Workers, Friends, Home Church, The Truth, The Way, Meetings, Gospel, Cooneyites, Christian Conventions, Hymns Old & New
Preserving the Truth
The Church without a Name and its Founder, William Irvine

Introduction Index of Chapters
Chapter Links
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A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O Bio Truth?

Chapter 40
Revised March 11, 2018

Hymns Old and New"

History of the 2x2 Hymnbook
When were the First Hymnbooks Printed?
History of 2x2 Hymnbooks
R. L. Allan & Sons, Publishers
Revision of 1951 and 1987 Editions

Who Wrote the Hymns?

Hymn Authors–Workers and Friends

Author Edward Cooney
Hymn Authors–Outsiders

Go-Preacher's Hymn Book
1951 Edition - A Review of "Hymns Old and New"
1951 Edition - List of Authors

1987 Edition - Index and Biographical Detail of Authors (Jan., 2016) (Excellent website!)
1987 Edition - Concordance, Theme & Subject Index, Authors (Aug. 2004) Email contact
1987 Edition - Review of Hymns (2007)
1987 Edition - List of Authors
1987 Edition - Hymn Finder (off site. Click gear and download)

HTML Hymns: ebooks for Online and offline use, including Hymns & Poems by Sam Jones, John Sterling, Barbara Coles Russell, Kan Paginton, May Shulz, Elma Wiebe (on Glenn Linderman's site)

Table Grace Cards

TTT Index to Hymn Information
TTT Photo Gallery Hymn Section

"Hymns Old and New"

A Christian hymn is "a song of praise to God."  A hymn is a poem set to music. A writer of hymns is known as an author or hymnodist. The singing of hymns is called hymnody. Collections of hymns are known as hymnals or hymnbooks. The study of composition of hymns is "Hymnology."

In 1450, Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press in Mainz, Germany, which was followed by the development of movable type in 1454. Before these inventions, books were scarce, and it took months and sometimes years to write or copy a new book or Bible by hand.

In 1524, what is thought to be first Protestant collection of hymns, the First Lutheran hymnbook, appeared in Wittenberg, after hymns had previously been distributed as broadsheets.
In 1531, the Bohemian Brethren hymnbook was published in German in Bohemia.
In 1535, the first British hymnbook was Coverdale's "Goostly Psalmes and Spiirituall Songes."  
In 1538
, the Genevan hymnbook was published by Calvin at Strasbourg, France.
In 1612, Henry Ainsworth prepared a hymnbook in Holland for the Pilgrims' use which they brought to America.
In 1640, the first hymnbook printed in North America was "The Bay Psalm Book," published by Cambridge.
In 1913, the FIRST "Hymns Old and New," was printed, around 15 years after the 2x2 Sect began.

HISTORY OF 2x2 HYMNBOOKS: For the first 15 years, the 2x2 Church did not have its own exclusive hymnbook. After a time of testimony at the 1904 Crocknacrieve Convention, "...more 'Songs of Victory' were then sung" (IR, June 2, 1904). At the 1908 Crocknacrieve Convention, there was still no hymnbook used: "The singing of the vast audience of hymns with moving tunes and choruses was a feature of that night's Meeting. The hymns appeared to be known by heart" (IR, July 30, 1908). Before the first 2x2 hymnbooks were published, some Friends and Workers sang from various non-denominational hymnals, such as Redemption Songs" and "Songs of Victory." 

Ever since their early days, hymns have been sung without a musical accompaniment at Conventions. "Hymns were sung....It was remarkable that though such a large number of people sang together without any controlling force of any kind, they kept wonderfully in time, and their singing was brisk and evidently enjoyed by the majority" (IR, July 28, 1910).  To this day, hymns are usually sung a cappella at Conventions and all other 2x2 Sect Meetings, with the exception of Gospel Meeting, where piano accompaniment is often used.

THE GO-PREACHER'S HYMN BOOK:  In the U.K. in 1909, the 2x2 Sect began to sing from the booklet titled, "Go-Preacher's Hymn Book." Of the 130 hymns, words without music, there were 13 written by 2x2s and 117 by Outsiders, including 20 Methodist authors, 5 Baptist; 9 Anglican, 13 Presbyterian. An introductory comment: "NOTE: Unless otherwise specified the numbers in brackets refer to the tunes in 'Songs of Victory.' Some reporters' observations about the Go-Preacher's Hymnbook were:

"This is Crocknacrieve, the present meeting place of the Pilgrims or Tramp Preachers. A man stands at a cross way and directs the males one side and females the other, and thus do the folk proceed till the tent is reached–a large erection just beside the house. Once having entered, seats are shown and hymn books are distributed, these latter a small selection from ‘Songs of Victory’ " (IR, July 28, 1910).

"One example of the low standard of education or want of knowledge of the Tramps is to be found in what they call a Hymn Book, which contains along with some well-known hymns, a surprising collection of doggerel that a fifth rate newspaper would be ashamed to publish" (IR, Oct. 7, 1909).

"And while the Tramps denounce John and Charles Wesley as having gone to hell, they sing the very 'devilry' written by Charles Wesley in some of his immortal hymns" (IR, Aug. 27 1908).

Authors' names are not provided in the Go-Preacher's Hymn Book. There are 12 hymns with the initials E.C., which are Edward Cooney's initials. Further evidence these initials apply to Ed Cooney is that No. 130 is also included in the poem section of the book Selected Letters, Hymns and Poems of Edward Cooney, p. 118 by Patricia Roberts, who lists Edward Cooney as the author. Read hymns by E. C.

1913: THE FIRST "HYMNS OLD & NEW."  In 1913, about 16 years after the 2x2 Sect began, the first "Hymns Old and New" hymnal was printed, containing 218 hymns. From a newspaper: "On Sunday last a new hymn book entitled, 'Hymns: Old and New,' made its appearance. This book, compiled by Edward Cooney and Wm. Carroll, consists entirely of hymns taken from such collections as 'Songs of Victory,' 'Redemption Songs,' and 'Songs and Solos.' The Go-Preacher's Hymnbook is no longer used" (IR, July 3, 1913).

The 2x2 "Hymns Old and New" is an English hymnbook published exclusively for use of the Friends and Workers. It is highly valued by them and has been an important part of their spiritual lives. They sing, hum, quote, study, preach, speak, write, are touched and moved to tears by the hymns. Most publicly evidenced their choice to serve the Lord while a hymn was being sung. In the Early Days, they even marched through town singing hymns, with Edward Cooney at the front leading "several hundred converts, four abreast, marched through the town singing hymns. Crowds of people lined the streets as this unique procession passed along"  (IR, Dec. 30, 1905).

Since 1913, the Friends and Workers have been using "Hymns Old and New" as their official hymnbook. In the years since 1913, the book has been revised, using the same publisher, R. L. Allan & Son Publishers Ltd. In addition, a number of supplements have been produced at various times in some countries. Currently, the 1987 Edition is in use. Since this hymnal is the only official publication made under the direction of the Sect's leaders, it is the only printed collection of official 2x2 Church teaching and beliefs, apart from similar collections of hymns published in other languages. 

EDITIONS OF "HYMNS OLD AND NEW:" Over the years, "Hymns Old and New" has been revised and republished several times. Many editions do not show the date of publication. For identification purposes, the following list shows the total number of hymns and the titles of the first and last hymn in each edition.

1913:  First Edition: 218 hymns; #1 Are you sowing the seed - #218 Within Thy Tabernacle Lord. (Words only).
  256 hymns; No. 1 As We Gather - No. 256 Bow Down Thine Ear (Music Ed.). 
           The Music Ed. had Nos. 1-256, with No. 256 being an alternate tune for Bow Down Thine Ear (also No. 64). 
           The Words Only edition ended with No. 255, Lord in Our Need.
1919:  208 Hymns; No. 1 Don't you hear Him Knocking - No. 208 We Thank Thee Lord for Weary Days 
1922:  Supplement of 27 hymns was added to 1913 Ed. (total of 235).
1928:  301 hymns; No.1 As We Gather - No. 301 The Saviour now is seeking (plus Appendix of 12 hymns)
1935:  Supplement of 73 hymns was added to 1928 Ed. (total of 374).
1951:  335 hymns No. 1 Tell Me the Story of Jesus - No. 335 Called Home to Rest
1987:  412 hymns No. 1 Tell Me the Story of Jesus - No. 412 When Life is Ended.
The 1987 Ed. states on the copyright page: "Previous compilations entitled "Hymns Old and New" were published in 1919, 1928 and 1951." (This statement omitted the 1913 and 1914 Editions.)

In Australia, the following were published:
1917: 226 Hymns; No. 1 A Ruler once Came - No. 226 Why Should I Fear, printed by The Cumberland Times Publishing Parramatta, NSW.
1918: 233 Hymns; No. 1 A Ruler Once Came - No. 233 Why Should I Fear, printed by The Cumberland of George Street.
1921: 233 Hymns; No. 1 As We Gather - No. 233 Why Should I Fear, printed in Parramatta, Sydney, NSW.

R. L. ALLAN & SONS, PUBLISHERS, LTD. Robert Hall established his business in 1863 as a bookseller and publisher of books in Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, Scotland. The first edition in 1913 of "Hymns Old and New," was published by R. L. Allan & Son, and the copyright page in the 1987 Ed. states: "Previous compilations entitled 'Hymns Old and New' were published in 1919, 1928 and 1951." 

In 1922 John Gray of Pickering & Inglis Ltd, a Christian publishing enterprise, licensed the rights to two hymnbooks from R. L. Allan & Son, which was the start of the Gray family's relationship with Allan's. Almost 50 years later his son, Andrew Gray, took over the company, after which his son, Nicholas Gray purchased it. Around 2013, Ian Metcalfe, grandson of Andrew Gray and also Nicholas Gray's nephew, took over the business and moved it to London.

Reportedly, there was a fire in the 1920s or 1930s that destroyed their early records and stock. Inquiries have been further hampered because R L. Allan has no file room for past titles published by them and does not have any copies of the 1919 and 1928 Editions. However, R. L. Allan were publishers of the Faith Mission hymnbook "Songs of Victory," first published 1890, which was well known and included hymns used by the 2x2 hymnbook. The Author has been unable to discover the circumstances that led to the business association between the Workers and R. L. Allan & Sons:

"No one is left within the company who can remember more than 15-20 years of R. L. Allan, and the forming Managing Director of Pickering & Inglis has now passed on…I regret I do not know Mr. Smith's status within the Friends and Workers, or indeed whether he was a member" nor did he "…know how the Friends and Workers became associated with R. L. Allan...We only publish one book for the Friends and Workers" (letter by James Crockatt, General Manager, May 25, 1988).

"Pickering & Inglis bought the business from the owner, Mr. Smith, in 1970 as a result of...Pickering & Inglis taking over the publishing of 'Redemption Songs'....R. L. Allan became a part of Pickering & Inglis, and at that point the interest, became exclusively for the Friends and Workers. R. L. Allan is now part of a small group called Chapter House Ltd. which incorporates Pickering & Inglis. Allan now publishes a hymnbook called "Hymns old and new" in English and German, and specially bound KJV Bibles for this group" (Nicholas Gray, Director, April 19, 1994).

Compilation  copyright was registered in USA  in 1987 by Pocock & Martin as Trustees for the Christian Church in England.  In 2013, R. L. Allan moved from Glasgow, Scotland, to Surrey, England.  Their website is Allan's Bibles-Direct at, password: allan; Email: Several letters from R. L. Allan & Son are posted in the TTT Photo Gallery, in the Hymn Section. Workers also purchase Oxford KJV Bibles from Allan for 2x2s.

REVISION OF 1951 EDITION OF "HYMNS OLD AND NEW:" Bert Pattison, a Brother Worker from Cloughjordan, Ireland, provided the reason the 1935 hymnbook was republished. "In 1951, a complete revision was made, because the type had become so worn and the book so bulky; this necessitated many old favorites being left out so that room might be found for new ones....We were unable to obtain some tunes because of copyright difficulties" (A Review of Hymns).

REVISION OF 1987 EDITION OF "HYMNS OLD AND NEW:" In 1983, after the 1951 Ed. had been used for 32 years, the Workers set about revising the hymnbook one more. A committee of Workers from around the world met in Lakewood, California, to work on the hymnbook revision project, and a group photograph was taken on April 6, 1985, of 25 Workers involved.

The 1987 Ed. included 412 hymns, of which 110 were "new" hymns, and 28 hymns from the 1951 Ed. were excluded. Some changes were made to both words and tunes and some hymns were given new tunes. Pause commas and a topical index were added. Numerous lists were printed and distributed to accompany the new hymnbook, as well as supplemental booklets containing a hymn concordance and authors' names.

In an effort to learn the new hymns and tunes, some Friends practiced singing the new hymns with piano accompaniment, and made and distributed tape recordings of them. Some Workers became alarmed that the tapes violated copyright laws and instructed the Friends not to make tapes and also not to photocopy the hymns. In 1989, a Brother Worker from England, Norman Henderson, warned: "These [tapes] could get into the hands of unscrupulous people....If we have tapes in cars and in homes, they could get so mechanical, we cannot really appreciate them....God's people must be taught in the homes" (View statement in TTT Photo Gallery). After purchasing new hymnbooks, some Workers instructed the Friends to burn their obsolete 1951 Ed. hymnbooks, lest they get into "the wrong hands."

After Friends received their 1987 editions, some Workers asked them to destroy their earlier hymnbooks. Numberous lists were printed to accompany the new hymnal. A few were a list cross-indexing the old hymn numbers with the new hymn numbers; a list of all the New Hymns; a list titled "Singing Changes for Hymns Old and New-1987," and a "Theme and Subject List" compiled by the Alaska Staff.  Some additional supplemental printed bookets were:

  • Hymns Old & New Concordance, 1988 (to 1987 Edition) Printed in Canada.
  • A Concordance to Hymns Old & New (to 1987 Hymnbook)
  • Authors - Hymns Old and New (to 1987 Edition)
  • Hymns Old and New Concordance - Theme and Subject Index - Authors (Aug. 2004 Revised Ed.)

WHO WROTE THE HYMNS? The 1987 Ed. does not contain the names of authors or composers. However, they are identified in supplemental author lists. According to R. L. Allan, the sources were omitted because "Part of the agreement concerning the New Hymn Book [1987] was that the authors were to be kept anonymous to avoid unhealthy pride, etc." (letter by James Crockatt, General Manager, May 25, 1988).

Many hymns and/or tunes included in "Hymns Old and New" are in public domain, while others have been borrowed from outside hymnals.  The "Hymns Old and New" Website contains a spreadsheet that shows "...the source of hymns that have been published in the Go-Preacher's Hymn Book (1909) and in Hymns Old and New (Published by R. L. Allan and Son 1928, 1935, 1951 and 1987). Many have been composed by members of the 2x2 Fellowship known as 'Friends and Workers') but other sources identified are: Sacred Songs and Solos...New Hymns and Solos...Redemption Songs...Songs of Victory."

A document titled "A Review of Hymns," compiled by Bert Pattison, was a widely distributed accompaniment to the 1951 Ed. of "Hymns Old and New." It provided many personal, interesting details about the authors and composers. Pattison states in his introduction: "For the purpose of our study, we will divide the writers into two groups: those written by our Friends and those written by people unknown to us."  

The earlier editions of "Hymns Old and New" contained more hymns written by Outsiders than by 2x2s, which number has decreased with each succeeding revised edition. The percentage of hymns written by 2x2s in "Hymns Old and New" in the 1919 Ed. is 46%; 1928 Ed. is 59%; 1935 Ed. is 64%; 1951 Ed. is 64%, and the 1987 Ed. is 74%. Of the 412 hymns in the 1987 Ed., 26% (or 109) were written by Outsiders. It contains at least one hymn written by a Catholic Saint, 15 by Anglicans, 5 by Baptists, 16 by Methodists, 11 by Presbyterians and 5 from the Salvation Army ("Hymns Old and New" Website). 

Hymn No. 158, "Just as I am," was not written by a Friend or Worker. This special hymn is often sung in Gospel Meetings while new converts stand new converts stand to publicly indicate their choice "to serve the Lord." The author was Charlotte Elliott, an Anglican born in 1789. She wrote this hymn over 100 years before the first 2x2 hymnbook was published. Also, the familiar hymn No. 1, "Tell Me the Story of Jesus," was written by a Methodist, Fanny J. Crosby, born in 1820, who wrote over 8,000 hymns.

HYMN AUTHORS - WORKERS AND FRIENDS: There are some hymns in "Hymns Old and New" that were written before 1900–but none of these were written by a Worker or Friend. While the currently used 1987 Ed. does not show the names of authors, it can be easily verified that it does not contain any hymns written by 2x2s before 1900.  Just go to the link 1987 Edition - Index and Biographical Detail of Authors (Jan., 2016). also reprinted on TTT.  Names of Workers and Friends are in capital letters (uppercase type). Also, hymns with the notation "Words: ©* " were written by Friends or Workers. 

Sam Jones was the 2x2 author who wrote the most hymns in the 1987 Ed., and has been called "The Sweet Psalmist of Israel/" He wrote 112 hymns, and also wrote the tunes to four of them. In the 1987 Ed., Alexander (Sandy) Scott and James Jardine each wrote 18 hymns; May (Carroll) Schultz and Elma Wiebe-Milton each wrote 10 hymns; Jack Annand and Ken Pagington each wrote 9 hymns each, and Glenn Smith wrote 9 hymns and also composed their tunes.

OLDEST HYMNS:  The oldest song author in the Bible is Moses, who wrote at least three songs found in Ex. 15, Psalms 90 and Deut. 32. The word "psalm" means "praise." The Psalms from the Book of Psalms in the Bible were used in corporate Jewish worship. They are a collection of songs, most of which were written by King David. Several have been paraphrased by various authors and set to music (Hymn Nos. 214, 238, 308, 312 and 378).

The five 2x2 hymn authors who entered the Work the earliest were John Sullivan and Tom Turner in 1900; Sam Jones in 1902; Wm. Carroll and Wm. Weir in 1903. The oldest 2x2 hymn authors by birth years were Eddie Cooney born in 1867, Charles Hultgren born in 1869; James Patrick born in 1872, Adam Hutchison born in 1873; John Sullivan and Robert Blair both born in 1874; and Robert Skerritt and Charles Morgan both born in 1875. None of these men entered the work before 1900. The oldest hymns in "Hymns Old and New" are written by Outsiders, and the oldest author was a Catholic Saint, St. Bernard of Clairvaux, a Catholic monk born in 1091.

Many were under the impression that the words and music in the 2x2 hymnbook were all written by Friends or Workers, and were shocked to learn there are no hymns written by Workers or Friends before 1900. Some have been flabbergasted to find other church hymnals contain some of the same hymns the 2x2s sing, causing them to suspect that Outsiders had stolen the hymns from the 2x2 hymnbook. The discovery that the hymns are not all written by 2x2 members has caused some 2x2s to wonder why the Workers chose to include hymns in their hymnbook that are written by ministers and members of denominations they condemn and label as "false churches." It puzzles some that Outsiders could write such meaningful, inspiring hymns if the authors did not have a true relationship with God. 

AUTHOR EDWARD COONEY was the author of four hymns in the 1987 Ed. Of the 412 hymns shown on the list titled: "Hymns Old and New Authors" (1987 Ed.), four hymns do not include the author's name. This omission is significant because all four of these hymns were written by Edward Cooney when he was a Worker. In fact, Cooney's name has been omitted in most of the editions of "Hymns Old and New." His initials "E. C." appeared in some of the old hymnbooks, but not his full name. His name has also been omitted from some Hymn Author Lists. View image of 1987 Author List omitting Cooney's name.

The following hymns in the 1987 Ed. were written by Edward Cooney: No. 179 "As We Gather," No. 182 "Lord We Are Met Together," No. 183 "Our God, Our Father," and No. 184 "Here We Come." Ed Cooney also wrote "Jesus Died for Sinners," which is No. 10 in the 1951 Ed. (Selected Letters, Hymns and Poems of Edward Cooney 1867-1960 by Patricia Robert).

The late Brother Worker, Ken Pagington, handled copyright matters for the 1987 Ed. hymnbook. Patricia Roberts told the Author that he requested her permission to include Cooney's four hymns in the "Hymns Old and New," 1987 Ed. She gave permission. A few years later, Dr. Roberts requested copyright permission through R. L. Allan to print Edward Cooney's hymns in her book, and her request was forwarded to Pagington. He replied to her, "As you know, they were written by Edward Cooney and therefore, we can't morally stop you." Dr. Roberts thanked him and sent him a copy of her book. The present day followers of Cooney continue to use the 1951 Ed. in their Meetings.

Pagington related to an inquiry by the Author, "With regard to the four hymns - 179, 182, 183, and 184, these were written by E. Cooney in the early part of this century." Concerning the omission of Cooney's name in the Hymn Author booklet, he stated "for various private reasons, the name is not given for those four hymns, and this should be respected" (letter, Feb. 24, 1992).

In 2004, twelve years later, Edward Cooney was finally given credit for the Hymns he wrote in the revised and expanded "Hymns Old and New-Concordance-Theme and Subject Index-Authors, 2004 Ed." It states "Edward Cooney (1867-1960); The author was an independent evangelist." Ed Cooney entered the work in 1901 and was a Worker in good standing when he wrote the four hymns that have been included in each Hymnbook edition since 1917. Even after the Workers excommunicated Cooney in 1928, they continued to include his hymns in their hymnbook, but without giving him credit. It is obvious that even as recent as 2004, Workers have continued their attempts to purge Cooney's name from the 2x2 Sect's history and obscure his pioneering role in it. It appears to be a lost cause, however, as Cooney's role in the early days of the movement and his name is so well known that the 2x2 Sect is still called "Cooneyites" in some places around the world, as well as in various, books, encyclopedias, newspapers, Wikipedia and websites

Even though Robert Skerritt, the author of hymn No. 28, left the Work and Meetings and followed Wm Irvine's Omega Message from the early 1920s, the author list does show his initials only. It misleadingly states "Robert laboured in Ireland, U.S.A. and Sweden; and lived his latter years in California, U.S.A."  The 2004 author list could have stated in a similar manner: "Edward, Irish, was in the work 1901-1928, and labored in Ireland, Canada, U.S., Australia and New Zealand.

HYMN AUTHORS - OUTSIDERS: Listed in order by their birth year, the five oldest Outsider hymn authors are: St. Bernard of Clairvaux born in 1091, Catholic; Paul Whittingham born in 1524; Paul Gerhardt born in 1607, Lutheran; Isaac Watts born in 1674, Congregationalist; Gerhard Tersteegen born in 1697, Erweckungsbewegung.

St. Bernard of Clairvaux was born in 1090 A.D. in France. He is the Author of "Jesus, The Very Thought of Thee," Hymn No. 13, and "Jesus, Thou Joy of Loving Hearts," Hymn No. 204 (1951 Ed./not in 1987 Ed.). He was a Catholic monk, and after his death, the Pope cannonized him as a "Saint." In spite of the very negative views of 2x2s regarding Catholicism, the Workers selected these two hymns written by a highly revered Catholic Saint to be included in their "Hymns Old and New." From a pamphlet of the St. Bernard of Clairvaux Catholic Church in Oklahoma:

"Who was Saint Bernard of Clairvaux? He was born in 1090 near Dijon, France and entered the order of Cistercian monks at the age of 21. Endowed with a warm personality and sharp intellect, he was named as head of a new monastic foundation. Because of his success, his monastery became known as the Valley of Light…or Clairvaux....Because of serious division in the Church, Bernard traveled across Europe trying to restore peace and unity. A mystic and theologian, he composed numerous treatises which influenced the Church’s thinking for centuries....He died on August 20, 1153, and was canonized by Pope Alexander III in 1174...he is often called the last of the Fathers of the Church. His feast is observed on August 20.”

SECOND OLDEST HYMN AUTHOR: Paul Gerhardt, was born in Germany in 1607, and is the author of "God in Heaven Hath a Treasure" (Hymn No. 351), and also "A Homeless Stranger" (Hymn No. 209 in 1951 Ed./not in 1987 Ed.). Gerhardt wrote 123 hymns, many of which are well known throughout the world. He was an ordained Lutheran minister and served at the Lutheran Church in Wittenwalde. He is called the "Sweet Singer of Lutheranism."

THIRD OLDEST HYMN AUTHOR: Isaac Watts was born in England in 1674, and wrote over 600 hymns, earning him the title "Father of English Hymnody." He was the author of "When I Survey," Hymn No. 6, and he also paraphrased the Psalms in Nos. 378 and 238. After Watts died in 1748, a monument in his honor was erected in Westminster Abbey, England. He was a Congregationalist.

For 150 years, English Protestants were restricted to singing only the Psalms in public worship. Watts complained that the faithful could not even sing about their Lord, Christ Jesus. He decided to do something about it. In 1707, a book of his hymns was published titled "Hymns and Spiritual Songs." Watts is credited with writing the first English hymn which was not a direct paraphrase of Scripture. Watts wrote hymns based on New Testament passages that brought the Christian faith into church singing. His hymns gloried in the power, wisdom, and goodness of God.

Watts wrote "When I Survey," (hymn No. 6).  His original verse 2 contains the words "Save in the death of Christ MY GOD," in most editions. This was changed to "Christ my Lord" in the 1987 Ed. of "Hymns Old and New," which is more in line with the non-trinitarian view of the relationship between Jesus and God.

FOURTH OLDEST HYMN AUTHOR: Gerhard Tersteegen was born in 1697, in Germany. He was the author of "Come, Brothers On," Hymn No. 304, and "How Sweet It Is," Hymn No. 247.  He was one of the two most famous 18th Century German hymn writers. He grew up in poverty, could not afford an education, studied theological books at home and became an outstanding lay theologian and lay pastor in the Protestant Pietism movement.

FIFTH OLDEST HYMN AUTHOR: Charlotte Elliott was born in 1789, and was the author of "Just as I Am" (No. 158). She became an invalid in her early thirties and was depressed. A minister asked her if she had peace with God. She made some excuses to procrastinate and he invited her to "Come just as you are." Ms. Elliott did so and became an Anglican. She later wrote the hymn, "Just as I am" which has touched the hearts of countless people who have been influenced by this hymn to respond to Jesus invitation to come "just as you are."  This hymn has been called the world's greatest soul-winning hymn.  

NOTABLE AUTHOR, Frances (Fanny) Jane Crosby was a blind author born in New York in 1920. She wrote over 8,000 hymns, under various names, earning her the title of the "Hymn Queen." Nine of her hymns are in "Hymns Old and New, including No. 1, "Tell Me the Story of Jesus." She married a blind musician and teacher, and passed away in 1905, aged 95. Her headstone contains the first verse of her most famous hymn: "Blessed Assurance." This hymn has never been included in "Hymns Old and New," as 2x2s reject the doctrine that in this life one may be assured of their salvation. There are many books written about this author.

NOTABLE AUTHOR Horatius Bonar was born in 1808, in Scotland, and wrote more than 600 hymns, including four in the 1987 Ed. (Nos. 112, 298, 330 and 397). He was ordained by the Church of Scotland in 1938, joined the Free Church of Scotland at the time of the Disruption of 1843, and served as the pastor at Chalmers Memorial Church in Edinburgh. He was known as “The Prince of Scottish Hymn Writers.”

There are many "hymn story" books written and available in Christian bookshops with interesting accounts about how various hymns came to be written by Christians outside the 2x2 Sect. The stories behind the hymns are often moving and intense. Some of the best loved hymns were born from tragic circumstances. 

LEAFLETS or SUPPLEMENTS:  Leaflets containing additional hymns, also known as Supplements, were used in some countries for up to 50 years along with "Hymns Old and New." In the 1940s in South Australia and New Zealand, Overseers Willie Hughes and John Baartz were instrumental in arranging the Supplements. The early editions were words only and contained about 12 to 18 hymns, but increased in size in later printings. In 1941, Bill Carroll, Overseer of Victoria, published a Leaflet which included some hymns by Willie Hughes, Sam Jones and Bill's daughter May Schulz. Leaflets were also used in Western U.S. and Canada in Jack Carroll's territory, but not in the Eastern U.S. territory of Overseer, George Walker. After the new hymnbook was printed in 1987, the use of Leaflets was discontinued.

Table Graces: It is customary before eating a meal at home, the 2x2 host will say aloud an impromptu table grace giving thanks for the food they are about to eat–or ask someone else to do so, including children. The group may be standing or seated, and they do not hold hands. In public, individuals usually give thanks/grace silently. Sometimes a group will sing a table grace together, which is the custom at their Conventions. View a 2x2 Table "Grace" Card.

HYMNBOOKS USED IN OTHER COUNTRIES:  Hymnbooks similar to "Hymns Old and New" are printed in several languages:  German, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Afrikaans, Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish, Italian, Korean, Tagalog, Malagasy, Icelandic, Vietnamese and probably others. The Dutch hymnbook carries the notation: "This hymnal is not to be sold." The bilingual countries of Switzerland, Belgium and Luxembourg both use the French and German hymnbooks. In the 1980s, a Spanish hymnbook, which is not copyrighted, was printed in Canada, bound in Los Angeles and smuggled to Mexico by Friends (including a relative of the Author), in an older vehicle under a fake floorboard. Clearly printed on the first page is "No se vende," which means, "Not to be sold," and they are freely given to Latin American Friends.

THE FAITH MISSION HYMNBOOK is "Songs of Victory" which was also published by R. L. Allan & Son. After Faith Mission acquired the copyright, they began to print it in house. The following statement of explanation is inside the front cover of "Songs of Victory," 3rd Ed.:

"The Earlier Editions of 'Songs of Victory,' compiled by the late Mr. A. W. Bell, enjoyed a good measure of popularity, but for a number of years it was out of print. Feeling that there was a distinct place for it, the Faith Mission acquired the copyright of the book, issuing it in a revised and abridged form in 1922. In the years since, the book has established itself as the hymn book of the Faith Mission, and there has been a demand for it in wider circles also" (Eph. 5:18,19, R.V.).

Hymn No. 119, "O Wanderers, Come to Jesus" in "Hymns Old and New" was written by Rev. Horace E. Govan, M.A., who was the brother of John G. Govan, the founder of  Faith Mission. The hymn author list states: "Horace E. Govan (1866-1932); The author was a citizen of the U.S.A." This is incorrect—he was born in Scotland and lived there all his life.

Hymns Old and New Website

LINK: Hymns Old and New Website

This excellent website provides an index of "Hymns Old and New," published in 1987 by R. L. Allan & Son, with comparison of the previous hymnal compilations published in 1919, 1928, 1935 and 1951. Detailed indexes are included forHymns and Authors, as well as translator information. The Concordance provides full line references for all words with five letters or more.

Sources of Hymns shows the derivation of hymns from "Sacred Songs and Solos and New Hymns & Solos," compiled by Ira D. Sankey and published about 1900; "Redemption Songs (1000 Hymns and Choruses)" published about 1900 and "Songs of Victory" (compiled by Andrew W Bell, published about 1900).

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Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the Truth?
Galatians 4:16

"Condemnation without Investigation is Ignorance."
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