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and they have endeavoured to discharge the duty assigned to them: — 1. By a careful collation of the existing text with that of older editions, and the restoration of the original form, as often and as far as this seemed desirable and practicable; 2. By the emendation of such hymns or stanzas, especially translations from the German, as appeared to be deficient in correctness or perspicuity; 3. By the omission of a number of hymns of inferior merit, or but seldom used; 4. By the insertion of others, derived from the earlier collections of our own church, from the collections in use in other churches, and from private sources, keeping in view the peculiar characteristics of the psalmody, which these additions are intended to enrich.
The present Hymn-book contains a greater number of hymns than any preceding edition. The chief object of this abundance is to furnish an enlarged store of Christian doctrine and experience conformable to the Holy Scriptures, the only infallible standard and inexhaustible fountain of divine truth. Our Hymn-book is designed to be a manual of private devotion, as well as a spiritual treasury, by means of which family devotion may be enlivened, and the services of the Lord's house rendered increasingly instructive and delightful. To this end, it is earnestly recommended, that the children and youth of our congregations be early taught to commit hymns or verses to memory.
Among the new hymns, will be found a large proportion of English compositions in the ordinary metres. Though many of these are of the first excellence, and well adapted for public worship, it is hoped that their introduction may not tend to bring into disuse the more characteristic psalmody, either of our own church, or of the foreign churches to which ours has been so largely indebted.
The nature of our services warrants the use of a great variety
of metre, which, though not altogether consonant with the genius of English verse, compensates for this defect, by the striking thoughts it serves to embody, and the noble melodies it has helped to inspire. The decline among us of the ability or the inclination to turn this variety to proper account, would be greatly to be deplored; and every effort should be made to prevent it, or to stay its progress, by teaching our children and young people to sing our tunes, and by using, on all suitable occasions, the hymns and melodies referred to. This may be done, especially in our singing meetings, services peculiar to the Brethren's Unity, in which, in conformity with the precept of the apostle in Col. iii. 16, we endeavour to render this beautiful portion of divine worship a vehicle, not only of praise and prayer, but also of mutual instruction, comfort, and edification. -
May all who use these Hymns experience, at all times, the happy effects of compliance with the apostolic injunction,-(Eph. v. 18, 19,)—“Be filled with the Spirit; speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.” Yea, may they anticipate, while here below, though in an humble and imperfect strain, the song of the blessed above, who, being redeemed out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation, and having washed their robes, and made them whit in the blood of the Lamb, are standing before the throne, an singing in perfect harmony with the myriads of angels that surround it, (Rev. v. 9 to 12; and vii. 9 to 14) “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing, for ever and ever. Amen.”
CHURCH OF THE UNITED BRETHREN.
FOR THE MORNING SERVICE
The Minister and Congregation shall repeat responsively: O CoME, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the LoRD our Maker.
For he is our God; it is he that hath made us, and not me ourselves: we are his people, and the sheep qf his pasture.
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations. (Ps. xcv. 6, 7; c. 8–5.)
The Minister shall then repeat one of the following portions from the Holy Scripture:
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. (Ps. li. 17.) If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John i. 8, 9.) If we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. (1 John i. 7.) Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; and having an High Priest over the house of God; let
us draw near with a true heart, in full assurance of faith. (Heb. x. 19–22.)