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But while no further improvement of the text seemed called for, that fact did not prevent another effort in that direction. For reasons not necessary to discuss here, the General Association of Connecticut commissioned President Dwight to make a second revision of the Imitations “accommodated” to the state of the American Churches, which was published in 1801. He could have done no better than to follow Barlow in adopting Wesley's opening to the hymn. On the contrary, he retained Watts's first verse, altering it to read:
“Ye Sons of men in God rejoice,
It may be said in behalf of Dr. Dwight that he was engaged to make his own revision of Watts, and not to adopt that of another, and that he did his work with propriety and care. Nor did his revision of the 100th Psalm exert any permanent influence, simply because Wesley's text was well on in its career before he made it. His example in retaining Watts's first verse was, however, followed by Dr. James M. Winchell, Dr. Samuel Worcester and Dr. Jedidiah Morse, in their respective editions of the “Psalms and Hymns."
Wesley's text, on the other hand, with the fourth verse of Watts as restored by Barlow, passed into the Dutch Reformed Psalms and Hymns (1814), the Presbyterian Psalms and Hymns (1830), the German Reformed Psalms and Hymns (1833), the Cumberland Presbyterian Psalms and Hymns (1845), and Psalms and Hymns of the Presbyterian Church in the United States (1866). And at the present day Wesley's text, with or without the fourth verse of Watts, and with the occasional change of “must” to “shall” in the last verse, is in use wherever the hymn is sung. Evans; but unfortunately they spoiled the close of the hymn by reversing the order of Watts's fifth and sixth verses, and substituting“ shall” for “must” in the line before the last.
THE DATE OF PUBLICATION OF WATTS'S HORÆ LYRICÆ.
This subject is discussed on page 328 of this number of the JOURNAL. Since printing the earlier sheets of the number, there has come
hand a copy of the catalogue of books and manuscripts sold by auction at London by Messrs. Sotheby, Wilkinson and Hodge, on July 28–30, 1902.
Lot 638 is a copy of the first edition of the Horæ, bearing date 1706, but containing on the fly-leaf a letter written by Dr. Watts, which is reprinted in the catalogue as follows:
“To Mr. Sam" Say. Dear Sir, Accept of this first labor of the press, this ventrous Essay of Poesie in so Nice and censorious an Age: forgive as you read, peruse as a friend, design to be pleased and not to Judge. And if you can (without too much abuse of your Judgement) [recommend it to the world] this has been erased.* You will help to free me from some obligations under woh ye Bookseller has put ye
“Timorous Author, Your friend, Dec 28th, 1705.
“I. WATTS.” This letter would appear to settle the question of the date of publication of the first edition of the Horce.
Louis F. BENSON.
* The clause in italics is apparently an annotation by the cataloguer.