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THE BLESSED LIFE
THE EDITOR OF “QUIET HOURS,” “SURSUM CORDA," &c.
“ There are in this loud stunning tide
Of human care and crime,
Of th' everlasting chime;
Through dusky lane and wrangling murs
THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY
775103 A AŠTOR, LENOX AND TILDEN FOUNDATIONS
R 1996 L
Cambridge : Press of John Wilson & Son.
Y object in making this little collection has been
to bring together in small compass a number of the best hymns, to which we are all attached, and such as are worth learning by heart. There are so many hours of sickness and sorrow, so many wakeful seasons in the night, when nothing soothes and calms the spirit so much as psalms and hymns, that it is well to store the mind with them, in readiness for the time of need. It is especially desirable to do this in childhood; for verses thoroughly learned then generally remain longest in the memory.
Fully three-quarters of these hymns are those which our mothers and our grandmothers loved, and are full of sacred and sweet associations. Here are the fervent outpourings of prayer and praise of Watts and Wesley, of Doddridge and Montgomery, of Cowper and Newton. Here are also hymns which seem equally full of fer
JR 20JUN 34
vor and devotion by Keble and Lyte, by Miss Elliott and others, of more recent times, and by many who are
still with us.
All, with the exception of a portion of Mr. Whittier's poem of “The Eternal Goodness"
(which seems to me to belong here), are taken from hymn-books, and are intended for singing. Many of them sing themselves, from long association with special tunes, or from an inborn melody of their own. I have gathered them from the Methodist and Episcopal hymnals, from oldfashioned and new-fashioned hymn-books; so that, while all will not be familiar to all readers, there are hardly any which will not seem like old friends to
I have endeavored to restore the hymns to their original form, as the authors wrote them ; but in many instances it is very difficult to ascertain the correct reading, and there are some cases in which the alterations have made a great improvement; such as the substitution of “When my eyelids close in death,” for “When my eyestrings break in death,” in “Rock of Ages.” I have sometimes hesitated to restore a word or line, when the altered version has become almost authorized by long usage, so that a change would strike harshly on the ears of those who have always known it in the current shape. “Before Jehovah's awful throne,” was originally written, “Nations attend before his throne,” and was preceded by another verse.
It was altered by Wesley, and would not be readily recognized in its true form. Glory to thee, my God, this night," was written, “All praise to thee, my God, this night.” And the list might be greatly extended.
I offer my thanks to the authors who have so kindly given me permission to use their hymns; and also to - Messrs. HOUGHTON, OSGOOD, & Co., for allowing me to print here several copyrighted poems.
M. W. T.