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The Psalms and the Dew Grovenant.
“ PRAISE ye Jehovah:
Kings of the earth, and all peoples ;
Ps. cxlviii. 7, 11, 12.
* Psalmos, a Greek word, meaning, "a song sung to a stringed instrument." † Psallo,
Kl. 3; on the barp
MERCIFUL JEHOVAH! it is Thou who dost save. Be pleased to use this work for that end. Be pleased to impress by it a sense of guilt on those who feel it not, and to lead to Jesus those who despair. Be pleased, by means of it, to increase the faith, hope, love, joy, and obedience of those whom Thou hast called, according to Thy purpose; who rejoice in Thy “eternal redemption;" and are kept by Thy power, through faith, unto salvation.
Thou didst guide to the endeavour; hast made it joy ; and hast given health, opportunity, and ability, to accomplish it:—the endeavour to provide a book of hymns, which all may fitly sing who honour Thee, though they may as yet be only seeking Thee. Thou canst not lie; and hast said that all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone.” How it must grieve and offend Thee, that so often the unrenewed are invited and taught to sing words, the untruth of which tends to deceive them, while it angers Thee! Be pleased to use this work to check that sin.
Be pleased to use it also to make the treasures of Thy Book of Psalms, on which, in union with Thy New Covenant, it is based, more precious.
Make it acceptable to families, schools, and congregations; and whensoever Thou shalt bless it, make those who shall be thus blest, give all the praise to Thee ;-to Thee, glorious Jehovah ! to whom all the praise is due; and to whom-Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, one .God, be all honour and glory ascribed for ever and ever. Amen.
METRES.-At one time, almost the only metres in use were those called Long, Common, and Short. Any metre different from these, was called Peculiar. But now, the variety of metres in common use is so great, that it is necessary, in order to know what hymns and tunes are of the same metre, to describe every peculiar metre with exactness. To do this it is necessary to name the position of each accented syllable, with respect to other syllables, and also the number of syllables in each line. In some lines the accent comes once in two syllables, In others once in three. When it comes once in two syllables, if it is on the second, as in delight, that foot-measure of two syllables is called an Iambus; if the accent is on the first syllable, as in glory, that foot-measure of two syllables is called a Trochee. When the prevailing accents come once in three syllables, if they fall on the last of the three, as in evermore, that foot-measure of three syllables is called an Anapæst; if the accents fall on the first of the three syllables, that foot-measure of three syllables is called a Dactyl. A Trochee is the reverse of an Iambus; a Dactyl, the reverse of an Anapæst. The lines com. posed of these four different feet are called lambic, Trochaic, Anapastic, and Dactylic. The following are examples :
IAMBIO.-For ev-1 er with the Lord.
TROCHAIC.-When on | Calva- ry I | rest.
ANAPÆSTIC.--Like the leaves of the for- | est when sum-mer is green.
DACTYLIC.-Come to the I fountain the life-giving | fountain.
Sometimes different feet occur in the same line, as an Iambus at the beginning of an Anapæstic line, and a Trochee at the end of a Dactylic line. Sometimes the different lines of a hymn are in different metres, as in the hymns of mixed metres mentioned on p. 361.
The metres called Long, Common, and short, are all lambio, and differ only in the length of the lines.
The abbreviations used in this work to denote the kinds of metre, are, Ic. for Iambic; Tc. for Trochaic; Ac. for Anapæstic; Dc. for Dactylic. The figures which follow these abbreviations, show the number of syllables in each line. IC. 8888, means that the metre is Iambic, and that each line consists of eight syllables.
THE TUNE-BOOKS referred to by the capital letters at the top of each hymn are the following:
P.-The Psalmist, edited by Vincent Novello. While this book of hymns was in progress, a new edition of The Psalmist was published, edited by Ebenezer Prout Tunes from that edition are denoted by P. (N.)
C. P.-The Congregational Psalmist, edited by Dr. Allon, and Dr. Gauntlett.
B.-The Bristol Tune Book, including the Second Series.
M.-Refers, in all hymns up to number 678, to S. D. Major's “Tunes for the Sup plement of the New Congregational Hymn Book ;" but in hymn 678, and those which follow, it refers to the enlarged edition published in 1877, called “Tunes for the Family and the Congregation," containing all the tunes of the first edition, as well as new ones.
L.-The London Tune Book.
(A), when added to any of the above letters, means that the tune needs to be somewhat altered, to "adapt” it to the hymn.
SQUARE BRACKETS [ ] show what words and verses are original, in hymns written by other persons; in the same manner as commas of quotation show what words are quoted from other authors, in hymns chiefly original. The design of the work has rendered it necessary either to reject all hymns suitable for Christians only, or to make some alteration in the mode of expression; but the reader is not left in doubt as to what is old and what is new.
IF HYMNS, of which a copyright exists, should happen to have been inserted without leave, the editor hopes that the unintentional omission to ask leave will be forgiven.