Transcribing Ballou on the Parables

I’ve been working through my study list and will be reporting out more soon. But since this is the first day of Lent, I thought I’d add a project to the mix (which I may or may not complete by Holy Week.)

Long ago, I learned that I am more likely to read a document and remember it if I transcribe it for the web. (My first project, Channing’s “Unitarian Christianity” was pre-web and I posted it via Gopher. Back then that meant having a book open and typing it out.) Time to do another one.

I’ve chosen the 1812 edition of Hosea Ballou’s Notes on the Parables. Because of all the long-ses, it’s an OCR mess, and not good for searching. A cleanup is worthwhile.

Why this? I wanted to see something of his early work, and something other than his Treatise on Atonement, which has already been transcribed. ( I’ll be posting it section by section as I complete it, and then find a home for it on one of my web properties once it’s done.

[February 23, 2023. There was another transcription project I stumbled across … on this blog. I wrote about it here in 2005 and the text of A Series of Letters in Defence of Divine Revelation may be read here.)

In the meantime, listen to this only other work of his that I know is being kept in current use: the hymn, sung with shape notes, “Come let us raise our voices high.”

7 Replies to “Transcribing Ballou on the Parables”

  1. Scott – The hymn was a treat.

    Also, I wasn’t aware of Ballou’s notes on the Parables. I’m eager to explore. Perhaps some grist for the homiletical mill?

  2. Turns out there was another Ballou transcription project. Will make the correction in the body of the article.

  3. So glad you’re doing Ballou’s Notes on the Parables.

    Thanks for mentioning my online version of Ballou’s Treatise. I learned so much from producing that; it’s definitely a great way to dive deep into a text. I also produced a print-on-demand version that has a general index and a scripture index (I wanted to index the online version, but it’s a lot of work in HTML). Producing the index got me diving even deeper into the text; the scripture index was particularly fun to work on.

    FWIW, you can get the online copy of my edition of the Treatise here:
    I had to price it above cost in order for it to be picked up by online resellers; but any profit I make will go to Ferry Beach, the Universalist conference center in Maine.

  4. P.S. I’m a Sacred Harp singer, and I absolutely love singing the Ballou hymn, titled “Morning Prayer” in our tune book. So glad you mentioned it, and so glad you found such a good recording of it.

  5. It’s called Morning Prayer everywhere I see it too, but I assume that’s the name of the tune and in this setting I’m focused on the text. When I get some time, I’ll try to run down its source.

  6. You’re absolutely correct, “Morning Prayer” is the name of the tune, not the text. It’s the old practice of naming tunes and texts separately (since metrical texts could be used with different tunes). The only reason I brought that up was to explain why the video calls it “Morning Prayer.”

    I’ll be interested to see what you find out about Markdown and Pandoc.

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