Songs of the Savior by Isaac Watts

Songs of the Savior by Isaac Watts:

Several weeks ago I visited with some Christians in their Sunday morning church service for the Bible and the Lord’s Supper. In worship singing Isaac Watt’s song a hymn was chosen as is often done in many churches. This reminded me of the many years of hearing Watt’s hymns and songs and psalms used in Christian meetings. So in returning to my song submissions in this desire to share some of the Christian hymns I have encountered and influenced by it seems suitable and proper to offer for consideration and reflection these three that have found their way into the Christian churches.
((“Isaac Watts: (July 1674-1749 November) Known as the “Father of English hymnody,” Isaac Watts wrote approximately 600 hymns. He showed literary genius even as a boy. He was born to Isaac Watts, Sr. and his wife Sarah, who were “Dissenters.” That is, they were not Anglicans, which was a treasonous offense in those days. About the time that Isaac, Jr. arrived, prematurely, on July 17, 1674, the elder Watts was arrested. Sarah reportedly nursed little Isaac while seated on a stone outside the prison. In time Watts was released and the young couple soon discovered they had a precocious child. Young Isaac took to books almost from infancy. He loved rhyme and verse. At age seven, he wrote an acrostic spelling out the letters of his name. This acrostic not only showed his brilliance, but also the strong Calvinistic theology which was characteristic of his life.
“I” – I am a vile, polluted lump of earth
“S” – So I’ve continued ever since my birth
“A” – Although Jehovah, grace doth daily give me
“A” – As sure this monster, Satan, will deceive me
“C” – Come therefore, Lord, from Satan’s claws relieve me.
“W” – Wash me in Thy blood, O Christ
“A” – And grace divine impart
“T” – Then search and try the corners of my heart
“T” – That I in all things may be fit to do
“S” – Service to Thee, and Thy praise too.”))
((“Watts’ studies in language went far beyond everyday rhymes, however. He learned Latin at four, Greek at nine, French at ten, and Hebrew at thirteen. Noticing his abilities, a doctor and some friends offered him a university education, figuring that he would be ordained in the Church of England. Watts turned them down, instead attending the Nonconformist Academy under the care of Thomas Rowe, joining the Independent congregation at Girdlers’ Hall in 1693. He left the academy at the age of 20, spending the next two years at home. Frustrated with the heartless psalm singing of his time, young Watts sometimes criticized the singing at his church. Listening to his concerns one day, Watts’ father challenged him, “Well then, young man, why don’t you give us something better to sing?” He rose to the challenge by writing his first hymn. It was well received by the congregation of the Mark Lane Independent Chapel, where he attended, and for the next two years, Watts wrote a new hymn for every Sunday. It was during this time that he wrote the bulk of Hymns and Spiritual Songs. These were sung from manuscripts in the Southampton chapel and were published 1707-1709. Watts moved to London to tutor the children of a wealthy family of Dissenters. He joined Mark Lane Independent Chapel, where he was soon asked to be a teacher, then was hired as associate pastor. He preached his first sermon at the age of 24. In 1702 he was ordained as senior pastor of the congregation, the position he retained to the end of his life. He was a brilliant Bible student and his sermons brought the church to life. A short and frail man, Watts health began to fail at a young age. When his friends, the Abneys, invited him to visit their estate in 1712, Watts accepted. He ended up staying with them for thirty-six years, writing many of his hymns on their estate and preaching occasionally as his health permitted. Though German Lutherans had been singing hymns for over a hundred years by Watts’ time, Calvinists had not. Calvin preferred that his people only sing psalms. But Watts had become concerned about congregational singing with only grim, ponderous psalms to sing. Wanting to bring New Testament light to the psalms, Watts wrote paraphrases of nearly all of the psalms, publishing them in a hymnal titled Psalms of David Imitated in the Language of the New Testament.
Watts also wrote hymns that departed from the psalms and included more personal expressions. This literary license did not please everyone and some felt his hymns were “too worldly” for the church as they were not based on the Psalms. Yet Watts felt strongly that the Christian church should sing of Christ. He explained his approach to writing hymns this way:
“Where the Psalmist describes religion by the fear of God, I have often joined faith and love to it. Where he speaks of the pardon of sin through the mercies of God, I rather choose to mention the sacrifice of Christ, the Lamb of God. Where He promises abundance of wealth, honor, and long life, I have changed some of these typical blessings for grace, glory and life eternal, which are brought to light by the gospel, and promised in the New Testament.””))
((“The popularity of Isaac Watts’ hymns caused a tempest in his day. In his day, English congregations predominately sang Psalms, so singing verses that were of “human composure” (such as “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross”) caused great controversy. One man complained, “Christian congregations have shut out divinely inspired Psalms and taken in Watts’ flights of fancy.” The issue split churches, including one in Bedford, England that was once pastored by John Bunyan. In America, in May, 1789, Rev. Adam Rankin told the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, meeting in Philadelphia: “I have ridden horseback all the way from my home in Kentucky to ask this body to refuse the great and pernicious error of adopting the use of Isaac Watts’ hymns in public worship in preference to the Psalms of David.””))
((“In 1728, the University of Edinburgh awarded Watts a Doctor of Divinity degree. Watts’ works include: Speculations on the Human Nature of the Logos; Horæ Lyricae, 1706-1709; Hymns and Spiritual Songs, 1707-9; The Divine and Moral Songs for the Use of Children, 1715; The Psalms of David Imitated in the Language of the New Testament (Lon­don: J. Clark, 1719); Sermons, 1721-1727; Reliquiae Juveniles: Miscellaneous Thoughts in Prose and Verse, on Natural, Moral, and Divine Subjects (Lon­don: 1734); Remnants of Time (Lon­don: 1736)
The Improvement of the Mind, 1741; Logic; The World to Come, 1745; Catechisms, Scripture History, 1732.”))

Here I give Watt’s Preface to his Hymns and Spiritual Songs in which his desire and prayer to be used to change and better the Christian worship in the churches, which beginning with the Wesley’s till this very hour has continued as the Divine answer to request and labor. I have only altered the archaic characters, like the medial ‘s’ that looks like a ‘f’, indicated the italics in single quote marks ‘ …’, and capitalized some words or pronouns:
(( From Hymns and Spiritual Songs in Three Books, (1707-1709) 1805. Advertisement:
“The greatest part of the following composures are suited to the general state of the gospel, and the most common affairs of Christians: I hope there will be very few found but what may properly be used in a religious assembly, and not one o? them but may well be adapted to some seasons either of private or public worship. The mo?t frequent tempers and changes of our spirit, and conditions of’ our life, are here copied, and the breathings of our piety expressed according to the variety of our passions, our love, our fear, our hope, our desire, our sorrow, our wonder, and our joy, as they are refined into devotion, and act under the influence and conduct o? the blessed Spirit; all conversing with God the Father ‘by the new and living way’ of access to the throne, even the person and the mediation of our Lord Jesus Christ. To Him also, even ‘to the Lamb that was slain and now lives’, I have addressed many a song; for thus doth the holy Spirit instruct and teach us to worship, in the various short patterns of Christian psalmody
described in the ‘Revelation’. I have avoided the more obscure and controverted points of Christianity, that we might all obey the direction of the word of God, and ‘sing His praises with understanding’, Psalm 47:7. The contentions and distinguishing words of’ sects and parties are secluded [excluded], that whole assemblies might assist at the harmony, and different churches join in the same worship without offence. The whole is divided into three books. In the ‘first’, I have borrowed the sense and much of the form of the song from some particular portions of scripture, and have paraphrased most of the doxologies in the New Testament, that contain any thing in them peculiarly evangelical; and many parts of the Old Testament also, that have a reference to the times of the Messiah. The ‘Second Part’ consists of hymns whose form is of mere human composure ; but I hope the sense and materials will always appear divine. I might have brought some text or other, and applied it to the margin of every verse, if this method had been as useful as it was easy. I have prepared the ‘Third Part’ only for the celebration of the Lord’s Supper, that in imitation of our blessed Saviour, we may sing an hymn after we have partaken of the bread and wine. Here you will find some paraphrases of scripture and some other compositions. There are ‘above an hundred hymns’ in the two former parts, that may very properly be used in this ordinance; and sometimes, perhaps, appear more suitable than any of these last: But there are expressions generally used in these, which confine them only to the Table of the Lord; and therefore I have distinguished and set them by themselves. If the Lord, Who inhabits the praises of Israel, shall refuse to smile upon this attempt for the reformation of psalmody amongst the churches, yet I humbly hope that his blessed Spirit will make these composures useful to private Christians; and if they may but attain the honour of being esteemed pious meditations, to assist the devout and retired soul in the exercises of love, faith, and joy, it will be a valuable compensation of my labours : My heart shall rejoice at the notice of it, and my God shall receive the glory.”))

 

1. Savior Bleed Sovereign Die at the Cross.
((“[In] the autumn of 1850…revival meetings were being held in the Thirtieth Street Methodist Church [, New York City]. Some of us went down every evening; and, on two occasions, I sought peace at the altar , but did not find the joy I craved, until one evening,…, it seemed to me that the light must indeed come then or never; and so I arose and went to the altar alone. After a prayer was offered, they began to sing the grand old consecration hymn, “Alas, and did my Saviour bleed, And did my Sovereign die?” And when they reached the third line of the fourth [6th] stanza, “Here Lord, I give myself away,” my very soul was flooded with a celestial light. I sprang to my feet, shouting “hallelujah,” and then for the first time I realized that I had been trying to hold the world in one hand and the Lord in the other. Crosby, p. 24.”))
((“Your assignment: Compose a poem no more than 24 lines in length. The poem must reflect upon the Passion and the Cross, painting a vivid picture of them in the mind of the reader. But more importantly, the poem must evoke all of the following emotions: pity, wonder, grief, humility, love and self-surrender. This entire array of sentiments must appear side by side without any of sense of incongruity or affectation. And, of course, it all has to rhyme.
Sound difficult? To cover a spectrum of feelings that ranges from intense devotion to caustic self-loathing, and to manage it within the close confines of six brief stanzas without ever giving the reader a jolt is a task that would daunt the most inspired poets. Yet so seamlessly and (it seems) effortlessly does Isaac Watts carry it off in “Alas! and Did My Savior Bleed,” that we hardly notice as we sing the hymn what a tour-de-force is before us.”))

1
Alas! and did my Savior bleed
And did my Sovereign die?
Would He devote that sacred head
For (such a worm) as I?

Refrain
At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light,
And the burden of my heart rolled away,
It was there by faith I received my sight,
And now I am happy all the day!

2
Thy body slain, sweet Jesus, Thine—
And bathed in its own blood—
While the firm mark of wrath divine,
His Soul in anguish stood.
3
Was it for crimes that I had done
He groaned upon the tree?
Amazing pity! grace unknown!
And love beyond degree!
4
Well might the sun in darkness hide
And shut his glories in,
When Christ, the mighty Maker died,
For man the creature’s sin.
5
Thus might I hide my blushing face
While His dear cross appears,
Dissolve my heart in thankfulness,
And melt my eyes to tears.
6
But drops of grief can ne’er repay
The debt of love I owe:
Here, Lord, I give my self away
’Tis all that I can do.

 

2. Survey the Wondrous Cross.
(Verse 6 [Added by the compilers of Hymns Ancient and Modern])
((““When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” is one of Watts’ finest poems and an excellent example of why he is considered a fulcrum in the transition to hymnody…..“When I Survey” is a hymn which is saturated with theology and a call for an emotional response from the singer. This hymn was transformed into a statement of faith that crosses denominational lines and generations. According to hymn scholar Lionel Adey, the lines “‘All the vain things that charm me most / I sacrifice them . . .’ have a meaning personal to each singer, one that might require either action or renunciation.” The three pledges at the climax of the hymn (“my soul, my life, my all”) are a sacrifice that had once been required only of those taking monastic vows.”))
((“Charles Wesley reportedly said he would give up all his other hymns to have written this one.”))

1
When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.
2
Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.
3
See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?
4
His dying crimson, like a robe,
Spreads o’er His body on the tree;
Then I am dead to all the globe,
And all the globe is dead to me.
5
Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.

[To Christ, who won for sinners grace
By bitter grief and anguish sore,
Be praise from all the ransomed race
Forever and forevermore.]

3. Joy to the World the Lord is Come.
((“”Joy to the World” is a popular Christmas carol. The words are …based on Psalm 98, 96:11-12 and Genesis 3:17-18, in the Bible. The song was first published in 1719 in Watts’ collection; The Psalms of David: Imitated in the language of the New Testament, and applied to the Christian state and worship. “The paraphrase is Watts’ Christological interpretation. Consequently, he does not emphasize with equal weight the various themes of Psalm 98. ….As of the late 20th century, “Joy to the World” was the most-published Christmas hymn in North America.”))

1
Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And (Heaven and nature) sing,
And (Heaven and nature) sing,
And (Heaven, and Heaven, and nature) sing.
2
Joy to the earth, the Savior reigns!
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy.
3
No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found.
4
He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love.

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Athanasius Contra Mundum. Athanasius Against the World.

Farewell and goodbye to those I have shared my testimony, songs, and words of reflections and experience. I came out of retreat and isolation, and now I will slowly withdraw and return whence I came, and wither I know not yet. I will complete in part my commitment to the Lord for the rest of the year, but in great reduction and restriction. This Song, poem and hymn, I published in my Christian Reflections (1983-1987) booklet concerning the Word and Prayer. I will continue to post and write on my blog site at WordPress.com without notices or update alerts, and those who wish from time to time to know what I write and share are welcome to find me there; and I will only reply and respond or interact with direct posts address to me or email. My last request is for prayer and thoughts to God for His will and help in my crossroad. My desire from the Lord to all is His grace and peace, with faith, hope, and love be multiplied to all in Him. Michael J. Miles.

Athanasius Contra Mundum. Athanasius Against the World.
(Athanasius, St., the Great, was one of the Greek Orthodox Fathers, and Bishop of Alexandria. He was the champion of orthodoxy against the Arian heresy, and distinguished for fortitude under persecutions. He was born about 396, and attended and participated in the Council of Nicaea, in 325, was several(three times and two additional) times exiled, and died at Alexandria in 373.)
(William R. Huntington, author of this poem and hymn, a clergyman of the Episcopal Church, was born at Lowell, Mass., and graduated at Harvard College in the class of 1850. He was the class poet at the time of his graduation, and the Phi Beta Kappa poet in 1870. He has been rector of a church in Worcester since 1862.) (When faced with people saying to him [in his fight against heresy and for the truth], “The world is against you, Athanasius!” St. Athanasius replied, ” Then I am against the world.-St. Athanasius.)

1
“The world against me, I against the world!”
Strange words for him who just now stood
On Alexandria’s throne, and hurled
His thunders as he would.
But rock is not less rock, though forced at last
To fall before the beating sea;
Nor may I be the less myself, though cast
Away from majesty.
2
God’s truth I stand on, can I need a throne,
Or bishop’s vesture, if I feel
His mercy wrap me with a warmth its own,
While at his feet I kneel?
No, let them drive me thrice again from sway.
As they, ere this, three times have driven,
So but the Lord be at my side alway,
I will deem exile heaven.
3
They call me hasty, of opinion proud,
Untaught to bend a stubborn will;
Ah! little dreams the shallow-hearted crowd
What thoughts this bosom fill.
What loneliness this outer strength doth hide,
What longing lies beneath this calm;
For human sympathy so long untried,
Our earth’s divinest balm.
4
But more than sympathy the truth I prize;
Above my friendships hold I God.
And stricken be these feet ere they despise
The path their Maker trod.
So let my banner be again unfurled,
Again its cheerless motto seen,—
“The world against me. I against the world!”‘
Judge thou, dear Christ, between!

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Songs of the Savior and Salvation

Songs of the Savior and Salvation
1. “It Passeth Knowledge” (“The Love of Christ”)
Mary Shekleton, (1827-1883) (1863 alt., pub. 1884,1892; Secretary of the Invalids’ Prayer Union for Women.) (Margaretta Shekleton, one of her three surviving sisters, “Chosen & Chastened & Crowned, Memorials of Mary Shekleton”, 1884. ‘Before three years of age she expressed joy and love for Christ; father dies when she was 6 months old; her widowed mother leaves England and returns to Ireland with her four young girls (6, 4, 2, and 6 month old baby; with help from her mother’s sister she turns to Christ in faith and grace; she quickly began to serve the Lord in the cottages of the poor in reading Scripture, sharing the Gospel; daily in prayer for her daughters; fellowshipped with other believers in church and prayer; Dr. Horatius Bonar was church pastor; secured good Christian education for her daughters, with French as second language; read good Christian books and sermons; demanded of her children not only to know the Lord but to individually serve Him; she often helped the school governess in the lessons for the children; she often knitted; after seven years the governess died, and suddenly also the widowed mother died also from an epileptic seizure, leaving four young girls as orphans. Mary herself was a sickly and weak girl, with early signs of consumption, what is now known as tuberculosis, which in 1883 claimed her life; she suffered greatly her whole life, yet out of this suffering she worked tirelessly, she formed and headed the Women Invalids’ Prayer Union, and many other good works. But her legacy to the Christian Church was this Hymn and Song which out of reflection and remembrance of her own sufferings but most of all of others, and foremost of them her mother, of which hymn she would say: “I know from the reception the hymn has met with that it is liked, but this will never satisfy me.” This hymn has been set to music by Mr. Ira D. Sankey. See ” Sacred Songs and Solos,”; and made popular in “Specimen Glasses,” by Frances Ridley Havergal.)
This hymn and song I found among several Christian churches and in small prayer and Bible groups. It has been a favorite of certain Christians known and dear to me.

1
It passeth knowledge, that dear love of Thine,
My Jesus, Savior!—yet this soul of mine
Would of that love, in all its depth and length,
Its height and breadth, and everlasting strength
Know more and more.
2
It passeth telling, that dear love of Thine,
My Jesus, Savior!—yet these lips of mine
Would fain proclaim to sinners far and near
A love which can remove all guilty fear,
And love beget.
3
It passeth praises! that dear love of Thine!
My Jesus! Savior yet this heart of mine
Would sing a love so rich, so full, so free,
Which brought an undone sinner, such as me,
Right home to God.
4
But though I cannot tell, or sing, or know,
The fullness of Thy love while here below,
My empty vessel I may freely bring:
O Thou, who art of love the living spring,
My vessel fill.
5
I am an empty vessel—not one thought,
Or look of love to Thee I ever to Thee brought;
Yet I may come, and come again to Thee,
With this the empty sinner’s only plea—
“Thou lovest me!”
6
Oh, fill me, Jesus, Savior, with Thy love;
Lead, lead me to the Living Fount above!
Thither may I in simple faith draw nigh,
And never to another fountain fly,
But unto Thee.
7
(Lord Jesus, when Thee) face to face (we) see,
When (in Thy kingdom we all are) with Thee,
Then of (Thy) love, in all its breadth and length,
Its height and depth, its everlasting strength,
(Our souls) shall sing.

2. Trust and Obey
Rev, John H. Sammis, 1887. Music: Daniel B. Towner .
(“This song gives a simple, clear explanation of living the Christian life. The title expression was used in a testimony meeting, following an evangelistic crusade in Brock­ton, Massachusetts, by Dwight L. Moody. A young man stood to speak, and it soon became clear he knew little Christian doctrine. But he finished by saying, “I’m not quite sure—but I’m going to trust, and I’m going to obey.” Daniel Towner, who was in the meeting, jotted down the words, and gave them to John Sammis, who developed the lyrics from them.” “John H. Sammis was born in Brooklyn. He moved to Logansport, Indiana when he was 22, where he was converted to Christianity. He was active in the Y.M.C.A., serving as secretary for the Terre Haute Association and later becoming State Secretary. After this, he studied at Lane and McCormack seminaries and was ordained in the Presbyterian church at Glidden, Iowa. He also pastored churches in Indianapolis, Grand Haven, MI, Red Wing and St. Paul, Minn. In 1909 he became associated with the Los Angeles Bible Institute. He wrote more that 100 hymns.”  Dianne Shapiro, from “The Singers and Their Songs: sketches of living gospel hymn writers” by Charles Hutchinson Gabriel (Chicago: The Rodeheaver Company, 1916)

1
When we walk with the Lord
In the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way;
While we do His good will,
He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.

Trust and obey,
For there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus,
But to trust and obey.
2
Not a shadow can rise,
Not a cloud in the skies,
But His smile quickly drives it away;
Not a doubt or a fear,
Not a sigh or a tear,
Can abide while we trust and obey.
3
Not a burden we bear,
Not a sorrow we share,
But our toil He doth richly repay;
Not a grief or a loss,
Not a frown or a cross,
But is blest if we trust and obey.
4
But we never can prove
The delights of His love,
Until all on the altar we lay;
For the favor He shows,
And the joy He bestows,
Are for them who will trust and obey.
5
Then in fellowship sweet
We will sit at His feet,
Or we’ll walk by His side in the way;
What He says we will do;
Where He sends, we will go,
Never fear, only trust and obey.

 

3. El Shaddai (The Name Above Every Name). (A Training School for Christ. C. Horton. Superint R. A. Torrey. D. D. “Trust and Obey” and Other Songs By John H. Sammis. Copyrighted, 1918, T. C. Horton Los Angeles, Cal. Some have wrongly published this as Author Unknown. T.C.Horton, who published Sammis’ poems and songs, writes: Mr. Sammis has been for forty years and more, a faithful preacher and teacher of the blessed Gospel of the Son of God; loyal to his heart’s core to every truth in the Bible; a blessed example of a strong, sweet, forceful Christian life. Many of his verses, set to music, have brought comfort and inspiration to tens of thousands of people, in many countries. Eternity alone will reveal all that they have meant to the children of men. I am exceedingly glad to be able to give to his friends the privilege of possessing what to me is a rare treasure.)

1
WHAT is Jehovah El Shaddai to me?

My Lord, God and Saviour, Immanuel, He;
My Prophet, Priest, Sacrifice, Altar and Lamb;
Judge, Advocate, Surety and Witness, I AM;
My Peace and my Life, my Truth and my Way;
My Leader, my Teacher, my Hope and my Stay;
Redeemer and Ransom, Atonement and Friend;
He’s Alpha, Omega, Beginning and End.
2
Yea more is Jehovah El Shaddai beside—

Avenger and Shepherd, and Keeper and Guide;
My Horn of Salvation, my Captain in war;
My Dayspring, my Sun and my Bright Morning Star;
My “Wonderful, Counsellor, Wisdom and Light;
My Shadow by day, and my Beacon by night;
Pearl, Ornament, Diadem, Treasure untold;
My Strength and my Sun, in Him I behold.
3
All this is Jehovah Ropheka and more—

My Bread and my Water, my Dwelling, my Door;
My Branch and my Vine, My Lily and Rose;
Rock, Hiding Place, Refuge, Shield, Covert, Repose;
My sure Resurrection, my Glory above;
My King in His beauty, my Bridegroom, my love;
My All and in all in Christ Jesus I see,
For God hath made Him to be All Things to me.

Now say to thy soul, “What is He to thee?”

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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.)

1
Years I spent in vanity and pride,
Caring not my Lord was crucified,
Knowing not it was for me He died
On Calvary.
(Refrain:)
Mercy there was great, and grace was free;
Pardon there was multiplied to me;
There my burdened soul found liberty
At Calvary.
(Refrain)
2
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.
(Refrain)
3
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!
(Refrain)
4
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.”)

1
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.
2
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.
3
Perfect submission, perfect delight,
Visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
Angels descending bring from above
Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.
4
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.
5
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.”)

1
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
(Refrain)
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.
2
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.
(Refrain)
3
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.

NK:
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 Orientalists 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.

 

Ingersoll’s Mistakes of Moses continued:
(Note on Inspiration: RGI uses ‘Inspiration’ as a primary leg of his Skeptical Stool, but a look in any good Dictionary shows its varied shades of meaning and usage. He often referred to Shakespeare in his lectures and interviews as the greatest literary genius that ever lived, and regarded his inspiration as the greatest example of inspiration, In fact he owned a special edition of the Works William Shakespeare that bore on the title ‘Inspired’; and often pointed to it as his Holy Bible, and next to it lay his Hymnal, the Poetic Works of Robert Burns. Indeed Bob, the Preacher’s son, was a real Preacher on a Mission to convert America and the World.)

1.
“It will not do to say that Moses merely intended to tell what God did, in making the heavens and the earth out of matter then in existence. He distinctly states that in the beginning God created them. If this account is true, we must believe that God, existing in infinite space surrounded by eternal nothing, naught and void, created, produced, called into being, willed into existence this universe of countless stars.”
2.
“The next thing we are told by this inspired gentleman is, that God created light, and proceeded to divide it from the darkness. Certainly, the person who wrote this believed that darkness was a thing, an entity, a material that could get mixed and tangled up with light, and that these entities, light and darkness, had to be separated. In his imagination he probably saw God throwing pieces and chunks of darkness on one side, and rays and beams of light on the other. It is hard for a man who has been born but once to understand these things. For my part I cannot understand how light can be separated from darkness. I had always supposed that darkness was simply the absence of light, and that under no circumstances could it be necessary to take the darkness away from the light.”
3.
“It is certain, however, that Moses believed darkness to be a form of matter, because I find that in another
place he speaks of a darkness that could be felt. They used to have on exhibition at Rome a bottle of the darkness that overspread Egypt. You cannot divide light from darkness any more than you can divide heat from cold. Cold is an absence of heat, and darkness is an absence of light. I suppose that we have no conception of absolute cold. We know only degrees of heat. Twenty degrees below zero is just twenty degrees warmer than forty degrees below zero. Neither cold nor darkness are entities, and these words express simply
either the absolute or partial absence of heat or light. I cannot conceive how light can be divided from darkness, but I can conceive how a barbarian several thousand years ago, writing upon a subject about which he knew nothing, could make a mistake. The creator of light could not have written in this way. If such a being exists, he must have known the nature of that “mode of motion” that paints the earth on every eye, and clothes in garments sevenhued this universe of worlds.”

MJM reply RGI Moses Mistakes:
1.
Bob is struggling to understand or believe that an Eternal God could create Eternal Matter. But Genesis 1 does not say anything of what existed before the Universe was created. God existed as God, the state and place and world that existed before the present world and reality is latter revealed and understood to be a spiritual, existence, creation, and reality, being with God by God as a Spirit in a spiritual world of His own making and relations. God in the non-physical or supernatural, a metaphysical world, is spoken of only as the Creator of the world as we know it, and as He has spoken of and to. That He created the heavens and the earth and all things that exists in the natural world is all Genesis records. God did not exist in space or time, or space-time, or with matter and energy, and any physical properties and elements. God exists outside of time till He created the creation and the universe, then He exists or continues in time out of His own eternity, which is eternal outside of our conception of eternal. This is why the Bible must be a Divine Inspired Revelation for us to conceive of what is outside and beyond human and natural things. The spiritual world of God, spirits, angels, spiritual creatures and creations are not of this world. merely to deny the existence of a spiritual reality in our ignorance is not wise or safe. These things are true or false as one believes or doubts in our own thoughts and understandings. They cannot be proven or demonstrated by human or natural means.
2.
Bob is Mistaken as to what Genesis next records: ‘God created light then divided it from the darkness’. Moses writes of the state of the Earth in chaos and disorder and darkness covered the deep, while God’s Spirit moved over the waters. Many questions may be asked about this state and condition of the world, but as with many other things we are not told. Now, Moses could have been like Ingersoll and those critics like him, and told us all kinds myths and stories to laugh about, but he was not so foolish. But Bob is eager to teach us Science and Basic Physics, explaining Moses belief or doctrine of ‘darkness’ as ‘a thing, an entity, a material’. Bob imagines what he thinks Moses imagined about Light and Darkness, and instead of turning his memory and eyes back to the Text he wanders off into his own imagination and thus makes obvious Mistakes. The entity that Genesis is focused on is the Sun as the Light. This Light was not here created but called forth, called out of the darkness. He called and named the Light Day, and the Darkness Night. Day and Night made a whole Day, Day One. Later we are told that the Light was the Sun or the Greater Light which rules the Day in which it shines and heats.
3.
Genesis speaks to us as children, simple and easy to understand; Bob wants to turn it into Science, Natural History, Cosmology, Geology, Astronomy, and Biology. But such a Book would be useless to man in divine things, and would not increase faith at all. Modern Physics since Einstein has overturned and outdated and updated Newtonian Physics, as Aristotle and Plato were earlier revised and retired. Quantum Physics and those who understand it, which excludes me, make the true false and the apparent not real, and a hosts of other things beyond common folks, and definitely not for children. God through Moses in Genesis instructs us that the things that we see and hear, the things that are, are all from Him as the Maker of them all. The names He gives them, Light and Darkness, Day and Night, are creations not mere entities, they are divine things and not divine beings, that the only Entity or Being is God Who creates and controls the universe of all creation and nature. Not only did He know the ‘Mode of Motion’, but made it and its function, to rule, to light and heat, and to divide and separate. And we are still ever learning of His wonders. No Mistakes here.

Ingersoll on Moses’ Bible Mistakes continued:
1. “We are next [Day 2] informed by Moses that ” God said Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters ; ” and that ” God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament.”
What did the writer mean by the word firmament? Theologians now tell us that he meant an ” expanse.” This will not do. How could an expanse divide the waters from the waters, so that· the waters above the expanse would not fall into and mingle with the waters below the expanse ? The truth is that Moses regarded the firmament as a solid affair. It was where God lived, and where water was kept. It was for this reason that they used to pray for rain. They supposed that some angel could with a lever raise a gate and let out the quantity of moisture desired……Nothing is clearer than that Moses regarded the firmament as a vast material division that separated the waters of the world, and upon whose floor God lived, surrounded by his sons. In no other way could he account for rain. Where did the water come from? He knew nothing about the laws of evaporation. He did not know that the sun wooed with amorous kisses the waves of the sea, and that they, clad in glorified mist rising to meet their lover, were, by disappointment, changed to tears and fell as rain.”
2. [Day3]……”Certainly the writer of this did not have any conception of the real form of the earth. He could not have known anything of the attraction of gravitation. He must have regarded the earth as flat and supposed that it required considerable force and power to induce the water to leave the mountains and collect in the valleys. Just as soon as the water was forced to run down hill, the dry land appeared, and the grass began to grow, and the mantles of green were thrown over the shoulders of the hills, and the trees laughed into bud and blossom, and the branches were laden with fruit. And all this happened before a ray had left the quiver of the sun, before a glittering beam had thrilled the bosom of a flower, and before the Dawn with trembling hands had drawn aside the curtains of the East and welcomed to her arms the eager god of Day. It does not seem to me that grass and trees could grow and ripen into seed and fruit without the sun. According to the account, this all happened on the third day. Now, if, as the christians say, Moses did not mean by the word day a period of twenty-four hours, but an immense and almost measureless space of time, and as God did not, according to this view make any animals until the fifth day, that is, not for millions of years after he made the grass and trees, for what purpose did he cause the trees to…..Plenty of grass, a great variety of herbs, an abundance of fruit, but not a mouth in all the world. If Moses is right, this state of things lasted· only two days; but if the modern theologians are correct, it continued for millions of ages……It may be that I am led to these conclusions by “total depravity,” or that I lack the necessary humility of spirit to satisfactorily harmonize Haeckel and Moses ; or that I am carried away by pride, blinded by reason, given over to hardness of heart that I might be damned, but I never can believe that the earth was covered with leaves, and buds, and flowers, and fruits before the sun with glittering spear had driven back the hosts of Night.”
3. [Day 4]…..”Moses supposed the sun to be about three or four feet in diameter and the moon about half that size. Compared with the earth they were but simple specks. This idea seems to have been shared by all the “inspired” men. We find in the book of Joshua that the sun stood still, and the moon stayed until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. “So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day.” We are told that the sacred writer wrote in common speech as we do when we talk about the rising and setting of the sun, and that all he intended to say was that the earth ceased to turn on its axis “for” about a whole day.” …….Some endeavor to account for the phenomenon by natural causes, while others attempt to show that God could, by the refraction of light have made the sun visible although actually shining on the opposite side of the earth…..If this is true, and if as the bible tells us, the stars were made after the earth, then this world has been wheeling in its orbit for at least five million years. It may be replied that it was not the intention of God to teach geology and astronomy. Then why did he say anything upon these subjects? and if he did say anything, why did he· not give the facts? According to the sacred records God created, on the first day, the heaven and the earth,” moved upon the face of the waters,” and made the light. On the second day he made the firmament or the “expanse” and divided the waters. On the third day he gathered the waters into seas, let the dry land appear and caused the earth to bring forth grass, herbs and fruit trees, and on the fourth day he made the sun, moon and stars and set them in the firmament of heaven to give light upon the earth. This division of labor is very striking. The work of the other days is as nothing when compared with that of the fourth. Is it possible that it required the same time and labor to make the grass, herbs and fruit trees, that it did to fill with countless constellations the infinite expanse of space?”

MJM response Ingersoll:

1. Bob charges Moses and his translators as well the theologians and Jews and Christians for several thousand years of a ignorant mistake of the conception of heaven as a ‘solid floor which could be opened or closed’ to water the earth or to withhold and retain the waters’. He thinks that the modern theologians have turned the the rendering ‘expanse’ to satify the science of the times. But here also Bob is mistaken in several points. (A) The OED gives the etymology of ‘firmament’ thus: “firmament (n.) Look up firmament at Dictionary.com mid-13c., from Old French firmament or directly from Latin firmamentum “firmament,” literally “a support, a strengthening,” from firmus “strong, steadfast, enduring” (see firm (adj.)). Used in Late Latin in the Vulgate to translate Greek [LXX] stereoma “firm or solid structure,” which translated Hebrew raqia, a word used of both the vault of the sky and the floor of the earth in the Old Testament, probably literally “expanse,” from raqa “to spread out,” but in Syriac meaning “to make firm or solid,” hence the erroneous translation. Related: Firmamental.” And Bing search easily gives for ‘raqia’: “The Hebrew word raqia is usually translated “expanse” or “firmament.” When it is directly followed by “of the heavens” it means atmosphere, sky, outer space, or heaven. However, when raqia stands alone, it means the earth’s crust.” (B) The AKJV of 1611, the English Bible used by Bob and all Protestants in America in the 18th-19th century has in the original margin the translators note at verse 6 : “firmament: Heb. expansion”, telling the reader that the literal meaning is ‘expanse’, thus making ‘firmament’ the traditional or alternative rendering. I need not tell the reader that ‘expanse’ is space expanded, what spreads out and beyond; like Bob needed to expand his notion of the Hebrew ‘firmament’. (C) Bob has missed the item of the creation of ‘waters’ (mayim) before Day 2, for it was there in verse 2, along with the heavens (shamayim), earth, God’s Spirit (Ruach Elohim, God’s Wind), darkness, and the deep or depths. A description of a Earth in ruin, covered by darkness and waters, so that no dry land was visible. (D) Bob mistakes the ‘firmament-expanse’ as the floor or ground or ceiling, when Moses describes a space and sphere which was to come between the waters, making a separation, division, extension, and expansion of the waters into some under and some above. This Firmament-Expanse (Raqia from Raqa) He then named or called Heaven (shamay-im=heaven-s). Thus we arrive at Moses’ notion of what the ‘firmament-expanse’ means, namely the heavens, the skies, the space and sphere that separates the oceans and seas of the earth from outer space, and all the spheres of science: geosphere, atmosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere; and we must expand or firm static solid concrete notions and ideas of the space and spheres to the infinite ‘void’ between all celestial bodies; which to us ordinary unscientific folks appear empty and emptiness or nothingness.

2. Bob next mistakenly charges Moses with another scientific mistake. He thinks Genesis depicts on the 3rd Day that after the waters (bodies of waters of oceans, Seas, lakes, rivers, etc.) were gathered, collected, receded, distributed, drained, and such like; and after the dry land (Earth) appeared visible that there was no sunshine or daylight because he has hardened his thinking of the Sun and Moon and Stars were not created till Day 4. This is a scientifically silly idea and doctrine that Genesis never teaches. Verse One and Two has the Heavens and the Earth, with Spirit-Wind and waters, darkness, and the deep covered (land submerged and buried); then Day 1 Light is separated from Darkness, and sunshine and daylight functions and is regulated. All this before Day 4. Again, Bob is mistaken about Genesis use of Day as merely 24 hours (we will explore this at Day 4), and that God created and made the infinite details and varieties of creation and nature in solar and lunar days. God of course can do all things and anything speaking humanly; except humanly speaking Scripture qualifies that He cannot lie, and by extension and expansion of reason He cannot and will not do certain things; but we are straying from the argument. Of course there was daily sunshine, daylight, heat, for His miracle of creation, restoration, and evolution (in the sense of development and production and perfection). The Seeds of Life always needs Light, and God likes to shine lots of light everyday and night. Bob is mistaken as usual.

3. Bob is funny, and sometimes silly, and many times creative and subtle. After listening to some 40 Lectures and 15 Interviews of Bob repeating over and over again and again his same points and facts to disprove the Bible and Christianity and Religion, I find myself able not to take him too seriously as a scientist and philosopher, thus I am able to enjoy his esthetic rhetoric, and professional oratorical performance, as quite entertaining and provocative; of course the joke on Christians. But the truth of the facts of Genesis Day 4 is this: God made (not created) the Lights of the Firmament-Expanse of the Heaven to divide or separate between the Day and Night (as in Day 1), and to be for Signs, Seasons, Days, and Years: to give light (and thus heat) on the earth; to rule the day and night, and separate the light from darkness; and the Stars also (the translators in italics added “made”, which is not needed). Beautiful non-scientific but accurate story. The Sun, Moon, and Stars are already created in the Beginning before Day 1, now in Day 4 He makes the function and regulates them to regulate the Earth; thus Genesis uses the expression “and God set them in the Firmament of the Heaven ” so that we might not make the mistake of carelessly reading and interpreting the 4th Day in a scientific manner. He appointed the Celestial Bodies for the instruction of Israel and mankind, in the way they have functioned from then to now. No mistakes here.
Now as to the use of the word Day (yom), it is explained clearly in the Text, and easy to understand. It is Day generally of 24 hours in the Middle East; but if Moses was at the North Pole in the Summer it would be sunlight all day long (the Midnight Sun), and in the Winter only darkness; and in the South Pole a day may last six months or almost a year. Day is measured in moments of time dictated or governed by the Celestial Bodies, and science teaches us that it is produced naturally by the earth revolving around the Sun and the Moon orbiting the Earth, and the Sun moving in the Solar System in the Galaxies, and so on. Now Genesis speaks of the 7 Seven Days of Creation, then in 2:4: “These [are] the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens”; then in 5:1-2, referring to the Sixth Day of Creation it speaks of Adam’s Generations “in the Day God created man, in the likeness of God made He him; male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.” These expressions are literal but not scientific nor metaphorical; they are Mosaic, Biblical, and Divine. We must not interpret Scripture in such a way to impose on it are modern notions or private ideas, including those in its defense; nor should we offend by holding on to silly ideas and views that all men know to be unreasonable and funny. Genesis is not a science textbook, or natural physics, so when we read Joshua 10:13: “And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. [Is] not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day.” We may not interpret the Text by science, then deny God’s power and act, then reject Scripture as myth. We do not know how He chose to do what He did; we do not know what is meant by the Book of Jasher; we may not clearly ever know on this side of that day to come. We do know that the daylight and sunlight gave Joshua the extra time to battle and win. If we believe or reject this is all together another matter. We must not exaggerate the problem or issue, nor should we speak in such away to trouble others with absurdities of conforming Bible to science.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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.)

1
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.
2
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.
3
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.
4
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.
5
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.
6
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.
(Amen.)
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 ” .)

1
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.
2
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.
3
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.
4
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.
5
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.
6
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.
7
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.
8
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.
9
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.
10
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
11
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.
12
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.
(Amen)

 

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.)

1
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.
2
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.
3
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.
4
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.
5
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.
6
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.
7
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.
(Amen)

 

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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”
(chorus)
Swing low, sweet chariot
Coming for to carry me home
Swing low, sweet chariot
Coming for to carry me home
1
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
(chorus)
2
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
(chorus)
3
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
(chorus)
4
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
(chorus)
5
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
(chorus)

 

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”
1
Go down Moses
Way down in Egypt land
Tell all pharaoes to
Let My people go!
2
When Israel was in Egypt land
Let My people go!
Oppressed so hard they could not stand
Let My people go!
3
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!
4
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!
5
Thus spoke the Lord, bold Moses said:
-let My people go!
if not I’ll smite, your firstborn’s dead
-let My people go!
6
God-the Lord said : go down, Moses
Way down in Egypt land
Tell all pharaoes to
Let My people go!
7
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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