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PSALMS AND HYMNS,
In publick and private.
LECTED FROM THE BEST AUTHORS, WITH VARIATIONS
PUBLISHED BY THOMAS WELLS,
DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS, to wit:
District Clerk's Office.
BE it remembered, that on the fourth day of November, A. D. 1812, and in the thirty-seventh year of the Independence of the United States of America, THOMAS and ANDREWS and WEST and BLAKE, 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:-" Sacred Poetry: consisting of Psalms and Hymns adapted to Christian Devotion, in publick and private. Selected from the best Authors, with variations and additions. By Jeremy Belknap, D. D. A new edition, with additional Hymns."
In conformity 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 supplementary 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, during the times therein mentioned,' and extending the bene fits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving, and etching historical and other prints," WILLIAM S. SHAW, Glerk of the District of Marsachusettì.
DR. JOHNSON hath observed concerning devotional poetry, that "the sanctity of the matter rejects the ornaments of figurative diction." Inferior subjects may be heightened by the charms of rhetorick, but this is too sublime to receive any decoration from human eloquence; and we often debase it by making the attempt. Dr. WATTS, in one of his hymns, hath said,
"Join all the names of love and power
Yet, such was the imperfection of one of the best of men, that we frequently find in his divine poems, epithets and allusions taken from "mortal beauties," and applied to the Saviour, with a license disgusting to the spirit of devotion. It has been my aim to avoid these familiarities; and either to change or omit such epithets and allusions.
The names of the authors from whom this Selection is made, are subjoined to each psalm or hymn; excepting when they are unknown, or have requested concealment. Most of these names are familiar to the readers of poetry; but there is one, to whom I am largely indebted for some of the most elegant of these productions, who is but little known in this country, and of whom I conceive the following account will be acceptable to every reader.