Thursday, January 30, 2014

So true

... and so good, for some of us!

As a beauty I'm not a great star.
There are others more handsome, by far,
But my face - I don't mind it
For I am behind it;
It's the people in front get the jar.
-- Anthony Henderson Euwer

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A mish-mash of links

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

* Authenticity, Honesty, and the Stay-At-Home-Mother -- "The mommy wars have made great advances in battling the false fronts of picture-perfect blog posts, where dinners always look fabulous, children are always beautifully dressed, and husbands always come home with roses. But..."
* California Students File Suit Aimed at Tenure Law -- "In a packed courtroom, attorneys unveiled opposing views Monday on the emotionally divisive issue of whether California public school teachers should be protected from dismissal if they are found to be grossly ineffective in their jobs."
* Controversial 3,700-Year-Old Sumerian Clay Tablet Discovered–Claims Noah’s Ark Was Round? -- "The story told on the cuneiform clay tablet is nearly identical to that of the Holy Bible..."
* Iran's FM: 'Glimmer of Hope' for Pastor Abedini -- "The ACLJ reports Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif suggested clemency could be an option for Abedini."
* Manual Transmission Stymies Massachusetts Car Thieves -- "A trio of would-be car thieves had to hit the brakes on their plan because none of them knew how to drive a stick."
* NSA Spying Isn't Just an Illegal Invasion of Privacy—It Doesn't Stop Terror Attacks -- "We have not identified a single instance involving a threat to the United States in which the program made a concrete difference in the outcome of a counterterrorism investigation."
* Starbucks Is Already in Front of the Next Specialty Beverage Craze -- "Starbucks owns two major tea brands: Tazo and Teavana."
* Texas husband named brain-dead wife's fetus -- "I'm just glad they are not in my shoes. I hope every day that no one ever has to go through what I went through."
* Useful Church History -- "Here are ten stories from Church History that I tend to use in my ministry as the pastor of a local church."
* Were you charged $9.84? It might be fraud -- "Be on the lookout for a recent $9.84 charge on your debit or credit card. It might be part of a massive, worldwide scam."
* What Macklemore got wrong…and right -- "The lyrics to Macklemore’s song took aim at Christians and their views on marriage."

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The other Faust

Faust, William Michael, Sr. (November 12, 1865—July 22, 1940) married Laura Ada McFadden (1871—1932). They are buried in the Morning View Cemetery, Ozark, Dale County, Alabama. Faust served as chairman of the 1927 Revision Committee, which added an appendix of 53 songs to the book. He introduced John H. Tenney’s My Friend (Class, Choir and Congregation, No. 98) to the book in 1927, with a few minor changes. J. L. White book committeeman “H. Faust” may have been Henry Faust, the father of W. M. & B. F. Faust.
563      Jesus Is Mine (arranged)

Monday, January 27, 2014


"By today's standards, the lyrics [of Sacred Harp songs] are like fire and feel better after singing this, cleansed." -- Sacred Harp singer Gary Hamilton

"Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without." -- copied

"Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future." -- Paul Lewis Boese

"As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil that they set out to destroy." -- Christopher Dawson

"A flatterer never seems absurd; The flattered always takes his word." -- copied

"Heroes are created by popular demand, sometimes out of the scantiest materials, or none at all." -- Gerald White Johnson

Sunday, January 26, 2014

One of two Fausts

Faust, Bascom Franklin (January 14, 1874—January 30, 1946) was born in Dale County, Alabama, the son of Henry and Milly Anne Faust. His parents were early settlers of Dale County. He married first Mary Emma Byrd (1876—1899) and they had one child. After her death he married her cousin, Mary Elizabeth Byrd (1869—1960). B. F. and Mary Elizabeth are buried in the Morning View Cemetery, Ozark, Dale County, Alabama. Emma is buried at the Hopeful Primitive Baptist Cemetery. Faust was a successful farmer and was a trustee of the first Dale County High School. He worked for the Ozark City Bank for over 15 years, served as County Commissioner from 1906 till 1911, and was Mayor of Ozark from 1937 till 1940. He was a member of the Methodist Church and the Masonic Fraternity. B. F. Faust put up $1000 to subsidize the publication of The Colored Sacred Harp. His song Eternal Truth Thy Word appears on page 92 of that book. Child of Thine is a major companion to Grantville (p. 423).
530      God’s Unchanging Hand
537      Praise the Lord
556      A Prayerful Heart
567      Child of Thine (arranged)

Saturday, January 25, 2014

All those initials

Brown, Stephen Commodore Decatur (September 12, 1849—December 24, 1935) was the son of Lewis Buchanan Brown and Teresa Hale Wiggins. He married Selathia Mozetta Townsend "Townie" Matthews (1860—1934) and they had eight children. Stephen and Townie are buried in the Daleville City Cemetery in Dale County, Alabama. The mother of S. C. D. Brown may have been related to W. M. Cooper's stepfather, Hopewell Wiggins. He was not a composer, but served as the secretary of the original 12 member committee to revise The Sacred Harp in 1902.
            1902    Secretary, Revision Committee 

Friday, January 24, 2014

Linking up again

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

11 most dangerous states for drivers -- "A new report on highway safety says more states have a “dangerous lack of basic safety laws” than have strong safety regulations."
* Boy dies trying to save family from fire -- "A woman in upstate New York will remember her 8-year-old son as a hero. The boy died trying to save his grandfather from a fire, early Monday morning."
* Killings of Christians by Islamists Doubled in 2013 -- "According to Open Doors, a non-denominational group that supports persecuted Christians worldwide, the official number of Christians killed for their faith around the world doubled in 2013, compared to 2012."
Songs of Zion Songs of Zion: Being a Small Collection of Tunes, principally original; with appropriate lines, adapted to divine worship, by James P. Carrell, 1821
* The Non-Christians' Favorite Bible Verse -- "The favorite verse of the Bible referenced in the public sphere is..."
Thoughts on Tune Families -- " a tune, a collection of tunes that are regional or denominational variants of the same melody."
* Two Christian Quarterbacks Faceoff in Upcoming Super Bowl XLVIII -- "This year's Super Bowl will be held on Sunday, February 2nd, at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ. It will be Peyton's 3rd time at the big event, and Russell's first."
* US watchdog: NSA snooping illegal, violates privacy -- "The bulk telephone data collection by a US intelligence agency is a massive violation of civil liberties and should be shut down, a government advisory panel said Thursday."

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Another John Massengale MIA?

Is there another more "viable" John Massengale I am overlooking? This one seems right "circumstantially", but wrong "geographically".

Massengale, John. John Cobb Massengale of Autauga County, Alabama is a possibility for the John Massengale, composer and 1860 co-proprietor of The Sacred Harp.[i] He was born in Tennessee, January 20, 1792, the son of Virginians Solomon Massengale and Tabbitha Cobb. He married Jane Rogers (1795—1860) in Madison County, Alabama. Massengale died in Elmore County, Alabama, July 9, 1866. He and his wife are buried in the Cain's Chapel Methodist Church Cemetery at Holtville, Alabama. This John Massengale's geographical trajectory seems all wrong; He didn't live in Georgia, as J. S. James claimed. But there is some circumstantial evidence to support his "candidacy". The tune name Autauga, p. 322, is significant. The name is rare and seems to appear only in this area of Alabama. John Massengale also arranged the tune for the dying words of Rev. S. B. Sawyer (Sawyer's Exit, 338, The Sacred Harp, 1850). Seymour Boughton Sawyer was a Methodist minister who lived in Wetumpka, which was in Autauga County. Elmore County was formed in 1866 and the locations of both Sawyer's and Massengale's interments are now in Elmore County.[ii] The cemeteries where they are buried are only about 10 miles apart. It is likely that John Cobb Massengale was well acquainted with S. B. Sawyer, but how did he become acquainted with B. F. White?
32t       I’m Not Ashamed of Jesus (Corinth)
73t       Show Pity, Lord (Cusseta)
88b      Mount Zion
306      News From the Regions of the Skies (arranged)
312      Sing to Me of Heaven
322      Soon We Shall Land on Canaan’s Shore (Autauga)

[i] From the title page: "For the proprietors, White, Massengale & Co., Hamilton, Ga. 1860." White also refers to The Sacred Harp as “the property of White, Massengale & Co.” in The Organ, Feb. 2, 1856, Vol. 4, No. 47.
[ii] Elmore County was established in February of 1866, so was already in existence at the time of John C. Massengale’s death.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Links to thinks

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

* Books Aren’t Dead, And Neither Is Paper -- "Do you remember when people said that computers would end the age of paper?"
* Rape Culture is Everywhere – Watch Your Favorite Sitcoms Prove it -- "So jokes that poke fun at raping a woman in her sleep or trivialize the act of sleeping with a drunk girl aren't just offensive to victims of sexual assault, but they also help normalize the behavior of rapists."
* The Twelve Ws of Baptism by J. B. Moody -- "These Twelve Ws of Water Baptism enable me to touch the subject, I trust, with sufficient clearness at every important point—doctrinal and practical."
* Trust in God and Do the Right -- (A slightly different version of the poem Norman McLeod that I posted the other day.)
* War of 1812 Discharge Certificates -- "...records relating to the discharge of soldiers from the Regular Army, 1792-1815."
* Wendy Davis' story may have misstated details -- "Davis' critics said Monday that the small discrepancies suggest her past is not quite as inspirational as she has lead Texans to believe."
* Wiregrass Shape Note Academy -- "Established in September 2012, this comprehensive music school uses the historical seven-shape notation system...This well-proven music system is very easy to learn, sometimes nicknamed the 'Hooked on Phonics' method of learning music and sight reading."

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Ezra Parmenter's Complaint

Parmenter, Ezra (June 26, 1760April 14, 1808) son of Samuel Parmenter and Mary Tower, he was born at Sudbury, Massachusetts. He learned the trade of blacksmith and moved to Boston to work. During the Revolutionary War he worked in a workshop for the Continental Army. "He was fond of music, and sang in the choir of the New South Church on Summer Street. He was the author of the once popular psalm tune called 'Complaint' which was sung in the churches of New England for many years." The earliest appearance of this tune is in The Federal Harmony, published at Boston in 1790. T. J. Allen arranged this tune in 1893 and called it God's Eternal. In 1781 Parmenter married Mary Ellison and they had 8 children. Ezra Parmenter died at Boston. An Ezra Parmenter buried at the Central Burying Ground in Boston might be this person. His son, William, was a United States Congressman and served four terms beginning in 1836. 
357      God's Eternal (aka Complaint)

Monday, January 20, 2014

The Meeting of the Three-in-One in Baptism

"Note how in Christ's Baptism the Trinity does as it were meet; The Father with a Voice, the Son baptized in Person; The Holy Ghost descends like a Dove: And surely it is one Reason, why Baptism in special is to be administered in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost; because he who doth sincerely believe,and is baptized, the Whole Trinity, the Father, Son and Spirit, is his portion; and that glorious Union of the Trinity in Christ's Baptism, is in every Believer's Baptism commemorated." -- From Baptism Discovered Plainly and Faithfully, According to the Word of God by John Norcott, second Pastor of the old Wapping Church (pp. 6-7)

Abraham Linkin

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

* 5 Things to Know About Montanism -- "Oftentimes what appears novel is simply an old, forgotten debate repackaged for a new generation."
* Crafting Inspiration: Why the Speeches of Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Jr. Still Motivate Us Today -- Click on "Multimedia" for the video
* How this family of four lives 'off the grid' in the middle of the desert -- "At a time when we carry computers in our pockets and our cars practically do the driving for us, a certain subset of people have willingly chosen to cut the cord on modern American life"
If You’ve Ever Wondered What Selfless Love Looks Like -- "This is the story of Ian and Larissa, a couple who overcame tough obstacles and learned what true, selfless love is all about."
* Is This the Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie? -- "Some of my changes are very straightforward: a touch less flour, more brown sugar, less white sugar, extra vanilla, and more nuts (finely chopped)."
* Lawmakers Say Obama Surveillance Idea Won't Work -- "Obama, under pressure to calm the controversy over government spying, said Friday he wants bulk phone data stored outside the government to reduce the risk that the records will be abused."
* Pelvic Bone in Museum Storage May Be King Alfred the Great's -- "Archaeologists had mounted a search to find the lost remains of Alfred the Great, who was king of Wessex and dominated England from 871 until his death in 899."
The New Hymnology of the Scottish Kirk -- A very interesting bit of writing about The Scottish Hymnal of 1870

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Courage, brothers

I enjoyed the following hymn and thought it might be a blessing to someone. Hope you had a wonderful Lord's day.

Courage, brother, do not stumble,
Though thy path be dark as night;
There’s a star to guide the humble:
Trust in God and do the right.
Though the road be rough and dreary,
And its end far out of sight,
Foot it bravely; strong or weary,
Trust in God and do the right.

Perish policy and cunning,
Perish all that fears the light!
Whether losing, whether winning,
Trust in God and do the right,
Trust no party, sect or faction;
Trust no leaders in the fight;
Put in every word or action,
Trust in God and do the right.

Some will hate thee, some will love thee,
Some will flatter, some will slight;
Cease from man, and look above thee:
Trust in God and do the right.
Simple rule, and safest guiding,
Inward peace and inward might,
Star upon our path abiding,
Trust in God and do the right.

By Norman Macleod; first appeared in The Edinburgh Christian Magazine, 1857.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Other things I've noticed

There are things that go bump in the daytime!

I don't think about what I don't think about.

Great triumph is often birthed by great trouble.

My "Plan B" (or "Plan Z") is often God's "Plan A".

The faith was once delivered to the saints. Don't accept any late deliveries.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Music of His Steps

Following find "The Music of His Steps (The Itinerant's Death)" written by Samuel Wakefield in 1854. In it Wakefield describes the perils known all too well to 18th & 19th century itinerants and their families. The family anxiously awaits his return:

1. The music of his steps was sought,
His time had come, and he came not;
His little ones were wont to greet,
The sound of his returning feet.
They waited long, were waiting still,
To see him hastening o'er the hill,
Across the brook, and to the door,
His manly face with joy spread o'er.

2. He was a faithful man of God,
And in his Saviour's footsteps trod;
Stern duty bade him often stray
From those who near his bosom lay.
But when from anxious toils returned,
Kind hearts with strong affection burned;
The husband's and the father's voice,
In every ear poured richest joys.

3. But ah! those ears no more shall hear
That voice to wife and children dear;
Those eyes of love shall never more
Look on that face with joy spread o'er;
Shall never see their loved one come,
To cheer their hearth and bless their home.
Low lies his form beneath the sod;
High lives his spirit with his God.

4. Yet still they look with glistening eye,
Till lo! a herald hastens nigh;
He comes the tale of woe to tell,
How he, their prop and glory, fell;
How died he in a stranger’s room,
How strangers laid him in the tomb,
How spoke he with his latest breath,
And loved and blessed them all in death.

Wakefield also wrote music for this hymn, which can be found HERE.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

I link, therefore I am

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

* Book Review: Fabricating Jesus -- "Fabricating Jesus...takes up several attacks against the Christian faith and refutes them."
* Camille Paglia: A Feminist Defense of Masculine Virtues -- "She sees the tacit elevation of 'female values'—such as sensitivity, socialization and cooperation—as the main aim of teachers, rather than fostering creative energy and teaching hard geographical and historical facts."
* Crossword Creator Marks 100th Birthday With Puzzle -- "Gordon is nearly as old as the crossword puzzle itself. The first 'word-cross' appeared in the New York Sunday World on Dec. 21, 1913..."
* Get Sprouted -- "Once sprouted, grains, seeds and beans have 15 to 30 percent more protein, up to 10 times the B-vitamins, more vitamin C, vitamin E and K, beta-carotene, calcium, phosphorus and iron"
* How to Schedule Gmail Messages to Be Delivered in the Future -- "Have you ever wanted to write an email in the morning and send it later, when you were away from your keyboard?"
* Scientists create 'micro-windmills' that could power your cellphones -- "Researchers at the University of Texas Arlington have developed tiny 'micro-windmills' so small that ten of them can fit on one grain of rice."
* Tax Invasion -- The IRS Movie
* The Inside Story of the Wendy's 'Where’s the Beef?' Ad, 30 Years Later -- "Thirty years ago this week, Wendy's debuted their now-iconic "Where's the Beef?" commercial, starring Clara Peller as an old lady demanding more meat from her fast-food hamburger."

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Bidding Farewell to Loved Ones

The song Bidding Farewell to Loved Ones (2012 Sacred Harp, Revised Cooper, p. 539) combines three songs to make one. The words are from A. J. McLendon’s A Sister’s Farewell (James Original Sacred Harp, p. 505; now 55 in 1991). The tune arranges The Blind Girl (J. S. James book, p. 521) with the chorus of John A. Watson’s Passing Away in 2/4 time. The alto is "as sung by Mrs. Julia Parks." The Passing Away alto is different, at least from what is currently with that tune in the Cooper Book. The rest of the alto mostly follows The Blind Girl alto, but seems to take the high road on a few occasions where the original descended to a lower road. There are a few other minor variations in the parts.

Bidding Farewell to Loved Ones reminds me of the tragedy in the lives of our Sacred Harp forefathers and foremothers while making their way through a dark and dreary land – especially when we learn some of the details behind the scenes. According to J. S. James, Augustus J. McLendon wrote A Sister’s Farewell "in memory of Bertha B. Brantly, youngest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. D. Laminack." Bertha Brantley was a sister of McLendon's wife, Ida Viola Laminack. She died October 5, 1904 at age 20, leaving behind a husband and a 10 month old son.

Lewis and Julia Park re-appropriated the words of McLendon's song to fit their own loss. Bidding Farewell to Loved Ones is “Inscribed to B. M. Wesley.” Benjamin M. Wesley was Julia's brother who died December 4, 1913 at the age of 26, leaving behind a 22 year old wife Pearl and 4 children under 6 years of age. (Interestingly, Pearl later married Claude C. McLendon, who was a distant relative of A. J. McLendon.)

The history of songs continues to tell the tale of family tragedy, and in 1927 Wilson Rountree composes Gone to a Better World (Cooper, p. 34) in memory of little Elizabeth Wesley, age 8, daughter of Henry Clifford Wesley and Rashell Brown. She was Julia Park's niece.

Doubtless we have no less tragedy in 2013 than folks in 1913. But I wonder how many now find solace in singing?

Park, Julia Flossie Wesley (June 26, 1889—May 24, 1967) was born in Alabama, the daughter of Hiram B. Wesley and Eliza L. Golden. She married Lewis Park (q.v.) circa 1915. This song is “Inscribed to B. M. Wesley.” Benjamin M. Wesley was Julia's brother, who died in 1913 at the age of 26. Elizabeth Wesley, of whom Gone to a Better World (p. 34) is written in memory, was Julia's niece, daughter of Henry Clifford Wesley and Rashell Brown. Julia is buried at the Enon Cemetery in Pike County, Alabama. The alto is a variant of the original alto, originally described “as sung by Mrs. Julia Park.”
539       Bidding Farewell to Loved Ones (alto)

Park, Lewis (August 14, 1882—July 20, 1967) was born in Alabama, the son of George W. Park and Josephine Mann. He married Julia Wesley (q.v.) circa 1915. He lived in Pike County, was a farmer and a member of the Masonic Fraternity. He died in Phenix City in Russell County and is buried at the Enon Cemetery in Pike County, Alabama. This arrangement is a centonization of The Blind Girl (J. S. James book, p. 521) and the chorus of John A. Watson’s Passing Away. The words are from A. J. McLendon’s A Sister’s Farewell.
539       Bidding Farewell to Loved Ones (arranged)

To read the words of this tune, select the link HERE.

Monday, January 13, 2014

When I am called to die

Read 2 Timothy 4:9-22 Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me: For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia. Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry. And Tychicus have I sent to Ephesus. The cloke that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments. Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works: Of whom be thou ware also; for he hath greatly withstood our words. At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge. Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. Salute Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus. Erastus abode at Corinth: but Trophimus have I left at Miletum sick. Do thy diligence to come before winter. Eubulus greeteth thee, and Pudens, and Linus, and Claudia, and all the brethren. The Lord Jesus Christ be with thy spirit. Grace be with you. Amen.

The poetess Mary Shindler wanted her friends to "sing to me of heaven when I am called to die." The old spiritual "Give Me that Old Time Religion/Tis the Old Time Religion" tells us it is something that "will do when I am dying." At some point most people reflect on death, and what they would do -- and what they want to get done -- before they die.

We all know we are going to die, generally, for the wages of sin is death and it is appointed unto men once to die. Some get a feeling, a premonition of death, which seems to be accurate. Some have terminal diseases and know they'll not be long for this world. The apostle Paul knew his life was short because he had a sentence of death passed against him. In his last letter he wrote, "I am now ready to be offered; the time of my departure is at hand."

When we think of knowing we have only a brief time of life let, our thoughts often soar to theological heights -- to what we ought to do. It is probable that anything we ought to do living with the knowledge that we are dying we ought to do at all times whether we know we are dying or not! In such times, to what does our minds turn? To what did Paul's thoughts turn when he saw death's valley looming large in his view? Notice these things he addressed.

Reunion with friends. "Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me...Take Mark, and bring him with thee." He wanted to see Timothy and Mark, men who had co-labored with him in the ministry. Of his previous co-laborers only Luke was present. He wanted to see others.

Physical comfort. The mention of Timothy's coming, Paul's cloke, and the coming of winter, taken together, hint of Paul's desire for some degree of physical comfort -- even in this house of clay he would shortly leave.

Mental stimulation. Paul asked Timothy to bring books and parchments. We are not privy to exactly what books & parchments he wanted, but Paul did not intend to languish in self-pity or dwell on the morbid. He would read, learn, stimulate his mind as he awaited his execution. What good would that do? Who knows, maybe he would learn something to pass along to his Christian friends.

Thoughts of the future. Paul did not take the cynical approach of some -- I'll be gone so it doesn't matter what happens now. Yes, he would be gone, but he would leave many behind. He cared for them. He desired what was best for them. In his "swan song" he is teaching Timothy, exhorting Timothy, warning Timothy -- preparing Timothy for his ministry that would go on after Paul was gone, and ministry of the students of Timothy who would "teach others also". It doesn't stop with you. Pass it on.

Don't despise the small things. Paul even takes time to send the greetings of others. We may, at such a time as this, become so busy seeking the "important things" that we forget the details. Most of the lives of most of us all are not made up of grand and lofty things, but a grand compilation of lots of little details.

The days or months before death contain a series of events that we will not get to do over. No one who has gone through this will come back and tell us what they did right and what they did wrong. But we can listen to the words of an apostle writing under the inspiration of God. Maybe even learn a little something.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Infant salvation

"The position which we, as Baptists, have occupied since the days of Christ and the inspired Apostles, and which we still maintain is this: That all infants dying in infancy are saved, in accordance with the electing love of God through the application of the atonement of Christ by the Holy Spirit, and are included in the number of God’s elect; and this salvation is unconditional, so far as repentance, faith, baptism, the Lord’s Supper, and the holiness or unholiness of parents are concerned." -- J. W. D. Creath, circular letter, Union Baptist Association of Texas, 1854

“If there were no other way of saving infants but by the gospel and its ordinances, they would be excluded from salvation; for with them the gospel and its ordinances have nothing to do. Infants are saved by virtue of the death of Christ, but not by faith—not by the gospel. And you do not gather them into the promise by baptism, for the promise is to him that believeth and is baptized. God has committed the ministration of the gospel and its ordinances to us; but the salvation of infants he has reserved in his own hands.” -- Andrew Broaddus (From Sermons and Other Writings of the Rev. Andrew Broaddus, 1852, pp.189-190.)

Friday, January 10, 2014

W. A. Cumbie: but which one?

Cumbie, W. A. (Rev.) (There are several men named W. A. Cumbie in this area of Alabama and at least two – an uncle and nephew – were also Baptist preachers.)
Cumbie, William Allen or Ansel (October 13, 1831December 25, 1918) was born in South Carolina, the son of James Cumbie/Cumbaa and his second wife, Elizabeth Culpepper. James was a Baptist minister, and at least seven of his sons were. W. A. Cumbie married Elizabeth Ann Jackson (1836-1919) in 1853. He was a Baptist minister, a Mason, and a Confederate veteran (having served as a Lieutenant in Company B of the 33rd Alabama Infantry). He and his wife are buried at the Newton City Cemetery, Dale County, Alabama.
Cumbie, William Allen (December 13, 1836September 13, 1906) was born in Pike County, Georgia, the son of Benjamin Riley Cumbie and Priscilla Malinda Buffington (Benjamin was the son of James Cumbie and his first wife Matilda [last name unknown). William married Mary Elizabeth Staggers in Alabama in 1866. His obituary in the Andalusia Times said he "was in his sixty-ninth year and had preached all over Southeast Alabama and the Northern part of Florida." Perhaps this may best match Cooper's description on page 284. Then again, he was deceased by the time two of the songs were printed. William Allen Cumbie and wife are buried at the Salem Baptist Church Cemetery in Covington County Alabama. His tombstone records his service in the Confederate Army: "2D LT CO F 17 REGT AL INF CSA". He was the co-author of at least one work, an 1875 discussion with R. T. Webb on the question, “Which are the Primitive Baptist Churches?”
153      Come and God with Me to Heaven
284      The Christian's Rest (arranged, based partially on Blooming Youth)
507a    I am Near the Shore (a variant of The Christian’s Flight; removed in 1992)

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Jack Bartlett: Georgia, Texas, Arizona

Bartlett, William Jackson “Jack” (March 9, 1869—October 30, 1952) was the son of Henry Bilbo Bartlett and Mary Jane Smith of Carroll County, Georgia. He spent most of his life in Cass County, Texas but moved to Arizona late in life. Bartlett married Louizza Ann "Lou" Gilley (1881—1965) on October 14, 1908 in Cass County, Texas. They had one child, an infant who was born and died March 17, 1892, and is buried in Beech Creek Cemetery, Atlanta, Cass County, Texas. He is buried at East Resthaven Cemetery, Phoenix, Maricopa Co., Arizona. His tune was written in 1941, with an alto part written by G. L. Beck, and was added to the song book in 1949. Jack Bartlett taught Sacred Harp singing schools, as did his brother Robert Edmond Bartlett.
479      Behold a Sinner

Laraping Links

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

4 Early Church Writings Every Christian Should Read -- “New books are great, but they are untested—we don’t know which ones will stand the test of time. But old books have been sifted by time. It’s always good for us to look at the context of the people that came before us and see how the world looked from their time and place.”
* Happy Waitress Even Happier After Receiving Astounding Tip -- "...a man stopped in with a friend for lunch at the restaurant on Thursday and asked the hostess to seat them at the table of the restaurant’s grumpiest server because the pair wanted to use their charm to cheer someone up."
* Kitchen 101: Fridge vs. Cupboard -- "If you shove your groceries in the fridge without a second thought, you could be causing certain foods to expire faster."
* Mystery of Bizarre Amazon Web Formations Unraveled -- "Each one of the weird webs was a tiny sphere surrounded by a circular fence less than an inch (2 centimeters) in diameter."
* Snowden has more secrets to reveal about Israel -- "'I don't want to preview any stories that aren't yet published, but it is definitely the case that there are a huge number of very significant stories that are left to report,' Greenwald said."
* The Potency of Proclamations -- "...I’ve never seen a better theory of church-state relationships than Roger Williams’s metaphor of the Two Tables of the Law."

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

T. J. Allen: “My beloved friend and brother”

Allen, Thomas Jefferson (February 9, 1853—January 26, 1948) was born in Fayette County, Georgia, the son of John Bryan Allen and Nancy Tilghman. Allen was a singing school teacher, composer, and church music director. He married Sarah E. Helms in 1875 and they had 3 children. After her death, he married Laura Addrana Jernigan (1854-1940) and they had two children. The song She is Sleeping was written upon the death of his daughter Ava (1876-1914). (Ava was married to William Shaw, grandson of John Shaw & Dora Parish and either a brother or a cousin to composer J. M. C. Shaw).[i] Allen’s daughter Maud wrote some alto parts for songs in the Cooper book. T. J. Allen was a member of the Revision Committee of the Fifth Edition of The Sacred Harp (Cooper Revision). W. M. Cooper’s tune Allen (p. 576) is dedicated to T. J. Allen. He is buried at Shady Grove, Pike County, Alabama. 496a was “Inscribed to Dr. W. A. Allen, Atlanta, Ga.” William Aaron Allen (1862—1916), was a younger brother of T. J. (One could assume that Mrs. Emma Jernigan, who wrote the words to 584 and 589 might be some of his wife’s relatives; Emma Alice Dean Weed married Henry R. Jernigan, Allen’s brother-in-law, in 1898.)
33        Gathering Home
97        Gone to Heaven
98        Glory Shone Around
109b    My Home Above (words; removed in 2006)
116      I Will Shout and Sing in Glory
181      The Gospel Invitation (alto)
303      The Fountain (an arrangement of Sincerity)
343b    Nearer My God to Thee (removed in 1992)
355      Hinder Me Not (an arrangement of Augusta)
357      God’s Eternal (an arrangement of Complaint)
392      Over There (removed in 1992)
450      Leaning of Jesus’ Breast (No. 1)
496a    We Shall Meet Again
509      We are Going Home
513b    Whosoever Will
515      When the Lord Shall Come for Me
517      We’ll Wear a Crown (treble)
529      When Jesus Calls
532      O, Jesus, Ever with Us Stay (an arrangement of Present Joys)
540      She is Sleeping
545      I Have a Precious Friend
550      Gone Home (an arrangement of a song by W. T. Dale)
555      Praise the Redeemer (an arrangement of New Hope)
560      Singing As I Go
568       Gone to Rest
578      God’s Wondrous Love
584      I Love to Sing of Jesus
589      The Gates of Paradise

[i] Probably a brother, since John Shaw died in the Civil War and they are living with Dora Parish’s parents

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Explanation and Exclamation

I've been rather slow getting anything posted on the blog lately. I have been immersed in a project that has been slowly festering for some time -- compiling a "biographical history" of the composers in The Sacred Harp: Revised Cooper Edition, 2012. It's a long way from publication, but it is starting to take shape and drive my OC nature to a frenzy. Hopefully it will be accompanied by an extended research trip to the land of its birth -- Southeast Alabama.

In 2010 my friend Warren Steel and Richard Hulan produced an excellent book titled The Makers of The Sacred Harp. It is a companion book to The Sacred Harp, 1991 Edition. They presented history of some of the poets and most of the composers of the songs in that book.

I intend to follow much the same tack. Because the two Sacred Harp books share the same 19th century, they also share many composers in common. I will not include bios of folks that are already in Warren's book, but rather those that are unique to the "Revised Cooper Edition, 2012". So mine will not be a complete "companion book". I will be pointing you to Warren's book to read about the composers I don't discuss (it's well worth it). I will also give a list of the page, title, poet and composer for each song. The introduction will try to make sense of the making of the first "Revised Cooper Edition" in 1902. This will be the hardest part, because much of that is uncharted waters. This, at least, is my hope and plan (d.v.).

Since I am immersed in this I have decided it will make sense to share many of these short bios on my blog as I work along (as opposed to not posting anything on the blog!). Perhaps this will be a good testing ground. Readers can point out mistakes, ask for clarification, make suggestions -- and maybe just provide a little encouragement along the way. Tomorrow -- Thomas Jefferson Allen.

In the meantime, you might want to check out the latest Sacred Harp Publishing Company Newsletter. You might find “Melancholy Day”: Letters of Condolence after the Death of Thomas Jackson Denson (and other articles) very interesting.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Reports from Sandy Valley: Lack of a second

The December conference of the body of Christ at Sandy Valley was an excruciating one. Deacon Drew Drewery, who always seconds the motions, was out with the flu. All attempts at conducting business were stymied for lack of a second. After an hour or so of extended difficulty the body was wrenched of its energy. An exasperated Deacon Tal Goodnews finally moved adjournment. A shocked congregation looked the way of the good deacon's son, Noah Goodnews, when he seconded the motion to adjourn. Such was unexpected from the young 30-something whippersnapper. But the congregation at Sandy Valley breathed a collective sigh of relief when Reverend Peacock called for the vote, which passed unanimously.

Saturday, January 04, 2014

The Ring of Repugnance

I wrote the following for a different venue. Since I have been busy and behind on my posts, I decided to post it here. Buell Cobb spoke plain truth into sundry sad hearts when he penned this, below. And it spurred me to put down some thoughts. I hope you can endure them, for they are written mostly for cathartic reasons.
"For a couple of generations in that era [50s-70s], Sacred Harp lay well within the South's ring of repugnance. Like other cultural carryovers from its rural past, 'fasola singing' smelled of primitive, uncouth things, of tattered, old-fashioned ways. Dirt roads and old country churches. Outhouses and no air-conditioning. Predominantly elderly folk in unfashionable garb putting tunes up high with their cracked voices. Dinner-on-the-grounds, in the heat of the day, with flies and sweat bees and yellow jackets. The whole scene could seem to represent everything an up-and-coming youth from the area would want to leave behind – and did." (Buell Cobb, in Like Cords Around My Heart, p. 25)
When East Texas singer/songwriter/teacher Jno. W. Miller (363, 522, 524, Cooper Book) wrote about Sacred Harp, announced singings, and so on, he often spoke of "singing the songs our fathers and mothers sang." It was a recurring theme with him. Many with rural roots across the South have long forgotten "the songs our fathers and mothers sang" – yea, even forcibly banished them from their minds. If I were a mind to, I could name names of folks my age whose father, mother, uncle, aunt, or grandparents were active Sacred Harp singers – and yet they act as if they've never heard of such a thing. Want to leave, and did. Indeed!

As I reflect on this in my own case, I begin with the musings of the hymn-writer in the Lloyd's book (No. 297) – "Oh! why was I not left behind." For a brief time and perhaps less intensely than others, I was embarrassed by my poor and rural roots – especially after we left the country school and went to school in town. I could (and did) escape in my mind, but I've never lived outside the county where I was born. I was the baby of the family, the "Last of the Mohicans" my mother would say. My parents were old enough to be the grandparents of most of my friends. In some of my teenage years I found this embarrassing. (But to spread the blame and ease the pain, what teenager isn't embarrassed by his or her parents?) What was my pain and embarrassment turned to my salvation – old parents, stuck in some old ways (and, perhaps, also not being too ambitious!). It took awhile, but there was an underlying cord, a bond, that would not let me go. Sure, growing up, the old Sacred Harp seemed to me like it was something reserved for old people. But there was something about those old songs. Even in church I preferred songs like PISGAH and FIRM FOUNDATION over songs like I'LL FLY AWAY and I'LL MEET YOU IN THE MORNING (not that I don't like those).

Nearly grown, I began to do things like buy an "antique" peanut sheller (for only $3; I still have it), get a crosscut saw, and learn to plough behind a horse. Daddy never owned a "real" tractor (he bought an old used David Bradley walk-behind once), but being "the baby" I had escaped learning (or having to do) some things the older ones learned or did. Perhaps this relearning was the beginning of entering back inside "the ring of repugnance" of things in tattered garments, things that smelled old, primitive. Sacred Harp is so much more than that, more than enjoying something antique, more than nostalgia. But it is that, too. Maybe it could begin there for some of you?

Growing up in the country, I've seen that lush grass the cows won't eat around the cow pile. It's noticeable from afar off. But I had never before heard the expression "the ring of repugnance." Doing a little research online, I found the following from a Santa Rosa Junior College student (presumably scientifically accurate). I hope it isn't too repugnant for you! He explains that there are spores of a slime mold that must pass through a cow's digestive system to be degraded enough to germinate. "They are deposited in the dung, which is their nutriment. But the cow will not eat grass within a certain radius of its excreta. So...[the slime mold] must shoot the spores beyond the 'ring of repugnance' around the dung in which the cow will not eat to land on the grass, be consumed once again, pass through the cow's digestive system...for another cycle."

To my rural friends, I say, "Come home, come home, ye who are weary, come home; Sacred Harp, rural roots, all of them are calling – come home." We wish you were here. Don't forget who you are.

The glory days may be gone forever, but we can press on. I don't want to carry the analogy too far, but there is a lesson here. We must "shoot the spores beyond the 'ring of repugnance'." Hugh McGraw excelled at doing that. Others have stepped up to "shoot spores" to regions beyond. Some of us in rural settings haven't well learned the technique, or maybe are too stuck on what worked in the past, or perhaps we just smell too bad to get anyone to approach!

Awake, my soul, in joyful songs,
And press with vigor on;
A heav’nly race demands thy zeal,
And an immortal crown.

Awake! awake my soul!
And press with vigor on;
Awake, awake, press onward now
’Till all thy work is done.
(The Christian's Race)

With sincerest apologies,

Friday, January 03, 2014

A case of names

Last night among the links I posted was a story about a slightly humorous bout between Starbucks/Frappuccino® and Exit 6 Pub/Frappicino in Yahoo News -- Brewery responds to Starbucks letter with $6 check. Elsewhere online one can find the actual letters exchanged between the companies. My favorite line was in the letter from the Starbucks attorney: "The FRAPPICINO mark only differs from Starbucks Coffee Co.'s FRAPPUCCINO mark by one letter, and is phonetically identical."

No reporters commented on it. Did anyone else notice?

Thursday, January 02, 2014

New Year's first links

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

* 4 Reasons to Preach the Genealogy at Christmas -- "...why does the genealogy at the beginning of Matthew matter..."
* 5 ways to cook healthier in 2014 -- "Mastering a few easy cooking skills can do wonders for your health and your waistline. "
* Brewery responds to Starbucks letter with $6 check -- "Exit 6 owner Jeff Britton also wrote that the brewery 'never thought that our beer drinking customers would have thought that the alcoholic beverage coming out of the tap would have actually been coffee...'"
* How Four Women Revived a Derelict Mississippi Town -- "What is especially appealing about Water Valley, besides its proximity to Oxford, home to the University of Mississippi and a 25-minute drive away, is that properties haven’t been altered much since the lion’s share of them were built between 1885 and the 1920s."
* Surprising Book Facts -- "I remember being surprised the first time I ran across someone who told me that he hadn’t read an entire book since he finished college."
* The 3 Most Corrupt Countries in the World -- "The United States has its fair share of scandals. But when it comes to corruption, there are plenty of other countries that leave the U.S. in the dust."
* The Necessary Shift: Thinking Theologically About Politics -- "... there is a certain emptiness, as well as a cynical backlash, when the audacity of hope does not deliver."