HYMN BOOK OF 1876.
The Bishops in their address to the Church use the following language :
Beloved Brethren :—The General Conference of 1868 appointed Rev. H. M.
Turner to revise our old hymn book, which was equivalent to authorizing him to
compile a ujw one. He entered heartily upon his work, and at the end of eight
years has given us a compilation, which, in many respects is excellent, inasmuch
as it is more varied, comprehensive and useful than that which we have been
using for the last forty years, because it has a larger collection of Wesleyan hymns,
and is therefore richer in Wesleyan Christian ideas expressed in lyrical form.
Considered as a compilation, it is certainly a great improvement upon the whole
book as it existed from 1836 to the present time. The Divisions, entitled "Birth¬
days," "Fast and Thanksgivings," "Morning and Evening," the "Seasons,"
"Baptisms," are enriched by additional hymns from the pens of other evangelical
lyrists. New divisions have been created, embracing hymns and spiritual songs
suited to the progressive spirit of these modern times, such as the sections, en¬
titled "Missions," "Dedication of Churches and Laying of Corner Stories," "On
Reading the Holy Scriptures," "Revivals," "Patriotic Songs," "Farewell." The
whole compilation ends with twelve sweetly solemn chants, and seventeen doxol-
ogies suited to all known metres.
The usefulness of this edition is enhanced by having annexed to it: (a) Our
Ritual, (b) The General Rules, which, not only our Pastors, but every one of
our members, also, ought to be able to repeat from memory, (c) The Reception
of Members, which all ought to read, at least once a quarter, iu order that they
may be ieminded of their sacred obligations. We recommend the whole book
to you, dear brethren and sisters, as one well adapted to intensify the flames of
private personal devotion, as well as to promote the cause of Religion in the
public worship of the living God.
But, beloved, forget not that hymns, spiritual songs—lyrics of the most elevated
poetry, breat hi og the noblest sentiments—avail us nothing,unless we sing with the
spirit and the understanding; therefore, in the language of the Apostle, we ex¬
hort you to be filled with the Spirit, speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns
and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your hearts to the Lord
And with David, " Praise ye the Lord,for it is good to sing praises unto our God.
for it is pleasant and praise is comely." "Serve the Lord with gladness, com;
into bis presence with singing." "I will sing of mercy and judgment, unto thee,
O Lord, will I sing."
Daniel A. Payne, A. W. Wayman, Jabez P. Campbell, James A. Shorter,
T. M. D. Ward, J. M. Brown, Bishops of the African Methodist Episcopal Church
September 1st, 1S7G.
The Book was published by the Publication Department, and there were
958 pages and n 15 Hymns, Chants and Doxologies. It was the authorized
Hymn Book from i87<> to 1892. In the organization of the Church after
the war, many thousand were sold and much good was done. The old hymns