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Category: William Walsham How (1823 – 1897)
Right Rev. William Walsham How (1823 – 1897) was the first Lord Bishop of the Diocese of Wakefield in England, created in 1889. The son of a Shrewsbury solicitor, How was educated at Shrewsbury School, Wadham College, Oxford and University College, Durham. He was ordained in 1846, and for upwards of thirty years was actively engaged in parish work at Whittington in Shropshire and Oswestry becoming Rural Dean, 1860. In 1879 he became a suffragan bishop in London, under the title of bishop of Bedford, his province being the poor East End.
There he became the inspiring influence of a revival of church work. He founded the East London Church Fund, and enlisted a large band of enthusiastic helpers, his popularity among all classes being immense. He was particularly fond of children, and was commonly called the “Children’s Bishop”.
Bishop How once burnt a copy of Thomas Hardy’s novel Jude the Obscure calling it “garbage. The burning took place during the summer and Hardy, noted for his thrift, was said to have been outraged that the bishop wasted the firewood rather than waiting until the winter when the fire would be needed anyway.
It is a thing most wonderful,
Almost too wonderful to be,
That God’s own Son should come from Heav’n,
And die to save a child like me.
And yet I know that it is true;
He chose a poor and humble lot,
And wept and toiled and mourned and died,
For love of those who loved Him not.
I cannot tell how He could love
A child so weak and full of sin;
His love must be most wonderful,
If He could die my love to win.
I sometimes think about the cross,
And shut my eyes, and try to see
The cruel nails and crown of thorns,
And Jesus crucified for me.
But even could I see Him die,
I could but see a little part
Of that great love, which, like a fire,
Is always burning in His heart.
It is most wonderful to know
His love for me so free and sure;
But ’tis more wonderful to see
My love for Him so faint and poor.
And yet I want to love Thee, Lord;
Oh, light the flame within my heart,
And I will love Thee more and more,
Until I see Thee as Thou art.
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