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Hymns of the
HENRY SLOANE COFFIN
AMBROSE WHITE VERNON
Pastor of the Harvard Church
THE A. S. BARNES COMPANY
M 2130 сь
Each generation of Christians emphasizes a particular aspect of the everlasting Gospel. Our own lays the stress upon the Kingdom of God. We have been led to believe that, as the Kingdom was the burden of our Lord's message, it should be the burden of His Church's prayer and praise. This book is an attempt to furnish the Church with a hymnal in which Christian communion with God is viewed as fellowship with the Father and the Son in the establishment of the Kingdom.
The editors have sought to make a small collection of large hymns. We have carefully examined several thousand hymns which have found a place in the worship of English-speaking churches during the last two hundred years. We have respected the sacred canon of Christian experience. We have felt that the older and the more widely used a hymn is, the more suited is it to common worship, and the better adapted to manifest and to promote the unity of the Church of Christ. We have striven, however, to include only hymns which are poetically beautiful, which express a normal and healthy spiritual experience, contain no divisive theology, and are specifically Christian in religion.
In arranging the music we have been governed by the principle that it is better to select than to multiply tunes. The average congregation should find no difficulty in using all the tunes in this book. Most of them are already familiar. There are some new tunes, but few of these are of recent composition. The great English composers of Church music of the last century are well represented, and the book contains a large number of older tunes, -traditional German, English, French, Welsh and Dutch melodies, and tunes from the Genevan, Scottish and American psalters. We have tried to set the hymns to those tunes which have proved best fitted to bring out their meaning with effectiveness and dignity. Wherever possible we have placed hymns of the same metre upon opposite pages in order to offer a choice of music.
The text of each hymn has been traced back, as far as we were able, to its first edition. All changes have been carefully noted. If