White Ribbon Hymnal or Echoes of the Crusade Compiled for The National and World's Women's Christian Temperance Unions Preface.
To the steadfast, loyal women of the White Ribbon Army:
In the abundance of your faith you have requested me by unanimous vote of the National Convention to prepare a temperance hymnal which should embody the "psalms, hymns and spiritual songs" that have inspired the white ribbon women since the Crusade, and which the pen of experience might mark "Tried and Proved." In addition to these blessed hymns which are as sacredly familiar as a mother's lullaby, the White Ribbon Hymnal contains some new selections of decided merit and a number of original songs set to well-known airs, by writers in our own ranks. The quiet prayer meeting and earnest gospel temperance gathering, the great mass meetings and temperance entertainments, the memorial service, pledge-signing meeting and rousing prohibition and home protection rallies, have all been held in loyal remembrance during the compilation of this book; but it still falls far short of my ideal Hymnal, because the engrossing duties of "private secretary" have rendered anything beyond fragmentary attention to its make-up, quite impossible.
I have no pecuniary interest in its sale, having prepared it gratuitously and arranged that the profits which would otherwise accrue to me, shall be paid to the treasurer of the National Woman's Christian Temperance Union, for use in the children's work.
To those who have in the following pages generously given their musical inspirations to our blessed cause, and notably to our white ribbon "prima-donna," Mrs. Alice J. Harris, of Boston, for invaluable help freely rendered, our sincere gratitude is here recorded.
And now, dear sisters of the local unions for whose use our Hymnal has been especially prepared, let me earnestly beseech you to welcome your speakers to their evening's work by its sweet songs.
How many times in Miss Willard's pilgrimage has the power of her meeting been enhanced by music that harmonized with the spirit of the hour; and it is no exaggeration to claim that the effectiveness of a meeting for religious or reformatory purposes is imperiled by the failure to provide intelligently for the service of song. Chorus or congregational singing with an occasional solo best meets the requirement Let us make it a matter of conscience to bring to the people in all our gatherings the blessed gospel of song.
With earnest hopes, yours in a sacred cause,
ANNA A. GORDON.
Rest Cottage, Evanston, Ill., Aug. 22, 1892.