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Selected and Altered from various Authors
BY WM. AUGUSTUS MUHLENBERG,
EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA, to wit: BE IT REMEMBERED, that on the twelfth day of April, in the forty-seventh year of the independence of the United States of America, A. D. 1823, the Reverend WILLIAM AUGUSTU's MUHLENBERG, of the said district, hath deposited in this office the title of a book, the right whereof he claims as author, in the words following, to wit: “Church Poetry: being portions of the Psalms in Verse, and Hymns suited to the Festivals and Fasts, and various occasions of the Church. Selected and altered from various duthors. By Wm. Augustus Muhlenberg, Associate Rector of St. James's Church, Lancaster.” In conformity to the act of the congress of the United States, intituled “An act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned.”—And also to the act, entitled, “An act supplementary to an act, entitled, “An act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies during the times therein mentioned,” and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving, and etching historical and other prints.” D. CALDWELL, Clerk of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
It is generally admitted, that the psalmody of the Episcopal Church needs improvement. No material alteration has been effected, since the late excellent Bishop of London remarked, “ of all the services of our Church, none appears to me to have sunk to so low an ebb, or so evidently to need reform, as our parochial psalmody.” The many versions of psalms and compilations of hymns that have lately appeared in England, some of them under the sanction of dignitaries of the Church, prove the existence of a very general wish for reformation, in this delightful and important part of divine service. To show that such reformation is practicable, is the design of the present publication.
The first part of the work contains versions of all such portions of the psalms as are likely to be used in public worship—most of which will be found, as far as metre and rhyme allow, faithful translations of the sacred text. A poetical version necessarily deviates, more or less, from a literal translation. While the versifier, on the one hand, may endeavour to adhere closely to the inspired author, he finds himself, on the other hand, obliged to paraphrase or curtail, expand or abbreviate, in order to produce smooth and agreeable verse. The