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hymn which the Committee has introAPPROVAL BY THE BISHOPS.
duced into the Revised Hymn Book. To the Committee appointed to revise After the Committee had made a few the Hymn Book :
changes which the Bishops suggested, DEAR BRETHREN—The Bishops, at the following resolution was unanimoustheir late meeting in Cleveland, Ohio, ly adopted, namely :very thoroughly examined the result of Resolved, That we have thoroughly the labors of the Committee appointed examined, with great satisfaction, the under authority of the last General Con- work of the Committee appointed to ference, to revise the Hymn Book of revise the Hymn Book. We tender to the Methodist Episcopal Church. the members of that Committee our
1. They went through the entire list thanks; and believe the gratitude of of the hymns in the book now in use
the Church is due these brethren for which the Committee has excluded. the labor they have expended, and the
wisdom, taste, and good judgment they 2. They thoughtfully considered ev
have shown in preparing this most exery revision made in the text of the
cellent book. hymns which the Committee has retained.
By order, and on behalf, of the
Board of Bishops, 3. They read through carefully, and
WILLIAM L. HARRIS, Secretary. in many cases repeatedly, every new NEW YORK, June 15, 1877.
MEMBERS AND FRIENDS OF THE METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH.
UNDER the direction of the General Conference of 1876 this revised edition of our excellent Hymn Book has been prepared. The action of the General Conference, the names of the Committee selected by the Bishops, and the judgment of the Bishops as expressed to the Committee, are herewith presented. You will note the great care which has marked every part of the work, whether in rejecting any of the hymns formerly used, or in changing their phraseology, or in the selection of those which are new. Though perfection is not claimed, yet we believe the present Hymn Book will be considered a great improvement on the preceding one.
We most cordially commend it to you as one of the choicest selections of evangelical hymns ever published; and we trust that it will increase the interest of public worship, give a higher inspiration to social and family services, and aid in private meditation and devotion. As it is published by the authority of the Church, and to meet the wants of the Church, and as the profits will be devoted to religious purposes, we do the more earnestly commend it to your liberal patronage.
We exhort you, dear brethren, to "sing with the spirit” and“ with the understanding also,” “making melody in your heart to the Lord.” Your affectionate pastors in Christ,
JESSE T. PECK.
PREFACE TO THE HYMNAL WITH TUNES.
l'he Committee appointed by order of the last General Conference to revise the Hymn Book, was also empowered "to prepare a suitable Hymn and Tune Book for the use of the Church;” and this book is presented as the result of its labor. The accepted doctrine of the Church is, that "every person in the congregation ought to sing, not one in ten only." To aid in securing such a consummation has been the prime purpose in the mind of the Committee. It has also been a special aim tc, prepare a book which would so commend itself to the whole Church as to secure uniformity of use in all our congregations, thus becoming a strong additional bond of union as well as a powerful stimulus in worship. Such a book is quite as much needed as a book of hymns alone.
This book has a superiority over our previous works of this kind in its exact agreement with the Hymnal in the order and consecutive numbering of the hymns. The preservation of this identity has greatly increased the difficulty of adapting all the hymns to suitable tunes. To accomplish this properly, without unduly increasing the size and expense of the book, was not an easy problem; yet it is believed that very few hymns will be found without their appropriate tunes on their own or on opposite pages. In the few instances where this has not been practicable, a familiar tune is suggested, with its page, at the head of the hymn.
The tunes have been taken from the best sources of our own and other countries. They have been selected from a great multitude, and from a great variety of authors, and almost wholly with a view to their availability for congregational use. They are not mere scientific harmonies, but harmonized melodies. Most of them have been tested by long usage, and have become indispensable for popular use. Those that are relatively new will prove, it is believed, as acceptable and popular as the old. The variety is very broad, and yet the music is mainly
of a solid, enduring kind. Wherever pages that faoe each other contain hymns of the same meter it has been the aim to adapt them to one old tune and one less familiar. The number of tunes for particular meters will be found very large, and their character especially excellent. Of the few lighter tunes in the book, it is sufficient to say that they are married to their hymns and cannot well be divorced. The dozen or more of old and fugue tunes that follow the doxologies will be a grati fication to many who still enjoy the ancient melodies. The chants, though not numerous, are those very generally used by the universal Church; and it is hoped that they may become more popular and useful
among us. The Committee has been assisted in the preparation of this book by Dr. Eben Tourjée, of Boston, and Mr. Joseph P. Holbrook, of New York, as special musical editors. These names are a sufficient guaranty that the musical department of the work has been done in the best possible manner.
We offer a few suggestions for congregational singing :
Let all provide themselves with books. Every singer should have a book to himself.
Let all sing ; generally the melody of the tune.
The minister must take and express deep and constant interest in congregational singing; otherwise it will be a failure.
The chorister must do the same.
There should be a choir or a precentor, and an organ, if possible, to lead the people. The best arrangement is to have the choir and organ in front of the congregation.
Frequent gatherings of the congregation in praise-meetings, and for instruction and practice in learning new tunes, are very desirable. For the sake of variety and freshness, the pastor and chorister should make persistent efforts to encourage the congregation to learn new tunes. The book should be the standard book of the Sunday-school, and should be constantly used in the social meeting as well as in the congregation.
In the hope that the work may stimulate all the people to sing in all the services of the sanctuary, and may contribute somewhat to the spirituality of divine worship through the power of sacred song upon the heart, it is respectfully submitted to the kindly judgment of the Church.
SUFFERINGS AND DEATH......204-224 HEAVEN.
THE HOLY SPIRIT. .262–287 THE SEASONS.
THE SCRIPTURES........ 288-301 MARRIAGE.
(LAST HYMNS OF C. WESLEY).1116–1117