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100 Years Ago: Pan-Anglican Congress

The Church Times.June 12th, 1908.

UPON one side of their activities, those who have organised the Pan-Anglican Congress seem scarcely to have risen to the occasion. We have before us a group of Pan-Anglican papers entitled, “Methods of Religious Teaching”. . . We should have thought that an account of the new methods of imparting religious instruction would have noticed that of “the Catechism”, technically so-called. Much is said about the possibilities of the Sunday school of the future, but nothing about the method which is peculiarly the outcome of skilful experiment on the part of Church teachers. . . In the matter of hymnology, also, it strikes us that the Pan-Anglican Committee is distinctly weak. It has compiled thirty-three hymns for use during the Congress, grouping them under different heads. The section headed “Human Society” contains three hymns: “Fight the good fight”, “Sons of Labour” — a weak composition — and “Sweet Saviour, bless us ere we go,” which does not seem very appropriate. In the group headed “Modern Thought”, we find three hymns. “Through the night of doubt and sorrow” is one of them; but its relation to modern thought is scarcely apparent. And of the four hymns written specially for the Congress, this quatrain occurs in the last:

Lord of the wild waves silenced

Around the fishing ships,

Yea, Lord of the harpers harping

In John’s Apocalypse.

For hymns adapted to modern needs they might safely have gone to such a compilation as the English Hymnal, which is well furnished with hymns of a social character.

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