Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Arthur Wyeth painting and other arts links

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

Monday, June 29, 2015

Marching to Glory

The hymn “Marching to Glory” below is from The Minstrel of Zion (by Hunter and Wakefield), p. 55, originally with sixteen stanzas.

Our kindred dear to heaven have gone: We’ll meet our friends in glory.
They landed safe—we’ll follow on: to meet our friends in glory.

We’re marching to glory! (We’re marching to glory)
We’re marching to glory! To meet our friends in glory!
We’re on our way to paradise, to meet our friends in glory.

Like us they had their cares and fears: We’ll meet our friends in glory.
Like us they shed affliction’s tears: We’ll meet our friends in glory.

Safe housed in their eternal home: We’ll meet our friends in glory.
They wait till we with songs shall come: We’ll meet our friends in glory.

How happy they, from sorrow free: We’ll meet our friends in glory.
And such our happiness shall be: We’ll meet our friends in glory.

What harps of gold they all employ: We’ll meet our friends in glory.
Such harps our hands shall strike with joy: We’ll meet our friends in glory.

What notes divine are on their tongues: We’ll meet our friends in glory.
And raise with them our rapturous songs: We’ll meet our friends in glory.

Though rough the way ‘twill soon be past: We’ll meet our friends in glory.
And share their blissful home at last: We’ll meet our friends in glory.

Go figure

Today I saw a sign that said:

  "There's probably no god. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life."

I want a lot more assurance than probably to be comfortable enough to "stop worrying"!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Cracked voices and monotonous tunes

Some wag in Commerce in 1903 really didn't like our style of music, or else he thought he was being really cute and funny.
The “old-timers” held a singing convention on the 31st of May at Aberfoyle, and antiquated ‘Sacred Harp’ was terribly mutilated. Poor old-timers with their cracked voices and monotonous tunes made a horrible discord, but it gives them pleasure to hold fast to their precious errors, even in this enlightened age. “Such is life.” They may not be up-to-date in music, but the old sisters of Aberfoyle are [actually well up] in the culinary art. An immense table was spread and fairly groaned beneath the load of old-time hams, baked chickens, fried pies, pound cakes, etc., and the old-time singers and constituents did the dinner full justice. W. J. Leavens and Hon. Tom Yarbrough represented this section and in pitching his tune Mr. Leaven (who, by the way, is a fine singer of that kind,) was pitched on by an old sister, who said he pitched too high and sung too fast and so on. Had he been a [timid] stranger he might have been upset, but being from the Sand Mountain we suppose he had plenty of “grit in his gizzard.” 
“General News from N.E. Corner,” Commerce Journal (Commerce, Texas) June 12, 1903, p. 6

I tried, but was unable to identify Mr. Leaven/Leavens and Tom Yarbrough.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Two purposes of marriage, and other quotes

The posting of quotes by human authors does not constitute agreement with either the quotes or their sources.

"What happened on the cross is itself testimony to the fact that God is often most highly glorified in the midst of chaos, confusion, deep depravity, and anger." -- Joel Rainey

"Every theological vagabond and peddler may drive here his bungling trade, without passport or license, and sell his false ware at pleasure." -- Philip Schaff (On the state of Christianity in America, 1845) 

"The more churches empower consumerism, the more they lose power to it." -- Joel J. Miller

“These are the two purposes for which marriage was instituted: to make us chaste, and to make us parents. Of these two the reason of chastity takes precedence.” -- Sermon on Marriage, Chrysostom

"True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost." -- Arthur Ashe

“A committee is a group that keeps minutes and loses hours.” -- – Milton Berle

"You can prepare the mind to lose a loved one; but you can never prepare the heart..." -- Unknown

"We don't love our families because they are the most righteous people, but because they are ours." -- W. James Antle III

"You can change the label on an empty bottle all you want and it’s still just as empty." -- Vance Havner (paraphrased)

Supreme Court Victory, 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.

Friday, June 26, 2015

The Big Decision

I was not surprised by the Supreme Court’s decision about same-sex marriage. It was what I expected. I was surprised that it was 5-4 instead of 6-3. I was surprised not only by John Roberts’s dissent, but by his strong dissent. He wrote, “Five lawyers have closed the debate and enacted their own vision of marriage as a matter of constitutional law. Stealing this issue from the people will for many cast a cloud over same-sex marriage, making a dramatic social change that much more difficult to accept.”

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Who'd a thunk it?

Barthélemon, François Hippolyte (July 27, 1741—July 20, 1808) The melody of the hymn tune known as Ballerma is often credited to François H. Barthélemon (though sometimes to Hugh Wilson). Barthélemon was a French violinist, teacher, and composer. He was born in Bordeaux, France and was educated in Paris. He married Mary (Polly) Young in England and raised a family there. His wife was a niece of the wife of Thomas Arne (See Makers, Steel, p. 83). Barthélémon died at Blackfriars, London, England. The place of his burial is unknown.
            293a     Ballerma (melody)

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Journey into the Square, and other music links

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

Monday, June 22, 2015

Covered dish supper, 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.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Habakkuk 3:17-18

1. Away, my unbelieving fear!
Fear shall in me no more have place;
My Saviour doth not yet appear,
He hides the brightness of his face;
But shall I therefore let him go,
And basely to the tempter yield?
No, in the strength of Jesus, no!
I never will give up my shield.

2. Although the vine its fruit deny,
Although the olive yield no oil,
The withering fig-tree droop and die,
The field elude the tiller's toil,
The empty stall no herd afford,
The flocks be cut off from their place,
Yet will I triumph in the Lord,
The God of my salvation praise.

3. Barren although my soul remain,
And no one bud of grace appear,
No fruit of all my toil and pain,
But desperate wickedness is here;
Although, my gifts and comforts lost,
My blooming hopes cut off I see;
Yet will I in my Saviour trust,
And glory that he died for me.

4. In hope, believing against hope,
Jesus my Lord and God I claim;
Jesus my strength shall lift me up,
Salvation is in Jesu's name;
To me he soon shall bring it nigh;
My soul shall then outstrip the wind,
On wings of love mount up on high,
And leave the world and sin behind.

By Charles Wesley

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Land of Rest, from Lilly Dale

Thompson, Henry S. (ca. 1824—after 1880) was a New England music teacher and composer. He was born in Manchester, Essex County, Massachusetts. In 1845 he married Sarah E. Oliver of Dorchester. At least as early as 1848 he listed his occupation as “Music teacher”. One of his early ballads is Willie's on the Dark Blue Sea, published by Oliver Ditson & Company in 1849. Henry and Sarah lived with their family in Boston, Massachusetts until at least 1864. He had relocated to Indiana by 1879, when The Musical Record reported that he had established a conservatory of music at Crawfordsville. Thompson was still alive on May 27, 1880 when he deposited with the Library of Congress a copy of Lilly Dale, "The right whereof he claims as Author, in conformity with the laws of the United States, respecting Copyrights." The time of his death and location of his burial are unknown. Thompson’s two most popular songs appear to be Annie Lisle (1857) and Lilly Dale (1852)Annie Lisle was preserved for posterity through its arrangement by colleges, universities, and other schools as their "alma mater" song. The first known instance was at Cornell University circa 1870, when students Archibald C. Weeks and Wilmot M. Smith paired the textFar Above Cayuga's Waters with the Annie Lisle tune. Lilly Dale was made popular in minstrel shows and became a popular tune for revival tune books.[i] Mattison's Sacred Melodies for Social Worship(1859) recommends this tune for at least six of its hymns. In 1864 a newspaper article claimed that Oliver Ditson & Company had cleared "upwards of $70,000" on Lilly Dale at that time. In 1903 Ditson Company President John C. Haynes remembered that the sales of Lilly Dale exceeded 100,000 copies. Its greatest use today may possibly be found in its inclusion via an arrangement by A. S. Kieffer in the 1902 Sacred Harp revision of W. M. Cooper. It is found in other song books, such as Christian Harmony, Good Old Songs, and Harp of Ages.
            430       Land of Rest (Lilly Dale)
Births Registered in the Town of Ipswich for the year 1848
Births Registered in the City of Newburyport for the year 1851, p. 201
Births Registered in the City of Newburyport in the County of Essex for the year 1853, p. 259, Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988
“A Half-Century in the American Music Trade,” by John C. Haynes, in National Magazine, Boston, Volume 19, No. 3, December 1903, p. 381
U. S. Federal Censuses, Essex County, MA, 1850; Suffolk County, MA, 1860
Massachusetts State Census, 1855, Essex County
“Popular Song-Writers,” in The Emporia Weekly News, Emporia, Kansas, Saturday, June 18, 1864 – p. 1
Sacred Melodies for Social Worship, Hiram Mattison, New York, NY: Mason Brothers, 1859, pp. 122, 123, 151, 318, 387, 404 and 420
The Musical Record, edited by Dexter Smith, Number 55, Boston, October 18, 1879, p. 35
The Musical Record, edited by Dexter Smith, Number 89, Boston, June 12, 1880, p. 606

[i] Not everyone was thrilled with its use. For example, one editor wrote: “And it is a comfort to know that we do not now so often hear "Jerusalem, my happy home" arranged with a chorus, "O heaven, sweet heaven," etc., and sung to "Lily Dale;" or "Jesus my all to heaven is gone" adapted to "Dixie;" or "Rosalie the prairie flower," or some German drinking song, or some love-sick serenade fitted to religious words.” ("The Sunday School Muse," in Hours at Home: A Popular Monthly of Instruction and Recreation, Volume 6, No. 6, March 1868, edited by J. M. Sherwood, New York, p. 395)

Friday, June 19, 2015

Myth, 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.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

George Keith and The Fountain, Cooper Sacred Harp, 303

Keith, George. The 1902 Cooper Revision of The Sacred Harp attributed page 303 as “George Keith.  Arr. by T. J. Allen, Oct. 12, 1902.” An additional footnote tells us that someone learned the air as a small boy and had “never sung it in any book.” It is unclear whether Cooper meant to attribute the words to Keith and the arrangement to Allen, or the air to Keith and the arrangement to Allen. Also, there is the difficulty of understanding who learned the air as a small boy – Keith, Allen or someone else. The original attribution probably intends only to indicate George Keith is the author of the words. As early as 1869 Josiah Miller wrote that Daniel Sedgwick[1] believed that “K” in Rippon’s Selection was George Keith – a book publisher and the son-in-law of John Gill.[2] Cooper and Allen probably had seen the text attributed to George Keith. This interpretation raises a couple of questions. If Cooper thought George Keith wrote the words, why cite him here but not on page 72 as well? Also, if it was Allen who learned the air as a small boy and not from a book, why is this arrangement in tenor, treble and bass almost exactly as it appears in the tune Sincerity in Southern Harmony? This difficulty might be resolved in several ways. First, there was a George Keith who lived in the general area of Cooper and Allen, who could have been the “learner of this air”. He was George Washington Keith (1852—1951) who, according to U. S. Censuses lived in Holmes, Jackson and Washington counties in Florida and Geneva County in Alabama.[3] He is obviously in Cooper Book territory, but beyond the circumstance of the name, there is no other support for this theory.[4] If the comment about never learning the air in any book is T. J. Allen's and not Keith's, there is the problem of this arrangement obviously being of a song in the Southern Harmony. But the fact that he didn't learn the tune from a book doesn't preclude that he later found the tune in a book and made an arrangement of it. Possibly the best explanation is that the footnote “I learned the air of the above when but a small boy; I have never sung it in any book” are the words of W. M. Cooper. The asterisk leading to the footnote is beside the tune name rather than by the names of either Keith or Allen.[5] This fits Cooper’s use of footnotes on songs elsewhere (though not always) in the 1902 edition – cf. 37, 88b, 348b, et al. If the words in the footnotes are Cooper’s, it leaves “intact” the idea that he thought Keith wrote the words and that Allen made an arrangement of the tune from the Southern Harmony. 

[1] Englishman Daniel Sedgwick (1814–1879) was a hymnologist and bookseller who was consulted by many hymn-book editors.
[2] Singers and Songs of the Church: Being Biographical Sketches of the Hymn-Writers in All the Principal Collections, Josiah Miller, London: Longsman, Green and Co., 1869, p. 349; James credits the words to “George Keith, 1787
[4] And this seems an odd circumstance, given how often George Keith was cited as the author of this hymn, even though incorrectly.
[5] The title might have originally been a misprint intended to be The Foundation rather than The Fountain.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

A Sermon of Trees

A man is of "few days and full of trouble," and our lives are "even as a vapor that appeareth for a little time and then vanish away." Few people find the time to use that "few days" to enjoy the wonders of this old world that God has put here to inspire us, and to live out their little span just for the dollars and cents to be made. I love a good sermon, a song, and, sweet humble worship, but sometimes I find them in the strangest places. A quiet forest turns out to be a great sermon; a soft wind through the spruce and pine is sometimes a song too wonderful to snare it in earthly lines and spaces, and even the ocean's "winds and waves" seem to "obey Him" and the great magnificent forests most certainly declare the glory of God. 
-- Elder Roy W. Cothern, July 1949, from "A Sermon of Trees"

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

When is change legit?

If a person can be transgender, can one also be "transracial"?

Last week a controversy swirled up around Rachel Dolezal -- NAACP chapter president in Spokane, Washington and teacher of Africana studies at Eastern Washington University. Rachel identifies herself as black. Her biological parents are of white European descent, mainly German and Czech (though they have four adopted black children). Her mother, Ruthanne Dolezal, said, “Rachel is trying to reject her own reality, her own identity, and by doing that she does not alter reality.” One of her brother’s her transformation from a blonde-haired, blue-eyed girl this way, “It started out with the hair and then she’d have probably a little darker tan and it was very progressive.” The controversy reached such proporation that Ms. Dolezal stepped down from her position as NAACP chapter president today.

This brings up a prickly question, coming on the heels of the reported changing of Bruce Jenner from a man to a woman -- who is even receiving ESPN's the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. If a man can change to a woman, be praised and even receive awards for it, why must a person be hounded out of her position for changing from white to black? What is the difference? Is race sacrosanct but gender is not? Where are those calling for Rachel's reward and tolerance of her transition? Is there a double standard here?

Monday, June 15, 2015

Abortions declining, 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.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Rest on Jesus' bosom

In memory of our loved ones, on the day of our Holleman cemetery homecoming:

Rest on Jesus' bosom. 8s.7s.

1. Our favored ones have gone to rest,
And with the dead are numbered;
Ere long they'll rise among the blessed,
When God's last trump is sounded.
They're gone to rest among the blessed
We hope to meet in heaven;
Yes, gone to rest on Jesus's breast--
This blessing God has given.
2. There free from every pain and care
They rest on Jesus' bosom;
The Spirit whispers, "They're not here,"
Though at the tombs we gaze on.
3. By grace through faith we hope to gain
Yet once again to meet them;
When Christ the Lord comes back again,
With joy and peace we'll greet them.

- Arranged by R. L. Vaughn, 11 June 2015, from a poem found online in a memorial to Mary Jane Reese. She died of scarlet fever in 1879 at age three, and her father wrote a poem in memory of her. I've also written a tune for the above words, and will try to post it after I get it typeset.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Speaking of Committees,

Five Definitions 

  1. An animal with four back legs 
  2. A group of the unwilling, appointed by the unfit, to do the unnecessary 
  3. A group of men who individually can do nothing but as a group can decide that nothing can be done 
  4. A body that keeps minutes and wastes hours 
  5. A cul-de-sac into which ideas are lured and then quietly strangled 

Five Quotes 

  1. "A camel is a horse designed by committee." -- Alec Issigonis 
  2. "When all is said and done, there's a lot more said than done." -- Unknown. 
  3. "To get something done, a committee should consist of no more than three men, two of whom are absent." -- Robert Copeland 
  4. "Football combines the two worst things about America: it is violence punctuated by committee meetings." -- George Will 
  5. "If you see a snake, just kill it - don't appoint a committee on snakes." -- Ross Perot

Friday, June 12, 2015

Foundations of Church Discipline, and other such links

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

Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Problem with Boycotts

Franklin Graham, objecting to a bank's use of a lesbian couple in a national ad campaign, is Boycotting Wells Fargo over gay ads. The caption adds that the  evangelical leader is struggling "to find a bank that's anti-LGBT enough." Graham moved the accounts of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association to Branch Banking and Trust Company (BB&T). Some after this move, some have begun to report that BB&T is sponsoring the Miami Beach Gay Pride Parade, and is the chief sponsor of the Miami Beach Gay Pride's "Legacy Couples" program. Trying to deflect from the controversy and concentrate on business, a spokesperson declared "we do not take formal positions on non-banking or social issues."

This controversy points up two problems with boycotts. 

First, boycotting must generally arise from a position of strength. Concerning boycotting Wells Fargo (and the jeweler Tiffany & Company), Graham wrote, “This is one way we as Christians can speak out – we have the power of choice. Let’s just stop doing business with those who promote sin and stand against Almighty God’s laws and His standards. Maybe if enough of us do this, it will get their attention.” I agree that all of us in a free country has "the power of choice" where we do business. I also have no problem with choosing not to do business with certain establishments. Southern Baptists like Graham have been somewhat successful with boycotts in the past. I think they (and we) will discover that they no longer ... a place of strength. I doubt that Baptists generally will pay much attention to this boycott. I believe that it will also become apparent that there will be little damage to either the revenues or reputations of these companies. The simple fact is that the majority of Americans don't care what positions that companies take on social issues. They care what the business does and how it fulfills their needs.

Second, boycotting is not a biblically advised response. I can find no evidence that the New Testament advocates Christians trying to "punish" the businesses of this world by withholding their wealth in some organized fashion. In fact, at least two subjects in Paul's letter to the church in Corinth suggest just the opposite. In chapter 5 the apostle wrote about a detestable moral situation in the membership of the church. He advised the church to act swiftly and decisively to put the fornicator outside the fellowship of the church. He clarified that he was talking "within the church," writing that not companying with fornicators did not apply universally to those "of this world." For if so "then must ye needs go out of the world." In other words, as long as we are in the world we will have some interchange with the people of the world (Cf. John 17:11,15). In chapters 8-10, Paul discusses a question of eating meat that had been sold after being in an idol's temple. He had no moral qualms about eating such meat -- it is only meat (though he did want to be considerate of the feeling of other church folk). This indicates that all commerce with those who "sin against God's laws" was not strictly forbidden. 

Boycotting is not the answer. Certainly that doesn't mean that we can't choose to do business with those who best align with our worldview. That choice should be a positive one in support of businesses we like. And even with businesses actively working against our worldview,* we shouldn't try to "punish" them. (Matthew 5:44)

* Most businesses are not so much actively working against our Christian worldview so much as trying to cater to as diverse a clientele as possible -- so as to get as much business as possible. Except for activists on both extremes, most want the business of both the fundamentalist and the liberal, the traditional marriage supporter and the same-sex marraige support, red and yellow, black and white. When push comes to shove, though, they may release those they feel bring the least to the table (e.g., as in the least dollars and the most headache).

Sunday, June 07, 2015

Farewell! dear friend! a long farewell

The author of this hymn is not revealed in any collections where I viewed it. It appears unattributed under the heading "Funeral" in eight four-line stanzas in A Collection of Anthems, Psalms and Hymns, sung at the Holy Trinity Church, Kingston-upon-Hull, Hull, Eng: W. Rawson, 1803. It appears in several Sunday School hymn books with the heading "Death of a Teacher." It can be adjusted to apply to a sister, and has been printed that way in a few hymn books.

Farewell! dear friend! a long farewell;
For we shall meet no more,
Till we are raised with thee to dwell 
On Zion's happier shore.

Our Friend and brother, lo! is dead;
The cold and lifeless clay
Has made in dust its silent bed,
And there it must decay.

But is he dead? no, no, he lives!
His nobler spirit flies
To Heaven above and there receives
The long expected prize.

Then let us dry our mournful tears,
From gloomy grief refrain;
In heaven our brother now appears,
And shall forever reign.

A little while and we shall go
To yonder happy skies,
And join our friend we lov'd below,
In everlasting joys.

This can be sung to any common meter tune. The Boston Sunday School Hymn Book recommends the tunes "Stevens" and "Windsor" for this hymn.

Saturday, June 06, 2015

15 Reasons, and other music links

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

Friday, June 05, 2015

Quick quips

About Wednesday I saw this online headline: "Fox News response to Caitlyn Jenner is everything wrong with Fox News." I haven't watched Fox News' "response to Caitlyn Jenner". But when I saw that headline one of my first thoughts is that is what is wrong with most news -- it doesn't just want to report the news but also offer a moral and ethical commentary which shouldn't be questioned.

Emma Green in "The Christian Learning Curve on Transgender Issues" at The Atlantic wrote, "For those who look to their faith for guidance on sexuality, Biblical teachings don’t really speak to the complexity of transgender identity." An interesting take, no doubt. But the simple fact that you don't agree with the Bible's view on gender identity issues does not mean that is doesn't speak to those issues.

"Every movement of the selfish heart, every desire to gratify, please and exalt self, is a coming short of the glory of God. This stamps all natural men's religious services with the brand of sin. It leaves the religious in the same awful state as the irreligious; it hews down the professing world with the same sword that cuts down the profane world." -- J. C. Philpot