Charles H. Kelly was a Methodist minister in the 19th century. He was twice president of the Wesleyan Methodist Church, but more importantly, he was the Book-Steward of the Wesleyan Church, in other words, head of the denominational publishing office. His Memories (London, Robert Culley, 1910), is full of wonderful anecdotes. God willing, I hope to present some of them here.
Kelly was a member of the committee that revised John Wesley's hymn-book in the 1870s. He gives one story that might have some point today as well:
In the committee of the 1877 book one prominent minister not only opposed the exclusion of any of Charles Wesley's hymns that had found place in the previous edition, but also almost every verbal alteration that was suggested. There was a peculiar incident. The word 'bowels' often appeared. When one verse was read, perhaps the youngest member said, "Bowels again! We can at least change here for 'mercies.'" Said the old warrior somewhat scornfully: 'We are so fine now, I suppose we are not to be allowed to have bowels!" The reply was sharp. "I have no objection against Dr. ------ having bowels, but a very strong one against them protruding." The word was altered.
C.H. Kelly, Memories (London, Robert Culley, 1910)