HUT (HUTT), HANS: A leader of the Anabaptists; b. at Hain, near Grimmenthal, in Franconia; d. at Augsburg Sept., 1527. As an itinerant book pedler he traveled over a large part of Germany and Austria and imbibed radical ideas. At Weissenfels, probably in 1524, he came into contact with the Anabaptists. His tentative adhesion to their ideas and his promulgation of the writings of Munzer led to his expulsion from Bibra. He joined in the peasant uprising, was with Munzer during the battle of Frankenhausen where the peasant bands were overwhelmed. At Pentecost, 1525, he appeared at Bibra, and summoned the peasants to rise against the authorities. Expelled once more, he resumed his wandering life, and in the summer of 1526 was finally won over by Denk to the tenets of the Anabaptists. He now entered upon a tremendously active apostolate. A man of simple and fiery eloquence, and of passionate convictions, he wandered through South Germany and Austria preaching, baptizing, and appointing apostles to carry on the


[Page 421]


[Page 422]


[Page 423]


[Page 424]


and others) vied with the leaders of the Methodist movement. Hymns "have consoled the sad, checked the joyful, subdued the enraged, refreshed the poor" (Nioetius of Treves, De psalmodid bono). They have been on the tongues of believers in the first ardor of their faith, and have ascended as the last fervid utterance of martyrs at the stake. They are the common heritage of believers, and bind together all ages. In them denominational distinctions are effaced. The hymns of Ambrose, John of Damascus, Luther, Tersteegen, Wesley, Toplady, Muhlenberg, and Newman stand side by side in the hymn-books, consentient in praise of the one God and in love for the one Savior. For hymn tunes, see MUSIC, SACRED; see the sketches of prominent hymn-writers, etc.

17. Hebrew Hymns: Hebrew psalmody had an early origin. The songs of Miriam, Moses, Deborah, and Hannah (Ex. xv.; Deut. xxxlii.; Judges v.; I Sam. ii. 1-10) are sacred poems full of sublime imagery and inspired with a fervid devotion to Yahweh. The Book of Psalms is the best of hymn-books, and in all ages of the Christian Church it has been a living fountain of devotion and praise. See PSALMS, BOOK OF; PSALMODY; and HEBREW LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE, III.

III. Early Christian Hymns: From the threshold of the Christian dispensation have come down hymns which are known generally by their Latin titles, usually derived from the first words in the Latin versions. These are the Magnificat of Mary (Luke i. 46-55), the Benedictus of Zacharias (Luke i. 68-79), and the Nunc dimitta of Simeon (Luke ii. 29-32). Other parts of the New Testament suggest by their form that they are fragments of hymns (Acts iv. 24-30; Eph. v. 14; I Tim. iii. 16; James i. 17; Rev. xv. 3). At the institution of the Lord's Supper (Matt. xxvi. 30), Jesus and his disciples sang a hymn, possibly a part of the Hallel (cf. C. A. Briggs, Commentary on . . . Psalms, i., New York, 1906, pp. lxxviii-lxxix). Christians of the Apostolic Age used hymns as a means of edification (I Cor. xiv. 26; Eph. v. 19; Col. iii. 16): It seems probable that in the public-assembly the hymn, like prophecy and preaching, was sometimes the spontaneous product of the moment (I Cor. xiv. 26). From the sub-apostolic age testimony to the use of hymns in Christian public service comes from heathen as well as from Christian sources. Early in the second century Pliny informed Trajan that the Christians were in the habit of meeting before daylight and singing songs to Christ as God (Epist. a. 97). Eusebius (Hist. eccl. V., xxviii. 5) quotes an author from near the end of the second century who speaks of the "many psalms and hymns, written by the faithful brethren from the beginning, [which] celebrate Christ the Word of God, speaking of him as divine" (NPNF, 2 ser., i. 247). The oldest Christian hymn in use, apart from those mentioned above, is probably "Shepherd of tender youth," by Clement of Alexandria (c. 200), which has gained currency in the rendering of Henry M. Dexter, made in 1846 (of. Schaff, Christian Church, ii. 228-31). The hymn "Light of gladness, beam divine," still sung in the Greek Church, was formerly attributed to Athenagenes (d. 169); but Basil of Caesarea (d. 379) denies his authorship, though he refers to the hymn as an ancient composition: The Gnostics early created a body of hymns, and Origen speaks of the large number in use. Bardesanes (q.v.) and his son, Harmonius, were among the Gnostic poets (cf. E. Preuschen, Zwei gnostische Hymnen, Giessen, 1904).

IV. Hymns of the Eastern Church: The custom of singing hymns was so general and popular in the third century that one of the charges by the Third Synod of Antioch (269) against Paul of Samosata was that he had suppressed hymns in honor of Christ. Theodoret states (Hist. eccl., ii. 19; NPNF, 2 ser., iii. 85) that antiphonal singing began in Antioch and spread thence in all directions in the fourth century. While Chrysostom was bishop of Constantinople, the Trinitarian party used to assemble in the squares and then march in midnight processions through the city singing sacred songs as a means of combating the Arians, who also had their own songs. Cardinal Pitra states that the number of Greek hymns is very great, sufficient having been published to fill fifteen or twenty volumes, while an equal number survive in manuscript only. Ephraem Syrus (d. about 378) is the father of Syrian Christian hymnody. Theodoret speaks in high praise of Ephraem's hymns, which commemorate the great facts in the life of Jesus, the deaths of Christians, and the lives of martyrs (cf. H. Burgess, Select Mehioal Hymns . . . of Ephraem, London, 1853). Gregory Nazianzen (d. 390) and Anatolius (see ANATOLIUS OF CONSTANTINOPLE) are the two greatest writers in the earlier period of Greek hymnody. The hymn "Fierce was the wild billow" is attributed to the latter. The best hymns of this branch of the Church were written in what John Mason Neale calls the second period, 720-820. To this period are assigned Romanus (d. about 720), to whom Cardinal Pitra ascribes twenty-five hymns which exhibit originality and vigor; Andrew of Crete (d. 732); Comas (if there be not two writers of this name, cf. DCB, i. 694-695); John of Damascus, the great theologian of the Greek Church, whose "'Tis the day of resurrection" has passed into many English hymnals; and Stephen of the monastery of Mar Saba (d. 794), whose "Art thou weary, art thou languid" is the most simple and restful lyric based on the words of Jesus, "Come unto me, all ye that labor." Three later writers are Theodore the Studite (d. 826), who wrote "That fearful day, that day of dread"; Joseph the Studite (d. about 830), who wrote "Jesus, Lord of life eternal"; and Theoctistus the Studite (d. about 890), author of "Jesus, name all names above."

V. Hymns of the Latin Church:

The Earlier Period

The founders of Latin hymnology were Hilary of Poitiers (d. 368) and Ambrose of Milan (d. 397). Hilary was banished from Gaul to Asia Minor and so came into contact with the Eastern Church, and on his return to his diocese made the book of hymns of which Jerome makes mention. Daniel gives six hymns as his, but it is doubtful whether there is a single hymn by Hilary extant. The singing of hymns was very popular in Milan, where Ambrose was bishop, and


to him is due the so-called Ambrosian music (see AMBROSIAN CHANT) used by the congregation, to which Augustine gives testimony (Conf., ix. 7). Ninety-two hymns are attributed to the Ambrosian school, a few of which are by Ambrose himself (see AMBROSE, SAINT, OF MILAN). They combine vigor with simplicity and commemorate the great facts and doctrines of Christianity. Good specimens are the Veni, Redemptor ("Redeemer of all nations, come"), and the Deus Creator ("Maker of all things, glorious God"). Some of the finest Latin hymns are by Prudentius, a Spanish layman (d. not earlier than 405), which, to the number of about fifteen, are taken from longer poems. Two much admired, are "Bethlehem, of noblest cities," on the birth of Christ, and "Hail, infant martyrs," on the murder of the innocents. In the fifth century Sedulius, possibly of Rome, and not to be confused with Sedulius Scotus of the eighth century, was the composer of some good hymns.

2. The Middle Ages.

Gregory the Great (d. 604) and Fortunatus of Poitiers (d. 600) mark the transition to the medieval period of Latin hymnody. The Ambrosian music was supplanted by the Gregorian (see MUSIC, SACRED, II., i., § 2), the recitative was introduced, and public song in the church service was restricted to the choir of priests, the congregation joining only in the responses. The best hymns of Fortunatus are the Vexilla regis ("The royal banner is unfurled"), and the Pange, lingua ("Sing, my tongue, the Savior's battle"). The hymns of the Middle Ages do not exhibit the joyous and jubilant tone of the Ambrosian and Prudentian hymns, but are set in the minor key. Born of the cloister, they echo the subdued tones of contemplative devotion. The singers linger near the cross and ponder its agonies rather than breathe the clear air of the resurrection morning; they depict the awful solemnities of the judgment and the glories of heaven. The chief centers of production of sacred poetry were the monasteries of St. Gall, St. Martial in Limoges, Cluny, Clairvaux, and St. Victor, near Paris. A vast collection of the religious poems thus produced has been made by Dreves and Blume, all, with a few exceptions, being printed for the first time. They served the purpose of devotional reading, few of them having passed into the church service. They employed rime universally after 1150, and include the varieties of proses, hymns, sequences, psalteries, and rimed prayers for the rosary, called rosario. The psalteries are divided into 150 parts in imitation of the Psalms, and are addressed to the Trinity, Jesus, and Mary. The term "Sequence" was originally applied to a melody, Notker of St. Gall being the first to adapt poems to sequences. Tropes were verses interpolated in the offices of the liturgy and joined to the gloria, the hosanna, and to other parts of the service; they originated in France and became very popular in England. Most of the religious poetry of the Middle Ages was produced in France and Germany. Some of the hymns were in German, and often Latin and German lines or words were intermingled.

3. Individual Hymnists.

Among the sacred poets of the Middle Ages were Gregory the Great, Notker of St. Gall (d. 912), Peter Damian (d. about 1072), Anselm of Canterbury (d. 1109), Hildebert of Tours (d. about 1134), and Abelard (d. 1142). The best compositions by an Englishman are those of John Peckham, archbishop of Canterbury (d. 1292), from whose rimed office to the Trinity three hymns were taken (Daniel gives all three, i. 276 sqq.; cf. Dreves xxiii. pp. 5-6). Bernard of Clsirvaux (d. 1153), one of the great hymn-writers, introduced the mystic strain into his compositions. Mabillon doubted the genuineness of all but two of his poems, while Vacandard (Vie de S. Bernard, ii., Paris, 1895, p. 103) and Hauréau (Les Poëmes latins attribués ā S. Bernard, Paris, 1890) doubt them all. But the earliest tradition ascribes them to St. Bernard, and no other can be found so likely as he to be their author (see BERNARD OF CLAIRVAUX). About 1150 Bernard of Cluny gave to the Church his poem on the "Contempt of the World," consisting of about 3,000 lines, from which have been derived "Jerusalem the golden" and two other hymns. The most prolific medieval hymn-writer was Adam of St. Victor (flourished c.1170), called by Gautier, Neale, and Trench "the foremost among the sacred Latin poets of the Middle Ages." From Bonaventura (d. 1274) came the Recordare sancto crucis ("Jesus, holy cross and dying"). Thomas Aquinas contributed three hymns to the breviary. Two of them, Pange, lingua ("Sing, my tongue, the mystery telling"), and Laude, Zion ("Zion, to thy Savior singing") belong to the ritual of Corpus Christi, are addressed to the host, and teach transubstantiation. The most famous hymn of the Middle Ages, perhaps of all ages, is the Dies irae ascribed to Thomas of Celano, the friend and biographer of Francis of Assisi. As a sublime and reverential description of the awe and terror of the last judgment it has never been surpassed, and it has exercised the skill of many translators, among them Sir Walter Scott. Philip Schaff calls it "the acknowledged masterpiece of Latin poetry, and the most sublime of all uninspired hymns" (Christ in Song, New York, 1868, p. 372). The most tender hymn of the Middle Ages is the Stabat mater dolorosa ("At the cross her station keeping, stood the mournful mother weeping," attributed to Jacopone da Todi (d. 1306). The first line is taken from John xix. 25. To this class of hymns, though later in time, belong those of St. Francis Xavier (d.1552), "Jesus, I love thee, not because," and of St. Theresa (d. 1552). In general it may be said that the best of the later hymns of the Latin Church, such as those of Madame Guyon, John Henry Newman ("Lead, kindly light"), and Faber, are set in the key of medieval hymnody.

VI. German Hymns:

1. The Reformation Period.

Germany possesses a more voluminous hymnology than any other country. In 1786 Ludwig von Hardenberg prepared a list of 72,732 German hymns, and the present number can not fall far short of 100,000, among them many of the choicest pieces of this kind of literature. One of the first results of the Reformation in Germany was the use of


hymns in congregational singing, consequently there was in that country a considerable body of hymns before any were written in English. The father of German hymnology was Martin Luther. He possibly received his stimulus from the hymns of Huss, sent him by the Bohemian Brethren, and made a free translation of the martyr's Jesus Christus, nostra salus. In 1523 Luther published eight hymns of his own, and by 1545 had written 125. These were carried by traveling singers from village to village and sung into the hearts of the people. Protestants and Catholics alike testify to the effect of Luther's hymns; Coleridge regards Luther as doing "as much for the Reformation by his hymns as by his translation of the Bible," while the Roman Catholic Conzenius asserted that the "hymns of Luther have destroyed more souls than his writings and sermons." His hymns are marked by a joyful and robust faith. Thoroughly characteristic is Ein' feste Burg ist unser Gott ("A mighty fortress is our God"), which was the battle hymn of the Reformation and became the great favorite of the entire German people. But he struck other notes than those of challenge and war, as in his thoughtful Nun freut euch, liebe Christengemein ("Dear Christian people, now rejoice"). Among the colaborers of Luther in this field were Justus Jonas, Paul Eber, and Michael Weiss, the last of whom edited (1531) German translations of hymns of the Bohemian Brethren and added some of his own. [The Anabaptists of the seventeenth century produced a remarkably rich hymnology. The best of their hymns have been collected in Auss Bundt (modern ed., Basel, 1838). Most of these hymns are supposed to have been composed by martyrs shortly before execution. A.H.N.]

a. Since the Reformation.

The leadership thus achieved by the Lutheran Church in the department of hymnody has been continuously maintained by a chain of eminent writers. Among the more noteworthy of the sixteenth century was Philipp Nicolai (d. 1608), who, during the pestilence of 1597, wrote a hymn noted for its majestic sweetness, Wachet auf! ruft uns die Stimme ("Wake! the startling watch-cry pealeth") and Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern ("How lovely shines the morning star"). To the same period belongs Ludwig Helmbold (d. 1598), whose Von Gott will ich nicht lassen has been translated often, as by Miss Winkworth, "From God shall naught divide me." The period of the Thirty Years' War produced some noted hymns, among which may be mentioned the battle-song of Gustavus Adolphus, Verzage nicht, du Häuflein klein ("Fear not, O little flock, the foe"), and the rugged thanksgiving hymn of Martin Rinkart (d.1649), Nun danket alle Gott ("Now thank we all our God"), which has been called the German Te Deum. Among the most fertile writers of the seventeenth century was Johann Heermann (d. 1647), whose experience of severe suffering is embodied in hymns of exceeding richness. With him should be placed Johann Rist (d. 1667), who wrote some 680 hymns, among them O Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort ("Eternity, thou word of fear"). The culmination of German hymnody was reached in Paul Gerhardt (d. 1676). Of his 123 hymns more than thirty are classic, among which his O Haupt voll Blut and Wunden (ut sup.) and Befiehl du deine Wege ("Give to the winds thy fears") are representative. For the Reformed Church the first hymn-writer was Joachim Neander (d. 1680), who reflects the influence of Spener. One of the hymns most popular in Germany is his Lobe den Herren, den mächtigen König der Ehren ("Praise to Jehovah, almighty king of creation"). The Pietists were fertile producers of hymns during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Philipp Jakob Spener wrote nine hymns, three of which have been translated into English. August Hermann Francke (d. 1727) and Johann Anastasius Freylinghausen (d. 1739) were the most eminent writers of this school. Benjamin Schmolke (d. 1737), a pastor in Silesia, wrote many hymns of high merit and permanent value, the most popular of which was Mein Jesu, wie du willet, rendered into the favorite English "My Jesus, as thou wilt." For the Moravians of Herrnhut, Count Zinzendorf (d. 1760) wrote a large number of hymns of peculiar and glowing fervor, over 200 of which have come over into the English-Moravian hymn-book, and a large number appear in other English collections. Wesley used his compositions with freedom. A good example of Zinzendorf's composition is his Christi Blut and Gerechtigkeit ("Jesus, thy blood and righteousness"). Contemporary with Zinzendorf was Gerhard Tersteegen (d. 1769), a layman of the Reformed Church, the most popular of whose 111 hymns is Gott ist gegenwärtig, lasset uns anbeten ("Lo, God is here, let us adore"). Georg Friedrich Philipp von Hardenburgh (d. 1891 at the age of twenty-nine), who wrote over the pseudonym of "Novalis," composed, among other hymns, Ich sage jedem dass er lebt ("I say to all men far and near") and Wenn ich ihn nur habe ("If I have only thee"). Several of the hymns of Johann Caspar Lavater (d. 1801) have been rendered into English, especially O Jesus Christ, wachs du in mir ("O Jesus Christ, grow thou in me").

The early part of the nineteenth century witnessed a revival of interest in hymnody in Germany, contemporary with the national Luther tricentennial in 1817, if not a product of that celebration. This movement was led by Schleiermacher, Claus Harms, and Ernst Moritz Arndt. One of the purposes of the leaders was the reversal of the tendency, led by Justus Gesenius (in his collection of hymns published 1647), to mutilate and change the hymns of the older writers. Material assistance was given to this movement by the collections of C. C. J. von Bunsen, Ewald, Rudolf Stier, H. A. Daniel, and Albert Knapp. The most fertile contributors to recent hymnology have been Karl Johann Philipp Spitta (d. 1859) and Albert Knapp (d. 1864); but many fine hymns have been added to the literature by Ernst Moritz Arndt (d. 1860), Friedrich Rückert (d. 1867), Meta Heusser (d. 1876), and Karl Gerok.

VII. French Hymns:

Calvin, like Luther, was an advocate of congregational singing, and contributed to the literature of hymnology. A hymn of his composition, Je te salue, mon certain redempteur ("I greet thee, who my sure redeemer art"), was discovered in an old Genevan prayer-book (cf. P.


Schaff, Christ in Song, New York, 1868, pp. 678 sqq.). While Calvin was at Strasburg he came into possession of twelve of Clement Marot's versions of the psalms, not knowing they were his, and had them set to music, along with original versions of Pss. xxv., xxvi., xci., cxxxviii., the Decalogue in verse, and with the Apostles' Creed and the Song of Simeon. This book, published at Strasburg, 1539, consisting of twenty-one pieces with the tune at the head of each psalm, but without preface and signature, was the first collection of pieces for congregational use for the French Reformed Church. Clement Marot received in 1541 permission to publish his Trente Pseaumes, which appeared the following year dedicated to Charles V., and in 1543 he published Cinquante Psaumes. After Marot's death Beza continued the work of translating the Psalms, but a complete collection of the Psalter appeared only in 1562. Marot's versions, with few changes, continue in use in the French churches. They were set to music by Claude Goudimel. In hymns proper, however, the French church is very poor. Vinet accords to César Malan the honor of restoring to it this means of devotion. In connection with Paul Bost he published Chants de Sion, improved and issued as Chants chrétiens in 1841, which incorporated hymns and psalms from Roman Catholic sources (e.g., Bishop Godeau, d. 1672, who had issued a collection of excellent translations of the Psalms; Corneille, d. 1684; Racine, d. 1699; Madame Guyon, d. 1717). Malan is credited with the composition of more than 1,000 hymns. Many of the hymns of Madame Guyon, marked by grace and devotion, were translated by Cowper, who was in close sympathy with the mystical temper of the author.

D. S. Schaff.

VIII. Scandinavian Hymns:

1. Danish Productions.

Before the Reformation the northern countries possessed few hymns in the vernacular outside of translations of Latin originals. The hymns of the Roman Catholic service were rendered into Danish and Swedish prior to the Reformation (G. E. Klemming, Latinska Sånger, 4 vols., Stockholm, 1885,87; the Danish Tidebog is reproduced in C. Pederson, Danske Skrifter, vol. ii., Copenhagen, 1851), and after that event Norway, Denmark, and Sweden developed a hymnology. In Denmark the post-Reformation poetry began with satire and irony. The first Danish hymn-book was by Claus Mortensen Töndebinder, the Reformer of Malmö, and was called the "Malmö Hymnal," issued in 1528, reprinted the next year, enlarged in 1533, with a later edition by Hans Taufer, 1544. A large hymnal, with tunes to each hymn, containing 261 Danish and eight Latin hymns, was issued by Hans Thomissen, pastor of the Vor Frue Kirke in Copenhagen, in 1569, among the contributors to which were bishops Peter Palladius, Tyge Asmusen, Hans Albertsen, the nobles Knud Gyldenstjerne, Erik Krabbe, Elizabeth Krabbe Skram, the celebrated theologian Niels Hemmingsen, and others, including the editor, who contributed forty-nine hymns to the collection. The principle of arrangement was "the chief articles of the Christian faith." By the beginning of the seventeenth century the issue of hymn-books in Denmark was so frequent as almost to amount to an industry. In 1699 the "Kingo Hymn-book" was prepared by Bishop Thomas Hansen Kingo, and in a few places this is still in use. A rival to this was issued in 1717 by Pastor B. C. Gjödesen, used in some congregations until 1850. Another, by Erik Pontoppidan, appeared 1740, was the first to designate the hymns by numbers, and had the favor of the court. It was Pietistic, and one of its contributors was Hans Adolph Brorson. A third Danish issue was by the minister of state, Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, and L. Harboe, bishop of Seeland, was issued in 1778, and was known as the "Guldberg Hymnal." In 1698 a new departure was made in the "Evangelical Christian Hymnbook" under the direction of Nicolai Edinger Balle, bishop of Seeland, marked by a timid supernaturalism and a varied rationalism. A supplement to this was added by a later bishop of Seeland, Jakob Peter Mynster, in 1845. In 1855 appeared the Roskilde Konvents Paalmebog, to which Nicolai Frederik Severin Grundtvig, B. S. Ingemann, and C. J. Boye made contributions, and supplements were added in 1873 and 1890. In 1899 the official hymn-book of the Danish Church was issued with the title Psalmebog for Kirke og Hjem.

2. Norway and Sweden.

In Norway the change in political conditions paved the way for the abandonment of the "Kingo," "Guldberg" and "Evangelical Christian" hymn-books which had been employed there as well as in Denmark, and in 1869 an official service of song was issued under the care of M. B. Landstad, and in 1873 a second authorized hymn-book under the care of A. Hauge. There is also a collection of hymns in the peasant dialect. In Sweden a little collection, Svenska sånger eller visor, was issued by the Reformer, Olaus Petri, and contained ten hymns, four or five of which were by the editor. This was enlarged in new issues of 1530 and 1536. Petri's brother, Archbishop Laurentius Petri, made a new edition of this in 1543, and in 1567 appeared the "Laurentius Petri Hymn-book," containing about 100 hymns, many of them polemics against the Roman Catholic Church. Other hymn-books of no particular moment continued to appear at frequent intervals, until an official publication was published in 1645, containing 166 Swedish and fifteen Latin hymns. A new hymn-book was projected by Jesper Svedberg, assisted by the learned Urban Hjärne and a commission. This began to appear in 1694, but aroused a storm of opposition by the polemic bishop, Carl Carlson. Under a new commission the projected and partly completed book was revised by a new commission, and became known as "The Hymn-book of 1695," the year of its issue. The spread of Pietism to Sweden led to the publication of Mose og Lambsens visor, continually reprinted until the present. The diffusion of the Herrnhut movement in Sweden led to the issue of Zions nya sånger by Anders Karl Rutström, serving for that movement the same end as the Mose og Lambsens visor for Pietism. A revision of the Svedberg book was undertaken by C. J. Lohmann, Samuel Troilius, and the historian Olof Celsius, two parts appearing in


1765-67, but the result was received with strong disapproval. The entrance of rationalism into Sweden led to a desire for a new hymnal, which was provided in 1793 in the "Upsala Hymnal," practically revised in 1814 by a commission. More popular was the hymnal by Johan Olof Wallin, Stockholm, 1816, and supplements were made to this from time to time.

(F. Nielsen+.)

IX. English Hymns:

Before the Reformation.

From the Anglo-Saxon period of history only faint indications of sacred song have come down. Thus Bishop Aldhelm (q.v.; d. 709) is said to have mingled sacred and secular songs as an aid to Evangelization. The hymn of Caedmon (q.v.) was not intended for the service of song. There are Latin hymns extant with Anglo-Saxon glosses (cf. The Latin Hymns of the Anglo-Saxon Church, ed. J. Stevenson for the Surtees Society, Newcastle, 1851), and there are, besides, paraphrases of the Lord's Prayer and the Gloria Patri; but these are properly meditational and do not belong to hymnody as a part of divine service. Further indications of early English hymnody are carols and hymns to the Virgin. But all that can be said with assurance of the period before the Reformation is that the practise of the Latin Church governed, that much material is known out of which hymns might be made, and some of it was utilized in later periods, but that this material was not intended as more than pious meditation on religious themes. The best of this material is represented in the so-called Primers, founded on the Sarum Use and the Roman Breviary, which are known to have been in use at least during 1360-1700. They contained prose or rimed translations of parts of the service, including prayers.

2. The Psalters.

After the Reformation the intensity of the contest between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism and the large place taken by the English Bible in popular affection made the use of even the great Latin hymns distasteful. Consequently, while singing became a part of public worship, hardly. anything was used except versions of portions of Scripture, of which large parts, especially the Psalms, were put into metrical form (see PSALMODY). As a result, the period 1550-1700 has been called the period of the Metrical Psalters, during which more than 350 versions of the Psalms were begun, and about 125 were completed. Yet throughout there were indications that the hymnody of the Church was not to be confined to Scriptural material. Thus Miles Coverdale's Goodly Psalmes and Spiritual Songs (before 1539) represents the desire to embody the spirit of the German Reformers, and it consequently includes translations of some of the hymns of Luther as well as paraphrases of Latin hymns and versions of the Psalms. The principal trend of the period, however, is exhibited by what came to be known in later times as "The Old Version," begun by Thomas Sternhold, an official at the courts of Henry VIII. and Edward VI. Sternhold's purpose in publishing was to provide sacred songs for the people, though the version was begun for his own "godly solace"; the pieces were set to music by him. The meters employed were the short and common meters of popular ballads. The first edition (undated, probably 1548) contained only nineteen psalms, but the number in subsequent editions was enlarged with the aid of Sternhold's disciples, John Hopkins and Thomas Norton, till all the psalms were rendered into English verse as early as 1562, the result being the well-known "Sternhold and Hopkins Psalter" or "Old Version," which, being combined with the Book of Common Prayer, continued in use for about a century. This was followed by two varieties which had more or less of popular favor, the Genevan, influenced by the French version of Marot, and the Scottish, put forth by the General Assembly of 1564, which had more than 140 tunes attached. Another version, known as "The Scottish Psalter," included mainly settings by F. Rous, and was completed by the General Assembly of 1649 and authorized by that of 1650, to which Biblical Paraphrases was added in the period 1745-81. Meanwhile, in 1559 Queen Elizabeth gave permission to use at the beginning and end of divine service "any hymn or such like song to the praise of Almighty God," and this permission both shows that hymn-writing had already begun, and gave a distinct impetus to this kind of composition. Six hymns were appended to the Sternhold and Hopkins Psalter and were publicly used, and for seventy-five years such writers as Robert Herrick (1591-1674), John Donne, and George Herbert, composed hymns which were sung, while renderings were made of parts of the treasures of the Latin Church, including "Hierusalem, my happie home."

3. The Rise of the Hymnals.

The first attempt at a hymn-book as distinguished from a psalter was Hymns and Songs of the Church by George Wither issued in 1623 with a patent from James I. permitting it to be bound with the Psalter. It consisted of two parts, (1) metrical paraphrases of Scripture, (2) hymns for the church festivals and special occasions. It was republished in enlarged form as Hallelujah, Britain's Second Remembrancer in 1641. But the Puritan sentiment, which soon became dominant, preferred the Psalms in meter, while the hymn-writers were principally royalists. This led the way in England to "The New Version" known also as "Tate and Brady" (1st ed. 1696; 2d ed. 1698; with supplement, 1702), issued with the approval of William III., and in America to the Bay Psalm Book. The New Version differed from the Old in that it was written in varied meter, and it became the standard and influenced all subsequent hymnody. In 1782 five hymns were added to it, and later others were admitted. Meanwhile such writers as Henry Vaughan, Jeremy Taylor, Thomas Ken (morning and evening hymns and the Doxology), and Joseph Addison ("The spacious firmament on high") had been writing hymns which, in original or revised form, have been permanent possessions. In 1683 John Mason published Songs of Praise, which ran through many editions, and furnished the basis for several hymns still in current use. But under lingering Puritan sentiment the singing of hymns was still prohibited. The Baptists became involved in controversy


over the propriety of using them, and divided into "singing and non-singing congregations." The Independents began to use hymns about 1690 (Collection of Divine Hymns, 1694), and the time was ripe for Isaac Watts (1674-1748), who has been called the creator of English hymnody. The public sentiment of the time has been indicated by the fact that Watts considered it necessary to preface his Hymns (1707) with an apologetic argument. The comparative excellence of his compositions forced them into acceptance, rendered psalm-singing as the only means of public praise obsolete, and made his hymns necessary to every hymnal since his time. He left about 875 hymns and psalms, and his significance lies in his departure from the literalness of the Psalters and the employment of modern thought and sentiment. Watts opened the flood-gates of English hymnody, and from his time the flow of hymns has been steady. Philip Doddridge (1702-51) composed nearly 400 hymns, many of which were written and sung as supplement to his sermons. He had as younger contemporaries Simon Browne (1680-1732), who left 170 hymns, among them "Come, gracious Spirit, heavenly dove," and Robert Seagrave (1693-1755), who left about fifty hymns, including "Rise, my soul, and stretch thy wings." The creations of hymnals under these influences was rapid. The Moravian hymn book was made in 1742 and standardized in 1789; a Unitarian collection was made in 1757; the Church of England's hymnal began with Martin Madan's Collection of Psalms and Hymns (1760), using the previous sources; the first Wesleyan hymnal was put out in 1780; and the first Baptist hymn-book was Rippon's (1787).

4. Individual Hymnists.

The eighteenth and nineteenth centuries witnessed the rise of a large number of "poets of the Church" who produced compositions which became deservedly popular and seem assured of lasting fame. Some of these are the following: Joseph Hart (1712-68), "Come, Holy Spirit"; Anne Steele (1716-78), "Father, whate'er of earthly bliss"; William Williams (1717-91), a Welsh hymnist, who wrote 800 hymns, including "Guide me, O thou great Jehovah"; John Cennick (1718-55), "Children of the heavenly king"; John Newton (1726-1807) and William Cowper (1731-1800), who cooperated in producing the "Olney Hymns"; William Hammond (1719-83), "Awake and sing the song"; Thomas Gibbons (1720-85), "Now let our souls on wings sublime"; Edward Perronet (1726-92), "All hail the power of Jesus' name"; Samuel Stennett (1727-95), "Majestic sweetness site enthroned"; Thomas Haweis (1732-1820), who wrote 256 hymns; the brothers Wesley, foremost of whom as a hymn-writer was Charles (1739-86), who wrote some 6,000 hymns, 3,000 of which were left in manuscript; John Fawcett (1739-1817), "Blest be the tie that binds"; Augustus Montague Toplady (1740-78), "Rock of Ages, cleft for me" and 132 others; Mrs. Anna Laetitia Barbauld (1743-1825), "Come, said Jesus' sacred voice" and 143 others; Rowland Hill (1744-1833), "Cast thy burden on the Lord"; James Montgomery (1771-1834), "Oh! where shall rest be found"; Harriet Auber (1773-1862), "Our blest Redeemer, ere he breathed"; Reginald Heber (1783-1826), "By cool Siloam's shady rill"; Charlotte Elliott (1789-1871), "Just as I am, without one plea"; Henry Kirke White (1785-1806), "Oft in danger, oft in woe"; Sir Robert Grant (1785-1838), "Oh! worship the king, all glorious above"; Sir John Bowring (1792-1872), "In the cross of Christ I glory"; James Edmeston (1791-1867), "Savior, breathe an evening blessing"; Henry Francis Lyte (1793-1847), "Abide with me, fast falls the eventide"; Sarah Flower Adams (1805-48), "Nearer, my God, to thee"; Christopher Wordsworth (1807-85), "Oh! day of rest and gladness"; Horatius Bonar (1808-89), "I heard the voice of Jesus say"; Henry Alford (1810-71), "Come, ye thankful people, come"; Thomas Toke Lynch (1818-71), "Gracious Spirit, dwell with me" and 166 others; William Walsham How (1823-97), "For all thy saints who from their labors rest"; Edward Henry Bickersteth (1826-1906), "O God, the rock of ages"; Catherine Winkworth (1829-78) who produced the Lyra Germanica which has so influenced modern church singing; Frances Ridley Havergal (1836-1879), "I gave my life for thee": and George Matheson (1842-1906), "O Love that will not let me go." Not mentioned in the foregoing are the members of a little circle, all connected with the Oxford movement, who influenced English hymnody less by the number of hymns which they produced than by the high value of their compositions as expressions of devotion. This circle comprised: John Keble (1792-1866), who produced the Christian Year; Frederick William Faber (1814-83), "Paradise, O paradise" and "Hark! hark, my soul"; John Mason Neale (1818-1866), whose rendering "Jerusalem the golden" is in every hymnal of note, and who produced also the splendid Medieval Hymns and Sequences (London, 1852); Edward Caswell (1814-78), who produced Lyra Catholica; and John Henry Newman (1801-90), whose "Lead, kindly light" is one of the best known of English hymns.

5. Recent Hymnology.

While, during the whole period just sketched, the production of hymnals was steady, with 1830 began a better use of the earlier material, evident in more careful editing and a larger employment of the earlier treasures of the Church, made available by the writers named above and others whose work was perhaps no less worthy. Critical study was made of sources, attention was paid to the reproduction of the spirit of the originals, and greater faithfulness was manifested in the employment of earlier hymns, while the tunes used were not only of a higher quality in composition, but were made to accord in their flow with the rhythm of the hymns. In this way improvement almost inestimable has been brought about in the song service of the Church. In this movement one of the most influential leaders was Sir Henry Williams Baker (1821-77), whose famous Hymns Ancient and Modern was at the time of its appearance high-water mark as a medium of congregational devotion. This compiler is hardly less celebrated for his setting of Psalm xxiii., "The king of love my shepherd is." In this movement the Church of England has taken great interest, and at present its hymnals are recognized as models for the compilation of service-books of song.

X. American Hymns:

1. General Description.

The connection between the colonies and England was so close until about 1770 that American hymnody had little distinctively its own. The first American praise-book was the famous Bay Psalm-Book, which was often reprinted. Then Tate and Brady's Psalter came into popular use, with a supplement of hymns largely by Watts, of which many editions were issued. After the War of the Revolution, denominational activity in the production of hymnals became intense, and this movement, stimulated by the production of meritorious hymns, soon passed beyond the use of the versified psalms. Official hymnals were issued by the Protestant Episcopal Church (1789, 1808, 1826), by the Baptists (The Philadelphia Collection, 1790), by the Methodists (prior to 1790); the Universalists published two collections in 1792, the Unitarians one in 1795, the Congregationalists one in 1799, while the first official


[Page 431]


[Page 432]


[Page 433]


[Page 434]



CCEL home page
This document is from the Christian Classics Ethereal Library at
Calvin College. Last modified on 10/03/03. Contact the CCEL.
Calvin seal: My heart I offer you O Lord, promptly and sincerely