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Going to Church

From Ailenroc’s Book, by Cornelia Alexander

Mr. Washington Brown is our good-natured man.  Everybody says he is one of the best-natured men in the world, and, of course, what everybody says must be so.  His neighbor, who is known to be a choleric person, sighs regretfully and wishes he could take the world fair and easily, like Brown.  It has grown into a proverb that nothing upsets Brown’s temper.  No, sir; rain or shine, luck or no luck, it’s all the same to him.  But his friends don’t drop in often to see him get off to church.

On Sunday morning he takes his rest—no use in a hurry, so he lies in bed till the call to breakfast rouses him.  Then after breakfast he feeds the horses, and, as it is getting late, begins to prepare for going to meeting.

While Mrs. Brown clears away the breakfast things and tidies up the kitchen, he blacks his boots; and by the time she is ready to make up the beds, he is calling for hot water and his clean clothes.  He meditates a while and contemplates his unshaven visage in the glass, and says: “Amanda, I believe I will wear that pair of drab pantaloons to-day, as it is getting late in the season and I may not have another chance to wear them.”

“O dear!” sighs Amanda.  “There are no buttons on them.”

Mr. Brown’s eyes open wide and he glares angrily.  Read More

The Meadow Spring

From Ailenroc’s Book, by Cornelia Alexander

To-day, while the sun shone warm and bright,
Bathing the sun in its mellow light;
While the air was sweet with the breath of flowers,
And the peach blooms fell in rosy showers,
I closed my eyes to the sunlight’s gleam,
And drifted off in a restful dream,
Back through the valley of hopes and fears,
Back to the scenes of my childhood’s years.

Again I lay on the soft, green grass,
Watching the fleecy cloud banks pass,
Building my castles, tall and fair–
Castles in cloudland, based on air;
While close at hand, a murmuring thing,
Gurgled the dear old meadow spring.

Cool and fragrant and sweet the spot,
One that my heart has ne’er forgot;
Feathery ferns grew round the brink,
Brushing the lips that stooped to drink;
Tuneful birds in the thickets sang;
Musical bells in the distance rang;
Starlike flowers peeped through the grass,
Nodding their heads at the merry lass,
Who came each day, a careless thing,
To lie and dream by the meadow spring.

Exclusive Psalmody

I recently stumbled across a practice that I had not previously known about before; that of exclusive psalmody. Quite simply, it is the notion that the only music acceptable in Christian worship is that which has lyrics taken from the book of Psalms. This was once the practice of many protestant denominations, but today it is mainly held only by the Reformed Presbyterian Church.

Upon a simple examination of scripture one can know that exclusive psalmody is not biblical, for we are also authorized to use hymns and other spiritual songs in our worship (Ephesians 5:19, Colossians 3:16). Moreover, it is not entirely practical because of certain things that are not expressed in the psalms, as well as themes from the Old Covenant found in the psalms which are not applicable to the Christian dispensation (e.g. musical instruments, sacrifices, etc.). However, I do not believe that the Psalms should be neglected altogether, since they are included in the command for Christian singing. They are also desirable because they are inspired scripture and convey many wonderful thoughts.

Since I found out about exclusive psalmody, I have become more aware of the spiritual songs we sing that are from the Psalms. Accordingly, in the upcoming Hymn of the Week posts I will be featuring hymns that have lyrics taken mainly from the Psalms.

Although originally intended for Jewish worship under the Old Covenant, the Psalms are wonderful poetry, and many of them are also suitable for Christians today.

I'm still alive!

Although I doubt that I have any regular readers, if there are any they will surely have noticed the inactivity here of late. The simple truth is that it takes time to be a full-time university student, and very little time is left for other activities such as blogging. That is not to say that I do not have anything to write about–I have seen and thought about many blogworthy things, and I have only to take time to write them down and share them here at Ziphen Central.

So henceforth I will try to get back into the blogging routine, and I plan to pick up my Hymn of the Week and Ailenroc’s Book series as well. If you are new here, I hope you’ll come back! If you have read this blog in the past, I hope you will continue to do so! My goal is to present things that are interesting and worth thinking about–things that bring one’s mind to greater wisdom and sublimity.