Hymns have always reflected the temper of the age

Kentish Observer

Hymns have always reflected the temper of the age. Those of the early Christian were probably either simple expressions of faith and praise or Gospel narratives related in homely verse. At the Reformation, prose passages such as the Psalms, the Lord's Prayer, and the Creed were versified by Luther in Germany and in England by the compilers of metrical psalters. The eighteenth century contributed its quota in the form of hymns of a pietistic color. In the nineteenth, hymns of every conceivable kind poured forth in a flood. The twentieth has added to the pile, selecting poems with greater freedom and liberally enlarging the conception of what constitutes a hymn. ...

The compilation of a new hymn book, therefore, is usually a matter of selection, and of rigorous selection, if it is to be of reasonable size. Thus, the new Christian Science Hymnal, which has now been issued, is not, and is not intended to be, a complete book in the ordinary sense. ... It is evident that the choice has been ruled by some very definite tests. Christian Scientist are concerned only with immutable truth, which does not depend upon the church calendar, upon man-made creeds, or upon personal meditations and human moods of pleasure or pain. There is no room here for vague or sentimental hymns—and indeed the book speaks with a clear voice.

Persistence in Right Endeavor
July 8, 1933

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