To he useful, a hymnal must express the peculiar type of Christian life characterizing the denomination it is to serve. The Church of the United Brethren in Christ emphasizes the necessity of Christian experience -- experimental religion, the fathers would have phrased it -- and recognises revival effort as the characteristic phase of its church activity; hence, its hymnal must furnish ample expression for its full and varied Christian experience and large facilities for revival work. In attempting to do this, the other phases of church life, which it has in common with other denominations, have not been forgotten or ignored, and it is hoped this collection of hymns and songs will be found as full and symmetrical as the church life it seeks to express.
In order to meet the needs of the many stages of literary and musical culture, hymns and tunes of the highest artistic merit stand side by side with songs whose practical value and spiritual purpose must atone for lack of literary and musical grace.
Doubtless many favorites will be missed from these pages, but the body of popular sacred songs is so large and rich that it was impossible to include everything desirable in so small a volume.
To the many brethren, whose number makes personal mention impossible, who kindly responded to a call for suggestions and advice, the thanks of the editor are due. While all could not be accepted, they have been very helpful, and have had large influence in giving character to the book. The valuable assistance furnished by the Advisory Committee deserves most kindly and hearty recognition. The owners of the many valuable copyright songs, in connection with which their names severally appear, will accept thanks for the kindness which so greatly enriches these pages.
That this volume will prove an effective instrument in the hands of the workers of the Church of the United Brethren in Christ for the accomplishment of great and lasting good, and bring to many hearts the same comfort and joy which its preparation brought to that of the editor, is his earnest hope and prayer. E.S.L.
DAYTON OHIO, April 15, 1890.