I am glad to hear that my ancestors, Alden and Mullins, may have been believers! I am going to send my nana a link to this blog post. Do you know whether Longfellow himself was a believer? He is also in our ancestry line, though I don't know if directly or just that we both connect to John Alden and Priscilla Mullins. That is a great connection you have.
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Click on this page sample to view a copy of this psalter:. Although Glover died during the crossing, his widow, Elizabeth, inherited the press and saw to its installation. The press was nothing remarkable, and the crude materials and nascent talents of its operators are reflected in the blurred type and typographical inconsistencies in its surviving books, of which the Bay Psalm Book is no exception.
The colonists brought many Psalters with them to the New World, but they quickly found those printings lacking. Their efforts yielded the version that would become the Bay Psalm Book, which was then revised and reprinted nine times in the seventeenth century alone.
The preface to the first edition, the one to be auctioned, states apologetically,. If therefore the verses are not alwayes so smooth and elegant as some may desire or expect; let them consider that Gods Altar needs not our pollishings: Ex. There already one sees the peculiar poetry of erratic spellings and capitalizations that makes the Bay Psalm Book so charming, so authentically early Americana.
Look to those familiar verses and you can see just how strange the translation is, even relative to the King James Version, which had been completed just thirty years earlier, in The Lord to mee a shepheard is, want therefore shall not I, Hee in the folds of tender-grasse, doth cause mee downe to lie: To waters calme me gently leads.
Just down the street from where the Bay Psalm Book was printed is Harvard Yard, itself once a pasture for sheep and cattle. The text rewards such study, but it does not explain why the first book printed in America was a Psalter. Psalters are an unfamiliar genre for many, even those who worship regularly. Psalm-singing had for centuries been the demesne of a hand-picked choir, but the English Reformation invited the voices of the entire congregation. This printing of the Psalms in verse, set to meter, allowed them to be sung by all.
Thus the Bay Psalm Book is a kind of hymnal. Denominations still print original hymnals today, and every new printing marks time and documents tastes. Earlier this year, I interviewed a church organist who was retiring after more than sixty years of service. She did not measure those years in calendrical or liturgical terms, in Christmases, Easters, or even pastors, but hymnals.
After she said it, I calculated that my entire life was only three hymnals. Colonists came seeking religious freedom, so the first book they printed was not a political tract or even a Bible, but a hymnal: a book to be used regularly in communal and even private worship.
Frank Garlock, leading the singing. Perhaps philanthropist, David Rubenstein , would be willing to lend the Bay Psalm Book for display at the event as well! Bay Psalm Book Video Clip. Early American Hymnody to Singing and Translating the Psalms. The Whole Booke of Psalmes. Share this: Facebook Pinterest Twitter. Like this: Like Loading Post to Cancel.
Click on this page sample to view a copy of this psalter:. Although Glover died during the crossing, his widow, Elizabeth, inherited the press and saw to its installation. The press was nothing remarkable, and the crude materials and nascent talents of its operators are reflected in the blurred type and typographical inconsistencies in its surviving books, of which the Bay Psalm Book is no exception. The colonists brought many Psalters with them to the New World, but they quickly found those printings lacking.
Catalog Record: The Ainsworth psalter | HathiTrust Digital Library
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The Ainsworth Psalter: The Psalm Book of the Pilgrims