Saturday, June 30, 2012

New middle class tax

During his 2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama promised that there would be no taxes on the middle class. He and the Democrats in Congress have doggedly kept up that rhetoric, promising to tax the rich instead. Fuggedaboudit. It ain't true. There is now a new tax (effective 2014) on all of the middle class (and everyone else). Not only that, it will be a repressive tax that negatively effects those least able to pay it. The tax will not be on what you earn or what you buy. It will be on you, taxed for existing and what you do not do. It's called the "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act," aka Obamacare.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Seven questions for preachers

When you preach, are the listeners entertained or edified?

When you preach, do the listeners laugh more than they cry?

After you preach, do the listeners talk of how smart you are, or how great God is?

After you preach, do the listeners want to debate or do?

After you preach, do the listeners question the Word of God, or feel more certain of it?

Do you preach Christ and Him crucified?

Do you preach the whole counsel of God?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

More Sacred Harp quotes

"My favorite Sacred Harp tune is whatever I'm singing right now." -- heard from several sources, but don't know the original (many of us agree)

"The cat's in the milk and it will have to be strained over." -- J. L. White, to students at singing school when a song was not being sung correctly (passed on to me by Sandra Wilkinson, whose family members were students of J. L. White)

"Sacred Harp just grabbed me, and I thought, 'This is the music I've been waiting for all my life.'" -- Andrew Albers, 1985 

"Sing it right slow so we can get the juice out of it." -- Terry Wootten

 "If some of you don't like this music, all I've got to say to you is you'd better get out. If you stay here it's going to get a-hold of you and you can't get away." -- Tom Denson to a singing school class, quoted by G. P. Jackson

"We disagree with the prediction that Sacred Harp music is fast disappearing." -- J. W. Bassett, Letter to the editor of Birmingham News Monthly Magazine, 1954

"Surely man will not degrade himself below the insects and birds, in thus letting one of his noblest faculties (singing) lie dormant." -- G. H. Perdue in The Organ, 1855

Other Sacred Harp quotes are found here:
Random Sacred Harp quotes 1
Random Sacred Harp quotes 2
Interesting Sacred Harp quotes
Still more Sacred Harp quotes
Favorite Sacred Harp quotes

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Word for Today

I Thessalonians was the first letter written by Paul to the young congregation he gathered in the city of Thessalonica. God gave Paul a vision whereby he understood that his party was to go and preach the gospel in Macedonia. After ministering in Philippi they traveled to Thessalonica and preached there. He stayed there possibly nearly 4 weeks, but also possibly barely over two (three sabbaths, Acts 17:2). Some of the Thessalonians believed. Those Jews who did not caused such an uproar they had to leave the infant congregation and move to the next town. After a period of time in Berea, Paul left Silas and Timothy there and went to Athens in Greece. Evidently they met him there and were sent back for a time to Macedonia before meeting him again in Corinth (cf. Acts 17:14-15; I Thess. 3:1-6; Acts 18:5). From Corinth, and possessed of good news from Timothy, the apostle writes to the Thessalonian Christians.

Paul writes to encourage the Thessalonians. This he does by his memory of and thankfulness for them. He prays for them regularly (1:2-3ff.). Good memories lift the spirits. It is encouraging to know others are praying for you. Paul affirmed them in their faith, hope and love (cf. 1:3; 3:6).

Paul writes to exhort the Thessalonians. Their walk with the Lord must not remain static, nor go backwards. They must move forward; they should abound more and more (4:1). Knowing the commandments of God, they should obey them and love one another according to the love God has taught them (4:2,9-10). Not only are they to love another, they are to deal honestly with those outside the church (4:12), even their enemies that persecute them (2:14).

Paul writes to correct their errors. This he does by demonstrating the false way and by teaching the true way. He encourages, comforts and edifies by the blessed hope of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. The dead are not gone; they are "asleep in Jesus." The Lord will return for the living and the dead, and all those in Christ will forever be with the Lord (4:13-17).

What a blessed benefit that the absent apostle encourages, exhorts and teaches this young flock through an inspired epistle. These inspired words also teach, exhort and encourage all of us "who have hope."

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Grace Reveals God’s Goodness

“Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God” (Rom. 11:22)

Grace is God showing His goodness to those who deserve severity. Both imputed sin in Adam and actual sins in practice rendered every man unfit for the presence of God. Neither Jacob nor Esau, who typify the elect and non-elect respectively, deserved the grace of God (Rom 9:13). Goodness was freely purposed by God; as well as, severity. The amazing truth is not that God is severe to some, but that He is gracious to any.

Consider three observations:

Grace demonstrates the love of God.

God is both good and severe. Because God is infinite goodness, He purposed infinite love toward a fallen race. His love provided His Son, the imputation of righteousness, and spiritual awakening in each generation for His elect. God demonstrated grace in Christ: “when the kindness and the love to men of God our Savior did appear” (Titus 3:4)

Grace and salvation are inseparable.

The apostle said: “For by grace you are saved” (Eph 2:8). What was the occasion? Not God’s purpose before time, or His provision of faith, but the death of Christ. “Faith” is related to grace and salvation in this respect: faith is the gift of God to see, understand and rest in salvation by grace. God conditioned grace and salvation exclusively on Christ’s Person and Work.

Grace guarantees His saints preservation.

God’s goodness and severity are fixed. A sheep cannot become a goat; and a goat cannot become a sheep. Romans 8 begins with “no condemnation” and closes with “no separation” (Rom 8:1, 35-39). God preserves and the elect persevere. Believers need not torment themselves feeling their faith will fail; it is assured by sovereign grace.

T. David Simpson
Shreveport Grace Church Bulletin- July 18, 2010

Saturday, June 23, 2012

The use of Old Testament Scripture New Testament times.

The gospel that Paul preached was according to the Old Testament scriptures - I Corinthians 15:1-4.

Philip preached Jesus to the eunuch using the Old Testament scriptures in Isaiah - Acts 8:35.

Paul demonstrated that Jesus was the Christ from the Old Testament scriptures - Acts 17:1-4.

Bereans believed as a result of searching the Old Testament scriptures - Acts 17:10-12.

Apollos convinced Jews in Achaia that Jesus was the Christ using the Old Testament scriptures - Acts 18:28.

The Old Testament scriptures testify of Christ - John 5:29.

The Old Testament scriptures are able to make one wise unto salvation - II Timothy 3:15.

The Old Testament scriptures teach salvation by faith - Romans 4:3; 10:8-11; Galatians 3:8,22; I Peter 2:6.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Notes on Griggs' Sketch

[1] Griggs describes the split between White and Walker in different terms than J. S. James did. He does not mention any squabble over White not being named as co-author of the Southern Harmony. Rather he seems to couch it in a more amicable dispute over the move to seven-shapes from four-shapes. The split between White and Walker over Walker not listing B. F. White as a co-author has been challenged and possibly discredited. There are some timeline problems with Griggs' history too. White had long since moved to Georgia and published The Sacred Harp before Walker published his Christian Harmony in seven shapes.

[2] Griggs claims that White first started The Organ and later compiled the Sacred Harp. This timeline has also been disproven. The Sacred Harp was published before The Organ newspaper was established.

[3] The idea that B. F. White taught singing schools in Texas crops up from time to time. As a Texan, I find this intriguing and not outside the realm of possibility, especially considering he had family and friends in Texas. At this time there are no details available to prove or disprove assertions that White taught music in Texas.

[4] This may be generally correct, but 4th edition of The Sacred Harp was reprinted at least twice between 1870 and 1900.

[5] Not "William" but rather Wilson Marion Cooper.

[6] Cooper was not dead in 1907. The Fausts (not Fause) may have been owners of the Cooper book after his death, but I have seen no information on this elsewhere. In 1927 the Blackshears--Cooper's daughter and son-in-law were the owners. Perhaps the Fausts owned it before then and sold it to the Blackshears, but it seems more likely that it passed to his daughter upon his death. This is the same daughter responsible for many of the altos in the book. Perhaps they owned it when they were negotiating a combining of the books. Or perhaps Griggs was just mistaken. At some point after the 1927 Blackshear 9th edition, the Faust brothers and B. P. Poyner printed an edition of this book, apparently with no changes.

[7] Assuming the accuracy of Rootsweb, J. R. James would be Joseph R. James (1892-1986), son of Robert Edward Lee James.

[8] Though Griggs never mentions the J.L. White book, the "three books" under consideration are the Cooper, James, and J. L. White revisions of The Sacred Harp. W. M. Cooper died in 1916. J. L. White died in 1925, and J. S. James was hospitalized for several years before his death in early 1931. None of the original revisers would have been involved in negotiations regarding merging the books. Maybe this is why some folks thought the time was ripe for such a move. Several conventions in Texas adopted resolutions in the late 1920s and/or early 30s to combine the J.L. White, Cooper and James books into one book.

[9] This White and Walker reference seems to mean only that they couldn't come to an agreement, as White & Walker couldn't, in his earlier reference.

[10] The finer details show that some of the Denson family purchased the rights and the Publishing Company was later formed, or at least this is the way I understand it.

[11] Griggs seems to hold out hope that a merger can still be accomplished. Nevertheless it is probable that by 1936 "that train had already left the station."

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Brief History of the Sacred Harp Song Book

A Sketch or Brief History of the Sacred Harp Song Book
By C. J. Griggs

It has long since been an outstanding fact that Sacred music has been one of the leading attractions of the human mind that has been and is, one of the indispensable parts of religious worship. There are many beautiful sacred songs from the pens of eminent writers 300 years ago that have sparkled before countless thousands that have lived to sing, to hear and enjoy the riches of their blessings. We loving refer to the living hymns of Charles and John Wesley, William Billings, William Cowper, John Newton, William Doddridge, B. F. White, E. J. King, Lowell Mason, William Walker, Aldine S. Kieffer, Charles Gabriel, A. J. Showalter and hundreds of others that gave their lives to a work that stands as a monument to their immortal memory. It would be a great pleasure to the writer to give a personal story on the life and work of these great and useful dignitaries of hymns and songs, but time will not permit. But as the subject is before us we will endeavor to make a brief story of the Sacred Harp from its first publication to the present.

Benjamin Franklin White was born a Spartanburg, S. C. in the year 1800 and spent his early life in that state. In growing up he soon chose as a pursuit the study of vocal music. Incidentally, he met with a talented young man by the name of William Walker. The two boys became close friends and joined their efforts in the study of vocal music. They both soon became teachers, writers, and selectors of the best grade of sacred songs. Another coincidence was their social companionship which led them into the acquaintance of a prominent family in South Carolina by the name of Golightly. In this family were two beautiful girls, (sisters). All being good singers the boys made good use of their opportunities and soon won the hearts and hands of the two sisters and automatically became brother-in-laws. They still kept up their interest in music and later compiled a song book in four-shape notes and named it the Southern Harmony which met with great favor and was used many years in that section.[1]

After revising the Southern Harmony several times their aspirations grew stronger for musical progress, and after several consultations their views on the subject of notation differed. William Walker's idea was to change to seven-shape notes while Mr. White desired to hold on to the four-shape notes. This caused the road to fork with the two musicians, which resulted in the compilation of the Christian Harmony made in seven-shape notes by William Walker that proved to be a very fine book and is used by several singers of the old school to this day. B. F. White moved from South Carolina to a little place called Hamilton in Harris Co., Georgia, in 1842 and immediately launched into the musical atmosphere. He first put up a printing establishment and published a little country paper, called it the "Organ". In each issue of the paper he wrote two or three songs in four-shape notes.[2] This pleased the people so well that he called some of his students together and in 1844, he led the way in the compilation of a small song book known as the Sacred Harp. Written in four-shape notes it being the first hymn or song book in that section of note, it was used in churches, Sunday schools and other places where sacred music was in vogue for a period of many years. When the book was compiled, B. F. White put his whole energy into the work and taught singings schools in Georgia, Alabama, and Texas[3] until the War Between the States started. Music had to share its part with the general destruction of the South; therefore, music suffered a set-back for five or six years. However, after this great catastrophe, Prof. White moved on with the great work by teaching and organizing conventions throughout the country.

In the years 1850 and 1859 the book was revised, and again in 1869, it being the last revision made by B. F. White according to a conversation between the writer and Prof. White in the year 1875. Another revision was planned but did not materialize due to an accident that happened to Prof. White on Marietta St. in Atlanta, Ga., which resulted in his death. This was in the year 1879, after which time the Sacred Harp ceased to be in active demand.[4] In 1902, about 23 years after the death of B. F. White, William Cooper[5] of Dothan, Alabama, published a book called the Revised Sacred Harp. In the year 1907 after Mr. Cooper's death, the book went into the hands of William and B. F. Fause, of Ozark, Alabama.[6] The United Sacred Harp Association of Atlanta, Georgia was organized in 1904 and in 1911, a committee from this convention was appointed to revise the Sacred Harp, there being very few of the old books accessible in Georgia. This committee was composed of 22 members of which J. S. James was chairman and really financed the book which according to dollars and cents made him the owner of the book. The book only had one revision owing to the death of J. S. James on January 20, 1931, at which time the copyright plates and all that belonged to the original Sacred Harp which was named by the committee went into the hands of J. R. James, a nephew of J. S. James.[7]

The original Sacred Harp was not revised again until 1936 since there was a move on foot for the three books to be consolidated into one volume.[8] However, this did not materialize as in the instance of White and Walker as quoted above.[9] As a result of this disagreement, the Original Sacred Harp was bought from J. R. James by the Sacred Harp Publishing Inc., at Haleyville, Alabama, and is now known as the Denson revised Original Sacred Harp which is the latest revision at present.[10] There are numerous local classes and conventions that affiliate with all three of these books. All friends of ours as well as all the publishers have taken as their guide the old songs published by B. F. White who was the founder of this great musical enterprise 93 years ago. It is truly hoped by the multitudes of fine singers throughout the South that the highly educated musicians who are perpetuating this unparalleled grade of music will realize the fact that the eyes of this great band of singers are fixed on their activities. Then why leave us longer in a three-cornered state of affairs, but come together as a family whose chain is now broken and give us the privilege of working under one vine and fig tree, thus leaving your post of duty at the end of the way so you can feel contented that thousands have been made happy at the work of your hands.[11]

[Taken from Minutes of the State Sacred Harp Music Association and Texas Young People's Interstate Sacred Harp Musical Association, Shady Grove, Texas, August 7-9, 1936, page 11-13. "A motion was made and adopted at a recent call meeting of the board, December 26, 1936, to accept and insert in the minutes, A Sketch or Brief History of the Sacred Harp Song Book by C. J. Griggs of Atlanta, Georgia. This is indeed an excellent article, and we wish to express our sincere gratitude for such an interesting discourse on a subject that all Sacred Harp lovers are tremendously interested in." (1936, page 15; obviously they did not get the minutes printed until near or after the end of December 1936.)]

Click to see footnotes for A Brief History.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Missing 5 years

On the Tuesday after Father's Day, June 19, 2007, my mother-in-law, Shirley Hunt, disappeared. It is now 5 years later and she is still missing. She had Alzheimer's and walked away from her home. We didn't find her, though there was lots of help and extensive searching. We don't really know anything more now than we did then. There is no relief but that God provides. We appreciate all the kind words, kind deeds and prayers that God has given each of you.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day

Today is Father's Day, and I wish a Happy Father's Day to all you fathers out there reading. As I was driving alone to the store this morning I thought about a few things in which our Heavenly Father is the great example to all of us who are fathers. Here are the thoughts that came to me; you can flesh them out and look up related scriptures on the subject.

The Heavenly Father loves us.
The Heavenly Father listens to us.
The Heavenly Father disciplines us.
The Heavenly Father forgives us.
The Heavenly Father provides for us.
The Heavenly Father teaches us.
The Heavenly Father stays with us. (I have heard 1 out of every 3 children in the U.S. live in a home where their fathers are not there. How sad if this is so. How glad we are that our Heavenly Father will never leave us or forsake us.)

O to be fathers more like the Heavenly Father!!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Building the house of God

 Building the house of God, Ezra 5:2: Then rose up Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and began to build the house of God which is at Jerusalem: and with them were the prophets of God helping them.

1. Arises from God's revelation, verse 1. Cf. Haggai 1:1; Zech. 1:1.
2. Requires leadership and cooperation, verses 1-2. Cf. Haggai 1:4-5,7; I Cor. 3:9.
3. Incites opposition, verse 3. Cf. 4:1-2,5; Zech. 3:1.
4. Emphasizes servant nature, verses 4,10,11 (names are unimportant). Cf. John 15:5; Zech. 4:6.
5. Illustrates God's sovereignty, verses 12-16.
God uses whomever He will as instruments of judgment (5:12) and/or resources of blessing (5:13-15).

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Father's Day Singing

Get your father (and your mother and your sister and your brother) and come along. We'll be singing on Father's Day at the Zion Hill Baptist Church near Henderson in Rusk County, Texas.

Zion Hill's Church house is located off FM 840 on CR 368, southeast of Henderson, Texas. Singing will be from the 2006 Sacred Harp Cooper Revision, from about 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Map and info HERE

Be kind to thy father, for when thou wert young
Who loved thee so fondly as he?

I’ll travel in the sacred way,
The path our fathers trod.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Three Amigos

Into the 1980s, we had three East Texas Sacred Harp singers who had lived to be nonagenarians. They were all born in October of 1891 (two of them born on the 9th day of the month). They were B. A. Harry (1891-1984), David Waldrop (1891-1985) and Grady McLeod (1891-1988). In 1891, Benjamin Harrison was President of the United States and The Sacred Harp was in its 47th year. These three men were 12 years old at the time of the death of B.F. White’s son David. They probably knew him.

To me as a child, Grady McLeod was someone who stood out in the crowd – even though he wasn’t a very big man. He was the “youngster” of the three amigos by 19 days, born October 28. He was short, red of face with gold teeth and silvery white hair, and had an “affable” personality. He keyed music and sang high treble with the ladies. Among his favorite tunes was O Jesus, Ever With Us Stay in the Cooper Book. I never hear “fave thud-ee too” (page 532) called that I don’t think of Mr. McLeod and his unique Southern accent. His father and mother were born in Pike County, Alabama in 1858 and came to Texas before 1890. Born last, he lived the longest, dying at age 96 in 1988.

“Uncle David” Waldrop isn’t in my childhood memories as much as Mr. McLeod. However, as I grew older I came to think of him as one of the “neatest” people I knew. I wanted to talk to him whenever I could. He knew a lot about many subjects and had very interesting stories to tell. I think he served in both World Wars, and was a watch repairman (at least when I remember him). With the knowledge I have now, I wish I could go back and ask him about Sacred Harp in our area in his youth. Mr. Waldrop sang bass. The song I most often associate with him is 58, Pisgah, that old tune which he loved so very well. I also think of him when I hear 290 Alas! And Did My Saviour Bleed/Victoria, and 275b Roll On. He comes to mind whenever I announce the singing at “Ooold Pine Grove.” While he was living he was usually the one to announce that singing. He had a unique way of drawing out the “ooold” that caught your attention. He continued his watch repair and driving a car until the time of his death, which occurred at age 93 as the result of a car wreck on March 3, 1985.

Of the three, I was least acquainted with Dr. Harry (I think he was a chiropractor). He exists only in my adult memories. In his elder years when he did not drive, his (also elderly) daughter was faithful to bring him to the singings. Dr. Harry sang tenor. I remember him most for the magnifying glass he used to see the print in his book and his disinterest in singing the notes. He had a philosophy that once you had learned to sing the notes on a song that you didn’t need to keep singing them every time you led (or sang) that song. This seemed strange to me – my Dad’s saying was “If you don’t sing the notes, it’s not Sacred Harp.” Later I would learn there was an area in East Texas whose singers had that in their background and training. Dr. Harry was the only one I remember still living who wasn’t “converted.” When Dr. Harry led, this trait of his always caused someone to ask (in good humor, I think) whether we would be singing the notes. Though he didn’t sing the notes, he DID sing all the words. Among his favorites was Sing to Me of Heaven (312) – which had plenty of stanzas. His long songs and long life ended in February 1984 at age 92.

At the time I didn’t really realize what a blessing we had to be able to know and sing with these men. Each was unique in his own way. They were old-time singers with a long history and stories to tell. Their lives intersected with some of the early leaders of Texas Sacred Harp. Not only do I miss them, but also it is with deep regret that I now know I didn’t fully appreciate what we had – and I didn't ask all the questions I should have asked. Oh, to have had them sitting at my side when I wrote the 150-year history of the East Texas Sacred Harp Convention. They had lived almost two-thirds of it!!

In every area of traditional Sacred Harp singing there were men and women like these. Folks who did not have received nationwide notice or acclaim. Folks who were essential elements of the performance and preservation of this music. May this brief story of “three amigos” not just be a story of three people you didn’t know. May it also be a reminder to be thankful for all those who have gone before us – known and unknown – those who have passed down a most beautiful repertoire of music as they shared their love for it.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Five Looks of the Lord's Supper

I Corinthians 11:23-29 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, this cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.

Years ago in a sermon or Sunday School lesson or somewhere I heard about four "looks" of the Lord's Supper. I don't remember whose thought it was, but I have kept that in memory through the years and added to it. As we approach the time for the Lord's Supper, these thoughts are again in my heart and mind.

Five Looks of the Lord's Supper
1. Appreciation (gratitude; thankful recognition). In the Lord's Supper we look upward in thanks for God's provision, verse 24 "when he had given thanks."

In everything give thanks. In general we are to be thankful for God's provisions for us. All we have is the Lords and we owe Him all. He supplies us bread and drink. In the context of the Lord's Supper He supplies the bread and wine, which is His body and His blood. Let us be thankful that God provided a Lamb for the offering, a Lamb to take away the sin of the world.

2. Retrospection (the act or process of looking back on things past). In the Lord's Supper we look backward in memory of the crucifixion, verse 24-25 "this do in remembrance of me."

As we thank Him for His life and blood, we look backward in memory to "the event" of the past. The event from all eternity. The event that shapes the future. The crucifixion is why the Son of God came into world, to give His life a ransom for many. It is backward in time; it is an historical event. In looking back we are brought face to face with the past, present and the future. But not just the event -- the man of the event -- this do in remembrance of me!"

3. Manifestation (an act of demonstration; making evident or showing plainly). In the Lord's Supper we look outward in proclamation to others, verse 26 "ye do shew the Lord's death."

The Lord's Supper paints a picture. It manifests in bread and wine the Lord's death. Those who participate and those who watch see what we cannot say. We preach the gospel with our tongues. We praise His name with our lips. But here in the Lord's Supper, in common elements  from our common experience, we portray the truth in tones we cannot speak and in tunes we cannot sing. Oh, the mystery of the divine.

4. Prospection (the act of looking forward). In the Lord's Supper we look forward in hope of our Lord's return, verse 26 "till he come."

In terms of frequency or the time of the Lord's Supper, it hard to find a specific schedule that must be followed. But we are to do it "oft" and do it "till He comes." While looking backward to the marvelous death of our Lord, we are reminded that He yet lives and that He is coming back again. Every time we eat this bread and drink this cup we ought to whisper, "Even so, come, Lord Jesus."

5. Introspection (the examination of one's own thoughts, impressions, and feelings). In the Lord's Supper we look inward in examination of our participation, verse 28 "let a man examine himself."

The Lord's Supper is not a thoughtless robotic experience in which we go through outward formal motions of eating and drinking some symbolic thing. It calls us to introspection, an examination of our deepest motives of observance. Look not to determine your worthiness, for we are all unworthy and yet made worthy by the blood of Jesus. Drink it worthily, a description of the manner of observance rather than the person, discerning the Lord's body as you partake of Him in that which symbolizes Him. The examination is not to keep us from eating and drinking, but to prepare us for eating and drinking! Let a man examine himself, and so -- in that self-examined state -- let him eat and drink.