I grew up in a small Southern Baptist church in Northern California, and we sang from the “Baptist Hymnal” each week. It was only on special occasions that we sang anything else–and even then, the “praise songs” were only from the Maranatha “Praise Books” found in the back of the pews. When I saw this book available to review, I immediately requested it, as hymns are a great part of my childhood.
Then Sings My Soul: Book 3 is the final book in a series written by Robert J. Morgan. Each book has highlighted hundreds of hymns–both famous and lesser known–and tells the stories behind the words. In this edition, he also devotes several chapters to highlight the history of hymnody, much of which I had never heard before.
I was surprised at how many hymns I did not recognize as I read this book! I learned a great deal about not only the hymns themselves, but the authors and composers who created these works that are still sung today.
The most compelling story to me was the story behind “Jesus Loves Me”–the story of Susan and Anna Warner, two sisters who lived on an island across from West Point. What an encouraging story, and what a legacy to leave!
Robert J. Morgan is a skilled writer who makes the hymns, and their authors, come to life. I feel a greater appreciation for these works that are often neglected in the church today. While I am not one who feels compelled to include traditional hymns in every worship service, the author makes some valid points in his final chapter about not letting this rich history fade away. Every generation composes their own praises to God, but we shouldn’t forget the praises composed by our ancestors.
All in all, it was an interesting book!
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