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DESIGNED FOR USE ESPECIALLY
LECTURE-ROOM, THE PRAYER-MEETING
8 ELECTED AND ARRANGED
BY A PASTOR.
Let the people praise thee, O God !
PSALM lxvii. 3-5.
WILLIAM S. & ALFRED MARTIEN,
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1858, by
WILLIAM S. & ALFRED MARTIEN,
In the office of the Clerk of the District Court for the
Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
With reference to another class of Hymns, this principle is still more exclusive. In religious acts, it is as incongruous to sing to creatures as to pray to them. We condemn the Papists for the one, with what consistency can we practise the other. A glance, however, into almost any existing collection, will discover a large number of Hymns addressed wholly to creatures; now to saints, and now to sinners; sometimes to the living, and sometimes to the dead. Such Hymns may be poetically beautiful—they may be true and touching in sentiment, and they may be highly effective for various good purposesbut if they are used under the notion of worship, that use is an impiety. Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. If they are not used as worship, then their presence in books intended for this specific and sacred purpose, is an impropriety and an evil. Their presence invites their use, and often secures it. Their use blunts and perverts the delicate religious sense, and gradually invades the exclusive and inviolable rights of Jehovah. Such compositions are here omitted. Whatever their merits in other respects, they do not meet the idea of divine worship. Out of their proper place they detract from its sanctity, and hinder its full realization. These pages sing, not to creatures, but to the Creator. It is their constant aim to help the soul in looking and rising heavenward, and in holding communion with God.
2. Praise, moreover, in the Family and the Church, is a social and united act. There and
then, the individual is one of a larger number. The isolation of the closet gives place to the union and communion of the worshipping assembly. In social prayer we make our common confession and supplication. In social praise, it is equally fit that we offer our common gratitude and adoration. It is the voice, not of the separate and independent I, but of the collective and united we. The Divine Head of the Church bids us say, “Our Father.” The heavenly choirs invite us to sing, "Unto him who loved us and washed us from our sins in his blood.”
As compared with the first, this principle is doubtless of inferior moment, and there are times and states of feeling in which its rigid application is not required, and would perhaps be an error. It is only as in the main true and valid, that it has here been used. The best known and most favourite Hymns, therefore, though constructed in the singular form, aré retained unaltered.
No labour has been spared to make this collection perfect as possible for the particular uses it contemplates. Simplicity and clearness have been sought in its arrangement, and poetic and evangelic excellence in its matter. It is sufficiently copious too for the real and practical wants of worship. For seasons of special religious interest, it is hoped it will be found to have an eminent adaptation. In this view, reference may be made to the divisions of Invocation, the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, the Person and work of the Saviour, Penitence and Supplication,