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THE private commonplace-book which found
1 its way into print some years ago, and to which, from a certain favor of antiquity in its contents, we gave the title of Hymns of the Ages, is swelling to an anthology.
In editing our first series we hardly knew from what a perennial stream we had dipped, and to what an indulgent public the draught was offered. More careful research has surprised and bewildered us with our riches. We have not room to-day for half the material which lies before us in manuscript.
The Ages all resound with sacred song, “the elders having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odors, which are the prayers of saints”; and for this youngest age, with its “teachings of God,” who is so dull that he would
not turn from all traditions of the elders rather than lose its ring, — none sure to reach the Throne!
The present differs from our previous series in the larger space accorded to hymns “In Time of War,” and “For Old Age.” We have been advised to include hymns by Watts, Wesley, Cowper, and others, which had been rejected hitherto as common in Church collections; and have also given as many as we could find of the mystical, tender songs of Madame Guyon, they being out of print in this country.
Nor have we failed to discover a few more of the rich old Latin hymns which, filtering down through German and English translations, sink as deeply into the heart to-day as if they had only now reached native ground; proving still that before the Eternal all hearts are one, and the centuries are but as watches of a night. “ Every inmost aspiration is God's angel undefiled; And in every •O my Father!' flumbers deep a · Here, My Child!'”
C. S. W.
A. E. G. Roxbury, October 3, 1864.
THE ONE CHURCH