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HYMNS AND PSALMS
SOCIAL AND PRIVATE WORSHIP.
•Jonation Best &
PUBLISHED BY MUNROE AND FRANCIS,
NO. 128, WASHINGTON STREET.
DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS, TO WIT: District Clerk's Office.
BE IT REMEMBERED, that on the thirtieth day of June, A.D. 1826, and in the fiftieth year of the Independence of the United States of America, J. P. Dabney, of the said district, has deposited in this office the title of a book, the right whereof he claims as proprietor, in the words following, to wit:
'A Selection of Hymns and Psalms, for Social and Private Worship.'
In conformity to the act of the Congress of the United States, entitled 'An act for the encouragement of learning by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies during the times therein mentioned ;' and also to an act entitled, 'An act supplementary to an act, entitled an act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned;' and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving, and etching historical and other prints.'
JNO. W. DAVIS,
Clerk of the District of Massachusetts.
781 D114.se 1830 PREFACE
TO THE THIRD EDITION
THE following selection has been arranged according to the natural succession of topics; this being thought the most simple, perspicuous, and popular principle of classification. If it has been followed out with the precision aimed at, the reader, as it becomes familiar to him, will seldom feel the necessity of an Index. Such a guide has however been furnished. It has been the design of this work to embrace all those pieces which had the claim, either from long popularity or decided merit, to be esteemed as standard devotional poetry; and also, as far as possible, all that variety of subject which public instructions or domestic and personal circumstances require. Hence may have arisen a redundancy on certain topics; or, on the other hand, the insertion of hymns, in some instances, rather from the sentiment than the poetry. It would be a needless enlargement of the work to extend it further than these rules required; and there are few probably, who will not now regard it as abundantly copious.
The Compiler has no anxiety after that praise, which with some, it may be, attaches to a work of this kind from the number of originals with which it is graced. Let the reader be apprized that the hymns which appear as anonymous, are such as, from the changes and combinations they have undergone, or from other causes, it was not easy to appropriate. As to many of the rest, alterations have often been made in this work, or adopted from those which preceded it. In the last instance, the authors of these changes are, of course, so numerous, and frequently so uncertain, that to specify them is impossible, and only this general acknowledgment can be made.
If the wish to satisfy the demands of the severest taste has led, in any case, to the sacrifice of what is far more important, the spirit of true piety, the Compiler has failed where his solicitude was greatest; and with examples before his eyes, that if they were ineffectual to warn, may now serve to solace him. Too much of the devotional poetry of recent date evinces, that this union is indeed a rare and high attainment; and not less, that language, however harsh and prosaical, can be more easily forgiven, than the sickly and finical elegance into which a fastidious taste so often degenerates. It has, further, been kept constantly in mind, that practical utility is, or ought to be, the only aim of a work like this. Some pieces, accordingly, to which the name of sacred poetry might perhaps extend, and, from the names they bear, were likely to recommend this volume to a merely refined reader, have yet been rejected, as far foreign from its character and design. It were easy to point to examples of this class; and none would be more surprised, probably, than the authors of such, to learn that they had ever found their way into collections of psalmody.
The Compiler could not be insensible, while preparing this work, to its connection with the cause of truth as well as that of piety. This truth, variously as it is apprehended, is or should be, alike To think precious to every class of believers. therefore of conciliating towards this work universal favour, by merging in it all distinctive opinions,and those consequently which meet with his own sympathy, would be bardly less criminal than absurd. But with the earnest desire and aim to preserve herein the pure faith of the Gospel, he is not conscious of imbuing with a sectarian spirit this offering to the cause of Christ; or of neglecting to render it, as far as may be, inoffensive at least, to his followers of every name.
Cambridge, March 22, 1825.
INDEX OF FIRST LINES.
Absurd and vain attempt, to bind
And now, my soul, another year
Before Jehovah's awful throne