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guage and the regular measures of poetry; and therefore may properly be fung, provided the mufic be adapted to the ftrain of fentiment: PSALM XLVII. 7. C. 2.
That the language of a mind, piously contemplating the works, the providence, the nature or the character of God, is, to all defirable purposes, as useful, and indeed is as really and truly an act of devotion, as the language of a mind immediately addreffing itself to the fupreme being on fuch fubjects:
That the devout language of one mind uttered in the fame place, and at the fame time, by a number of individuals, is ftrictly and properly an act of focial worship:
That Pfalmody is not neceffarily nor properly. confined to the expreffion of devout fentiments only; that it is equally natural, ufeful, and agreeable to the principles and practice of the facred writers, COLOSS. III. 16, to employ it for the edification and admonition of ourselves and one another, in order to engage, confirm, and animate us in the exercife and culture of all good affections, and in the practice of all
good works. Such pfalms, formed upon religious principles, and fung in concert, from religious confiderations, as under the eye of God, and in the contemplation of his prefence, conftitute a very proper part of focial worship, and are not unjustly confidered as an act of duty to God, and a tribute of homage and devotion paid to him.
This compilation has been made both from original authors, and from prior collections. The original authors are principally Patrick of the Charter-Houfe, Tate and Brady, Watts, Brown, Doddridge; to which, however, might be added the names of Milton, Addifon, Byrom, Steele, Pope, Barbauld, Merrick, and fome others. The collections, not to mention fome of lefs note, and fome in manufcript communicated to the compiler by his friends, are Mr. Pope's, the two Briftol Collections, the Liverpool, Dr. Enfield's, Mr. Lindsey's, and Mr. Williams'. The Selection is difpofed in four books, the three first appropriated refpec-. tively to the three metres most in ufe, the Long, Common, and Short Metre; and the fourth containing pfalms of other measures.
The pfalms are not arranged according to their fubjects. This would have created a very unneceffary and ufelefs expence of time. The volume, confidered as a Miscellany of Devotions, has more variety, and is more agreeable, not fo arranged. An accurate claffification of com. pofitions fo loofe as poetical devotional compofitions generally are, could not have been made: and an index, in which a pfalm that might be equally claimed by several fubjects is ranged under all, will ferve every purpose of any claffification that can be defired.
The order that has been obferved, with a very few exceptions, proceeding not from defign but accident, is this: The oldeft authors have been taken first; their different works in the order of their publication, fo far as that was known to the compiler, and the pieces of the fame work in the order in which the author had arranged them. This is faid with respect to the original authors that have been ufed, The pfalms that have been taken from prior collections follow thofe that have been taken from original authors, and have been difpofed, in this selection, according to the fame principle.
It is not poffible that the productions of fo many different writers, in different periods, fhould be equally acceptable or fuitable to every individual, or to every fociety; but it is hoped that, upon the whole, the variety will be acceptable to all; and that the arrangement, which has just now been mentioned, will enable any to accommodate themselves with fuch pfalms as their occafions may call for, of fuch ftile and manner as fhall be agreeable both to their general tafte, and to their accidental difposition.
YORK, Jan. 8, 1785.
It should be obferved, that in the printing of the following pfalms no elifions of final vowels have been made. A judicious reader never makes fuch elifions. He preferves the measure of the line, not by the fuppreffion of a final vowel, but by pronouncing two fyllables in the time of one.
After this collection had been made, it was fuggefted by a friend, that it might be agree able to many if each pfalm were marked with
the initial letter of the author's name. many pfalms the compiler never knew to whom they were to be afcribed; there are others, the names of whofe authors he has forgotten; others again, yet not many, are so much altered, and that in point of principles and fentiments, that it might have been deemed injustice to annex to them the names of the authors to whom they originally belonged; and there are fome that have never before been published. So far, however, as it was proper and practicable, the pfalms have been affigned to their respective authors, according to the following Table. In this appropriation, as it depended much upon the compiler's memory, he wishes it to be observed, that there may probably be some miftakes, but he hopes they are not many.
B. Simon Brown.
T. Tate and Brady.