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BV 145 ,C3

PRE FACE.

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The foregoing Title indicates the purposes for which this Collection has been formed. It is especially designed for the use of those who, while they cherish reverential faith and grateful love towards the Lord Jesus Christ, deem themselves imperatively obliged to confine their religious worship, and the supreme homage of their affections, to Jehovah, bis God and Father, who sent him to be the Saviour of the world. No serious candid persons, however, who make the teachings of Christ and his Apostles their guide in duty, faith, and worship, can find in it much, if any thing, to offend them. A very large proportion of the hymns are such as must approve themselves to the heart, and the judgment, of every one who understands and partakes the spirit of the Gospel.

This Hymn Book corresponds, in several respects, with that known by the appellation of the Exeter Collection ; but it is considerably more copious, as the latter contains only three hundred and thirteen hymns. It was a leading object in the compilation of the Exeter Collection, to increase the number of hymns peculiarly Christian-relating to the blessings of the Gospel, the character and offices of Christ, and the affections due to him. The course adopted in it has

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met with extensive accordance. The Collection h itself been adopted by many Unitarian Congregation and its system has, in this respect, been followed most of those Collections which have been formed, for t use of others, since the first publication of it in 1812

The class of hymns above specified, will be fou considerably augmented in the present Collection : 1 the chief additions have been made in the Fourth Bor which respects the experience of the Christian life, trials, and its duties.

The influence of devotional poetry, and perhe especially of hymns, (from their general brevity, un of thought, and musical rhythm,) is very great in hours of despondency, of contrition, of solicitude, a of affliction, as well as in guiding the soul in its perio of thankfulness and confiding hope, and in strengtheni its purposes of faithful duty. The hymn book of supplies valuable aid to devotion, support to fortitu balm to the wounded spirit, and elevation and animat to all the pious affections. Consisting of the ce positions of various individuals, with great diversity views and feelings, it may reasonably be expected present something to touch the corresponding chords the heart of every one who employs it for the purp for which it is designed ; and—just like expressi from the Scriptures--hymns which, in some state the affections, or in some of the ordinary circumstar of life, may present nothing to interest, will, in oth appear to have a force, and an adaptation to spiri wants, which the inexperienced cannot understand.

While, therefore, no composition has been admi into the Unitarian Christian's Hymn Book, whic exclusively adapted to the case of a solitary individ it is hoped that there are no circumstances in

Collection has
Congregations ;
been followed in
n formed, for the

of it in 1812.
, will be found

Collection : but che Fourth Book, Christian life, its

y, and perhaps
ral brevity, unity

Christian life, for which there will not be found some-
thing peculiarly suitable; and when an adequate ac-
quaintance is gained with the contents of the Collection,
the appropriate hymns will often suggest themselves in
the time of need, to aid in yielding peace, and strength,
and comfort.

From the system which has been followed in this
compilation, it is obvious that many of the hymns must
be unsuitable for the ordinary purposes of public wor-
ship; and that some must be exclusively adapted to
individual use.

It has, however, been deemed unnecessary to specify these ; and, indeed, it would not be easy to draw any well-defined line of distinction. The separation of such hymns from those for more general use, has been attended with inconvenience in the private employment of hymn books.

Should it appear to candid judges that, in some cases, the verbal expression will not bear a strict critical examination, it may nevertheless be found that the sentiment is conveyed so clearly and forcibly, that it was not worth while to alter the words, at the risk of lessening the strength and perspicuity of the passage. In some instances, defective rhymes have been left, rather than do injury to the sense ; and in others, hymns of little poetical merit have been admitted, for the sake of the sentiment. It has, however, been the constant aim, to satisfy the understanding, the correct taste, and the regulated imagination, as well as to animate and elevate the affections.

very great in the
of solicitude, and
soul in its periods
din strengthening
hymn book often
sport to fortitude,
ion and animation
ing of the com-
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be expected to
unding chords in
for the purposes
like expressions
in some states of
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as been admitted

Book, which is litary individual, mstances in the

The compilation of this Hymn Book was commenced in 1824, in consequence of the liberal offer of one hundred pounds, made anonymously to the Lewin's Mead Congregation in this city, when the Collection

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in use among them had become out of print, in ord. to defray the expense of printing a new one; the i dividual proposing that a copy of it should be given f each copy of the former possessed by a Member of th Congregation. Various circumstances have contribute to delay the execution of the object; but it has nev been out of sight. The arrangements since made wi the Congregation, have enabled the publishers to pri a small pocket edition, at the same time with that duodecimo. Both are executed with great correctness and the labour of conducting this Hymn Book throug the press, has been made light by the typographic skill and accuracy of the printer.

About three hundred of the following hymns a derived from the valuable Collection above referred t which has been employed by the Lewin's Mead Co gregation for the last twenty-five years. The omissio of some contained in it, may, perhaps, be regretted k those to whom they have become familiar: it wi however, be found, that none which it would have bee desirable to retain, have been omitted, without beir replaced by others, from some cause deemed mo: suitable. It may be allowable to add, that no chang has been made without repeated consideration; ar indeed no time or exertion has been spared, to rend this Collection complete and useful.

The Hymn Book which formed the basis of ti present, like the London Collection which preceded i gives many of the hymns that are here retained, wit considerable variations from the originals : and a fe of them are so much altered by various Editors, scarcely to be referable to their Authors. In th Collection it has been kept in view, to employ ti original readings where practicable; but no hesitatic

print, in order w one; the inuld be given for

Member of the have contributed put it has never since made with blishers to print ime with that in t'eat correctness; on Book through de typographical

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wing hymns are bove referred to, vin's Mead ConThe omission

be regretted by miliar: it will would have been

without being deemed more hat no change deration; and

has been felt in adopting or in making alterations, if.
by this means the hymns seemed decidedly improved,
either in sentiment or in style. Nothing, however, of
this kind has been done inconsiderately, or through a
love of change; and in forming an opinion of the
alterations, the effect of familiarity should be taken
into account, and time allowed before a decided judg-
ment is formed against them. In pursuing the system
here stated, it has been deemed probable that the desire
to aid others in raising their hearts to God, or in
cherishing christian affection and principle, would sur-
mount the little feelings of authorship. If, in any case,
pain should be given by the alterations made or adopted
in this Hymn Book, either to the Author, if still living,
or to those who watch over his reputation, it may prove
a healing balm, to think that with them the great pur-
poses of his compositions will be answered

among
thousands, to whom, without such change, they might
have proved of little or no service. But whenever
suitable opportunity has occurred for seeking it, the
alterations made in this, and in the Exeter Collec-
tion, have obtained the concurrence of those most
concerned.

The chief difficulty arising from the altering of the hymns, consists in assigning them to their respective Authors, which, on the whole, appeared desirable, and which, as far as practicable, is done in the Index of First Lines. When the original has been left without alterations, or, at most, with slight verbal ones, the Author's name, if known, is given. If, while the general tenor of the hymn is unchanged, the alterations have been considerable, an indication of this is annexed to the Author's name.

Where it is known that the object of address has been changed, or the general

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cred, to render

e basis of the ch preceded it, retained, with els : and a few us Editors, as hors. In this to employ the t no hesitation

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