« PreviousContinue »
PSALMS AND HYMNS
I will sing of mercy and judgment: unto thee, O Lord, will I sing.
Psalm ci. 1.
CHARLES J. HENDEE,
JENKS, PALMER & Co.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1835,
BY CARTER, HENDEE & CO.,
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts.
. (Figures at foot of page,) 29
As some account may be expected, of the principles on which this collection of hymns was made, it will be here given in a few words.
My main object has been, to gather from the existing body of divine poetry, those hymns which I deemed the best calculated to be sung in our churches. I consequently adopted all which appeared to me to possess the requisite poetical and devotional character, without regard to the particular denomination of Christians to which their authors belonged. Hymns from Wesley's collection, and some Moravian hymns from the Christian Psalmist of Montgomery, I regard as among the richest contents of this volume. Their delightful fervor, though by some it may be called methodistical, will be thought by others, I trust, to be the true spirit of devotional Christian poetry.
I have taken care to alter as little as possible from my originals, and to obtain all hymns, whenever it was practicable, as their authors wrote and published them. The effusions of Watts and Doddridge, the two principal classics in this high and difficult species of literature, will be found in a purer form in this volume than they are usually met with in other collections. Whenever a hymn by one of these, or any other author, seemed to require a great deal of alteration, it was not altered, but left; for it was my desire and intention that every hymn, as it appeared in this collection, should be really the production of the individual whose name is placed over it. I freely omitted such verses, however, as I did not approve, whenever it could be done without essential injury to the connexion. Those words and expressions which I consider as forming the peculiar and appropriate diction and imagery of sacred poetry, such as Zion, Israel, Canaan, Saints, &c., I have constantly retained.
The adaptation of musical emphasis and expression to the words, I have left with intelligent and well instructed choirs.
Although I undertook this work, because I was not altogether satisfied with any collection which I had seen, yet I cannot hope to have succeeded to the entire satisfaction of others. I am conscious
that I must, at least, have omitted some hymns which many persons have been accustomed to regard as indispensable, and introduced some which may be thought unworthy of the place which they occupy. It is to be presumed that there is a considerable number of them which will be admired by some, and disliked by others. Among five hundred and sixty hymns, there will be found, it is probable, sufficient range for a variety of tastes.
It is sincerely my prayer that this book, wherever it may be introduced, may be instrumental in heightening the interest of Christian worship, and serving the cause of religion and God;--and as sincerely is it my wish that wherever and whenever it may be found inadequate to these great purposes, it may be superseded by one which will answer them better. F. W. P. G.
October 1, 1830.
NOTE TO THE SIXTEENTH EDITION.
THE suggestions of some of my friends, together with my own experience, have induced me to believe that some additions to this Collection would increase its usefulness; and I feel that the favor with which it has been received, is an obligation on me to improve it. But at the same time that I determined to make additions, I also resolved not to hazard such alterations in the main body of the work, as would render the first fifteen editions so different from those which might succeed them, that the former could not he used conveniently with the latter. I have therefore changed but eleven hymns in the five hundred and sixty which were contained in the previous editions; and in the place of each rejected hymn, I have inserted one on the same or a similar subject.
For the convenience of ministers and others, I here subjoin a list of the hymns which have been changed as above stated. They are hymns 69, 142, 155, 175, 177, 265, 315, 340, 399, 402, 519. Hymn 204, which formerly consisted of two verses from one of the hymns of Watts, is now enlarged by the addition of two other verses of the original hymn.
The additions which I have made, are placed under the head of Supplementary Hymns, and are numbered from 561 to 609, inclusive. Some of these were printed at the end of the book, as it formerly stood; but the greater part are now first inserted. They are on various subjects, and several of them are of a private and domestic character. The Doxologies close the volume. No further alterations are contemplated. FRANCIS W. P. GREENWOOD.
May 18, 1835.