One of the great literary and spiritual treasures of Wales is the hymnody of Ann Griffiths (1776–1805). Born Ann Thomas on a farm called Dolwar Fach near the market town of Llanfyllin in north-east Wales, she was 17 when her mother died and she became the mistress of the farm. Three years later, after having undergone intenseRead More
The great pioneer hymn-writer of the eighteenth century is undoubtedly Isaac Watts (1674–1748). During his life, Watts penned over 600 hymns, and through them has powerfully shaped the way English-speaking Evangelicals worship God—even today.Read More
By Steve Weaver
The complete audio and video from our recent conference on George Whitefield and the Great Awakening are now online. The conference was held on the campus of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary on October 21-22, 2014. Video and audio of all eight plenary sessions are below. Audio only of the thirteen parallel sessions. Audio links are to downloadable MP3 files.
Session 1 - "The Calvinism of George Whitefield" by Thomas Kidd (Audio)
Session 2 - “George Whitefield: The Anglican Evangelist” by Lee Gattis (Audio)
Session 3 - "George Whitefield and the Wesleys" by Stephen Nichols (Audio)
Session 4 - "Preaching George Whitefield" by Steve Lawson (Audio)
Session 5 - "The Spirituality of George Whitefield" by Bruce Hindmarsh (Audio)
Session 6 - "George Whitefield: The Accidental Revolutionary" by Jerome Mahaffey (Audio)
Session 7 - "The Legacy of George Whitefield" by David Bebbington (Audio)
Session 8 - "The Hymnody of the Great Awakening" by Esther Crookshank (Audio)
"American Friends of Whitefield: Samuel Davies" by Joe Harrod (Audio)
"American Friends of Whitefield: Jonathan Edwards" by Owen Strachan (Audio)
"American Friends of Whitefield: Oliver Hart" by Eric Smith (Audio)
"Biographers of Whitefield: Arnold Dallimore" by Ian Clary (Audio)
"Biographers of Whitefield: J. C. Ryle" by Ben Rogers (Audio)
"Biographers of Whitefield: Cornelius Winter" by Blair Waddell (Audio)
"English Friends of Whitefield: John Cennick" by Tom Schwanda (Audio)
"English Friends of Whitefield: Matthew Henry" by Roger Duke (Audio)
"English Friends of Whitefield: John Newton" by Grant Gordon (Audio)
"English Friends of Whitefield: Robert Robinson" by Michael Haykin and Jared Skinner (Audio)
"Women in Whitefield’s Life: Selina Hastings" by Priscilla Chan (Audio)
"Women in Whitefield’s Life: Phillis Wheatley" by Dustin Benge (Audio)
"Women in Whitefield’s Life: Elizabeth Whitefield" by Digby James (Audio)
Steve Weaver serves as a research assistant to the director of the Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies and a fellow of the Center. He also serves as senior pastor of Farmdale Baptist Church in Frankfort, KY. Steve and his wife Gretta have six children between the ages of 3 and 15. You can read more from Steve at his personal website: Thoughts of a Pastor-Historian.
By Evan D. Burns
Yesterday, at the Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies, a mini-conference was held on Adoniram Judson (1788-1850). In honor of Judson, below is a portion of the farewell hymn written by Mrs. A. M. O. Edmond in 1846 for his final commissioning back to Burma. Here is part of the hymn sung by the assembly in Boston:
Fare ye well, O friends beloved! Speed ye on your mission high; Give to lands of gloomy error Living truths that never die. Tell, O tell them, Their redemption draweth nigh.
Bear abroad the gospel standard, Till its folds triumphant wave, And the hosts of sin and darkness Find forevermore a grave: Till, victorious, Jesus reigns, who died to save.
Fearless ride the stormy billows, Fearless every danger dare; Onward! in your steadfast purpose, We will follow you with prayer. Glorious mission! ‘Tis the Cross of Christ ye bear.
Though our parting waken sadness, ‘Tis not all the grief of woe; There are tears of Christian gladness Mingling with the drops that flow. ‘Tis for Jesus That we freely bid you go.
Man of God! once more departing Hence, to preach a Saviour slain, With a full, warm heart we give thee To the glorious work again. Faithful servant, Thou with Christ shall rest and reign.
John Dowling, The Judson Offering, 287-288; Robert T. Middleditch, Burmah’s Great Missionary, 400-401.
Evan D. Burns (Ph.D. Candidate, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is on faculty at Asia Biblical Theological Seminary, and he lives in Southeast Asia with his wife and twin sons. They are missionaries with Training Leaders International.
By Michael A.G. Haykin
Ah, one good reason to read the history of the church is to avoid the follies of the past. With the passage of time, the folly is patent, though at the time when it was committed, it may well have passed for wisdom. One thinks of the defence of slavery by God-fearing men and women in the 18th and 19th centuries and further back, the “learned’ ripostes by Christians to the new science of Copernicus. In the realm of worship, we Baptists can learn a lot from the conflict that ripped apart the London Particular Baptists in the 1690s. So fierce was it, that eventually some of the pastors called a halt to the treatises being written and so attempted to find a pax Baptistica.
I am old enough to remember a wise pastor making the following statement in a public worship setting, and I quote, “There will be no rock music in heaven.” Yet, fifty years after the rock n’roll of the sixties, is it not true that in many of our worship settings, some of the music by which we worship the Lamb could not be envisioned without the rock revolution? Are we to regard this way of combining chords and rhythms as sinful or is it better seen as part and parcel of the creativity that God has packed into the human frame? And is it not true that some of the music that we like in worship or that we don’t like has more to do with personal preference than divine fiat?
____________________ Michael A.G. Haykin is the director of the Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies. He also serves as Professor of Church History and Biblical Spirituality at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Dr. Haykin and his wife Alison have two grown children, Victoria and Nigel.
In September of 2011, with the kind help of Rev. Malcolm Watts, I made the trek on a rainy Sunday from Salisbury, England, to the nearby village of Broughton, Hampshire. The latter is a village situated roughly mid-way between Salisbury and Winchester. I was looking for a house, a chapel, and a grave. All were associated with Anne Steele (1717–78), the daughter of William Steele, the pastor of the Calvinistic Baptist chapel in Broughton. We soon found the Baptist chapel in Broughton easily enough. Sadly, it has been closed. The house where she lived, known as “Grandfathers,” in Rookery Lane, was more difficult to find, but eventually it was located. Her grave took even longer, as it is to be found in the Anglican parish church—somewhat unusual as she was a Baptist. Anne was converted in 1732 and baptized the same year. She grew to be a woman of deep piety, genuine cheerfulness and blessed with a mind hungry for knowledge. She never married, although there were two proposals of marriage—one from none other than the Baptist pastor and hymn-writer Benjamin Beddome (1717–95). Anne, however, made a conscious choice to remain single.
Anne’s singleness gave her the time to devote herself to poetry and hymn-writing, a gift with which the Lord had richly blessed her. About ten years before her death, sixty-two of her hymns were published in a Baptist hymnal entitled A Collection of Hymns Adapted to Public Worship (1769), whose editors were John Ash and Caleb Evans. This hymnal gave her hymns a wide circulation throughout Baptist circles, and, in time, her hymns became as well known in Baptist circles and beyond as those of Isaac Watts, John Newton, or William Cowper. They played a part in revitalizing areas of the Calvinistic Baptist cause throughout England.
In the past few areas a number of studies of Steele have appeared, of which the latest is Priscilla Wong’s Anne Steele and her Spiritual Vision (Reformation Heritage Books, 2012). This is a slim volume, but it provides the interested reader with a great overview of some of the central spiritual themes of Anne’s hymns. Warmly recommended.
Sojourn Community Church in Louisville, KY is among a group of churches, ministries, and bands which are seeking to reintroduce the rich, theological truths of the ancient hymns to a new generation. This post on the Gospel Coalition blog contains more information about this movement as well as the video of a helpful discussion on why this trend is important.
Posted by Steve Weaver, Research Assistant to the Director of the Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies, Dr. Michael A.G. Haykin.
One of my criticisms of contemporary worship music has been its failure to generally focus on the cross. This lack of crucicentrism is sad, given the priority that the cross of the Lord Jesus has in the Scriptures. How encouraging then to be given this evening Modern Hymns Live: The Hymns of Keith Getty (2006). Wow! Here is fresh music for corporate worship that retains the riches of the Evangelical hymnody of the past—especially crucicentrism. This is rich. O for more hymnwriters like Keith Getty! Check out his website: www.gettymusic.com.
Thanks to a dear brother Chip Stam ( www.carlstam.org ) for the gift of this CD.