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'HIS collection of hymns is made for use in Baptist
churches. While limited in number, it will be found
to be catholic in selection. Hymnology is a harp of many strings, and we have tried to strike them all. We have drawn from a wide variety of sources, and with reference to all occasions of the Christian life, all the moods of Christian experience, and all the forms of Christian doctrine. It would be easy to select hymns which should be all in one vein, or in fact written by one person. But as
the Bible, the manual of Christian knowledge, inspired by one and the self-same Spirit, is in the varied style of so many different writers, so our manuals of Christian song should partake of a similar variety, which is possible by drawing from the singers of all times, countries, and communions.
But while the field of research is so wide and various, a hymn-book is not necessarily useful in proportion to the number of hymns it contains. We have not attempted to include all hymns which even an enlightened judgment might call good. We have excluded some which have
their merit, and indeed hallowed associations, in many minds. But we have omitted many on account of some weakness or defect which would subtract from the general tone of strength both in doctrine and style which we have desired this selection should possess. A single defect may spoil an otherwise good hymn. We hope that what is omitted is more than made up by the quality of that which is retained.
So far as practicable the original text of hymns has been given, for the simple reason that in most cases it is superior to the alterations to which it has been subjected. A few alterations have been universally accepted, and justify themselves. But, in the innumerable variations which have found their way into the different collections, it has seemed to us the wiser rule to fall back on the original and uncorrupted text. Where departures are made from the author's text, in most cases, and unless in slight verba? changes, the fact is indicated.
A few of the hymns in this collection exceed the length usually prescribed for singing. Verses which seemec necessary to the unity and effectiveness of a hymn, or foi whose omission there seemed to be no reason which would not apply to the other verses, have been given, even where all the verses would not be sung at one time, giving the opportunity of selection to the minister. For a true hymn is vital in every part, and cannot be cut down to given dimensions without injury. Abridgment or mutilation is
often the worst alteration a hymn can suffer. A hymn. book is not used in public worship alone. Its hymns may be studied by the young, and by all Christians, and committed to memory with great profit. Moreover the conductor of public worship, making his selections .carefully and in advance, may be left to use his own taste and judgment in selecting the verses to be sung, instead of having an exact number fixed for him, beyond which he cannot go.
Therefore, while selections have been made from some hymns which could not be given at their full
length, the selection has been governed by the quality and -e
the relation of the verses, rather than their number. We d
have often regretted that there seemed to be a necessity d
for any abridgment at all. This necessity, it will not be concealed, has been enforced, in part, by the attempt to combine a collection of music for congregational singing with the collection of hymns. To preserve the natural order, and a uniform numbering of the hymns in both collections, as well as an unbroken page in the book of tunes, we have submitted to occasional elisions or additions which had no other sufficient reason.
We have endeavored to avail ourselves of the progress made in hymnology in late years, and to use its researches and its ample resources, in preparing a book adapted to the service of song in the house of the Lord. Our labor has given us a fresh impression of the difficulty and the responsibility of selecting out of such abundant materials
a body of hymns, which, while not large in number, shall serve all the needs of the people of God in public worship, and be also an aid in their private spiritual culture. It has made us aware of the defects which exist after the best endeavors. But believing that the Spirit of the Lord in the hearts of his people can make it sufficient, we have only to commit it to their use, and to His blessing.
S. L. CALDWELL,
July 15, 1871.
PREFACE TO THE LAST EDITION.
A LARGE number of hymns and tunes of the more popular and stirring kind have been added to the present edition of this work. Many of the Gospel songs which attained such wide-spread fame in connection with the labors of Messrs. Moody and Sankey in Great Britain will be found among the number. Also the best and most popular songs of Messrs. Lowry, Doane, Fischer, and Bliss have been added, together with many original tunes, and many sacred songs now for the first time published in this country. It is believed that the growing demand for music of this character is amply met in the present issue.
September 27, 1875.
SERVICE OF SONG.
PSALM 100. 1 With one consent, let all the earth
To God their cheerful voices raise; Glad homage pay with awful mirth,
And sing before him songs of praise : 2 Convinced that he is God alone,
From whom both we and all proceed ; We, whom he chooses for his own,
The flock that he vouchsafes to feed. 3 O, enter, then, his temple gate,
Thence to his courts devoutly press, And still your grateful hymns repeat,
And still his name with praises bless, 4 For he's the Lord, supremely good; His mercy
is forever sure ; His truth, which always firmly stood, To endless ages shall endure.
Tate and Brady, 1696.
Ye nations, bow with sacred joy;
He can create, and he destroy.