The CCEL Times 8.5 (May 1, 2013)
In This Issue:
From the Director
Hymns, Music, Audio, and CCEL
Hymn singing is a fundamental part of Christian worship, and hymns can be considered a form of Christian literature. In recognition of this, the CCEL first put a hymnal online back in about 1996--a copy of the shape note hymnal The Southern Harmony, and Musical Companion. This was in the days when many websites were plain text, but we even had page scans and recordings. To my knowledge, it was the first online hymnal. Since then, the number of hymnals and related resources at CCEL grew, but I always wanted to do something more systematic.
In 2007, Greg Scheer and I founded Hymnary.org, starting out with the hymnals and resources the CCEL contained. Since then, it has grown to become one of the largest, most capable, and most used hymn websites. With 5,000 indexed hymnals (2,000 of them scanned), hymn texts, recordings, scores, hymn stories, images, graphs, and more, it’s almost overwhelming. Check out a fully-treated hymn page such as the one for All Hail the Power of Jesus' Name.
Praying our Songs, Singing our Prayers
Emily Brink writes that "We all know the power of a melody to evoke responses that cannot be put into words." In this article, Emily describes exactly what the title suggests: using singing to pray and using songs in our prayers. Although the article was written quite a few years ago, the message is still relevant today.
What We're Reading
This collection of hymns published in 1779 contains some of the most popular Christian songs of all time, “Amazing Grace” among them. By 1836, the book had gone through at least another 37 editions. Along with “Amazing Grace,” there are over 300 additional hymns, some of which still appear in modern church worship. John Newton and his friend, William Cowper, one of the most respected and influential English poets of the 18th century, worked together on this project. Both men shared passion for showing others that they could befriend God personally, receiving forgiveness, freedom, and love. In many ways, their collection epitomizes the booming Evangelical movement of their time.
-The Christian Classics Ethereal Library
The CCEL MP3 audio book collection is growing. Rene LaCroix recently completed recording two audio books for CCEL: Pink’s Comfort for Christians and Drummond’s The Monkey Who Wouldn’t Kill. He is currently working on Pink’s Sovereignty of God. Rene comes to CCEL with book recording experience, and he is also the author of the book Let There Be. Contact Ken Verhulst (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you would like to try recording an audio book for CCEL.
In addition to many audio MP3 books available for download from our site, CCEL also sells several CDs containing audio books. Purchase the CCEL audio CD collection from the CCEL store in the month of May, and we’ll give you a free CCEL subscription which will allow you to download MP3 audio books as well as books in other formats (the subscription is a $20 value).
"I sing th'almighty power of God" by Isaac Watts (1674-1748)
In this hymn, we extol the power, wisdom, and goodness of God as seen in the created order. We recognize that it is God who has made all these beautiful wonders, and that it is He who keeps the world in order through His ever-present care. Use the link below to find out additional information about how this hymn can be used in a worship service.
The Practice of Piety: Rules to be Observed in Singing of Psalms
by Lewis Bayly (1565-1631)Lewis Bayly, an ardent Puritan, published a book in 1611 which contained the following rules for the singing of Psalms. While we share with the Puritans a love for singing, we found it interesting and a little entertaining to read Bayly's rules 400 years after they were written.
1. Beware of singing divine psalms for an ordinary recreation, as do men of impure spirits, who sing holy psalms intermingled with profane ballads: They are God’s word: take them not in thy mouth in vain.
2. Remember to sing David’s psalms with David’s spirit (Matt. xxii. 43.)
3. Practise St. Paul’s rule—“I will sing with the spirit, but I will sing with the understanding also.” (1 Cor. xiv. 15.)
4. As you sing uncover your heads (1 Cor. xi. 4), and behave yourselves in comely reverence as in the sight of God, singing to God in God’s own words; but be sure that the matter make more melody in your hearts (Eph. v. 19; Col. iii. 16) than the music in your ear; for the singing with grace in our hearts is that which the Lord is delighted withal, according to that old verse:
5. Thou mayest, if thou thinkest good, sing all the psalms over in order, for all are most divine and comfortable; but if thou wilt choose some special psalms, as more fit for some times and purposes, and such as, by the oft usage, thy people may the easier commit to memory.Read more from this book at CCEL