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PREFACE.

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WHAT the author of

Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs," was as a vocal Psalmodist, we know not; but what he was and is as a guide and helper to those who “sing the songs of Sion,” has been known during a century to myriads of Christian people. Next to David and the other inspired Psalmists, there has been no one man, at least among those who speak the English language, to whom, under God, so large a number of worshippers have felt themselves so deeply indebted. Among the grounds of the high and general estimation in which his sacred poems are held, one cause, doubtless, is their plainness and intelligibleness, as arising from the perspicuity of the style, and the brevity of the clauses and sentences; for not only, for the most part, is every verse a separate sentence, but commonly, in every two lines, and often in every line, a complete idea, if not a distinct proposition, is expressed : in connexion with which may be noticed the easy and natural flow of the versification, resembling, not a brook running through interposing blocks of stone, but a lovely and majestic river. Nor can we overlook the richness, variety, and general appropriateness of the imagery in which the author's ideas are clothed, causing every reader

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