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For the use of the Church of England.
SELECTED AND ARRANGED BY THE
REV. J. ROBINSON, M.A.,
LATE SCHOLAR OF ORIEL COLLEGE, OXFORD.
OXFORD AND LONDON :
to his fellow-Churchmen originated in a desire, frequently expressed by the Clergy in his own neighbourhood, for a better Hymn-book ;one more select than the larger of the collections which are now most popular, such as Hall and Mercer; and with greater variety than the smaller ones recently published, such as Morrell and How, and that of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge.
In making this selection of hymns, the Compiler has endeavoured to keep three things especially in view :
1. A scriptural tone of doctrine, as exhibited in the Book of Common Prayer.
2. A poetic character of thought and expression, and a simple dignity of style, worthy of the time and place for which they are designed.
3. Suitableness for congregational use in the public services of the Church.
In the two last-named particulars it is hoped that the present collection will be found a considerable improvement upon most of those now
commonly adopted in our Churches : and that, if ever the time should come for an authorised Hymn-book for general or diocesan use, it may contribute something towards so desirable an object. And it may be observed in reference to the third point, that while, as a general rule, those compositions have been excluded which are not wholly or in part an address to the Deity,—this being the proper type of a hymn intended to form part of divine worship, a few have been admitted which do not come under this rule, but which, nevertheless, experience and general consent have proved to be of a devotional character.
The Compiler is not aware that he has infringed upon any copyright: should he have done so in any case, it has been unintentional.
It is not without a feeling of regret that so few of the ancient hymns have been inserted. There is a peculiar interest attached to them, as the devotional poetry of the early Church ; but it was considered that, however good in their kind and pleasing to some minds, they are not (with a few exceptions) suited to the general use and circumstances of the Church at the present day.
Translations and paraphrases of several of the Psalms have been introduced among the hymns : but the Old and New Version have been pur
posely excluded. It is intended to publish a selection from these, uniform with this book, so that they may be had either bound together or separately.
The Compiler has to express his obligation to several friends, who have assisted him by their advice, by the loan of books, and in various other ways, in the course of the work; and particularly to the Rev. Rowland Ingram, M.A., late Vicar of Giggleswick, in conjunction with whom a considerable part of the work was arranged.
In conclusion, the hope and desire of the Compiler in publishing this collection is, that it may raise the standard and increase the interest of this portion of the service of our Church. Considerable attention has been given of late years to the improvement of Church music : surely it is at least as important to attend to the words which we use. Both ought to be the best that we can possibly obtain; in the spirit of the resolution made of old by one who should be our chief pattern in this matter: “I will sing and give praise with the best member that I have."
SETTLE, Advent, 1859.
Pro Deo et Ecclesia.