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Baptist Hymn Writers

Losing the great hymns of our faith has been a concern of mine for a number of years. In this old volume from 1888, we can see how much we have lost by dropping so many meaningful and precious hymns from our services. Burrage not only reviews the hymns, complete with all the words of […]

Isaac Watts: His Life and Hymns

I’m interested in Watts (1674-1748) first for his great contribution to our hymn book.  Second because he was an influential pastor, educator, poet, and hymn writer in England just before the time of the Wesleys, John Newton, and William Cowper.  Watts was instrumental in getting hymn singing back into the church services among the nonconformist […]

Great Hymns of the Faith

In addition to one’s daily reading schedule, it is a good thing to read through the hymn book in a year.  I am going on my fifth year of reading through this 1968 edition of Great Hymns.  Since I rise early, I can sing a hymn in the morning (no one else need listen) before […]

An Authentic Narrative

John Newton, pastor, song writer, and former slave-trader, wrote his auto-biography in a series of fourteen letters to a friend.  They are quite remarkable in literary genius and spiritual insight.  They remind one of Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe as Newton traveled the sailing world in hunt of treasure to sell (sometimes even slaves) and often […]

Letters of John Newton

We all know John Newton as the author of Amazing Grace, perhaps the best-known gospel hymn of all time.  We also may know him as a converted slave trader who contributed to the English abolition movement in the late 1700s.  Fewer may know him as a conservative (though Anglican) pastor of two parish churches during […]

Sankey: the singer & his song

While ordering some books online I came across this small book first published in 1946 and reprinted in 1996 by Ambassador Books, Belfast.  Since we visit the place in Edinburgh where Moody and Sankey preached and sang, I am curious to know the details of their ministry together.  The author relays the story of how […]

Singing and Making Music

I heard Paul Jones lecture this fall and was pleasantly surprised at his detailed and conservative approach to church music.  Jones is music minister at Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia where he ministered under Dr. James M. Boice for a number of years before his death.  Jones is admittedly Presbyterian in his style of church […]