The Newport Collection (1766): the First Baptist Hymnal in America.

The Newport Collection (1766): the First Baptist Hymnal in America. Summary

Baptist beginnings in the New World are generally traced to the founding of the First Baptist Church of Providence, Rhode Island, in 1639. From this modest beginning the number of Baptist churches in America grew slowly but steadily until the Revolutionary War. Church music in these congregations--where it existed at all--generally consisted only of congregational singing. Some churches followed a Zwinglian tradition that excluded all song from the sanctuary. The churches that did sing mainly adhered to the Calvinist practice of singing only metrical Scripture (principally the Psalms) in unison without instrumental or choral accompaniment. During the late-seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, the most popular psalters in the New World were the Bay Psalm Book (1640) and Thomas Sternhold and John Hopkins's Whole Book of Psalms (1562, the "Old Version"), the former used principally by Congregationalists, the latter by Baptists, Presbyterians, Anglicans, and others.

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