Prefatory Note

 •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 11
IN this little volume we could only give very brief sketches of the hymn-writers best known and most loved by Christians in general. More might have been told of some were more information available. Of others, fuller accounts may be obtained from cyclopedias and dictionaries of names, and from biographies, when further information is desired.
In his remarks the writer has endeavored to be fair to all, and selections have been made from all communions of Christians. No notice has been taken of the compositions passing current as "hymns" in many quarters to-day, many of which are mere rhymes, containing nothing of the sublimity of what should be called a hymn. "Songs" is the word that best describes them, and their life is destined to be but ephemeral.
It was difficult, sometimes, to decide what one hymn to use along with the writer's name; the rule has been to use one of the best or most helpful, but at the same time one not too commonly known, and thus bring to many readers' attention what has not been heretofore familiar.
Most of these articles appeared originally in the Sunday School Visitor from month to month, and having been intended principally for young people their style is more familiar than in others since written, but simplicity has been always aimed at.
Besides biographies and cyclopedias in general, the author has made special use of Dr. Charles Seymour Robinson's Annotations upon the Popular Hymns (now out of print), as also a little volume called Chief Men among the Brethren. To the compilers or publishers of both these courteous thanks are due, and here heartily rendered.
May He to whom we owe all praise be pleased to own the present effort to the glory of His name and the edification of His beloved people.
C. KNAPP.