James King Anglican Humnology

Anglican Humnology

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Excerpt from Anglican Humnology: Being an Account of the 325 Standard Hymns of the Highest Merit According to the Verdict of the Whole Anglican Church

In the English language there are about twenty thousand hymns and versions of the Psalms - composed almost entirely during the last three hundred years, by fifteen hundred authors. The greater number of these hymns are poor when judged by the ordinary laws of sacred poetry, and the compilers of Church Hymnals have no easy task in making judicious selections from the vast stores of hymnology. Many hymns of little intrinsic merit have obtained an undue notoriety, either from some happy associations, or from the excellent music to which they have been wedded; and considerable diversity of opinion exists with respect to the relative merits of hymns in general.

If a hundred persons were each to write a list of a dozen favourite hymns, the probability is that no two lists of the hundred would be alike; so greatly is each individual influenced by natural temperament, education, and associations.

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