Watts is represented by 66. Only two hymns in the book are specially adapted for Holy
Baptism, one by Dr. Doddridge, commencing " See Israel's gentle Shepherd stand;"
the other by C. Wesley, "God of eternal truth and love."
3. The copyright of the entire collection had for some years depended on only a few
hymns, and when the right in those had run out, a new collection became a necessity.
A collection was issued by a London publisher independently of the Conference in 1873.
It was an improvement on the 1831 book. It was compiled by a layman at Bristol, and
included 1076 hymns, amongst them being many of the best modern compositions, and
71 chants and anthems. The Wesleyan Conference, however, could not recognize the
work, and the Book Committee were obliged to prepare a new collection. A large com¬
mittee took the matter in hand, and devoted much time and care thereto. The edition
of 1800, up to hymn 539, was retained, but each hymu was compared with the original
and rigidly criticised; a few were omitted altogether; others had verses left out or added,
and in this way 49 hymus were changed in the standard part of the collection. The
new Supplement includes 487 hymns. Its contents embrace what may be designated as
a poetical body of divinity. In this respect it is more complete than the book prepared
by John Wesley, in that it includes hymns for Holy Baptism, the Lord's Supper and
Prayers for children. It is divided into nine sections, in which the hymns are classified
according to their subjects, or the season for which they are adapted, a special feature
being the "Select Psalms." The authors and translators number 120. Of these, 74
contribute each one hymn, and of the rest 41 have hymns therein, numbering from
two to nine each, the total ending with eleven by P. Doddridge, thirteen by J. Mont¬
gomery, fifty-eight by I. Watts and seven hundred and twenty-four by C. Wesley. For
the first time the authors' names are added in the index of first lines. The Methodist
Hymn Book, illustrated u-ith Biography, History, Incident, and Anecdote, by George John
Stevenson, M.A., 1883, deals with this collection in an exhaustive manner.
4. Taken as a whole, whilst allowing for its distinct and definite advocacy of Meth¬
odist doctrine, and admitting the otherwise great preponderance of C. Wesley's hymtis,
we judge this book as ranking with the best in use among Protestant Christians. It is
intensely Methodistic, and it is more. It retains the Standard Hymn Book, not wrongly
so-called, which John Weslev gave to his people in 17S0; and it has added thereto much
that is choice and valuable from most branches of the Church of Christ. The wisdom
displayed bv the Conference in retaining the Standard portion of the old collection is
realized when we find that it has done more to conserve the essential doctrines of
Methodism amongst the multitude than the combined prose writings of all her divines.
5. The provisions for Cldldren and Young- Persons, which is an important feature in
modern hvmnodv, is not new, either in Methodism or elsewhere. For the Methodists,
C. Weslev'pub. his Hymns for Children, in 1763. Many of these compositions are far
beyond the comprehension of children, but their object was attained in drawing atten¬
tion to the spiritual wants and education of the young. In 1814, Joseph Benson, a
preacher and divine of high repute with the Methodists, published:—
Hvmns for Children and Young Persons, on the Principal Truths and Duties of Religion and
Morality. Selected from various Authors and arranged in a natural and Systematic Order. London.
Joseph Benson also published, eight years afterwards:—
Hymns for Children, selected chiefly from the publications of the Revs. John and Charles Wesley,
and Or. Watts, and arranged in proper Order. London, 1814.
From the Preface to the first of these collections, (the second has no preface,) we
find that it was compiled and published 'to meet the wishes of many persons in differ¬
ent parts of the United Kingdom," but there is no indication that it (or the second
collection either) had the official sanction of the Conference, although "printed at the
Conference Office." The Conference, however, took up the matter at a later date, and
in 1835 Thomas Jackson and Richard Watson, "compiled by the direction of the Meth¬
odist Book Committee in London":—
A Collection of Hymns for the Use of Wesleyan Methodist Sunday Schools.-London, 1833-