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Dissenting PraiseReligious Dissent and the Hymn in England and Wales$
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Isabel Rivers and David L. Wykes

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199545247

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199545247.001.0001

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Hymns, Psalms, and Controversy in the Seventeenth Century

Hymns, Psalms, and Controversy in the Seventeenth Century

(p.13) Chapter 1 Hymns, Psalms, and Controversy in the Seventeenth Century
Dissenting Praise

Elizabeth Clarke

Oxford University Press

Chapter 1 charts the origin of the dissenting hymn in the Parliamentary adaptation of psalm-singing in the mid-seventeenth century Civil War. It surveys the theory and theology of the composition of hymns over the last half of the seventeenth century, tracing the controversy over using poetic words as opposed to Scriptural words as far as the argument between the Baptists Benjamin Keach and Isaac Marlow in the 1690s. It looks at the emergence of famous hymns in the work of Richard Baxter and John Mason in the late seventeenth century, and at the common hymn-writer’s practice of borrowing phrases from other hymns. At the start of the eighteenth century the publications of a group of ministers associated with the Friday evening King’s Weigh House lectures paved the way for the widely accepted and supremely popular hymns of Isaac Watts, in their concern to stimulate the affections of the reader.

Keywords:   Civil War, psalm-singing, hymn theory, theology, Scripture, Benjamin Keach, John Mason, Isaac Watts, affections

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