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THIS Hymnal has been prepared in pursuance of a resolution passed by a Committee of the Congregational Union of England and Wales in April, 1883, and sanctioned by the Assembly of that year in its adoption of the Annual Report.
The objects the Committee had in view were, first, to enrich the service of praise in the Churches, by providing a book which, while retaining the best of the older hymns that had been found to minister to the faith and devotion of past generations, should include as large a selection as the limits of the book would allow from hymns of more modern date, and especially from those in which the Evangelical faith and spiritual life of the present day have found expression; secondly, to adapt the provision made for public praise, so far as is consistent with the retention. of the classics of Evangelical and Congregational worship, to the present state of culture and feeling in the Churches, at once in regard to the literary form of the hymns, and to the style and spirit of the tunes by which they are interpreted; and, thirdly, to supply to the Churches a single volume which, containing hymns, chants, and anthems, with music, should be sufficient for all the purposes of public praise. The object last named was much insisted upon by correspondents, and the Committee have been able to accomplish it without undue enlargement of the book, or injurious imitation of any of its sections. They have, however, for the convenience of congregations where chants and anthems are not used, divided the book into two parts, which can be purchased in separate volumes.
It was not without reluctance that the Committee undertook the preparation of this Hymnal; but by the publication of the "Congregational Hymn-book" in 1844, of the "New Congregational Hymn-book" in 1859, and of the "Supplement" in 1874, all of which had been received with