Too Long; Didn't ReadThe Hymnal. There is a Christian Science Hymnal. Entrance to it was closed in 1898. Christian Science students who make hymns nowadays may possibly get them sung in the Mother-Church, “but not unless approved by the Pastor Emeritus.” Art. XXVII, Sec. 2.
Solo Singers. Mrs. Eddy has contributed the words of three of the hymns in the Hymnal. Two of them appear in it six times altogether, each of them being set to three original forms of musical anguish. Mrs. Eddy, always thoughtful, has promulgated a By-law requiring the singing of one of her three hymns in the Mother Church “as often as once each month.” It is a good idea. A congregation could get tired of even Mrs. Eddy's muse in the course of time, without the cordializing incentive of compulsion. We all know how wearisome the sweetest and touchingest things can become, through rep-rep-repetition, and still rep-rep-repetition, and more rep-rep-repetition-like “the sweet by-and-by, in the sweet by-and-by,” for instance, and “Tah-rah-rah boom-de-aye”; and surely it is not likely that Mrs. Eddy's machine has turned out goods that could outwear those great heart-stirrers, without the assistance of the lash. “O'er Waiting Harpstrings of the Mind” is pretty good, quite fair to middling—the whole seven of the stanzas—but repetition would be certain to take the excitement out of it in the course of time, even if there were fourteen, and then it would sound like the multiplication table, and would cease to save. The congregation would be perfectly sure to get tired; in fact, did get tired—hence the compulsory By-law. It is a measure born of experience, not foresight.