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fore adopted by compilers. In the synopsis of the contents, at the end of the volume, the Psalms are classified according to the arrangement of the Hyınns. Thus, the minister who would select a Psalm for the commencement or the close of public worship, or for any special occasion, or for any particular topic of discourse, can find it referred to, not only by its first line in the index of first lines, but also in the synopsis by the uses to which it is applicable.
4. The number of pieces applicable to the commencement of public worship, is such that a pastor may select one for every Lord's day in the year, without repetition. Yet it should be borne in mind, that some of these pieces, as well as of the pieces appropriated to particular topics of discourse, are of such a character that the frequent use of them in worship will be found highly conducive to edification.
5. The variety of meters in this collection, is not greater than in other collections now extensively used. Yet the minister ought not to give out a piece of any unusual meter, without knowing beforehand that the congregation or the choir can sing it.
6. In giving out a Psalm or Hymn from this book, it is never necessary to announce the meter. Every Hymn is sufficiently designated by its number. A piece from the Psalms is sufficiently designated by the number of the Psalm and the number of the version.
7. Sometimes a Hymn selected from those appropriated to private and family worship, may be used with good effect in a public assembly.
This, how. ever, should be done with discretion.
II. TO THOSE WHO DIRECT THE SINGING.
1. Remember that singing in a religious assembly, is not of the nature of a musical exhibition, but is a serious and important part of the worship of God.
2. Remember that the words sung are not for the tune, but the tune for the words. The tune, therefore, should be selected, not for its novelty, nor for the sake of showing how well you can perform its difficult passages, nor even for its intrinsic beauty, considered merely as a piece of music; but simply because in that tune, the words can be fitly and expressively uttered.
3. Those who, in the use of this book, would sing with the spirit and with the understanding, must make themselves familiar with the Psalms and Hymns which it contains. The leader of the music, especially, ought to study the book thoroughly, so as never to be at a loss in the selection of a tune. It may be well for him to write for himself, in the margin of every Psalm or Hymn, the name of the tune which he judges most appropriate to that piece.
4. Many favorite Psalms and Hymns are associated by use, with favorite tunes. Where such associations exist, they should not be broken up without some strong reason. On the contrary, it deserves consideration, whether devotion would not be promoted, if every Psalm or Hymn in the book were thus associated, in the minds of the congregation, with some particular tune. There is no harm in singing the same tune twice, if need be, on two successive sabbaths, or even on the same sabbath.
5. We have affixed to the pieces in this book, no marks of musical expression; for the reason that good sense, on the part of the leader, and a tolerable apprehension of the sense and sentiment of the words, on the part of the singers, will be a better guide. Let the leader, then, and the singers, understand and feel the words they sing, and not attempt any thing great in the way of expression, and they will do much to promote the worship of God in spirit and in truth.
III. TO WORSHIPERS GENERALLY. 1. Let it be remembered, that the habitual and general use of Psalms and Hymns, in private and family worship, will greatly promote simplicity, devoutness, and fervency, in this part of public worship.
2. Although certain Hymns, in this book, are placed by themselves, as chiefly appropriate to occasions of private and domestic devotion, the use of the book at home ought not to be limited to those Hymns. The whole book should be a household book to the families, and a closet book to the individuals, of the congregations in which it is used for public worship. The versions of Psalms, when compared with each other, and with the scriptural text to which each version is referred, will be found to constitute a lucid evangelical exposition of almost every sentence of that portion of the written word. The Hymns, if studied in their arrangement, will be an efficient help to catechetical and other didactic instruction, in impreseing the system of evangelical truth, not merely upon the memory, but, by God's blessing, upon the heart.
3. All worshipers should be diligent to cultivate in themselves, and in their children, the common natural faculty of praising God in song; that so, in all our dwellings, and in all our sanctuaries, all voices and all hearts may make melody to God.
The difference between the righteous and the wicked. 1 BLEST is the man who shuns the place,
Where sinners love to meet;
And hates the scoffer's seat:2 But in the statutes of the Lord
Has placed his chief delight;
And meditates by night.
By living waters set,
Enjoys a peaceful state.
Shall his profession shine;
Like clusters on the vine.
What vain designs they form!
Or chaff before the storm.
Among the sons of grace,
S. M 1 THE man is ever blest,
Who shuns the sinners' ways;
Nor takes the scorner's place;
2 But makes the law of God
His study and delight,
And watches of the night.
With waters near the root:
His works are heavenly fruit.
They no such blessings find;
Before the driving wind.
Before that judgment-seat,
In full assembly meet ?
The way the righteous go;
A dreadful overthrow.
L. M. The difference between the righteous and the wicked. 1 HAPPY the man whose cautious feet
Shun the broad way that sinners go;
And fears to talk as scoffers do.
Among the statutes of the Lord;
With pleasure pondering o'er his word. 3 He, like a plant by gentle streams,
Shall flourish in immortal green;
On every work his hands begin.
As chaff before the tempest flies,
When the last trumpet shakes the skies.