united in 1857 to form the Methodist Free Churches, held their annual assembly in;
Sheffield, in 1859, they resolved to have a new hymn book, and appointed the Revs.
James Everett and Matthew Baxter to prepare the same. They were to retain all the-
original Wes. H. Bk. of 1780, and add "A Supplement of 250 hymns, and also hymns-
suitable for a Sunday School." The preface is dated October, i860. Changes were
made in 53 hymns, but none of the new hymns were by authors other than those who
had already contributed. From No. 778 to 821 the hymns were all new. Five doxol-
ogies and two graces closed the collection of 828 hymns. The Supplement was is¬
sued in 1861 as a separate book, with the sub-title Miscellaneous Hymns. Their
Sunday School Hymns, i860, is a fairly good collection.
3. The Methodist Free Churches are compiling a new collection of hymns, which
may appear in 1889. A committee of ministers have been employed for a long time
in its preparation. The Sunday S. H. Bk. appeared in 1888.
vi. Bible Christians. 1.—The founder of this Society was William 0'Bryan,a Corn-
ishman, born February 6th, 1778, at Gunwen, Luxillian. His father owned a farm
and was a Cornish miner. Both his parents were Methodists, and had heard John
Wesley preach. They had preaching services in their own dwelling-house. William
had a fair education, and the curate of the parish offered to prepare him for college.
He was converted under the Methodists in May 1789, was apprenticed to the drapery
business, became worldly, lost his religic^'. ud again gave his heart to God, November
5th, 1795. He heard J. Wesley preacu twice, and received his blessing. He began to-
preach in i8or, was married in 1803, and r~ade a local preacher in 1809. For preach¬
ing in villages beyond his own parish, where there was no Methodist preaching, he
was expelled from the Methodist Society. Being urged to continue his preaching, he
found in North Devon fourteen villages without any places of worship, and in Novem¬
ber, 1814, he left his home to itinerate and preach in those places. In October, 1815,
he preached in the house of Mr. Thome, at Shebbear, and, being urged to do so, he
then formed those present into a religious Society. This Society was at first known
by the name Arminian Bible Christians: afterwards the initial word was dropped,
and they have since been known as Bible Christians, and sometimes locally, Brianites.
Their chief Societies are in Cornwall and Devonshire, but they have a few elsewhere.
O'Bryan compiled their hist hymn-book, about 1819, when their first Conference was-
held. In 1829, a separation took place. O'Bryan left the body in 1831, and went to
America, where he died, Januaiy 8th, 1868. For his share in the copyright of the
hymn-book, and for other claims, the Conference allowed him twenty pounds a year
till he died. The hymn book is divided into six parts and twenty-eight sections. The
hymns are mostly those in use in the Wes. H. Bk., but they are rearranged through¬
out, and several by 18 other authors were added. In July, 1862, a fourth edition was
issued, with nine hymns changed; the names of authors added as far as known, the
index of Scripture texts enlarged, and an index of verses. The sixth edition is dated
1882. The Conference of 1885 appointed a committee to prepare a new and more com¬
prehensive collection, to be published in due course.
2. In 1832, a Sunday School Union for the Bible Christians was formed at Sheb¬
bear, in Devonshire, and they published The Child's Hymn Book for use in their schools.
In 1863, a new ed. was prepared and published, containing 272 hymns, more than 66
of which were new. That book has served the Connexion nearly a quarter of a cen¬
tury, and is still in favour. The hymns are carefully classified, but no authors' names
vii. Conclusion.—When the Methodist Ecumenical Conference was held in City Road
Chapel, in September, 1881, a suggestion was made to have one comprehensive hymn-
book for all the branches of Methodism throughout the world. This course, however,
has not been adopted.
Translations of English hymns into various European and other languages have
been made for use by the various branches of the Methodist Societies on the Conti¬
nent of Europe and on Mission Stations. In several instances these translations.
have been supplemented by original hymns in the vernacular, and composed chiefly
by the resident missionaries. [See Missions, Foreign.]