Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Christ in Song: Hymns of Immanuel, Selected from All Ages, with Notes, Volume 2, by Philip Schaff


Schaff returns with yet another collection of, well, hymns about Christ, from all ages.  This volume includes categories like The Love and Loveliness of Christ, Christ our Refuge and Strength, Love and Gratitude to Christ, and Christ All and In All.  Within each category, the hymns are arranged chronologically, and range from the third century all the way up to the mid nineteenth century (when this collection was published).

While it might be a bit overwhelming to sit down and read the whole thing cover to cover, it makes a great devotional, especially when read aloud. It would also make great gift for that one musically gifted friend you have, since many of the hymns--presented here without melodies--are simply begging to be set to music again and reintroduced into worship.

As with the previous book, there are some duds, but by and large the hymns Schaff selects are decent enough, and some are positively excellent--there are new (to me, anyway) hymns from well-known writers like Horatius Bonar, Augustus Toplady, Isaac Watts, Charles Wesley, William Cowper, and John Newton, along with many great hymns from seriously talented writers I've never heard of but will make an effort to track down in the future (Jane Borthwick, among others).  My personal favorites in this collection include "Through the Love of God", by Mary Peters, "When Time Seems Short", by G.W. Bethune, "When This Passing World", by R.M. McCheyne, "Awake, My Soul, In Joyful Lays", by Samuel Medley, "Rest in the Lord", by E.H. Bickersteth, and "I Am Trusting Thee, Lord Jesus", by Frances Havergal.

Volume 1 was, I think, a little stronger overall, but this installment is by no means a waste of time or money.  Though I have no idea why this reprint edition has pointe shoes on the cover.

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