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John Wesley: Musician (continued …)

November 07, 2016
JOHN WESLEY MOMENTS
DAVE HANSON


John Wesley strongly believed that music was a vital part of the evangelistic movement he was leading. His brother, Charles, was the hymn writer, but John was a strong advocate for singing the gospel message in worship. He is credited with introducing hymn singing into the English- speaking church. Here are some more of John Wesley’s directions for singing which were in his preface to Sacred Melody, 1761:

“V. Sing modestly. Do not bawl, so as to be heard above or distinct from the rest of the congregation, that you may not destroy the harmony; but strive to unite your voices together, so as to make one clear melodious sound.

VI. Sing in time. Whatever time is sung be sure to keep with it. Do not run before nor stay behind it; but attend close to the leading voices, and move therewith as exactly as you can; and take care not to sing too slow. This drawling way naturally steals on all who are lazy; and it is high time to drive it out from us, and sing all our times just as quick as we did at first. 

VII. Above all sing spiritually. Have an eye to God in every word you sing. Aim at pleasing him more than yourself, or any other creature. In order to do this attend strictly to the sense of what you sing, and see that your heart is not carried away with the sound, but offered to God continually; so shall your singing be such as the Lord will approve here, and reward you when he cometh in the clouds of heaven.” 
 

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