Friday, February 20, 2009

Letter From John Robinson

Below I have posted part of a letter that John Robinson, pastor of the congregation of Leyden in Holland, wrote to those leaving to form a community in America, where they could worship the Lord. It was read aboard the Mayflower, just before they left. I would have posted the whole thing, but it was really long, so I didn't. :P I originally came across it in Plymouth Plantation, by William Bradford. But here's a link to the entire letter in case you want the whole thing:

"And if taking of offense causelessly or easily at men's doings should be so carefully avoided, how much more heed is to be taken that we take not offense at God Himself, which yet we certainly do so oft as we do murmur at His providence in our crosses, or bear impatiently such afflictions as wherewith He pleaseth to visit us. Store up, therefore, patience against that evil day, without which we take offense at the Lord Himself in His holy and just works."

This letter to Mr. Robinson's congregation is filled with warnings and advice like this. What care he had for his congregation! He loved the people therein, and cared for them as if they were a part of his own family! I am of the opinion that that is how it should be. Yesterday morning mommy was reading to us 1 Corinthians 13. It dawned on me that this entire book was a letter. Of course I knew that it was a letter before hand, but I realized this was a letter to a congregation. He was teaching certain congregations these things, and encouraging them in the Lord. And later those letters became a part of the Bible. John Robinson's letter is similar to Paul's, but these papers express and reveal a deeply felt love for the beloved in Christ, the people they were shepherding. I don't know. Just some thoughts. :)


A Commentologist said...

Greetings Ruby,

This is the first time that I shall leave you some comments here on your Machinations because I read your profile and I simply must remark on a few listings that were there. Firstly, I see that you have A Tale of Two Cities down on your especial book list. I just finished that over the last two weeks after voraciously plowing through it with remarkable rapidity. I must say that it is the best and most intriguing plot that I've encountered in any novel. (A thought... You are likely wondering who's words you are reading aren't you? True, it would be prudent to state an identity. This is Ryan Turnewitsch that you have seen a few times from the OVCHE home-school group. Yeah, you're saying 'O.K.' right now and that quizzical look just vanished from your mien didn't it?) So, yes the book, how powerful and poignantly written. Really, Dickens must be one of my favorite authors. And I gained a much deeper insight to revolutions in general after reading it.

As you have likely heard from either Rachel or Olivia, I played Beethoven's Op 13 first movement for our November Book Study which I'm positive that you must have been apprised of at some juncture of time. Well, anyway the reason I mention this is I remember that you exhibited the first few puissant chords last May after our annual Talent Show. My! it is some piece. I loved playing all those mordants in the 'Allegro molto e con brio' sections. They are challenging yet rewarding when efficaciously executed. I think I may have scared some of my audiences with the intensity that I played the Grave parts. However, the more contrast incorporated into the varying sections, the more dynamic and magnificent it becomes. Now, I am playing a piece on the other side of the spectrum for the annual Thursday Music Club's Young Musicians auditions that I'm a part of, one of my all time favorite's, Debussy's masterpiece: Clair de Lune. Superficially, it is much easier but as you likely know, it has some impossible parts to it. Since I'm assuming that you have played it before, I would like to solicit some advice from you about one of those segments. In the Tempo Rubato section, second and third lines, (mm 19, 21, and 23) there is an inner melody within the treble clef that is composed of dotted quarters in contrast to the ubiquitous eighth notes that surround them. Now, if one observes these passages with scrutiny they can see that after ALL of the dotted chords there is at least one or two notes that are played either by the left or right hands (or both) while the dotted quarters should still be fulfilling their full counts. Now, I'm not even sure if you've played Clair de Lune or that if you did, you came to this impediment (because it is easy to treat the dotted quarters as eighths and move on, but I'll be judged by W.V.U.'s music director so I need to get this right.) But if I happen to be so fortuitous as that you did indeed play it and fought with this issue then I would be thrilled if you told me how you handled it. A prime example of what I'm expatiating of can be found in measure 23 (page 2) and the fifth chord following the culminating E flats. We have a eighth D flat, a dotted quarter G flat and B flat in the bass and in the treble we find – an octaval eighth D flats and between the dotted G and B. (I hope that you have this music in front of you!) But then we have a grievous problem, those Gs and Bs should be held for the full two and one half beats as indicated by the (terrible) 9/8 timing. (I can't stand odd numbered counts!) However, two of the notes still being held are immediately depressed on the ninth beat by BOTH the right and left hands Prior to their counts entirety. This happens in mm 19 and 21 as well as other spots throughout. (In case you are wondering, I do have a piano instructor and I'm not dependent on soliciting other musicians via the Internet to advance in my piano! It's just that I know you are a notably conversant pianist and that you are amiable enough to offer your erudition on the subject of you possess any, so why not ask?) Now, did you encounter this if you played the piece and if so, what procedure did you perpetrate to remedy it? My teacher and I have concluded that it must mean to rapidly release and simultaneously re-depress the notes after holding the dotted ones where it is indicated. It's strange because there are no tie markings present either or any written-in instructions from Claude. To add to my quandaries, it is wickedly hard to try to hold those notes while shifting my hand's position to execute the other encompassing notes, let alone voice them harmoniously and then release them only to then depress them again in a matter of milliseconds. It is a rather rapid part of the piece as you likely know. I've noticed that he incorporates this same idea of inner voicing and outer melody (or vice-versa) in his other pieces like Reverie or Arabesque I. Beautiful yet arduous at times.

I love the entire piece especially the melodious reprise (mm 51-61) and the first few muted measures, except I don't like the part when it modulates into EM. Uh, some of those two-handed arpeggiated chords drive me nuts!! It's like a tempestuous lightning storm after a calm brook's lapping. This is proving a bit of a challenge to memorize in perfect form along with another piece from Beethoven...

Well, you could potentially still be wondering who this is, but I know you and this likely won't be the last comment you'll get from me. (some of your readers may have just emphatically corroborated that phrase.)

I should say how I got access to you blog. Well, a little exploration into Olivia's Blogspot profile, takes the explorer to countless blogs, including this one as well as your 'Writer's Journal' blog which I went to and loved your poems. One of my favorite words describes your writing well: aqueous. I was going to comment there until I saw that it was just a tad antiquated... Now, if Olivia reads this... well, I don't know know what to say. I'm certain she will because she will want to know what on earth I'm doing commenting on this site. (I'm reading your mind aren't I Olivia? :-)

I could say more but we'll terminate this one here. I am most curious as to what your reaction will be. It isn't likely that you were anticipating a catechizing of your musical lore today. Just to let you know, I am working on getting C.M. Weber's ridiculously hard and fun piece 'Perpetuum Mobile' ready for the Talent Show. I have no idea if I can get it performable in sooo short a time, but if you come down here again, you just might hear it. I want very badly to perform it because I know it would ineluctably bring the house down, but some of that fingering is inhuman. Now, don't tell me you've played that one!

o.t.t.y.l.b. < ever seen that word-substitution? Olivia taught it to me. It's meaning is indeed interesting and one of her favorites)

Is this the longest comment that you've ever received? Likely so, I think I've even beat myself from on the H.H.H. Blog! One more thought, I loved the Face Scrubber picture and comments. That was cute.

Ruby Jean Hopkins said...


Yes, I do remember you. I read A Tale of Two Cities for literature in the Fall. However, it was so incredibly intriguing that I finished it in five days, unlike what I was supposed to do. I had been meaning to read it for awhile, but had not yet come around to it. However, I love Dickens style and his intricately woven plots. He is a master-writer.

I did happen to hear that. I am as yet attempting to finish it. I left off for a few months in order to complete some other things that needed attention. However, I can well imagine that anyone who can play that piece well must astound the audience. The credit must go to the composer, because Beethoven was such a genius.

I am very much acquainted with Clair de Lune, but I have never played it. (I am currently working on the Pathetique and Appassionata by Beethoven, and Chopin's Nocturnes.) However, both my brother and father play it. If you would ask my advise, I would say that I personally would not trouble with the lines in the music, and going so deeply into them, because Debussy is the only one would know how it is truly supposed to be played. Sorry to disappoint you! I did look through the music to attempt to find what you were talking of, but I couldn't come across the exact description. Sorry!

Please don't bother about my writing blog... I know that it is dreadfully outdated, but I don't expect people to comment on updates if they comment at all—only about the poems themselves, it doesn't matter how old the post itself is. :P

I have never played that piece. I imagine it is incredibly hard. But one I would recommend is Chopin's Fantasie Impromptu Ops. 66. It's an amazing piece of music, and very hard, until one has mastered the technique of the piece.

I have never heard that word substitution—it sounds interesting though!

Actually, I have had longer comments, believe it or not, on my writing blog, but this is the longest left on Ruby's Machinations. :)

Thanks for commenting!

Olivia Howard said...

*rolls eyes*

A Commentologist said...

Oh it worked! I actually got you to comment Olivia! You see Ruby, that comment about "Olivia's favorite word substituion" is well ... let's just say that was an ... ummm how about a "mild requital" to settle a tiny tiny score with Miss Howard. That phrase doesn't exist. I just had to plug that in there so she would...
*roll eyes* (what is that supposed to mean?)

OK now I will comment on what you (Ruby) said. Thank you for replying. I was thinking for awhile that maybe I wasn't going to hear back from you but your reputation that I've heard so much of prevented me from accepting this thought to be true and you did follow through as I expected.

I'm a little surprised that you didn't find the passage that I was briefing on but in actuality it wasn't all that crucial. I do value your input but my main reason for writing was to get to know you personally instead of only hearing of and about you countless times.

I love Chopin. His Raindrop, Blackkeys, Revolutionary, Les Adieaux, and Fantasy Impromptu are stunning. And all those fascinating Preludes from Op. 28 (I think) Oh, he is a marvellous composer and the Fantasy is on my "to-play" list. Maybe I'll do that one in my final Talent Show in my senior year. Leave on a powerful note...

The Appasionata is certainly salient, like all his sonatas. I especially enjoy the "Waldstein". The only complete sonatas that I've played of his is op. 13 and op. 49.

"Perpetuum Mobile" is in CM but it modulates all over the place. Basically it is just perpetual (right-hand) motion for twelve pages and various risible melodies. I love it and will offer you an early invitation to come so you can hear it, that is if I can master it.

Is your older brother going to university? It seemed felicitous that he would be going since your poem to him was about his leaving. May I inquire, what career choice is he studying for? Would it happen to be in the medical field?

Alright, I have to go at present. You will likely hear from me again sometime. Adios,

Ruby Jean Hopkins said...


*smiles knowingly* :)


Ahh, I see now.

I think that the main thing about the Appassionata is that in conveys so many different sorts of feelings—a silent struggle, a passionate outrage, etc.. I think that of all his sonatas, this is the one that really describes the deepest passion and the greatest emotion. Amazing.

My older brother, at the time of the poem I wrote, was interning at a business/ministry called Vision Forum in San Antonio Texas. He was gone for five months. He came home for a one month interval before going off to Tampa, Florida, where he was employed as the personal assistant to the owner of a business. But he has since come home, and is setting up his own business as a carpenter. He is not going to college, as far as I know. :)

Thanks guys!