Popular Salvation Songs

Popular Salvation Songs.
Here are three popular Songs and Hymns of my earliest years among Christians in the churches: At Calvary, Blessed Assurance, and When the Roll is Called Up Yonder. The last one, When the Roll is Called, has a little story in it from my apprenticeship as a cobbler. My teacher and trainer was an exiled Palestinian Arab from Ramallah in Palestine, now Israel, West Bank. After Israel became a state and the war with the Arab states, mostly Muslim, his people being Christian Arabs fled and went to Jordan, but found that they were not welcomed; some went afterwards to various countries; and he came to the USA. Being a young man, and a new immigrant, he was invited to a revival tent meeting. he listened to the preacher with some delight, and liked the music and singing, but when the preacher began the invitation and altar call he became uneasy. Then as the preacher eyed the audience he fixed his eyes on NF and said: “You young man! Give your heart to Jesus now!……..NF had enough, he got up and said: “No! I ain’t giving my heart to nobody!” And immediately left the tent. He often would tell me this story during the years I was with him, as he fondly recalled this song.

1. At Calvary
William R. Newell, pub.1895 (Moody Bible Institute Assistant Superintendent, Congregational Church Bible Teacher and Presbyterian Pastor.)

Years I spent in vanity and pride,
Caring not my Lord was crucified,
Knowing not it was for me He died
On Calvary.
Mercy there was great, and grace was free;
Pardon there was multiplied to me;
There my burdened soul found liberty
At Calvary.
By God’s Word at last my sin I learned;
Then I trembled at the law I’d spurned,
Till my guilty soul imploring turned
To Calvary.
Now I’ve giv’n to Jesus everything,
Now I gladly own Him as my King,
Now my raptured soul can only sing
Of Calvary!
Oh, the love that drew salvation’s plan!
Oh, the grace that brought it down to man!
Oh, the mighty gulf that God did span
At Calvary!

2. Blessed Assurance
Frances (Fanny) J. Crosby, 1873 (“American mission worker, poet, lyricist, and composer. She was one of the most prolific hymnists in history, writing more than 8,000 hymns and gospel songs, with more than 100 million copies printed, despite being blind from shortly after birth. She is also known for her teaching and her rescue mission work. By the end of the 19th century, she was a household name. Crosby was known as the “Queen of Gospel Song Writers” and as the “Mother of modern congregational singing in America”, with most American hymnals containing her work. Her gospel songs were “paradigmatic of all revival music”, and Ira Sankey attributed the success of the Moody and Sankey evangelical campaigns largely to Crosby’s hymns. Some publishers were hesitant to have so many hymns by one person in their hymnals, so Crosby used nearly 200 different pseudonyms during her career. Crosby also wrote more than 1,000 secular poems[13] and had four books of poetry published, as well as two best-selling autobiographies. Additionally, she co-wrote popular secular songs, as well as political and patriotic songs and at least five cantatas on biblical and patriotic themes, including The Flower Queen, the first secular cantata by an American composer. She was committed to Christian rescue missions and was known for her public speaking.”)

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
O what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long;
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long.
Perfect submission, perfect delight,
Visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
Angels descending bring from above
Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long;
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long.
Perfect submission, all is at rest;
I in my Savior am happy and blest,
Watching and waiting, looking above,
Filled with His goodness, lost in His love…

3. “When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder”
James M. Black, 1893. (“Black, a Methodist Sunday school teacher in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, was calling roll one day for a youth meeting. Young Bessie, daughter of a drunkard, did not show up, and he was disappointed at her failure to appear. Black made a comment to the effect, “Well, I trust when the roll is called up yonder, she’ll be there.” He tried to respond with an appropriate song, but could not find one in his song book: This lack of a fitting song caused me both sorrow and disappointment. An inner voice seemed to say, “Why don’t you write one?” I put away the thought. As I opened the gate on my way home, the same thought came again so strongly that tears filled my eyes. I entered the house and sat down at the piano. The words came to me effortlessly…The tune came the same way—I dared not change a single note or word. This song was sung in the Academy award winning movie Sergeant York (1941).”)
(“Katharine E. Nash Purvis (died 1909) is best known as the lyricist for When the Saints Are Marching In. Purvis was the daughter of a Methodist minister in Pennsylvania. After graduating from a seminary in 1860, she became a music teacher at the seminary of a Methodist Episcopal Church in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. In 1896, the hymn When the Saints Are Marching In was published, with music by James Milton Black. Later, the song was altered somewhat and published in 1927 as the well known When The Saints Go Marching In.”)

When the trumpet of the Lord shall sound and time shall be no more,
And the morning breaks eternal, bright, and fair;
When the saved of earth shall gather over on the other shore,
And the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there
When the roll is called up yonder,
When the roll is called up yonder,
When the roll is called up yonder,
When the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there.
Let us labor for the Master from the dawn till setting sun,
Let us talk of all His wondrous love and care;
Then when all of life is over, and our work on earth is done,
And the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there.
On that bright and (cloudless) morning when the dead in Christ shall rise,
And the glory of His resurrection share;
When His chosen ones shall gather to their home beyond the skies,
And the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there.

Posted in Christian Poetry, Psalms Hymns Spiritual Songs, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Atheism Theism Debates

Atheism  Theism Debates

Few months ago I was sent an invite via a extended family member to a popular Atheists vs Theists Debate site. I joined and posted a comment to one of the posts about faith in God. I related that God is only known as He chooses to reveal Himself to His creatures, that is, to man. This was replied to by several as to how one knows what one knows. I replied that our knowledge is restricted to and limited in our common nature and experience; and that God as transcendent and infinite must ever be the first and utmost participant in the revelation and knowledge; that we have no real innate natural ability to reach and find Him.
The site is difficult for me to appreciate since it has such a wide variety of members and diversity. So I did not pursue further interaction. As I continued to read posts from time to time I felt that perhaps just sharing my reasons of Faith in God and His Christ according to the Scriptures and the Christian Church It would be a good thing within my restraints. So here I will also share this for others as well. mjm.


((Here is the first post and replies:
God exists as God, we know Him by His own revelation and interaction with us as His creature; the Scriptures reveals that interaction and intervention. I of myself cannot know Him, or see Him, or find Him. He visits man to find us. I cannot argue for or against His existence except by His words concerning Himself; if that Word is negated or rejected their can be little to debate about that leads to certainty or veracity. Science and philosophy, human thoughts, may say much, but can never say what it does not know beyond its limits of test, sight, hearing, and the like.
CG:Circular reasoning huh?
TW: You do not know him by his own revelation, you know him by your own indoctrination. Geography is the reason for Christian belief. Nothing else.
N.K: How do you know it is God’s word and not just words fabricated by humans?
MJM: To the three above remarks: We all reason in circles at times; and when we are out of the woods we begin on a straight path; and if we cannot find that straight and narrow path we have hope that others might help us. True, our knowledge of Him is based on the doctrines we have learned and believe, and that applies to all things human and natural; no one is different in this regards. If I have no desire or will to know the truth of God, if there be a God, then I will not know what I reject or discard. As in all things we are to be accountable for honesty, sincerity, and diligence. Religion of any kind, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and Atheism, is always local, even if it comes to us from afar. All things must begin at a certain spot, the place where you or I occupy. Our knowledge of truth is what it is in us, and to the extent we understand what we know or reject to know. Great men have exercised their minds and skills to explain the thing called knowledge, and what that is in us, both its innate or external, or its phenomena and transcendency it all its variations. Simple folks must be simple: “You will know the truth; and it will set you free.” The Bible must be handled like any other book, and must be evaluated accordingly; but we are the ones that will be tested as to our motives and capacity.))

Why I believe in God according to the Bible and the Christian Church. Reasons 1-5:
1. In Genesis Moses writes that God created all things: the heavens, the earth, all living creatures and animals of nature, and man or mankind. God creates creation, the universe, nature, and the world.
2. In Genesis Man is created in the image of God according to the likeness of God. Man ‘s highest nobility, glory, and honor is divine and infinite in comparison to all other living creatures.
3. God is revealed as above and beyond and before all creation, that the physical world, universe, and nature are infinitely smaller and lesser than God. That such a infinite, transcendent, and incomprehensible God to be known is revealed in human terms and words common to man and human experience.
4. God as so revealed and so known has a purpose for all creation, but a greater purpose and will for man that He has never abandoned or forgotten.
5. God is revealed and understood to be good, and goodness along with wisdom, truth, right, mercy, and countless qualities and attributes of His Person and ways are to be seen and reflected in man.

(Here are the replies to the second post:)
1.PPJ: None of those are reasons to believe. You don’t even know if the bible is true. As a matter of fact, it’s not. It has to be the most altered of all the holy books.
MJM: Reasons to believe may vary, as reasons not to believe as well. If I did not know or believe the Bible is true I should not give it as the reason of faith. If I did not know or believe that America is a great country I should not say it is a great country. To say America is not a great country does not make my statement true; and to say the Bible is not true does not make it false. To make a statement of belief or disbelief does not establish truth or veracity; it is only a witness and a testimony, which may be debated, as it usually is. To say that the Bible is ‘the most altered of all the holy books’ is logically meaningless as a rebuttal to this argument, for it carries no content of validity on one hand, or instruction on the other. Thus it is said of Shakespeare or Confucius or Plato we don’t know if he really said or wrote this or that or anything; but few will take this dubious criticism seriously.

2.CP: How arrogant to think that god looks like us.
MJM: If Moses thought that God was some Super Giant Man like Zeus or Jupiter or any anthropomorphic image or hero or idol then arrogance might be a fit remark; but since Genesis has no such notion or doctrine, as well as the rest of the Bible, this accusation is groundless.


3.NK: OP: so basically you are using the Bible as evidence the Bible is true. Do you know what Circular Reasoning is?
MJM: “The components of a circular argument are often logically valid because if the premises are true, the conclusion must be true.” The Bible is not true because of our faith, nor because we say so; and in the contrary it is not false because of unbelief or criticism. I come to the Bible (this was and is my experience) and hear or read what it says to me, and its claims laid hold on me, did something within me, and I became alive inwardly to new things. God became personal in the words of the Bible. My struggle to know, understand, to believe continued as I sought to follow. Those who rejected the Book also became my test and experience, as it is here and now. I have listed 5 reasons of faith, which as God permits, I will add several others.

4.CP: The bible is inaccurate because it’s a collection of legends based on oral traditions. There was no garden of eden, no global flood, the sun never stood still and no one ever survived three days in the digestive system of a marine creature. It’s not “may not have happened” it’s “didn’t happen.” The basis of your belief are the stories a desert tribe used to tell themselves around the campfire thousands of years ago. Personally, I like the Aztec creation story better.
MJM: As I have said the denial of something does not negate assertions; a Garden of Eden, Noah’s Flood, Joshua’s Long Day, and Jonah’s Whale [are] spoken of from ancient times, and are old enough to be legends. The ancient stories of the Sumerians before Moses speak of the Blest Dilmun (Paradise) and the Great Flood, for me to deny of what they speak does not alter the existence of the story. The oral traditions, legends and the like, are indicative of the thing which we are seeking. What is that? The facts and truth behind the stories, and for which the legends and traditions are passed down from generation to generation. I need not explain the astronomy of the long day, nor the possibility of a man surviving, or dying and reviving, in a whale’s belly, for a few days, to believe its possibility. There are countless stories everyday that we are told that seem impossible, yet are true for those who have investigated. The Genesis stories are related by Moses as God’s spokesman; the tribes were ignorant of most of these things; and confused by Egyptian and Sumerian stories.
As to the Aztec Creation Story (Stories) its been a few decades since I read some [of] these. Perhaps you might briefly relate the details of the Aztec Creation that we might rightly compare it with the Bible version.

5.TM: The bible is true because It says so.The bible says god exists. Therefore, it is true that a god exists.
MJM: As I said before, God exists , if He exists, because He exists, whether we believe or deny, but not because we say or believe. Gandhi existed because he existed not because someone said or believe so. Its laughable and illogical to make reality dependent on faith as proof; its even more comical and silly to deny one’s being, existence, or reality because one does not know, believe, or ascertain such. This applies to the Bible as to all other literature, sacred or common.

Why I believe in God according to the Bible and the Christian Church. Reasons: Posts 3: Reasons 6-10:
6. The world, the universe, and the nature of existence, reality, and life is such that we ask and seek answers, final and ultimate answers. The Bible gives us these answers as a revelation of God in manifestation of Himself to His creation.
7. We have believed in God from our earliest recorded history to the present, and the Bible for the past 2.000 years has been our TextBook of faith and reason of all that pertains to and is related to God.
8. Religions of the world, both ancient and modern, attest to man’s interest and quest for God. Theism as faith in God exists everywhere that man exists; Monotheism is the faith of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, along with some other religious bodies; Polytheism is the belief in many gods and goddesses, deities, spirit beings, subordinate or superordinate divine supernatural beings or powers of persons or things to which man is dependent or subject to in ways good and evil. These ideas, doctrines, myths, notions, and systems all indicate man’s religious and spiritual nature as the Bible shows.
9. Philosophy from ancient times to the present teach us that God exist of necessity in reality or experientially, that the world is a reflection of the Divine Order, that nature manifests a Transcendent Correspondence, that creation reveals a Creator, Designer, Maker, Former, Architect, builder, and much more. The many philosophical systems and doctrines, both in agreement and in contradiction, are all witnesses to man’s unique and Biblical place in the universe of time and space.
10. Science from ancient times to the most recent advancement of knowledge and technology in every field and intellectual domain of the schools and societies of the highest learning and specialization establish the Biblical God is wise and perfect, profound and inscrutable, and ever interesting and intriguing. Science in both knowledge and understanding is leading us as captives back to the God of the Bible, the God of truth, the true God.


NK: I don’t find your reasons for believing in God to be rational or credible. I will remain an atheist. Let me know if you ever find *valid* evidence of God.
MJM: Fair enough; my rationale may not convince you, which doesn’t matter as to truth or love; so if further reasons incite or entice you towards God we will all rejoice.

NK: I don’t understand what you just said, but I will say that you worship someone who (if he exists) is currently torturing my mom and sister (and billions of others) in a lake of fire, which I don’t find very loving.

MJM: I wish to share your pain, or at lest offer sympathy or empathy, in whatever way that I can; as you did not understand my hope towards you, I likewise do not understand your grief and charge. God, if He exists as we are willing to say, and if the Bible is true as to His will and ways, then how do we understand an reconcile eternal torments, human sufferings, and evil everywhere? I will not presume or pretend to know your beliefs or reasons, but that is why I accepted the invite to join and interact. I cannot reply to you charge against God in regards to your loved ones; we can only discuss or debate to discover truth without malice or prejudice towards those who are of another way. With respect and concern, I can only offer thoughts and prayers.
NK: Sorry, you belong to an organization whose policy is to torture all God unbelievers in a lake of fire, so I cannot not accept your sympathy or empathy as sincere. If you God exists I can reconcile eternal torments and suffering with him being a psychopath. You need to reply to my charge in regards to my loved ones for me to even consider that you actually care about them. I do not want the thoughts and prayers from an accomplice to their torture, thanks anyway. Good thing it’s imaginary.

MJM to NK:
1.”Sorry, you belong to an organization whose policy is to torture all God unbelievers in a lake of fire, so I cannot not accept your sympathy or empathy as sincere.” We do not set the rules of the universe or the creation. The Bible speaks of the Lake of Fire for judgment on the Devil and his angels, for the wicked, for all those oppose to God. If God exists as God, if the Bible is true, then the judgments are true and just accordingly. God cannot allow His creatures to disregard His will and ways without eternal consequences. If we are His creatures as the Bible reveals, then we have His spirit of life, His breath of life, His portion in and of our soul: for the Bible says: “In Him we live and move and have our being”. And again that the dead all live unto Him, for He is the God of the living not of the dead.
2.”If you God exists I can reconcile eternal torments and suffering with him being a psychopath.” To judge that the God revealed in the Bible is evil and cruel is not our place as creatures; we read of Him as good and merciful, ever and always seeking to win and woe man back to Himself. The Bible does not reveal a psychopathy in God, but rather God as a Father and Savior, as El Shaddai, the Nourisher and Nurse for His children. But the Devil, Satan, the Old Serpent is revealed as the enemy to man and God, and psychopathy and sociopathy resides in him, for he is the originator of all such disorders, sins, and crimes. The Devil’s greatest lie and deception is to past on that God is a Devil like himself. No God is a good King, and there are many lords and kings who wish to dethrone Him.
3. “You need to reply to my charge in regards to my loved ones for me to even consider that you actually care about them. I do not want the thoughts and prayers from an accomplice to their torture, thanks anyway. Good thing it’s imaginary.” As I said before, I do not presume to know of your loved ones, real or imaginary, but only can respond to you and your words. The God of the Bible loved the world, mankind, His creatures, and exhibited that love in grace to do what was necessary to redeem and reconcile us to Himself. The world has not regarded His will or ways for a very long time; and we have become vey cruel to our own kind, leading to unbearable ills and woes in our cities and nations. Yet despite the thousands of years, the many generations, He still sends words of mercy and kindness to us and to all men everywhere. Many that we in malice and hate consign to eternal fires in our judgment are safe and saved by Him, and those who we wish to excuse their evil and wickedness He will not allow to escape that day and hour. He is revealed as One Whose eyes and heart looks on the poor and needy with the greatest and most tender care; but we will not have it so. Though we discuss and dialog in imaginary notions, yet reality is only a step away.

NK: 1. I don’t care who sets the rules, torture is amoral and I could never side with a torturer. Torturer is not just. It is psychopathic. You are defending burning people in a lake of fire. You sound like a serial killer.
2. How come its okay for you to judge God but not me? Seems hypocritical…
3. What you think is love is psychopathic indifference. That’s what happens when you derive your morality from a mass torturer.
MJM to NK: 1. You object to Torture as immoral, unjust, psychopathic, and as serial killing. This applied to the God of the Bible is your reason for unbelief and rejection. Torture and torment as used in this way judges God as evil and an Evildoer. But the Bible does not present such a God to us. In Genesis we see examples to the contrary: in Adam and Eve’s disobedience God does not strike them down in cruelty or death, but judges them with a long term sentence that has continued to this day. Again, in Cain killing his brother Abel God deals with him before and after with mercy in judgment. Again, Abraham pleads with God in regards to the doom of Sodom and Gomorrah, that surely the Judge of the world will do justly and rightly to not destroy the just with the unjust. So too in many other examples throughout the Bible. But on the other side God being just, righteous, and true cannot ignore evil to exist or continue without a Divine response. This moral necessity is judgment, and judgment as torment, and to the judged some call it torture. Punishment whether human or divine, individual or collective, private or public, or any such analogies may consist of torment or torture. To be tormented or tortured by guilt, grief, regret, mistakes, sins, and crimes are the just and natural consequences to certain moral actions. God as the Supreme Standard of morality must exact the proportionate measure of judgment and justice, just as in human terms the laws, state, government, and the like authorities, also punish, judge, and execute or afflict the convicted.
2. If I judge God I am wrong, and in what I judge Him once recognized I repent. I like Job may argue in error or reason about God and His actions, but I ever seek to understand the Almighty in His judgments. The Monarch, Sovereign, King, Emperor, Potentate, and Prince may among men do wrong, make mistakes, give commands and directives that lead to great sufferings and distruction to the people, yet are not thereby out of necessity chargeable to evil or guilt. If God is God then the right and judgment belongs to Him as it is to no other.
3. A case in Noah’s Flood may be examined as to God’s judgment: Adam and his progeny, his seed, are shown to be God’s creation and creatures, they were originally provided for in a somewhat idyllic nursery, they disobeyed and were exiled to live in the world as we now have it. In there[their] banishment by divine judgment they are allowed live outside direct divine constraints or regulations. In a few centuries man was so depraved and corrupted that God saw only one man still righteous and good before Him. Being God as God could make a new creation just as easily as before, yet He chose to preserve or save Adam’s seed in Noah and his family. He preserved and saved animals for man in like manner. The Flood was was of nature and of the heavens and the earth in waters, rain, rivers, seas, and wells or fountains beneath the earth. True He could prevent these things from bringing destruction, yet the used them in nature as He as ever done, is His Divine prerogative. And having done so, decides to never thus judge again, although man will not change. A conqueror at war, as Caesar and the like, he comes, he sees, and he takes, and in his conquest does as he pleases with the conquered for better or worse. God as Lord conquers human nature in many ways like what we see in nature and the world. His love and mercy as God is very longsuffering, a few thousand years are for Him only a few days. This is the Bible’s God and Judge and Savior.

1. The reason for my unbelief is your inability to provide valid evidence God exists. The fact he would be a mass torturer if he did exist makes him unworthy of worship. The Bible presents him as a mass torturer.
2. Incoherent gibberish.
3. Incoherent gibberish.

MJM to NK: I cannot change your verdict against the God of the Bible as to His existence or judgments. I thought of a quick reply and then just move on, but then I reconsidered by delaying for a couple of weeks to review and reexamine some writers and works against God or the Bible as interpreted by the Christian Church. Although I have always as a Bible believer since my conversion in 1969, being 17, read or listened to works critical against faith, religion, Bible, and Christianity, and have continued to do so to this date, yet some writers have made significant impact on my thoughts and beliefs. There are too many to lists, but a select few I thought best to reexamine. I did not review Michael Shermer of the Sceptic Society and Scientific American, or Richard Dawkins books, or others currently active against the Bible versus science; since these writers and scholars are fairly fresh in my memory, and their arguments add little to the older classical debate. All admit the newest science are ever altering long held views. I did review very fully and carefully Andrew White’s History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom; and Robert Ingersoll’s Some Mistakes of Moses, etc.; and Thomas Paine’s works (Age of Reason, Common Sense, Rights of Man, etc.); and Voltaire’s works (Philosophical Dictionary, etc.); and finally the most important of all Bible critics, and the earliest of the modern world, laying the foundation for all the others since the 17th century (1650 on), namely Spinoza.
Since you regard my reasoning from the Bible as “incoherent gibberish” it is clear we have no proper grounds to debate or discuss the Existence of God and His Rights. I daily spend a hour in morning keeping with the news, and often the words ‘incoherent’ and ‘gibberish’ are used as accusations by the media against certain, celebrities, experts, politicians, scholars, and the like. The Media so speak against each other on the left or right; the Republicans so charge the Democrats, and in turn the other repay the like compliment; and thus the modern against the ancient, the atheists against theists and the reverse, and so too Bible is often judged. Now it so happens that the language of skepticism is fond of such terms, although they are guilty in like manner of their own opinions and ideas. Both Ingersoll and Paine were fond of these words levelled against the Bible and Bible believers. Therefore I intend to briefly cite these Bible critics and sceptics with their own reasons and rationale against God and Scriptures as witnesses to their supposed superior wisdom and honesty. Afterwards, God willing, I’ll return to more reasons I believe in God according to the Bible and the Church.

Robert G. Ingersoll: “Some Mistakes of Moses”, etc. (1833-1899, “the Great American Agnostic”, teacher, lawyer, veteran (Colonel), and political freethought orator; son of abolitionist and controversial Congregational preacher, and co-worker of Charles G. Finney. He was a great admirer and promoter of Thomas Paine. His greatest accusation against the Bible God was Hell. His greatest convert to Christ was Lew Wallace (veteran, General) of ‘Ben Hur’.
Ingersoll examines the Pentateuch (Five Books of Moses, Genesis-Deuteronomy), to point out some hundred examples of Some Mistakes of Moses. He does not believe that there was ever a Moses in Egypt, nor the Israelites, and thus the Pentateuch does not have one letter from Moses’ hands. After a few chapters by way of Introduction he takes in hand Genesis and examines the Creation Week from Monday to Sunday, all of which occupies half of his book; the second half treats Genesis 2 to Deuteronomy. The entire examination is simplistic and childish, with many “incoherent gibberish” passed on as valid criticism. It is this kind of Biblical Criticism and Skepticism that, early as a young Christian, reinforced my faith in Scriptures, and thus in God’s existence and rights. Others have answered in detail Ingersoll’s Bible critique in his days and the decades that followed, and they are to be found, so I will not trouble the reader.
Ingersoll says: “He who endeavors to Control the Mind by Force is a Tyrant, and he who submits is a slave.” This he thinks is a wise saying, and applies to God and Moses and the Bible; and he has come along to save Americans and the world. For the mass or common folks are slaves as long as they believe without doubts. He finds human failure or defects as grounds to deny and reject the Bible, as if all men in all places in all collective unions and groups, families, nations, and the like, are not chargeable to this argument rebuke. To him priestcraft is the prime evil, and orthodoxy must be the first evil destroyed; and thus if the Book is shown false the rest is all lies, myths, and superstition. Thus he goes on whining against tradition, creeds, and religion for several chapters. His father’s faith, he without blush, chides as the ‘Andover Factory’, being ignorant and fools. He would have us admire and extoll “Voltaires, Humes, Paines, Humboldts, Tyndals, Haekels, Darwins, Spencers, and Drapers”, instead of “the Lord Jesus Christ”. He wishes clergyman to be freethinkers and speakers while wearing the cloak of the Gospel, to pretend to serve God and Christ by destroying very subtly the Bible as the Word of God. No, not by leaving the ministry but using it in this deceitful manner.
Thus he gets to Genesis 1, the Creation Week, and he ignorantly (though he is an intelligent man) commences the start of the week on Monday instead of Sunday, ending on Sunday instead of Saturday; and attributes this false order to Moses. He attributes his false chronology to the Bible, and his superficial hermeneutics to divine inspiration; but these are all Ingersoll’s Mistakes. His reasoning about creation, time, life, and the world or nature is all confused as to what the Bible actually says in the written words; he constantly reasons from his own belief of what Christians and Jews and others teach about what the Bible says. We all fall into this error; but we are blamable when we claim authority to judge or criticize and are not guarded. Another Mistake of Ingersoll is making the Bible a Science Book, or a History Book, and the like. So Ingersoll has Eternal Matter as the reason he cannot believe that God created Eternal Matter because he cannot understand that if God Who is Eternal created Eternal Matter, how could He be Eternal. He cannot see or understand that his notion of time and space as of the natural world, order, universe, reality, if created by One Who, as the Creator, creates creation outside of, beyond and other than time and space (time-space), that this One as God exist and subsist in what we cannot name or comprehend in natural terms or human language. Thus the Bible, in Genesis, by Moses, says God (Elohim). Even a babe can understand this truth and fact, that the world in all that we see and hear and know, things living and inanimate, visible and invisible, or in any other words , names, and terms from a child to a genius, was made and created and birthed from God: therefore the Bible says: “in Him we live, and move, and have our being”. To be continued.

8. Ingersoll’s Mistakes of Moses Continued:
Bob writes:
(1) “In the time of Moses, it was perfectly safe for him to write an account of the creation of the world. He had simply to put in form the crude notions of the people. At that time, no other Jew could have written a better account. Upon that subject he felt at liberty to give his imagination full play. There was no one who could authoritatively contradict anything he might say.”
(2) “It was substantially the same story that had been imprinted in curious characters upon the clay records of Babylon, the gigantic monuments of Egypt, and the gloomy temples of India. In those days there was an almost infinite difference between the educated and ignorant. The people were controlled almost entirely by signs and wonders. By the lever of fear, priests moved the world. The sacred records were made and kept, and altered by them. The people could not read, and looked upon one who could, as almost a god. In our day it is hard to conceive of the influence of an educated class in a barbarous age. It was only necessary to produce the ” sacred record,” and ignorance fell upon its face.”
(3) “The people were taught that the record was inspired, and therefore true. They were not taught that it was true, and therefore inspired. After all, the real question is not whether the bible is inspired, but whether it is true. If it is true, it does not need to be inspired. If it is true, it makes no difference whether it was written by a man or a god. The multiplication table is just as useful, just as true as though God had arranged the figures himself. If the bible is really true, the claim of inspiration need not be urged ; and if it is not true, its inspiration can hardly be established. As a matter of fact, the truth does not need to be inspired. Nothing needs inspiration except a falsehood or a mistake. Where truth ends, where probability stops, inspiration begins. A fact never went into partnership with a miracle. Truth does not need the assistance of miracle. A fact will fit every other fact in the Universe, because it is the product of all other facts. A lie will fit nothing except another lie made for the express purpose of fitting it. After a while the man gets tired of lying, and then the last lie will not fit the next fact, and then there is an opportunity to use a miracle. Just at that point, it is necessary to have a little inspiration.””

MJM replies:
(1): The time of Moses according to the Bible is some 500 years after the time of Abram and Terah (Gen.10); and further removed from Noah and His Sons another 500 years; and from Adam and the Garden of Eden over a thousand years (1500 years or more determined by different chronologies, which are all conjectural) (Gen.5). Bob died before Sumerian writings were discovered and unearthed, before its non-Semitic language was deciphered, and the thousands of cuneiform scripts translated to reveal a lost and hidden world going back 2,000 years before the Babylonians and Egyptians. This was the world of Dilmun of the Black Headed Axe Wielding People who survived a Great Flood and resettled Mesopotamia from north to south. From these the later stories were borrowed and modified. Samuel Kramer has given to us many “Firsts” from Summer an Accad; and both the Egyptians and Babylonian-Assyrian-Chaldean learned many things which are well known today. Thus this Mistake of Ingersoll by ignorance is forgiven.
(2): In the study of the First Historical Writings of the Ancient World in the Texts we read of the Education System of even children, boys and girls, of leaders and common folks, of lawyers as well as craftsmen, all interacting in a religious society. They always pointed back to a near and a distant past when people were related to gods and goddesses as a family and kingdom. Science was at an infancy, and exploration was a novelty. The power did not reside in the Priest but in the King, and Kingship was a Divine Institution; the King being the embodiment or manifestation of God. Ingersoll was mistaken in this also. What Bob describes would not develop for several thousands of years after the Sumerians. Moses comes in during the period that the knowledge of the ancient Sumerians was fading away, as taught by those Orientalist most familiar with these things. , and may be examined in Prichard’s “Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament”, and many such works.
(3) Bob’s Logic is that Truth needs no Divine Inspiration, and need no miracles or claims. Moses writes as taught of the God of Israel, the God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, a new version and history from Creation to the Exodus. The details of the many stories, myths, doctrines in circulation from Adam to Moses is here addressed, corrected, and revised. The Creation of the Universe, Earth, Man, the World and Nature, are now set forth in the way God desires to teach Israel and mankind. He teaches us that 2 + 2 = 4, but not all the elements of math or science or history. What is, is truth, and when truth is known as truth, without error or contradiction tested, truth is proven true as a fact or reality. What we understand of truth is altogether a different matter. Thus, man in seeing the world and nature, the universe in all its many parts and ways, things of God, or a Power, Force, Something or Someone or Someplace, in place of God. The truth remains, God is and exists as God whether known or unknown or understood. Our inherited and innate ignorance is what must be instructed in ever slow increments till we see and know the truth. That is what education means, a leading and guiding to the truth; and once the truth is known it sets us free; thus we have in John 8: “Jesus therefore said to those Jews that had believed Him, If ye abide in My word, [then] are ye truly My disciples and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” To be continued…..

NK: Do you know what gish galloping is?
MJM: “Neil Duane Tolbert Gish, American biochemist and a prominent member of the creationist movement. A Young Earth creationist, Gish was a former vice-president of the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) and the author of numerous publications about creation science. Gish was called “creationism’s T. H. Huxley” for the way he “relished the confrontations” of formal debates with prominent evolutionary biologists, usually held on university campuses. A creationist publication noted in his obituary that “it was perhaps his personal presentation that carried the day. In short, the audiences liked him.”
“The Gish Gallop should not be confused with the argumentum ad nauseam, in which the same point is repeated many times. In a Gish Gallop, many bullshit points are given all at once.”
“”If I were wrong, then one would have been enough!—Albert Einstein, commenting on the book 100 Authors Against Einstein”, Wikipedia.







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Hymns of St. Thomas Aquinas of Christ the Savior

Hymns of St. Thomas Aquinas of Christ the Savior

Its now pass half the year in sharing of the Psalms , Hymns, and Spiritual Songs that I encountered among Christians since 1969, and that has influenced me and those I’ve known. There are thousands of songs and poems, hymns and psalms, which I have not shared of the spiritual poetry from the Christian treasury. I originally intended to share only a song a week, but soon realized that was too limiting, and in turn found myself sharing several songs a week which were related in my experience and in historical fact. I intended to share the Hymns of St. Thomas Aquinas in mid June in the Feast of Corpus Christi (Christ’s Body) of Eucharist Transubstantiation (thanksgiving celebration or communion or fellowship of the Lord’s Supper of His Body and Blood in the Bread and Wine), but could not . Perhaps now, in this submission, I should say a word about the Liturgical Year and Church Calendar.
As a young Christian I began to collect and read various liturgical books of Christians and Jews. These worship and prayer books along with the hymnbooks were very encouraging in daily devotions for myself as for others. I thus became aware and influenced in the spiritual journey of others, and the feasts and holy-days of the church at large. The Jewish worship of the Synagogue and Temple, going back to Abraham and Moses, David and Solomon, and Ezra and the Elders, was celebrated in the Passover, Pentecost, Rosh haShanah, Yom Kippur (Atonement), Sukkot(Tabernacles), Hanukkah, and Purim. The Christian Church of the Orthodox Eastern Rites and the Catholic Western or Roman Rite modified and added to the Jewish Feasts , adapting to Gentile local or national customs as needed. The primary Feasts following Christ’s Nativity ( the Advent, the Incarnation), the Epiphany (Manifestation and Ministry, from birth to death), Resurrection, Pentecost (the Holy Spirit), Transfiguration (the Kingdom), the Glorious Cross (His Passions and Death), and the Parousia (the 2nd Advent and Church Dedication). Added in this Church Calendar are many hundreds of other dates of recognition and remembrance of saints and events and places which were and are significant or treasured by the Church and Christians. At different times the Calendar has been revised and modified; holy-days becomes holidays, Christian Church feasts and celebrations blends with national holidays and celebrations; and examples of Christmas, Easter, Valentines Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving Day; or national days modified religiously like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, President’s Day, Veteran’s Day, Memorial Day, and such like. The cycle of the liturgical year being from December to June (Winter to Spring to Summer) then from Summer to Fall to Winter(July to December). In this regards we now come to Aquinas’ Hymns.

In the Catholic liturgical calendar, the Feast of Corpus Christi is liturgically celebrated on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday or, “where the Solemnity of The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ is not a holy day of obligation, it is assigned to the Sunday after the Most Holy Trinity as its proper day”. This feast was instituted in 1264 by Pope Urban IV. He commissioned St. Thomas Aquinas to compose an Office for Corpus Christi, which yielded the following beautiful hymns:
Pange, Lingua, Gloriosi (Acclaim, My Tongue, This Mystery)…. stanzas five and six of this hymn have become the famous “Tantum Ergo Sancramentum,” often sung at Eucharistic benediction ceremonies.
Sacris Solemnis Juncta Sint Gaudia (Let Joys Be Joined to Solemn Feasts)
Verbum Supernum Prodiens (The Word from Heaven Now Proceeding)
Lauds, Sion, Salvotorem (Praise, O Sion, Your Redeemer)

1. Pange Lingua (Traditional English translation.)

Sing, my tongue, the Savior’s glory,
Of His flesh the mystery sing;
Of the Blood, all price exceeding,
Shed by our immortal King,
Destined, for the world’s redemption,
From a noble womb to spring.
Of a pure and spotless Virgin
Born for us on earth below,
He, as Man, with man conversing,
Stayed, the seeds of truth to sow;
Then He closed in solemn order
Wondrously His life of woe.
On the night of that Last Supper,
Seated with His chosen band,
He the Pascal victim eating,
First fulfills the Law’s command;
Then as Food to His (Apostles)
Gives Himself with His own hand.
Word-made-Flesh, the Bread of (Heaven)
By His word to Flesh He turns;
Wine into His Blood He changes;
What though sense no change discerns?
Only be the heart in earnest,
Faith her lesson quickly learns.
Down in adoration falling,
Lo! the sacred Host we hail;
Lo! o’er ancient forms departing,
Newer (feasts) of grace prevail;
Faith for all defects supplying,
Where the feeble senses fail.
To the everlasting Father,
And the Son Who reigns (on high),
(By) the Holy (Spir’t) proceeding
Forth from Each eternally,
Be salvation, honor, blessing,
Might and endless majesty.
2. Lauda Sion Salvatorem (Traditional translation. This is one of the four Sequences which are alone retained in the revised Roman Missal, 1570, and later editions. It seems to have been written about 1260 for the Mass of the festival of Corpus Christi. For this festival St. Thomas, at the request of Pope Urban IV., drew up in 1263 the office in the Roman Breviary; and probably also that in the Roman Missal. In form this Sequence is an imitation of the “Laudes crucis attollamus ” .)

Sion, lift thy voice and sing:
Praise thy Savior and thy King;
Praise with hymns thy Shepherd true:
Dare thy most to praise Him well;
For He doth all praise excel;
None can ever reach His due.
Special theme of praise is thine,
That true living Bread divine,
That life-giving flesh adored,
Which the brethren twelve received,
As most faithfully believed,
At the Supper of the Lord.
Let the chant be loud and high;
Sweet and tranquil be the joy
Felt to-day in every breast;
On this festival divine
Which recounts the origin
Of the glorious Eucharist.
At this table of the King,
Our new Paschal offering
Brings to end the olden rite;
Here, for empty shadows fled,
Is reality instead;
Here, instead of darkness, light.
His own act, at supper seated,
Christ ordained to be repeated,
In His memory divine;
Wherefore now, with adoration,
We the Host of our salvation
Consecrate from bread and wine.
Hear what holy Church maintaineth,
That the bread its substance changeth
Into Flesh, the wine to Blood.
Doth it pass thy comprehending?
Faith, the law of sight transcending,
Leaps to things not understood.
Here in outward signs are hidden
Priceless things, to sense forbidden;
Signs, not things, are all we see:-
Flesh from bread, and Blood from wine;
Yet is Christ, in either sign,
All entire confessed to be.
They too who of Him partake
Sever not, nor rend, nor break,
But entire their Lord receive.
Whether one or thousands eat,
All receive the selfsame meat,
Nor the less for others leave.
Both the wicked and the good
Eat of this celestial Food;
But with ends how opposite!
Here ’tis life; and there ’tis death;
The same, yet issuing to each
In a difference infinite.
Nor a single doubt retain,
When they break the Host in twain,
But that in each part remains
What was in the whole before;
Since the simple sign alone
Suffers change in state or form,
The Signified remaining One
And the Same forevermore
Lo! upon the Altar lies,
Hidden deep from human eyes,
Angels’ Bread from Paradise
Made the food of mortal man:
Children’s meat to dogs denied;
In old types foresignified;
In the manna from the skies,
In Isaac, and the Paschal Lamb.
Jesu! Shepherd of the sheep!
Thy true flock in safety keep.
Living Bread! Thy life supply;
Strengthen us, or else we die;
Fill us with celestial grace:
Thou, who feedest us below!
Source of all we have or know!
Grant that with Thy Saints above,
Sitting at the Feast of Love,
We may see Thee face to face.


3.”Adore Te Devote” (“Prostrate I Adore Thee”) by Edward Bouverie Pusey translation (1854, cited in Palmer, in London; wrongly ascribed to Emily M. P. Hickey, used in Anglican Book of Common Prayer, 1870. See John Julian’s Dictionary of Hymnology. Cited also in H.N. Oxenham’s Manual of Devotions, 1854, without name. Also published in 1869 and 1847 and 1843-44, in “Paradise of the Christian Soul” by Horst., translated and edited by Pusey and others; as “Rhythm of St. Thomas Aquinas”.chptr 8,sect.5,p.123. There have been at least 16 significant English translations, reflecting its popularity as a prayer and hymn.)

Prostrate I adore Thee, Deity unseen,
Who Thy glory hidest ‘neath these shadows mean;
Lo, to Thee surrendered, my whole heart is bowed,
Tranced as it beholds Thee, shrined within the cloud.
Taste, and touch, and vision, to discern Thee fail;
Faith, that comes by hearing, pierces through the veil.
I believe whate’er the Son of God hath told;
What the Truth hath spoken, that for truth I hold.
On the Cross lay hidden but thy Deity,
Here is hidden also Thy Humanity:
But in both believing and confessing, Lord,
Ask I what the dying thief of Thee implored.
Thy dread wounds, like Thomas, though I cannot see,
His be my confession, Lord and God, of Thee,
Make my faith unfeigned ever-more increase,
Give me hope unfading, love that cannot cease.
O memorial wondrous of the Lord’s own death;
Living Bread, that giveth all Thy creatures breath,
Grant my spirit ever by Thy life may live,
To my taste Thy sweetness never-failing give.
Pelican of mercy, Jesu, Lord and God,
Cleanse me, wretched sinner, in Thy Precious Blood:
Blood where one drop for human-kind outpoured
Might from all transgression have the world restored.
Jesu, whom now veiled, I by faith descry,
What my soul doth thirst for, do not, Lord, deny,
That thy face unveiled, I at last may see,
With the blissful vision blest, my God, of Thee.


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American Patriotic Songs Part II

American Patriotic Songs Part II:

In 1961 as a boy of nine years old, I was brought from Kingston Jamaica to Los Angeles California. I remember those first years in school from grades 3rd to 6th: learning to read and write, struggling with my Jamaican accent, and trying to catch up and fit in the American way. I was a white boy, and the only prejudice that I knew was a small degree coming from the Jamaican blacks who were the majority. In Los Angeles I discovered a new and violent kind of racial prejudice and discrimination as a cultural divide. In grammar school we were being taught about the Civil War of Abraham Lincoln’s time, and all about slavery and the emancipation of the blacks or colored folks. My first required memory lessons outside of learning to read, write, and math, was to know and say: “I Pledge Allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
The next required memorization was the President Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address of 1863:
“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate—we can not consecrate—we can not hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

But it was another document of Abraham Lincoln in 1863 that we were being told about that was even more important for us to know and understand and remember.
The Proclamation of Emancipation. January 1, 1863 by the President of the United States of America:

” Whereas, on the twenty-second day of September, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-two, a proclamation was issued by the President of the United States, containing, among other things, the following, to wit:
“That on the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free; and the Executive Government of the United States, including the military and naval authority thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons, and will do no act or acts to repress such persons, or any of them, in any efforts they may make for their actual freedom.
“That the Executive will, on the first day of January aforesaid, by proclamation, designate the States and parts of States, if any, in which the people thereof, respectively, shall then be in rebellion against the United States; and the fact that any State, or the people thereof, shall on that day be, in good faith, represented in the Congress of the United States by members chosen thereto at elections wherein a majority of the qualified voters of such State shall have participated, shall, in the absence of strong countervailing testimony, be deemed conclusive evidence that such State, and the people thereof, are not then in rebellion against the United States.”
Now, therefore I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, by virtue of the power in me vested as Commander-in-Chief, of the Army and Navy of the United States in time of actual armed rebellion against the authority and government of the United States, and as a fit and necessary war measure for suppressing said rebellion, do, on this first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and in accordance with my purpose so to do publicly proclaimed for the full period of one hundred days, from the day first above mentioned, order and designate as the States and parts of States wherein the people thereof respectively, are this day in rebellion against the United States, the following, to wit:
Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, (except the Parishes of St. Bernard, Plaquemines, Jefferson, St. John, St. Charles, St. James Ascension, Assumption, Terrebonne, Lafourche, St. Mary, St. Martin, and Orleans, including the City of New Orleans) Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia, (except the forty-eight counties designated as West Virginia, and also the counties of Berkley, Accomac, Northampton, Elizabeth City, York, Princess Ann, and Norfolk, including the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth[)], and which excepted parts, are for the present, left precisely as if this proclamation were not issued.
And by virtue of the power, and for the purpose aforesaid, I do order and declare that all persons held as slaves within said designated States, and parts of States, are, and henceforward shall be free; and that the Executive government of the United States, including the military and naval authorities thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of said persons.
And I hereby enjoin upon the people so declared to be free to abstain from all violence, unless in necessary self-defence; and I recommend to them that, in all cases when allowed, they labor faithfully for reasonable wages.
And I further declare and make known, that such persons of suitable condition, will be received into the armed service of the United States to garrison forts, positions, stations, and other places, and to man vessels of all sorts in said service.
And upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice, warranted by the Constitution, upon military necessity, I invoke the considerate judgment of mankind, and the gracious favor of Almighty God.
In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the City of Washington, this first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the eighty-seventh.”

So it is fitting to share some of those songs that came out of that slavery and its end of those Americans who were not yet free and equal to the other Americans: (One last remark in this regard, the songs of the native American Indians and certain immigrants are not to be forgotten. The American Indians were almost completely exterminated. The Civil War paid in blood for the a slavery doctrine that should have been resolved by the Constitution of the Founding Fathers a hundred years earlier; but 600,000 plus lives of Americans, along with countless others maimed, wounded, and driven insane, with countless families destroyed, to resolve the wrong and the doctrine.)
The Emancipation Spirituals were such songs:
“During the Civil War many runaway slaves, then known as “contrabands,” sought refuge in Washington, D.C. President Lincoln frequently visited contraband camps, often stopping on his way to the Summer White House. On one documented occasion of a meeting at the contraband camp on Seventh Street in 1863, the meeting opened with a prayer followed by all singing, “America.” For an hour the group, including Lincoln, sang spirituals such as “The Song of the Contrabands” – “Go Down Moses.” The president wiped tears from his eyes at the singing of “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen.” When they sang “Free at Last” Lincoln bowed his head. Lincoln’s friend and an employee at the White House, Aunt Mary Dines, remembered that the president, although sometimes choked with emotion, sang along with the group. When he came to the camp, he was not the President. He was just like them. He stood and sang and prayed as they did.”
“Free At Last (Anon): This was a bold song of “deliverance” for the slaves. The bold word “free” is couched in the symbolism of the Bible.”
“Go Down Moses (Anon): This song was a favorite among black troops during the Civil War. It was known as “The Song of the Contrabands.”
“Nobody Knows The Trouble I’ve Seen (Anon): This is one of the most moving of the spirituals of the mid-nineteenth century.”
“Swing Low, Sweet Chariot (Anon): “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” was one of the first spirituals universally sung by Afro-Americans and was undoubtedly one of the most popular spirituals during Foster’s time.

1. “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot”
Swing low, sweet chariot
Coming for to carry me home
Swing low, sweet chariot
Coming for to carry me home
I looked over Jordan, and what did I see
Coming for to carry me home
A band of angels coming after me
Coming for to carry me home
If you get there before I do
Coming for to carry me home
Tell all my friends I’m coming, too
Coming for to carry me home
I’m sometimes up and sometimes down
Coming for to carry me home
But still my soul feels heavenly bound
Coming for to carry me home
The brightest day that I can say
Coming for to carry me home
When Jesus washed my sins away
Coming for to carry me home
If I get there before you do
Coming for to carry me home
I’ll cut a hole and pull you through
Coming for to carry me home


2. “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen”

Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen
Nobody knows my sorrow
Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen
Glory, Hallelujah

Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen
Nobody knows but Jesus
Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen
Glory, Hallelujah

Sometimes I’m up
Sometimes I’m down
Oh, yes, Lord
Sometimes I’m almost to the ground
Oh, yes, Lord


3. “Go Down Moses”
Go down Moses
Way down in Egypt land
Tell all pharaoes to
Let My people go!
When Israel was in Egypt land
Let My people go!
Oppressed so hard they could not stand
Let My people go!
So the God said: go down, Moses
Way down in Egypt land
Tell all pharaoes to
Let My people go!
So Moses went to Egypt land
Let My people go!
He made all pharaoes understand
Let My people go!
Yes the Lord said: go down, Moses
Way down in Egypt land
Tell all pharaoes to
Let My people go!
Thus spoke the Lord, bold Moses said:
-let My people go!
if not I’ll smite, your firstborn’s dead
-let My people go!
God-the Lord said : go down, Moses
Way down in Egypt land
Tell all pharaoes to
Let My people go!
Tell all pharaoes
To let My people go


4. “Kum Bay Yah, My Lord, Kum Bay Yah” (Sung with many variant or alternative words or lines in many versions) (1920 ?)

Kum bay ya, my Lord, kum bay ya;
Kum bay ya, my Lord, kum bay ya;
Kum bay ya, my Lord, kum bay ya,
O Lord, kum bay ya.

Someone’s laughing, my Lord, kum bay ya;
Someone’s laughing, my Lord, kum bay ya;
Someone’s laughing, my Lord, kum bay ya,
O Lord, kum bay ya.

Someone’s crying, my Lord, kum bay ya;
Someone’s crying, my Lord, kum bay ya;
Someone’s crying, my Lord, kum bay ya,
O Lord, kum bay ya.

Someone’s praying, my Lord, kum bay ya;
Someone’s praying, my Lord, kum bay ya;
Someone’s praying, my Lord, kum bay ya,
O Lord, kum bay ya.

Someone’s singing, my Lord, kum bay ya;
Someone’s singing, my Lord, kum bay ya;
Someone’s singing, my Lord, kum bay ya,
O Lord, kum bay ya.

((Alternatives: Hear me crying, my Lord, kum bay ya;…Hear me singing, my Lord, kum bay ya;…Hear me praying, my Lord, kum bay ya;…Oh, I need you, my Lord, kum bay ya;…. Someone need you, Lord, come by here….Now I need you, Lord, come by here….In the mornin’ see, Lord, come by here,…I gon’ need you, Lord, come by here,….Oh, Sinners need you, Lord, come by here….Come by here, my Lord, come by here,….In the morning – morning, won’t you come by here Mornin’ – morning, won’t you come by here,…. For the sun, that rises in the sky For the rhythm of the falling rain For all life, great or small For all that’s true, for all you do….For the second on this world you made, For the love that will never fade, For a heart beating with joy, For all that’s real, for all we feel…..))


5. “Cherokee Nation Trail of Tears” “Indian Reservation (The Lament of the Cherokee Reservation Indian)”
by John D. Loudermilk 1958. (“When he was asked by the Viva! NashVegas radio show about the origins of the Raider’s hit song “Indian Reservation”, Loudermilk told that he wrote the song after his car was snowed in by a blizzard and being taken in by Cherokee Indians. He claimed that the chief “Bloody Bear Tooth” asked him to make a song about his people’s plight and the Trail of Tears. Loudermilk, after being awarded the first medal of the Cherokee nation for this, was asked to read an old ledger book kept during The Trail of Tears. As he read through the names, he discovered his great grandparents, at the age of 91, were marched 1,600 miles (2,600 km) during the plight.”) (At the time I became a Christian to follow Christ, my best friend was a Yaqui Indian, he had introduced me to heroin, Bob Dylan music, and Indian sufferings. But the most influence on my soul towards the Native American Indians started with the movie “Hombre” in 1967 while I was in the Jewish Foster Home. So often when I heard “Running Bear Loved Little White Dove” over the radio over the years I often thought that it was my experience identified in theirs. )

They took the whole Cherokee nation
Put us on this reservation
Took away our ways of life
The tomahawk and the bow and knife
Took away our native tongue
And taught their English to our young
And all the beads we made by hand
Are nowadays made in Japan

Cherokee people, Cherokee tribe
So proud to live, so proud to die
They took the whole Indian nation
Locked us on this reservation

Though I wear a shirt and tie
I’m still part redman deep inside
Cherokee people, Cherokee tribe
So proud to live, so proud to die
But maybe someday when they learn
Cherokee nation will return, will return, will return
Will return, will return


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American Patriotic Songs (Part I)

American Patriotic Songs (Part I)

A few days ago we celebrated Independence Day on July 4th in the USA, which brought memories of our national history from the Revolutionary War to the Civil War to the present. We may easily divide our history into three parts based on the Wars that have defined and molded us: the Revolutionary War of George Washington’s times between America and Britain for Independence and Liberty; the Civil War of Abraham Lincoln’s day between the North and the South to preserve the Union and abolish Slavery; and World War Two which has created a new world order with America as the greatest super power among the nations.
While I contemplated what patriotic songs to share for this annual holiday I was sent by email one of those songs that I have encountered among the churches over the years. So beginning with ‘America the Beautiful’, then we have ‘My Country Tis of Thee’, then next ‘Star Spangled Banner’, and last ‘The Battle Hymn Of The Republic’. These four songs echoes our national experiences from Washington to Lincoln from Independence to Emancipation. Yet these songs do not reflect the complete story, nor portray the fuller picture, which we must share next week some songs which complete our national reflection and memorial. But for now here is our celebration and patriotic songs.

1. ‘America the Beautiful’ ‘Katharine Lee Bates, a 33-year-old English literature teacher at Wellesley College, was on “a merry expedition up Pike’s Peak” in Colorado in 1893 when she looked out “over the sea-like expanse of fertile country spreading away so far under those ample skies.” In an instant, she said, “the opening lines of the hymn floated into my mind.” Those lines became “America the Beautiful” — a song that has featured in countless parades and band concerts.’
“The song has always stirred deep emotion. “I can’t read the lines without swallowing hard,” one early reader wrote Bates. Voices quavered as crowds solemnly sang the song outside the White House in 1941 after Pearl Harbor and, six decades later, at Ground Zero after 9/11.
In 1979, Pope John Paul II recited its fervent prayer — “America, America, God shed his grace on thee” — as he descended from his plane on his first trip to this country.
The many memorable recordings and renditions — from Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Willie Nelson, Mariah Carey and others — all share a moving simplicity, without the vocal acrobatics that too often accompany “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
The music plays a large part in the song’s mystique. Samuel Howe, a church organist, composed it during an 1882 ferry ride from Coney Island to his home in Newark — for an entirely different hymn. It was attached to Bates’ words in 1904 after his death.”

2. ‘My Country Tis of Thee’ – National Hymn of the United States.
“My Country ‘Tis of Thee (also known as “America”) is a patriotic hymn written by Samuel F. Smith in 1832, while a student at Andover Theological Seminary in Andover, Massachusetts. My Country ‘Tis of Thee was first performed on July 4, 1832 at the Park Street Church in Boston, Massachusetts. Remarkably, about 500 Sunday school children premiered the piece at a memorable Independence Day celebration. Samuel F. Smith was a Baptist minister, author, and journalist. The melody had traveled around Europe in several variations, including “God Save the King.” Even Beethoven and Haydn had used the music in some of their own compositions.”…it “was the lyrical result of Samuel Smith’s drive to create a national hymn for the United States. In about 30 minutes on a rainy day, he wrote the now classic anthem. The first three verses encourage and invoke national pride, while the last verse was specifically reserved as a petition to God for His continued favor and protection of the United States of America.

3. ‘Star Spangled Banner’: “On September 14, 1814, while detained aboard a British ship during the bombardment of Ft. McHenry, Francis Scott Key witnessed at dawn the failure of the British attempt to take Baltimore. Based on this experience, he wrote a poem that poses the question “Oh, say does that Star-Spangled Banner yet wave?” Almost immediately Key’s poem was published and wedded to the tune of the “Anacreontic Song.” Long before the Civil War “The Star Spangled Banner” became the musical and lyrical embodiment of the American flag. During the latter war, songs such as “Farewell to the Star Spangled Banner” and “Adieu to the Star Spangled Banner Forever,” clearly referencing Key’s song, were published within the Confederacy.”
“On July 26, 1889, the Secretary of the Navy designated “The Star Spangled Banner” as the official tune to be played at the raising of the flag. And during Woodrow Wilson’s presidency, it was chosen by the White House to be played wherever a national anthem was appropriate. Still the song was variously criticized as too violent in tone, too difficult to sing, and, by prohibitionists, as basically a drinking song. But on its side “The Star Spangled Banner” had a strong supporter in John Philip Sousa who, in 1931, opined that besides Key’s “soul-stirring” words, “it is the spirit of the music that inspires.” That same year, on March 3, President Herbert C. Hoover signed the Act establishing Key’s poem and Smith’s music as the official anthem of the United States.”

4. ‘The Battle Hymn Of The Republic’: “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” went through a number of versions in the years immediately before the Civil War….The song first gained popularity around Charleston, South Carolina, where it was sung as a Methodist Camp Meeting song, particularly in churches belonging to free Blacks. By contrast, it was also used early on as a marching song on army posts. The song gathered new verses following the insurrection at Harper’s Ferry, led by John Brown and carried out by a cadre of nineteen men on October 16, 1859. Brown’s actions, trial and subsequent execution made him a martyr to Abolitionists and African-Americans… By the time of the Civil War “John Brown’s Body” had become a very popular marching song with Union Army regiments, particularly among the Colored troops. The Twelfth Massachusetts Regiment, in particular, has been credited with spreading the song’s fame on their march to the South, where Confederate soldiers then inverted the meaning of their words and sang, “John Brown’s a-hanging on a sour apple tree.” The war’s rivalry continued to be carried on in music as the northerners then sang in turn, “They will hang Jeff Davis to a sour apple tree.”…..But it was when Julia Ward Howe visited Washington, DC in 1861 that the tune properly came to be called “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” Howe and her husband, both of whom were active abolitionists, experienced first-hand a skirmish between Confederate and Union troops in nearby Virginia, and heard the troops go into battle singing “John Brown’s Body.” That evening, November 18, 1861, Ward was inspired to write a poem that better fit the music. It began “Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.” Her poem, which was published in the Atlantic Monthly in February 1862 soon became the song known as “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.”


1.“America the Beautiful” by Katharine Lee Bates (1859-1929)
Music by Samuel Augustus Howe (1847-1903)

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!
O beautiful for pilgrim feet
Whose stern impassioned stress
A thoroughfare of freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America!
God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!
O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife.
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!
America! America!
May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness
And every gain divine!
O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

2. My Country ‘Tis of Thee
The following are Samuel Smith’s original lyrics for “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” (‘America’):

My country, ’tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing;
Land where my fathers died,
Land of the pilgrims’ pride,
From every mountainside
Let freedom ring!
My native country, thee,
Land of the noble free,
Thy name I love;
I love thy rocks and rills,
Thy woods and templed hills;
My heart with rapture thrills,
Like that above.
Let music swell the breeze,
And ring from all the trees
Sweet freedom’s song;
Let mortal tongues awake;
Let all that breathe partake;
Let rocks their silence break,
The sound prolong.
Our fathers’ God to Thee,
Author of liberty,
To Thee we sing.
Long may our land be bright,
With freedom’s holy light,
Protect us by Thy might,
Great God our King.


3. ‘Star Spangled Banner’ by Francis Scott Key 1814

Oh, say can you see by the dawn’s early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
‘Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more!
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!


4. “The Battle Hymn Of The Republic” by Julia Ward Howe(1861).

Mine eyes have seen the glory
Of the coming of the Lord
He is trampling out the vintage
Where the grapes of wrath are stored
He has loosed the fateful lightening
Of His terrible swift sword
His truth is marching on
I have seen Him in the watch-fires
Of a hundred circling camps
They have builded Him an altar
In the evening dews and damps
I have read His righteous sentence
By the dim and flaring lamps
His day is marching on
I have read a fiery gospel
Writ in burnish’d rows of steel
As ye deal with My contemptors
So with you My grace shall deal
Let the hero, born of woman
Crush the serpent with his heel
Since my God is marching on
He has sounded forth the trumpet
That shall never call retreat
He is sifting out the hearts of men
Before His judgment-seat
Oh, be swift, my soul
To answer him be jubilant, my feet
Our God is marching on

Glory, glory, hallelujah
Glory, glory, hallelujah
Glory, glory, hallelujah
His truth is marching on
His truth is marching on

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Songs of Salvation, Praise, Worship

This is the July 4th Independence Day for the United States of America, “commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence 241 years ago on July 4, 1776. The Continental Congress declared that the thirteen American colonies regarded themselves as a new nation, the United States of America, and were no longer part of the British Empire. The Congress actually voted to declare independence two days earlier, on July 2.”   As a nation and people we look back 2 1/2 centuries to consider what we are and how we became such. Each us reflect or think about our own place in this larger family of Americans, and as with all families, the good and bad, the bitter and the sweet, and the best or worst we have been or are.
It is also now 40 years to date that I was on my way to South America for church and gospel missions. But San Diego became my new home, and soon I was married and with a family rooted here. It was here I met my wife and some who are still very much part of our lives. I thought to share some patriotic songs which have found there way into the churches and the hearts of Christians throughout America, but decided to wait till after the holiday to do so. Instead I’ll share some hymns and songs from one those Christians I met in San Diego, and who has become very dear to me in Christ. Of the many songs he has composed these he sent me to share in my collections of Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs.

John P. Hillshafer:

I have chosen a few for your consideration. The first three are certainly from our first contacts and growth in fellowship during the late 70’s and early 80’s.

1. The Lion is the Lamb

On the battleground the naked figure stands
in the shadow of all that death demands.
Look! He conquers without pleading His own case!
Because He came as the One who takes my (our) place!
Now He comes this great and mighty One!
The True soldier that has never shot a gun….
and, yet, He captures the hearts of many a man
without combat that is fought by hand to hand.
So see God’s wisdom that shows strength thru humility…
As He sets aside this proud man’s ability!
Then I see Jesus called the ‘Lion of the tribe’
Show true strength as the Lamb willing to die!
Behold! the Lion is the Lamb
Behold! the Lion is the Lamb
Behold! the Lion is the Lamb
Behold! the Lamb!
2. Jehovah is Salvation
Jehovah is salvation!
In this we now behold
The gracious proclamation
That prophets had foretold…
That God’s Word became a Man
That men with God can be!
This is salvation’s plan
That God Himself conceived!
Jehovah is salvation!
And Jesus is His name
Redeeming His creation
His Lordship to proclaim!
How God prepared His body
As the offering for sin.
That we may now come boldly
The Father’s favor win!
Jehovah is salvation!
To this, oh saints, awake!
The joy of our salvation
Restored each time we take
His body shared as bread
And the cup, His blood makes peace!
And where the saints are fed
All accusations cease!
Jehovah is salvation!
In Christ this is declared!
The Father’s revelation
This has Satan snared!
The foe’s fate surely sealed
Mankind’s place is restored…
Our life is now concealed
In Christ our risen Lord!
Jehovah is salvation!
Ascended to the throne!
There glory’s coronation
Belongs to Him alone!
Lord Jesus there you’re seated
At the Father’s own right hand!
In You man is completed…
And in You we shall stand!


3. One more day to see Your Mercy

One more day to see Your mercy
Made alive to voice Your praise!
One more breath for Your expression
With my mouth glad songs to raise!

Oh to this my dear Lord Jesus
Yes to this to be found true…
That Your life would mine replace
Made as faithful, Lord, as You!
That Your life would mine replace
Made as faithful, Lord, as You!

Gracious steadfast love our Father
Toward Your children You command…
In Your Son our dear Lord Jesus
Who for us met Your demand.


This fact more than I can fathom
HalleluJah! wise design…
Trading my unrighteous fervor
For Christ’s righteousness made mine!


This is now my only Sabbath…
To find sweetest rest in Him!
Sweetest Lord, my endless Sabbath!
Your own blood cleansed all my sin!



4. Groaning in Our Prayers

Creation, We, and Spirit
Groan in captivity…
Even so, come Lord Jesus!
The travailing harmony!
So weak and oft’ infirm we don’t know what to pray
Your Spirit overcomes our weakness to show us what to say!
Precious are Your words Lord Jesus! By Spirit make them mine,
That even the weakest prayer the Father can define!
Though muttered as faint and feeble, from earth be Spirit-driven!
And launch our humbled efforts into the Heaven of heavens!
From there the Father answers the Man who fills the breach!
The Christ our intercessor, thru Him, God’s heart we reach!
Receive the Holy Spirit that Christ our prayers fill,
Add the golden altar’s incense, to move along God’s will!
In Christ we see the vision our God has given Him…
We, too, now pray “Our Father”, Your Kingdom come and King!
Creation, We, and Spirit
Groan in captivity…
Even so, come Lord Jesus!
The travailing harmony!

5. Would my Heart

Would my heart this morning meet You
As this earth toward the Sun must face.
Here in mercies new to greet You
finding, Lord, Your shining grace!

Rays of sunshine brightly beaming
Mountain shadows flee the gaze!
Earthen vessels by His gleaming,
Shine in Christ Whom God has raised!

Stir me with deep, sincere affections
Blessed reminder each daybreak
That living hope by resurrection
Raised in us for Jesus’ sake!


Also from “Bible Reflections”: (“a song in meditation of the Sabbath of God in Creation”)

6. God is at Work! Hallelujah!

God is at Work! Hallelujah!
God is at Work! Hallelujah!
God is at work, is at work in you.
Both to will and do in measure,
All that is in own good pleasure.
God is at work, is at work in you.

Oft without your comprehension:
Not by your own good intention;
God is at work, He’s at work in you.
How the mystery relieves us:
That by grace He has received us:
This is His work, is His work in you.
Both to will and do in measure
All that’s in His own good pleasure.
God is at work; He’s at work in you.

He works to put us where He’s resting,
In His Christ Who’s passed all testing.
God is at rest, He’s at rest in Christ!
Oh dear saints tis such a blessing,
That our God can work while resting.
God is at work; He’s at work in Christ!


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Spiritual Songs: Sinner Woman, “Beauty for Ashes”, Precious Blood

Spiritual Songs: Sinner Woman, “Beauty for Ashes”, Precious Blood


This week we have three songs from my wife, Sheri, which I requested to share along with the Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs from my collections of Spiritual Poetry encountered in the Christian Churches in my pilgrimage. Hopefully I’ll share three from another that I’ve requested next week. I offer also to anyone known to me who wishes to add to this collection by the end of the year, that if they send me or post to me their two three favorites I’ll do my best to include them.
My wife has her own story of her life in Christ; we crossed paths some 39 years ago (1978), and these songs came out of our shared experiences in the Lord and with each other. Of course she has many dozen of songs, but these are three she has given me to share. (The punctuations or lack thereof is also hers by intent and style.)

The  Sinner Woman

There once was a woman
A sinner was she
Her heart was so lonely
She longed to  be free
To be loved! to be loved!
This was her cry
And then, came the day
That, Jesus passed by

She came gently crying
And, washing His feet
Her hair softly wiping
The tears she did  weep
How He cared! how He cared!
This Man so fair
Loved a poor woman
His grace, He did share

She kneeling and weeping
Came, kissing His feet
Her perfume so costly
Repentance so sweet
He was touched! He was touched!
Heart full of need
The wounds she did feel
He only could heal

The man who sat with Him
He thought in his heart
If He were a prophet
He’d know of her lot
How she loved! how she loved!
‘Woman of sin
And, He spoke to her
“Your sins are forgiven.”

“Your faith, it has saved you
This was His reply
She went out so peaceful
Her heart was satisfied
He forgave! He forgave!!!
This gentle Man
Who can forgive sin?
Only our  God can!
(Who can forgive sin?
Only our God can!)

Sheri Miles   1994.  (c).  Luke 7. (Used with permission.)

“Beauty for Ashes”

Isaiah 61:3 Chorus:
He gave, Beauty, for ashes
Joy, for my mourning
And the, garment of praise
For the ache in my soul  (2x)

I look, to Jesus
To lift me from ashes
I wait, on you Lord
To breathe life in me
In Your, sweet presence
I find my purpose
In the, glad tidings
Of faith, hope and love


In contemplation,
I find redemption
Beauty surrounds me
As, I hope in You
Life’s pulse, I’m feeling
Death has been vanquished
In the deep longings
Of Spirit and soul


My Hope, is living
Faith is believing
The valley, I walked through
Though dark, now is gone
Love, lead me onward
Guide me to heaven
I walk, with Jesus
No longer, alone


You, gave, Beauty, for ashes
Joy, for my mourning
And the, garment of Praise
For the ache in my soul  (2x)

Sheri Miles 11/11/03 Copyright (c) 2004. (Used with permission.)

“Your Blood is Precious to Me”

You are the Man, Who died for me
Your body bled on Calvary’s  tree
Your head hung down so pale and weak
The blood ran down my Masters ‘ cheek
I bow before You, on bended knee
This sight, -my Master is too great for me
I’ll sigh, the prayer of repentance to Thee
Your blood, my Master, is precious to me
Nails pierced Your hands, the sword pierced Your side
Naked and shamed, my Savior You died
Blood ran that day from Your open wounds
Sacrifice slain for my sin (and yours)
I bow before You, on bended knee
This sight, my Savior is too great for me
I’ll sigh, the prayer of repentance to Thee
Your blood, my Savior, is precious to me
Men wiped, Your blood, from the ground
Hating the sight, the stained cloth thrown down
Your blood was seen as common to them
Hearts cold to God, religiously sinned
I bow before You, on bended knee
This sight, my Jesus is too great for me
I’ll sigh, the prayer of repentance to Thee
Your blood, my Jesus, is precious to me
I bow before You, on bended knee
This sight, Lord Jesus is too great for me
I’ll sigh, the prayer of repentance to Thee
Your blood, Lord Jesus, is precious to me
Your blood, Lord Jesus, is so precious to me

Sheri Miles,  August 2005. (c). (Used with permission.)

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