Excerpt from Songs of the Christian Life
Tms book is intended to give inspiration and expression to the larger and richer conceptions of the Christian life now prevailing. It seeks to kindle hope, arouse courage, and stimulate noble purposes. It aims to develop trust and joy,... devotion to duty and unselfish service, filial love to God and fraternal love to man.
The hymns have been selected because of real poetic merit, and because they breathe a spirit of genuine experience and practical service. While the number is limited, every phase of Christian worship and life is sufficiently covered. Hymns of aspiration, of character, of con duct, of the home, of devotion to the common weal, of effort to secure a kingdom of heaven on earth, of the new spirit of brotherhood are here.
Christ is given the central place. Not only is his earthly career fully illustrated, but groups of hymns present him as the Eternal Friend, the Good Shepherd, the Rock of Ages, the Master and the Light of the World.
Hymns of the church are here, and especially of its missionary activities, issuing in The Triumphant Kingdom. Christian optimism finds voice in these hymns.
Since patriotism is a part of religion an unusual number of national hymns is brought together here.
The tunes have been chosen with like care, that the best hymns may be matched with music of the finest quality. The first aim has beento secure singable tunes, such as congregations will delight to sing tunes with a haunting melody, and such as fit the words. The second aim has been to have music of such excellence in harmony and construction as to be attractive to trained musicians as well as others. The old, familiar tunes are here, as well as those of the latest and best modern composers. Sixty percent of the tunes are already either old or new favorites, and it is hoped that many of the others will speedily become such. It is believed that every tune in these pages, under competent leadership, may be readily learned by any congregation.
The great Canticles which the Church has used for centuries are here set to the best music of ancient and modern composers. It is hoped that a much larger use of this form of worship song may be made. With a little practice whole congregations can easily learn to chant under a competent director.
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