1780 Collection of Hymns

Clarke, Martin V. (2024). 1780 Collection of Hymns. In: Norris, Clive Murray and Cunningham, Joseph W eds. The Routledge Companion to John Wesley. Routledge Religion Companions. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 114–125.

URL: https://www.routledge.com/The-Routledge-Companion-...


This was the book through which John Wesley exerted the greatest influence during his lifetime and beyond, although almost all the hymns were by his brother Charles. However, John edited and sometimes rewrote them and decided how they were presented. It was his largest hymnal and, in his words, contains ‘all the important truths’ of his faith, illustrating both belief and practice. It set out his key theological insights, especially on these recurrent central themes of divine grace and holiness of life. It was designed and structured as an aid to personal discipleship, offering accessible texts tailored for the challenges of the Christian’s daily life. The Collection was intended mainly for use in private homes and Methodist society meetings, not formal church services. Along with his Journal and other works, it formed an important part in Wesley’s movement’s self-fashioning both within and apart from the Church of England, and corporate hymn-singing helped build up and sustain local Methodist communities; it secured common understandings of the movement’s key beliefs and supported members’ emotional commitment.

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