This excerpt is from The Prince of Sumba, Husband to Many Wives.
Copyright 1998-2009 Don Milton All Rights Reserved.
All Copyright Laws Apply – Thou Shalt Not Steal
Chapters: [Prologue]                          
Ruth’s genius was revealed through her method of Bible study but now she opened up to expose the tenderest of hearts. She set aside her notes, as her voice softened and she delivered a long overdue eulogy for the now forgotten Reverend Martin Madan.
“You remember how Sam said that there’s a long list of eminent theologians who’ve been forgotten simply because they supported polygamy?”
“Yes, I remember.” Suni answered, “I was wondering who those might be.”
“Well Suni, the Reverend Martin Madan, the Father of the Evangelical Hymnal, was a well known preacher of the eighteenth century and the most talented Church music composer of all time.22 He wrote a book called: ‘Thelyphthora; Or, a Treatise on Female Ruin, Its Causes, Effects, Consequences, Prevention, and Remedy.’ Part of the remedy that Madan proposed was polygamy.23 He put forth in his book that the ban on polygamy that was originally put in force by the Roman Catholic popes had been the cause of widespread prostitution and fornication. He roundly criticized the banning of taking more than one wife, an activity that Jesus used in metaphor without criticism.”
Cherry recalled the parable of the Ten Virgins, “Yes, Ruth, Jesus praised the five brides who kept plenty of oil in their lamps while they waited for their polygamous husband.”24
“That’s a great example, Cherry. Now can any of you tell me what song the following line comes from?
‘With th’ Angelic Hosts proclaim,
Christ is born in Bethlehem!'”
“Are you telling us that the Reverend Martin Madan wrote Hark the Herald Angels Sing?” Suni asked.
“No, Suni, that was primarily written by Charles Wesley, but in 1760, Martin Madan did introduce those two lines and they have been kept in the hymn as we sing it still today.”25
“So he was apparently a well accepted and much beloved Christian of his time to have known Charles Wesley.” Asina observed.
“That’s right. Not only did he know Charles but he was godfather to Charles’ son, Samuel and he was also a friend of Charles’ brother, John Wesley, the famous evangelist who founded the Methodist denomination.26 Madan even comforted the dying composer Handel, famous for his masterpiece; The Messiah.27 I think it’s clear that up to the moment that he published Thelyphthora, in 1780, that he was well respected. In 1746, thirty four years before he wrote that book, he founded the London Lock Hospital. London Lock was the first voluntary hospital that treated venereal disease.28 It was during his ministerial duties there that he gained a great deal of first hand knowledge about the consequences of fornication and prostitution. Shortly after Madan’s arrival, the institution opened a new building and it became known as ‘The Female Hospital.’ He built a chapel associated with the hospital which could seat up to eight hundred people.29 This may not seem large compared with today’s mega-churches but it’s still a very large fellowship and it was one of the largest of his day. His chapel received enough tithes to become a strong source of support for the hospital.30 It was there that the singing of hymns first took hold as part of Christian worship in England.31 The members sang from a hymnal that Madan, himself, had published. He published the hymnal as a benefit to future generations as well as to raise money for the hospital.32 From the Chapel at the Lock, Hymn singing spread quickly through the English speaking world with Madan’s hymnal the standard. His mastery of musical worship brought thousands to the Chapel at the Lock and his hymns have brought many more thousands to a saving knowledge of our Lord.32 In less than thirty short years from the first printing of Madan’s hymnal, fully two thirds of the hymns sung, even in the parishes of the Church of England, had been arranged by Madan himself for his hymnal had become the core of the Church of England’s hymnal.33 The Baptist’s hymnal came out twenty five years after Madan’s.34 Here is the very hymnal that Madan published. My father let me take the original from his library to show you.”
Ruth handed Cherry the hymnal, ‘A Collection of Psalm and Hymn Tunes, Never Published Before by the Reverend Martin Madan’. Cherry handled it carefully, then reflected.
“So the loving man who published this hymnal was cast aside because of his pity for the women who came under the bondage of harlotry?* For wanting the men who knew them only as their mistresses to take them as wives? That was his sin? That’s not sin, that’s a badge of honor! I would love to have known that man!”
“Cherry, I think there are some men just like the Reverend Martin Madan who are sitting in this room right now.”
“I agree. It’s wonderful.” Cherry looked down. She seemed shy to consider herself one who a Christian might desire. I didn’t doubt that she understood her eternal value to the Lord but forgetting her past, let alone believing that any potential husband could forget her past, was still beyond her grasp. Cherry wanted to know more.
“So what happened to the Reverend Martin Madan, Ruth?”
“After he published Thelyphthora in 1780, he was forced to resign from the London Lock Hospital, the very hospital that he had founded! He’d served thirty four years as its founder and twenty two years as its chaplain when he resigned.35
UPDATE – I have discovered that the Dictionary of National Biography was in error when stating that Madan resigned in 1780. According to various biographies of the time, Madan retained the sole title of Chaplain to the Lock till his death in 1790. Between the years of 1780 and 1790 it is true that other men held the positions of Morning Preacher and Evening Preacher but none filled his position of Chaplain till his death. De Coetlogon and Thomas Scott were the best known of these morning and evening preachers.
Ruth handed a Webster’s Dictionary to Cherry.
“Look up the word, ‘Lock hospital.'”
“Ok, hang on.” Cherry opened the dictionary and read the citation. “‘Lock hospital: a hospital for the treatment of venereal diseases.’ Wait a minute, Ruth, you’re telling me that a new word entered the English language because of the Reverend Martin Madan?”
“Yes, Cherry. The Lock Hospital was the first hospital of its kind in the world! Every hospital like it is now referred to as a Lock hospital. To this day, the administrators of such hospitals can only pray that they’ll have a fraction of the success that the Reverend Martin Madan had during his years at the Lock.”
“I’m afraid to know the rest of what happened to the Reverend Martin Madan but I’ve got to know.”
The rest of Prince of Sumba may only be read by purchasing the novel.
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*Harlot – a woman who has engaged in sexual relations without the benefit of marriage. Harlots are in bondage to sin, in bondage to the men they have relations with and those men are also in bondage to them.
The rest of Prince of Sumba may only be read by purchasing the novel.
Purchase Prince of Sumba online from Barnes and Noble Today! Click Here!
Click Here to Go to Rites of Manhood – The Prince of Sumba – Chapter 13
Footnotes: 22 22 – more 22 – more
22-26 27-31 32-38 39-48 49-52
Note: This excerpt is from The Prince of Sumba, Husband to Many Wives.
Copyright 1998-2011 Don Milton All Rights Reserved.
All Copyright Laws Apply – Thou Shalt Not Steal