To the Ministers and Members of the African Methodist Episcopal
Grace unto you, peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ,
We give thanks to God the Father for the blessings he has conferred upon our
church and upon the work committed to our care.
The committee appointed to compile and arrange a Hymn and Music Book
for the Church has completed the work committed to it, and presents the
same for your inspection, approval and use.
We are more than pleased that we have lived to see the consummation so
devoutly wished for and prayed for by our fathers—a Hymn and Tune Book
of our own to be used by our people.
To be convinced of the excellency of the work, one only has to examine
the arrangement of the subjects, and to note the versatility of authors, words
and music, embracing as they do every phase of life, from the cradle to the
grave, from the Jordan to the Throne. Every condition, whether of sorrow
or joy, is provided for in this book — songs for the marriage altar, communion
table, festive, Easter and Endowment Days, commencement occasions, praises
in the City of the living and hope for the City of the dead.
It is with great pleasure that we commend this book to all choirs in our
churches and trust that since we have a book of our own that there will be
uniformity in church services from the Atlantic's hesperian strand to the
Golden Gates of the Pacific, and from the Northern Lakes to the everglades
of Florida. Let the people praise the Lord with all their power of soul and
mind; in every hamlet and in every lordly mansion, in church, school and
family, let every one sing in the spirit and with an understanding, so that the
earth below and the heavens above shall hear the anthem
"From all that dwell below the skies,
Let the Creator's praise arise;
Let the Redeemer's name be sung,
In every land, by every tongue''
And may it be borne on ten thousand tongues until the volume of praise
and thanksgiving to God shall fill the earth and sky, and the universal praise
on earth shall blend with the universal praise above, is the prayer of the
superintendents of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, in the name of
God our Father, Christ our Redeemer, Man our Brother.
HENRY McNEAL TURNER,
WESLEY JOHN GAINES.
BENJAMIN WILLIAM ARNETT,
BENJAMIN TUCKER TANNER,
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN LEE,
MOSES BUCKINGHAM SALTER,
JAMES ANDERSON HANDY,
WILLIAM BENJAMIN DERRICK,
JOSIAH HAYNES ARMSTRONG.
Bishops of the A. M. E. Church.