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PSALMS AND HYMNS
SOCIAL AND PRIVATE WORSHIP.
I WILL SING WITH THE SPIRIT, AND I WILL SING WITH THE UNDERSTANDING ALSO.
Cor. xiv. 15.
PRINTED AND SOLD BY P. HEDGELAND;
SOLD ALSO BY
LONGMAN, HURST, REES, ORME, & BROWN, LONDON.
In the year 1801, a Collection, consisting of 290 Hymns, was compiled for the use of the Congregation assembling for religious worship in George's Meeting-House, in this City. This having for some time been out of print, the Congregation, in the spring of 1811, determined upon the formation of a new Collection, which, in addition to the most valuable Hymns in the former one, might comprise such others, from different sources, as would render the whole more serviceable. The execution of this object was intrusted to a Committee, consisting of the Ministers and four Members of the Congregation.
At the commencement of their undertaking, the Editors resolved that, while they constantly kept in view the grand truth, that the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ is the only true God, and the only proper object of religious worship, they would studiously endeavour to avoid all expressions directly implying opinions, which are commonly controverted, among those who are united by their adherence to this most important principle. "It has, at the same time, been their aim, to increase the number of suitable Hymns especially referring to Christian privileges and requisitions: and they believe that this Cole
lection will be found peculiarly calculated to strengthen and enliven, not only those affections which the Gospel encourages and requires towards the God of love and mercy, as the Source of all its blessings, but those also which are due to our Saviour, on account of the exertions and sufferings, by which he executed the gracious purposes of his Heavenly Father.
As it may serve, in various instances, to explain the grounds of their rejection or alteration of Hymns, the Editors think it adviseable to state, that they have endeavoured, as much as practicable, to avoid all expressions which, though susceptible of a correct explanation, are calculated to convey, to the uninformed mind, wrong ideas respecting the perfections of the Supreme Being, and the nature of religion,-ånd also in the Hymns designed for Public Worship) such professions respecting the religious character, as cannot, in all probability, be truly employed by the great bulk of a Congregation, and such resolutions respecting the future, as cannot be executed at all, or at most, by those only who have made very great advances in Christian excellence. And they have, in general, thought it best to avoid those invocations to inanimate objects &c, which, however suitable they may be to the feelings when under the guidance of a highly excited imagination, seem scarcely to be calculated, in usual circumstances, to raise the devotional affections, or to be generally suited to the purposes of Public Worship.
In laying down the foregoing principles, the Editors were chiefly influenced by our Saviour's direction as to the worship which alone is acceptable to the Supreme Being,—“God is a spirit, and they that worship Him, must worship Him in spirit and in truth:” and they were not unmindful of the Apostle Paul's representations, and wished to aid others to sing, not only “ with the spirit,” but “with the understanding also.” In acting, however, upon them, (as they pretty uniformly have,) they hope it will seldom appear, that they have diminished the interest of the Hymns which they have retained or introduced; and they trust that they have not sacrificed any thing really calculated to excite and cherish the warmest and noblest feelings of the heart.
About two thirds of the following Hymns are derived from the former Collection. Of the remainder, sixteen are original,--the greater part expressly composed for the purpose; and ten or eleven others have not before been introduced into any Collection designed for Public Worship. The rest have been chiefly derived from other Collections; though the Editors have examined all the original sources as far as they had the
In the Hymns which they have retained or introduced, they have, without hesitation, made such alterations as the above-mentioned principles required, or as appeared to them to be improvements, either in the sense, or in the mode of expression. In many instances, by additions or by