Hymnal - The '1052' Hymnal

The “1052” Hymnal

Right before his imprisonment, Watchman Nee rushed to publish his sermons, books, and a large hymnal. He and his co-workers hastily worked to translate, compile, and print this hymnal in just a few months. Upon completion, Nee was overheard breathing a prayer: “Lord, I thank You. This collection is probably my last contribution to the Church.1 The end result was a precious and unique collection of 1052 hymns.

Unique Collection

The excellent book Christ in Hymnology by Christian Chen and William Mallon studies the unique curation found in this hymnal. Nee brought together an uncommon and precious combination of classic hymns with the best of the Plymouth Brethren’s song book, A. B. Simpson’s hymns, and the Keswick Convention’s hymnal. Many of Nee’s and M. E. Barber’s hymns are present as well. It is a powerful, deep, and balanced combination of spiritual hymns.

Hymns Included by Miss Barber

Watchman Nee’s earlier hymnal included eleven hymns by Miss Barber. The 1052 includes only several additional hymns.


The influence of this insightful curation is seen in three modern hymnals which continue to combine precious hymns from these sources. Hymns, Christ in Song and Songs and Hymns of Life all bear the imprint of Nee’s selections. Very few modern hymnals include A. B. Simpsons writings, let alone combined with multiple hymns by J. G. Deck. These three collections are also the only hymnals we are aware of in which the hymns of M. E. Barber can be found.


1 - Chen, Christian - Christ in Hymnology pg. 518

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