« PoprzedniaDalej »
Hymns that have Helped
Being a Collection of Hymns
Edited with the assistance
w. T. Stead
New York: Doubleday and
mcclure Co..... 1898
PREFACE TO THE AMERICAN
THE success which has attended the publication of
1 the English edition of this little collection of “Hymns that have Helped,” encourages the hope that it may be found equally acceptable to the American public.
The Service of Song is part of the Service of Man that is universal. It has hitherto been fortunate to es. cape the sectarian limitations of territorial and political divisions. According to an analysis made of the hymns contained in the most widely-used American hymn-books down to the year 1880, the average num. ber of hymns of a purely American origin was not quite one in seven. There is probably no hymn-book in general use in any part of the British empire which does not count many American hymns among those which are most popular and helpful. Custom-houses may divide the producers and consumers of other manufactures. No Chinese wall of protective tariffs will ever prevent the two great English-speaking nations practising free trade in hymns. The English-speaking race has presumably nó difficulty in recognising its unity when praising its Maker.
The principle upon which this collection has been compiled is more American than English. For the basic idea of the book is that of appealing directly to the experience of the individual; that of applying the test not of the standard of excellence of the literary expert, or of orthodoxy as defined by the authority of churches, but that of its helpfulness to men and women.