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PREFACE TO THE HYMNAL.
The General Conference of the Meth. I to prepare a suitable Hymn and Tune Book for odist Episcopal Church, on the thirti- the use of the Church. eth day of May, 1876, adopted the fol. mittee employed in the revisal
, except for actual
6. No compensation shall be paid to the Comlowing report:
expenses incurred. The Committee on the Revision of the Hymn In accordance with the foregoing resBook have carefully considered the various pa-olution, the Bishops appointed the folpers referred to them, and respectfully report to
lowing persons as the General Conference that they are unanimously of the opinion that a thorough revision of the THE COMMITTEE OF REVISION. Hymn Book now in use is imperatively demanded.
Central Section. We therefore recommend
JAMES M. BUCKLEY,
ERASTUS WENTWORTH, 1. That the Board of Bishops be requested to
RICHARD WHEATLEY, John N. BROWN, appoint, as soon as practicable, a Committee of
CHARLES E. HENDRICKSON. fifteen, to whom shall be committed the work of
Eastern Section. revision.
2. That this Committee be selected with refer. DANIEL A. WHEDON, WILLIAM RICE, ence to convenience of location for division into Calvin S. HARRINGTON, GEORGE PRENTICE,
CHARLES F. ALLEN. three sections for working purposes. 3. That when the work of preparatory revis
Western Section ion shall be completed by the several sections, Francis D. HEMENWAY, ARTHUR EDWARDS, the whole Committee shall be duly notified, and WILLIAM HUNTER, JEREMIAH H. BAYLISS,
CHARLES H. PAYNE. the work of each section shall be revised; and that no hymn now in use shall be excluded without a vote of two thirds of the Committee for its
APPROVAL BY THE BISHOPS. rejection, and that no hymn not now in the collection shall be admitted without a vote of two
To the Committee appointed to revise the Hymn
Book : thirds of the Committee in its favor. 4. That when the Committee have completed
DEAR BRETHREN—The Bishops, at their late their work, they shall submit their report to the meeting in Cleveland, Ohio, very thoroughly exBishops for their approval, and the Bishops ap.amined the result of the labors of the Committee proving, they are authorized to commend it to the appointed under authority of the last General ConChurch.
ference, to revise the Hymn Book of the Method5. That after the Committee aforesaid shall ist Episcopal Church. have completed their revision of the Hymn Book, 1. They went through the entire list of the and their work has been approved by the Bishops hymns in the book now in use which the Com. 28 provided for in item 4, they shall have power | mittee has excluded.
2. They thoughtfully considered every revision tee appointed to revise the Hymn Book. We made in the text of the hymns which the Com- tender to the members of that Committee our mittee has retained.
thanks; and believe the gratitude of the Church 3. They read through carefully, and in many is due these brethren for the labor they have excases repeatedly, every new hymn which the pended, and the wisdom, taste, and good judg. Committee has introduced into the Revised Hymn ment they have shown in preparing this most Book.
excellent book. After the Committee had made a few changes By order, and on behalf, of the Board of which the Bishops suggested, the following reso- Bishops, lution was unanimously adopted, namely :
WILLIAM L. HARRIS, Secretary. Resolved, That we have thoroughly examined,
NEW YORK, June 15, 1877. with great satisfaction, the work of the Commit
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.
HYMNAL WITH TUNES.
The 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 to 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 face each other contain hymns of