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n6                              FRANKLIN-SQUARE SONG COLLECTION.
Referring to praise-meetings, a leading writer says: " Every new phase of religious opinion or re­ligious life has some reason why it should exist—em­phasizing some want of our being which has been, or is likely to be, neglected. And, hence, it is to be studied and intelligently turned to account. If the piaise-meeting owes its existence to the fact that we have been slighting the element of praise in our religious gatherings, or to the fact that the people want to do their own singing rather than listen to the
performance of a paid quartet, by all means let us learn these lessons. We think these are the facts which make Dr. Tourj6e's innovation take so well with the religious people of sober New England, while the novelty of a brass band draws in the curious and helps to crowd the house. Let us then give our churches all the chances to sing they want, under the guidance of a competent and at the same time a devout leader, and in combination with such chances to speak and pray as may make the enthusiasm de-
"Austrian Hymn," Francis Scott Key, 1826.
veloped by a praise-meeting yield substantial results in the conversion of sinners and the strengthening of saints. There is no doubt that singing, especially the singing of a well-trained congregation, is quite as legitimate and possibly as effective a means of grace as praying or preaching. The voice of the great congregation is one of power. You can sing men into the kingdom as well as pray them in. But true Christian praise will ever contemplate religious ends. It will never degenerate into mere recreation."
"Cheerfulness," says Bishop Taylor, "and a festival spirit fill the soul full of harmony; it com­poses music for churches and hearts; it makes and publishes glorifications of God; it produces thankful­ness, and serves the end of charity; and, when the oil of gladness runs over, it makes tall and bright emis­sions of light, and holy fires reaching up to a cloud and making joy round about. Since it is so full of holy advantage, whatsoever can innocently minister to this holy joy sets forward the work of religion."

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III