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The Oxford History of Protestant Dissenting Traditions, Volume IIThe Long Eighteenth Century c. 1689-c. 1828$
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Andrew Thompson

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198702245

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198702245.001.0001

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Dissenting Hymnody

Dissenting Hymnody

(p.358) 17 Dissenting Hymnody
The Oxford History of Protestant Dissenting Traditions, Volume II

J. R. Watson

Oxford University Press

Just as sermons were central to Dissenting identity, so too were hymns. Hymns rapidly became a means of creating a sense of group cohesion, as well as transmitting important ideas and doctrine to the congregations that sang them. Particularly when there were concerns about spiritual lethargy, hymns were an excellent way to ensure that Dissenting congregations maintained a sense of ‘spiritual wakefulness’. Not only could hymns be used to inculcate a sense of Dissenting identity and transmit paraphrases, prayer, and praise, they also proved to be a popular evangelistic tool both as part of domestic revivals and, later, in foreign mission fields. They were a means to convey practical Christian experience and also to point towards the best ways to practise the Christian life.

Keywords:   Philip Doddridge, James Montgomery, Psalms, John Rippon, Elizabeth Rowe, Anne Steele, Isaac Watts, Charles Wesley

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