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H Y M N S
CHILDREN of GOD in all Ages,
From the Beginning till now.
In Two PARTS.
Designed chiefly for the Use of the CONGREGATIONS
In Union with the
BRETHRE N'S CHURC H.
Speaking to yourselves in Psalms and Hymns and spiritual Songs, finging
and making Melody in your Heart to the Lord. Eph. v. 19.
Ι ο Ν Do N
M DCC LIV.
HIS Collection of Hymns is indebted for its Materials to our own Language, and, excepting the
Remains of the Primitive Church, but one foreign one.
Why then is that one so much borrow'd from? A plain and sufficient Reason directly appears on the Title-page, from the very denomination of those, who compiled, and make use of this Book. But there is something farther in the Case which deserves Reflection. | The practice of cloathing divine Thoughts in Metre, is perhaps as universal as Speech itself; and has two Grounds for it. First, that when our Affections are strongly moved, which surely Religion may be allow'd to do, singing or a fort of Modulation of the Voice is what the Heart naturally chooses to vent itself by. Secondly, that the comprizing of important Truths or Counsels in Verse, is a Help to their being remember'd, and a Kind of Memoria technica.
We find particularly that the Christian Church, in her very earliest Days, had such Composures; and that in an exPress Gospel-Vein. For, as much as they then esteemed the Plalms of the Old Teftament, (insomuch that our Saviour's finging a Hymn, Matt. xxvi. 30. is supposed to look no fara ther than that) yet we cannot think that their public Worship admitted no Singing besides. St. Paul in Eph. v. 19. diftinguishes Hymns and spiritual Songs from Pfalms: and in 1 Cor. xiv. 26. by the very Nature of the thing, he leads ns to understand some des of fresher composure ; fince Done but such could be fimilar to the other Things menciond in the same Verse, and none but such needed to be to submitted to, and tried by the College of Prophets. But what puts the Matter out of all doubt, is Pliny's Testimony, that the Primitive Christians did use to - allemble before