Monday, January 30, 2012

Come to Jesus

Praise for the Lord #103

Words: Eden Reeder Latta, 1878
Music: John Harrison Tenney, 1878

The author of this text offers a first-rate example of the reason so many men of earlier generations went by their initials. Eden Reeder Latta (1839-1915) probably received his unlikely name from the Eden Township in La Grange County, Indiana (not the same as the incorporated community of Eden, Indiana nearer Indianapolis). Eden's grandfather Robert Latta settled in the area in 1832, and with fellow Methodists began the Eden Chapel Society. Eden's father, William James Latta, succeeded his father Robert in this pulpit. Eden thus grew up in a strong Methodist family in which he was expected to bear his part in the work of the church. In an interesting coincidence, this sparsely populated farming region was also home for a time to William A. Ogden (1841-1897), who also wrote many popular gospel songs.(Gingerich)

Eden R. Latta became a school teacher as a young man, and pursued this calling until his retirement. The 1860 U.S. Census finds him teaching in a "common school" in Perry Township, Noble County, Indiana. Shortly after this he moved to the vicinity of Manchester, Iowa, and married Mary E. Wright in 1863. Latta was apparently not in military service during the Civil War, though he was 22 when the conflict began. He preached for the Manchester Methodist Church during the war, and the name "E. R. Latta" turns up in the histories of other Iowa Methodist congregations during this period. Perhaps during wartime he filled various pulpits as a "circuit rider." Latta spent many years in Delaware County, teaching in Manchester (1870 U.S. Census) and later at Colesburg (1880 U.S. Census). By the 1890s the Lattas had moved to Guttenberg, Iowa, on the Mississippi River, where they were also active in the Methodist Church. In the 1900 U.S. Census Latta's occupation is listed as "songwriter," so he may have retired from teaching by that time.

J. H. Hall gives Eden R. Latta a brief chapter in his 1914 Biography of Gospel Song and Hymn Writers, and notes that he wrote lyrics for several major gospel composers, including his childhood friend William A. Ogden, and also James McGranahan, James H. Fillmore, and Edmund S. Lorenz. He wrote more than 1,600 hymn lyrics.(Hall, 173ff.) A search of his name in shows that his songs were widely popular a century ago, though only a few remain in common use. Besides "Come to Jesus," he is remembered among the Churches of Christ in the U.S. for the lyrics of "Live for Jesus, O my brother." Another of his well-known songs was "Blessed be the fountain (Whiter than snow)," which was in Jorgenson's Great Songs of the Church.

Stanza 1:
Come to Jesus, He will save you,
Though your sins as crimson glow,
If you give your heart to Jesus,
He will make it white as snow.

Come to Jesus! Come to Jesus!
Come to Jesus! come today!
Come to Jesus! Come to Jesus!
Come to Jesus! come, come today!

This is one of many hymns inspired by the rich prose of Isaiah 1:18,
"Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.
As is common to the symbolism of many nations, the ancient Israelites associated red with blood and bloodshed, and thus by extension with sin in general. White was associated with purity; the Mishnah also associated it with joy, which can only be received in its truest sense by a pure heart.(Jewish Encyclopedia)

Red's double association with blood and sin came together in the ancient system of animal sacrifices. God declared in Leviticus 17:11, "For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it for you on the altar to make atonement for your souls, for it is the blood that makes atonement by the life." The crimson of the sacrificial blood was in atonement for the crimson stain of sin; what was yet wanted was a perfect Sacrifice that could render the soul white like snow or wool, as though it had never been sullied by sin.

The Hebrew Testament prescribed many rules for outward purification, but also made it clear that the need for a pure heart is the real issue between God and humanity. "Rend your hearts and not your garments," cried the prophet Joel,(2:13) and King David plaintively asked the Lord, "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me."(Psalm 51:10) Jesus framed the problem perfectly when He said, "For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander."(Matthew 15:19) The Sermon on the Mount is primarily directed toward this end as well: that we pursue holiness in the inward person as well as in our external behavior.

Excursus: In Defense of the "Invitation Song"

This is a classic "invitation song," sung during the portion of a worship service when those present are invited to come and be baptized into Christ, or if already Christians, to come and confess sins or to present any other need. (Other folks might term this the "altar call.") Churches of Christ in the U.S. typically extend this invitation at the end of a sermon, usually worded by the preacher (though in some older traditions this was done by a separate "exhorter"). The congregation typically stands and sings a song that encourages all present to take whatever steps are needed to get right with God.

The familiarity of long use sometimes breeds contempt, and I some brethren now speak disparagingly of this long-standing practice. I have heard of congregations doing away with it completely; others have separated it from the sermon and extend the invitation at another time in the worship service. Of course the time, place, and manner are matters of convenience and custom; the Lord's invitation stands open at all times, and many Christians (myself included) have been baptized into Christ at some time other than the regular worship assembly. But it should never be taken for granted or treated lightly; the content of that invitation is something both wonderfully beautiful and of the greatest importance.

Among the final thoughts revealed in Scripture are these simple words inviting all to submit to God's will, and to receive His grace:
And the Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" And let him who hears say, "Come!" And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.(Revelation 22:17)
This echoes Jesus' frequent invitations during His ministry, perhaps most fully expressed in Matthew 11:28-30.
Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.
Imagine being among the crowds that heard these words for the first time! Moses had given God's laws, which contrasted sin and holiness in high relief. The prophets, down to John the Baptizer, the last of that line, had called the people to repentance from their sins. But when had any prophet or teacher offered rest and relief from this burden? In some of the Psalms there were hints; but what prophet or teacher had ever offered a personal invitation to these delights? It would have been blasphemy, for anyone but God Himself. The invitation is a startling and remarkable thing: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man who was and is the Son of God, offers to take away your sins, restore your relationship to God, and bring you into the blessings of His family.

Just before He returned to heaven, Jesus commissioned His followers to extend this invitation on His behalf. Summing up God's plan of salvation, what the whole of Scripture teaches, He said:
Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.(Luke 24:46-47)
When we extend the Lord's invitation, whether at the end of a sermon while standing and singing, or in simple conversation with another person, we are fulfilling Jesus' greatest desire--not to mention one of His most obvious commands.

The sermons recorded in the Acts of the Apostles show that His followers fulfilled this mission and extended the Lord's invitation whenever they could. Christianity is a thinking religion, a feeling religion, but also an acting religion; when the hearers of the first gospel sermon realized their lost condition and asked, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?," Peter gave them an answer:
And Peter said to them, "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to Himself." And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, "Save yourselves from this crooked generation."(Acts 2:38-40)
About three thousand responded to this invitation and were baptized into Christ that day. In Paul's first recorded sermon, given in the synagogue of Salamis on the island of Crete, he concluded with these words of invitation and solemn warning:
Let it be known to you therefore, brothers, that through this Man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, and by Him everyone who believes is freed from everything from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses. Beware, therefore, lest what is said in the Prophets should come about: "Look, you scoffers, be astounded and perish; for I am doing a work in your days, a work that you will not believe, even if one tells it to you."(Acts 13:38-41)
It is true that not every recorded public sermon in Acts contains an invitation as such (some of these sermons, of course, were cut short by violence). But the active responses of so many people to the apostles' preaching is evidence in itself, and the examples we have are certainly sufficient endorsement of the value of our modern custom to extend this invitation at every gathering.

Stanza 2:
Come to Jesus do not tarry,
Enter in at mercy’s gate,
O delay not till the morrow,
Lest Thy coming be too late.


There are times, perhaps, when delay in obeying the Lord's invitation is necessary. A person who wishes to receive baptism, but does not understand the Scriptural meaning of that act, needs further teaching. Some people desire salvation, but are wrestling with questions of repentance in their lives. Some people are interested but not yet convinced, as we see in the hopeful words of some of Paul's listeners in Athens: "We will hear you again about this."(Acts 17:32)

Sadly, however, the overwhelming majority of delays in obeying the Lord's invitation come from one simple factor: avoidance. The classic case of this in Scripture is Marcus Antonius Felix, the Roman procurator of Judaea before whom the apostle Paul stood trial in Acts 24. Paul, of course, took this as an opportunity to preach the gospel. In the quaint, striking language of the King James Version, we read of Felix's reaction:
And as he [Paul] reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, "Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee."(Acts 24:25)
Note that Felix was trembling! He really was convicted in his heart, and it made him uncomfortable. He wanted to make that discomfort go away--but he didn't want to obey, either. He wanted a third option, so he delayed. Of course this is no real option at all, because it depends on the uncertain premise that a "convenient season" will come again. In fact, Felix did hear Paul again, several times according to verse 26--but that trembling conviction was gone. By that time Felix's third option had hardened into rejection of the gospel. But the day that he rejected Paul's message could equally likely have been his last. If a person knows what to do, and knows it must be done, there are no good reasons for delay. "And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on His name."(Acts 22:16)

Stanza 3:
Come to Jesus, dying sinner,
Other Savior there is none,
He will share with you His glory,
When your pilgrimage is done.


The comedian Jerry Clower told the story of a man whose truck ran off a remote mountain road, leaving the vehicle hanging precariously from a ledge over a gorge. Unaccustomed to prayer, he spoke up as best he could: "Is there anybody up there? I need some help!" As the story goes, a voice spoke from the heavens saying, "My son, have faith and jump, and I will see you safely to the ground." After a moment of consideration, the man yelled again, "Hey! Is there anybody else up there I could talk to?"

Jesus summarized this attitude among His Pharisee listeners when He said, "You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about Me, yet you refuse to come to Me that you may have life."(John 5:39-40) The Pharisees still have many descendants today, people who have heard the gospel, accept the fact that they need salvation, but are determined to have it on some other terms.

More than once Jesus described His invitation through telling parables of a great feast. In Matthew 22 it was a wedding feast given by a great king, whose guests refused to come, even abusing the servants sent to deliver the message. The king instead invited whatever people his servants could find, including many commoners who proved perfectly happy to drop whatever they were doing in order to attend the royal event! Jesus wants you to respond to His invitation, but if you refuse He will not force you to come.

In the same parable, verses 11-13, the king encounters a man during the feast who does not have the appropriate wedding garment; this person is forcibly ejected from the feast. This section of the parable is the subject of much debate, but I merely point to the facts that 1) there was a dress code for this feast, 2) the man was not so attired, and 3) he was not allowed to remain. Though the king had very unusually extended his invitation to anyone who wished to attend,(v. 9) they still had to obey the accepted customs, including the wearing of a wedding garment. Some commentators believe that hosts provided these garments as a matter of custom; certainly this would be a fair assumption in this case, given the unexpected and immediate nature of the invitation. We can only suppose, then, that the man had either rejected the garment offered to him, or (more likely) had sneaked in uninvited. In the same fashion, the Lord's invitation is for "whosoever will,"(Revelation 22:17, KJV) but not "howsoever you will." Jesus declared Himself the only way into that great feast: "I am the way, the truth, and the life, and no one comes to the Father except by me."(John 14:6) And to do that, He says, one must "observe all that I have commanded."(Matthew 28:10)

Every day that dawns means that the Lord's invitation is still open, but the sobering truth is that some day that invitation will be closed. I won't ask you to stand and sing, but if there is something you need to make right with God, please do not delay. "Today is the day of salvation."(2 Corinthians 6:2)

About the music:

"Come to Jesus" is often said to have first appeared in The River of Life, edited by Latta and published in 1878 by Oliver Ditson of Boston. Only the date of this attribution appears to be correct. River of Life was published in 1873, does not contain "Come to Jesus," and makes no mention of Latta's involvement as an editor (though it does contain several of his songs). A copy is available online at A search of for "Eden Latta" and "E R Latta" reveals several publications of poetry in periodicals, popular songs, and gospel songs found in hymnals edited by others, but I have found no proof that Latta himself ever edited a hymnal.

Some of this confusion, I suspect, came from a simple misunderstanding of one particular passage in Hall's Biography entry on Latta:
In his early career as a hymnwriter, he composed his hymn "Whiter than snow" for Dr. H. S. Perkins, of Chicago, who wrote music to the words, and the song was published in his book, "The River of Life," by Oliver Ditson Company, of Boston.(p. 173)
The writer's liberal use of commas, combined with the vaguely referenced pronoun in "his books," could easily lead a reader to believe that Latta was the editor. (If I had not viewed the online copy of River of Life, I would not be sure either.) Adding further puzzlement, "Come to Jesus" is not even mentioned in this entry; the hymn under discussion is Latta's "Blessed be the fountain."

It appears that the first instance of "Come to Jesus" was actually in Spiritual Songs for Gospel Meetings and the Sunday School, edited by Elisha A. Hoffman and John Harrison Tenney (composer of "Come to Jesus"), and published in Cleveland, Ohio by Samuel Barker in 1878. The listing of this hymnal mistakenly gives this as Edward Hammond's "Come to Jesus," an entirely different text. But Paula Hickner, Music Librarian at the Fine Arts Library of the University of Kentucky, has checked their copy of Spiritual Songs and confirms that this is in fact the "Come to Jesus" by Latta and Tenney.

John Harrison Tenney (1840-1918) was a Massachusetts farmer and shoemaker who was also quite active in hymnal publishing.(Tenney Family, 223) A search in shows that he edited at least two dozen hymnals, beginning in the early 1870s with Boston publishers Lee & Shepherd and Oliver Ditson. Though he continued the relationship with Ditson throughout his career, by the 1880s he was increasingly working with hymnal publishers from the midwest (Brainard's Sons and R. E. Hudson in Ohio) and the south (Ruebush-Kieffer in Virginia, A. J. Showalter in Georgia). His publishing slowed toward the end of the 1890s.

Though Tenney wrote a few texts, and set several lyrics to music, "Come to Jesus" is by far his best known contribution. (A lesser known tune of his is "Father, in the morning, unto Thee I pray" PFTL #304.) It is a sturdy, singable tune, which is a harder thing to write than it seems. Part of the strength of this tune is the rhythm, which is repetitive enough to appeal to our sense of symmetry, yet varied enough not to be dull. The dotted eighth-sixteenth figure begins each phrase, then the rhythm proceeds in a strident series of quarter notes interrupted by the longer half note. In the chorus this long-short interruption is repeated for the central idea, "Come to JE-sus." To have no variation in rhythm would be dull; too much variation seems chaotic; but a little rhythmic alteration, playing on ideas already presented, is just right.

The pitch aspect of the melody is also similarly confined to easily grasped patterns. The movement from one note to the next is either a step within the scale, or a leap within the tonic triad (DO-MI-SOL). The one exception to this is in the chorus, on the third repeat of "Come to Jesus," which begins on a high E after leaving an F#--an unusual leap of a 7th. This is the highest note in the melody, and stands out somewhat for this reason as well, but it is logically prepared by the high D in the preceding subphrase.

One aspect of this hymn that has made it wear thin on many singers is the frequent repetition of the phrase, "Come to Jesus!" This is at the beginning of each stanza, which makes sense, but is repeated six times in the text of the chorus, adding very little to the stanzas. And though Tenney could not help what Latta wrote, he made himself an accessory to the crime when he made the accompanying parts sing, "Come, come today!," to the rhythm of "rum-tum-te-tum," on the tonic triad. If all three stanzas are sung, it is 18 times in all.

No one seems to know where the phrase "'Come to Jesus' in whole notes" started, but I have heard it since I first started playing in bands. (Example: "You guys couldn't play 'Come to Jesus' in whole notes!") Warren Wernick, a trumpeter and and composer from New York City, has actually written a brass quintet arrangement of "Come to Jesus" in whole notes: I have no idea how Tenney's melody was chosen for this distinction. Another colloquialism referencing this song is "to have a 'Come-to-Jesus' meeting" with someone, or to inform someone that "it's 'Come-to-Jesus' time." Both imply that a confrontation is imminent that will involve frank discussion, usually resulting in a change of behavior by the other party. These certainly attest to the wide usage of this song over the years!


Gingerich, Howard D. "The Hawpatch hymnwriter." Mile 146 (Topeka Historical Society, Topeka, Indiana) 4/2 (April-June 2011).

Hall, J. H. Biography of Gospel Song and Hymn Writers. New York: Revell, 1914.

"Color." Jewish Encyclopedia (1906).

Tenney, M. J. The Tenney Family. Boston: American Printing and Engraving, 1891.

"John Harrison Tenney." Cyberhymnal.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Closer to Thee

Praise for the Lord #102

Words: Austin Taylor, 1911
Music: Austin Taylor, 1911

Austin Taylor (1881-1973) was born in Morgantown, Kentucky, but grew up in north and central Texas. He taught singing school for more than seven decades, and was a founder of the Texas Normal Singing School, the oldest such institution affiliated with the Churches of Christ that is still in existence.(Finley, 465ff.) Taylor was equally important as a songwriter and editor; his first songbook was Gospel Messenger (1905), self-published in Sherman, Texas. The majority of his music publishing, however, would be with the Firm Foundation Publishing House, where he worked closely with George H. P. Showalter (1870-1954), the editor of the Firm Foundation religious journal for nearly 50 years. From The New Gospel Song Book of 1914 to the close of the 1920s, the pair would produce 10 songbooks. They teamed up one final time in 1953 and produced the first edition of the Majestic Hymnal, Firm Foundation's most successful hymnal.

Austin Taylor's hymn "Closer to Thee" was one of the first songs by the "Texas school" of songwriters to be included in a hymnal produced by the Churches of Christ east of the Mississippi. Lloyd O. Sanderson included it in Christian Hymns "no. 1" (Nashville, Tennessee: Gospel Advocate, 1935), along with a few songs by Texas songwriter Tillit S. Teddlie. It can be found in most of the major hymnals produced among the Churches of Christ since that time. For more on Austin Taylor's career, please see my recent post on the Firm Foundation hymnals.

The year 1911 was an interesting time in Taylor's life. He married Augusta Barbara Jerger, a daughter of German immigrants, in about 1907.(1930 U.S. Census) The Lord blessed the couple with their first child, Dorcas Geneva Taylor, on the 8th of February, 1911.(Texas Birth Certificates via I was a year older than Taylor when my first child, also a daughter, was born. She was also a February baby, and an ice storm shut down the college where I worked the day after we brought her home. With my unexpected day off I sat in the quiet house with my wife and mother-in-law, all of us watching this new soul that was part of us, yet completely apart. Not for the last time, I approached God in prayer to ask, "How do I do this?" It was one thing to discuss parenting in the Marriage & Christian Family course in college; it was another to be a parent, knowing that my actions would affect this person for the rest of her life, and for eternity.

Perhaps something like this ran through Austin Taylor's mind as he wrote this hymn in 1911. If a man takes fatherhood seriously, it will drive him closer to God. Becoming responsible for the spiritual welfare of another soul, at least for the years it is under his care, makes a man realize just how much he needs to grow up himself. It is true of all of us, I suppose, parents or not; but the demands of that particular job reveal our weaknesses to us in high relief. (If they don't become apparent to us on our own, our children will gladly point them out as they get older.) And no matter what our age, situation, or level of spiritual maturity, we all need to get closer to God.

Stanza 1:
Closer to Thee, near to Thy side,
Closer dear Lord, I would abide;
Hold me in Thy embrace,
'Neath every smile of grace,
Grant me, O Lord, a place
Closer to Thee.

Psalm 65:4 sings forth, "Blessed is the one You choose and bring near, to dwell in your courts! We shall be satisfied with the goodness of Your house, the holiness of Your temple!" People place a high value on being close to famous and important people; even in our cynical times, it is quite the honor to be invited to visit the President or Governor, or to be seated at a dinner with a celebrity athlete. That proximity implies a familiarity and privilege not accessible to just anyone; we get the chance to see the "real person," and to be seen by them as an individual, not just a part of the crowd.

It's funny--and sad--that more people don't place the same value on being close to God. People will stand in line for hours to meet an athlete who makes his living throwing, hitting, kicking, bouncing, or running with a ball. People will brag for the rest of their lives that they got to shake hands with a political figure who, at best, is only one of many that will come and go in our lifetimes. But the Ancient of Days, the Great Maker of all things, has invited us to be His personal friends, and how many people place value on that? He seeks us out, and wants to lavish that familiarity and privilege on us, that comes from being His friend. He wants us to see the "real Him," and came down to this earth among us in order to make that happen. He wants us to know that He cares about each of us individually; He knows your name, and wants to hear from you.

The ancient Israelite could think of drawing close to God in a very literal way, by coming to the temple where God's presence was revealed. The closer you were to that place, the better. But we don't have a temple like that today; Jesus said to the Samaritan woman, in John 4:21-23,
Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. . . . But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship Him.
The Hebrew Scriptures gave plenty of hints that this attitude was at the heart of the relationship all along: "Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him, that glory may dwell in our land."(Psalm 85:9) "The LORD is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth."(Psalm 145:18) But the New Testament took away the importance of physical place entirely; now the "temple of God" is within us, both individually (1 Corinthians 6:19) and collectively as God's church (Ephesians 2:19-22).

The letter to the Hebrews speaks of this "drawing near" frequently, playing on the cultural understanding of Israel's historic relationship to God. In the former days, it had been a matter of physical birth and physical location; "but on the other hand, a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God."(Hebrews 7:19) This hope is our personal relationship with God's Son, whose sacrifice enabled us to have a new level of access unimagined in earlier dispensations. "Consequently, He is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them."(Hebrews 7:25) The foundation of this drawing near is faith and trust, because, "without faith it is impossible to please Him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him."(Hebrews 11:6) And as always, a saving faith in the Bible sense is a faith made complete through submissive obedience: "Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water."(Hebrews 10:22)

Getting to this place, closer to God, is worth whatever effort or sacrifice it requires. Brother Taylor describes the superlative nature of the goal as the "embrace" of God, where we are favored with His "smile of grace." Moses, in his final speech to the Israelites, reassured them that "The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms."(Deuteronomy 33:27) We see the embrace of God once more in the gospels, when Jesus called the children to Him, "and He took them up in His arms, put His hands upon them, and blessed them."(Mark 10:16) Who would not want to be in that number, who were so blessed by His touch and His words?

Stanza 2:
Closer to Thee, near to Thy breast,
Closer to Thee, Lord, let me rest;
Guide me when I would stray,
Keep me from sin each day,
Draw me, dear Lord, I pray,
Closer to Thee.

In the second stanza, Brother Taylor speaks to our need to stay close to God. It is sadly true that many who have once drawn near to God through obedience to His Son "have fallen away from grace."(Galatians 5:4) This was a problem of the ancient Hebrews as well, because it is a problem of the human heart. It was the message of the prophets, such as Isaiah, who delivered God's pointed message that, "these people draw near with their mouths and honor Me with their lips, while their hearts are far from Me."(Isaiah 29:13) The letter of James gives the antidote, for ancient times, New Testament times, and all times: "Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded."(James 4:8)

The possibility of straying is not taught in order to keep us on pins and needles, in constant fear of our salvation. The apostle John assures us of a better salvation than that! "My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous."(1 John 2:1) But that same Advocate warns us, "Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."(Matthew 26:41) And John's reassurance is predicated on our own salvation through obedience to Christ, with a subsequent effort to "walk in the light, as He is in the light."(1 John 1:7)

There is a line from the early Medieval prayer known as the Te Deum that has become a favorite phrase of mine: "Vouchsafe, O Lord, to keep us this day without sin." Just as walking down a physical road depends on taking each individual step within the boundaries of that path, so walking in the light is a series of decisions made every day, that we will make our best effort to do what God would have us do, and avoid what He would not have us do. And like that physical path, we are less likely to stray outside the borders if we draw closer to the One who walks before us.

Stanza 3:
Closer to Thee, happy and free,
Grant me, O Lord, ever to be;
Hear me in ev'ry cry,
Stand near when I must die,
Then take me home on high,
Closer to Thee.

The chief reason to seek a closer relationship to God is because we love Him and want to know Him better, "for the Father is seeking such people to worship him."(John 4:23) But it is equally true that there are great benefits to be had from this relationship. There are times when, sad to say, there are people who mean us harm. No matter how hard we try to "live peaceably with all," we can only control what "depends on [us]."(Romans 12:18) With some people it will not be enough. What a blessing to know that if we are close to God, we have a protector who will always be with us, and whose word is our steady support!
They draw near who persecute me with evil purpose;
They are far from Your law.
But You are near, O LORD,
And all Your commandments are true.
(Psalm 119:150-151)
Even without the active persecution of enemies, life can be hard enough. There will be struggles and sometimes losses, and times will come when we need someone to lean on. It is unfortunately true that in some of these times, even the best of family and friends will let us down. Sometimes they are doing their best to support us, but simply do not know how to help. Some suffering is hard for us even to express, much less for another to understand.

How comforting to know that, "The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit."(Psalm 34:18) When we are close to God, we have the attention of the Father, the advocacy of the Son, and the interceding help of the Holy Spirit:
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.(Romans 8:26)
We have all sometimes felt that no one understood the depth of sorrow we suffered, or the fear and worry under which we labored. If we have lived long on this earth, we can relate to the old spiritual, "Nobody knows the trouble I've seen." But always remember the next line! "Nobody knows, but Jesus." If it is the pain of rejection, He knows that. If it is the pain of physical suffering, He knows that. If it is the pain of disappointment in those we love, He knows that. If it is the fear of that "undiscovered country" of death, He knows that too. Jesus experienced the range of human suffering firsthand.

God knows our troubles, and He hears our prayers. "For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayer."(1 Peter 3:12) "Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need."(Hebrews 4:16)

About the music:

Several aspects of the music show Taylor's lifelong involvement with quartet singing. The distinctive "hook" of the song is heard in the first two phrases with the chromatic downward slide of the soprano and alto. In each case the chromatic chord that falls on the second syllable is (technically) a C#-E-[G]-Bb, or a C#dim7 with the G omitted; but instead of having a leading-tone function (e.g., C#dim7 to Dmin), it is just chromatic decoration. The Bb is held through from the preceding chord and on into the following chord, giving this technique the name "common-tone diminished 7th" in some theory textbooks. In my own classes (which were oriented toward classical music theory) I jokingly referred to this as the "barbershop diminished 7th" because of its prominence in the American male quartet tradition. (Part of the fun of barbershop harmony is holding a note through in one part while changing the others to create a new and unexpected chord!) Taylor does the same chord in both of the two-measure sub-phrases that open the song, but with a voice swap that flips the harmony roles of the soprano and alto. It is a classic case of "same but different" that makes a musical idea memorable, and I daresay this is the part of this song that sticks in a person's head the longest.

Another example of quartet harmony is found in the 7th measure, in the last two notes of the bar. The first is a C9 chord (C-E-[G]-Bb-D), and the final note of the bar is an honest-to-goodness flat 9th chord, C-E-[G]-Bb-Db. (If there are other flat 9th chords in this hymnal, I cannot remember where.) As is common in four-part writing of these five-note chords, the 5th of the chord (G) is omitted. The root of the chord (C) is in the bass--this harmony is best heard when presented in root position, with the bass holding it together. The E-natural, the 3rd of the chord, is necessary to distinguish the quality of the chord (major), and the Bb, the 7th of the chord, serves as a bridge to the 9th (D, then Db) above it; if the Bb were omitted rather than the G, the D and Db would sound much less integrated into the overall sound. The resolution of the flat 9th is typical here, moving down a half-step (Db-C), but Taylor heightens the chromatic tension by moving this in parallel with E-natural to Eb in the alto. The E-natural is the leading tone of the C9 harmony, and by all rights should have moved up to the F in the next chord. Moving it down to Eb, the 7th of the F7 chord, is against the grain in classical theory, but is a trademark of the American quartet sound.

The form of the melody in this hymn is unusual, with a syllable pattern of 88.666.4 in 16 measures. The first eight measures are fairly conventional, with two-measure subphrases repeating the same rhythmic pattern and leading up to a strong half-cadence on "a-BIDE." The second half begins exactly like the opening measure (compare "Clos-er to" to "Hold me in"), but then spins off in a series of expansive 6-syllable lines, each building on the one before without a break, and piling up momentum toward the end. This forward motion is brought to rest in the final two measures, which return to the more staid rhythm of the first 8 measures. It is a simple enough technique, but effective. Some songs can manage the same rhythm throughout, of course, but think how dull this song would have been if Taylor had staid with the same 2-bar rhythmic pattern in the second half! The combination of repetition, variation, and contrast gives the music "singability" without becoming tedious; it is a characteristic found in good music of many sorts.


Finley, Gene C., ed. Our Garden of Song. West Monroe, La.: Howard Publishing, 1980.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Hymnals Published by Firm Foundation (Austin, Texas), 1909-1979

For several decades in the 20th century, the Firm Foundation was second only to the venerable Gospel Advocate among the religious journals read by the Churches of Christ in the U.S. It was by far the leading voice from Texas, and its influence was strong in the bordering states; I distinctly remember my father reading it and retaining back issues for future reference. Firm Foundation published an adult Sunday School quarterly, just as Gospel Advocate did; and like its competitor on the other side of the Mississippi, the Firm Foundation publishing enterprise included hymnals.

Firm Foundation Publishing House, 27 August 1946
Austin History Center via Portal to Texas History
Firm Foundation began as a weekly journal in Austin, Texas, in 1884. It was first edited by Austin McGary (1846-1928), followed by G. W. Savage (1860-1923) in 1902 and then George H. P. Showalter (1870-1954) in 1906. Showalter ran the paper for nearly half a century. After his death in 1954 Reuel Lemmons (1912-1989) edited the paper, though the Showalter family continued as owners. In 1983 the Showalter family sold the enterprise to H. A. "Buster" Dobbs and Bill Cline, who changed the journal to a bi-weekly, then to a monthly format.(Crawford)

A search of has turned up no fewer than 38 hymn publications from Firm Foundation, spanning the years 1909-1979. No doubt there are more, and I would be glad to hear of others so that I could add them to the list below. My Worldcat list of these hymnals (which also shows the libraries that hold them) can be viewed at:
  • Gospel Songs, ed. James W. Acuff & William D. Evridge (1909; ca. 240 hymns)
  • Zion Melodies, ed. Austin Taylor, George H. P. Showalter, J. S. Dunn, Frank Grammer (1910; 80 hymns)
  • For His Praise, ed. Woodie Washington Smith, Austin Taylor, L. E. Edmonds (1911)
  • New Songs of Victory, ed. Austin Taylor et al. (1911; 155 hymns)
  • Song Crown, ed. Austin Taylor et al. (1912; 154 hymns)
  • Select Songs, ed. Austin Taylor & J. M. Hagan (1913; 48 hymns)
  • Harvest call, ed. Austin Taylor (1913; ca. 120 hymns)
  • The New Gospel Song Book, ed. George H. P. Showalter & Austin Taylor (1914; 224 hymns)
  • New Songs of Praise, ed. Austin Taylor & George H. P. Showalter (1916; 219 hymns)
  • Gospel Songs no. 2, ed. Austin Taylor & George H. P. Showalter (1919; 210 hymns)
  • Jewel Quartets, ed. Austin Taylor (1910s?; 12 hymns)
  • Harvest Hymns, ed. Austin Taylor, George H. P. Showalter, Tillit S. Teddlie (c. 1921?; 108 hymns)
  • Church Evangel, ed. Emmett S. Dean et al. (1921?; 94 hymns)
  • Hymns of Zion, ed. Austin Taylor, George H. P. Showalter, Tillit S. Teddlie (1922; 159 hymns)
  • Songs of the Reapers no. 2, ed. Austin Taylor, George H. P. Showalter, Tillit S. Teddlie (1923?; 77 hymns)
  • Gospel Songs no. 3, ed. Austin Taylor & George H. P. Showalter (1924, reprint 1934, 1937, 1940; 234 hymns)
  • Gospel Songs no. 4, ed. Austin Taylor & George H. P. Showalter (1927, reprint 1939; 193 hymns) [This was also published in 1927 by Primitive Christian in Union City, Tenn.]
  • Carols of Praise, ed. J. W. Gaines (1928; 176 hymns; co-published with Trio Music, Memphis, Tenn.[?])
  • Carols of Devotion, ed. J. W. Gaines (1930; 170 hymns)
  • New Ideal Gospel Hymn Book, ed. Austin Taylor, James W. Acuff, William D. Evridge, George H. P. Showalter (1930, reprint 1945, 1947; 320 hymns)
  • New Wonderful Songs, ed. Thomas S. Cobb & George H. P. Showalter (1933, reprint 1944; 296 hymns)
  • Select Songs, ed. Thomas S. Cobb & George H. P. Showalter (1935; 70 hymns)
  • Christian Hymns, ed. L. O. Sanderson & C. M. Pullias (1935) [This was a Gospel Advocate hymnal, the only occasion I have found when the two "rivals" published jointly.]
  • Best of All Songs, ed. Thomas S. Cobb & George H. P. Showalter (1937; 137 hymns)
  • Glad News, ed. Austin Taylor (1939; 66 hymns)
  • Special Songs New and Old, ed. Thomas S. Cobb & George H. P. Showalter (1940; 135 hymns)
  • Greater Gospel Songs, ed. Austin Taylor (1941; 190 hymns)
  • Our Leader, ed. Thomas S. Cobb & George H. P. Showalter (1941, reprint 1946; 175 hymns)
  • Majestic Hymnal, ed. Austin Taylor & George H. P. Showalter (1953; 329 hymns)
  • Majestic Hymnal no. 2, ed. Reuel G. Lemmons, with Tillit S. Teddlie, Austin Taylor, Holland Boring, Edgar Furr, Marvin Rowland, Elbert V. Kelley, Wilkin Bacon (1959; 442 hymns)
  • Tiny Tot Tunes, ed. John Fletcher Floyd (1960; 20 pages)
  • Heart Melodies, ed. Elbert V. Kelley (1961; 174 hymns)
  • Songs of Joyful Praise, ed. Frank Roberts (1965; 110 pages)
  • Awakening Songs, ed. Holland L. Boring, Sr. (1971; 201 hymns)
  • Songs for the Master, ed. Holland L. Boring, Sr. (1975; 213 hymns)
  • Gems for His Crown, ed. Holland L. Boring, Sr. & Bill Cox (1977; ca. 150 hymns)
  • Hymns of Praise, ed. Reuel G. Lemmons, associate eds. Holland Boring, Sr., Paul Epps, Bobby Connel, Bill Cox, Tom Chapin, Holland Boring, Jr., tech. advisor Eris Ritchie (1978; 753 hymns)
  • Songs of Hope, ed. Holland L. Boring, Sr. (1979; 216 hymns)
The table below shows the frequency with which these were published, by decade, and also the involvement of various editors.





*Assisted with Majestic Hymnal, no. 2 (1959)                       **Assisted with Hymns of Praise (1978)

Overview of Hymnal Publishing by Firm Foundation

There were two distinct eras of hymnal publishing at Firm Foundation: the years prior to the U.S. entry into the Second World War, and the postwar period. In the prewar days, the publications were typically the small paperbacks such as were used at singing schools and conventions. They usually numbered fewer than 200 songs, and featured many new works in the "quartet gospel" style. New books were issued much more frequently than one would expect with standard full-size hymnals, sometimes more than once a year.

Something changed this situation drastically; I have found no Firm Foundation hymnals from 1942-1952, except for a few reprints of earlier books. And when the Majestic Hymnal broke this silence in 1953, it presented a different kind of hymnal--larger, more inclusive of the traditional classical hymns, and more suited to use in weekly worship. Though there were still some smaller books consisting primarily of new material, they were far fewer in number than before. The emphasis was on the bigger, more ambitious hymnals; Majestic Hymnal, no. 2 (1959) and Hymns of Praise (1978) were collaborative efforts involving half-a-dozen or more editorial consultants.

What caused this change? One would expect that the Great Depression of the 1930s would have hurt any kind of publishing business, yet the Firm Foundation kept turning out hymnals at an impressive pace; counting reprints of earlier works, the years 1931-1940 yielded 8 publications, compared to 9 for 1921-1930 and 10 for 1909-1920. If anything, the hard times of the 1930s were a boost to the simple, cheap pleasures such as singing schools and "all day singing with dinner on the grounds." Perhaps a more important factor was the gradual disengagement of Austin Taylor from hymnal editing, starting about 1930 (more about this below). Taylor had been the leading music editor of the early period; but again, this did not seem to dampen the enthusiasm for new books during the following decade, and other editors stepped into Taylor's shoes.

The war years, however, brought challenges to the gospel "singing convention" culture. Many of the young men who were the song leaders, singing school teachers, and quartet singers, were away in the service of their country. Wartime rationing of gasoline and tires made travel more difficult for those who remained, both leaders and participants. At the same time, radio and recording media had matured and were expanding their influence. Families that once traveled all weekend to attend singings were now staying home and hearing their favorite gospel quartets over the airwaves instead. In the postwar era, this increased commercialization and centralization of the gospel music business led to a concert culture that began to supplant the traditional singing convention. Though the "fifth-Sunday singing" continues to this day in many places, the greater variety of entertainments available in the postwar era meant that the days were gone when the whole town would show up for a singing, regardless of religious inclinations, simply for something to do.(Goff, 157ff.)

At the same time, the postwar period was a time of dramatic change for the Churches of Christ in the United States. We saw many years of sustained numerical growth, leading to the oft-cited (but never quite proven?) claim that we were "the fastest-growing religious body in the nation." This period saw change in much more than numbers: the most dramatic growth was in urban and suburban congregations, where the membership was increasingly college-educated and relatively affluent.(Harrel, 568ff.) So if the publishing demand for the older "singing convention" books was not what it once had been, there was on the other hand a real opportunity for the publisher who could put full-size hymnals in the hands of all these new members and fill up the pew racks in all the new church buildings. Great Songs of the Church, for example, sold 250,000 copies (all editions combined) from 1921 to 1946; between 1946 and 1952 it sold three times that number.(McCann, 226) This was also the era that Gospel Advocate brought out Christian Hymns, no. 2 (1948), the ubiquitous little tan books once found throughout the southern states.

The Firm Foundation first responded to this demand with reprints of its two larger hymnals from the prewar era, the New Ideal Gospel Hymn Book (1930) and New Wonderful Songs (1933). But the long dearth of new hymnals came to an end in a big way in 1953 with the Majestic Hymnal, the last effort from the great editorial team of Austin Taylor and George H. P. Showalter. Following Showalter's death, the new editor of Firm Foundation, Reuel Lemmons, took a different approach. He assembled a "dream team" of consulting editors, tapping the talents of songwriters and singing school teachers who were widely recognized among the Churches of Christ in the western United States: Austin Taylor, Tillit S. Teddlie, Elbert V. Kelley, Holland Boring, Sr., Edgar Furr, Marvin Rowland, and Wilkin Bacon. Lemmons's other major hymnal, Hymns of Praise (1978) also had a panel of associate editors made up of well known names: Holland Boring, Sr., Paul Epps, Bobby Connel, Bill Cox, Tom Chapin, and Holland Boring, Jr.

By the Decades: Editors 1909-1920

One of the most influential figures in this early period actually never edited a Firm Foundation hymnal: Frank L. Eiland (1860-1909). He was one of the most important founders, however, of the "Texas school" of songwriters in the Churches of Christ, and was founder of the Trio Music Company and the Southern Development Normal in Waco, Texas. Eiland's school drew some of the best young talent in the state, including James W. Acuff, William Evridge, and Emmett S. Dean, who went on to edit songbooks for Trio Music and later for Firm Foundation. Eiland also taught Thomas S. Cobb, a Firm Foundation hymnal editor in later years. During his final illness, he even tutored the young Tillit S. Teddlie by correspondence from his sickbed.(Harp, "Eiland") Acuff, Evridge, and Dean co-edited several publications for Trio Music in the first decade of the 20th century, and Acuff and Dean co-wrote what is probably the single best-known song from this group, "Just over in the gloryland." The earliest Firm Foundation hymnal I could find, Gospel Songs (1909), was also co-edited by Acuff and Evridge, and was simultaneously published through Trio Music.

James Warren Acuff (1864-1937) was a native Texan whose parents moved there from Tennessee; he is often said to have been related to the country singer Roy Acuff, but the family trees I have seen for each don't seem to intersect. This was probably just a common assumption, since "Just over in the gloryland" crossed over into commercial country music; it is even sometimes misattributed to Roy Acuff! A search of the Bartlett Tribune in the invaluable Portal to Texas History shows that Acuff was engaged as the song leader for the Church of Christ in Georgetown, Texas in the 1930s, and was leading singing for gospel meetings in other communities. Though Acuff's involvement with the Firm Foundation hymnals was intermittent, his reappearance in the editorial team of the 1930 New Ideal Gospel Hymn Book was not a fluke. He was still active and sought-after, and by that time was probably one of the most widely known songwriters among the Churches of Christ. He wrote a large number of songs, many of which can be traced through

The best-known song by William D. Evridge (1873-1932) was probably "For the soul that's redeemed," with text by James Rowe. This song was copyrighted in 1907, an entry that confirms his full name: William Daniel Evridge.(Copyright Catalog, 74) The Bartlett Tribune mentions Evridge frequently as a song leader for gospel meetings in the Churches of Christ. The data given in his wife's obituary (Friday, June 8, 1934, p.1) confirms that Evridge died in 1932, and that the Daniel Evridge buried in the Grainger, Texas cemetery is the same W. D. Evridge. Acuff and Evridge worked together on the first Firm Foundation hymnal, and returned for the New Ideal Gospel Hymn Book (1930), a major stepping stone toward a full-size hymnal. Emmett S. Dean, the other major figure from Trio Music, was much less involved with Firm Foundation. It is possible that there was a desire on the part of Showalter or others to use only editors from the Churches of Christ; Dean was Methodist.(Cyberhymnal, "Dean") The Gospel Advocate, of course, had used Methodist and Baptist music editors in its early hymnals, but in Texas of the early 1900s there were many capable songwriters among the Churches of Christ who were available for this purpose.

Several other men were involved in the early Firm Foundation hymnals in various capacities during this busy period. James Sterling Dunn (1874-1922) was a native of Tennessee, one of five brothers who all preached for the Churches of Christ. He came to Texas and preached for the old Central Church of Christ in Fort Worth.(Harp,"J. S. Dunn") Dunn was a co-editor of Zion Melodies in 1911; I have not been able to discover any songs by him, or any other involvement with church music. James M. Hagan (1858-1933) is best known among the Churches of Christ for writing the music of "I would not live without Jesus" and "Oh the things we may do." A Baptist from rural Kentucky, Hagan worked his way through the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and became a nationally known figure in music education as well as in gospel music.(Rone, 457ff.) In addition to hymnals, he also edited music books for schools. Hagan co-edited Select Songs with Austin Taylor for Firm Foundation in 1913.

Frank Grammer was an associate of the songwriter and hymnal publisher Will Slater as far back as the Eureka Normal School in Stigler, Oklahoma. He edited several hymnals with Slater, and a few published by the Hartford Music Company. He later produced Favorite Songs of the Church numbers 1 and 2 (1946 and 1948) with Rue Porter, published by the Church Music Company in Fullerton, California. I have been unable to find anything else about his life, except that he was associated with several leaders among the Churches of Christ in the Oklahoma-Arkansas area.( According to the 1930 U.S. Census, Woodie Washington Smith was born in Alabama in 1877, and was a Baptist preacher in Crowell, Texas (between Wichita Falls and Lubbock). lists a large number of songs by Smith, and shows that he published hymnals under his own imprint "W. W. Smith Co." in Fort Worth, Texas from about 1915-1925. Smith was a co-editor of Firm Foundation's For His Praise in 1911, along with Austin Taylor and L. E. Edmonds. I have found no information on Edmonds except for a few songs listed in, and two hymnals he edited for the Ozark Music Company in Springfield, Missouri.

Taylor & Showalter: A Classic Team

Firm Foundation front office, 27 August 1946
Austin History Center via Portal to Texas History
(G.H.P. Showalter at right)
After the round-robin of the early years, an editorial team emerged that would set the pace for the next few decades: Austin Taylor and George H. P. Showalter. Though they are both listed as editors of Zion Melodies (1910), along with Dunn and Grammer, it was The New Gospel Song Book (1914) that began their lasting editorial partnership; by 1930 they issued no fewer than 10 hymnals with the familiar credits: "Austin Taylor & G.H.P. Showalter." After a hiatus of more than two decades, they co-edited the landmark Majestic Hymnal in 1953.

Austin Taylor (1881-1973) was born in Morgantown, Kentucky; his parents were baptized into Christ at the famous Cane Ridge congregation. The family moved to Sherman, Texas in 1890. He learned music in singing schools, and even had opportunity to study under the Chatauqua, New York songwriter Horatio Palmer ("Master, the tempest is raging"). Taylor was well known as a song leader for gospel meetings, and taught singing schools for more than 70 years. He was a founder of the Texas Normal Singing School.(Finley, 465ff.) Brother Taylor made a deep impression on many, many songleaders and songwriters through this work; see the Hymnal Collector post on Taylor's "On the sun-bright road of Calvary," and read the comments; see also Wayne Walker's post "A Bit of History" for more reminiscences about Austin Taylor.

Taylor was by far the most prolific of the Firm Foundation hymnal editors, and is probably the name most associated with these publications. Interestingly, though, his involvement waned after 1930; his name did not appear on another hymnal until 1939. This was followed by only two more (1941 and 1953), even though he was teaching singing schools into the early 1970s.(Finley, 467) Edgar Furr's recollections of Taylor's career during the Great Depression suggest that financial necessity may have been a factor. Taylor might have needed to spend more time on the road teaching singing schools and leading singing for gospel meetings, where remuneration was more immediate. It may have been that he simply could not devote the same time to the publishing business as he did in earlier years.

Austin Taylor's hymn "Closer to Thee" was one of the first songs by the "Texas school" of songwriters to be included in a hymnal of the Churches of Christ east of the Mississippi--Christian Hymns (Nashville, Tennessee: Gospel Advocate, 1935), edited by Lloyd O. Sanderson and Charles M. Pullias. But his song "Do all in the name of the Lord," though not as widely used initially, may yet outlast "Closer to Thee" in the common usage of the Churches of Christ. It is a fine treatment of a much needed topic. Taylor also self-published hymnals, including his earliest book, the Gospel Messenger (1905), published in Sherman, Texas. Later in life he self-published Favorite Gospel Songs (1965), edited with Claude Thomas Lynn, and published at his home of Uvalde, Texas. In the 1970s the Texas Normal Singing School published a collection of his works, The Songs of Austin Taylor, honoring his lifetime of work in serving the Lord through song.

George Henry Pryor Showalter (1870-1954) edited the Firm Foundation, then a weekly journal, from 1908 until his death in 1954. He was without question one of the most influential men in the Churches of Christ during the early 20th century. In addition to his editorial duties, he wrote books on prayer, Christian unity, God's plan of salvation, marriage, and Christian stewardship. A native of Snowville, Virginia, Showalter came to Texas in 1897 as the first president of the short-lived Sabinal Christian College.(Harp, "Showalter") Upon taking the editorship of Firm Foundation, Showalter built it up from a one-issue paper (Austin McGary's baptism controversy with David Lipscomb) into a more balanced forum for discussion of many topics. By the 1920s it had nearly displaced the Gospel Advocate among Texas Churches of Christ. Showalter's leadership has been particularly noted in the area of missionary work.(Hooper, 138ff.)

Though Showalter edited a large number of hymnals, I can find only scattered references to any songs by him. (He should not be confused with the prolific Anthony J. Showalter, composer of "Leaning on the everlasting arms," and I can find no relation between the two.) Most likely his role was that of reviewing the textual content of the hymns, as was done by senior editors at Gospel Advocate.

By the Decades: Editors 1921-1930

Six of the nine Firm Foundation hymnals from the decade of the 1920s were edited Taylor and Showalter as well, including the significant Gospel Songs numbers 3 and 4, each of which went into reprints in later years. But they also utilized a third editor who was a rising star among songwriters in the Churches of Christ: Tillit S. Teddlie (1885-1987). A native of the community of Swan in East Texas (just outside Tyler), Teddlie attended the Southern Development Normal in Waco, Texas.(Harp, "Teddlie") He also received tutoring by correspondence from Frank L. Eiland.(Harp, "Eiland") Teddlie's formal education was completed at my alma mater, the North Texas State Teachers College (University of North Texas) in Denton, Texas. Though he was nationally known for his gospel songs, Teddlie was an evangelist first. He preached in gospel meetings from the early 1920s on, and spent most of his life preaching for congregations in the north and central regions of Texas.(Harp, "Teddlie")

Teddlie joined Taylor and Showalter as co-editor of Harvest Hymns, Hymns of Zion, and Songs of the Reapers no. 2, all published by Firm Foundation in the early 1920s (the exact dates are uncertain). He would have been a natural replacement for Taylor when the latter stepped away from hymnal editing in the 1930s, but by that time he was engaged in his own publishing ventures. A search of reveals that Teddlie published his own songbooks from Dallas, Texas, beginning in 1936. He brought out a new volume nearly every year, even through the early part of the Second World War. After a wartime interruption, Teddlie resumed occasional publishing from various places where he was preaching in Texas, such as Ennis, Sulphur Springs, and Greenville. His hymnal editing career culminated in the Great Christian Hymnal (Abilene, Texas: Brotherhood Press, 1962), a full-size hymnal for weekly worship. This was followed by a second edition in 1965. For more on Teddlie as songwriter, see my post surveying his hymns.

Hymnal publishing at Firm Foundation during the 1920s continued at nearly the same frenetic pace as it had in the preceding decade, and other editors stood in the gap as needed. Emmett Sydney Dean (1876-1951), who wrote the music for Acuff's "Just over in the glory land," was lead editor for Church Evangel, published circa 1921. Dean was a founder of the Trio Music Company, and co-edited Dawning Light with Frank L. Eiland and H. W. Elliott in 1895, the earliest Trio publication I have been able to discover. He edited more than two dozen songbooks for Trio Music in the first quarter of the 20th century. Two other Firm Foundation hymnals appeared later in the decade under the editorship of James Washington Gaines (1880-1937). Another Methodist songwriter, Gaines was an associate from the early days of the Trio Music Company, and a personal friend of Frank L. Eiland--it was at Gaines's log cabin home in Palo Pinto County, Texas, that Eiland wrote the famous music to "Hold to God's unchanging hand."(Walker, "In that home") Gaines is best remembered among the Churches of Christ for "Take my hand and lead me," and for the music of "You never mentioned Him to me."

Firm Foundation closed out the decade with the New Ideal Gospel Hymn Book (1930). For this effort, the editorial team of Taylor and Showalter was augmented by James W. Acuff and William Evridge, editors of the first Firm Foundation hymnal back in 1909. Wayne Walker has identified this hymnal one of the most important of the early Firm Foundation hymnals.("Hymnbooks") It was the first of the larger hymnals (300-plus songs), and was reprinted in 1945 and 1947 as demand for this kind of book was rising among the Churches of Christ.

By the Decades: Editors 1931-1940; 1941-1950

As mentioned before, Austin Taylor's involvement with the Firm Foundation hymnals declined sharply after 1930. He edited only one more, in fact, until after the Second World War: Glad News (1939). The new hymnal team at Firm Foundation in the 1930s was instead Cobb & Showalter. Thomas S. Cobb (1876-1942), a native Texan, was educated in much the same circles as Taylor, and received his music diploma from the Western Normal and College of Music in Dallas. He taught singing schools across Texas and the bordering states, and was particularly noted for the "Cobb Quartet" made up of his four daughters. He was recruited to Firm Foundation by Showalter in 1935.(Finley, 122ff.) Cobb edited only four hymnals for Firm Foundation before his death in 1942, but among these was the significant New Wonderful Songs (1933); at 296 hymns it was part of the trend toward more substantial publications.

Prior to his work with Firm Foundation, Cobb edited hymnals for the Quartet Music Company of Fort Worth, Texas. A search of shows that he was involved with at least 7 books for this publisher, going back as far as the 1890s when it was called the "Quartette Company." One of these earlier works, From the Cross to the Crown (1921?) was subtitled, "Scriptural Songs," and was co-edited with Elder T. B. Clark and T. B. Mosley, one of the most well-known singing school teachers among the Churches of Christ in the southeastern U.S.(Finley, 366ff.) Mosley was also known as a staunch doctrinal conservative. This gives some idea of the bona fides Cobb brought with him during the era of the "hymnal controversy" surrounding E. L. Jorgenson's Great Songs of the Church. Jorgenson was firmly in the premillennial camp, and was an editor of Word and Work, the primary voice of this viewpoint within the Churches of Christ. Opponents of premillennialism objected to several hymns in Great Songs that supported this doctrine, or were at least questionable. (Most of these were removed or altered in the better-known "No. 2" edition).

Foy E. Wallace, Jr., the most vocal opponent of the premillennial movement, did more than object to individual hymns--he was opposed to using the hymnal at all. As editor of the Gospel Advocate during the early 1930s, Wallace brought in Lloyd O. Sanderson to work on an alternative, the Christian Hymns "no. 1." This desire to catch up with the popularity of Great Songs was probably what led to one of the most unusual events in the history of Firm Foundation hymnal publishing: when Gospel Advocate released the hymnal in 1935, it was co-published with rival Firm Foundation. It is the only such occasion I have found. Wallace left the Gospel Advocate before the hymnal actually came out, and preached in Oklahoma for a time. It was during this period, as best I can tell, that he submitted a series of articles to Firm Foundation in which he attacked Jorgenson and Great Songs of the Church from every angle imaginable. These are useful documents because they give the most detailed description of exactly which songs were considered "premillennial" (some really are, though as usual, some come down to poetic interpretation). But they are also sad evidence of a tendency to attack the person as well as the doctrine, often with a hateful sarcasm unbecoming to a Christian gentleman. It is all the more tragic in a man of Wallace's ability. Wallace particularly praised Austin Taylor's editing, however, considering it more attentive to scripturalness.

The decade of the 1940s saw very little activity in new hymnals at the Firm Foundation. Austin Taylor edited one smaller book, Greater Gospel Songs, and the Cobb & Showalter team brought forth another titled Our Leader. Both of these were published in 1941 before the U.S. entry into World War Two. No new hymnals would come from the Firm Foundation presses for more than a decade, though some earlier songbooks were reprinted.

By the Decade: Editors 1951-1960

Firm Foundation Bookstore, 27 August 1946
Austin History Center via Portal to Texas History
Thomas S. Cobb passed from this life in 1942, shortly after the last of the pre-war Firm Foundation hymnals appeared. When Firm Foundation returned to hymnal publishing after the war, it first offered reprints of earlier books. But a new project was in the offing, and the classic team of Taylor and Showalter reunited for a completely different kind of work. The result was a new full-size hardback hymnal that would be the most successful ever to come from the Firm Foundation presses: the Majestic Hymnal, first published in 1953. It marked the end of an era as well as a beginning; the revered George H. P. Showalter passed away the following year, and this was his final collaboration with Austin Taylor. They truly saved the best for last!

A 1954 article by Edgar Furr of the Texas Normal Singing School shows the enthusiasm with which this hymnal was received:
Our song book the "Majestic Hymnal" printed by the Firm Foundation is the official song book used in the school. The book contains a great number of new songs printed for the first time in 1953. Many of the new hymns were written by the teachers of our school and some were contributed by our friends and were placed in the book by the request of our faculty. The song services where this book is being used have created more interest and have shown a marked improvement. We have never been given to "conventional" singing.
This was an era when the Churches of Christ experienced rapid growth, riding the baby boom and postwar optimism. College education was increasingly accessible thanks to the "G.I. Bill," and for better or worse, the average affluence of congregations rose as membership in urban and suburban congregations grew. This phenomenon naturally led to an increased demand for substantial hymnals suitable for weekly worship; and though the gospel roots remained strong, there was also a desire for greater inclusion of music from the broader tradition of English hymnody. Great Songs of the Church had taken this approach from the beginning, and I believe it had an influence on Lloyd O. Sanderson's selections in Christian Hymns no. 2 (1948). Majestic Hymnal was the last of these major postwar hymnals to appear, but proved a worthy competitor and had a strong following in the western U.S.

Following the death of Showalter in 1954, the editorship of Firm Foundation passed to Reuel Lemmons (1912-1989). Lemmons was a native of Arkansas, but grew up in Tipton, Oklahoma near the border of the Texas panhandle. He became a prominent preacher and missionary, founding the Pan-American Lectureship held in Central and South America, and the European Lectureship held in Vienna. He was especially noted for his missionary work in Africa. Lemmons became the editor of Firm Foundation in 1955, following the death of George H. P. Showalter.(Finley, 314ff.) Terry Crawford notes that Lemmons was one of the most widely respected leaders in the Churches of Christ during the second half of the century, serving as a voice of moderate reason in the disputes of the era. This certainly matches the impression I received of Lemmons from my own parents, who held him in high regard. (I am sure his Oklahoma roots in no way prejudice my opinion.)

Though Lemmons wrote a few hymn texts, his most important role was as lead editor in the production of two hymnals. He oversaw the 1959 Majestic Hymnal, no. 2, probably the most influential of all the Firm Foundation hymnals. He also edited the 1978 Hymns of Praise, another work on a similar scale. Lemmons followed a somewhat different approach from that of Showalter. Though he is listed as editor, he drew on a large pool of music editors, broadening the perspective brought to the decisions involved. The title page presents a long and distinguished list of men as contributors: Austin Taylor, Tillit S. Teddlie, Elbert V. Kelley, Holland Boring, Sr., Edgar Furr, Marvin Rowland, and Wilkin Bacon.

Taylor and Teddlie need no further introduction! Elbert V. Kelley (1887-1970) was a native of Arkansas, but his family moved to Sabinal, Texas while he was still a small child. His career was centered around Sabinal, at that time the home of the Texas Normal Singing School.(Finley, 309) He is best remembered for his song, "I'll go" (1953). Following his involvement with Majestic Hymnal no. 2 he also edited Heart Melodies (1961).

Holland L. Boring, Sr. (1905-2000), a native Texan who graduated high school in Austin, would not be associated with Firm Foundation's hymnals until much later in life. After a decade as a public school principal, he went into full-time preaching, but went to Oregon in the 1950s as dean of Columbia Christian College in Portland. He directed the chorus there as well, and also directed music in the Columbia Christian High School. Boring's formal music training began at a singing school taught by Virgil O. Stamps, and he was teaching singing schools himself from the age of 16. He and Austin Taylor were the first teachers in the Texas Normal Singing School, and Boring later would establish the Haskell Singing School in western Texas, and the Foundation School of Church Music in the Austin area.(Finley, 84ff.) He wrote numerous songs, the best known of which is probably "He is near." This song debuted in the original 1953 Majestic Hymns.

Edgar Furr spent much of his preaching career in southern Texas, along the Gulf coast and the Texas-Mexico border. He attended Abilene Christian College around 1929-1930, and began preaching soon after.(Finley, 215) He was a lifelong friend of Austin Taylor, with whom he shared the hardships of a traveling preacher during the Depression. The two later co-founded the Texas Normal Singing School in Sabinal, Texas. This school is currently operated from the campus of Abilene Christian University, under the direction of the founder's son, Joe Ed Furr. It is the oldest such school still in operation.

Marvin Rowland (1907-2002) was a preacher in the central and western areas of Texas, but supplemented his income through farming, school teaching, and running a feed store. (More than one small-town preacher can relate to this!) He was a 1933 graduate of Abilene Christian College,(Christian Chronicle) where he sang in gospel quartets that traveled to area communities to support evangelistic efforts.(Optimist) He was serving as superintendent of the Sunny Glenn Children's Home in San Benito, Texas around the time that Majestic Hymnal no. 2 was published.(Del Rio News Herald)

Wilkin Bacon (1909-1981), a son of the Choctaw Nation of southeast Oklahoma, was a singer in the Frank Stamps Quartet in his early days but gave up a professional career in music to preach the gospel full-time. He is best remembered for his song "Can He depend on you?" (see this post for more on his life and career).

I have not been able to examine the comparatively rare 1953 Majestic Hymnal, but thumbing through the Majestic Hymnal no. 2, I am impressed with the quality of this work. Though Furr's 1954 article naturally pointed out the contributions of the Texas Normal faculty and students, the editorial team did not pad the hymnal with their own compositions. There are a number of songs by Taylor and Teddlie, of course, and a few by Eiland, Kelley, and others from the "Texas School." There is certainly a distinct Texas flavor to the work, to be sure, but it has a good representation of traditional 19th-century gospel and classical hymns as well. Though it is a fairly brief volume (442 hymns) and more than half-a-century old, it would be workable hymnal for many traditional Churches of Christ even today. I have certainly had to use worse!

I have found only one other Firm Foundation music publication from this era, Tiny Tot Tunes (1960) by John Fletcher Floyd. lists a volume called Hymns for Him (New York: Vantage Press, 1965), which might be by the same individual. I have not determined whether this is the same John Fletcher Floyd who published Thy Kingdom Come: A Survey of Church History in the Twentieth Century (Fort Worth: Star Bible Publications, 1996).

By the Decades: Editors 1961-1970 and 1971-1980

Though the Majestic Hymnal no. 2 ascended in popularity during the 1960s, Firm Foundation introduced only two hymnals during that decade: Heart Melodies (1961) edited by Elbert V. Kelley, and Songs of Joyful Praise (1965) edited by Frank Roberts. This might be the Frank Roberts (1927-2006) who was a choral director at Columbia Christian College,(Miller, 52) and later in the high school department of the Columbia Christian School.(FindAGrave)

The decade of the 1970s was dominated by one editor, Holland L. Boring, Sr., who was second only to Taylor and Showalter in the number of hymnals he edited for Firm Foundation. After his work with Columbia Christian College and School during the 1950s, Boring returned to preaching in western Texas. A Google search of his name turns up repeated references to his preaching for the Church of Christ in Spur, Texas during the 1960s. During this period he established the Haskell Singing School in Haskell, Texas (halfway between Fort Worth and Lubbock).(Walker, "I ask the prayers") In 1968 Holland Boring, Sr. and Reuel Lemmons inaugurated the Foundation School of Church Music near Austin, Texas. Boring, Sr. directed the school for many years.("FSCM History")

He was thus involved in the founding of the three most influential permanent singing schools among the Churches of Christ, having also established the Texas Normal Singing School with Austin Taylor in 1946. All three of these institutions are still in operation today. The following article by Holland Boring, Sr., We need more singing schools, reveals his commitment to training new generations of song leaders, singers, and songwriters. More than this, it reveals his deep understanding of the importance of church music in the spiritual development of Christians. Like Shakespeare, Boring must have believed that,
The man that hath no music in himself,
Nor is not mov'd with concord of sweet sounds,
Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils.
(Merchant of Venice, V, i, 83-85)
Most of Boring's publications for Firm Foundation were of the smaller paperback variety, promoting new songs from the singing schools. The return to this format may have been a reaction to the economic downturn of the 1970s. As prices of everything rose, congregations would have more reason to hold on to their old hymnals, buying replacement copies as needed. Small, cheap paperbacks once again became the best means of getting new music into the hands of church members.

The last major hymnal by Firm Foundation was Hymns of Praise (1978). Reuel Lemmons served again as editor-in-chief, with another large panel of associate editors, including several well-known names: Holland Boring, Sr., Paul Epps, Bobby Connel, Bill Cox, Tom Chapin, and Holland Boring, Jr. All of these were faculty of the Foundation School of Music.("FSCM History")

Holland Boring Jr. (1930-1997) was brought up in singing schools, naturally, and became a widely known song leader and teacher in Texas. In addition to full-time pulpit preaching he often held ministry positions that combined song leading with another area of service, such as youth ministry or directing the Bible school program. The father-and-son team taught together in the Texas Normal Singing School with Austin Taylor, then in their new project, the Foundation School of Music.(Finley, 78ff.) The elder Boring passed the directorship over to his son sometime after the mid-1980s.("FSCM History," also see FSCM flyer) Holland Boring Jr.'s tenure was sadly cut short by his 1997 death from a brain tumor, at the age of 66.(Walker, "I ask the prayers") His father passed away in 2000.

Paul H. Epps (1914-2002) was a native of Arkansas, but might better be described as an "Arklatexan," living the majority of his life in the bordering states of Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Texas. He was a full-time preacher, but like Holland Boring Jr. also held positions combining song leading with other ministry duties. In addition to teaching at the Foundation School, Epps co-taught singing schools with Lloyd O. Sanderson.(Finley, 185ff.) Some of his better-known songs are "Jesus knows and cares" and "God in His mercy." Bob Connel is still on the faculty of the Foundation School of Church Music, and still active in presenting singing seminars at congregations. Until recently he was editor of Christian Bible Teacher, and he is a well-known preacher.("Sermons," Abilene Reporter-News) In addition to teaching at the Foundation School, he was one of the original faculty of the Haskell Singing School,(Ellsworth) and taught there as recently as 2006.(Reed)

Bill Clyde Cox (b. 1931) was the only member of this editorial group who was not a minister. He was a masonry contractor, whose love of the Lord and interest in poetry and song led him to a fruitful avocation in church music. He studied composition under Holland Boring, Sr., with whom he co-edited Gems for His Crown in 1977. Cox was particularly concerned that new songs continue to be introduced to the churches, especially from songwriters within the Churches of Christ.(Finley, 127; 130) Tom Chapin (b. 1950) graduated from West Texas State University in 1974 with a music degree, and that summer took the directorship of the Haskell Singing School.(Ellsworth) He is still there, nearly 40 years later. Given the longevity of the tenures of these singing school teachers, there must be something intrinsically healthy about summer singing schools in the Texas heat! Chapin has been particularly successful in taking contemporary Christian songs with instrumental accompaniments and arranging them for four-part a cappella singing; several of his arrangements are in Praise for the Lord.

The book that these men produced for Firm Foundation, Hymns of Praise, is an impressive effort--at 753 hymns, it was by far the largest hymnal the publisher ever issued. But it did not stay in print long, and certainly did not enjoy the success of the earlier Majestic Hymnal.(Walker, "Hymnbooks") There are a number of reasons that one hymnal succeeds and another does not, but I think this was a simple case of a changed marketplace. When Majestic Hymnal first appeared in 1953, it had two primary competitors--Jorgenson's Great Songs of the Church no. 2 and Sanderson's Christian Hymns no. 2. By the time the improved 1959 Majestic Hymnal no. 2 appeared, Christian Hymns no. 2 was more than 10 years old; Great Songs of the Church no. 2, of course, was still essentially unchanged from its pre-war form. The only new competitor to take the field since 1953 was Ellis Crum's Sacred Selections (1956), which likely had not yet gained enough traction to be a major factor. Majestic Hymnal no. 2 was in an ideal position to build on earlier successes, and did so.

But by 1978, nearly two decades later, things were different. Abilene Christian University, having bought the copyright to Great Songs of the Church from Elmer Jorgenson, had updated this old classic with a supplement of 70 well-chosen hymns. Sanderson had brought out Christian Hymns III in 1966. Sacred Selections, with its much higher percentage of "quartet-style" gospel songs, had caught on across the southern and western states and had been recently updated. In 1971, Alton Howard published Songs of the Church, and followed this up with a slightly revised edition in 1977; his books also contained a good share of songs in the southern gospel style. It was a much more crowded field, and Hymns of Praise was competing with already established hymnals that appealed to the very same segment of the market.


Typesetters at Firm Foundation, 27 August 1946
Austin History Center via Portal to Texas History
After Buster Dobbs replaced Reuel Lemmons as editor of Firm Foundation in 1983, there were no further hymnal publications. This is not surprising; the Gospel Advocate Company, which had published hymnals since the late 19th century, produced no more after Christian Hymns III in 1966. Richard Hughes observed that the last few decades of the 20th century saw the waning of the era in which two or three religious journals were read almost universally among the Churches of Christ in the U.S.; the rise of many smaller papers diffused the influence of the editors of major papers.(Hughes, 214) Add to this the boom of self-publishing via the Internet, and it is easy to see how fragmented the readership has become. It may be that no one journal wields enough influence to make a new hymnal succeed. Since the last two decades of the 20th century, hymnal publishing among Churches of Christ has largely been the domain of single-editor efforts, sometimes connected with a larger publishing house (Howard Publishing or ACU Press for example) but usually not with a religious journal.

There is also the fact that the amateur gospel singing culture, which supported Firm Foundation's early boom in paperpack songbooks, no longer exists to the extent it once did. In addition, the regrettable and unnecessary antagonism that exists between some proponents of traditional church music and some proponents of contemporary church music has divided the efforts of those who should instead be working together to promote our worship in song. What the future of hymnal publishing may be is uncertain; as digital projection becomes more common, the entire concept of "hymnal" may change. But perhaps the ready availability of desktop music publishing, and the easy integration of new songs into a congregation's available repertoire via PowerPoint, will lead to a new era of collaboration in songwriting and publishing such as existed in the past.


Crawford, T. Wesley. "Firm Foundation." The Encyclopedia of the Stone-Campbell Movement. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 2004.

Finley, Gene C., ed. Our Garden of Song. West Monroe, La.: Howard Publishing, 1980.

Goff, James R. Close Harmony: A History of Southern Gospel Music. Chapel Hill, N.C.: University of North Carolina Press, 2002.

Harrell, David Edwin. "Noninstitutional movement." The Encyclopedia of the Stone-Campbell Movement. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 2004.

McCann, Forrest. "A History of Great Songs of the Church." Restoration Quarterly 38/4 (1996), 219-228.

Catalog of Copyright Entries, Part 3: Musical Compositions. Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, 1907.

Harp, Scott. "J. S. Dunn." The Restoration Movement.,js.htm

Harp, Scott. "F. L. Eiland." The Restoration Movement.

"Emmett Sydney Dean." Cyberhymnal.

Rone, Wendell H. A History of the Daviess-McLean Baptist Association in Kentucky,
Owensboro, Kentucky: Messenger Job Printing Co., 1944.

Harp, Scott. "George Henry Pryor Showalter." The Restoration Movement.

Hooper, Robert E. A Distinct People. West Monroe, Louisiana: Howard Publishing, 1993.

Harp, Scott. "Tillit Sydney Teddlie." The Restoration Movement.,ts.htm

Walker, Wayne S. "In that home of the soul." Hymn Studies.

Walker, Wayne S. "A history of our hymnbooks." Faith and Facts October 1999.

Walker, Wayne S. "Just over in the glory land." Hymn Studies.

Furr, Edgar. "Texas Normal Singing School." Gospel Guardian 5/38 (4 February 1954)

Obituaries. Christian Chronicle July 2002.

"Marvin Rowland to speak Sunday in Church of Christ." News Herald (Del Rio, Texas) 1 December 1961, p. 3A.

"Five additions are reported in Hawley revival to present." Optimist (Abilene, Texas) 16/38 (11 July 1929)

"Franklin Roberts."

Miller, Bonnie, et al.Navigating the Mighty Columbia: Columbia Christian College, a Comprehensive History, a Collaborative Work of Love. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: Oklahoma Christian University, 2009.

Owens, Joel. "A history of the Pecos River Family Encampment."

Walker, Wayne S. "I ask the prayers of those I love." Hymn Studies.

"FSCM History." Foundation School of Church Music, 2006.

Boring, Holland L., Sr. "We need more singing schools." Gospel Guardian 19/47 (4 April 1968), p. 9b-10.

Flyer advertising Foundation School of Church Music. Center for Restoration Studies at Abilene Christian University.

"Sermons." Abilene Reporter-News 26 May 2011.

Reed, Jerry Daniel. "Scores gather in Haskell." Abilene Reporter-News 11 July 2006.

Ellsworth, Ken. "Singing in Haskell." Abilene Reporter-News 14 July 2000.

Hughes, Richard T. "Churches of Christ." Encyclopedia of Religion in the South. Macon, Georgia: Mercer University Press, 2005.