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I will sing with the Spirit, and I will sing with the urderstanding also.—1 Cor. xiv, 15.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1857,
By CARLTON & PORTER,
in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Southern District of New-York.
The Hymn Book heretofore in use among us was, in our opinion, unsurpassed. But the General Conference of 1848, judging that the volume could be improved by a careful revision, and by judiciously multiplying the number of hymns, appointed a Committee, composed of ministers and laymen, to prepare a Standard Edition of the Methodist Hymn Book.* This Committee, having finished the work assigned them, submitted it to the examination of the Book Committee, and of the Editors of the Book Concern; and having been approved by them, it came before us for a final review. Our examination has been as thorough as the limited time at our disposal allowed. Although we reluctantly part with some of the familiar hymns of the old book, and though, perhaps, in the judgment of some, they have not, in every instance, been substituted by hymns of greater merit, yet we can confidently approve this Revised Copy; and we do, most cordially, recommend it as a greatly improved and standard edition of the Methodist Hymn Book. We congratulate you, brethren, on having now such a Book as, from the number, variety, and adaptation of its hymns, will not require another revision for generations to come.
In presenting to you this Standard Hymn Book, we believe that we are putting into your hands one of the choicest selections of evangelical Hymns for Private Devotion, as well as for Family, Social, and Public Worship. We are gratified also to add, that no mercenary ends are sought in this publication; for after the necessary expenses are met, its avails, if any, will be sacredly devoted to charitable and religious objects, as were the profits of the former edition. We urge you, therefore, by your regard for our Church, and for the authority of the General Conference, to purchase only such Methodist Hymn Books as are published by our Agents, and have the names of your Bishops.
We exhort you, dear brethren, to sing with the Spirit, and with the understanding also; and we shall rejoice to join you in time and in eternity. Your affectionate pastors in Christ,
L. L. HAMLINE,
EDMUND S. JANES.
It will be observed that we have used several tunes in the minor key. The reason for this is, that no compositions are better adapted for devotional purposes. They need not be confined to grave subjects, but may be used with the best effect to express sentiments of thanksgiving and praise. They were so used by our people for many years after the introduction of Methodism into this country.
A few alterations have been made in new tunes, for the purpose of better adapting them for congregational use. Some of the old popular melodies used among us in different parts of the country, we have found to differ in melody. As many of these tunes have never been printed, it is difficult to tell precisely what the original melody was.
The figures following the names of the tunes, and inclosed in parentheses, show the page in the “New Lute of Zion" where the tune may be found. Those standing at the head of most of the hymns, followed by an italic letter, indicate where tunes may be found suited to the hymns thus marked. The figures refer to the page, the letters to the tune on the page, a signifying the first tune, b the second, etc. This is designed, however, only to meet the contingency that the tune standing connected with the hymn has been once sung during the day; or, that it is not sufficiently known to be sung by the congregation. In all other cases the tunes set to the hymns should be used, that the people may have the hymns and tunes before them, agreeably to the design of this work.
Now, if the friends of the enterprise, especially our ministers and leading singers, will interest themselves in bringing the work before the people, we have little doubt of its success. It will be desirable for the congregations to meet occasionally to practice—that is, to sing the tunes, rather than study the principles upon which they are constructed. Though it may be impossible to induce them to learn the science of music, many will learn to sing, if they are properly encouraged. The two principal errors to be guarded against will be-singing too slowly, and indistinct utterance. To avoid the first, will require great patience and perseverance. Mr. Wesley's practical suggestions upon this point are worthy of consideration. He says: “Attend closely to the leading voices, and move therewith as exactly as you can, and take care you sing not too slow. This drawling way naturally steals on all who are lazy, and it is high time to drive it from among us.” Frequent examples given by the leader, of the proper manner of singing, will be found to be very serviceable. Good-natured perseverance will surmount all difficulties, and insure good earnest congregational singing, both where there are choirs and where there are none.
In this confidence, we submit the work to the candid examination of our people. We hope it will be generally adopted with spirit; not merely as an experiment, but with a full determination to effect the important improve ment contemplated.
CARLTON & PORTER,
In presenting this work to the Church, the publishers beg leave to say that it has been prepared with reference to what seems to be an imperative demand. Its object is, in the most quiet and satisfactory way, to promote congregational singing. They have therefore made use of all the hymns contained in our standard hymn book, and no others, so that the introduction of this book to our pulpits and a part of our pews shall produce no inconvenience to any who do not incline to avail themselves of its benefits. As the numbers of the hymns correspond with the numbers of the same hymns in our standard book, if the preacher will announce both the hymn and the page, all will be equally accommodated.
The work contains nearly all the old standard popular tunes, which have been in use among the pious of every denomination for many years, and which are found in most collections of church music. These tunes have assisted the devotions of millions who now sing around the throne of God, and they are worthy to be sung to the end of time. There are a few others we desired to use, but were forbidden to do so by the terms of their lawful
Their absence, however, will not be much regretted, as they are generally known. For new tunes we have drawn from different sources, chiefly from the New Lute of Zion, because they were the best we could find to suit our purpose. Our acknowledgments are due to Thomas Hastings, Lowell Mason, W. B. Bradbury, George Kingsley, Esquires, and others, and especially to I. B. Woodbury, Esq., who kindly allowed us to use any of his published music. The work has been prepared by two of our most experienced and popular choristers, namely: Sylvester Main, of New York, and William C. Brown, of Boston, Esqrs. They were selected in view of their known interest in the object of the work, their attainments in the science of music, and their acquaintance with our denominational taste. It is due to them to say, that they have addressed themselves to the under taking with becoming zeal and application.
The adaptation of tunes to hymns is a difficult task. Adaptation being a inatter of taste, to a considerable extent, it is too much to expect that the work will escape criticism in this particular. For example, in some sections of the Church, Mendon (see page 348) is employed to express the highest exhilaration, while in other places it is employed in the use of hymns of the greatest solemnity. This will explain any apparent incongruity in the connection of hymns and tunes.