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Friday, September 08, 2006

The first Baptist hymnal in America

"Baptist beginnings in the New World are generally traced to the founding of the First Baptist Church of Providence, Rhode Island, in 1639. From this modest beginning the number of Baptist churches in America grew slowly but steadily until the Revolutionary War.

"Church music in these congregations--where it existed at all--generally consisted only of congregational singing. Some churches followed a Zwinglian tradition that excluded all song from the sanctuary. The churches that did sing mainly adhered to the Calvinist practice of singing only metrical Scripture (principally the Psalms) in unison without instrumental or choral accompaniment...By 1766, the time appeared ripe for the publication of the first Baptist hymnal to be compiled in the Colonies, Hymns and Spiritual Songs, collected from the works of several authors. Because of its generic title (Hymns and Spiritual Songs), which was used by many other hymnals of the day, the work is usually called the 'Newport Collection' after the place of its publication, Newport, Rhode Island. Though the word 'Baptist' did not appear on the title page, the contents and what is known of the people involved in its publication make it evident that the book was both compiled by and intended for Baptists."

Click here to read the rest of The Newport Collection : the First Baptist hymnal in America - 1766, by David W. Music

4 comments:

Jim1927 said...

Canadian Baptists, a few years back, had their own hymnal...but after the modernist vs fundamentalist split, Ira. D. Sankey's Sacred Songs and Solos became the hymnal of choice. I still love the song selections in that hymnal..some 1200 song choices.

It is said that at every Moody service, Sankey would not only lead the hymn singing, but would tell the story behind a hymn of choice, including the song written for a troubled mother attending the meetings........."Oh whee is my wandering boy, tonight..............". I rather liked that idea and often did the same in my ministry.

Cheers,

Jim

R. L. Vaughn said...

Jim, if I'm not mistaken I have a Canadian Baptist hymnal in my collection. I'm not home right now to look and can't remember the name of it.

I enjoy hearing the stories behind the hymns. Dr. W. J. Reynolds gives a lot of this information in his companion to the (Southern) Baptist Hymnal. I'm sure a lot of other denominational hymnal companions do the same, but his is the only one with which I'm familiar.

The story behind the writing of "It is Well" by Horatio Spafford is a favorite of mine. It's easy to say "it is well" when things are going well, but when they went bad he was still willing and able to say it.

R. L. Vaughn said...

Jim, I looked at the book I have and it is entitled "Baptist Hymnary" (or, The Hymnary for Use in Baptist Churches). It is copyrighted 1916 and was approved by the United Baptist Convention of the Maritime Provinces, the Baptist Convention of Ontario and Quebec, and the Baptist Union of Western Canada. It is a very large songbook with nearly 900 pages. My particular copy is black leather-bound so that it looks very much like a Bible.

Jim1927 said...

Robert, Have a go at this site. It is the McMaster Hymn, which is the official hymn of McMaster University. McMaster is the official university of the Baptist Convention........that Baptist Hymnary would be the official hymn book of Baptist Churches before the split of 1927.....the modernism vs fundamentalism split. This hymn would be in that book.

Cheers,

Jim

http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/j/w/jwsavior.htm