1834 - 1900 Person Name: John Worcester, 1834-1900 Composer of "[O how shall I keep my Christmas?]" in The Cyber Hymnal Born: February 13, 1834, Boston, Massachusetts. Died: May 2, 1900, Newtonville, Massachusetts.
Worcester studied at the Lawrence Scientific School of Harvard University, giving attention especially to anatomy, physiology, chemistry and related subjects. He was a close student, giving much time and thought to the study of Correspondences, or the relation of the world without to the world within, and the use of Scriptures of natural objects as symbols of spiritual life. As a result of this study he published: The Animals of the Bible; Plants of the Bible, and Physiology Correspondences. Later his thought was given to more conservative interpretations of the Bible, and as a fruit of his study we have Genesis and Exodus, and Matthew’s Gospel. He also revised many translations of Swedenborg’s works.
Worcester served as minister of the New Jerusalem Church for 45 years; pastor of the Newton Society (1857-1900); General Pastor of the Massachusetts Association; vice-president and president of the General Convention of the New Church in America; principal of Waltham New Church School; president of New Church Theological School (1881-94); and member of the Newton School Board.
Worcester held Sunday services in the study near his summer home at Intervale, in the New Hampshire mountains. Here friends and strangers from a distance assembled for worship, and went away refreshed and uplifted with the Promise of Peace."