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JOHN S. B. MONSELL, LL.D.
Vicar of Egham, Surrey,
And Rural Dean.
The following pages contain literally what they profess— Parish Musings ;-Hymns, not the result of retired and contemplative study, but the unpremeditated aspirations and utterances of the heart of one engaged in the active scenes of Parish labour ;-suggested by the incidents or feelings of each passing day,-composed on foot or on horseback,-in storm or sunshine,— by the way-side or on the hill-top,–in the country meadow, or the busy street — by day or by night,wherever duty called, and whenever the spirit caught, from without or within, subject matter for serious conversation with Heaven.
In most cases they have sprung from the consciousness of wants and weaknesses found within the writer's own breast, – when a giddy hour, an angry word, a wandering spirit, a cold heart, a failing faith, made him feel bitterly his own shortcomings, and long for more constant and real communion with Christ.
The only merit they claim is, that they are practical, not theoretical; not the cold musings of the head of one at ease; but the warm gushings of the heart of one, toiling himself, and striving to lead others amid the dust and conflict of the journey of life.
As such they are now collected, to edify, to encourage, to comfort. They seek—not man's praise, but his profit, – to help, not to amuse him,--to give the utterance of another's experience to what, no doubt, often struggles voiceless within
his own bosom: and thus to promote closer com
ommuning with his heart-closer communion with his God.
That some of these his “Parish Musings” (published in earlier years) have been thus blest to many of God's people, in both life and death, has been to the Writer the truest encouragement and reward. And it is in the sincere hope that they, with others (the growth of more maturity of soul), may continue to do God's work in an humble way, that this little volume is now put forth.—Not (as He knoweth, to whom it is offered, and from whom it hath been derived) for the Writer's honour, but for the Author's glory.
RAMOAN RECTORY ; Ascension Day, 1850.
ADVERTISEMENT TO THE SIXTH EDITION. There having been an increased demand for “Parish Musings," it has been thought advisable to present the work in two forms; and, while pains have been taken to render this edition more attractive, a cheaper issue is at the same time put forth, in the hope that it may thus obtain an easier circulation amongst readers of every class.
A few Poems, found only in the First Edition, are in this one restored, they having been often asked for by those who had known them in earlier years.
In all other respects this little volume is the same that has been so kindly welcomed for some years past in the homes, and it is hoped in the hearts also, of many of God's people.
EGHAM VICARAGE, SURREY;
St. James' Day, 1863.
Autumn leaves are falling fast
Gently there, my child !