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Sing unto the Lord a new song: sing unto the Lord all the earth.
IN conformity with a resolution of the Delegates from the UNIVERSALIST CHURCHES in the west of Scotland,
in conference in Glasgow, July, 1823, (which resolution
was afterwards sanctioned by said churches;) the following selection of Hymns is published, not by any means to supercede in the above connexion the use of the Psalms and and the Assembly's Paraphrases, but rather, as an appendix thereto. Many of the Psalms are sublime compositions, and declare, in the most expressive strains, the vast extent and super-abounding fulness of God's free grace to the family of man; and even those Psalms which announce the severity of the Divine procedure, do at the same time announce this truth—that mercy rejoiceth against judgment. For instance, the lxxxiii. Psalm, contains the most awful threatnings, but for what end are they inflicted? That men may know Jehovah, whom to know is life eternal. The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, conferred a signal benefit upon those who profess the doctrinal truth, that “God is Love,” when they added the paraphrases to the psalmody; with two or three exceptions these
compositions are compleatly adapted for the celebration of Gospel triumph. One exception is the 41st. where the
phrase endless woes is inserted, and after praising the Messiah, as he who came, not to condemn the sons of men, but to save them, we are taught to deny this, by applauding their subjection to a never-ending horrific vengeance. Perhaps these anomalies were considered necessary to render the whole palatable to believers in decrees of reprobation: be this as it may, we are disposed to give honour to whom honour is due, and to express gratitude for the many excellent productions thus attatched to the psalmody.
In consideration of the importance of sacred music, and aware that in this delightful manner the heavenly host express their adoration to the author of their existence,—that in the infancy of creation, “the morning stars sang together,” and on the birth of Immanuel they hailed the recovery of a fallen world with “Glory to God in the highest, peace upon earth and good-will toward men,” reverting to these circumstances and looking forward to the melody which shall, in the fulness of times, ascend to the throne of Jehovah from a redeemed universe, we deem every attempt praise-worthy which has a tendency to elevate the soul to God, and give a sacred impulse to our devotions. Hence in this selection a suitable variety of metre, as well as expression, has been attended to. The greater part of the Hymns are original productions, being the devout aspirations of Brethren both in America and Britain.
Prudence dictates the propriety of a small selection under present circumstances. Our intercourse with the American churches has but recently commenced.—These
churches are blessed with many useful and highly gifted .
members, and their periodical publications abound with poetic effusions. The cause of love and truth is also escaping, in this favoured land, from the rubbish of system, and the mire of prejudice; and we have recently received acquisitions of poeticre talent It consequently follows, that in a few years a second edition may be published, with additional compositions, possessing additional merit. Proper attention has been paid to the type, that it might be suitable to those advanced in years; the young, therefore, in sympathy to the aged, will consider this as an apology for the 12mo size of the book. That this volume may become eminently useful, under the auspices of “the Great God our Saviour,” in exhilirating the heart, and spiritualizing the affections, of those who believe and obey the truth, is the sincere prayer of The Compiler, GLAsgow, June 17th, 1824.
1 ALMIGHTY, O amazing Love!
2 O thou most injur’d goodness why
3 What was it else, but love alone 2- . Infinite Love that could do thus? A