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of the elder hymnists, calling for no such drastic editing as our accepted standard hymns have received.
If we are to eliminate the gospel hymn, what is to take its place? The standard hymn is entirely adequate to pro­vide for the edification of saints, but absolutely inadequate, when alone, to furnish the motive power for conversion of sinners. Jonathan Edwards found the psalm versions un­fitted for the great revival and introduced the livelier hymns of Isaac Watts. Finney in turn found Watts and the tunes used with his hymns too dull and Joshua Leavitt is­sued for him his "Christian Lyre." Everybody knows how the gospel hymn was the inspiring element in the Moody and Sankey evangelistic movement in America and Great Britain. The more recent songs issued by Excell and Rode-heaver and others were the stirring force in the evangelistic work of Chapman and Torrey which girdled the earth.
Four out of five churches today are using the gospel hymn collections in their evening services, or even in their morning worship, and wholly in their subsidiary meetings. Denominational publishing houses are issuing them by the hundred thousand. Millions of them are in the hymnal racks of our churches. Except where the evangelistic im­pulse in foreign missionary fields has been submerged by educational and welfare ideas, the gospel hymn has every­where been most successfully used. "Jesus loves me, this I know," with Bradbury's aboriginal pentatonic tune, is im­pressing the gospel message on the childhood of pagan na­tions as does no other single influence.
The gospel hymn has not only expressed, but helped to create the aggressive type of religious life in America which has quickened the religious pulse of the whole world and placed our land in the forefront in organized missionary work. Shall such a worldwide force for righteousness be hindered or even eliminated to please a dilettante taste, or a meticulous connoisseurship, that ignores the larger pos­sibilities of help to the spread of the kingdom of God?
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III