SIR,—May I doubt the statement that we should use Protestant hymns far more than we do—the reason given " for our own poverty in hymns is notorious " seems insufficient.
Some of our tunes are very poor, but the words matter most and discarding some of our present ones might be preferable to adopting Protestant ones; words can be orthodox and beautiful and also, by omission or over-emphasis, become unbalanced.
Here are comments on all of the hymns mentioned by Mr. Montgomery:
Hark the Herald Angels Sing—the words "God and sinners reconciled " may mean "peace on earth goodwill towards men" rather than our " on earth peace to men of goodwill."
As with Gladness Men of Old — the omission of any allusion to God the Father or the Holy Spirit.
When I survey the Wondrous Cross—it seems all " I " rather than the corporate " we," and some of it raises the same doubtful feeling as when we sing "how sweet would be their children's fate, if we like them could die for thee."
0 Worship the King — no allusion to Our Lord, too Unitarian.
Jerusalem the Golden—" the shout of them that triumph, the song of them that feast " does not suggest Heaven to me.
And finally, Abide with Me—again the "1," and of one physically weak or old.
Many of these hymns seem to express the pious wish rather than the asking prayer of humility.
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