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SELECTIONS of Psalms and Hymns are already so numerous, that any addition may perhaps appear superfluous. The Compiler of the present volume has, however, met with none, in his judgment, so fully calculated to promote uniformity in this part, of divine worship, as to forbid the present attempt.
His leading object has been to select those portions of every Psalm which best illustrate its general subject, and are calculated to be practically useful; together with such Hymns as, elevating and warming the heart, without inflaming the imagination or offending the judgment, may at once, by their expression and sentiment, commend themselves both to the educated and to the unlettered Christian. Portions of four verses only have been chosen, in compliance with the custom which has obtained in most of our Churches, except where the unity of the subject required an addition.
Besides the Occasional Hymns, four have been so applied to every Sunday in the year as to illustrate t?
subjects and unity of the Services appointed for the day. Thus, the subjects of the Hymns for the first Sunday in Advent are respectively—" Acknowledgment of Guilt,”—“Prayer for Sanctification,"
-“ The Coming and Reign of Messiah,”-and “ The Blessings of Christ's Advent.” A reference to the Morning Lesson, the Epistle, the Evening Lesson, and the Gospel for the day, will shew the connexion. A similar unity will be found in the Services for every Sunday throughout the year, and in the Hymns which are applied to them. *
To each Hymn are prefixed a heading descriptive of its subject, and a reference to a passage of Scripture in the Services for the day. The name of an appropriate Tune is also applied to every Psalm and Hymn.
The work is published in octavo, 18mo, and 24mo. To the Octavo edition four Indexes are added : of the first lines of the Psalms and Hymns; another, to direct the choice of Psalms proper for the different parts of the Service, by classing them, as far as they would allow, according to their respective characters, whether of praise, -penitence and supplication,-or precept; a third, of the Subjects of the Psalms and Hymns; and a fourth, of the Texts of Scripture illustrated. By this arrangement, the Clergy may be enabled readily to select a Psalm or Hymn adapted to a particular Discourse.
* For a full illustration of the principles upon which this work is formed, together with an analysis of the appointed Services for each Sunday in the year, see Christian Remembrancer for February and March, 1836.
The Editor has now the grateful task of acknowledging his obligations to many friends for their valuable contributions, and especially for the kindness and judgment with which they examined the successive sheets. To one he owes peculiar thanks —not only for his continued and friendly assistance during the progress of the work, but also for his very liberal contribution of original Psalms and Hymns; many of the latter having been written upon subjects which had hitherto remained untouched. He is also bound to acknowledge with gratitude the condescension of the distinguished Prelate to whom the volume is inscribed, in permitting the sheets, after they had received all the improvements which the various criticisms of friends could suggest, to be submitted to himself for his general opinion; beyond which the Editor would not be understood as claiming the sanction of his Lordship's approval.
The glory of God, exemplified in “the unsearchable riches of Christ,” is the great end contemplated in this Selection. That in ministering to this object it may promote the comfort and edification of “ the followers of the Lamb,” is the fervent prayer with which it is affectionately commended to the members of the Church of England.
EDITOR OF THE “Christian REMEMBRANCER.