Marshall, Morgan & Scott, Ltd. London and Edinburgh.
Made and printed in Great Britain
Hunt, Barnard, & Co., Ltd.
London & Aylesbury
From Whose Lips
I First Heard
Many years’ diligent pursuit along the highways and byways of the realm of Sacred Song produced an accumulation of material, the collecting and tabulating of which was ever a delight and labour of love. To disintegrate, arrange and marshal names, dates and facts presented a formidable task. My bookshelves already groaned under the weight of volumes on this engrossing subject. And yet I was sanguine enough to believe that out of the pile of hymnal notes before me, it was possible to produce something which would not only reach the heart of the hymn lover, but would afford some hours of helpful, and, I trust, pleasurable reading to whoever might peruse these pages. In launching out, therefore, my endeavour has been, in the first place, to interest readers in the authorship and history of the sacred songs they sing.
An attempt has also been made to give an account, not only of the most prominent hymns, but others not so eminent in the realm of hymnody, whose inclusion, because of some special circumstance associated with them, seemed to be desirable. Some hymns which have received prominence may fall far below the standard of first class poetry, and may lay no claim to literary merit, other than that which attaches to hymns which have a well-attested value as having been a channel of blessing in their day and generation. This is my only apology for their inclusion in this volume.
No efforts have been spared in order to verify much hymnal data which came into my hands, and so far as possible I have gone to original sources for the desired information. An intimate acquaintance with many authorities on the other side of the Atlantic has enabled me to set down much fresh material, as well as rendering assistance in the weaving of many little-known stories around some of the old songs of the great revival days of a past generation.
My cordial thanks are due to those who so courteously answered my many enquiries, and have assisted in my research in furnishing me with interesting particulars and illustrations. Lastly, special mention should be made of the valuable work of my daughter Elsie, who typed the whole of the manuscript, and to my friend Mr. J. Duckworth, B.A., who so ably assisted in the correction of proofs.
D. J. B.