Hymnal - Hymns for the Little Flock

Hymns for the Little Flock

This short hymnal of 184 songs was produced by Watchman Nee in 1931. It was the first formal collection he had undertaken for the saints gathering in informal settings across China. Prior to this hymnal, many pamphlets of songs had been passed around informally, but for the 2nd Shanghai Conference, Nee produced a fuller book. Nee and his coworker, Ruth Lee, translated choice hymns from a wide array of sources. Rarely has there been a collection drawing from such diverse sources as the Plymouth Brethren, A. B. Simpson, and the Keswick Convention while also accompanied by classic authors like Watts, Wesley, and Newton.

Eleven of Miss Barber’s poems are included as hymns. As The Verses of a Pilgrim was published just some months before the 2nd Shanghai Conference, the inclusion of these poems might give us insight as to which of her poems had already been set to tunes and enjoyed by the saints. It is likely that Nee had sung some of these with Miss Barber during countless meetings at White Teeth Rock.

M. E. Barber’s Poems included in Hymns for the Little Flock

32 - I Dare Not Be Defeated
33 - “On Toward the Goal! Press On!”
41 - In The Mighty Name of Jesus
68 - To the Foe My Word Is Always, “No”
70 - Can You Be Obedient
123 - Keep Up the Song of Faith
129 - He Faileth Not, for He Is God
130 - Deep Down into the Depths of This Thy Name
131 - Via Bethlehem We Journey
132 - If the Path I Travel
159 - Hallelujah! Christ is Victor

Details regarding this hymnal are taken from what is published in The Collected Works of Watchman Nee series, Volume 23. According to that source, 184 hymns are included. (In his biography of Watchman Nee, Against the Tide, Angus Kinnear states there were 134 hymns in this 1931 publication.) Either way, we know this hymnal eventually expanded into the larger hymnal of 1052 hymns that Nee and Ruth Lee completed in 1951.

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