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IT appears to be the prevailing opinion in our Churches, that in addition to the excellent Psalms and Hymns of Dr. Watts, it is desirable to avail ourselves of some of the devotional compositions of later and of living Poets. With this view, numerous selections of Hymns, in the form of a Supplement or Appendix, have been presented to the Public, and introduced into social worship. The necessity, however, thus imposed upon a Congregation of obtaining and having in use more than one Hymn Book, occasions considerable inconveniences, especially to the poor.
In reflecting on the practicability of obviating these evils, it occurred frequently and forcibly to my mind, that by the omission of such of Dr. Watts's Psalms and Hymns as we are not usually accustomed to sing, there might be introduced a sufficient number from the best Authors,' to answer every
ben I encitabo sa necessity of an additional volume. On suga gesting these views to several judicious friends, I had the satisfaction to ascertain, not only that they cordially approved of the plan, but that more than one had long entertained the same ideas, and had fully intended to carry the principle into effect. Encouraged by these representations, as well as by the wishes expressed by not a few in the circle of my pastoral engagements, I have endeavoured to accomplish the object desired.
While actually preparing the present Selection, I ascertained that there had been recently pub , Tished two valuable Hymn Books, compiled on principles bearing some resemblance to those which have dictated and guided my attempt.
The one, however, contains nearly double the number of Hymns which I consider expedient for a Public Hymn Book; and the other omits all specification of the names of the Authors,
also of the number of Hymns selected from the compositions of Dr. Watts.09
Of the 600 Hymns here presented to the Public, about one half are selected from Dr. Watts's Psalms and Hymns, and the other half
o und from the best writers to whose productions I had access. Their names will be found in the Index to the first lines of the Hymns. This plan is adopted, chiefly because it appears sufficient to gratify a reasonable curiosity, without obtruding the name of the Author on the attention of the worshipper, at the moment when other and higher considerations demand the full energy of the mind and heart.
intis sa SriTo every Hymn will be found prefixed a reference to
some text of Scripture. In the numerous instances, indeed, in which no single passage of Holy Writ, appears to have guided
as the motto. Yet even this, it is presumed, by being inserted in the Index of Texts, will be found useful, by facilitating the selection of Hymns adapted to particular subjects. aziIt has been my solicitous desire, that in the selection now presented to the public, there should be a considerable proportion of Hymns consisting of direct ascriptions of praise, as also that there should be a very distinct and full recognition of the truths most interesting to the heart of a Christian, and of such especially
relate to the Lord Jesus Christ, our Saviour, and to the Holy Spirit, our Sanctifiere wat s 'n kne
b It was at first my intention to select only such Hymns 'as are unquestionably adapted to public worship. In making this attempt, howeyer, I found it far more difficult than I had anticipated, to draw with acéuracy the line of demarcation between such as are adapted to the public and social worship of believers in Christ, and such as may be employed with more advanr3 tage for the purposes of private devotion. The prosecution of the attempt would also have rendered necessary the exclusion of many of Dr. Watts's Hymns, which most Christians would deem it desirable to retain. It is to be remem,
that the most careful discrimination in colleeting and arranging Hymns for Public Worship, can by no means supersede the exercise of a sound judgment in selecting the Hymns which may be on any occasion, whether public or private, the most appropriate. It may be expedient here to intimate, that under the head of “ The Christian Life," will be chiefly found such Hymns as may not be deemed eligible for indiscriminate adoption. Among the “ Morning