Friday, February 10, 2017

Samuel H. Turner's 1850 dedication to Clement C. Moore

The dedication to Dr. Moore is expressed in terms so chaste, and evince so sincere an appreciation of a good man's life and labors, that we have concluded to publish it, being alike honorable to the Professor of Biblical Learning, and the brother who occupies the chair of Oriental and Greek Literature. --"Book Table," Episcopal Recorder, February 2, 1850.
To CLEMENT C. MOORE, LL.D., Professor of Oriental and Greek Literature, IN THE GENERAL THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY: To whose Christian liberality, always under the influence of the precept not to let the left hand know what the right hand doeth, this institution is so deeply indebted: whose cultivation of the original Languages of the Sacred Scriptures is alike an honor to himself as a layman, and a noble example for the Clergy, whose thorough honesty of character has gained for him the well earned and enviable reputation of an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no guile, and to whom the Author is indebted for many of those kind attentions which are sometimes the fruit of good neighborhood; and also for comforting sympathy in the severest trials of life, THESE TWO DISCOURSES, with which, after their delivery, he was pleased to express his satisfaction, are most respectfully inscribed.

By his affectionate friend and servant,

Reprinted February 2, 1850 in the Philadelphia Episcopal Recorder, the heartfelt dedication by Samuel Hulbeart Turner to his friend and seminary colleague Clement C. Moore appears in Light in the Church; God's Word the source of divine light; and how it may be most successfully studied; two discourses in the chapel of the General Theological Seminary, December 16, 1849 (New York, 1850).

In 1826 one student of Moore's, William Croswell, wrote home about his Hebrew teacher in terms both humorous and respectful:
“We are yet in the very rudiments of the Hebrew, and our advances are perfectly snail-like and imperceptible. If Professor MOORE was not one of the most mild and unassuming men of learning in the world, he could never tolerate the stammering and blundering of such full-grown novitiates in the Hebrew horn book. But he is Clement by nature, as well as by name. It is related of HUTCHINS, that he once indulged his disposition for pleasantry by playfully translating a passage of Scripture, 'I love CLEMENT C. MOORE (clemency more) than sacrifice.’” --A Memoir of the Late Rev. William Croswell, D. D.
In The Poet of Christmas Eve, biographer Samuel Patterson observes the widely perceived absence of testimony from former students about Clement C. Moore's teaching style. Patterson cites whatever reports he knows, but unfortunately overlooks the affectionate portrait of Moore in Hebrew class by former student Clarence A. Walworth in The Oxford Movement in America: or, Glimpses of Life in an Anglican Seminary (New York, 1895); Walworth's account originally appeared in the June 1894 issue of Catholic World. Digitized book versions of The Oxford Movement in America are available via the Internet Archive and HathiTrust Digital Library. Enjoy!

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