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Near to the Heart of God
Meditations on 366 Best-Loved Hymns
by Robert J. Morgan
Publisher:Revell imprint of Baker Pub from Lion
The 366 hymns of the title are chosen for each day of the year - including 29th February - and have been edited as necessary to fit the page per day format. The pattern is consistent throughout: a short Introduction: Thought: Reflection, always linked to some event which happened on that day, followed by all or part of the hymn, and a concluding Bible verse.
The author is a pastor from Nashville Tennessee (and July 4th's choice is "America the Beautiful"). He describes the hymns chosen as "examples that have stood the test of time" and continues "Some are well known, and the rest should be."
Some are indeed well known. Whether the rest should be is very much a matter of personal taste. I knew just over one-third of the collection, and I am indebted to distant Sunday School memories for quite a few of them. Whilst there are plenty of hymns here that most would recognise as great, good, enduring and "best loved", hymns from the latter part of the 19th century and the first few years of the 20th predominate. Those who appreciate the distinctive hymns of the Moody and Sankey era will not be disappointed by this selection.
Reviewer: Martin Brasier (16/04/11)