well, standing six feet four inches tall. During the American Civil War he upheld the cause of the North and opposed slavery, and his sermon on the death of Abraham Lincoln was an eloquent expression of the character of both men. He was asked to be the full-time chaplain at Harvard University (with whose faculty and students he maintained a close relationship to the end of his life), but he later wrote, "{My only ambition} is to be a parish priest ...” He died unmarried in 1893, after an episcopate of only 15 months. His death was a major event in the history of Boston. One observer reported: "They buried him like a king. Harvard students carried his body on their shoulders. All barriers of denomination were down. Roman Catholics and Unitarians felt that a great man had fallen in Israel." Brooks's understanding of individuals of other ways and thought, and of other religious traditions, gained a following across a broad segment of society,... His influence as a religious leader was unique. The degree of STD had been conferred upon him by Harvard (1877) and Columbia (1887), and the Doctor of Divinity degree by the University of Oxford, England (1885). He is known for being the lyricist of "O Little Town of Bethlehem". (Summary by Wikipedia and David Wales)
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