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Christ, in all his Characters, Offices, and Relations, is precious. In these superior excellencies, this cdition is, I hope, equal to any that has yet appeared; and will, with Docior Watts's Psalms and Hymns, jo four books, be sufficient for any church of Christ, in any circumstances, and on all subjects.
The subjects in this volume, which are various, are adapted to console the saint and awaken the sinner are suited equally for the public worship of God, the closet, and the family. And, as singing in families is an upcommon, though necessary part of worship, I embrace this opportunity of presenting to the rearler the words of an old writer:" As the increase or decay of christian piety is generally accompanied with the use or neglect of family worship, so the duty is more or less defective as singing in families is more or less used. If christians would but consider the great necessity and usefulness of this duty, and the decay of religion and piety that attends the neglect of it; and if they had a due regard to their own souls, the good of mankind, and the glory of God, surely they could not make so light of it. I wish that all who make a profession of religion would more seriously consider the happiness that results from it. The closet is a sweet employment, but we should not, by any means, cause family worship and singing to be neglected thereby. Why should we be ashamed to let our neighbours know that we owned and praised God in our families as well as in our churches? The fear of being thought singular appears to be one great cause of this neglect. If those persons would consider how great a Benefactor Almighty God is to them, they would find no reasonable plea for the neglect of it. Let every one consider that the most ready and effectual means to make it universal is, for every
family to begin. So let our light shine that others alse may glorily our Father which is in heaven. I appeal to any religious person, whether they have not beer much affected when (as they occasionally walked the .streets) they have heard a family thus employed. The occasion of the Jailor's conversion, was hy the siog. ig of Paul and Silas; and we know not how many .persons may be converted by our practising this duty; and this I may say, that it is a very ready way to discountenance profage songs and to promote religion. O that it could be said of us, as it was of the primitive chris:ians, who, instead of profane songs, used nothing but spiritual and divine hymns; so that, as St. Jerom relates of the place where he lived,) you could not go into the field, but you might hear the ploughman at his hallelujahs, the mower at his hymns, and the vine dresser singing David's Psalms."
I deem it unnecessary to make any apology for taking many of the following hymas froni authors who differ in doctrinal sentiments from myself, and the churches with which I am connected. The hymns, themselves, superior in their kiud, and on subjects in which all real christians agree, must and will be their own apology.
Committing all my imperfect, but well meant labors, to the blessing of God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, whose honor alone has, I trust, been my motive for engaging in them, and to the candor of the christian church, I remain with unceasing affection, to all that love the Lord Jesus Christ io sincerity, their brother and servant, for Sesus' sake.
TO FIND ANY HYMN BY THE FIRST LINE,
ACCEPT, O Lord, our songs of praise
636 233 489 479 240 327 242 694 386 51 66 137 597 160 561 353 404 289 303 650 417 81 50 482 665 648 227
At this unwonted hour, behold
67 502 238 630 652 287 28 60 253 124 628 326 438
428 184, 185
193 130 161 513 658 290
97 524 425
Come, dearest Lord, and bless this day
99 362 64 56 136 485 173