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HARVARD COLLEGE LIBRARY

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1878, by

MASON BROTHERS,

In the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the Southern District of New York.. +

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ELECTROTYPED AND PRINTED BY

W.F. DRAPER, AND OVER, MA8%.

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INTRODUCTION.

In preparing this volume, the Editors have had several aims, some of which have, at some times, crossed each other; and the less important have been occasionally, but unavoidably, sacrificed to the more important.

The first aim of all has been, to select hymns of a truly devotional character. We have been unwilling to lose some stanzas, which, though inferior in poetic value, are yet, in themselves or in their associations, adapted to quicken religious feeling. We have deemed it unwise to part with such endeared and spiritual, though homely expressions of religious thought and feeling, as are found in Hymns 31, 220, 490, 492, 853, and 923 of this Collection.

With the same aim, we have omitted many popular religious songs, which, though of high lyrical merit, are still, in themselves or in their associations, poorly fitted to nurture the Christian life. We are not insensible to the excellence of such songs of Thomas Moore as those commencing with

" Like morning, when her early breeze," and

"The bird let loose in eastern skies," and

* This world is all a fleeting show;" but we are more sensible of the uncongeniality between such effusions of such a Muse, and the scenes of communion with God, in his temple and on his holy day.

But while we have aimed to make the chief merit of this volume consist in its thoroughly Christian spirit, we have not forgotten that its lyrical value should have the precedence over all except its religious excellences. It is not meant to be a Book of Theology in

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