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FOR

THE USE OF THE PROTESTANT CHURCH

OF THE

UNITED BRETHREN,

OR

-Unitas Fratrum.

A NEW AND REVISED EDITION.

Come before his presence with singing.-PSALM C. 2.

I will sing of thy power; yea, I will sing aloud of thy mercy:-PSALM lix. 16.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, in all wisdom; teaching and ad-
monishing one another in psalms and hymns, and spiritual songs, singing
with grace in your hearts to the Lord.-COL. iii. 16.

I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.
1 COR. xiv. 15

LONDON:

WILLIAM MALLALIEU & co., 97, HATTON GARDEN;
ALSO AT THE BRETHREN'S CONGREGATIONS AND CHAPELS
IN GREAT BRITAIN AND IRELAND..

1859.

From the Library of

Rev. S. LONGFELLOW. $3

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THIS Collection of Hymns, for the use of the Protestant Church of the Unitas Fratrum, or United Brethren, consists partly of translations from the German, (marked by an asterisk,) and partly of original compositions.

Like the previous editions of 1801 and 1826, it has for its ground-work, the Hymn-book published in 1789, embodying the more useful and valuable hymns in the voluminous collection of 1754, of which Bishop Gambold was the principal editor.

A further revision of this work being considered desirable, the Provincial Conference of 1835 unanimously requested Br. James Montgomery to undertake this difficult and delicate task,-a request to which he kindly acceded. The result of his labours was presented to the Provincial Conference of 1847, by which a Committee was appointed, to prepare for the press a new Edition of the Brethren's Hymn-book, with full liberty from the venerable reviser to adopt, reject, or modify any of his proposed emendations. By the valuable service thus rendered, and by his kind permission to make free use of any of his own compositions, he has laid his brethren and sisters under deep and lasting obligations.

The volume now published consists of two parts,-the LITURGY and the HYMNS of the Brethren's Church.

The former has been slightly modified, and, in its present form, received the sanction of the General Synod, held at Herrnhut, in the year 1848.

It is, however, to the collection of Hymns that the attention of the committee has been more immediately directed;

and they have endeavoured to discharge the duty assigned to them:

1. By a careful collation of the existing text with that of older editions, and the restoration of the original form, as often and as far as this seemed desirable and practicable;

2. By the emendation of such hymns or stanzas, especially translations from the German, as appeared to be deficient in correctness or perspicuity;

3. By the omission of a number of hymns of inferior merit, or but seldom used;

4. By the insertion of others, derived from the earlier collections of our own church, from the collections in use in other churches, and from private sources, keeping in view the peculiar characteristics of the psalmody, which these additions are intended to enrich.

The present Hymn-book contains a greater number of hymns than any preceding edition. The chief object of this abundance is to furnish an enlarged store of Christian doctrine and experience conformable to the Holy Scriptures, the only infallible standard and inexhaustible fountain of divine truth. Our Hymn-book is designed to be a manual of private devotion, as well as a spiritual treasury, by means of which family devotion may be enlivened, and the services of the Lord's house rendered increasingly instructive and delightful. To this end, it is earnestly recommended, that the children and youth of our congregations be early taught to commit hymns or verses to memory.

Among the new hymns, will be found a large proportion of English compositions in the ordinary metres. Though many of these are of the first excellence, and well adapted for public worship, it is hoped that their introduction may not tend to bring into disuse the more characteristic psalmody, either of our own church, or of the foreign churches to which ours has been so largely indebted.

The nature of our services warrants the use of a great variety

of metre, which, though not altogether consonant with the genius of English verse, compensates for this defect, by the striking thoughts it serves to embody, and the noble melodies it has helped to inspire. The decline among us of the ability or the inclination to turn this variety to proper account, would be greatly to be deplored; and every effort should be made to prevent it, or to stay its progress, by teaching our children and young people to sing our tunes, and by using, on all suitable occasions, the hymns and melodies referred to. This may be done, especially in our singing meetings,―services peculiar to the Brethren's Unity,—in which, in conformity with the precept of the apostle in Col. iii. 16, we endeavour to render this beautiful portion of divine worship a vehicle, not only of praise and prayer, but also of mutual instruction, comfort, and edification.

May all who use these Hymns experience, at all times, the happy effects of compliance with the apostolic injunction,— (Eph. v. 18, 19,)—“Be filled with the Spirit; speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord." Yea, may they anticipate, while here below, though in an humble and imperfect strain, the song of the blessed above, who, being redeemed out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation, and having washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb, are standing before the throne, and singing in perfect harmony with the myriads of angels that surround it, (Rev. v, 9 to 12; and vii. 9 to 14:) "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing, for ever and ever. Amen."

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