HYMNALS MOSTLY AMERICAN
(Sometimes the “Overseas” Arrivals Just Prove Irresistible, for Listing)
Bible. O.T. Psalms. German. 1820. Die kleine geistliche Harfe der kinder Zions, oder auserlesene geistreiche Gesänge. Germantaun: Gedruckt bey Michael Billmeyer, 1820. 12mo (17.3 cm, 6.8"). Frontis., , 39, , 412, , 20 pp. (21/22 lacking).
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Third printing, following the first of 1803, of the first Mennonite hymnal printed in the United States. The Psalms were translated and paraphrased under the supervision of the Franconia Mennonite Conference, for the use of eastern Pennsylvania Mennonites. Music is present in the first portion, though the bulk of the volume is of words. It's an engaging fact that psalms are given in multiple versions; there are four of the 23d.
Arndt and Eck cite Bender, who says “This first American Mennonite Hymnbook isnot to be confused with one of similar title printed by Saur at Germantown in 1753, called erroneously by Seidensticker and Flory a Mennonite hymnbook.” Each portion of this item has a separate title-page, with the second section's title-page reading Sammlung altre und neuer Geistreichen Gesänge. The woodcut frontispiece depicts David playing his harp.
Arndt & Eck 2419; Shoemaker 2239. Contemporary calf rebacked some time ago, spine with gilt-stamped leather title and publication labels; rubbed, original clasps now lacking. Front fly-leaves with early inked and pencilled inscriptions. Final leaf (pp. 21/22 of the 22-page appendix of brief hymn texts, not of the main portion of the work) lacking. Edge nicks, chips, and tears, some extending into text; three leaves torn in half from outer margin, without loss of text; two leaves (one index) with lower outer corner torn away, with loss of a few words; last two leaves with outer edges ragged. Some upper corners bumped. Pages browned, with waterstaining to lower inner portions of about a third of the volume. (25569)
A “Bargain”Mason & Webb
Mason, Lowell, & George James Webb. The psaltery, a new collection of church music, consisting of psalm and hymn tunes, chants, and anthems.... Boston: Wilkins, Carter, & Co., [1848?]. Oblong 8vo. 352 pp. (lacking title-page & pp. 9/10).
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Early edition. “By Lowell Mason and George James Webb, professors in the Boston Academy of Music. Published under the sanction, and with the approbation of the Boston Academy of Music, and the Boston Handel and Hayden Society.” This offers the tutorial “Elements of Vocal Music” as well as the music itself.
Publisher's green printed paper–covered boards, rebacked with brown library cloth, spine with inked title and shelving label; paper rubbed and stained, front cover with early inked “1830" in upper outer portion. Back hinge (inside) reinforced. Pastedowns and preface institutionally rubber-stamped, second text page with rubber-stamped numeral in lower margin. Title-page lacking; pp. 9/10 (practice technique exercises) excised. Scattered pencilled marks of emphasis. Some corners bumped; one leaf with tear from outer margin, extending into music without loss. Battered but musically complete, and the instructional parts as interesting as the musical ones. (29618)
A VERY PRETTY American Binding
Methodist Episcopal Church. Hymns. Hymnal of the Methodist Episcopal Church. New York: Phillips & Hunt; Cincinnati: Walden & Stowe, 1882. 8vo (19.7 cm, 7.75"). viii, 775,  pp.
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Hymns only, without music; effectively, a neat and handsome volume of religious verse.
Binding: Contemporary black or very dark navy morocco, covers framed and panelled in gilt triple fillets with floral and fan-shaped corner decorations, surrounding a (blank) cartouche; spine with gilt-stamped title and arabesque decorations, board edges with gilt roll, gilt inner dentelles. All edges gilt.
Binding as above with a few small scuffs, back cover with areas of faint discoloration and light scrapes. Pages clean. Very giftable. (29151)
Muhlenberg, Henry Melchior. Erbauliche Lieder-Sammlung zum gottesdienstlichen Gebrauch in den Vereinigten Evangelisch-Lutherischen Gemeinen in Pennsylvanien und den benachbarten Staaten.... Germantaun: Michael Billmeyer, 1803. (17 cm, 6.6"). Frontis., , 602, [8 (index)] pp. [bound with] Helmuth, Justus Henry Christian. Kurze Andachten einer Gottsuchenden Seele, auf alle Tage der Woche und andere Umstande eingerichtet. Germantaun: Michael Billmeyer, 1803. 28 pp. [and] Evangelical Lutheran Ministerium of Pennsylvania and the Adjacent States. Anhang zu dem Gesangbuch der Vereinigten Evangelisch-Lutherischen Gemeinen in Nord-America. Germantaun: Michael Billmeyer, 1803. 80 pp.
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Third edition, following the first of 1786, of this German-American collection of Lutheran hymns, meant for use in Pennsylvania and surrounding states. Printed in black-letter, the volume has a woodcut frontispiece portrait of Martin Luther, done by F. Reiche; it includes only the hymns’ texts, without music. As often, the Hymnal is here accompanied by two other Lutheran devotional works printed by Billmeyer in 1803; the Anhang zu dem Gesangbuch is here in its first edition and the prayerbook Kurze Andachten in its third.
Shaw & Shoemaker 4172; Goedeke, Grundriss zur Geschichte der deutschen Dichtung aus den Quellen, 572; Arndt, First Century of German Language Printing in the United States of America, 1337. Andachten: Shaw & Shoemaker 4360; Arndt 1338. Anhang: Shaw & Shoemaker 4171; Arndt 1334. Contemporary sheep, spine with later and sympathetic gilt-stamped title and author labels, binding with brass and leather clasps (intact); leather rubbed and some chipped away with joints open though holding, and spine leather showing some cracking. Front pastedown, free endpaper, and fly-leaf with early inked ownership inscriptions; back pastedown with later pencilled notation; front free endpaper separated and back free endpaper lacking. Pages age-toned and spotted (as usual in German imprints of this period); some corners dog-eared. One leaf with portion of outer margin torn away, with loss of a few words. Condition actually rather typical, for this sort of volume! (18243)
Innovative American Presbyterian Worship — Elegant Ecclesiastical Binding
St. Peter's Church (Rochester, NY). The book of worship in use in St. Peter's Church, of the presbytery of Rochester City, New York. Rochester: E. Darrow & Brother, 1864. 8vo (22.7 cm, 8.94"). 352 pp.
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Presbyterian prayer book for what was at the time a new and experimental church. Levi A. Ward founded St. Peter's in 1853, and this worship manual came out of his efforts to promote increased congregational participation in the service. This is the first edition under this title, following the first of 1855, which had been published as Church Book of St. Peter's. The service is followed by a psalter and hymnal, including music; the Rev. Edward D. Yoemans helped prepare the former, and the Rev. Leonard W. Bacon the latter.
Binding: Contemporary black pebbled leather with beveled edges, covers with deeply impressed double windows and arch design surrounded by corner decorations of quatrefoils in
rondels, spine with gilt-stamped title and blind-tooled fleurons between raised bands, board edges and turn-ins with gilt rolls. All edges gilt.
Binding as above, front joint and hinge refurbished, light wear to edges and extremities, small scuff to lower edge of front cover. One preliminary leaf with pencilled source notation in inner margin, dated 37, and with rubber-stamped numeral in lower margin; first text page with institutional rubber-stamp in lower margin. Back free endpaper with traces of paper adhering to upper portion. Pages clean. (40628)
Early American Edition: German Reformed Hymnal
Tersteegen, Gerhardt. Geistliches Blumen-Gärtlein inniger Seelen; oder Kurze Schluss-Reimen, Betrachtungen und Lieder, ueber allerhand Wahrheiten des inwendigen Christenthums; zur Erweckung, Stärkung und Erquickung in dem verborgenen Leben mit Christo in Gott; nebst der Frommen Lotterie. Germantaun: Gedruckt und zu finden bey Peter Leibert, 1791. 12mo (14 cm, 5.5"). , 126, , 127–534,  pp. (pagination erratic, several pages out of order).
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Gerhardt Tersteegen (1697–1769) was a pillar of German pietism, a popular and innovative poet noted for his use of free verse, and (along with Joachim Neander) one of the two most significant German hymnographers of the 18th century. First published in 1729, his “Spiritual Flower Garden for Ardent Souls” contains “end-rhymes,” “meditations,” and hymns. The first American edition appeared in 1747; this is the fourth.
Evans 23823; ESTC W21016; Arndt & Eck 805. Contemporary mottled sheep, covers framed in blind, with remnants of original clasp, spine with later gilt-stamped leather title and publication labels; leather mildly rubbed, spine leather with small cracks, spine and joints unobtrusively repaired. Front free endpaper with pencilled ownership inscription dated 1835; afterwards, ex–theological library: Old-fashioned bookplate on front pastedown, title-page pressure-stamped, pocket on back pastedown. Pagination erratic; several pages appearing out of order. A few corners bumped or dog-eared; a good many sections moderately browned and stained as is commonly seen with these Germantown imprints. (27905)
Wells, Seth Youngs. Millennial praises, containing a collection of gospel hymns, in four parts; adapted to the day of Christ's second appearing. Composed for the use of his people. Hancock: Pr. by Josiah Tallcott, jr., 1813. 12mo. viii, 288, [4 (adv.)] pp.
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First edition of the very first Shaker hymnal, including the text without music for 140 hymns. The work also has the distinction of beingthe first book from a Shaker press, having been preceded only by broadsides and pamphlets. That the Hancock printers were still learning their art is evident by the at times wobbly impression of the type, the sudden shift to a smaller point size in part of the table of contents, etc. But it is a noble effort.
This work appeared during the period of American Shaker history when attention was expended on codifying Shaker beliefs and practices. This is the first attempt to codify the hymnal.
Shaw & Shoemaker 30511; Richmond 1416. Full original calf, plain style, rubbed overall with small chips on front cover; chip at head of spine, front joint starting. Paper browned, and some stains; a bit of blue crayon doodling in blank area of top left
corner of p. 50. Early leaves with stitch holes in inner margin, not touching text; three leaves with tears, not affecting text. Ex–theological library with area of spine blacked out where call number once was; library name and five-digit number rubber-stamped on front pastedown, accession number inked and rubber-stamped at base of p. [iii]. (21139)
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