The "Collection" of 1780 has been circulated by millions, and has been recognised as a priceless treasure, not only by Methodists, but by many other disciples of the One Master. As a testimony to Scripture doctrine and Christian experience, as a monument of piety, a manual of devotion, and a bond of fellowship, it can never cease to be precious to all who cherish the spirit of its authors, and wish well to that revival of religion of which they were the instruments; while, in instances almost innumerable, personal associations have invested portions of its contents with tender, and even sacred interest.
The Conference therefore determined that it should be retained in use, and, while generally revised, should undergo no alteration which would affect its substance or impair its identity. But as altered circumstances, often resulting from the growth of the Connexion, and occasions repeatedly arising in public, social, and domestic life have rendered additional hymns necessary, an attempt has been made to meet the want which has been long felt, and which was by no means adequately provided for by the valuable Supplement published about forty-five years since.
In this compilation the necessities of public worship have been first considered; and it is hoped that an ample supply of compositions suitable for mixed congregations is here furnished. In addition to hymns of adoration and thanksgiving, there will be found seventy versions of Psalms, or parts of Psalms (besides those contained in the former Supplement) by means of which that portion of Holy Scripture, which has supplied so large a share of the devotional exercises of Christians generally, will become more fully available for the use of Methodists than it has been for a long time past. Many poems of Charles Wesley also, which up to a late period only existed in manuscript, are now for the first time presented for congregational use; and by the force and sublimity of thought, the depth and tenderness of feeling, and the spirit of fervent piety displayed in them, will fully vindicate the judgment of John Wesley respecting his brother's poetical remains. Well does it become all the lovers of Scriptural Christianity, but especially the Methodists, to be thankful to the Author of every good gift for the endowments and labours of Charles Wesley, which were so long and faithfully consecrated to the promotion of vital and experimental religion, and by which that "power of godliness" which it is the mission of Methodism to spread, has been alike exemplified and vindicated. The full extent to which these labours have been rendered serviceable to the cause of Christ can only be known in the day when all secret things shall be revealed.
The Spirit of its living Head having never departed from the Church, it follows that those in all ages who by the Holy Ghost have called Jesus Lord should have been occupied with attempts to set forth His praise. As in the old time they still "prophesy and do not cease," so that our age is richer in good hymns than any that have gone before it. The Committee have been glad to avail themselves of the labours of both contemporaries and predecessors, and accordingly the present volume is enriched by a selection from the works of modern hymnologists as well as from the accumulated treasures of the past. The names of authors as presented in the "Index of First Lines," will help to exemplify the substantial unity existing between all believers in Christ, notwithstanding the many causes which at present hinder its full manifestation to the world.
It may be proper to add that the Committee, while mainly desirous to provide by this Supplement for the wants of congregations, have not restricted themselves to that object. The people called Methodists were supposed by their Founder to have many uses for good hymns besides singing them in public assemblies; and he selected for them accordingly. Here also will be found some adapted to personal and private, rather than to collective worship, or to praising the Lord "secretly among the faithful," rather than "in the congregation;" but none, it is hoped, which will not minister "to exhortation, edification, or comfort:" and for these objects they humbly invoke the blessing of God upon their work.
The Committee offer respectful thanks to the authors and publishers concerned, for permission courteously given to use hymns in which they have a copyright. A list of these, as far as known, is given below. If they have in any instance failed to seek for permission where they ought to have done so, such omission has been entirely unintentional, and they trust this apology for it will be accepted.
The Right Rev. the Lord Bishop of Lincoln; the Very Rev. the Dean of Westminster; the Right Hon. and Rev. the Earl Nelson; the Rev. Sir H. W. Baker, Bart.; the Rev. Sir J. Prevost, Bart.; the Rev. W. J. Hall, M.A., and the Rev. W. Josiah Irons, D.D., Prebendaries of St. Paul's; the Rev. B. H. Kennedy, D.D., Canon of Ely; the Rev. Horatius Bonar, D.D.; the (late) Rev. J. S. Monsell, LL.D.; the Rev. W. M. Punshon, LL.D.; the Rev. Messrs. J. Ellerton, M.A., J. M. Fuller, M.A., Arthur Tozer-Russell, M.A., the Rev. S. J. Stone, M.A., the Rev. H. Twells, M.A., the Rev. Ed. Caswall, and the Rev. E. E. Jenkins, M.A.; Sir Charles Reed; Richard Massie, Esq.; Granville R. Ryder, Esq.; Thomas Montgomery Foster, Esq.; T. Stamford Raffles, Esq.; George Rawson, Esq.; Miss C. Winkworth; Mrs. Lynch; and H. L. L., the Authors or representatives of the Authors of hymns; and Messrs. Murray, Longmans, Nisbet, Rivingtons, Masters, Hayes, Novello, Daldy Isbister & Co., and the Committee of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, and the Committee of the Religious Tract Society, the Publishers of the several volumes from which hymns have been selected.
Census Records | Vital Records | Family Trees & Communities | Immigration Records | Military Records Directories & Member Lists | Family & Local Histories | Newspapers & Periodicals | Court, Land & Probate | Finding Aids