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A reprint of the Collection of Psalms and Hymns at present in use in the Parish Church being requir ed, it seems a proper opportunity for substituting a New Selection, as the old one has, I believe, been long and generally felt to be, in many essential respects, greatly defective.
With the view, therefore, of promoting a very delightful and important part of Public Worship, by supplying appropriate matter for Congregational Psalmody, I have prepared the following Selection, and no pains have been spared to render it such as every devout member of the Congregation may use with edification and pleasure.
The Psalms are selected from the New Version, and great care has been taken in every instance to preserve the sense of the Original.
My object has been to make each extract a proper whole in itself, and to introduce nothing but what a Congregation of Christians may appropriate to themselves, and utter in their own persons, to the praise and glory of God. For this purpose, as will be found, the verses are not always taken in their consecutive order, but such only are selected as have a reference, more or less direct, to the subject-matter of the Psalm, as denoted by the short title placed at its head. This was necessary, inasmuch as it is frequently found, that in the space of one Psalm,
several distinct subjects are introduced, and some of them are taken from events and circumstances in the history of David, of so peculiar and exclusive a nature, that the sentiments they express can scarcely be applied by a member of the Church at the present day.
The Hymns have been collected from various sources; and though this Selection is, for obvious reasons, necessarily limited, it is hoped and believed, that a sufficient variety will be found for all the purposes of Public Worship, and that ample provision has been made for the principal Festivals of the Church, and for such other occasions of periodical recurrence as are usually observed by our Congregations.
Some persons have objected to the introduction of Hymns into Public worship as being unauthorized and irregular; but the injunction of Queen Elizabeth, in the year 1559, which still remains unrevoked, certainly affords some discretionary power, and latitude of selection; and, until our Church can boast of a standard Book of Christian Psalmody, set forth by her Spiritual Authorities, and recognized by her Temporal Governors, each individual Minister seems to be at liberty to make such a provision for this part of divine service as, at the same time that it is in strict accordance with the Word of God, and the Liturgy and Articles of our Church, is best adapted to the taste and habits, the intellectual and spiritual attainments, of the Congregation over which he is called to preside.
In the absence of some such authorized Manual, the present Selection is commended to the adoption of my fellow-worshippers, in the earnest hope that, by God's help and blessing, it may be the means of enabling them to "sing with the spirit, and to sing with the understanding also," and that it may be blest to the comfort and edification of those for whose use it has been prepared.
VICARAGE, BROMSGROVE; 1852.
The blessedness of the righteous, and the end of the ungodly.
How blest is he who ne'er hath lent
Nor trod in sinful paths, nor sat
But makes the will and word of God
For he shall prosper like a tree
Whose boughs, unwithering, in due time
For God approves the good man's ways,
But all the paths that sinner's tread,