Welcome!  Hymns have been and continue to be a real source of inspiration to me.  My desire in this blog is to share special hymns with my readers hoping that the words will minister to them, especially in times of great personal need.  If one of these hymns ministers to you, please take time to leave a comment so that I know that my blog is helping others as much as it helps me. Sometimes I will also provide a link where you can go to hear the hymn played.  So, please join me here each week and sing along as we praise God together.

Sunday, August 21, 2022


          Robert Raikes, an Anglican layman, is credited with founding the Sunday School movement in England.  His heart went out to the ragged children of the slum, worn down by slave labor, running wild and exposed to all kinds of vice.  There were no state schools of any kind and most children could not even read.
          Mr. Raikes believed that a good education would give children a much better start in life, so he started a school.  His "Sunday School" began in the kitchen of a home, in Gloucester, in July of 1780.  At first it was for boys only, but soon girls came too.  Since the children worked in factories six days a week, his school was held on Sundays.
          One of the first questions the founders of Sunday Schools had to answer was, "What shall we teach?"  Some thought it best to have the children memorize catechisms (principles of Christian doctrine in the form of questions and answers). But Raikes and a young Sunday School teacher named John Burton simply taught the Bible. And, if they needed to teach children to read, they used the Bible to do that, too.
          Burton (1773-1822) played a major role in this new movement.  He believed that music could be used to teach the Gospel to these children.  
He wrote and published songs for the Sunday School, and music greatly helped in the teaching and training of those who attended. Committing songs such as this one to memory enabled illiterate children to get their first grasp on eternal truth. 
Burton was one of the compilers of the Nottingham Sunday School Union Hymn Book in 1812.  This book reached the 20th edition in 1861.  The first edition contains 43 hymns which have his signature.  But Burton is really known for this week's hymn choice, Holy Bible, Book Divine.
            I can almost hear the children singing this hymn on Sundays and throughout the week.  They would learn that the Bible is a book divine, a precious treasure.  They would learn that the Bible shows a Savior's love.  It  also shares a living faith.  And it tells of joys to come.
          What wonderful truths for these children to learn.  But even greater is the fact that these truths are ours as well.  Precious treasure, thou art mine!  Be reminded of this as you sing these words this week.

     Holy Bible, book divine,
Precious treasure, thou art mine;
Mine to tell me whence I came,
Mine to teach me what I am:

     Mine to chide me when I rove;
Mine to show a Savior's love;
Mine thou art to guide and guard;
Mine to punish or reward;

     Mine to comfort in distress,
Suffering in this wilderness;
Mine to show by living faith,
Man can triumph over death;

     Mine to tell of joys to come,
And the rebel sinner's doom;
O thou holy book divine,
Precious treasure, thou art mine.

Listen to it here.    BIBLE

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