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“Let the people praise Thee, O God; let all the people praise Thee."
NEW YORK :
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1869, by
in the Clerk’s Office of the District Court for the Southern District of New York.
HIS compilation is not intended to supplant any collection now in use, but rather to serve all Christians by putting in their hands a convenient manual, embracing all the best and most used Hymns of all branches of the Church of Christ. Of other books, it must have been generally noticed that the larger are cumbered with very many hymns, which, because of their meter or their lack of poetical or devotional worth, are never used. The smaller compilations are either sectarian or carelessly made, without regard to the wants of Christians generally, and apparently with no high standard of excellence. In this book the classification has been made according to the apostolic category of Hymns, and Spiritual Songs, and Psalms. (Col. iii. 16.) It was agreed that each Hymn should be a metrical address to God; that the Spiritual Songs
should have more latitude of signification, embracing whatever might be edifying in social singing; and that among the Psalms should be admitted many such as should more usually be “said " rather than “sung.” To the best of the knowledge, judgment, and taste of my gifted coworker and myself, the one hundred best Hymns have been selected according to their poetical excellence, their devotional fervor, and their popularity. Sometimes one of these characteristics has been so manifest as to secure our verdict in the absence of the two others; but in no case have we admitted a Hymn which we did not believe to be in accordance with “the mind of the Spirit,” as set forth in the Word of God, nor one that might not be sung in all its parts by all the people in the service of the sanctuary. Among the Spiritual Songs have been inserted some which hold their place by their popularity. The compilers did not choose to let their standard pronounce a final judgment against what thousands had found edifying or pleasant; but in no case, it is thought, has this feeling secured the admission of what will seem offensive to pure taste. The best one hundred Spiritual Songs have thus been obtained. The Psalms
have been called Lyrics, as the former title has obtained a specific designation, perhaps somewhat more narrow than the design of this book. The aid of many friends in the several branches of Christ's Church is most gratefully acknowledged; but thus generally, because there is not space to designate the obligations which each kind helper has imposed. Finally, nothing was admitted upon which Miss Cary and myself did not agree; and if any special favorite is missed by any reader, let him know that he has the sympathy of each compiler, for each has had some pet thing thrown out by what seemed the obstinate want of taste or judgment in the other: but by this independence of judgment and faithfulness of criticism we believe that we have secured what we confidently hope the Christian world will pronounce, upon the whole, the best three hundred devotional poems extant. The work has been done with conscientious fidelity. At first it was thought quite easy to find what was needed. But the labor grew. Months have been given to reading, comparison, and correspondence; about twenty thousand metrical compositions in English, German, and Latin have been examined; and this book is the