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our Book, therefore, are excluded—with a single exception. Of the beautiful Hymn attributed to different authors, but really from the pen of the late Rev. Henry F. Lyte of the Church of England, “ Jesus, I my cross have taken,” only two stanzas are given in our book, and both of these altered from the original. The Hymn will be found complete in the following pages.
The principles by which the Editor has been guided in the selection of the Hymns, will be best understood by an examination of the work itself. Let it suffice to say here, that the fundamental idea which underlies this Collection, is, that the singing of Hymns is an office of WORSHIP. This does not import that every Hymn must be throughout a direct address to the Deity. For there are songs of Zion eminently fitted to nourish devotional feeling, and breathing the very spirit of praise, which could not bear this test. We should even have to give up the 23d and the 122d Psalms. Still, the principle is a sound one: and the neglect of it has turned many Hymn-Books into repositories of mere descriptive and hortatory poems, which lack the first element of WORSHIP.
In the present volume, a large space has been allotted to Hymns suited to “ FAMILY WORSHIP;” not larger, however, it is believed, than is demanded by the growing disposition to combine praise with the reading of the Scriptures and prayer, at the domestic altar. These Hymns, it will be seen on examination, are also appropriate to Boarding and Day Schools, which open or close the day with sacred song.
Under the head of “PRIVATE DEVOTION," there will be found a choice variety of Hymns adapted to the closet -many of which, as being of irregular or unusual Metres, are designed for reading only, not singing. To guard
against possible embarrassment on this point, by the inadvertent announcement of one of these Hymns from the pulpit, a note of caution is prefixed wherever necessary.
The great length of some of the Hymns may attract attention. But who would venture to obliterate a stanza of Gerhardt's exquisite Hymn, “O Sacred Head now wounded :" or of Montgomery's all but inspired paraphrase of the 72d Psalm,“ Hail to the Lord's Anointed ?” In these and similar cases, it has been thought better to leave it to the occasion to suggest the number of stanzas to be sung, than to mutilate and thus, possibly, destroy the whole composition. For “PRIVATE DEVOTION," no one will object to the length of such Hymns as Charles Wesley's, “Come, O thou Traveller :" or Montgomery's, " Thousands, O Lord of Hosts, this day:" or that ancient carol, “O Mother dear, Jerusalem :" or the “Dies Iræ," the most celebrated, perhaps, of all the Latin Hymns, as indicated by the fact, that seventy different translations of it have appeared in our language.
Of the sources which have supplied the materials for the present collection, it is proper to say, that these Five Hundred Hymns have been winnowed out of several thousand, scattered through an indefinite variety of HymnBooks and other publications. Several of them appear now in a Hymn-Book for the first time. A considerable number have been derived from the “Sabbath HymnBook.” The Compiler is under great obligations to the Editors and Proprietors of this admirable Book, for permission to use their copy-right Hymns. And it is needful to add, that being copy-right, it would not be proper for other parties to publish them without similar permission. The same cordial acknowledgment is due to Dr. Steiner of Baltimore, one of the Editors of the“ Cantate Domino," a
new flymn-Book with the words set to music, which is of too much value to be restricted to the Lutheran Church. With the like courtesy the Compiler has been allowed the free use of Dr. Willis Lord's excellent“ Hymns of Worship;” Professor Cleveland's“ Hymns for Schools ;” and the “ Hymns for Church and Home,” recently prepared by a committee of gentlemen belonging to the Protestant Episcopal Church, of which the Rev. Dr. Howe of Philadelphia is a member. The "Mothers' Hymn-Book" of Mr. Hastings has supplied several valuable Hymns from his own pen. If the Editor fail to specify other works which have facilitated his labours, the omission, it is hoped, will be attributed, not to indifference, but to the necessary brevity of a Preface.
The Hymns have been credited to their respective Authors, so far as known. Those from the Latin are impressed with a certain dignity of expression, an elevation of sentiment, and a solemn flow of the rythm, which at once identify their ancient origin. The last two Hymns in the book are taken from the Rev. J. M. Neale's (Sackville College) very free translation of “The Rythm of Bernard de Morlaix, Monk of Cluny," (A.D. 1483). Some liberty has been used in transposing a few of the stanzas of this famous old Poem on the New Jerusalem.
In the preparation of the volume, the Compiler has had
special eye to the wants of his own pulpit and people. He is not without the hope that it may prove an acceptable offering to some other congregations, and to private Christians. It is now humbly commended to His blessing, who is at once the Object and the Inspirer of all true Worship, and who has said, “WhoSO OFFERETH PRAISE GLORIFIETH ME.”
HENRY A. BOARDMAN. PHILADELPHIA, November, 1860.
1 HOLY, Holy, Holy LORD,
God of Hosts! when heaven and earth,
Holy, Holy, Holy LORD! 2 Holy, Holy, Holy! Thee,
One JEHOVAH evermore,
3 Holy, Holy, Holy! All
Heaven's triumphant choirs shall sing,
An ancient Hymn of Praise. 1 THEE we adore, eternal Lord!
We praise thy name with one accord;
Through all the world do worship thee. 2 To thee aloud all angels cry,
The heavens and all the powers on high:
Lord God of hosts, they ever sing.
The prophets swell th' immortal song;
Eternal anthems to thy praise.
Highly exalt and honour thee!