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PSALMS AND HYMNS,
AND ADAPTED TO THE PURPOSES
REV. EDWARD SCOBELL, A. M.
INCUMBENT OF ST. PETER'S, VERE STREET ;
The only singing in our public services, which carries out the true spirit of it as an act of worship, is congregational singing: in no other way does it become, what it was intended to be, an individual, scriptural, and influential duty. When a whole congregation sings, there is an involuntary excitement of heart as well as a union of voices; and who on such occasions has not, with unusual fervency, felt ready to exclaim, Surely the Lord is in this place!" Why, then, is this not always in practice? Our Church desires it; our glorious Liturgy deserves it: to be cold in praise when we have been so inspired in prayer, is at the least unsuitable. It is to bear a humble share in promoting this great and powerful object, that, following a custom now rapidly spreading in our churches-led on as it is by some of the most pious authorities, and sanctioned by the highest I have ventured upon the present Collection.
The chief cause as well as effect of congregational singing, is a holy engagement of the affections: and for this we require the Gospel as well as the Law; the crown of thorns as well as the Psalmist's diadem of pure gold; Jesus Christ, not in indistinctness and shadow, but face to face, as our Saviour, and Friend, and Brother. The Psalms of David are sacred, and dear to every true Christian; but they are parts of the Old Covenant; written when the Law was our schoolmaster; and when men's feet were yet upon the dark mountains ; and therefore, though excellent as a portion, they are incomplete as a system of Christian Psalmody. The pen of a ready writer is there, but not the searching sunbeam of that Light, and of that Day, which Abra· ham himself rejoiced by faith to see. The key of David's
harp is in the Gospel. For “the Law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.”
Under these impressions, I have endeavoured, with the best judgment could use, - 1st, To extract and arrange from the Old and New Versions the most appropriate portions; and 2dly, To make additions from various sources, having God's glory alone in view, to those Hymns usually appended to our Book of Common Prayer, and others in almost universal use amongst
I have in both instances, especially the latter, done this largely, from a feeling that, independent of other advantages, there is a living freshness in a stream, which pools of water, however equally pure, can never afford. Nor am I without a hope also, that although they may not possibly be all required or used in the public Church, they may sometimes be referred to at home; where, we are told, it would not be unwise now and then to make melody in our hearts with one of the Songs of Zion.
At the same time, it is my duty to say, that I have studiously avoided in them all allusions to uncertain or disputable doctrines; keeping only to those plain, simple, and saving truths of the Gospel, which every worshipper, “who loves our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity,” cordially believes and maintains.
I pray to Almighty God, the great Object of all praise, for his blessing. May He, who touched the Prophet's lips with fire, inspire our hearts to act to his honour! Why should we be silent or timid, only when we are in His presence, who gave us every talent; and when the subjects of our song are the brightest and eternal ?
“O Lord, open thou our lips, and our mouth shall shew forth thy praise."
E, S. 14, Blandford Street, Portman Square,
December 22d, 1835.
OLD AND NEW VERSIONS.
NEW VERSION. PSALM 1. COM. METRE.
By ill advice to walk;
Where men profanely talk:
His business and delight;
And meditates by night.
With timely fruit does bend,
His just designs attend.
On Zion's holy hill!
According to thy will.
Joint-heirs at his request;
By him shall be possest!