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THOU art the source and centre of all minds, Their only point of rest, ETERNAL WORD! From Thee departing they are lost, and rove At random, without honour, hope, or peace. From Thee is all that soothes the life of man ; His high endeavour, and his glad success, His strength to suffer, and his will to serve. But, oh! thou bounteous Giver of all good, Thou art of all thy gifts thyself the Crown!
Give what thou canst, without Thee we are poor;
And with Thee rich, take what thou wilt away.
The following Anthology of Sacred Verse has been collected and arranged, with the view of including many beautiful specimens by Continental and American Writers, that have not before been placed in any British Collection.
The great and increasing interest now taken in whatever relates to and illustrates Sacred Song and Music, has also been one of the principal motives which have actuated the Compilers in sending forth this volume.
Neither the treasures of past British Writers, nor those of the ancient or present Continental and American Authors, have been near exhausted in the extraction of this Collection of “sweetly uttered knowledge” from their pure well-springs. A few specimens of our own Writers of the present day have been included, with a view of causing their ex
quisite beauty to shine, side by side, with our elder Poets, and their Foreign and American compeers; and also as an incitement to those who do not possess the works quoted, to be led to a further acquaintance with them.
Critical and biographical notices have been omitted, as matter more suitable for the usual channels of such information. A list, however, of the Authors' names, with the date of their births and deaths, has been placed at the end of the volume, chiefly on account of many of the Foreign and American Writers being comparatively new to this country.
The formality of regular and systematic arrangement has not been observed, such compilations having not unfrequently been called Wreaths and Bouquets, where the Beauty and Fragrance of the Flowers are more pleasing when carelessly mingled with all the ease and wildness of natural variety.
Like the two previous Volumes of Selections by the same Compilers, the labour connected with this has also been one of love for the True, the Good, and the Beautiful. They have every hope of its being received with equal favour; and this confidence does not arise from any cause but the impression that such a display of the power of language, embodying the holiest thoughts, must command the interest of the Good and the Great of all classes of society.
Such Collections, from time to time, of the wide spread Thoughts emanating from those Stars that have lit the Earth for the short period allowed to human existence, have an unquestionably good tendency, as showing that the aspirations of the best of our fellowsojourners here are one and the same. The unity displayed in the Thought of the present Volume will strike the reader as illustrating this simple yet great and sublime fact.