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I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.-St. Paul
BOSTO N :
101st RicT OF MASS Ach. USETTS, TO WIT :
BE it remembered, that on the fourteenth day of April, A. D. 1821, in the
forty-fifth wear of the Independence of the United States of America, Munroe
& Francis, of the said District, have deposited in this Office the title of a book, the right whereof they claim as proprietors, in the words following, to wit:
“The Universalist Hymn-Book: a new collection of Psalms and Hymns for the use of the Uni, ersalist Societies. By Hosea Ballow and Edward Turner. “I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.” - St. Paul.
In conformitv to the act of the Congress of the United States, entitled, “An act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned :” and also to an act, entitled, “An act supplemenentary to an act, entitled an act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies ...; the times therein mentioned ; and extending the benefits thereof to the arts o designing, engraving, and etching historical and other prints.”
The compilers of the following Hymns consider it proper to introduce this result of their labours, to their brethren and the public generally, with a few brief observations, explanatory of their objects and of the motives that induced them to undertake the present work. To “sing and make melody with the heart” and with the voice “to the Lord,” is acknowledged to be a “reasonable service,” as it certainly is a most pleasurable Christian exercise. In this exercise the heart and the voice should be in unison. The spirit of devotion should he attended with a clear apprehension of the consistency and truth of the matter of the song; otherwise the worshipper cannot “sing with the spirit and with the understanding also.” It is likewise highly proper and important, that the songs, that are sung in a Christian assembly, should correspond with the doctrine preached for their edification ; or, if this cannot be accomplished in all cases to minute exactness, it is still highly improper to present a direct opposition, between the hymns which are sung, and the discourse delivered, in the same service.
The Hymn-Books hitherto used in many of our Societies possess many excellences, and contain considerable matter of a character truly evangelical. Such, in particular, is the Boston Collection. Yet this work, with some others, which have been in use, appears to the compilers to be exceptionable, and that in cases of highly doctrinal importance. The sentiments, that the Deity required an expiring victim, by way of satisfaction to his justice ; that the death of Christ operated to cancel the debt which the sinner owed ; and that God died upon the cross and rose from the dead; these, though undoubtedly believed with sincerity by those who composed the hymns in which they are found, are considered as unsupported by revelation, and unapproved by reason; and they are not GENERALLY believed in our societies. While selections have been cheerfully made from the works containing such sentiments, of hymns which appeared to possess claims to the devotional attention of Christians, those of the above description have been carefully omitted.
A large number of the hymns, now used in the Universalist Societies in Boston, have been retained. Selections have been made from the Philadelphia hymn book, Watts's, Belknap's, and Emerson's collections, and the hymns published some years since, at the request and by the direction of the General Convention of Universalists. With these selections a small number of original hymns have been incorporated.
While existing societies, believing in the “common salvation,” are increasing in the number of their members, and new communities of the same faith are forming in various sections of the country, and possessing the privilege of Divine worship, a hope is entertained, that this compilation will contribute to aid, strengthen, and animate the spirit of pure devotion. With this hope, the compilers commend the succeeding pages to the blessing of heaven, and to the patronage of their brethren. -
Boston, April 14, 1821.
Praise for Providence. Mat. v. 45. Acts xiv. 17. Psalm cylv. 16.
HY ways, O Lord, with wise design,
Are fram'd upon thy throne above,
2. With feeble light, and half obscure,
3 Thy flock, thine own peculiar care,
4 They neither know, nor trace the way;
5 My favour’d soul shall meekly learn
To lay her reason at thy throne : " .
Too weak thy secrets to discern,
I'll trust thee for my guide alone. Rippon's Coll.