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THESE Annotations have been provided with Indexes, particular and voluminous, so that references to hymns by the Authors of them, as well as by the First Lines of them, can easily be reached. Hence they might be used with almost all the best hymnals in common employinent in evangelical churches. For the sake of following some order and establishing some limit in the selection, the hymns have been chosen mostly from Laudes Domini, issued in 1884, and New Laudes Domini, issued in 1892—two manuals for singing by choirs and congregations, which have attained a phenomenally wide use among the various Christian denominations.
It is interesting to notice an intelligent growth in public sentiment concerning the general subject of hymnological study. Churches now are not satisfied with mere stanzas which might be lined out to be sung in fragments. They want hymns that are poetical in spirit and in structure rhythmical and lyrical. Within a few years no hymnbook has had prosperity unless it has supplied the names of the authors with at least some hints concerning their biographies. Out of this has rapidly been developed a taste for inquiry concerning the histories of particular pieces which God's singing people have learned to love. And a great wealth of new compositions has suddenly been put within the glad reach of the various denominations of Christians during the three decades just closing the nineteenth century. Little by little the familiar names of Ray Palmer, Charlotte Elliott, Horatius Bonar, Edward Caswall, Frances Ridley Havergal, Thomas Hastings, and John Mason Neale have advanced into fame until their contributions to the sacred songs of the religious world are rivaling in number and worth those of Isaac Watts, Anne Steele, James Montgomery, and even John Newton and William Cowper and Charles Wesley. We all want to know about these choristers of many choirs and lands and tongues, many of whom are already singing in their white robes on the other side of the mysterious vail.
The volume now laid before the public has grown slowly through a period of years. It has been prepared specially as a help for “ Praise Meetings," or so-called “ Services of Song.” Almost any hymn appropriate to such employment in a promiscuous Sabbath gathering of God's devout people may be found here suitably noticed. It lowers the tone of joyous and happy-hearted worship of the Highest to spend the hours announced for communion and thanksgiving in singing the pieces appropriate only to camp meetings and to gospel missions for the conversion of sinners. It is very 'rare, if ever, that hymns of wrestling conviction or of poignant penitence can be utilized in a jubilant act of worship.
The various paragraphs of incident and exposition, of biography, history, literary criticism, and art suggestion, which are attached now and then to the data of authorship and composition in the book, cannot be appreciated nor even understood unless this explanation is intelligently accepted. The attempt is made in each annotation to give to an inexperienced leader a thought of such a character that he will find a hint in it or out of it available in the course of the comment he will have to frame as he introduces each piece to be sung. Much depends on the taste and aptitude of the minister who presides in these services. He must always preach. No spiritual man has any business to give up a Christian pulpit on the Lord's Day to anything besides preaching God's gospel of salvation to men. Madame Antoinette Sterling once said with great spirit to me, “ They say that I preach in my singing ; so I do; so I try to do; so I mean to do always !” And no one that ever heard this gifted artist with her clear and distinct enunciation, her matchlessly pathetic tones, her magnetic impulse forcing tears in his eyes when he could not stop to notice that she had tears in her own—no one who ever heard her in her wonderful way preach “ The Lord is my Shepherd,” or Oh, rest in the Lord, wait patiently. for him," could doubt whether Christ's love might be offered in the strains of a contralto hymn.
To begin with, this whole plan, like everything else in the work of our Master, is a matter of faith-of living faith and experimental confidence. The man who attempts to conduct a praise service must believe that it has a veritable existence of its own, that it is a helpful and sure rewarder of him who diligently seeks it; any misgiving is ruin. It is not to be looked upon as a musical entertainment, nor can it be put forward as a makeshift for a sermon; it is nothing, nothing at all, unless it is what it purports to be, a sanctuary service of adoring and grateful praise of Almighty God. The minister must be just as devout in it as he would be at a communion ; the choir must not suffer themselves to be beguiled into imagining it as a fresh and beautiful opportunity for a parade or display. It is simply a service for a worshipful people, full of joyous love and thanksgiving to their Maker.
Hence it should be treated as an instrument of prodigious energy either for good or for evil. It must be used, therefore, with supreme care lest it should be retorted into a danger and a discouragement, reacting upon the congregation like an Afghan's boomerang. There is not in all our treasury of resources a more potent force than this of real honest singing of God's praises by masses of men, women, and children.
It will be easier for the men who write annotations in the years to come than it has been for us who have attempted it just now. Often we have been compelled to study biographies and investigate antiquated collections and search many works of general literature merely to find a few reminiscences of the venerable saints who sang the hymns of hope and faith which our fathers accepted, and discover now and then a picture someone drew of those who added the versions of the Psalms in an English dress more or less metrical. But the religious periodicals, as well as the big-volume makers have cleared up now almost all the mysteries that the former ages will ever be expected to yield.
Two or three enthusiastic and very dear friends have been steadily for the last eighteen months engaged with me in finishing this book. I sincerely hope the perusal of it will recall the hours we have spent in the study together. The amount of detail has made the mechanical part of our work nothing less than toilsome drudgery; but I candidly admit for myself that I complete the task with a certain sort of pensive regret, so pleasant have been the lines along which it has led. l humbly and prayerfully commend these suggestions I have offered to my fellow-singers in the hope that they may be of real help.
New York City, 10 East 130th St.
CHARLES SEYMOUR ROBINSON.
UPON THE HYMNS OF
Praise to Christ. When morning gilds the skies, My heart awaking cries,
May Jesus Clirist be praised: Alike at work and prayer To Jesus I repair :
May Jesus Christ be praised. 2 To thee, O God above, I cry with glowing love,
May Jesus Christ be praised: This song of sacred joy, It never seems to cloy;
May Jesus Christ be praised. 3 Does sadness fill my mind, A solace here I find;
May Jesus Christ be praised: Or fades my earthly bliss, My comfort still is this,
May Jesus Christ be praised. 4 When evil thoughts molest, With this I shield my breast ;
May Jesus Christ be praised: The powers of darkness fear When this sweet chant I hear:
May Jesus Christ be praised.
When sleep her balm denies, My silent spirit sighs,
May Jesus Christ be praised: The night becomes as day, When from the heart we say,
May Jesus Christ be praised. 6 Be this, while life is mine, My canticle divine:
May Jesus Christ be praised: Be this the eternal song, Through all the ages long,
May Jesus Christ be praised.
been instituted in Birmingham by Cardinal Newman. There he remained until his death, January 2, 1878.
The present hymn is found in Hymns and Poems, 1873, and is announced as translated from the German: Beim frühen Morgenlicht. It is a great favorite with the singers at St. Paul's Cathedral in London. Usually it is printed for distribution in the audience on a separate sheet.
It was from one of these slips that the verses were copied for Laudes Domini. The spirited refrain at the end of each triplet of lines gave a suggestion for a title to the collection. The compiler of this and other hymn-books, little and large, would like to say, once for all, that the aim of his entire work could not better be indicated than it is in the single line, “ May Jesus Christ be praised.” For this book aims to be peculiar in presenting hymns which are neither didactic nor hortatory, but which are addressed more directly and persistently as praises to the one Lord Jesus Christ. Pliny gave it as the singular characteristic of Christians in his day that they were wont to assemble early in the morning and evening, and sing alternatively among themselves a hymn of praise to Christ as God-carmen Christo quasi Deo dicere secum invicem.
Rev. Edward Caswall was reared within the pale of the Established Church of England, but he died in the cominunion of the Roman Catholic Church, having been received in 1847. He was born July 15, 1814, at Yately, in Hampshire, entered Oxford University in 1832, and was graduated in 1836. He was ordained in 1839, and next year became perpetual curate of Stratford-sub-Castle, near Salisbury. He seceded from the English Church in 1846, and became a priest in the Roman Catholic Church, and was placed in the Congregation of the Oratory, which had
L. M. O Christ! with each returning morn Thine image to our hearts be borne ; And may we ever clearly see Our God and Saviour, Lord, in thee! 2 All hallowed be our walk this day; May meekness form our early ray. And faithful love our noontide light, And hope our sunset, calm and bright. 3 May grace each idle thought control, And sanctify our wayward soul; May guile depart, and malice cease, And all within be joy and peace. 4 Our daily course, O) Jesus, bless; Make plain the way of holiness : From sudden falls our feet defend, And cheer at last our journey's end.
2 Come, fill our hearts with inward strength,
Make our enlarged souls possess,
Of thine eternal love and grace.
More than our thoughts and wishes know,
By all the Church, through Christ his Son.
Rev. John Chandler was an English clergyman, born in Witley, Surrey, June 16, 1806, educated at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, graduating in 1827. He was ordained in the Established Church in 1831, and became the successor of his father as Vicar of Witley; subsequently he was appointed rural dean. He seems to have spent his entire life in that charge, a quiet and useful man. He died at Putney, July 1, 1876. In 1837 he issued a small book of great excellence called Hymns of the Primitive Church. This contained a hundred and eight Latin hymns with renderings into English made by himself. These translations have had and have merited a wide and lasting popularity. Many of them have gone into most of the modern hymnals in Great Britain and America. The one before us now is a translation of the Splendor paterna gloriæ of Ambrose, the famous bishop of Milan.
“Early Vows." My opening eyes with rapture see
The dawn of thy returning day; My thoughts, O God, ascend to thee,
While thus my early vows I pay. 2 Oh, bid this trifling world retire,
And drive each carnal thought away; Nor let me feel one vain desire
One sinful thought through all the day. 3 Then, to thy courts when I repair,
My soul shall rise on joyful wing,
Rev. Isaac Watts, D. D., was descended James Hutton was an English layman, on his mother's side from a Huguenot family, born in London, September 3, 1715. He was who by the persecutions were driven from a cousin of Sir Isaac Newton, and a son of a France into England in the early part of clergyman of piety and thoughtfulness, who Queen Elizabeth's reign. There seems to gave him an excellent education, and then ap- have been trouble all along the line, for he prenticed him to a bookseller. He chose this himself has left some memoranda concerning business for himself afterward, and used to the wild times of Charles II. He writes that hold religious meetings in his store for some his father, who became a deacon in the Indeyears. In 1739 he visited Herrnhut, and com- pendent or Congregational Church of Southing under the influence of Count von Zinzen- ampton, was, in 1683, “persecuted and imdorf, became a Moravian. He was zealous prisoned for non-conformity six months; and and remained faithful in that connection till was after that forced to leave his family and he died, May 3, 1795, and was buried at Chel- live privately for two years." Indeed, this sea, in England. He printed the second was not his first incarceration for conscience's Hand-book for the Moravians in 1741, and sake. His pastor also had been ejected as their Manual of Doctrine in 1742. This far back as 1662, and on the recall of the hymn is said to have been given in the appen- Declaration of Indulgence, in 1674, was subdix to a volume published by Daniel Benham jected to still greater violence. The two in 1856, entitled Memoirs of James Hutton, men, preacher and deacon together, seem to Comprising the Annals of his Life and Con- have been put in confinement at the same nection with the United Brethren.
time : and it is said that Isaac Watts' mother,
with her babe in her arms, sat more than 4 Invocation.
once in her distress on the stone at the gate COME, gracious Lord, descend and dwell of the prison.
By faith and love in every breast; Then shall we know, and taste, and feel
The child was born July 17, 1674, and not The joys that cannot be expressed.
till William of Orange came over and revolu