It is a privilege to release this Public Domain edition of John Wesley's Collection of Hymns for the People called Methodists, from the text of the final hymnbook of that name published in 1876. The first 539 of these hymns are substantially in the form published by John Wesley in 1780, while the remainder of the work is a Supplement. A subsequent hypertext release of this file will allow me to highlight the variation between the hymns in each edition of the work; meanwhile, I would direct anyone in need of the exact 1780 text to the bicentennial edition of "The Works of John Wesley", Volume 7, edited by Franz Hildebrandt and Oliver A. Beckerlegge, OUP 1983, and published in the United States by the Abingdon Press.
I am aware that there is no list of authors in this initial release; it is partially missing from the copy of the hymnbook that I scanned, but I have access to a full list and will remedy the omission as soon as possible.
Appendix A is the text of a series of lectures given by Bernard Manning, who re-awakened British Methodism to the lasting value of the Collection. I refer the reader to the Foreword to the Lectures, by Rev. Henry Bett, author of "The Hymns of Methodism", to justify the inclusion of this work. A scrupulous consideration of the British law of copyright would probably find that the 695 words of Dr. Bett's Foreword is still protected; I am trying to discover who holds the rights in this case, in order to ask permission for its inclusion here, but it is a difficult and time-consuming business. Meanwhile, perhaps it might be considered to be quoted here in an appropriate critical context.
I am endebted to the Rev. Wilfred Little for permission to include as Appendix B a brief extract from his work in progress "METHODIST HYMNODY: A FASCICLE TO SUPPLEMENT THE DICTIONARY OF HYMNOLOGY, REVISED EDITION, 1907, BY THE REVEREND JOHN JULIAN, D.D.", commissioned by THE HYMN SOCIETY OF GREAT BRITAIN AND IRELAND.
It is certain that errors will be found in my transcription, for which I apologise in advance. I would welcome notice of any found, however trivial.
mail: 24 beaconsfield rd, bristol, bs8 2ts, uk
tel: +44 117 974 4066
e-text released: 26th January 1994;
hypertext: 24th February 1995;