A Collection of Hymns for the People Called Methodists

I recently began a practice that I have considered for some time, but with which I have not previously followed through.  That is, the daily reading of hymns as part of my morning devotional time.  Since I am researching John Wesley’s theology for my doctoral thesis, it makes sense to begin with hymns that he, or more often his brother Charles, either wrote themselves or endorsed for the people under their care.  To that end, I have begun reading A Collection of Hymns for the Use of The People Called Methodists, which is listed as volume seven of the Bicentennial Edition of Wesley’s Works.

These hymns are a treasure trove of theology and contain a beauty of language that is difficult (perhaps impossible) to capture outside of verse.  As I read these hymns I find myself completely drawn in to their descriptions of humanity, of God, of Christ’s sacrifice, of his glory, of our participation in the life of the Trinity, of our eschatological hope.  Sometimes I am refreshed.  Sometimes I am brought to conviction and repentance.  More often that I would like to admit, I am brought to tears (or nearly so).  Like ancient prayers, they offer me words to utter when I cannot find my own.

Though I make no claim to be a great interpreter of what lies within these pages, I find that I am changed in some small way as I read them, and so I would like to share just a bit of that experience with my readers.  Over the coming weeks and months, please keep your eye out for additions to this new series that will be categorized simply as ‘Hymns’.  I encourage you to find a copy for your own reading pleasure.  I believe you will find a free downloadable version over at the Christian Classics Library.  I will post portions of hymns here, but you will want to read them on your own for the full experience.  I welcome comments and suggestions on the posts.  Stay tuned…

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