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neat and decently dressed, with their hair cut short and combed on the forehead, according to the English fashion. Their bosoms were open, and the white frills of their shirts turned back on each side."
The English service, Moritz thinks, must be very fatiguing to the minister, so large a part falling to his share. Before the sermon there was a little stir, several musical instruments appeared, and the clerk said, in a loud voice: "Let us sing, to the praise and glory of God, the forty-seventh psalm." This, in the old version, which was probably heard by our traveller, begins:
Ye people all, with one accord, clap
hands and eke rejoice, Be glad and sing unto the Lord with
sweet and pleasant voice.
The tunes, he says, "were particularly lively and cheerful, though at the same time sufficiently grave and uncommonly interesting." English church music, he declares, often affected him even to tears.
In the afternoon there was no service; the young people, however, went to church and there sang some few psalms. Others of the congregation were also present. This was conducted with so much decorum that I could hardly help considering it as actually a kind of church service.
—a guarded statement in which one may safely concur! Moritz was so delighted with this peaceful village that when the time came to depart he could hardly tear himself away.
Reference has been made to the hymns printed at the end of the old version, some of which were omitted in later editions, while others took their place. In like manner Tate and Brady published hymns and translations of the canticles in a supplement to their version sanctioned by Queen Anne; and the favorite "While shepherds watched their flocks" is said to
have been written by Tate himself. "Hark! the herald-angels," however, which appears in all the nineteenthcentury editions of this supplement, must have been added later, probably after the publication of Wesley's hymns in 1779. The publishers of these supplementary hymns seem to have arranged the order in which they should be printed, and to have made additions from time to time, without troubling themselves about official sanction of any kind. Nevertheless, custom, or a hazy recollection of Orders in Council, evidently in popular opinion extended to the supplements the regis cast over the metrical versions, and some persons of an older generation still recollect a kind of uneasy feeling which prevailed when hymns from other collections made their way into churches. These unauthorized hymnals appear to have come into partial use seventy or eighty years ago. Bishop Heber's widow published in 1827 a collection of hymns for Church seasons, written by her husband, with the addition of several by Milman and others, and in so doing she expressed the hope that they might be generally adopted for congregational use. Others followed, and many, like myself, may remember when it was customary to sing one metrical psalm and one hymn in the course of a service.
In 1861 the first edition of Hymns Ancient and Modern appeared, and three years later the compilers were able to state that 350,000 copies had already been sold, while it was lately announced that the sales of the various editions had reached forty millions. The Hymnal Companion, first published in 1870, has also obtained wide popularity, especially in churches where the doctrinal tone of Hymns Ancient and Modern is considered too high. The Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge was even earlier in the field, having issued a collection of hymns in 1852, which, in its later form of Psalms and Hymns, is still obtainable. For over thirty years, however, the Society has also published its wellknown collection called Church Hymns, of which an entirely new edition was issued in 1903.
Before considering the hymnology of the present day we may quote the opinion of the late Lord Selborne recorded in his excellent article on "Hymns" in the ninth edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica. Speaking of the numerous collections then issued by various religious denominations for their own congregations, and of those which, though devoid of official authority, had become popular in the English Church, he wrote:
In these more recent collections an improved standard of taste has become generally apparent. There is a larger and more liberal admission of good hymns from all sources than might have been expected from the jealousy. *> often felt by churches, parties and denominations, of everything which does not bear their own mint-mark; a considerable (perhaps too large) use of translations, especially from the Latin; and an increased (though not as yet sufficient) scrupulousness about tampering with the text of other men's work.
This liberal admission of hymns not bearing exclusive mintmarks is still striking in the hymnals of divers religions bodies, as is shown by a somewhat close examination of the following eight representative books: The new edition of Hymns Ancient and Modern; the latest edition of the Hymnal Companion to the Book of Common Prayer; the Church Hymns of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge; the Methodist Hymn-book, issued last June by a committee of the English Wesleyan Conference in conjunction with other Methodist bodies in England and Australasia; the Con
gregational Church Hymnal; the Church Hymnary, authorized for use by the Church of Scotland and allied Presbyterian bodies in Scotland, Ireland, and the Colonies; the Church Hymnal, authorized by the General Synod of the Church of Ireland; and the authorized Hymnal of the Episcopal Church of America.
No fewer than sixty-seven hymns have been found in all eight books, three more in seven books, but not in the Scotch Hymnary. "There is a fountain" is omitted from Church Hymns. No translation of "Dies Irse" appears in the Congregational collection, but the hymn is included, either in Walter Scott's or hi Irons' version, in all the others; while two favorite hymns, Heber's "Brightest and best" and Dr. Sears' "It came upon the midmight clear," are excluded only from Hymns Ancient and Modern. Had time permitted, further search would have doubtless proved that many more hymns are common to the majority of these hymnals, if not to all; but it is not unreasonable to take these seventyfour (all of which are included in the Irish, American, and Wesleyan collections) as fairly representing the preference of the English-speaking peoples, and they are certainly varied in origin and sentiment.
Six are by Charles Wesley, five by Bishop Heber, four by Dr. Watts; Cowper, Bonar, and H. Lyte are each responsible for three, and two apiece come from Bishop Ken, Charlotte Elliot, Mrs. Alexander, the Rev. S. J. Stone, and C. Dix. One hymn, "Through the night of doubt and sorrow," is translated from the Danish; another, "Guide me, O Thou great Redeemer," was written in Welsh by the Rev. W. Williams, and turned into English by the author with the help of P. Williams; while eight are translations from old Greek and Latin hymns. "Dies Ine" has already been noted: the other seven (included in all eight collections) are "Art thou weary?" and "The day is past and over," from the Greek; "All glory, laud, and honor," "Jerusalem the golden," and "Jesu, the very thought" from the Latin (these five being chiefly translated by the Rev. J. M. Neale), and the well-known Latin hymns "Adeste fldeles" and "Venl Creator," the latter said by tradition to have been written by Charlemagne.
The remaining thirty favorites are original English hymns by various authors of the last three centuries, from R. Baxter, born in 1615, who wrote "Lord, it belongs not to my care," to the Rev. S. Baring-Gould, the present Rector of Lew Trenchard, who has stirred so many hearts with his "Onward, Christian soldiers." Though it must be noted that the compilers of these different hymnals have not always hesitated to "tamper with the text," or else to select from several current versions the one best suited to their particular shades of theology, we may still rejoice that so many great thoughts expressed in melodious words have found favor in shrines thus diverse, and that the lines of Lowell have been once more justified:
Moravian hymn and Roman chant
In one devotion blend.
Of Him, the inmost friend; One prayer soars cleansed with martyr fire.
One choked with sinner's tears, In heaven both meet in one desire, And God one music hears.
The Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge was peculiarly fortunate in the composition of the committee which served for six years in preparing the new edition of Church Hymns. Among those who from time to time assisted in this arduous task the names of Dr. Bright, Dr. Walsham How, Dr. Julian, and Mr. Palgrave are in them
selves a guarantee of the high standard, devotional and poetical, maintained in the volume. Exceptionally good is the selection of children's hymns; and the committee throughout their work seem to have borne in mind the memorandum of Dr. Bright quoted in the preface: "I do not think that the original texts ought to be deemed sacrosanct, but the alteration ought to be done with a very careful hand, and only under conditions which make it practically necessary."
The Wesleyan or Methodist Hymnbook has a very interesting ancestry. We are told in the preface to the present volume that John Wesley's first compilation was printed in Georgia In 1737, and was followed by several, others in which various changes were effected. In 1779 Wesley wrote hlsfamous preface for the hymn-book published in London, which was intended: for general use amongst his congregations, and of this book the present revised version claims to be the "lineal descendant." It Is an exhaustive collection, containing no fewer than 981 hymns, for the most part well adapted to the ends which Wesley desired to attain by Poetry "as the handmaid of Piety"; these are raising or quickening the spirit of devotion, confirming faith,, enlivening hope, kindling and increasing love to God and man. Here and there are lines which sound rather strange to modern ears; but these are no doubt preserved as a tribute to old associations.
The Congregational Hymn-book contains most of the well-known hymns of the Church Universal, but It strikes occasionally an original note, as in a hymn intended to be sung "Before a Parliamentary Election," which petitions:
The heat of party strife abate, And teach us how to choose
The evil to refuse.
One cannot help fearing that the "intention" with which such a hymn would be sung in most congregations would not be unanimous!
Two beautiful hymns may be noted as almost peculiar to this collection: "Christ to the young man said," written by Longfellow for his brother's ordination, and "In the field with their flocks abiding," by Dean Farrar.
The Scotch, American, and Irish collections have each peculiar merits, and attention may well be drawn to hymns especially written by Mrs. Alexander for the last-named book. One of these, "The breast-plate of St. Patrick," is adapted from an old Irish hymn, and is a gem of which the Church of Ireland may well be proud. As It Is little known to English readers, the quotation of one verse may be permitted:
I bind this day to me for ever, By pow'r of faith, Christ's incarnation; His baptism in Jordan river;
His death on Cross for my salvation; His bursting from the spiced tomb;
His riding up the heav'nly way; His coming at the day of doom;
I bind unto myself to-day.
We have now to consider what steps the compilers of Hymns Ancient and Modern have taken to keep that widely known volume in the forefront of hymnals competing for the favor of English Churchmen.
No better tribute to its hold upon popular affection could be found than the chorus of protest which arose upon the mere rumor that its contents had been tampered with; few were willing to concede the simple fact that It is the property of a body of private individuals, and not of the Church as a whole. Granting, however, to the fullest extent that the compilers are within their legal and moral rights in adding, removing, and altering hymns at their own discretion, the public have an equal right to criticise freely
the treatment of a volume endeared to thousands by long association; and should they find that its character is materially deteriorated by such treatment, they can either demand that the old book should be still supplied to them (which it is rumored will be done), or, failing this, congregations will certainly desire the substitution of some more congenial hymnal in their public services.
We may consider the work in two portions: the translations from old breviaries and monkish authors, and the selection of original compositions. It has already been noted that Cranmer's intention to introduce English hymns, including translations from the ancient and mediaeval service-books, was largely superseded by the introduction of metrical psalms. The "Veni Creator," nevertheless, kept its place in the Ordination service, and many English hymns, without being translations, were evidently influenced by the ancient verses. Concurrently with the Tractarian attempt to revive the discipline and usages of the mediaeval Church, came increased interest in its hymnody, and many translations from Greek and Latin originals were made by the Rev. J. M. Neale, the Rev. E. Caswall, and others.
A number of these, varying in merit, were included in the first edition of Hymns Ancient and Modern, and those which, like "Jerusalem the golden" and "Hark! a thrilling voice is sounding," added poetic beauty to devotional sentiment, soon justly made their way into the affections of the people. Others, whatever may have been their merit in their classical garb, were almost disregarded, and might have been omitted in the new edition without exciting a single protest. It Is hardly too much to say that these very compositions appear to have been those which have received the most devoted attention from the present compilers, who tell us, no doubt with perfect truth, that "immense labor has been spent on improving the translations." One -can almost see these earnest students tolling with pen and paper, discussing minute points of scholarship, comparing their versions word by word and line by line, till they produce, not a song of praise nor a cry of penitence, but a sixth-form exercise corrected by a conscientious master. They have been digging in a mine instead of tending a garden.
Take, for instance, "Veni Redemptor gentium." How often was it sung in the former translation, and how far is the present version suited for use in an ordinary congregation?
It would be difficult to conceive a choir practising the new version of "A soils ortus cardine"—"From east to west, from shore to shore"; but the most extraordinary fate has befallen a rather pretty hymn from the Paris Breviary, "Divine crescebas Puer." This was efficiently rendered in the former book by the Rev. J. Chandler, the translation of the fourth verse being not devoid of beauty:
He whom the choirs of angels praise,
Bearing each dread decree, His earthly parents now obeys
In deep humility.
The compilers, however, espied a fault either in the theology or the accuracy of these words, and with "immense labor" evolved the following In their place:
He at whose word swift angels fly,
Comment is surely superfluous.
It were a thankless task to collect further instances of the lack of lyric inspiration, of clumsy diction, and of failures in rhyme and rhythm in what may be called the "classical side" of
the new book. We can only note with sorrow that in her excursions through these pages Piety seems to have discarded her "handmaid" Poetry, and to have enlisted in her stead that clerkly retainer Scholarship, and we may be thankful that a certain number of translations have been left untouched by the hand of the reviser.
It is harder to discuss the original compositions included in the new book, as the power of hymns over the mind of man is largely influenced by association. There are hymns which we repeated as children, and whose words became dear to us almost before we grasped their meaning; hymns which, sung by the village choir, brought to our childish faith visions of a happy land not far removed from the pleasant meadows which we crossed on our way to church; hymns which in the perplexities of youth whispered their messages of hope, of warning, of encouragement; hymns which ever remain to us as echoes of the gladness of the wedding-day or the mournful shadows of the tomb. There are the triumphant strains with which we greeted Christmas and Easter, and the solemn requiem with which we watched by Calvary.
As we glance through the new book and compare it with the volume so familiar to thousands during the past forty years, the thought cannot but arise that the changes have been made by men who have lost touch to a great extent with human sentiment, or who, in their anxiety to enforce Church doctrines, have forgotten the old couplet:
A verse may find him who a sermon flies, And turn delight into a sacrifice.
How else can we explain the omission of "O Paradise! O Paradise!" whose loss is lamented by numbers of men and women who seem to have clung to it as "the Lord's song in a strange