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Hymnals of the Stone-Campbell Movement

Enos E. Dowling Hymnal Collection

Pivotal Stone-Campbell Movement Hymnals of the 19th Century

A Description

First Known Hymnals Associated with Christian Reformers

Melody of the Heart (1804), by Abner Jones, is probably the first hymnal published by anyone connected with the Stone-Campbell Movement. 72 pages, containing words only.

A Collection of Hymns for the Use of Christians (1804 and 1805), by Elias Smith. These hymnals are the precursor to the 1809 (3rd ed.) of Hymns, Original and Selected for the Use of Christians by Elias Smith and Abner Jones. Words only.

The Pilgrim's Hymn Book (1815), compiled by Joseph Thomas, a Southern preacher of O'Kelly's group of reformers. Thomas lived c.1791-1835, and wore a long white robe on his preaching itinerary, causing him to be known as "the White Pilgrim". 207 pages, containing words only.

Christian Connection Hymnals

The Christian Hymn Book (1815, 3rd ed.), by John Thompson and others. John Thompson was one of the signers of the Last Will and Testament of the Springfield Presbytery. The "others" co-authoring this early hymnal included David Purviance, also a signer of the Last Will and Testament...; Samuel Westerfield, William Snodgrass, and William McClure were the other contributors. The preface page credits David Purviance as proprietor of the 3rd edition (by 1815 John Thompson had elected not to remain with the reformers, but instead rejoined the Presbyterians in 1811 and Westerfield had gone over to the Methodists). 236 pages, containing words only.

A Selection of Christian Hymns (1818), by Rice Haggard, who first proposed that "Christians simply" be the identifying name of the reformers (in 1794) and who anonymously published the influential pamphlet, Sacred Import of the Christian Name (in 1804). Words only.

The Christian Hymn Book (1829), by Barton Warren Stone and Thomas Adams. Competed with Campbell's hymnbook for popularity until it was merged into the 1834 edition of Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs. 4" x 2 1/2" 370 pages with xiv page index. Words only.

The Campbell Hymnals

Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs (1828), by Alexander Campbell. 2 7/8" x 4 1/2" 192 pages, sized to fit in a man's shirt pocket. Contains words only - during his lifetime (Campbell died in 1866), he refused to allow musical notation to appear in his hymnbook, notation not appearing until the 1871 edition. He was a man of strongly-held opinions about church music. He felt that notation appearing on the same page with lyrics would detract from worship. He was opposed to trained choirs, musical instruments and music for the sake of "entertainment" within worship.

Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs (1834), by Alexander Campbell, Walter Scott, Barton Warren Stone, and John T. Johnson. This was the edition that Campbell stated was perfect, needing no changes, nor would any be tolerated! Campbell never retracted this rhetoric, but did publish a new and revised edition in 1843. It originally sold for 37 1/2¢ per copy or $3.75 per dozen, 2 7/8" x 4 1/4" 256 pages. Note: also in 1834, Scott printed up 6000 copies with the title, The Disciple's Hymn Book, by Campbell, Scott, Stone, & Johnson. This caused friction with Stone and others who were adamant about the name "Christian."

Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs (1843, 13th stereotype ed.) was the first real revision of the hymnal since additional compilation of materials by Walter Scott, Barton Warren Stone and John T. Johnson. This edition is the first to feature suggested tunes to use with individual hymns, as earlier editions and later editions omit these, it seems apparent that some other influence than Campbell's was at work introducing the tunes. The preface states that the suggestions of tunes is hoped to ". . . be found advantageous" (p. 4). These prefixed tunes thus serve as a historical context to how the early leaders actually sang these hymns. Words only.

Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs (1853, 2nd ed.) although there are actually at least 22 editions prior to publication of this edition, Campbell chose to list this as a 2nd edition. In his mind, at least, it represented enough of a departure from earlier editions to start a new numbering series. This edition is missing the tunes prefixed in the 1843 edition - Campbell states the reason for doing this was because of the differences of preference for tunes. Also, not all tunes were "universally known" (p. 4). Campbell encouraged each group of Christians to use their own judgement as, "it is infinitely more important that we should have one pure speech and evangelical psalmody than one and the same tune" (p. 4). Words only.

The Christian Hymn Book (1865), by Alexander Campbell and others. Revised and enlarged by a committee including Isaac Errett, W.T. Moore, Amos Sutton Hayden, and W.K. Pendleton. Isaac Errett had persuaded Campbell to turn over the copyright and printing plates of the Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs to the board of the American Christian Missionary Society at the 1864 meeting of the general convention. The American Christian Missionary Society board then authorized the printing of this edition with a percentage of the proceeds to go to missionary support. Campbell died the next year at age 78. 3 1/2" x 5 1/2" 505 pages, containing words only.

The Christian Hymnal (1871). This descendant of Campbell's Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs contained musical notation for first time, as Campbell refused to allow musical notation to appear in his hymnbook during his lifetime. Campbell was not noted for any musical ability, relying instead upon his brilliant mind and razor-sharp logic. 5" x 7 1/4" 340 pages.

Christian Hymnal, Revised (1882) was the last edition of Campbell's hymnal published by the American Christian Missionary Society. It was quite an expensive book, starting at 90¢ for cloth-bound copies and did not sell well. Controversy surrounded the bidding process for publication rights with H. S. Bosworth (the winning bidder) undercutting all of the other book resellers and the other publishers boycotting and negatively advertising the hymnal. Besides the controversy, the price of the hymnal was objectionable to most churches, with comparable hymnals being priced around 30¢-40¢ each.

Other Hymnals

Christian Psalms and Hymns (1839), by Walter Scott and Silas White Leonard (4" x 2 1/2" 445 pages). Even though Scott had joined forces with Campbell to produce the Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs in 1834, he apparently saw no conflict of interest in helping to put out another, competing, hymnal. Equally apparent, he did not share Campbell's theological stance that the brotherhood should only have one hymnal. Like many others, he saw competition as something healthy, resulting in better choices being made available to the churches. In contrast to Campbell, who possessed little musical ability, Scott was a consummate musician in addition to possessing personal evangelistic charisma. Words only.

The Christian Psalmist (1847), by Silas White Leonard and Augustus Damon Fillmore was the first hymnal to seriously challenge Campbell's notion of having only one hymnal in the brotherhood. It was also the first of our hymnals to utilize musical notation along with the words. That others felt the same way in the movement is evident: this hymnal sold out 6 editions within the first 3 months, selling over a half a million copies in 18 editions. (A.S. Hayden's An Introduction to Sacred Music, 1839, earlier utilized musical notation - but it was primarily an instruction book, not a hymnal designed for use in worship services.)

The Sacred Melodeon (1848) or The Christian Melodeon, by Amos Sutton Hayden contained shaped notes. This method of notation is the style favored even today by the accapella churches. This music book was clearly a lesson textbook in addition to being a hymnal. Its 20 pages of music fundamentals provide a historical commentary on the kind of singing employed in the churches at that time. The preface also clarifies some of Hayden's musical philosophy.

Harp of Zion (1864), by Augustus Damon Fillmore contained 269 pages 6" tall x 10 1/2" wide. Seventeen of the pages were devoted to principles of vocal music - this section helped make Fillmore's books popular with the people of the churches.

Christian Psaltery (1867), by Augustus Damon Fillmore and Robert Skene (1867) is 6" tall x 10" wide. It contains 393 pages of songs and 7 pages of principles of vocal music - this section helped make Fillmore's books popular with the people of the churches.

New Christian Hymn and Tune Book (1882), by Fillmore Music House provided the main source of competition for the American Christian Missionary Society hymnal, Christian Hymnal, Revised (1882), selling for 35¢ per copy or $3.60 per dozen.