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strangely omitted verses of H. 147: | edly familiar to the Methodist mind “O Love divine, how sweet thou long before the last rescension of the art ! ” which add greatly to its force Hymn-Book. and pathos as a hymn of contrition, We have another precious restoragive it roundness and finish as a tion in the next hymn, 148, vv. 4,5. work of art; add two fine allusions to True, the third verse gives a far finer the Life of Christ to the one already close to the hymn, as a poem and there and embody in the Hymn-Book a work of art. It is sublime in a stanza which, forty or fifty years its abruptness : ago, was one of the most frequent
“ The gift unspeakable impart ; quotations in Class-meeting, Prayer Command the light of faith to shine, meeting and Methodist biography: To sbine in my dark, drooping heart,
And fill me with the life divine : " () that with humbled Peter, I
Now bid the new creation be! Could weep, believe, and thrice reply
O God, let there be faith in me !" My faithfulness to prove, 'Thou know'st (for all to Thee is known)
But for direct, practical helpfulThou know'st, O Lord, and Thou alone, ness to the penitent, in fulfilment
Thou know'st that Thee I love !' of the prophet's admonition “ Take "O that I could with favoured John with you words, and turn to the Recline my weary head upon
Lord,” the hymn in its original and The great Redeemer's breast !
now restored completeness seems From care, and sin, and sorrow free, Give me, O Lord, to find in Thee
clearly preferable : My everlasting rest."
“ Thee without faith I cannot please,
Faith without Thee I cannot have, etc.” Truly, this lifts us to a much higher, and leaves us in a much happier posi
Besides this we have eight addition, as to lean on Christ's breast is
tional penitential hymns of rare power higher and happier than even to sit
and beauty, from the Wesley Poetry, at His feet. But yet we fully
placed under the section with the sympathize with those who have
heading Penitential Hymns, Hs. 776 derived so much rest, refreshment
-783. The first two have all the and elevation from the hymn even in
compactness and completeness of its mutilated form, that they at first
rhythmical collects. The former is feel the restored verses to be rather
surely the most touching, hopeintrusive and impertinent "more
inspiring prayer which could be put last words.” To such, however, we into the quivering lips of an agewould venture to say, Be respectful, stricken or a dying penitent; a hymn or at least indulgent, to the genius
" which might create a soul of the poet himself, and reverential Under the ribs of death." to the heavenly afflatus which would
We must make room for it here : not let him stay " with Mary at the Master's feet,” but bore him onward, “ The harvest of my joys is passed, to aspire like Abraham or Moses to
The summer of my comforts fled,
Yet am I unredeemed at last, a loftier privilege than even this.
And sink unsaved among the dead, Those who object to the recovered If, on the margin of the grave, verses because they were not in the Thou canst not in a moment save. Hymn-Book as they have been “Destroy me not by Thy delay ; accustomed to it,—who seem to Delay is endless death to me! think that the Past tense is always
But the last moinent of my day
Is as a thousand years to Thee : the Perfect tense, we must remind
Come, Jesus, while my head I bow, that these verses had become bless And show me Thy salvation now !”
Sung to some plaintive air on a When Thou record'st my sins no more, minor key, after a sermon on the
O may I still lament!
A sinner, saved by grace, adore, penitent thief, this must be over
A pardoned penitent. powering. The first verse strikes upon the soul like some slow-timed
“Myself the chief of sinners know, funeral hymn, sung by a train of
Till all my griefs are past; mourners, bearing a neighbour's
And of my gracious acts below, corpse to a secluded burial-ground. Repentance be the last.” ? The last verse is like
Hs. 779, 781 are poetical com“the bubbling cry
ments, on the Touching of the hem Of some strong swimmer in his agony,"
of Christ's Garment, worthy of the who finds himself on the surface for author of the third time, and sees a vessel
Come, O Thou Traveller unknown." within hail. Byron might envy the vigorous compression of these verses.
The latter of the two is more tender, Pope or Dryden seldom reached it, if less triumphant, than Charles except in the savage earnestness of Wesley's most celebrated hymn. satire.
Hs. 780, 782, 783, bring the soul The next hymn is in quite to resolute reliance on Christ for another key. The last verse bounds present salvation : onward like a mountain torrent, and
“Lord, I believe thou wilt forgive, then jets heavenward like a bursting But help me to believe thou dost, etc."; waterspring, forced upwards from
“Why should I till to-morrow stay, etc.," a cavernous depth :
and “In vain for redemption I look ; My hope in a Saviour unknown,
" To-day, while it is called to-day, etc." It passes away like a brook Dried up in a moment and gone !
They give a golden key by which But God cannot finally fail ;
the “unopposing heart” may open The Fountain of life from above the door to the knocking Saviour. Shall rise in the depth of the vale,
The next new hymn in this secShall flow with a current of lore."
tion, “ Lord, I hear of showers of This is finer than Byron's
blessing,” has won its rank among “ In the desert a fountain is springing,
popular revival strains, and well In the wild waste there still is a tree.” deserves a place in the Collection of
a revival Church. Its admission H. 778 is a most precious exhibition of genuine evangelical peni- proves, however, that the Methodist tence. What a doctrine of is
standard is not so stiff, as to homely implicitly affirmed in such lines as
and even rugged rhymes, as it was these :
at any earlier period of enlargement,
when no such ditties could pass “ The sins with which I cannot part I pray thee to remove,
muster ; though it is happily raised And calm and purify my heart
in another direction, that of lanBy Thy forgiving love.”!
guid sentimentalism. " He dies! Where is “Repentance in Be
the Friend of sinners dies !” though lievers
80 powerfully or patheti- retained, - with an alteration of the cally put as in these verses :
most objectionable stanza, which is H. 791 is in evidence of this more | very disadvantageously with Mr. robust and hearty taste in hymn Gladstone's infallible power and ology. How strange that the strong precision, e.g.,vernacular carol, “ Come, ye sin “Hath He marks to lead me to Him, ners, poor and wretched,” which If He be my Guide ? " breathes the very spirit of Gospel invitation, the very spirit of Method
of quite another texture than the “Repentance, permanent and deep, To Thy poor suppliant give,
rest of the hymn,-would scarcely Indulge me at Thy feet to weep
have been received had it for When Thou hast bid me live ;
the first time made its appearance.
and, ism; whose simple, urgent sentences
“ Hath He diadem as Monarch have impressed themselves as house
That His brow adorns ?” hold words, as current maxims, on Contrast this with Gladstone, the consciousness of the evangelical “ Ecquid portat, pro coronâ churches, should now, for the first
Quæ Monarchas ornat ? " time, be found in the Methodist Collection! We are glad, more
and still worseover, to have another hymn by the “Not till earth, and not till heaven anthor of " This, this is the God we
Pass away," adore.” Next we have the touching
instead of not when or not though, and persuasive canticle, “ Return,
as Mr. Gladstone has itO wanderer, to thy home," so suitable to a Sunday evening service,
" Quanquam Terra, quanquam Colum
In ruinam iret." wedded as it is to a sweet and winning air.
We want hymns for the drawingStill more indebted to its musical room as well as the mission-room, accompaniment is the next new the social party as well as the cothymn, Dr. Neale's version of a tage prayer-meeting; and to many Greek hymn, by St. Stephen, the sensitive and cultivated minds; and Sabaite, “ Art thou weary, art thou to most minds in some moods, a languid.” This is, as Mr. Gladstone | pleasing, delicate ode, with a certain heads it in his most masterly Latin quaint refinement and elegant artiversion of it, in the “Contemporary” | ficiality, has a balsamic sweetness for December last, Hymnus Re- , and a sedative effect. sponsorius. It is a semi-dramatic The next hymn, Mr. Stone's composition, originally designed to " Weary of earth and laden with be sung antiphonatim—the first my sin ” is a far superior producverse by the choir and congrega tion; highly artistic, but in no wise tion; the first two lines of each artificial ; the language, choice, yet succeeding verse, containing the natural. Its rhythm is the very question, to be given as a solo; the “ echo of tranquillity.” Its movechoir and congregation pealing out ment is throughout slow, and musithe answer in the last two lines. cally monotonous. It ripples on If Mr. Gladstone could have given like a quiet, bankful stream, stirred us an English rendering of the only by the regular stroke of some hymn, to match the melody, the pensive rower, and the light dripmajesty and the iron strength of his pings of the lifted oar. Each verse Latin translation, he would have finds its perfect cadence; and the won the gratitude of the churches. next swells up afresh with liquid But this would have been, even for buoyancy. 'Tis a delicious hymn. him, a very difficult feat. It must Then come Elven's simple lines, be admitted that Dr. Neale's version “ With broken heart and contrite has some weak, prosy, loose, and | sigh.” It owes its selection doubteven inaccurate lines, which contrast | less, to its refrain, “O God! be
merciful to nie," and to its honest, Here, then, we have one hundred homespun strength.
and eleven hymns directly dedicated Next comes one of those perfect to the use of conscience-stricken hymns on which comment seems sinners, besides versions of penitenimpertinent; a new jewel in the tial psalms. True penitence is pretrousseau of the Bride of Christ, sented in all its phases, and receives which will never dim and which she
a variety, depth and intensity of will never drop. A modern Hymn- vocalization nowhere else to be book, without “ Just as I am,” is found. pitiably defective.
The experience of believers has Then follows a fine old hymn, the next claim to a large space in a which has been sung for more than Collection of hymns for a Christian two hundred and fifty years, Mard- Church. Of this the Book of Psalms ley's cry for mercy, “ O Lord, turn sets the precedent and supplies the not Thy face away," with all the
pattern. There all the fluctuations charm of archaic simplicity; so of feeling, all the struggles and natural and passionate, placing triumphs of the spiritual life, are God's penitent people in their true revealed and rendered vocal, till position,
dumb despondency, yea, inarticu“ As children that have done amiss late doubt, is surprised to overhear Fall at their father's knee."
its own voiceless self-communing. The pulsing of the broken heart is Methodism, above all other Christian felt in every line :
organizations, should have an ample Mercy, O Lord ! mercy we ask,
endowment of experimental hymns. This is the totai sum :
Its theology is the theology of exFor mercy, Lord, is all our prayer, perience; its internal mechanism O let Thy mercy come !"
is constructed with reference to the Hymn 798, Cowper's “ There is a cultivation and the perfecting of fountain filled with blood,” the evan- Christian experience. And what a gelical churches have adopted by wealth of hymns of this class it had acclamation. The impetus of its already! in ten distinct sections of melodious rhythm and its fervid the old Hymn-Book, from that faith carries us over the few flaws Describing Formal Religion to that for which might be stumbling-blocks to Believers Saved ; beside that in the a cool, unbending criticism.
Supplement, headed, The Experience, This section is appropriately closed etc., of Believers; not to mention the by William M. Bunting's Hymn after rich sections “for the Society.” But Sermon on Sunday Evening, with its we have another plenteous mighty indirect appeal. There is honey-harvest of hymns specially reasonable ground for hope that adapted to the joys and sorrows, thousands will be brought to imme- exigencies and emergences of the diate decision by that one hymn, if Christian life. Here again the given out with intelligence, reality Wesley Poetry yields up its stores. and feeling, by a preacher yearning “The praying Spirit breathe,” Hymn for the salvation of his hearers, and 296, has received completion and sung by a choir and congregation on an indication of its special original whom the Word has taken hold. It intention, by restoring the old headis well worthy of a place in the same ing, and an omitted verse. Its reHymn-Book with “ Stay, thou in
appearance is very timely in these sulted Spirit, stay,” and “ Yes, from days of eager trading and feverish this instant now, I will.”
“Help, Lord I the busy foe
This is one of the strains in which the Is as a flood come in !
Wesleys carried out their generous Lift up a standard, and o’erthrow
purpose of coming as close to their The soul-distracting sin : This sudden tide of care
Calvinistic brethren, both in sentiRoll back, O God, from me, ment and expression, as they possibly Nor let the rapid current bear
could, withoutimpinging on any vital My soul away from Thee.”
verity of the Gospel. Here they seem The companion hymn, or rather |
to come within a hair's breadth the complement to this, we have in
of Antinomianism; as in Hymn H. 858, a terse, sententious little
274,“O my old, my bosom foe,” they hymn-homily, after the style of Gay,
tread the very verge of unconditional beginning :
perseverance; and in H. 158, “ O
my God, what must I do ?” they all “Their earthly task who fail to do,
but affirm the doctrine of irresistible Neglect their heavenly business too ;”
grace. In all three, Charles Wesley and ending with the sweet aphorism:
is like a charioteer in the Grecian
games, who, confident in his own “And, like the blessed spirits above, skill and absolute command of his
The more we serve, the more we love.” fiery coursers, and whose rivals had Spiritually-minded men of business
left him scant room to pass them, would do well to have these twin
would dash at full speed, with one hymns framed and hung up in their
wheel broadening the boundary line offices. One of the noblest trades
with its parallel track ; yet always men Methodism ever had, who showed
keeping within the lists ; striving how beautifully the virtues of the
for the mastery, but striving lawChristian citizen and the graces of
fully. Here too it must be rememthe Christian gentleman combine
bered that the poet is describing a with the simplicity and system of a
state, and not defining a doctrine. true follower of John Wesley ; one
The next Hymn, 804, on the same who practically proved
subject, is one of which only a
master-minstrel were capable, Cow“ Full well the labour of our hands per’s “Sometimes a light surprises; ” With fervency of spirit stands ; ”. blithesome as the matin-song of a
lark in the earliest Spring.
Next to this we find two more of " Happy we live, when God doth fill
Charles Wesley's metrical collects, Our bands with work, our hearts with zeal ;”
Hs. 805, 806, closing with one of
his felicitous apothegms : a man, moreover, greatly honoured in his children and his grandchildren,
“ If with a faithful heart owed much of the cheerful sanctifica
I simply follow Thee,
Whate'er Thou hast, whate'er Thou art, tion of his secular life, to setting the
Thou art, and hast for me.” latter of these hymns always before him during his business hours.
H. 807 is an old friend that has From the same source, we have been strangely left “out in the in H. 803, one of the most potent cold” for many years; the classical hymns ever written for a Christian description of a believer's first love; in “ The Wilderness State,” or for much sung and much quoted forty the November of the Christian year; years ago, in Lovefeast and in in the form of a very bold but equally Memoirs, both in England and happy paraphrase of Hab. iii. 16, 17. | America :