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On behalf of the Compilers of this New Hymn Book, with whom I have had the pleasure of coöperating in its preparation, I have briefly to state its origin, character and objects. It was undertaken chiefly at the desire of the Teachers belonging to the Sunday Schools at Cavendish Street Chapel, Manchester, and Hope Chapel, Salford; and has been approved by Committees representing them.
It had long been felt, that most of the Sunday School HymnBooks in general use, are, in two respects, defective: First, the Hymns furnished for the use of Children are frequently the expressions of thought or feeling either beyond the capacity, or foreign to the nature of childhood; and secondly, an insufficient provision has been made for the wants of Elder Scholars (so numerous in the Sunday Schools of the North) and Teachers. In this Volume it has been earnestly attempted to remedy these deficiencies.
The Hymns and Songs for Childhood, it is believed, will he found to breathe such sentiments only as children can truly feel, in such language as they can easily understand. The Hymns for Elder Scholars and General Purposes, have been selected with great attention to variety of subject, and appropriateness and depth of sentiment. It is hoped, too, that both divisions of the book will be admitted to combine more poetical merit than usual, with fitness to the religious objects contemplated by a Hymn-Book. Every composition found here has been repeatedly examined, and compared with others having the same topic or the same vein of feeling, before its insertion has been finally decided upon. It would not become the Compilers to say more of their painstaking than this; but they desire to give assurance to the friends of Sunday Schools, that they have at least attempted to perform their labours thoughtfully, carefully, and with deliberate judgment.
It is desirable, however, separately and distinctly to point out, that while this collection aims at the highest excellence and usefulness as a Sunday School Book, it is, also, much more than a mere Sunday Scholar's Hymn-Book. A large number of the hymns included in the Second Part, under the heads of “Prayer and Praise" and "Life, its Duties, Trials, and Blessings, are such as are peculiarly suited to Social Worship, both in the Church and Family. A considerable section, also, is specially devoted to the Meetings of Teachers or other Christian Workers.
A large proportion of the Hymns and Songs in this volume have never been included in any similar collection. Some are gathered from sources to which previous compilers of hymn-books do not appear to have resorted. Others are rescued from an undeserved oblivion; and will undoubtedly have, to most readers, the freshness of novelty; and, to all, the charms of true poetry and sweet pious feeling. Many more are Original and copyright; some of which have been written to supply particular deficiencies.
HYMNS SUITED ESPECIALLY TO
CHILDHOOD AND YOUTH.
I. PRAISE AND PRAYER.
GOD_CREATOR AND FATHER.
From our hearts a song of praise ;
Whence our lives and blessings spring. 2 Praise to Him who made the light;
Praise to Him who gave us sight;
Will He not His children hear? 3 Praise Him for our happy hours ;
Praise Him for our varied powers ;
For these hearts He made for love. 4 For the voice He placed within,
Bearing witness when we sin :