Friday, January 15, 2016

More Theology from the Old Hymns

In this posting I cite from two leading Hardshell hymn books, giving songs that uphold the gospel means position. Further, I cite the words of the hymn book authors about their selection of hymns.

In the introduction to the hymnbook (1886) they published for the "Old School Baptists," Hardshell leaders Silas H. Durand and P. G. Lester wrote (SEE HERE): (emphasis mine)

"In the selection of hymns our first care has been that every sentiment expressed should be in harmony with the truth of God, believing that "Christians should never sing what they do not believe to be true.""

In that section titled "Gospel" being hymn # 42

I. While in the vale of vision dead,
The house of Israel lie,
Jehovah to the Prophet said —
"do thou, and prophesy.

2 "Go thou, nor reasoning scruples make,
Because the bones are dry;
My voice shall bid the dead awake;
Go thou, and prophesy.

3 "I'll bid the dying sinner live.
To lift my name on high;
Eternal life 'tis mine to give —
Go thou, and prophesy.

4 "Preach Jesus as he's brought to view,
And thither point their eye;
'Tis I must give to will and do—
Go thou, and prophesy.

5 "From stones, to celebrate my grace.
While mercy's tidings fly.
My arms shall raise a numerous race, —
Go thou, and prophesy."

6 Let Zion's watchmen ne'er refrain
Her silver trump to blow;
For Jesus can, with feeblest strain,
His richest grace bestow.

Now here are some songs from Osbourn's hymnal (Sonnets) published with the approval of the Kehukee Association in 1844.

First, from the Preface Elder Osbourn wrote:

"Inasmuch as singing in the house of God forms an important part of divine worship, so of course it is expedient that the hymns made use of in the singing department should contain such sentiments, and such only, as are in strict accordance with the genius of the gospel of Christ...the old Kehukee Baptist Association in North Carolina, at its last session, thought proper to recommend a plan whereby this serious defect might be remedied; and hence it proposed, that in case a volume of such hymns and songs should forthwith be compiled as would well comport with the gospel of the grace of God, and also be adapted to the religious views and feelings of the churches composing its body, they, as an Association, would cheerfully patronise the same and use it as their Standard Hymn Book."

Hymn # 330 in that section "THE GOSPEL AND ITS BLESSINGS"

1 GOD, in the Gospel of his Son,
Makes his eternal counsels known;
Tis here his richest mercy shines,
And truth is drawn in fairest lines.

2 Here sinners of a humble frame,
May taste his grace, and learn his name;
Tis writ in characters of blood,
Severely just, immensely good.

3 Here Jesus, in ten thousand ways,
His soul-attracting charms displays;
Recounts his poverty and pains,
And tell his love in melting strains.

4 Wisdom its dictates here imparts,
To form our minds, to cheer our hearts;
Its influence makes the sinner live,
It bids the drooping saint revive.

5 May this blest volume ever lie
Close to my heart, and near my eye,
Till life's last hour my soul engage,
And be my chosen heritage.

# 332

1 How precious is the book divine,
By inspiration given!
Blight as a lamp its doctrines shine
To guide our souls to heaven.

2 It sweetly cheers our drooping hearts
In this dark vale of tears;
Life, light, and joy, it still imparts,
And quells our rising fears.

3 This lamp, through all the tedious night
Of life, shall guide our way,
Till we behold the clearer light
Of an eternal day.


1 THIS is the word of truth and love,
Sent to the nations from above;
Jehovah here resolves to shew,
What his Almighty grace can do,

2 This remedy did wisdom find,
To heal diseases of the mind;
This sovereign balm, whose virtues can,
Restore the ruined creature, man.

3 The gospel bids the dead revive,
Sinners obey the voice and live;
Dry bones are raised and clothed afresh,
And hearts of stone are turned to flesh

4 May but this grace my soul renew,
Let sinners gaze, and hate me too;
The word that saves me does engage
A sure defence from all their rage.

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