Sunday, March 29, 2020

Pray On

One lesser known part of the family of Sacred Harp books is The Sacred Harp, Fourth Edition with Supplement, by J. L. White. In the early years of the 20th century, Sacred Harp singers understood they needed a new edition of the book to breath new life in the singings. Unfortunately, they could not agree on just how to proceed. W. M. Cooper in south Alabama went first, in 1902. James Landrum White, son of original author B. F. White, issued revisions of The Sacred Harp in 1909, 1910, and 1911  his 1911 book being the one that “took.” That same year J. S. James also issued a revision of The Sacred Harp. J. L. White’s book was a much more popular book than many realize. It made inroads in south Alabama where Cooper’s revision was popular. It vied for superiority with the book by James in the many of the same areas  Atlanta, Georgia area, Sand Mountain, Alabama, north central Mississippi. We have found old books that indicate it was once used in Texas. However, the book lost much ground after the deaths of J. L. White and his successor Sam Mann (B. F.’s grandson). The book went out of print and new copies were no longer available. With no new books available, most places that used this book eventually switched to the James (later called Denson) book. A benefactor at the Hardeman Primitive Baptist Church funded a photo-static reprint of the book in 1958. With this boost, the singers at Hardeman were able to maintain their singings to the present.

A committee was formed and a reprint (with all new typesetting) was issued in 2007. Unfortunately, it is once again out of print.

The Wootten family of Sand Mountain, Alabama, recorded some Sacred Harp songs in the early 1980s, which recording includes several songs that are unique to the “White book.” Listen to the Wootten’s singing Pray On, No. 512 in The Sacred Harp, Fourth Edition with Supplement.

The words and music are by A. R. Walton, copyrighted in 1910. Arthur Rivers Walton was a singer, composer, and worked setting musical type. He worked with J. L. White at least on the 1909 revision.

I did not find the words to this song online, so I have typed them out below.

1. When troubles come and life seems dark, pray on (pray on);
Just talk to Jesus heart to heart, pray on (pray on).

2. If Satan would your soul destroy, pray on (pray on);
The love of God will give you joy, pray on (pray on).

3. On thee my ev’ry care I’ll cast, pray on (pray on);
I’m anchored in thy love steadfast, pray on (pray on).

4. In Jesus’ love I stand complete, pray on (pray on);
And never from the foe retreat, pray on (pray on).

He can lighten ev’ry care (toil and care)
And your burdens he will share (surely share)
Now in him your faith declare
Pray on (pray on) ’till the blessing comes.

Saturday, March 28, 2020


The Text of S.3548, Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act is HERE.

I did not find that they give a total in the bill itself, but apparently it is about $2 trillion dollars. Here are a couple of excerpts:
(a) In General.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law, to provide liquidity to eligible businesses related to losses incurred as a direct result of coronavirus, the Secretary is authorized to make or guarantee loans to eligible businesses that do not, in the aggregate, exceed $208,000,000,000 and provide the subsidy amounts necessary for such loans and loan guarantees in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Credit Reform Act of 1990 (2 U.S.C. 661 et seq.).
(b) Distribution Of Loans And Loan Guarantees.—Loans and loan guarantees made pursuant to subsection (a) shall be made available to eligible business as follows:
(1) Not more than $50,000,000,000 shall be available for passenger air carriers.
(2) Not more than $8,000,000,000 shall be available for cargo air carriers.
(3) Not more than $150,000,000,000 shall be available for other eligible businesses.
“(a) In General.—In the case of an eligible individual, there shall be allowed as a credit against the tax imposed by subtitle A for the first taxable year beginning in 2020 an amount equal to the lesser of—
“(1) net income tax liability, or
“(2) $1,200 ($2,400 in the case of a joint return).
“(b) Special Rules.—
“(1) IN GENERAL.—In the case of a taxpayer described in paragraph (2)—
“(A) the amount determined under subsection (a) shall not be less than $600 ($1,200 in the case of a joint return), and
“(B) the amount determined under subsection (a) (after the application of subparagraph (A)) shall be increased by the product of $500 multiplied by the number of qualifying children (within the meaning of section 24(c)) of the taxpayer.
“(2) TAXPAYER DESCRIBED.—A taxpayer is described in this paragraph if the taxpayer—
“(A) has qualifying income of at least $2,500, or
“(B) has—
“(i) net income tax liability which is greater than zero, and
“(ii) gross income which is greater than the basic standard deduction.
“(c) Treatment Of Credit.—The credit allowed by subsection (a) shall be treated as allowed by subpart C of part IV of subchapter A of chapter 1.
“(d) Limitation Based On Adjusted Gross Income.—The amount of the credit allowed by subsection (a) (determined without regard to this subsection and subsection (f)) shall be reduced (but not below zero) by 5 percent of so much of the taxpayer’s adjusted gross income as exceeds $75,000 ($150,000 in the case of a joint return).
One of our Senators describes it this way:

“This bill provides a one-time check of $1,200 per adult making under $75,000 a year, $2,400 per couple earning under $150,000 a year, and $500 per child. That’s real money in the hands of America’s families and hardworking men and women.

”This bill also helps stabilize the economy and provides $377 billion in emergency relief to small businesses like restaurants, hardware stores, nail salons, and mom & pop shops that have been effectively forced to shut down as the coronavirus has spread across the country. This will help keep these small businesses afloat and their employees on payroll.”

Can our nation survive a bill that spends nearly 10 percent of our total national debt?

Friday, March 27, 2020

Identifying songwriter John R. Bryant

The following brief biography of John R. Bryant is found in Union Harp and History of Songs on page 127. The song Waldin/Walden is on the preceding page. According to James, Bryant is the original composer of the air of The Lifeboat, found on page 162. Other sources would indicate he was also an arranger rather than the original composer.

History of “Waldin.”

This tune was composed in 1882 and published in the December (1883) Number of the “Musical Million,” by Professor A.  J. Showalter, who was at that time correcting harmony for Adline S. Kieffer, editor of the above-named paper.

Professor Bryan(t) was born in Newton County, Ga., 1861. He was educated in the common schools of that county, finally completing his musical education at Emory College under the late R. M. McIntosh, in 1887. He has composed nearly twelve hundred gospel and Sunday school songs. A great many of them are published in various tune books. He married Miss Mamie Johnson, and is at present living in Atlanta, Ga. The above hymn is one of Dr. Watts’ first-class compositions, and ranks among the standard hymns of the country.
In Union Harp and History of Songs, Joseph S. James preserves information that allows us at this late date to identify composer and music teacher John R. Bryant. There are a few errors that can be corrected, but James has provided the Sacred Harp community a great service. At the time James wrote the biography, 1909, John R. Bryant was living in Atlanta, Georgia. He died the next year.

John Randolph Bryant was born March 25, 1861 in Newton County, Georgia, the son of Samuel J. Bryant and Laura Pennington. In 1885 he married Minnie (rather than Mamie) Johnson in Newton County. They had five children, according to his death notice in the Atlanta Constitution. Bryant was a songwriter and editor of at least one songbook.[i] The 1900 Newton County, Georgia census lists him as a “music teacher.” John R. Bryant died May 21, 1910 in Fulton County, and according to Bryant family genealogists, was buried at the Red Oak Church Cemetery at Covington, Newton County, Georgia.

John R. Bryant is the composer of four tunes found in The Sacred Harp, Fourth Edition with Supplement, edited by J. L. White. In addition to Walden, which is in Union Harp and History of Songs, Bryant composed the tunes Payne on page 435, The Better Country and Loftin, both on page 508.

[i] Tears and Triumphs: For Revivals, Sunday Schools & the Home, L. L. Pickett, M. W. Knapp, Jno. R. Bryant, Columbia, SC: L. L. Pickett, 1894. Hymn Time Cyber Hymnal lists Bryant as the author of 46 hymns and two tunes in this book.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

A Dialogue, and other links

The posting of links does not constitute an endorsement of the sites linked, and not necessarily even agreement with the specific posts linked.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Three Levels of Adherents to the KJV Bible

Back in 2018 I wrote about Categorizing “KJV-Only” beliefs and My View of King James Only. Saturday I found a book that categorizes the views differently than most lists I have seen. The Journey from Texts to Translations: The Origin and Development of the Bible, by Paul D. Wegner (page 337), gives three levels of adherents to the King James Version Bible.
1. Those who prefer its majesty and reverence, being most familiar with this Bible or having used it for much of their lives.
2. Those who believe that the text is to be preferred.
3. Those who believe that it is the only authoritative text and that it has been preserved by God through the ages.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

1 Timothy 3:1-7, gender-neutral

1 Timothy 3:1-7 is a passage of scripture that has gotten a gender work-over in some new Bible versions. This helps clear the way for female pastors as well as males.

The Common English Bible changes singular pronouns (he) to plural (they) and masculine (husband) to neutral (spouse).
1 This saying is reliable: if anyone has a goal to be a supervisor in the church, they want a good thing. 2 So the church’s supervisor must be without fault. They should be faithful to their spouse, sober, modest, and honest. They should show hospitality and be skilled at teaching. 3 They shouldn’t be addicted to alcohol or be a bully. Instead, they should be gentle, peaceable, and not greedy. 4 They should manage their own household well—they should see that their children are obedient with complete respect, 5 because if they don’t know how to manage their own household, how can they take care of God’s church? 6 They shouldn’t be new believers so that they won’t become proud and fall under the devil’s spell. 7 They should also have a good reputation with those outside the church so that they won’t be embarrassed and fall into the devil’s trap.
The Contemporary English Version makes slightly different changes that accomplish the same end.
1 It is true that anyone who desires to be a church official wants to be something worthwhile. 2 That’s why officials must have a good reputation and be faithful in marriage. They must be self-controlled, sensible, well-behaved, friendly to strangers, and able to teach. 3 They must not be heavy drinkers or troublemakers. Instead, they must be kind and gentle and not love money. 4 Church officials must be in control of their own families, and they must see that their children are obedient and always respectful. 5 If they don’t know how to control their own families, how can they look after God’s people? 6 They must not be new followers of the Lord. If they are, they might become proud and be doomed along with the devil. 7 Finally, they must be well-respected by people who are not followers. Then they won’t be trapped and disgraced by the devil.
Some versions do not use the words “man” or “husband” but keep the pronouns “he” and “his.” The New International Version, for example:
1 Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task. 2 Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4 He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect. 5 (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) 6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. 7 He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.
Here is the text in the Authorised (KJ) Version:
1 This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. 2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; 3 not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; 4 one that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; 5 (for if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) 6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. 7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Believed in hope

“Who against hope believed in hope.” Romans 4:18
Hope is a fruit of the Spirit; and the absence of hope, the thorough, complete absence of hope, stamps death upon that nominal branch, in which the absence of all hope is found. But some will say, “Are not the children of God often plunged into despair?” No; not into despair. They are often very near it, they are on the borders of it; they go to the very brink of it; the gusts from that pestiferous land may so blow their blasts upon them, that in their feelings they shall be in despair; yet no living soul ever set his foot beyond the brink, no child of God ever stepped beyond the border, so as to get into the regions of despair. If he got there, he would no longer be in “the land of the living;” if ever he set his foot over the border that separates the land of hope from the land of despair, he would be no longer calling upon the Lord to save his soul from the lowest hell, but he would be at once overwhelmed by those torrents, which would sweep him away into endless perdition.
J. C. Philpot (1802-1869)

Sunday, March 22, 2020

A Sovereign Protector

A Sovereign Protector” was written by Augustus Montague Toplady in 1774. Toplady is best known as author of “Rock of Ages, cleft for me.” “A Sovereign Protector” is in 8s with 8 lines per stanza. The stress is anapestic, so the hymn will sing quite well with the tune Greenfields (aka De Fleury, possibly most often sung with John Newton’s “How tedious and tasteless the hours”).

1. What, though my frail eyelids refuse,
Continual watching to keep,
And punctual as midnight renews,
Demand the refreshment of sleep;
A sov’reign Protector I have,
Unseen, yet forever at hand,
Unchangeably faithful to save,
Almighty to rule and command.

2. From evil secure and its dread,
I rest if my Saviour is nigh,
And songs his kind presence indeed
Shall in my night season supply;
He smiles, and my comforts abound,
His grace as the dew shall descend;
And walls of salvation surround
The soul he delights to defend.

3. Kind author and ground of my hope,
Thee, thee, for my God I avow;
My glad Ebenezer set up,
And own thou hast help’d me till now.
I muse on the years that are past,
Wherein my defence thou hast prov’d;
Nor wilt thou relinquish at last
A sinner so signally lov’d.

4. Inspirer and hearer of pray’r,
Thou shepherd and guardian of thine,
My all to thy covenant care
I sleeping and waking resign.
If Thou art my shield and my sun,
The night is no darkness to me;
And fast as my moments roll on,
They bring me but nearer to thee.

5. Thy minist’ring spirits descend,
To watch while thy saints are asleep,
By day and by night they attend,
The heir of salvation to keep;
Bright seraphs, dispatch’d from the throne,
Repair to the stations assign’d,
And angels elect are sent down,
To guard the elect of mankind.

6. Thy worship no interval knows,
Their fervor is still on the wing;
And while they protect my repose,
They chant to the praise of my king.
I, too, at the season ordain’d,
Their chorus for ever shall join;
And love and adore without end,
Their faithful Creator, and mine.