I listened the other night to the magnificent Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra perform the "Hallelujah Chorus" composed by George Frideric Handel. It is absolutely my all-time favorite rendition.
It reminded me of something written by my alter ego "Old Humphrey" some 200 years ago. I have not consulted the old guy recently and was long overdue for a visit. Here is what Old Humphrey had to say about the use of the word "Hallelujah":
"...Daisies and buttercups are to be found in the every day occurrences of life, as fair to look upon as the flowers of the field. I love to bend down and pick a few.
"There is a text of Holy Scripture which says, Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatever ye do, do all to the glory of God. And a letter that I have but just received from a Christian correspondent in the country supplies me with an excellent practical illustration. The whole epistle has in it but four short lines; the last two of these are as follows: 'I am going out to dinner. Country delightful. Crops abundant. Hallelujah!'
"Now that is just what I like. Most people know what Hallelujah means -- 'Praise ye the Lord;' and we can all thank God for great favors, but how few of us put a Hallelujah to the record of our common mercies. It strikes me that it would be no bad method to find out the lawfulness of our pleasures and the spiritual state of our affections, if we were each to ask this question in the midst of every enjoyment: 'Can I put up a hearty Hallelujah at the end of it'?"
"Hallelujah!" for sure Humphrey. I'll try not to be such a stranger.
Note: Humphrey always spelled Hallelujah "Halleluiah"...I have taken liberties with the old English gentleman's text here.