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Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1845, BY JEREMIAH DAY, BENNET TYLER, ELEAZRR T. FITCH, JOEL HAWES,
AND LEONARD BACON,
in trust for THE GENERAL ASSOCIATION OF CONNECTICUT, In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Connecticut.
395 G48 1853
The General Association of Connecticut have noticed, for several years, an increasing diversity in the collections of Psalms and Hymns for public worship, used in the churches under their pastoral care. Not orrly is the use of different collections, in churches so intimately connected with each other, attended with many inconveniences; but it is obvious that the unity and fraternal communion of the constituent portions of our ecclesiastical common wealth, will be greatly promoted, if the churches, without any abridgment of their liberty, can unite in the use of one book of Psalms and Hymns and Spiritual Songs, in all their public as Semblies.
In the hope of effecting such a union, this book has been pre pared by the appointment, and under the direction of the General Association of Connecticut. Correspondence and consultations have been had with committees of eoclesiastical bodies in other States, as well as with individuals, honored as pastors, or skillful in sacred song: and in various ways, much diligence has been used to form a collection suited to the use of evangelical Christians, on all the occasions of public and private worship.
The labor of compiling and editing, has been performed chiefly by the Rev. Horace Hooker, and the Rev. Oliver Ellsworth Daggett, whom we thought it expedient to employ, because the Head of the Church seemed to us to have qualified them for such a service, and because they were able for the time, to devote themselves wholly to the work. Yet all has been done under our close and constant superintendence; for it was only in this way that we could perform the duty to which our brethren, in behalf of the churches, had called us. Hardly anything has been admitted or rejected, hardly any change of expression, however trivial, has been made, without our express direction or consent. The wish on our part, to include not only all such pieces as commend them
selves to our judgment by their intrinsic me rit, but as many as possible of those which have been endeared to evangelical believers by long familiarity, or by local or personal associations, has made the book larger than we at first designed to make it. If any favorite hymns of any pastor or congregation are omitted, the omission must be referred, in some instances, to the claims of compilers, or of their legal representatives, in whose collections those hymns appear is original,--and, in other instances, to the impossibility of including all the hymns of a particular class without making the collection too large for use. Pieces of recognized merit, such as those of Watts, will be found for the most part un. altered, even when some slight improvement seemed to be in it. self both practicable and desirable. Compositions less hallowed by long use in our churches, have been more freely corrected to adapt them to the work, to remove offenses against taste, and to make the form and expression more lyrical.
To all, then, in every place, who, in our language, worship God through Jesus Christ, and especially to those who hold the faith ano walk in the order of the ancient New England churches, we present this book with the prayer, that it may be for their edification, and for the honor of Christ, to whom be glory in the church forever.
FOR THE USE OF THIS BOOK.
1. TO PASTORS, AND OTHERS CONDUCTING PUBLIC
1. The use of the Psalm or Hymn, by a public assembly, ought to be an act of united worship. Hymns, therefore, of an argumentative or hortatory character, can rarely be used with propriety. For that reason, only a few pieces exclusively hortatory, have been admitted into this collection. The subject of the sermon, or the character of the occasion, may have an influence in determining the choice of pieces to be sung; yet the selection should be made chiefly with reference to the expression of those sentiments of adoration, thankfulness, confession, faith or hope, or those devout desires and impulses, which are fitly uttered in song. We may, indeed, “teach and admonish one another in psalms and hymns, and spiritual songs;' but singing should be worship, not preaching, and it can be effectual to our mutual edification, only as we make melody in our hearts TO THE LORD.'
2. The Book of Psalms is an inspired model of psalmody for the church of God, in every age. The Psalms, therefore, as versified in this collection, are distinguished from the Hymns; no piece being admitted among the Psalms, which is not a fair version of some part of the particular Psalm to which it is rcferred. And for the same reason, it is recommended that a due proportion of the pieces selected for use on the various occasions of public worship, and especially on the Lord's day, be selected from the Psalms.
3. The arrangement of the Hymns in this book, will de found to differ, in some respects from any hereto
fore adopted by compilers. In the synopsis of the contents, at the end of the volume, the Psalms are classified according to the arrangement of the Hymns. Thus, the minister who would select a Psalm for the commencement or the close of public worship, or for any special occasion, or for any particular topic of discourse, can find it referred to, not only by its first line in the index of first lines, but also in the synopsis by the uses to which it is applicable.
4. The number of pieces applicable to the commencement of public worship, is such that a pastor may select one for every Lord's day in the year, without repetition. Yet it should be borne in mind, that some of these pieces, as well as of the pieces appropriated to particular topics of discourse, are of such a character that the frequent use of them in worship will be found highly conducive to edification.
5. The variety of meters in this collection, is not greater than in other collections now extensively used. Yet the minister ought not to give out a piece of any unusual meter, without knowing beforehand that the congregation or the choir can sing it.
6. In giving out a Psalm or Hymn from this book, it is never necessary to announce the meter. Every Hymn is sufficiently designated by its number. A piece from the Psalms is sufficiently designated by the number of the Psalm and the number of the version.
7. Sometimes a Hymn selected from those appropriated to private and family worship, may be used with good effect in a public assembly.
This, however, should be done with discretion.
II. TO THOSE WHO DIRECT THE SINGING.
1. Remember that singing in a religious assembly, is not of the nature of a musical exhibition, but is a serious and important part of the worship of God.
2. Remember that the words sung are not for the