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TEW COLLECTION OF
THE USE OF BAPTIST
J. B. JETER,
PASTOR OF THE FIRST BAPTI
NEW YORK: SHELDON & (
CINCINNATI: GEORGE S. BLA
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1847, by
GOULD, KENDALL, AND LINCOLN, h the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of
PREFATORY NOTE. 1363
547 The Board of Directors of the American Baptist Publica tion and Sunday School Society, induced by the numerous and urgent calls which, for a long time, have been made from various sections of the country, for a new collection of Pymns, that should be adapted to the wants of the churches generally, resolved, in the year 1841, to take immediate measares for the accomplishment of this object. With this view,
committee, consisting of Rev. W. T. Brantly, D. D., of Bouth Carolina, Rev. J. L. Dagg, of Alabama, Rev. R. B. C. Howell, of Tennessee, Rev. S. W. Lynd, D. D., of Ohio, Rev. J. B. Taylor, of Virginia, Rev. S. P. Hill, of Maryland, Rev. G. B. Ide and R. W. Griswold, of Pennsylvania, and Rev. W. R. Williams, D. D., of New York, was appointed
to prepare and superintend the proposed selection. It was, by
however, subsequently ascertained that a similar work had
peen undertaken by Messrs. Gould, Kendall, and Lincoln, Let opublishers, of Boston ; and that Rev. B. Stow and Rev. S.
F. Smith, whose services they had engaged, had already commenced their labor. From the well-known ability of hese gentlemen, there seemed good reason to expect a valhable collection, and one that would fully meet the end hich the Board contemplated. In order, therefore, to avoid be unn cessary multiplication of Hymn Books, it was Jeemed expedient by the Board to unite, if possible, with be above-named Publishers. Accordingly, the manuscript
Messrs. Stow and Smith having been examined, and pund quite satisfactory, arrangements were made to have be sheets, as they were issued from the press, submitted to he committee of the Board, with the understanding, that, if, fter such alterations and improvements as might be sugested, it should meet their approval, the Poard would adopt as their own. This approval having been obtained, the Joard voted, unanimously, to adopt and publish the work, ind have negotiated with Gould, Kendall, and Lincolu, to hat effect. Signed by order and on behalf of the Board.
J. M. PECK,
Cor. Sec. Amer. Dap. Pub. Soc. PHILADELPHIA, MAY 18, 1843.
The undersigned, having been requested, by the Board or Directors of the American Baptist Publication and Sunday School Society, to examine the proof-sheets of “Tue PSALMIST,” edited by the Rev. B. Stow and Rev. S.F.Smith, and to suggest such emendations as might seem expedient to render the work more acceptable to the churches throughout our country, hereby certify that they have performed the service assigned them, and unite in recommending the work as one well adapted to the purpose for which it was designed.
WORSHIP must have its own forms of utterance. These forms can be neither didactic nor expository. Worship is not designed to communicate illumination to the intellect of him who offers it, nor information to the omniscient Being to whom it is offered. If it be confined to the understanding, or if it pass from the heart to the understanding, and thus become a merely intellectual exercise, it departs from its proper aim. Worship is prompted by emotion. If it begins in our own misery, it elevates the soul to the contemplation of the divine mercy. It is, in truth, the utteranee of the spirit of man, aspiring upward to its Creator.
The nature of worship determines the proper mode of its expression. As it is an act of the heart, it should be expressed in the language of the heart. This is not cold, nor in the manner of common conversation, but fervent and impassioned. Acceptable worship is the fruit of deep and true emotion. The expression of worship should be in language suited to such emotion. Sacred harmony is the union of measured sounds with the words of worship. In order to be sung, well, the words of worship must be expressive of the emotions which belong to worship; and any want of mutual adaptation is immediately felt by a sensitive mind. It is the want of adaptation of the words to the music, or of the music to the words, which often renders singing heavy. The Words are either expository, or didactic, or in some other way prosaic. They are expressive of no emotion, or destitute of poetry, and therefore unsuited to be sung. Or, on the other hand, the leader, having no true poetic feeling, selects a tune which indicates an emotion of a character different from that which is indicated by the words of the hymn. The music and the words should breathe one spirit. Both should breathe the spirit of a fervent, humble, spritual worshipper.
Beside lyrical excellence, there are other requisites of a good hymn. It should possess unity - treating of only one subject from the opening to the close. It should be a complete composition, having, however short it may be, a beginning, middle, and end. Every verse should add something to the preceding, making the sense, finally, complete, and raising the soul to the highest conception of the theme. The Bentenees should be brief. The sense should not extend from one verse into another. Parenthetic clauses should be &voided. The style should be simple, and the words, gener. ally, short, and easy to be understood. The accent should be uniformly on the same syllables in each verse. A profusion of ornament should be avoided. A sounding epithet should never be used merely to furnish the requisite number of syllables. The whole spirit of the hymn should be lyrical. It should be adapted not only to be read, but to be sung.
It is hoped that this compilation will be successful in exem
plifying many of these principles. The hymns of Dr. Watts > take the lead, being more numerous than those of any other