Thursday, June 23, 2016

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This is a rough draft of a chapter from volume 2. The usual rules apply. You may copy it for your own use. Do not quote from it or rely on it. It will change. References to Second Adventists will change to Age-to-Come, a different system. Wording will change. Some issues need verification. Do not circulate it. Do not reproduce it. It is copyrighted material as is. I'm posting it for comment. It will go down quickly. Now is the time to comment.

The Publishing Ministry

            The first publication to come from Zion’s Watch Tower was Songs of the Bride, a 134 page hymnal containing 144 songs. Russell and William I. Mann were joint editors. All of the hymns would have been familiar to Watch Tower readers, but almost all of them were revised to reflect their unique doctrinal mix. Some were radically changed, and some received a one or two word revision. Russell explained the rational behind their choices:

William Imre Mann in 1880

We have long felt the need of a Hymn Book containing a larger number of spiritual songs free from objectionable theology, and this is our reason for publishing “The Songs of the Bride.” We have selected according to our judgment they hymns best suited to the wants and desires of the more matured and consecrated Christians, the “little flock,” … the true “Church of the first-born whose names are written in Heaven,” … hence the perhaps peculiar name “Songs of the Bride.” They are not the songs of the world, nor of cold or half dead Christians, but of the Chaste Virgin Church, waiting and longing for her union with the heavenly Bridegroom.[1]

Title Page – Songs of the Bride

            We do not know how great a part Russell played in developing this songbook. He pointed to William Mann, thanking him for “valuable assistance” in arranging and revising the songs. It appears to have been a joint effort with Mann taking the lead. As would be true with the later Hymns of Millennial Dawn, most of the songs were taken form Gospel Hymns No. 1, The Jubilee Harp, and Winnowed Hymns. They also drew from C. C. Barker’s Hymns of the Morning, the basis for the abbreviated hymnal published by the Herald of the Morning. The authors’ names were omitted, as were many of the original titles. Russell explained that he “would gladly give credit of the hymns to their composers, but have been obliged to alter many of them to such an extent that we feared their authors would feel offended if their names were associated with them as they now are.”[2] Advertising matter in the back promoted Russell’s Object and Manner and Zion’s Watch 

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muffy said...

Hi, Is there a rough date for the finished volume to be released ?

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

We hope in 18 mos, but that's very optimistic. We keep stumbling on new material that often enough alters the story. We go where the facts lead.

Anonymous said...

Excellent article. Am looking forward to the second volume.

Son of Ton

Miquel Angel Plaza-Navas said...

Hello, excellent!!! Only two comments:

1) At the Introduction of SONGS OF THE BRIDE there is: "Our thanks are due and tendered to brother W.I. Mann, for valuable assistance in the arranging and revising of this collection of hymns"

This is enough to establish that Mann had an important role of editing or compiling of this songbook. But you say that Russell had also this role. I know that Russell had an important weight in almost every writing at the beginning of the group, but he also left that other people wrote at Zion's Watch Tower with more or less freedom of opinion.
Then, can we assert that both Russell and Mann can be considered the compilers or editors of this songbook, or only Mann?

2) Why not include in this part of your book some more information about this songbook? For example, despite Russell says that he can not credit the hymns... why not include the name of original composers and/or writers of these hymns (at least some of them that can be clearly assigned to a composer or a writer)?
You have given many names that can be related to the origin of Russells doctrines in all of your previous books. Giving some name of these hymns one can see the origin of them. For example you will find some known names as I. Watts, H. Bonar. C. Wesley, J. Newton, etc.
I think I could supply a list of possible composers and writers for these songs... not for all the songs, but almost.

I repeat, excellent work, Bruce and Rachae.