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He sat to watch o'er customs paid (St. Matthew the Apostle)

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (09/21/17)
Composer: Turton, Thomas
Sample Producer: Lavender Audio
Sample Set: Hereford Cathedral Willis Organ
Software: Hauptwerk
Genre: Hymn
Today, September 21st, is the feast of St. Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist.

His book is the first of the four Gospels in the New Testament. It was many years following the death of Christ, around 41 and 50 AD, Matthew wrote his gospel account. He wrote the book in Aramaic in the hope that his account would convince his fellow people that Jesus was the Messiah and that His kingdom had been fulfilled in a spiritual way. It was an important message at a time when almost everyone was expecting the return of a militant messiah brandishing a sword.

It is thought he departed for other lands to escape persecution sometime after 42 AD. According to various legends he fled to Parthia and Persia, or Ethiopia. Nothing is recorded of Matthew's passing. We do not know how he died, if his death was natural or if he was martyred. Despite the uncertainty of the manner of his death, the liturgical is still red.

The music for this hymn was composed by the Right Reverend Thomas Turton (25 February 1780 – 7 January 1864) was son of Thomas and Ann Turton of Hatfield, West Riding. He was admitted to Queens' College, Cambridge in 1801 but migrated to St Catharine's College in 1804,where he became Professor of Mathematics from 1822 to 1826 and Regius Professor of Divinity from 1827 to 1842.

After various other clerical appointments, Turton was Dean of Peterborough from 1830 to 1842, Dean of Westminster from 1842 to 1845 and Bishop of Ely from 1845 to 1864.

The name of this tune is fittingly, "Ely."

The text was written by William Bright, D.D., born at Doncaster, Dec. 14, 1824, and educated at University College, Oxford, where he graduated B.A. (first class in Lit. Hum.) in 1846, M.A. in 1849. Taking Holy Orders in 1848, he was for some time Tutor at Trinity College, but in 1859 he returned to Oxford.

The score is attached below, as well as a painting of St. Matthew, one of Turton, and photos of Ely Cathedral, and one of William Bright.

The text is given in the First Comment.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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