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Charles Wesley ...
Title-page of John Wesley's First Hymn Book...
66 Autograph Copy of Dr. William F. Warren's Hymn, “I Worship Thee, O Holy Ghost.'
To present a dictionary of hymnology, or even to collect critical notes upon all of the seven hundred hymns in the Methodist Hymnal, is not the purpose of this little book: for it would be impossible to do this adequately within the limits of space imposed upon our study; and, besides, the more detailed treatment of the hymns (though not of the tunes) has already been ably presented by other hymnologists of the Church. But as there has often been expressed the need of a brief introduction to the Hymnal, its history, its hymns and tunes, its theology, its musical and literary beauties, together with helpful suggestions to pastors and prayermeeting leaders—in a word, a practical guide to the Hymnal—this has, therefore, been attempted by the author. Whatever imperfections may mar the work, it is the devout hope of the author that this study may be of some service to the Master's cause in stimulating a deeper interest in the meaning and use of the hymns and tunes.
Hymn-stories are told herein, some of them drawn from the common reservoirs of hymnology, a few recited in these pages for the first time, but for the purpose more of suggesting typical conditions under which hymns are written or sung or quoted, than of explaining particular hymns. We beg the indulgence of the Gentle Reader if the
discussion become somewhat technical in a few passages, such as those addressed especially to the versifier, or the musical theorist, or the professional hymnal editor; for each of these classes may find in the Hymnal much material especially worthy of their study.
Our acknowledgments are due to many friends, who have given to us valuable assistance; to the sainted Bishop Goodsell, Chairman of the Hymnal Commission, who during winter evenings, most delightful and precious in memory, explained to the author many of the beauties of the Hymnal; to Professor C. T. Winchester and to Professor Karl P. Harrington for the story of the preparation of the Hymnal; to Mr. Frederick Schlieder for criticism on the musical sections of the book; to Dr. Charles M. Stuart and Dr. W. F. Tillett, editors of the Hymnal, and to Professor Peter C. Lutkin for helpful letters; to Mr. Dewitt Miller, the owner of the Cardinal Newman manuscript, for permission to use it as an illustration; to Mr. A. S. Newman, whose remarkable hymnological library has been of great assistance; to the Methodist Historical Library, where helpful material was placed at our disposal; and to those composers and hymn-writers, whose stories are told for the first time in these pages. The Christian Advocate and the Epworth Herald we also thank for permission to reprint articles upon hymnology by the author, which first appeared in those periodicals.
CARL F. PRICE. New York City, June 1, 1911.