Изображения страниц

Rev. Dr. W. F. Tillett for the South, both of whom we have already mentioned. The musical editors were Professor Karl P. Harrington, of Wesleyan University, and Professor Peter C. Lutkin, of Northwestern University.

Professor Harrington is the son of the late Dr. Calvin Sears Harrington, who for many years occupied the chair of Latin at Wesleyan University, now held by his son, only one incumbent having intervened between father and son. Another pleasing coincidence was that Professor Calvin S. Harrington was one of the two musical editors of the 1878 Hymnal. Born in 1861, Professor Karl P. Harrington since his graduation from Wesleyan, 1882, has been a teacher of Latin, University of Maine and University of North Carolina being two of the colleges he has served. He is well known as an organist, musical director, composer, and lecturer.

Professor Lutkin is professor of music in the College of Liberal Arts and dean of the School of Music in Northwestern University. He was born of Danish parents in 1858 at Thompsonville, Wisconsin, near Racine, to which he moved while a young child. At nine years of age he was a choir boy in the Cathedral of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, Chicago, at twelve an assistant organist there, and at fourteen, now orphaned, he was appointed organist of the Cathedral. In 1881 he went to Europe, where he studied under the great masters. He has been on the Northwestern University faculty since 1891.

The injustice of omitting the names of the musical

editors from the first edition of the new Hymnal, as in early editions of the 1878 Hymnal, was reme died in later editions.

The musical editors and the Hymnal editors met in Evanston, Illinois, in the summer of 1904 to complete the tunes, but the work was still unfinished. Before the next meeting a pamphlet was published with the words of several hymns, for which the editors invited new music. The results were discussed by correspondence, and final de cision was made in the last meeting in Boston, in the spring of 1905. The general editors and musical editors unite in especially commending the work of Professor C. T. Winchester in selecting tunes for the hymns, in addition to the regular work assigned him on the commission.




OTHER HYMNALS-SOME SUPERLATIVES Thus, after years of preparation, the Methodist Hymnal was presented to the Church in September, 1905. It was published simultaneously in uniform editions by the publishing agents of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Eaton & Mains, and Jennings & Graham; and also of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, Smith & Lamar. The book appeared in two forms, the music edition and the word edition. The former was printed in octavo size, from Gilson music plates made in Boston, the hymns being in 8-point type, the Psalter in 10-point type. The word edition was printed in 16mo size, both hymns and Psalter being in 10-point type. These editions were presented in various cloth and leather bindings, bearing on the back and on the cover the legend in gilt letters, "The Methodist Hymnal.” The most beautiful copy of the Hymnal, printed on Oxford India paper and bound in red seal-skin, was presented by Bishop Goodsell, on behalf of the Hymnal Commission, to President Theodore Roosevelt, who acknowledged the favor in pleasing terms.

Between the covers of the Hymnal and spread upon the table of its pages, there lies a sumptuous feast of hymns and music, gathered from the fields of many

lands and many ages, meat and drink for the nourishment of the spiritual life, stimulation for sin-sick souls, and refreshment for weary workers.

As soon as the book was published widespread comment upon so important a Hymnal was at once begun. Much of this was in the form of strong commendation. The higher standards, literary and musical, upon which the Commission proceeded, were indorsed, as well as their taste in matters theological. But from some quarters the comment assumed the tone of adverse criticism, futile as such criticism must be, in view of the fact that Methodist hymnals are usually revised only once in a generation.

Some of the comments upon the Hymnal illustrated the dangers of irresponsible criticism on church affairs. Many of those who have criticized the book have done so without having acquired any intelligent or intimate familiarity with its contents. At the close of a Sunday morning's service in New England, soon after the Hymnal was published, a critic assailed one of the makers of the Hymnal, declaring that he disliked the new Hymnal. When pressed for a reason the only one that he could give was that Fanny Crosby's hymns were left out of the book. The reply was simple, and revealed the ignorance of the critic. The new Hymnal contains five of her hymns, whereas there were none in the old Methodist Episcopal Hymnal. Still others have centered their criticism upon minor imperfections of the book, made necessary in some respects by the very nature of the book as a compromise. They would carelessly condemn the book without

really understanding its value. A few hours of earnest study would reveal to them treasure-wonders of which they had scarcely ever dreamed.

We would not be understood as imputing ignorance to every critic, or to everyone who feels that the Hymnal has not perfectly represented his own tastes. In fact, every member of the Hymnal Commission could probably be included in the latter class, and the writer and perhaps the reader of these lines. The difficulty is that each tends to criticize from an entirely different angle. The great Methodist Churches, forming the largest Protestant body in America, must satisfy in their forms of worship entirely opposite needs and divergent tastes. When it is remembered that this Hymnal must be used by East and West, South and North, rich and poor, the erudite and the less educated, in the metropolis and in the hamlet, it must be regarded as wonderful in its adaptability to Methodism at large.

One of the most frequent criticisms is that the book contains much more English music and not so much American music as the previous books; and this complaint is urged against the book chiefly by the purveyors of modern gospel music. The indictment is true. The contemporary school of English tunemakers has exerted a predominating influence in the new music of this Hymnal; but so they have also in the hymnals of most other denominations, both in England and in America, and their elevating influence upon church music is constantly rising throughout Protestantism, like an irresistible tide. On the other

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »