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CHAPEL & FIRESIDE.
MELANCTHON WOOLSEY STRYKER.
"THOU SHALT COMPASS ME ABOUT WITH SONGS OF DELIVERANCE."
NEW YORK AND CHICAGO,
BIGLOW & MAIN.
Copyright, 1883, by BIGLOW & MAIN. A large part of this book, both matter and form, is reserved according to law, and may not be copied without express consent from the publishers.
A limited number of hymns, set to thoughtful music, are here offered to the steadily increasing groups of those who are tired of compromise with the paltry and the common-place.
Three hundred praise-songs, if carefully chosen, are enough to satisfy all the moods of Christian worship. This number is here, and in a simple yet precise topical order.
These closely selected words are united with truthful and sober Church tones, many of them of deep historic interest and so old that to some they will be entirely new, many of them appearing now for the first time in American print, all of them full of vitality and musical character. The great choralists, Bach, and Cruger, and Decius, and their fellows, sufficiently predominate to give this collection its name: but Barnby and Dykes, and their peers, are not in the background. Nor do these by any means exclude the work of some conscientious American composer's. Of easy ditties and half-shriven ballad strains there are meant to be none.
The slothful, who would offer to the Highest ascriptions which cost little and are worth no more, will see no beauty to desire in these dignified movements, whose high devotional value must be spiritually discerned. But some, who are weory of glassy jingles and endless iterations of the three chords, will recognise and welcome the vigor of these harmonies, and handling them earnestly will experience their power.
A people that would put these measures to the fullest test, must realize the augment that lies in unisonous singing,-suffering the undertones to be supplied, instrumentally. Male voices blending in the treble (and for most voices it is practicable) give a roll and sway to congregational song that nothing else is like. The melody of this book is especially suitable for such rendering. .
May the hint be offered, that domestic praise and practice, together with timely assemblings of the people for united vocal work, are the two surest means toward making common song intelligent and hearty.
In modesty, forbearance must be asked for the frequent hymns over the editor's name. They chiefly appear to render available chorals of unusual metre, for which there were no English lines, or none that seemed adequate,
The generous assistance of Hubert P. Main, Benjamin C. Blodgett, Max Piutti, William Piutti, Frederic M. Bird, and other friends not a few, is gratefully acknowledged ; and so is the courtesy of the publishers of John G. Whittier's verse, in permitting the use of four selections.
To his dearest earthly friend the editor lovingly inscribes this collection, with the prayer that it may be blessed to the pure praise of Christ the Lord.
May, 12, 1885.