Wednesday, May 31, 2023

American Baptist Historical Society Digital Collections

The American Baptist Historical Society (ABHS) now has a digital records platform up on the World Wide Web — American Baptist Historical Society Digital Collections.

Materials held in the ABHS archival collections include:

  • African-American Baptist association minutes as early as 1829
  • Correspondence of home and overseas missionaries
  • Local church records
  • Official denominational minutes and publications
  • Personal papers of Baptist leaders
  • Records of the Baptist World Alliance

What is currently available online is only a very small and limited amount, but it is new and growing. In Primary Source (April-June 2023, p. 3), Jenny Manasco reports, “Photos, documents, and audio files will be accessible via the internet. However, what is accessible is but an infinitesimal proportion of what we hold in the archives. We calculate that it would take a full-time employee about 100 years of scanning to digitize what we have. Since we don’t have anyone dedicated full-time to scanning the materials, it may take a little longer than that.”

The site’s url is:

One interesting addition available is the diary of William Shadrach, added 12 April 2023. I am not very familiar with Shadrach. Born in Wales, William Shadrach came to America around 1820. He was ordained in 1828 and early on was an active pastor in the Pittsburgh Baptist Association. Shadrach was one of the founders of the University at Lewisburg, and served as Corresponding Secretary of the American Baptist Publication Society, 1853-1856. The following is an excerpt from his diary.

26 Preached at home enjoyed a refreshing season none baptized. The trial of John Holmes no doubt has thrown a stumblingblock in the way of some. O Lord remove any barrier to the progress of the cause of Christ.

Sketch of the Life of Rev. William Shadrach, D. D., by John Thomas Griffith (Philadelphia, PA: American Baptist Publication Society, for the American Baptist Historical Society, 1915) is available online at HathiTrust.

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Sheri Klouda, Wade Burleson, SWBTS

Old Southern Baptist news, which I had saved, and decided to save here rather than delete.

Oral and Videotaped Deposition of Dr. Sheri L. Klouda February 26, 2008

Q. All right. Have you talked to Wade Burleson? ... 

A. He called me, I think, in January of 2007 and asked me about the truth with regard to what he had heard about my leaving Southwestern and I told him some of the story, not knowing that he was going to post it on his blog. When he told me that he was in fact going to do that, I objected.

Q. And did he publish any of the stories that you told him that you objected to?

A. He did. That was the first one or that was the one -- that was the one that he -- that told -- he posted it -- he put it on his blog and I’d objected to it and I even told Dr. Patterson about it.

Dr. Sheri Klouda about Her Time at SWBTS under Dr. Paige Patterson

Monday, May 29, 2023

Memorial Day

It is my understanding that Memorial Day is specifically a day for American soldiers who died while serving in the U.S. military services. Nevertheless, for Memorial Day we put flags on graves of all Veterans buried at Holleman Cemetery. Find-A-Grave lists 423 burials. (However, there are a number of unmarked/unknown burials.) Approximately 10% of the known burials are Veterans. We placed flags at the tombs of 44 Veterans. The oldest veteran is Josiah John Holleman who served in the War of 1812. I believe the youngest might be those who served in the Vietnam era, thought there may be some who served after that.

  • W. M. “Punkin” Bane
  • Hubbard Columbus Barlow
  • Harold B. Blanton
  • Al Leon “Goose” Chapman
  • Clifford Lee Chapman
  • William Maderson Chapman
  • Colquitt “Buss” Clark
  • Leon Clark
  • James “Ernie” Forson
  • Charles Elmer Fuller
  • William M. Gardner
  • Daniel Clyde Garrett
  • Robert O. Goeth
  • Gustave Hubbert “Gus” Ham
  • Houston Edward Ham
  • Oscar Lee Ham
  • Audie Holleman
  • Homer Leander Holleman
  • Josiah John Holleman
  • Josiah John “Joe” Holleman Jr.
  • Moody Valentine Holleman
  • William Benjamin “Ben” Holleman
  • Michael Jerry “Mike” Johnson
  • Lacy Allen Koonce
  • Daniel Demp Mashburn
  • Odis Mashburn
  • Ray McGehee
  • Herbert Parsons
  • Elisha Byrd “Shaw” Pruitt
  • Fritz Seligman
  • Elmer James Shepard
  • L. Beryl Shepard
  • Victor Dewitt “Buster” Stephenson
  • Calvin Coolidge Vaughn
  • Charlie Leroy Vaughn
  • John Junior Vaughn
  • Thomas Steven Vaughn
  • William Lewis Vaughn
  • Jonathan E. Whitten
  • Wesley Williams
  • William Fred Woods
  • Bill Moses Woolverton
  • Jim David Woolverton

James Knox Polk “Jim” Scruggs is known to be buried somewhere in this cemetery, is a veteran, but his grave location is unknown. Elisha Pruitt does not have a marker, but is believed buried in the space beside his wife, where we place his flag.

Men from the community I know died in the War between the Northern and Southern states and are buried elsewhere are Jasper Edge, John Alexander Koonce, and maybe others. 

Many believe that his being gassed in World War I was a contributing factor in the death of Homer L. Holleman.

The Word of God is permanent

“The Word of God is permanent. Once God speaks a Word it lasts forever and never passes away.

“That is one reason the prophets and apostles wrote down the Word of God. It is a permanent Word. If it was God’s Word then, it is God’s Word today. And to eternity.”

Grant Castleberry, Capital Community Church, Raleigh, North Carolina

Sunday, May 28, 2023

Blessed is the man whose bowels move

That can be a blessing, even in the way you may now be thinking of it. However, when Isaac Watts wrote this hymn, the thought was perceived much differently, very positively. Those of us who use the King James Bible are likely more familiar with the contextual meaning of this expression than those who do not use it. In the days of Watts, it was understood that “bowels” referred to the deepest or innermost part, a quality that defines something at its very core, especially the seat of pity, tenderness, compassion courage, etc. “Bowels” is used which such intention probably a dozen times in the King James Bible. It still carries that meaning, but it not likely the first thought that enters the modern mind.

The psalm of four stanzas first appeared as a metrical setting of the first part of Psalm XLI, in 1719 in The Psalms of David: Imitated in the Language of the New Testament, and Apply’d to the Christian State and Worship. The heading was “Charity to the Poor; or, Pity to the Afflicted.” Metrically, it is long meter.

In a note on Psalm XXXV (“Hark, how his sounding Bowells move”), the author, Isaac Watts, explained that “sounding of the Bowels is a Scriptural Metaphor, Isa. 63.15.” The changed primary meaning of the expression possibly helped doom the hymn to oblivion. The most recent setting of the hymn displayed on is from 1909. Several options have been substituted for “bowels move” – “breast can move,” “heart doth move.” “heart-strings move,” “mercies move,” “passions move,” among others.

The hymn has seen limited use, which also means it has found no set tune companion with which it is generally associated. The Musical Olio of 1805 paired it with Banbury from the “T. Williams Collection.” Perhaps the hymn is the victim of the unfortunate change of emphasis in language. Or perhaps it just never was all that popular to begin with – seeing that revising the expression did not salvage it.

1. Blest is the man whose bowels move,
And melt with pity to the poor,
Whose soul by sympathizing love,
Feels what his fellow saints endure.

2. His heart contrives for their relief
More good than his own hands can do;
He in the time of general grief,
Shall find the Lord has bowels, too.

3, His soul shall live secure on earth,
With secret blessings on his head,
When drought, and pestilence and death
Around him multiply their dead.

4. Or if he languish on his couch,
God will pronounce his sins forgiv’n;
Will save him with a healing touch,
Or take his willing soul to Heav’n.

Saturday, May 27, 2023

100 Reasons, 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, May 26, 2023

Authorised New Testament and Revised Contrasted

I have been looking for a book called Authorised New Testament and Revised Contrasted, With the Translators’ Preface to the Reader. There seemed to be little information on it on the World Wide Web. The initial information I had on it was that Christopher Wordsworth (1807-1885), Bishop of Lincoln, was the author. In For Love of the Bible, David Cloud wrote of Wordsworth’s initial objection to the New Testament revision, and then added:

In 1886, Wordsworth continued his opposition to the Revised Version in his book The Authorized New Testament and Revised Contrasted.

However, it turns out the author of the 1886 book is not Christopher Wordsworth, but rather Benjamin Wadsworth. See The book was published in Manchester, England in 1886 by Brook and Chrystal. It has 171 pages. I have not been able to locate a scan of it online, neither have I seen any available print versions. WorldCat lists 5 libraries in the United Kingdom holding copies, as well as one in Canada (the WorldCat listing, of course, is not exhaustive).

I was, nevertheless, able to find a review of the book (though a very scathingly critical one) published in The Manchester Courier, and Lancashire General Advertiser (Manchester, Greater Manchester, England), Friday, July 2, 1886, page 2. See below.

I believe the author is the same Benjamin Wadsworth whose death is announced in The Manchester Evening News, Tuesday, July 10, 1906, page 4. I could find no other biographical information on him. If I have identified him correctly, he was outside the Church of England. Benjamin and Ann Wadsworth are buried in the Non-Conformist section of the Harpurhey/Manchester General Cemetery.

A review of the book in The Congregationalist, Volume 15 (1886), p. 564 quotes the author as saying “It will be seen, when the doctrines of this Revised Version are attempted to be taught and enforced, that all the teaching of the Reformers are undermined by it, and that it is impossible to prove from it any doctrine of grace or salvation by Jesus Christ.”

[Added March 27. Steven Avery pointed out to me an archived description by David Cloud of trips he made to England in the 2000s. In it he writes this about Wadsworth’s book: “Another work defending the KJV that I found in the British Library is B. Wadsworth’s 171-page AUTHORISED NEW TESTAMENT AND REVISED CONTRASTED (1886). This contains Wadsworth’s opposition to the English Revised Version. In the Preface, Wadsworth makes his position clear by referring to ‘the absurdities of the so-called Revision of the New Testament.’ He says that the chief reason he has written on this subject is ‘that the nation may see the wickedness of this Revision’ and ‘may see the dreadful teachings of the Revised Version, and so be led to prize more highly and defend more strenuously the Book which God has given us, which has been, and still is, England’s greatest blessing.’ He warns that ‘if England turns her back on God’s word, God will most surely visit the nation with His displeasure’ (p. vii). How prophetic were those words!” Clinton Fagge later pointed out that this paragraph can be found in In the Footsteps of Bible Translators (David Cloud, 2006, pp. 39-40).]

Thursday, May 25, 2023

An Historical Study, and other music & worship links

The posting of links does not constitute an endorsement of the sites linked, and not necessarily even agreement with the specific posts linked.
  • An Historical Study of Church Music Reform -- “The purpose of the study was to investigate the developments of church music in its historical perspective, and to discover if possible, guiding principles which might form a basis of judgment for the understanding and direction of contemporary church music.”
  • Camille and Kennerly Kitt, the “Harp” Twins -- “Camille and Kennerly Kitt, American identical twin actresses, harpists, and famous YouTubers, have, in addition to 4 cover albums, released over 80 singles online.”
  • Canadian singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot dies at 84 -- “Lightfoot’s 1976 epic, ‘The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald,’ about the drowning of 29 sailors when a freighter sank in a storm on Lake Superior, remains one of fans’ most loved songs.”
  • Charles Wesley -- “Watts’s great theme was divine majesty, and no one approaches him in excellence upon this subject. Wesley’s grandest theme was love—the love of God—and here he had no rival.”
  • Haaswurth Hymnals and Music -- “Hymnals and books relating to hymnology and musicians, including the history of music and modern music.”
  • Judge Jackson and the Colored Sacred Harp -- “Tells the story of Judge Jackson of Ozark, AL who published a book of religious songs written by and for African American Shape note singers in 1934.”
  • North Carolina Shaped-Note Singing -- “In this region, shaped-note singing had a powerful advocate in North Carolina Heritage Award winner Quay Smathers (1913 – 1997).”
  • Reforming Influences in 19th Century American Church Music -- “Perhaps the most influential author to express a reaction against the current condition of music in America—especially church music—was Thomas Hastings (1784-1872).”
  • Reversing the Trend in Modern Worship -- “The true public worship of God is counter-cultural. To make people feel at ease is not its purpose. It is that they may sense the presence of the living God.”
  • Songs Sacred, Moral, and Patriotick -- “The following Miscellany contains texts of all kinds associated with tunes in The Sacred Harp and other tunebooks.”
  • The Red-Back Hymnal and A Good Church Singing -- “We sat near the back. We’d never been to a sing, and we certainly hadn’t been to a shape note sing, nor did we know what a redback hymnal was, but we quickly learned it was named for the pressed board trimmed in a red cloth cover.”
  • The Sacred Harp and Shape Note Singing -- “Shape note singing originates in the New England region of America as way to help Americans read music and participate more freely in religious activity.”
  • The Variety of Influence: Forms of Craftsmanship in the 1960 Edition Sacred Harp -- “While there may have been a certain slipshod quality to the book, both as a physical object and in some of the music it contained, it could boast of having introduced such quintessential Sacred Harp classics as...”
  • This was Their Story – James Deck -- “It was while he was young, between the ages of 31 and 37, that he wrote all of the hymns for which he is now known.”
  • Throat-singing -- “Throat-singing is a range of singing styles in which a single vocalist sounds more than one pitch simultaneously by reinforcing certain harmonics (overtones and undertones) of the fundamental pitch.”

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Why the AV: A Host of Reasons from William Hoste

I have been collecting information on the opposition to the Revised Version of the Bible (1870-1885). It is interesting how much came in the 20th century, when we might think it had been mostly forgotten by anyone except scholars. However, I have identified several works (short essays to book length) against the RV in the 1920s and 30s: (1924, Philip Mauro; 1925, William Aberhart, E. E. Franke; 1930, Benjamin Wilkinson). This time frame is intriguing. I remain uncertain as to the exact reason “why” of this time frame.

A good bit of the material is available online. Today I received in the mail Remember the Ancient Landmark: the Case Against The Revised Version 1881. This is a 1987 reprint (with a new preface and epilogue) of an essay by William Hoste (1860-1938), an English Plymouth Brethren editor and preacher, first written in 1931 under the title Why I Abide By the Authorised Version. Hoste was editor of The Believers Magazine, 1931-1938. He cannot fairly be called “King James Only,” but he seems sort of “Revised Version Never.” Here are some excerpts from the booklet.

“…the mass of changes and omissions in the New Testament, which, after 50 years [written 1931, rlv] , are still awaiting their justification.” (p. 10)

“All knew the Authorised contained archaisms (which practically everyone understood), and some ‘plain and clear’ blemishes. It was not necessary to alter the complexion of the whole to correct these…Unfortunately the R.V. of 1881, while professing to be a revision, was, as we shall see, based on a new, private and untested Greek Text by two of the Revisers – Drs. Westcott and Hort. It has been well remarked: ‘Not the Revisers’ least service is their showing how very seldom the A.V. is materially wrong’. But the Revision was a great ill to cure a lesser.” (pp. 11-12)

“No doubt little lists of niceties of translation can be made out by enthusiasts, but some bright colours in a bad picture do not prove it well designed or executed, nor do small advantages compensate for great losses.” (p. 13)

“A gardener, once hired by the present writer to tidy up his garden, dug up some weeds, and also his bed of lilies of the valley, the pride of the garden. It was fine digging, but poor gardening. Nothing has seemed too sacred for the Revision majority to ‘dig up’ in faithfulness to their few favourite manuscripts.” (p. 13)

“I believe the revision needed today is a revision of any confidence we may have allowed ourselves in the changes in the Greek text adopted by the R.V. That Revision is a pyramid on its apex, and even the apex is unsound.” (pp. 15-16)

The structure of the pamphlet is organized by nine reasons William Hoste gives for preferring the Authorised Version of the Bible.

  1. The A. V. (though, of course, not perfect) was translated on more Reliable Principles
  2. The Revision was Unnecessary
  3. The Revision was not Generally Wanted
  4. The Revisers Exceeded their Mandate
  5. The Methods of the A. V. were more Reliable
  6. The Manuscripts of the A.V. were more Reliable
  7. The Margin of the A.V. is More Reliable
  8. The Men of the A.V. were More Reliable
  9. The Doctrine of the A.V. is More Reliable

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Poke Salad Granny


Native Oak Flat Pokeweed, amongst other weedy vegetation

On the 20th (last Saturday), Kim and I went to the 48th Annual Poke Salad Festival in Blanchard, Louisiana. We enjoyed the drive through the country, seeing new places, and strolling by the antique cars & festival booths. However, the festival was not particularly “poke-salady.” It seemed to only be that in name, without any particular emphasis on poke salad. I guess I expected more would be done to relate the festival to the traditional Southern food. Or maybe we missed the poke salad booth?

Near one booth I saw 3 or 4 poke salad plants in some pots. Not sure why. Perhaps for sale? Probably not. Maybe for the ambiance? I noticed that the stems on these were brownish, not green or purple as I ones that I have always seen. I wonder if there more than one variety of poke salad?

Poke Salad (aka poke, pokeweed, poke sallet) is a traditional Southern dish which I am familiar with through my lifetime – though I have not eaten inordinate amounts of it. In addition to use as a food, various pages on the internet mention other uses which I have never seen. “Industrial” uses include making ink and dye from the juice of the berries. It has also been used in folk medicine. It has been recommended for the treatment of rheumatism and arthritis, as well as an emetic and purgative. The homeopathic company Boiron sells a pokeweed medicine for sore throat relief.

I have only eaten poke salad as cooked greens – usually “in-halfs” with other cooked greens such kale, mustard greens, or turnip greens (and parboiled first). How some other people say they eat it are: young stalks cooked like asparagus or okra; the leaves pan-fried in bacon grease, with onions, salt, and pepper; the berries for syrups, jams, and pie fillings. I know nothing of these uses and cannot recommend them for that reason. All parts of the pokeweed – root, stalk, leaves, and berries – contain toxins and should only be used by those who know how to prepare them.

Most East Texas folks (at least rural ones, I suppose) will find poke salad abundant, easy to identify – and free! Free food is hard to beat, and I have read that poke salad is extremely high in vitamin A. On the one hand, there is the story of a family in our community during the Depression. They leveraged poke salad as a survival ration. It is remembered that the husband/father picked it no matter how mature the plant. None of them died or got sick (that is, then, from eating poke salad). On the other hand, there is the story of the Baptist preacher who baptized me. Once he accidentally ate some raw poke salad, thinking it was spinach. He did not die, but ended up in the emergency room with severe stomach cramps.

What Is Poke Sallet?

Monday, May 22, 2023

All the promises of God

“Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? saith the Lord. Shall I cause to bring forth, and shut the womb? saith thy God.” Isaiah 66:9 

“Observe, my soul, not only how readily the Lord undertakes to bless his people, and makes good his promises, but the gracious manner in which he confirms his word unto his servants, ‘wherein he causeth them to hope.’ All the promises of God in Christ Jesus are sweet, and sure, and amen; but methinks there is a double blessedness in those, which, from their seeming to come to us with difficulty, the Lord recommends yet more by bringing in the sovereignty of his power to their accomplishment. It is as if the Lord said by every one, ‘Because it be marvellous in your eyes, should it be also marvellous in mine eyes? saith the Lord of Hosts,’ Zechariah 8:6.”

Robert Hawker

Sunday, May 21, 2023

The Solid Rock

Edward Mote was a Baptist preacher and hymn writer. His best-known hymn is this one – The Solid Rock. It begins with the first line “My hope is built on nothing less,” originally titled “The Immutable Basis for a Sinner’s Hope.” The hymn idea is based on the Parable of the Wise and the Foolish Builders (Matthew 7:24-27). Sometimes it appears with the title “Jesus All in All.”

Edward Mote was born in London, England January 21, 1797. A cabinet maker by trade, he pastored the Rehoboth Baptist Church in Horsham, West Sussex for 26 years (from 1848 till his death in 1874). This church still exists and is a member of the Association of Grace Baptist Churches (South East).

Henry Burrage quotes Mote as saying of his youth “My Sabbaths were spent in the streets at play. So ignorant was I that I did not know there was a God.” (Baptist Hymn Writers and Their Hymns, p. 156)

In Memoirs of the Principal Hymn-Writers (1870), John Gadsby relays Mote’s experience in Mote’s own words.

“I went to a school where no Bible was allowed; so that I was totally ignorant of the word of life when I entered that place of worship; but though I knew not the letter of the law, the Holy Ghost brought the spiritual contents of it into my conscience that morning. For two years that dart was in my liver, till extracted by Calvary’s blood, under a sermon by Mr. Bennett, of Birmingham, who was on a visit to London, one Good Friday morning, from ‘The Lord hath laid upon him the iniquity of us all,’ and from that auspicious hour to the present, precious blood has been the solace of my mind.”

There existed in the past some confusion on the authorship of the hymn. It had appeared in Rees’ collection of hymns, and thereafter was often simply credited to “Rees.” In 1852, Mote wrote to The Gospel Herald and related the hymn’s origin.

“One morning it came into my mind as I went to labour, to write an hymn on the ‘Gracious Experience of a Christian.’ As I went up Holborn I had the chorus,

‘On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand.’

“In the day I had four first verses complete, and wrote them off. On the Sabbath following I met brother King as I came out of Lisle Street Meeting (who was for many years a deacon of brother Coombs), who informed me that his wife was very ill, and asked me to call and see her. I had an early tea, and called afterwards. He said that it was his usual custom to sing a hymn, read a portion, and engage in prayer, before he went to meeting. He looked for his hymn book, but could find it no where. I said, ‘I have some verses in my pocket; if he liked, we would sing them.’ We did; and his wife enjoyed them so much, that after service he asked me, as a favour, to have a copy of them for his wife. I went home and by the fireside composed the last two verses, wrote the whole off, and took them to sister King, and visited her every day after tea, while she lived (five or six days); and never had more heavenly converse with a saint of God than in those heavenly, heart-replenishing visits, we mutually rejoiced in the great things of God.

“As those verses so met the dying woman’s case, my attention to them was the more arrested, and I had a thousand printed for distribution. I sent one to the Spiritual Magazine, without my initials, which appeared some time after this. Brother Rees of Crown Street, Soho, brought out an edition of hymns, and this hymn was in it. David Denham introduced it with Rees’s name, and others after.” (“Letters to the Editor,” The Gospel Herald, or Poor Christian’s Magazine, Volume XX, 1852, p. 285)

This hymn was included by Edward Mote in his Hymns of Praise. A New Selection of Gospel Hymns, combining all the Excellencies of our spiritual Poets, with many Originals (London. J. Nichols, 1836). The original hymns included is this work number nearly 100, among a total of 606 hymns.

In his declining days of health, Mote said, “The truths I have preached I am now living upon; and they will do to die upon.” (p. 157) Edward Mote died November 13, 1874, and is buried in the Rehoboth churchyard. According to the online church history, his dying words were “Precious blood, precious blood, that makes peace with God.”

The words on a tablet honoring Edward Mote in the Rehoboth chapel include: For 26 years the beloved pastor of this church, preaching Jesus Christ and Him crucified, as all the sinner can need, and all the saint can desire. 

The tune for The Solid Rock was composed by William Bradbury in 1863. The words appear in most songbooks commonly in the following form.

1. My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand:
All other ground is sinking sand.

2. When darkness veils his lovely face,
I rest on his unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand:
All other ground is sinking sand.

3. His oath, his covenant, his blood,
Support me in the whelming flood;
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my hope and stay.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand:
All other ground is sinking sand.

4. When he shall come with trumpet sound,
O may I then in him be found:
Dressed in his righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand:
All other ground is sinking sand.

The current form varies slightly from Mote’s original, which I believe included some of the following material. It is my understanding (though I have not located a first printing to check), that “Nor earth, nor hell my soul can move” was originally the first line of this hymn.

Nor earth, nor hell, my soul can move,
I rest upon unchanging love;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
‘Midst all the hell I feel within,
On his completed work I lean.

I trust his righteous character,
His council, promise, and his pow’r;
His honour and his name’s at stake,
To save me from the burning lake.

When I shall launch in worlds unseen,
O may I then be found in him,
Dressed in his righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.

This, of course, included the refrain “On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand: All other ground is sinking sand.” In my estimation The Solid Rock is one of the “top shelf” great hymns of the Christian faith.

Saturday, May 20, 2023

A Dialogue Between, 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, May 19, 2023

Revelation 22:18-19 and the Bible

For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. Revelation 22:18-19

“This clause applies to the case of all the books of Holy Scripture: comp. Deuteronomy iv.2; Proverbs xxx.6; but it especially applies to the Apocalypse, the crowning point of prophecy, which was exposed to peculiar danger, and the minute and admirable connection of which might be disturbed or obscured by the change of even a single word.” (Gnomon of the New Testament, Volume V, by Johann Albrecht Bengel, p. 385)

Johann Bengel says that Revelation 22:18-19 applies to all of Holy Scripture. I think he is correct. Some modern King James Bible detractors act like King James Onlyists alone are saying that Revelation 22:18-19 applies beyond the book of Revelation. Bengel was clearly no King James Onlyist. In fact, his Gnomon was written in German and only later translated into English.

Thursday, May 18, 2023

Benjamin Franklin’s “Faith”

I have seen the following quote online, credited to Benjamin Franklin:

“Here is my Creed. I believe in one God, the Creator of the Universe. That He governs it by His Providence. That He ought to be worshipped.”

I have heard a lot of conflicting things about Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790). So, I put a question mark by the quote. Would he have said that? Well, he did – or rather wrote it. These are the words of Franklin. However, the brief extracted quote above sounds more “orthodox” Christian than Franklin actually was. The context brings out more of the “faith” or “religion” associated with Franklin. He follows this statement above in saying “That the most acceptable service we render to Him is in doing good to His other children.” He goes further to address man being judged by his good works, that the religion of Jesus is “the best the World ever saw,” but that he has “some Doubts as to his Divinity, tho’ it is a Question I do not dogmatise upon.” Nevertheless, Franklin saw “no harm however in its [Jesus’ Divinity] being believed,” as long as that belief resulted in the good consequences.

I suppose the whole is a good summary of what Benjamin Franklin believed – and that is what Franklin intended it to be. He did not hold biblical Christianity, though he considered it to be generally a good thing.

The statements are made in a letter from Franklin to U.S. educator and theologian Ezra Stiles, dated March 9, 1790, written a little over a month before his demise.

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

The Amen

Amen is an interjection used at the end of a prayer or a statement to express assent or approval.

amen (interjection). Old English, from Late Latin amen, from Ecclesiastical Greek amen, from Hebrew amen “truth,” used adverbially as an expression of agreement (as in Deuteronomy xxvii.26, I Kings i.36), from Semitic root a-m-n “to be trustworthy, confirm, support.”

Common English meanings of the word amen include “verily,” “truly,” “truth,” and “let it be so.” It is also used colloquially, to express strong agreement – AMEN! Old Testament, see “amen” to the curses, Deuteronomy 27. | Greek αμην “so be it” “I agree” “Truth.”

Amen is used 27 times in the King James English Old Testament, and 51 times in the King James English New Testament. In contrast, in modern versions in the New Testament: the NIV 30 times, ESV 29, NASB 29, LEB 27, and NET 26.

Usually αμην is translated verily or truly when it begins a sentence, and amen when it ends a sentence. All four gospels, all of Paul’s epistles, both of Peter’s epistles, three of John’s epistles, and the epistle of Jude (a total of 24) end with “Amen.” The ones that do not are Acts, James, and III John.

Revelation 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;

Jesus Christ is the “Amen” in his very substance. Rev. 3:14. Jesus does not just say “Amen,” he is “the Amen.” He is the truth (John 1:17; 14:6; Rev. 19:11). He is the so be it (John 1:1ff. Genesis 1:1ff).

Jesus Christ is the “Amen” of his word. Matthew 5:18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Proverbs 30:5 Every word of God is pure… John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

Jesus Christ is the “Amen” in his promises. 2 Corinthians 1:20 For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us. Psalm 33:9 For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast. Matthew 8:13 And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.

Jesus Christ is the “Amen” of salvation. John 3:3, 5 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God…Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. (Neither is there salvation in any other.)

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Sola Scriptura

What is Sola Scriptura?

Sola Scriptura is the belief that the Bible alone is the supreme, final, only infallible source and authority for all matters of Christian faith and practice. Sola scriptura comes from Latin, meaning Scripture alone. The Bible is authoritative for the faith and practice of churches and in the lives of Christians. Often in Baptist documents we speak of Scripture as the “only rule of faith and practice” rather than using the Latin terminology Sola Scriptura.[i] Our church believes and declares “the sufficiency of Scripture for all matters of faith and practice.” Here are some other examples:

First London Baptist Confession, 1644/1646

“The rule of this knowledge, faith, and obedience, concerning the worship and service of God, and all other Christian duties, is not mans inventions, opinions, devices, laws, constitutions, or traditions unwritten whatsoever, but only the word of God contained in the Canonical Scriptures.”

Second London Baptist Confession, 1677/1689

“The Holy Scripture is the only sufficient, certain, and infallible rule of all saving Knowledge, Faith and Obedience…” (also Philadelphia Baptist Confession, 1742)

Principles of Faith of the Sandy Creek Association, 1758/1816

“[We believe] That Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the word of God, and only rule of faith and practice.”

The New Hampshire Confession of Faith, 1833

“We believe that the Holy Bible…is…the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions should be tried.”

What is the problem?

In a recent blog post, Kent Brandenburg addressed a problem of Christians asserting a Sola Scriptura position of biblical authority, while not having the ability to provide scriptural support for the assertion. In “God-Breathed Scripture & Sola Scriptura,” Simon Turpin notes this same problem, while suggesting some who have held it historically may now be positioned to abandon it.

“…many Christians simply pay lip service to this doctrine without being able to defend or define what it actually is.”

“Nevertheless, many Christians today struggle to defend this vital doctrine while others say that Sola Scriptura is not even taught in the Bible.”

Both Brandenburg and Turpin point to scriptural proofs of this doctrine. Bible-believing Christians need to be aware of them and ready to provide an answer for their believing Sola Scriptura, that Scripture is and should be our only rule of faith and practice.

What is the proof?

The Bible is its own proof of itself. What does the Bible teach about itself? Does the Bible teach “Sola Scriptura”? I submit that the teaching can be found in the following Scriptures, as well as deduced from others.

Scripture is inspired and complete. 2 Timothy 3:16-17.

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

The source of the Bible is God. It provides completely for all good works – doctrine, reproof, correction, instruction.

Nothing can be added or subtracted from Scripture. Deuteronomy 12:32; Jude 1:3; Revelation 22:18-19.

“What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.”

“…earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.”

“For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”

The Christian walks and pleases God by faith, whose ultimate source is Scripture. Hebrews 11:6; Romans 10:17.

“But without faith it is impossible to please him…”

“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

The Scripture from God provides all things that pertain to life and godliness. 2 Peter 1:3, 20-21.

“…according as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue…knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”

Scripture provides the ultimate testimony of Jesus Christ. John 5:39.

“Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.”

The commandment of God, via Scripture, trumps human tradition. Mark 7:7-8; Matthew 15:9.[ii] 

“Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men…”

Man lives by the words from the mouth of God, which we know from Scripture. Matthew 4:4.

“…It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”

Religious doctrinal teaching must be tested by Scripture. Acts 17:11.

“These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”

What must we do?

Let God be true, but every man a liar. The Bible is the only inspired infallible teaching available to mankind.

In his book Commenting and Commentaries, Charles H. Spurgeon wrote, “It seems odd, that certain men who talk so much of what the Holy Spirit reveals to themselves, should think so little of what he has revealed to others.”

Sola Scriptura does not mean we cannot or do not consider and be helped by the words taught by other Christians, written in a book or commentary, found in creeds and confessions, and so forth. It means we consider and judge these sources by and under the authority of the word of God, as per Acts 17:11.

Neither archaeological discoveries, church tradition, decisions of church councils, popish pronouncements, historical evidences, human philosophies – nor even Baptist creeds and confessions – can be allowed to override the explicit commands and approved examples of the word of God found in Scripture. Let not man prevail or put asunder. The Bible, because it is God’s word, must reign Supreme.

Let us be able to define Sola Scriptura, defend it – and also live it with the Scripture directing our lives and actions as Christians, and establishing what our churches do and do not do. To the law and to the testimony.[iii]

[i] Nevertheless, we need to know what it means.
[ii] Note that tradition is used both negatively (Matthew 15:2-6; Mark 7:3-13; Galatians 1:14; Colossians 2:8) and positively (2 Thessalonians 2:15; 3:6) in Scripture. In context in 2 Thessalonians, Paul refers to one truth communicated by his spoken word (preaching) and by his written word (letter). The latter remains.
[iii] Isaiah 8:20.

Monday, May 15, 2023

A Great Relief

“It is indeed a great relief, against the inconvenience of corrupt translations, to consider that although some of them be bad enough, yet if all the errors and mistakes that are to be found in all the rest, should be added to the worst of all, yet every necessary, saving, fundamental truth, would be found sufficiently testified unto therein. But to depress the sacred truth of the originals, into such a condition, as wherein it should stand in need of this apology, and that without any colour or pretence from discrepancies in the copies themselves that are extant, or any tolerable evidence that there ever were any other, in the least differing from these extant in the world, will at length be found a work unbecoming a Christian, Protestant divine. Besides the injury done hereby to the providence of God towards his church, and care of his word, it will not be found so easy a matter, upon a supposition of such corruption in the originals as is pleaded for, to evince unquestionably that the whole saving doctrine itself, at first given out from God, continues entire and incorrupt.” 

John Owen, “Of the Divine Original with the Authority, Self-Evidencing Power, and Light of the Holy Scriptures,” in The Works of John Owen, Volume 4, p. 395

Sunday, May 14, 2023

A sower went forth to sow

Matthew 13:3 “Behold, a sower went forth to sow.”

William St. Hill Bourne, minister and poet, wrote “The Sower went forth sowing.” The hymn was written in 1874 for the Harvest Festival at Christ Church, South Ashford, Kent. It was printed in Church Bells that same year, and in Hymns Ancient and Modern in 1875 (Hymn 386). The meter is 7s.6s., 12 lines. William St. Hill Bourne was born August 24, 1846 and died in March of 1929, and is apparently buried at St. Marylebone Cemetery.

It is considered a “Harvest Hymn,” and also appropriate as a burial hymn.

The tune St. Beatrice, with which it is most often seen in hymnals, was written by English organist and composer John Frederick Bridge, Sir John Frederick Bridge was born December 5 1844 and died March 18, 1924. He is buried at the Wallakirk Graveyard in Haugh of Glass, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. He also has a memorial plaque in Westminster Abbey in London, where he was organist for 36 years (and afterward “Organist Emeritus” until his death). The last stanza of this hymn is paired with the tune Hauff by contemporary shapenote composer P. Dan Brittain – number 175 in The Missouri Harmony, 2005 Edition.

1. The sower went forth sowing,
The seed in secret slept
Through weeks of faith and patience,
Till out the green blade crept;
And warmed by golden sunshine,
And fed by silver rain,
At last the fields were whitened
To harvest once again.
O praise the heavenly Sower,
Who gave the fruitful seed,
And watched and watered duly,
And ripened for our need.

2. Behold! the heavenly Sower
Goes forth with better seed,
The Word of sure salvation,
With feet and hands that bleed;
Here in his church ’tis scattered,
Our spirits are the soil;
Then let an ample fruitage
Repay His pain and toil.
Oh, beauteous is the harvest,
Wherein all goodness thrives,
And this the true thanksgiving,
The first-fruits of our lives.

3. Within a hallowed acre
He sows yet other grain,
When peaceful earth receiveth
The dead he died to gain;
For though the growth be hidden,
We know that they shall rise;
Yea even now they ripen
In sunny Paradise.
O summer land of harvest,
O fields forever white
With souls that wear Christ’s raiment,
With crowns of golden light.

4. One day the heavenly Sower
Shall reap where he hath sown,
And come again rejoicing,
And with him bring his own;
And then the fan of judgment
Shall winnow from his floor
The chaff into the furnace
That flameth evermore.
O holy, awful Reaper,
Have mercy in the day,
Thou puttest in the sickle,
And cast us not away.

Saturday, May 13, 2023

In other words, ventilary aphasia

  • aphasia, noun. (Pathology) An impairment of a previously held ability to produce or understand spoken, written, or signed language, due to disease or injury of the brain.
  • chaffering, noun. The action of buying and selling; trading or dealing in goods.
  • chauffeuring, verb. Present participle of chauffeur, to drive someone somewhere
  • cordwainer, noun. A worker in cordwain or cordovan leather; hence, a worker in leather of any kind; a shoemaker.
  • dob, verb. To report (a person) to someone in authority for a wrongdoing.
  • escutcheon, noun. A shield or shieldlike surface on which a coat of arms is depicted; an ornamental or protective plate around a keyhole, door handle, drawer pull, light switch, etc.
  • exercitation, noun. The act or instance of exercising, either the body or mind.
  • folder, noun. A  folded sheet of light cardboard used to cover or hold papers, letters, etc., as in a file; (Computers) directory, an organizing unit in a computers file system.
  • foulder, verb. To send (something) forth with a flash or clap in the manner of a thunderbolt; to flash forth like a thunderbolt.
  • linger, verb. To remain or stay on in a place longer than is usual or expected, as if from reluctance to leave; to draw out or protract.
  • lunger, noun. (Informal) A person who has chronic lung disease, especially tuberculosis.
  • salad, noun. The uncooked leaves and stems of plants, such as spinach, lettuce, etc., used as food; a usually cold dish consisting of vegetables, covered with a dressing and sometimes containing seafood, meat, or eggs.
  • sallet, noun. A mess of cooked greens.
  • sestina, noun. A fixed verse form consisting of six stanzas of six lines each, normally followed by a three-line envoi.
  • skint, adjective. Penniless, poor, broke, having no money.
  • sooc, noun. Photographer’s shorthand for “straight out of camera,” that is, plain photography without any image editing.
  • Twistianity, noun. Beliefs and practices which masquerade as biblical Christianity but instead twist what the Bible teaches to conform non-Christian beliefs and practices (a portmanteau of twisted + Christianity).
  • ventilary, adjective. Due to or caused by wind.

Friday, May 12, 2023

Misfortunate discussions

“It is the misfortune of discussions of a controversial character, that they are apt to degenerate into mere personalities. The enquiry after truth, which should be the sole thing aimed at, is thus avoided, and the question becomes one of supposed misrepresentation, or inconsistency of statement, on the one side or the other, upon a matter not affecting the main point of the issue.” 

G. P., The Gospel Herald, Vol. XX, pp. 268-269.

Thursday, May 11, 2023

Criticism of the Bible

Writing on “Criticism of the Bible,” James Orr (1844-1913) claims a survey of the subject “will show the legitimacy and indispensableness of a truly scientific criticism, at the same time it warns against the hasty acceptance of speculative and hypothetical constructions.”

“Criticism goes wrong when used recklessly, or under the influence of some dominant theory or prepossession. A chief cause of error in its application to the record of supernatural revelation is the assumption that nothing supernatural can happen. This is the vitiating element in much of the newer criticism, both of the OT and of the NT.”

“Criticism of Scripture is usually divided into what is called ‘lower or textual criticism’ and ‘higher criticism’...the latter—‘higher criticism’—while invaluable as an aid in the domain of Bib. introduction (date, authorship, genuineness, contents, destination, etc.) it manifestly tends to widen out illimitably into regions where exact science cannot follow it, where often, the critic’s imagination is his only law.”

“‘Higher criticism,’ having largely absorbed ‘introduction’ into itself, extends its operations into the textual field, endeavoring to get behind the text of the existing sources, and to show how this ‘grew’ from simpler beginnings to what now is. Here, also, there is a wide opening for arbitrariness.”

Criticism of the Bible,” (748-753) James Orr, International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Volume II, James Orr, editor. Chicago, IL: The Howard-Severance Company, 1915. pp. 749

Daily Mountain Eagle, September 24, 1913, p. 2

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

The Revision of the Bible, 1870: Shaftesbury’s opposition

When the Convocation of Canterbury passed a resolution to revise the English Bible, certain “men that had understanding of the times” stepped up almost immediately to question its propriety. Even before they could know that a new and unproven Greek text would be “unawares brought in” to replace the Textus Receptus, they perceived precarious possibilities in the proposal. The Earl of Shaftesbury’s opposition perhaps carried extra weight because he was both a friend of the common man and president of the Bible Society. Serious spokesmen set themselves in array against him. In his third letter to The Times, he expanded his argument. Shaftesbury sends a copy of a letter he sent to “a learned professor” (though the professor’s name is redacted).[i] Not only was there the danger of destroying a standard English Bible, but he feared what would happen when it should “fall into the hands of the Neroes and Diocletians of Divinity.” Among them he saw ritualists, Socinians, and infidels. Opponents of Shaftesbury used criticisms similar to modern-day opponents of King James defenders – he was a “worshipper of the mere words and syllables.” The battle is still being fought today.




Sir,—In defence of the course I have taken respecting the revision of our Authorized Version, I beg you to oblige me by inserting a letter I have addressed in reply to a learned professor, who was so good as to communicate with me on the subject.

It was not intended for publication, but it is the best answer I can give to the several queries that are propounded to me.

Your obedient servant,

March 5.                                              SHAFTESBURY.


            Dear Professor,—It seems somewhat presumptuous on my part to undertake a letter of explanation to a learned doctor in divinity; and to suppose that a layman, whose Greek is “long gone” (as old Latimer said) “to the school of oblivion,” should dare to say a word to an authority when he ‘cannot answer him one of a thousand.’

            I have read, however, with all the attention that it commands the treatise you have been so good to send me. As a simple work of sacred literature and classical acquirements, I have only to admire and be silent; but as a plan for a revision of the existing English Bible, and as an effort to render it more generally acceptable, I venture to regard it with very different opinions.

            I have read, also, to a great extent, the “Hints” by that accomplished scholar and amiable man, the late Professor ______. There are, of course, many suggestions that I am not able to criticize, and many that I could not fail to approve.

            But his book aroused in my mind apprehensions of a tenfold magnitude. It (so it struck me) this reverential, sympathizing, and judicious man—this sober, yet most determined, champion of the existing version can so indulge in trifling, unmeaning, and needless charges, what will be the issue, when this blessed old confessor (and martyr as it would be) shall fall into the hands of the Neroes and Diocletians of Divinity? Will they not, where they cannot dare to mistranslate, translate anew, and effect their purpose by forcing passages to appear to be different, because the language of them is altogether remodeled?

            Patience and habits of critical comparison are not the characteristics of the working classes. The translators will have introduced, so the people will think, a “strange” Gospel, and the multitude, believing that it is “another” will finally lose faith in all.

            Could the revision be limited to marginal readings, I should feel much less objection. But is it possible to open the sluice gates and provide that the water shall flow through by driblets? Your excellent and discriminating rules would avail for nothing. For even if the Commission were safely constructed (which it could not be) and gave a fair and moderate version, the stirring public would never remain satisfied—naturally and inevitably—for the existing barrier will have been condemned by a majority of the Bishops, and by learned folk in the Universities and other places. The new version would certainly leave many imperfections and introduce, probably, not a few of its own. The cry for further amendment would know no end, because the “Party of Progress,” strengthened by all that had gone before, would never rest from their efforts to efface the Bible, the whole Bible, and every reminiscence of the Bible from the hearts and minds of men.

            It would be difficult, if no impossible, to construct an impartial Commission. The time of James I. are very different from the times of Queen Victoria. The immense variety of opinion on doctrinal matters, and the immense diffusion of knowledge, both deep and superficial, in these days, would render necessary such a combination of members as would include the extremest forms of Ritualism, Socinianism, and Infidelity. Numerically, and as scholars, these professors would be very strong, and experience will not allow us to believe that these learned persons, after years of thought and study in the same groove, fixed and sincere in their peculiar opinions, would not entertain (unknown to themselves, no doubt) a decided bias towards special renderings of the sacred text. The issue might thus be either than through disagreement we should have no new version at all, and so have disturbed the public mind for nothing, or that a translation would come forth in every respect inferior, made up of compromises and mutual concessions.

            Besides, let us suppose that the Commission are of one mind in their report, will the scholarship inside satisfy the scholarship outside? To say nothing of the contradictory renderings of the same passages which will be urged by men of profound learning, the swarms of readers and writers now-a-days who live on small criticism and cavil will show their wit by taking exception to everything, and in efforts to prevent any public confidence.

            Here is an instance of it. The able and learned Professor of Hebrew, Dr. Pusey, some time ago published his lecture on the minor Prophets. In the preface he mentioned the authorised version of them in the highest terms, and preferred it to every other. A leading newspaper within the last week, when urging a new translation of the Scriptures, particularly specified the obscure character of the version of the minor Prophets, and denounced it as enigmatical and unintelligible.

            Nor are the times less different in relation to the mass of the people. The penny post, the penny press, the discussion halls, the wide diffusion of all kinds of literature—sensational, controversial, political, and sceptical—have not tended to render the heart of the people solid, reverential, and amenable to authority. Their favourite advisers may drive them to and for as they will, “that which wanteth in the weight of their speech being supplied,” as we read in Richard Hooker, “by the aptness of men’s minds to accept and believe it.”

            If this be so, can we hope to see again an “Authorized Version”? I doubt it. The present version had no authority from Parliament or Orders in Council, nor even from Convocation. It derived, and it still holds, all its authority from admiration, affections, and universal acceptance. A new translation will enjoy little of this general favour, and certainly there would be but small obedience to any Royal, Legislative, or Episcopal decree.

            One of the newspapers, in condemning my opinion, charged me with sheer idolatry, as a bigoted worshipper of the mere words and syllables of our present version. The Editor, of course, is at liberty to use his own phraseology, and the public to judge of it. I admit that I love, intensely too, its rich, melodious, and heart-moving language. It is like the music of Handel, and carries Divine truth and comfort to the inmost soul. This language has sunk deep into the moral constitution of our people. No one who associates with them can doubt it. It is the staple of their domestic intercourse, the exponent of their joys and sorrows. And I will maintain that a rude and sudden descent from the majestic and touching tones of our wonderful version to the thin, Frenchified, and squeaking sentences in modern use would be an irreparable shock to every English-speaking man who had drunk in the old and generous language almost with his mother’s milk.

            But all this, and much more, I should be prepared to surrender were the proposed new version directed to the correction of important passages affecting our Faith and Doctrine. In that respect, I have no more fear, in reference to the Bible, of a new and honest translation than I have of the deductions of science honestly applied. The grand old book will laugh them all to scorn, and will float, like Noah’s Ark, under Almighty care, on the waves of a deluge, that may overflow a reckless and unthinking world.

            In my first letter to The Times I ventured to urge the unspeakable value of a common version for all multitudinous branches of the Anglo-Saxon race. I will not now repeat that argument. Perhaps the evil I anticipated from any serious change is half done when Bishops and Professors declare the necessity of an ample revision. But I believe that were the Bible-reading people polled at this moment, man by man, woman by woman, child by child, the overwhelming majority would announce that they stood firm in the inheritance of their forefathers, and that, here at least, they would never ‘exchange old lamps for new.’

            Pray excuse the length of this letter. It is my defence, an office which no one but myself is willing to undertake.

With since thanks for your courtesy and kindness, believe me very faithfully yours, SHAFTESBURY.

The Rev. the Professor _____.

[The Times, Monday, March 7, 1870, page 12.]

[i] This kearned professor may be William Selwyn (1806–1875) of the Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge. He wrote a letter responding to Shaftesbury dated February 15. In it he mentions Hints for an Improved Translation of the New Testament by James Scholefield. Then Lord Shaftesbury mentioned “Hints” in his letter.