Category: Blog

The Rat Catcher’s Bible

This is a photo of Silas Moore the rat catcher, holding his rat and his 1733 New Testament that I made for him.  No I did not make his rat, God did.   I think that I took this photo at Locust Grove in Louisville, Kentucky.  To learn more about The Rat Catcher’s Bible visit my web page at the following link:


1767 Charles Wesley Hymnal is finished

It is finished. This is my first replica of my original 1767 Charles Wesley Hymnal. It is also the only replica or reproduction ever made. It is for sale: $225 plus shipping ($7.50). I have already started three more.
The first five photos are of this hymnal finished. The others are in process photos that I took as I was binding it. Eventually, Hunter Willis will make us a new web page that will have all these photos and addition information, but for now, they are below. In addition, I found a really good description of this hymnal online and have included it below. You will enjoy reading this informative article. This information will also come with each book hand bound in pamphlet form.
I also decided to add another period Charles Wesley Hymnal to the back of this one. It is Charles Wesley’s 1745 hymnal, “For The Nativity of Our Lord”. It was common to add addition books in the back of bound in the 18th century. You will see its title page in the photos posted below. In addition, I have added two signatures (24 pages) of blank pages behind that. They will give you room to add addition musical notation and anything else you desire.
Let me know, if you want this hymnal ~ James Moore
“Charles Wesley laid particular emphasis on hymns of praise to the Trinity. He included a set of short hymns with this focus in HSP (1740), 100–104; and a second set, under the subheading ‘Gloria Patri,’ in Hymns on God’s Love (1742), 54–60. These were followed by Gloria Patri (1746), which contained twenty-four hymns devoted to the Trinity. Much of the impetus behind these hymns was simple praise. But part of Charles’s concern was to resist the tendency in some contemporary writers to restrict claims about the full divinity of the Son or the Spirit, adopting implicit Arian or Unitarian understandings of God. In 1756 William Jones, a fellow Anglican priest, published Catholic Doctrine of the Trinity, proved by above an Hundred Short and Clear Arguments, which offered a vigorous defense of the full divinity of all three Persons of the Trinity. Both John and Charles Wesley welcomed the book, though they shared a concern that its academic style limited the scope of its impact. In Hymns for Children (1763), Charles Wesley had made the lessons in John’s Instructions for Children more accessible by rendering the central points in verse. He decided to do the same with Jones’s exposition of the doctrine of the Trinity. The result was published in 1767 as Hymns on the Trinity. The majority of this volume (the first 136 of the 188 hymns included) was essentially the exposition of Jones put in poetic form. It follows the structure of Jones’s book, using the same scriptural references, etc. Many of the articulations are very effective. Jones might have appreciated them himself, if Charles had sought his input (or permission!) for the work. The final section of this work is comprised of fifty-two “Hymns and Prayers to the Trinity,” which Charles composed more freely. The organization of this section is dictated by the metre of the hymns, not the topic. Specifically, Charles arranged the first twenty-four hymns in the section to correspond to the metre of the twenty-four Festival Hymns (1746), allowing him to suggest Lampe’s tunes for these hymns (and the others in the collection with the same metre). Charles had employed this strategy once earlier in Redemption Hymns (1747), and used it for Family Hymns as well in 1767. While a dozen or so of the hymns included made it into other collections used among the Methodists, Trinity Hymns (1767) was never reprinted.
Source: Duke Center for Studies in the Wesleyan Tradition. See the following link:

Chaplaincy Act

This Day in History: January 16th, 1776

“Congress passed the “Chaplaincy Act” authorizing one chaplain for every two regiments for the Army at Cambridge. The pay was set at thirty three and one third dollars.”



Question: Was the Apocrypha in the original King James Bible? If so, why is it not in there now?


Answer: For a really detailed answer go to pages 222-228 of Alister McGrath’s book, In the Beginning: The Story of the King James Bible and How It Changed a Nation, a Language, and a Culture. It’s a complicated story that went on for centuries. It involves theology, but was finally decided by money. The answer is that it was in the King James Bible from 1611 when it was first published until 1826 when the missionary societies removed it for financial reasons. It was cheaper to make and ship the KJ Bibles without the Apocrypha in it. The first English-language Bible that was printed in North America (1782-83) did not have the Apocrypha. The Puritans were heavily involved in this version and made sure that it was left out. But it wasn’t untill 1826 that the Apocrypha disappeared from most all King James Bibles.


The Apocrypha is in our 1733 Bible, if requested and I sometimes make it as a stand-alone book, if requested.


Isaac Watts

This Day in History:  January 15th, 1702

“Isaac Watts is called as pastor to Newington where he will set a high standard of preaching and overcome the resistance of the established church to the introduction of new hymns.”

“Isaac Watts had a pedigree the New England Congregationalists could get behind – his father was a Congregationalist pastor in Southampton, England, who was imprisoned for non-conformity. Watts had taught himself Latin by age four, Greek by nine, and Hebrew by thirteen. He turned down a scholarship to Oxford because he would have had to convert to Anglicanism, and instead went to the dissenters’ school at Stoke Newington, in London. If anyone’s hymns could supplant the Bay Psalm Book in the Yankee congregations, it would be his, which may be why the pastors embraced the change in the mid-Eighteenth Century so readily, even if the congregations did not always, as well.”

This is around the time when singing Psalms in Church was replaced my singing Hymns in Church.  This reminds me of when singing Hymns in Church was replaced, in many churches, by singing modern songs.  Kind of funny.  What goes around comes around.  I wonder what will be next.  I am sure that we won’t like it at first.

I make a hand bound replica of Isaac Watt’s Hymnal that was originally published in 1767 in Boston.  Click the following link to learn more about it:


This is one of my antique brass tools that I use to decorate my books. It is a monogram of the name of Jesus Christ. “IHS” is the Christogram for the Greek spelling of Jesus (ΙΗΣ- iota-eta-sigma; short for ΙΗΣΟΥΣ). Basically it is the first three letters of the Greek spelling. This is a very basic explanation of a very complex, and rather interesting history of the use of monograms in the early and medieval Church.

Deuteronomy 31:6

I took this photo of Deuteronomy 31:6 from my replica of our original 1733 Bible for Chuck Valentine . He plans to in-script it on his personal Virginia rifle. He assures me that he will share a photo of this with me and I will share it here with you. He plans to inscribe, “the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee”