Psalm CXXII, “Aaron’s Mitred Sons”

We’re searching the songbooks of John and Charles Wesley for suitable hymns to sing before and after our class meeting. Wesley’s 1780 Collection of Hymns, intended for the United Societies, is usually most favored for it’s organization around the Christian walk to Glory. However, we oftentimes resort to older material. The several editions and publications of Hymns and Sacred Poems (HSP) are a less finished form, perhaps representing the development of the Wesleyite religious societies as they departed from reliance upon regular ministry? Consequently, there’s an ambiguity about the hymn selections, namely, a mixture between those that are purely ‘experiential’ compared to those wholly liturgical in spirit. Of course, the latter stand closer to the Church calendar, thereby, having a stronger public rather than private quality. As I perused these many editions, I stumbled upon a curious discrepancy in the 1747 version of HSP.    Continue reading

Hark How All the Welkin Rings

As we approach end of Christmastide, a look at Charles Wesley’s “Hark! the Herald Angels Sing” appeared fitting. Even today, of course, C. Wesley’s beautiful nativity hymn has a sustained popularity. However, like most old methodist songs, it’s undergone some adaptations over time, perhaps minor ones. And, like many other Wesleyan songs, ‘Hark the Herald’ has been received throughout the Protestant denominations, even with Restoration Christians like the Church of Latter Day Saints (LDS). A quick overview makes something of the case. Continue reading