The Story of the American Hymn

The Story of the American Hymn

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The Story of the American Hymn

The Story of the American Hymn

Read FREE!

Excerpt

The following narrative covers a period of three centuries, from the coming of the Pilgrim Fathers to these western shores down to our own times. It is searcely more than a hundred years since hymn-writing in earnest began in America. In early colonial days the Psalms were used exclusively in religious song, and when hymns were introduced they were nearly all from the pen of Isaac Watts. But American lay hymnody cannot be understood without reference to the long period of psalmody which preceded it. The one has its roots in the other.

This story of the American hymn, therefore, goes back to the beginning, to the Bay Psalm Book, which, during its remarkable career, exerted such a profound influence on New England worship, and then to the later Psalm Books, "accommodated" to American needs. It traces the gradual movement toward the use of hymns and describes the pioneer efforts in hymn-writing. From this point, our American hymn authors and their works are taken up individually, following the chronological order. Thus an attempt is made in a series of connected pictures to give a general view of the American hymn in the various stages of its development.

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