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BOOK OF PRAISE,
HYMNS AND TUNES
FOR PUBLIC AND SOCIAL WORSHIP.
PREPARED UNDER THE SANCTION AND AUTHORITY, AND IN BEHALF OF THE GENERAL
ASSOCIATION OF CONNECTICUT.
BROWN & GROSS.
PHILADELPHIA: J. B. LIPPINCOTT & CO.
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1868, by W. T. EUSTIS, JR., Edwix P. PARKER, M. M. G. DANA, H. N. DUxsixG, and L. L. PAINT
The General Association of Connecticut, constrained by a demand from many quarters for a more satisfactory book of praise, passed a resolution instructing and authorizing a committee of five pastors — na
namely, W. T. Eustis, Jr., E. P. Parker, M. M. G. Dana, H. N. Dunning, and L. L. Paine — to prepare and publish, in their behalf, a new Hymn and Tune Book.
Thus instructed and authorized, the Committee immediately set themselves to perform the work given into their hands, striving to fulfil both the letter and the spirit of the commission they had received, not in their own wisdom merely, but relying on the guidance of the Spirit of all wisdom and grace, and seeking, also, the suggestions and assistance of many of their brethren in the churches.
This “Book of Praise” they now offer to the General Association of Connecticut, and to all the churches of Christ in the land, as the fruit of their long and arduous labors.
In the selection of hymns from various sources, in the delicate work of deciding between different readings of well-known hymns, and in the adoption of a plan of arrangement, they have not proceeded without the most careful research and deliberation.
The division of the book into several distinct sections, each of which is prefaced by a summary statement of its contents, together with the index of sections which faces the first page of hymns, will, it is believed, greatly assist the readers in becoming speedily familiar with the entire book, and also in readily finding hymns suited to any given topic.
Here and there a hymn may be found which seems to be arbitrarily located. While a few such instances were unavoidable under the present plan of arrangement, they are quite unimportant as compared with its many and decided advantages.
In the selection of hymns, the chief aim has been to make the book, what its name imports, a Book of Praise. Hymns that throb with a warm spiritual life, — devotional rather than didactic, that bear the soul upward toward God and Christ and heaven, “on devotion's lofty wing,” and in which, as in the Psalms of David, the worshipping spirit delights to pour out and offer up the sacrifices of praise, have been chiefly sought. Watts and Charles Wesley are the principal contributors to this collection. While there are very few new hymns in this book (and these, for the most part, from the pen that wrote “My faith looks up to thee”), there are not a few of rare merit and beauty, which have never been published in any
With respect to the “ alterations” of hymns, suffice it to say that the hymns in this book have been faithfully compared with their original forms, so far as such comparisons were possible; and the original readings have been faithfully adhered to, except where hymns have been manifestly improved by alterations which usage has sanctioned. That this rule of criticism is indefinite, and leaves the door still open to errors and abuses, the cditors are well aware. If in the application of the rule their judgments have been sometimes in fault, it will be to them less a matter of wonder than of regret. For some unusually sensible remarks upon this whole subject of hymn-mending, the reader is commended to a most delightful book by the Rev. S.