Music in the Modern Revivalist Tradition


Evangelistic hymns in the modern sense were one of the glorious by-products of Britain’s Great Awakening in the eighteenth century. It was the preaching of John (1703–1791) and Charles Wesley (1707–1788), and the underlying tenets of the Dutch theologian Jacob Arminius (1560–1609) that led to the creation of the first “invitation” songs. Hard-line “hypercalvinism” based on covenant theology and the doctrine of predestination had rarely generated widespread, enthusiastic evangelism. In contrast, the Wesleys’ Arminian theology emphasized that an individual may say either yes or no to a seeking God. To press the claims of Christ while still admitting human free will, Charles Wesley wrote:
Come, sinners, to the Gospel feast:
Let every soul be Jesus’ guest;
Ye need not one be left behind
For God hath bidden all men sing.
This is the time; no more delay!
This is the Lord’s accepted day;
Come thou, this moment, at his call,
And live for him who died for all.
(Methodist Hymnal [1964], no. 102)
The Wesleys must be credited with rescuing hymn singing from the bondage of the two-line meters—common long and short. Their sources were the newer psalm tunes, opera melodies, and folk songs of German origin. An example of this type of tune is “Mendenbras” (which was actually first used with a hymn text by Lowell Mason in 1839), which we commonly sing with the text “O day of rest and gladness,” although it may still be heard with its historic popular words in the beer gardens of Germany. The Wesleys’ texts were fundamental for early Methodist theology. They also covered almost every conceivable aspect of Christian devotional experience and may be said to be the progenitors of the modern gospel song.
Webber, R. (1994). Music and the arts in Christian worship (1st ed.) (228). Nashville: Star Song Pub. Group.

Despre Liviu
Crestin, absolvent al unei facultati de teologie (protestanta). Pasionat de Biblie, carte buna, muzica buna, film bun,alte bunatati... si teologie comparata si istoria Bisericii. De orientare teologica Wesley-ana, simpatizant al paleo-ortodoxiei.

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