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fruit and expression of my own experience, will coin-
The hymns are distributed into three books. In the
first I have classed those which are formed upon select passages of Scripture, and placed them in the order of the books of the Old and New Testament. The second contains Occasional. Hymns, suited to particular seasons, or suggested by particular events or subjects. The third Book is miscellaneous, comprising a variety of subjects relative to a life of faith in the Son of God, which have no express reference either to a single text of Scripture, or to any determinate season or incident. These are farther subdivided into distinct heads. This arrangement is not so accurate but that several of the hymns might have been differently disposed. Some attention to method may be found convenient; though a logical exactness was hardly practicable. As some subjects in the several books are nearly coincident, I have, under the divisions in the third Book, pointed out those which are similar in the two former. And I have likewise here and there, in the first and second, made a reference to hymns of a like import in the third.
This publication, which, with my humble prayer to the Lord for his blessing upon it, I offer to the service and acceptance of all who love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity, of every name and in every place, into whose hands it may come, I more particularly dedicate to my dear friends in the parish and neighbourhood of Olney, for whose use the hymns were originally composed ; and as a testimony of the sincere love I bear them, and as a token of my gratitude to the Lord and to them, for the comfort and satisfaction with which the discharge of my ministry among them has been attended
The hour is approaching, and, at my time of life, cannot be very distant, when my heart, my pen, and
my tongue, will no longer be able to move in their service. But I trust, while my heart continues to beat, it will feel a warm desire for the prosperity of their souls; and while my hand can write, and my tongue speak, it will be the business and the pleasure of my life, to aim at promoting their growth and establishment in the grace of our God and Saviour. To this precious grace I commend them, and earnestly entreat them, and all who love his name, to strive mightily with their prayers to God for me, that I may be preserved faithful to the end, and enabled at last to finish my course with joy.
Olney, Bucks, February 15, 1779.
How much did God bestow!
And own'd him Lord below.
With sweets for ev'ry sense; And there, with his descending Lord,
He walk'd in confidence. 3 But, oh! by sin how quickly chang’d!
His honour forfeited,
His conscience filld with dread! 4 Now from his Maker's voice he flees,
Which was before his joy;