Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
August 1, 1963
NUMBER 13, PAGE 4,10a

Work Progessing On "Abiding Hymns"


We are happy to report steady progress in the production of the great new song-book being prepared by Brother Robert C. Welch. We asked him to give our readers a brief comment on the project, and here Is what he wrote:

ABIDING HYMNS Is the title of a hymn book which I am editing and publishing. The first sheets are now coming from the press, and it will be ready for sales or shipping early in 1964, perhaps in January. The GOSPEL GUARDIAN COMPANY plans to be selling the book and will be announcing and advertising it in their publications. The first printing is limited; and early inquiry to the company or the publisher will be helpful in determining the size of further printings.

It will be bound in sturdy and durable cloth over board, with matching headbands and tinted edges. There will be 457 songs on 384 actual pages; more full length songs, less fillers. The price is to be $1.50 retail, any quantity.

The songs were chosen for their more permanent use by Christians in their worship. They are those hymns and spiritual songs which the compiler has found to be popular among the churches. It is not being used as a means of getting out a great number of new and untried songs. Only about seven or eight new compositions are included. Some songs and stanzas were omitted because of plain perversion of the Scripture But the figurative language and poetic license of the authors were not violated to conform to the whims of every critic. The wording of the hymns was found to be no more offensive than some of the changes and the choice of words used by the critics in their objections.

Enough of the more lively songs are included to keep our enthusiastic fervor in worship from waning, and to keep our singing from "dying" or becoming a dull ritual. But this is balanced by all the great contemplative and stately hymns which lend gravity and solemnity to our worship.

The songs are arranged in alphabetical order throughout the entire book by first lines, but wherever possible the original title has been retained. This arrangement has been found to be most practical and popular. The general index is a combination of titles and first lines. The topical index has been purposely kept short in order to get as many songs in the space as possible. The topics which are most used are included, for occasions where there must be quick selections of appropriate hymns. It includes such topics as: baptism, children's, closing, funeral, invitation, Lord's supper.

Expense has not been spared in its production. Valuable copyrights were not spared. Christians are deserving of the best in their worship unto God. It is my hope that the book will serve a long and useful purpose in acceptable and well-pleasing praise unto God, as the title suggests.

Publishing a song-book (especially one of the size and character of this one) is a tremendous undertaking. It involves many thousands of dollars, and endless hours of work. Not to mention the weighing of every single song as to its scriptural content, its musical qualities, Its intrinsic merit as an avenue through which the Christian can fulfill his God-given duty to "sing with grace in his heart unto God." That Brother Welch's selection of songs will meet with wide and hearty acceptance we have not a doubt. He knows music, he knows the Scripture, and he knows the basic hunger and needs of that great body of faithful Christians Insofar as their longing for good hymns is concerned.

We believe this means that a superior book is in the making, one that will take a permanent place among the great books of our brotherhood, and which will be used by many hundreds or even thousands of congregations as the years roll by.

May we make a suggestion? Why not send in your order in advance for a single copy of this hymnal, so that you may get it as quickly as it comes off the press, and thus have opportunity to know something about it when the question comes up as to a new song-book in the congregation where you worship. And even if you do not contemplate the purchase of new books in the congregation, every Christian ought to have a copy of ABIDING HYMNS to keep in his home along with his Bible, his study helps, such as commentaries, dictionaries, etc., and other materials related to his service of God. The price is only $1.50 per copy. You will certainly want to order the book eventually, so why not now!

— F. Y. T.