The following is taken from the Preface of J.C. Ryle’s little known Hymns for the Church on Earth, a collection of some 300 hymns selected by Ryle for their potential for spiritual edification. In Ryle’s words he hopes this collection of hymns “shall do good to the weakest lamb in Christ’s flock.” I have linked through to the book at the bottom so that you could enjoy Ryle’s selection, which is largely meant for private edification rather than public worship.
Of the value of the hymns, it is needless to say anything. The children of the world may regard psalm-singing, or hymn-writing, with indifference, or ill-disguised contempt. But the true-hearted servants of that Saviour, who “sung a hymn” before He went out to the Mount of Olives, have ever loved, in every age, to “teach and admonish one another in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs.” (Coloss. iii. 19). The Bible, on which they love to feed daily, abounds in hymns of praise. The heaven, which they hope to inhabit one day, will be the abode of eternal praise. A thankful, hymn-singing spirit has always marked the days of a Church’s spiritual property. It is a pleasant thought, that, however much Christians may disagree in pulpits, on platforms, and in prose writing, they are generally of one heart, and one mind, in praise and power.
Click here to access Ryle’s book