Brethren Archive

Hymnology and Poetry

isacar heriberto carrasquero said ...
un saludo amados hermanos de himnario evangelico.
que precioso es mantener el recuerdo de las sendas primitivas del evangelio,esta reminiscencia, por ejemplo la data nos trae a1840
cuanta agua ha pasado debajo de los puentes desde entonces, y haciendo un ejercicio de imaginacion nos remontamos a la epoca podriamos imaginar un pequeño grupo de hermanos regocijandose en componer canciones espirituales con el deseo e alabar a su salvador,
y alegrarnos que estas bellas canciones hallan trascencido hasta nosotros, eh? y agradecer el esfuerzo que uds hacen para publicar esto , seria valiosisimo tambien conocer la letra y el origen de algunos himnos emblematicos en particular, por ejemplo ( del homenaje y del honor) q se dice aca fue compuesto por un antiguo y famoso compositor y musico clasico. de mi parte muchas gracias y ruego para uds las mas ricas bendiciones del padre celestial. ysacar carrasquero venezuela.
Thursday, Jan 8, 2015 : 12:18
Tom said ...
Dear Isacar, thank-you for both your nice comments; I am sorry though that even with the help of Google Translate I couldn't completely understand the question asked on the "Christian Hymn Book" item which is why I haven't been able to provide an answer at the moment! Best, Tom
Saturday, Jan 17, 2015 : 13:27
Jeroen said ...
Thanks for this documentation and the uploaded mp3. Really beautiful songs.
Blessings of our Lord
Sunday, Dec 27, 2015 : 19:30
DavidS said ...
This early Brethren hymn book printed for the Christian Assembly at Tor in 1836 is available on Google Books:

CHRISTIAN HYMNS: Composed, Altered and Selected for the use of Christian Churches or Assemblies of Believers.
Printed for the Christian Church at Tor

Tor (or Torre) is part of what is now the South Devon seaside town of Torquay. The Open Brethren assembly, which became known as Tor Hill Gospel Hall, until its closure towards the end of the 20th Century, had its origins in the Christian Church/Assembly at Tor. It was also known as All Christians Church, Tor. It was started in 1834, just three years after Raleigh Street, Plymouth, by a group of Anglican dissenters led by Captain William Vivian (1803-36). William Vivian is incorrectly referred to as John Vivian in Beattie’s history and those who have followed him. William Vivian was from a wealthy Cornish family, the Truro Vivians. He was the son of Richard Vivian (1754-1825), rector of Bushey, Hertfordshire, where William was born. His grandfather was Thomas Vivian (1718-1793), vicar of Cornwood in Devon, a well known evangelical Anglican.

William attained the rank of Captain in the 52nd Regiment of the British Army. Later, he and his brother Edward moved to Torquay, where they were founding partners in the Torbay Bank. Edward became a leading figure in Torquay and his Vivian Institute is commemorated with a "Blue Plaque". William wrote a pamphlet called “The Cake of Barley Bread; or Emancipation of the People of Christ from Protestant Domination” (1835) explaining his reasons for leaving the Church of England and setting up the new church. This was then expanded to include a response to the published criticisms by the Rev Robert Bateman Paul who was in Torquay at the time. This book is held in the British library and others; reviews can be found old magazines on Google Books. Vivian died in 1836 aged just 33, only two years after the Tor Church was started.

Vivian also published poetry; so I suspect that he compiled this hymnbook and he may well have written many of the hymns in it. Many of the hymns display distinctive Brethren characteristics, even at this early date (e.g. I and XXXIV). He wrote one hymn: "Still in a world of sin and pain", which appeared in Denny’s “A Selection of Hymns” and the 1840 edition of the “Church of England Hymn-book”.

If anyone has any other information about Vivian, or these early days at Torquay, I would be interested in hearing from them.
Saturday, Jan 16, 2016 : 14:37
Tom said ...
Thanks a lot for that information David.
Monday, Jan 18, 2016 : 20:23
Timothy Stunt said ...
Having just encountered DavidS's note about William Vivian and the assembly at Tor I have been led to look at my notes on Vivian (made some years ago). They largely tally with (but add a few details to) David's information, but rather than inflict them on Tom's web-site I shall gladly email them to David as an attachment, if you can give me an address. Timothy Stunt
Thursday, Oct 12, 2017 : 21:13
Lois Hofmann Westerlund said ...
How can I thank you for this? Not able to get to corporate worship this morning, I am sitting in my corner, thinking, with longing. of the sweet, rich, worship-filled Breaking of Bread meetings I was privileged to enjoy as a child,in Baltimore, MD, and the thought came, "oh, if only someone would record some of the treasures of PB hymnody, much as Inter-Varsity has a CD of IVCF hymns being sung by students (many of which have a Brethern origin) . It is not just poignancy which makes me long to enjoy these hymns--they are without compare in expressing Biblical truth married to deep personal devotion, and expressing itself in fresh poetry. Now, if I can just figure out how to get them into my corner, where I meet with the Lord....
Monday, Apr 9, 2018 : 00:34
Tom said ...

Thanks for your comment Lois  Glad the recordings are useful to people 😊

Monday, Apr 9, 2018 : 19:40
Tom said ...

Another two hymn books I'd like to get are;

Good News Hymn Book Carefully Complied By W. H. B[room]


Choice Hymns for Sunday Schools, Gospel Tract Depot, 1881

Neither is worth anywhere near the prices those booksellers are hoping for, but other copies will appear eventually!

Wednesday, Aug 8, 2018 : 05:27
Tom said ...

Another book needed to get is;

Hymns and Spiritual Songs compiled in Bristol

Tuesday, Mar 10, 2020 : 20:08
Greg Edwards said ...
Hi Tom,

Forgive me for using this approach. My email account was hacked and is now defunct. I tried changing to my new email address as well as changing password for my account in my profile but I don't know if I've done it correctly. Would you mind checking my profile and letting me know my current status by responding to my new email address?
Saturday, Jan 23, 2021 : 09:00

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