Friday, October 26, 2012

Dear Lord and Father of Mankind

Praise for the Lord #122

Words: John Greenleaf Whittier, 1872
Music: Frederick C. Maker, 1887 (REST)

John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892) grew up in a Quaker farming family in Massachusetts, and was always strongly grounded in the quiet rural ways of pre-industrial New England. But the image of Whittier as the white-headed old country gentleman, writing folksy ballads, belies his youthful editorial and political work as a militant Abolitionist. His writing was discovered in 1826 by William Lloyd Garrison (1805-1879), who promoted Whittier's early career as an editor and pamphleteer. Whittier even served in the Massachusetts legislature in 1835, where his political views brought considerable attention--he narrowly escaped mob violence after a speech in Concord!

The young Quaker's personal foray into politics was cut short by a breakdown in health from overwork, forcing him to retire to the family farm for a time. By the 1850s, however, most New Englanders had come around toward his views on slavery, and as an early advocate of Abolition by peaceful, legislative means, Whittier was held in high regard. Along with literary titans such as Emerson and Longfellow, he was part of the founding generation of writers for The Atlantic Monthly in 1857.(Cluff)

Though Whittier's lengthy poem "Snow-Bound" is generally considered his literary masterwork, it is through hymn adaptations that he is most widely known today. Ironically, he was somewhat bewildered at the success of these repurposed verses:
I am really not a hymn-writer, for the good reason that I know nothing of music. Only a very few of my pieces were written for singing. A good hymn is the best use to which poetry can be devoted, but I do not claim that I have succeeded in composing one.(quoted in Julian, 1278)
His peers, and following generations, have begged to differ. Julian lists 33 hymns that were in common use by the end of the 19th century, and at least two--"Dear Lord and Father of Mankind" and "Immortal Love forever full" (PFTL #326) are still found in many hymnals today.(Julian, 1278) Most of these were excerpted from longer works; "Dear Lord and Father of mankind" is the final six stanzas of the 17-stanza poem titled "The Brewing of Soma," published in The Atlantic Monthly volume 29, issue 174 (April 1872), pages 473-475.

The first six stanzas of "The Brewing of Soma" are a reimagining of the ancient Vedic Indian practice of imbibing soma, a drink that was probably not actually an alcoholic brew but rather the clarified essence of a psychedelic mushroom. In some Vedic rituals, soma was offered to the gods, who were believed to be empowered by its effects; the priests and people also partook and received ecstatic visions.(Mahony)

This seems a long way from the hymn text we know! But in the next five stanzas, the middle portion of the poem, Whittier compares the artificially induced passions created by soma to the misguided attempts of Christians to create a meaningful relationship with God through the use of artificial innovations. He compares these practices to each other--Christian and non-Christian, Western and Eastern--and finds them all to have been mere attempts "to bring the skies more near, / Or lift men up to heaven," by our own efforts.

It is important here to understand traditional Quaker worship as Whittier knew it. In the "unprogrammed worship" or "waiting worship" still practiced by conservative Quakers, congregants gather in silence and simply wait for the Holy Spirit to move someone to speak. This may be a prayer, a Scripture reading, a song, or a devotional message; no one knows until it happens. If no one is moved to speak, a service may consist entirely of sitting in silence, "waiting on the Lord."("Friends' Worship") In earlier centuries, this was thdo predominant mode of worship among Quakers, but during the Second Great Awakening of the 19th century, many began to embrace the fervor of the Holiness movement. Whittier complained to a friend that "Quakerism has run into Methodism."(Herman)

To the reserved New England farmer, there was a world of difference between a group of equals waiting quietly for the Spirit to speak, and a crowd being whipped into a frenzy by a professional revivalist. The final stanza of the middle section of "The Brewing of Soma" reads:
And yet the past comes round again,
And new doth old fulfil;
In sensual transports wild as vain
We brew in many a Christian fane
The heathen Soma still!
The author of "Dear Lord and Father of Mankind" was mourning not only the busyness and noise of everyday life, but also the busyness and noise which can all too easily become a substitute for true spiritual worship. I have always found the Quakers interesting, though we disagree on many points. Historically they have been willing to put their beliefs into practice, and to suffer the consequences for going against the mainstream. And though I do not agree with their ideas about the nature and means of the Spirit's leading, I wholeheartedly agree that our worship ought to begin from a relationship with God that listens to His Spirit and responds to Him in the ways that He directs.

Stanza 1:
Dear Lord and Father of mankind,
Forgive our foolish ways!
Reclothe us in our rightful mind,
In purer lives Thy service find,
In deeper reverence, praise.

Scripture has a great deal to say about fools and foolishness, but nowhere, I think, is the subject of foolishness in worship addressed so directly as in this eloquent passage from Ecclesiastes:
Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. To draw near to listen is better than to offer the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they are doing evil. Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few.(Ecclesiastes 5:1-2)
A dear older friend of mine served in the U.S. Army during the Second World War, and vividly recounted the day that King George VI visited the troops where he was stationed in northern Africa. The British soldiers camped next to the Americans lined the road, shouting "God save the King!" and other such cheers as the motorcade passed. My friend's commanding officer thought it would be clever if the Americans did something different, and so when the royal car passed they all shouted on cue, "Yaaaayyyy, George!" According to my eyewitness, the King's facial expression was priceless.

Most of us have a better sense of appropriateness when addressing human dignitaries. Why, then, would anyone suppose that we could approach the King of Kings with any less respect, or concern for appropriate behavior? If I am writing a formal letter to some person in high government office, I will check a dictionary or almanac to be sure of the correct form of address. Why wouldn't I give the same attention to God's word in an effort to learn how I should address Him in worship? Here is Whittier's meaning, I think, in the expression, "foolish ways." Like the unfortunate American officer, people often wish to approach God in some way of their own invention, because it appeals to them more, and are oblivious to the question of what God would have them do.

Often, I believe, this comes from a sincere desire for an intimate experience of the presence of God in their worship. Unfortunately, we humans are too prone to mistaking one feeling for another. We confuse excitement with passion, and exhilaration with devotion. Now, if we feel nothing in our worship, there is obviously something wrong; but on the other hand, just having a warm spiritual feeling does not mean we are one bit closer to God, or any more pleasing to Him. I have seen cold, dead worship (at least it appeared so to me, which an important caution to remember), but I have also seen very enthusiastic worship in which people were whipped into a frenzy of devotion, week after week, yet with little apparent effect on the lifestyles I saw the rest of the time. It is useless to have a cold, dead faith, but it is equally useless to drink the soma of an induced emotional high and believe it is worship.

Of course there are many other things in this world that become soma to the multitudes who are looking for meaning and fulfillment. Sometimes it is actually a literal drug; sometimes it is an abuse of the passions of the flesh, such as food, or sex, or the desire for material things. Sometimes we even use good and noble things, such as love of friends and family, as a soma that gives our lives meaning. But in the end these things are not solving the fundamental need of the human soul, to find its Creator.

So what is Whittier's alternative? He would first have us "reclothed in our rightful minds." The attitude with which we approach worship is just as important as the content of the worship itself. This is much of the message in Eccesiastes 5:1-2, quoted above: remember who God is, and who you are. When Moses heard the voice from the burning bush announce the presence of the Lord, he "hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God."(Exodus 3:6) When Isaiah saw the vision of the Lord in the temple, he cried out, "Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, The LORD of hosts."

Now, as Christians we know that Jesus came to open a "new and living way" into the presence of God by His blood,(Hebrews 10:20) and that because of this we can "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) But though we are able to come before Him "with confidence" (KJV "boldly"), that does not mean we are free to come before Him flippantly or carelessly. We must "draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith,"(Hebrews 10:22), worshiping the Creator "in spirit and in truth."(John 4:23)

Whittier defines his objective a little further in the wish that we would "in purer lives Thy service find." Hebrews 10:22 says in full: "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." Few of us, if we have a choice, will go to the worship assembly unwashed, with our hair unkempt, and wearing dirty clothes; we ought to take more concern, though, for the state of the inward person! The high priests of the Hebrew dispensation wore a headdress bearing a gold plate engraved with the words, "Holiness to the LORD."(Exodus 28:36) This was an outward symbol of the spiritual reality, and showed the priest's complete dedication to God's service. May God engrave that on our hearts and minds so that we never forget it.

Holiness seems to have at least two sides--purity, and dedication to service. The priests of the Hebrew temple, and even the furnishings of the temple, illustrate both of these. They were to be pure, free from uncleanness. The high priests were not allowed to touch a dead body, even of a near family member.(Leviticus 21:10-11) The priests and the temple were set aside in this way for a reason--they were to serve God in a special way. The entire tribe of Levi, in fact, was for the most part supported by the other tribes, because they were meant to serve God full-time. We need to recognize that we too are called to personal purity, and are set apart for God's service.

The Quaker ethic placed a great emphasis on holiness put into practice in our dealings with fellow humanity. William Penn said,
And most certainly, as men grow in grace, and know the anointing of the Word in themselves, the dispensation will be less in words (though in words) and more in life; and preaching will in great measure be turned into praising, and the worship of God, more into walking with, than talking of God: for that is worship indeed, that bows to his will at all times, and in all places: the truest, the highest worship, man is capable of in this world.(Primitive Christianity Revived, chapter 10, section 6; italics in original)
It was no accident that Penn built a Quaker colony, Pennsylvania, which became a beacon of religious tolerance to the world. No accident, either, that the Quakers were at the forefront of the anti-slavery movement on both sides of the Atlantic. Of course good works do not replace worship, any more than worship replaces good works; they are interdependent. A life fully devoted to serving God should lead to devoted worship as well, and worship in spirit and truth should cause us to serve God in our daily lives with the same spirit and truth.

Whittier also calls us to find, "in deeper reverence, praise." This seems to be the perennial problem of worship; if there is sufficient reverence in the first place, then the actions and intentions will usually follow God's wishes as well. Hebrews 12:28 instructs us, "Let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe." If Cain had possessed enough reverence and awe, would he have offered an unacceptable sacrifice to God?(Hebrews 11:4) If Nadab and Abihu had possessed enough reverence and awe, would they have used "unauthorized fire" in the temple?(Leviticus 10:1) If the church at Corinth had possessed enough reverence and awe, would they have corrupted the Lord's Supper?(1 Corinthians 11) Let us first understand Whom it is we worship, and we will know to listen to His wishes, and to fulfill them with the sincerest efforts of our hearts.

Stanza 2:
In simple trust like theirs who heard
Beside the Syrian sea
The gracious calling of the Lord,
Let us, like them, without a word,
Rise up and follow Thee.

This stanza comments on the remarkable incidents of the calling of the apostles. Whittier is likely referring to Matthew 4:18-22, in which Jesus formally called Peter and Andrew, and then James and John. In each case the apostles are said to have followed Jesus "immediately," leaving their fishing business on the spot. In other passages we find that there was some interaction between these individuals beforehand; John 1:40-42 tells us that Andrew had heard Jesus teaching and went to get Peter, whom he introduced to the Lord at that time. Luke 5:1-11 gives us a more detailed account of the call of the four fishermen, including the miraculous catch of fish. In this account we find that Peter, as we would expect, did not follow Jesus "without a word"--his response to Jesus was, "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord."(Luke 5:8)

But his attitude of heart was one of quiet submission, and when Jesus calmed his fears, Peter rose up and followed. Jesus knew he was a sinful man when He called him; all of the apostles, of course, were sinful men. The important thing was, Peter knew he was a sinful man, and thus in an appropriate humility he listened to his Lord and obeyed. We have a similar example in the young Samuel, who at the advice of Eli responded to the Lord's nighttime call, "Speak, Lord, for your servant hears."(1 Samuel 3:10) Little Samuel heard an earful that night, and it must have been a heavy burden to bear; but he served the Lord faithfully through a difficult era in Israel's history. He set the first example of the priest and prophet standing up against the king,(1 Samuel 15) because he listened to God rather than to men.

There is a timeworn proverb that my children know by heart: "You have two eyes, two ears, and only one mouth--and there's a reason for that." We need to listen to God's word, and to watch carefully for the opportunities He sends us to do good. We are not called to such a high station as the apostles, but we are called to some station, and whatever work the Lord gives us is important because it is serving Him. As an old boss of mine used to say (I suppose all bosses say this), "We need a lot less talking and a lot more doing."

Another great example of this attitude is found in Andrew, one of the most under-recognized of the apostles. Before the feeding of the five thousand, Jesus questioned His disciples about how they would feed the multitude--testing their faith.(John 6:6) Philip probably represented the majority when he spoke up and declared the task impossible; but Andrew turned up with the boy who had the five barley loaves and two fish. Andrew's faith was imperfect--he still asked, "What are these for so many?"(v. 9) But while others were standing around complaining, Andrew was looking about for a way to solve the problem. He did not question the Lord's directions, but simply did the best he could to obey and left the rest to Jesus.

Stanza 3:
O Sabbath rest by Galilee!
O calm of hills above,
Where Jesus knelt to share with Thee
The silence of eternity
Interpreted by love!

In Whittier's original poem there is another stanza here, which is included in some hymnals. It continues the theme of the preceding stanza:

With that deep hush subduing all
Our words and works that drown
The tender whisper of Thy call,
As noiseless let Thy blessing fall
As fell Thy manna down.

I have known people, and you probably do too, who cannot abide silence and solitude. They must have some kind of activity, and some kind of noise, or they are uncomfortable. I understand why people may turn on the radio or television when they are home alone, when the house seems "too quiet." And there are certain kinds of work that are very much aided by the mental diversion of listening to music, or news, or sports. (I will always associate the days of writing my dissertation with the 1996 baseball season and the Texas Rangers.) But modern society has come to expect a constant background of distracting sights, sounds, and interactions, and I am afraid I know why. When we are alone and all is quiet, we can hear ourselves think.

When we take the time to think, we often become aware of things that we would rather avoid. We may begin to wonder about where our lives have taken us. We may begin to think about our relationships with other people. We may even contemplate our own mortality. We might call into question our entire course of life if we are not careful! These questions make us uncomfortable, but Christians know that this is exactly the kind of introspection that Scripture urges upon us for our own good. And for Christians, no matter how uncomfortable such self-examination may make us, there is the reassurance that we do in fact have answers to the questions and solutions to the problems that solitude forces us to face.

Psalm 46:10 adjures us, "Be still, and know that I am God." If we take the time to stop and think about who God is, to really try to comprehend (however imperfectly) what He has told us of himself, it sets us on a right footing for everything else. It is difficult to focus our minds, but choosing the time and place helps. An early morning walk before sunrise is a good opportunity to observe God's creation without as many distractions of the man-made world. We might look at the moon and the stars, and think of their immense age and distance from us. We might listen to the wind or watch the clouds go by, both of which go unnoticed during our busy workdays but are always there, moving about this planet in systems of such complexity that we can never quite predict what they will do next. The great Levite singer Asaph said in Psalm 77:12, "I will ponder all Your work, and meditate on Your mighty deeds." But these things are "His works, and not Himself," as Augustine so eloquently put it.(Confessions, 3.6.10) Our sun annihilates a little more than 4.5 million tons of matter every second to produce the heat and light that keep us alive, through processes that are still not completely understood; but our God is the one who created that body.

Quiet study and meditation also helps us to remember who our God has proven himself to be in His dealings with His people. In Psalm 143:5, David said, "I remember the days of old; I meditate on all that You have done." When we remember God's faithfulness and providence, we can put a better perspective on our problems. The author of the great 119th Psalm states in verse 23 that, "Even though princes sit plotting against me, Your servant will meditate on Your statutes." Quiet introspection in the light of God's word will also keep us on the right path. God instructed Joshua, at the beginning of that worthy man's leadership over Israel, "This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it."(Joshua 1:8)

The third stanza of Whittier's poem recalls the devotional life of Jesus, who spent frequent periods in the sole company of His Father.(Mark 1:35-38, Luke 6:12) In Matthew 26:36-46 we find Jesus praying fervently in Gethsemane, and receiving the comfort of ministering angels. It is sadly ironic that Judas chose this place to betray Jesus into the hands of His enemies--because Judas knew Jesus often went there for this purpose.(John 18:2) Even Jesus found it needful to seek quiet and solitude to commune with His Father; how much more do we?

Looking again at Whittier's primary context, I wonder if many of us have become afraid of silence in worship. If we worshipers become bored during a few minutes (or seconds?) of silence, I wonder what that says about the desire to focus on God. But I have seen many worship services among other religious groups in which the organ or piano is playing almost constantly, as though they cannot afford to leave people unattended in their own thoughts.

Among the Churches of Christ I have occasionally encountered the practice of singing during the Lord's Supper. I am not saying this is wrong, or that it could not be done in a good way; but the silence we have traditionally observed during this time is precious to me. When I was a child it made me realize the deep solemnity and importance of this Part of worship. Now that I am a Christian it is an aid in my private self-examination before partaking.(1 Corinthians 11:28)

Stanza 4:
Drop Thy still dews of quietness,
Till all our strivings cease;
Take from our souls the strain and stress,
And let our ordered lives confess
The beauty of Thy peace.

Whittier's "Brewing of Soma" has one more stanza in conclusion, which is used in many hymnals (the selection and ordering of the stanzas varies greatly from editor to editor):

Breathe through the heats of our desire
Thy coolness and Thy balm;
Let sense be dumb, let flesh retire;
Speak through the earthquake, wind, and fire,
O still, small voice of calm!

Sometimes our lack of quiet and solitude is not from choice, but from the necessity pressed upon us in a hectic, fast-paced world. A humorous example of this that I have heard from my parents concerned one of our elders from the Church of Christ in my home town in Oklahoma. It had been a tremendously busy day for him with many interruptions, but finally our families were able to sit down together to eat. As we were in this elder's home, we waited until he finally got away from the telephone and came to the table to offer thanks for our food. He sat down, bowed his head, and said, "Hello?" as though he were answering the phone again! The good man was simply frazzled by a demanding day.

"God is not a God of confusion, but of peace."(1 Corinthians 14:33) Yet how hard it is to clear away the confusion that results from the distractions of life! But if we cannot find time to be alone with God, we need to make some changes. Certainly we can examine our lives and look for those things that we can simplify, or even delete, in order to have time for something so important. Often it is just a matter of determining to take the time. David found this place, in spite of his stressful and demanding life (see 1st and 2nd Samuel), as seen in this little gem of a Psalm:
O LORD, my heart is not lifted up;
My eyes are not raised too high;
I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me.

But I have calmed and quieted my soul,
Like a weaned child with its mother;
Like a weaned child is my soul within me.

O Israel, hope in the LORD from this time forth and forevermore.

(Psalm 131)
Sometimes, however, our best efforts at finding quiet and solitude are thwarted by circumstances beyond our control. (I wonder, however, if there is not a more diabolical agency behind this!) When we are gripped by stress and cannot seem to find peace, we can take comfort in the fact that the same Lord whose help we seek is the one who once told a stormy sea, "Peace, be still!"(Mark 4:39) Søren Kierkegaard related this idea in his poem, "For Inward Peace." The composer Michael Rickelton, a former student of mine (who obviously overcame that handicap), created a beautiful choral setting of this text that has been performed widely.
Calm the waves of this heart, O God; calm its tempests.
Calm yourself, O my soul, so that God is able to rest in you, so that God’s peace may cover you.
Yes, You give us peace, O God, peace that the whole world can never take away.
The apostle Paul noted in Philippians 4:11 that, "I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content." Paul had more reason than most of us to be stressed (see 2 Corinthians 11), but he had found that "peace of God that passes understanding."(Philippians 4:7) Paul, though in prison and under threat of death, through his "ordered life confessed" this peace to all the world and for all time. God help us to calm our spirits and find that inner peace, both for our own sakes, and for the sake of an out-of-control society that is desperate for such relief.

There is an element of this hymn found in two of the stanzas unused in Praise for the Lord, that reflects the Quaker view of "inner light" or direct personal revelation from the Holy Spirit. The "still small voice of calm" in the final stanza of Whittier's poem, and an earlier stanza's phrase "tender whisper of Thy call" are the real point of the silence in Quaker worship. But though I do not share Whittier's view of a continuous, personalized revelation, we certainly need to listen so attentively to the Spirit's words that are unmistakably revealed to us in Scripture. We need to train our attention on the Spirit's providential work in our lives, both to strengthen us and to use us as His instruments of good. The "still, small voice" was what told Elijah to get up from his discouragement and self-pity and return to his ministry with a new perspective.(1 Kings 19) Let us take the time, or make the time, to be quiet in our thoughts and listen to our Father. And let us then say with our Savior, "Not my will, but Yours, be done."(Luke 22:42)

About the music:

Frederick Charles Maker (1844-1927) was born, lived, and died in Bristol. He was a professor of music at Clifton College, and was engaged as organist by a series of  congregations of the Free Congregational fellowship.(Cyberhymnal) A search of reveals that he published anthems, hymns, and sacred cantatas, as well as numerous secular works for piano, music theory texts, and vocal exercises. He even wrote an operetta on the story of Goldilocks and the three bears (1912).

His list of tunes represented in the database (most of them with page scans or PDFs) shows that two of his works far outstripped the others in popularity--REST (also sometimes called ELTON), the tune under consideration here, and MAKER, the common tune for "Beneath the cross of Jesus." Both of these have the distinction of having become firmly associated with their respective texts; in the U.S. it is rare to find Whittier's hymn set to any other tune, though I understand that REPTON, based on a melody by Sir Hubert Parry, is often used in Great Britain and the Commonwealth nations. Frederick Maker originally composed REST for the Congregational Hymnal (London, 1887) edited by George S. Barrett.(Hymnal 1940 Companion, 271)

Maker's style in this hymn setting is squarely within Victorian Romanticism, full of chromatic turns of melody and richly chromatic harmonies underneath. Coincidentally, both REST and MAKER begin with a similar chromatic neighboring tone--REST with MI-MI-MI-RI-MI ("Dear Lord and Fa-ther"), and MAKER with SOL-SOL-SOL-FI-LA-SOL-MI ("Be-neath the cross of Je-sus"). What distinguishes Frederick Maker's use of this style is that he does it so well--though it was a somewhat cliched style even at the time, his broad education in music probably gave him a perspective that helped him not be caught up in chromaticism for chromaticism's sake. He is dramatic without being syrupy.

A particularly effective touch is the chromatic descent in the melody through the end of the first phrase into the beginning of the second. Here the tune falls by half-step on each successive note of the words "man-kind, For-give." The raised chromatic note on "-kind" is the leading tone to the dominant, which is the goal of the cadence at the end of the second phrase; but the following note on "For-" unexpectedly moves down instead of up, deflating the sense of striving toward the dominant. There is a very clever echo of this idea at the end of the tune as well--on the words, "deep-er rev'-rence, praise," the tenor follows a similar descending half-step pattern, one of the most memorable moments in the music.

The middle part of the hymn tune, the third and fourth phrases, is built around a modified melodic and harmonic sequence. The third phrase, MI-MI-FA-SOL-DO-DO-TI-LA ("Take from our souls the strain and stress") is echoed by the fourth, (LA-LA-SOL-FA-FI-SOL-FA-MI ("And let our ordered lives confess"), at least in the closing descending notes, but the opening three notes are inverted (LA-SOL-FA descending instead of MI-FA-SOL ascending). The bass line emphasizes these opening three notes each time, following them in parallel 3rds an octave below; this makes the bass line a melodic sequence in itself, and to some extent makes the harmonic progressions of the two phrases sequential as well.

But to have all these wonderful flowing lines in the melody, tenor, and bass, someone has to pay the price--and thus was born one of the most boring alto lines ever written. The alto cycles endlessly through the notes DO, TI, and RE, with one solitary DI (DO-sharp). Hopefully the cleverness of the harmonies shifting around this fixed point is compensation enough for such mistreatment!


Cluff, Randall. "Whittier, John Greenleaf." American National Biography. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999, volume 23, 320-322.

Julian, John. A Dictionary of Hymnology. New York: Scribner, 1892.

Whittier, John Greenleaf. "The Brewing of Soma." The Atlantic Monthly volume 29, issue 174, pages 473-475. Hosted at Cornell University, Making of America

Mahony, William K. "Soma." Encyclopedia of Religion. New York: MacMillan, 1995, volume 13, pages 414-415.

"Friends' Worship." Conservative Friend. Stillwater Monthly Meeting of Ohio Yearly Meeting of Friends.

Herman, Susan. "The Brewing of Soma." John Greenleaf Whittier: Essex County's Famous Son. Danvers, Massachusetts: North Shore Community College.

Penn, William. Primitive Christianity Revived. 1696. Online edition from an 1857 reprint by Street Corner Society.

Augustine. Confessions, translated by Albert C. Outler.

"Frederick Charles Maker." Cyberhymnal.

The Hymnal 1940 Companion. New York: Church Pension Fund, 1949.

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