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six additional stanzas in the Wesleyan collection, No. 373. It is a translation from the German.
Hymn 917 in this collection has cost us some trouble. It is another of those for which the compilers were unable to find a responsible author, a waif upon the sea of poesy. It begins,
Now, O my God, thou hast my soul;
No longer mine but thine I am. These lines had a familiar sound, but we hunted in vain among the first lines in the index of the Methodist Hymn Book. At length, however, the mystery was solved. It is the second stanza (the first being omitted) of our hymn 533:
O God, what off'ring shall I give
To thee, the Lord of earth and skies? It is one of John Wesley's translations from the German. Of this our compilers may be assured, although the last line has been altered either by themselves or by those from whom they copied. Wesley has it,
And my sole business be thy praise. The new Hymn Book reads,
. And all my pleasure be thy praise. Hymns 1078 and 1079 of the Methodist collection, beginning
Hark! a voice divides the sky;
Happy are the faithful dead, make, together, one of the most striking poems on the subject of a Christian's death to be found in the English language. The gentlemen who compiled the Sabbath Hymn Book select from the poem five stanzas, some of which they alter a little, being under the absolute necessity of so doing, and then print it as their No. 1264; but they do not knowof course as honest men they have taken all reasonable pains to discover—but they do not know who may have been its author. It is rather a curious circumstance, and not creditable, that they were unable to ascertain who wrote those striking lines which, once heard, are never forgotten:
When from flesh the spirit freed
Hastens homeward to return,
Angels sing, “A child is born.”
One of the alterations made by our compilers is in their second stanza. The author wrote,
Justified through faith alone,
Here they know their sins forgiven. A dangerous sentiment that, in the judgment of our compilers, and the hymn having been written by some unknown wight, they had no hesitancy in altering it thus :
Ready for their glorious crown,
Sorrows past and sins forgiven. We can guess at a reason for the alteration of the latter line; the former seems to have been mangled for the mere fun of the thing.
There is a hymn, entitled “ The wondrous name,” (No. 473,) which sounds very much like an old acquaintance. The manufacturer's name is modestly withheld. As it contains but three stanzas we copy it entire:
Great One in Three, great Three in One!
Thy wondrous name we sound abroad;
O holy, holy, holy Lord!
Thee, holy Saviour, we adore;
And praise and worship evermore.
Thy universe is full of thee,
Great Three in One, great One in Three! In the Methodist collection we have from the pen of Charles Wesley a hymn (No. 101) entitled “The Trinity.” We copy that also, that the reader may have before him a specimen of literary larceny that would be amusing if it were not contemptible. The hymn above quoted is in the long meter; Wesley's is common meter. Here it is :
Hail! holy, holy, holy Lord,
Whom one in three we know;
By all thy Church below.
With triumph we proclaim;
The universe is full of thee,
And speaks thy glorious Name.
Thee, holy Son, adore;
And worship evermore.
Our heavenly song shall be;
In co-eternal Three!
But the most remarkable instance of assumed ignorance, for which we find it difficult to account and to retain respect for these compilers, has reference to their hymn No. 1289. They not only do not know who wrote it, but in their introduction they specially refer to it as one of the “hymns which we have not seen in any American manual for worship." The hymn was written by Charles Wesley. In the old Methodist collection it contained six stanzas, as it does now in the Wesleyan Hymn Book. When our new“ manual for worship” was prepared in 1849 one half of the hymn was rejected, and three stanzas, the third, fourth, and sixth, were retained as hymn 386. That the gentleman who inserted these stanzas in the Sabbath Hymn Book knew where they came from is to us most manifest; that he had the Methodist Hymn Book before him and copied the lines therefrom is equally clear. The reader shall judge for himself. We print the two in parallel columns :
SABBATH HYMN BOOK.
METHODIST HYMN BOOK. 386
L. M. Deprecating eternal death. 1. Father, if I may call thee so,
Regard my fearful heart's desire: Remove this load of guilty woe,
Nor let me in my sins expire.
Trembling in fear of hell.
I tremble with my one desire :
Nor let me in my sins expire.
2. I tremble, lest the wrath divine, 2. I tremble lest the wrath divine
Which bruises now my wretched soul, Which bruises now my sinful soul, Should bruise this wretched soul of mine, Should bruise and break this soul of mine, Long as eternal ages roll.
Long as eternal ages roll.
3. I deprecate that death alone,
That endless banishment from thee;
3. Thy wrath I fear, thy wrath alone,
This endless exile, Lord, from thee! O save! O give me to thy Son,
Who trembled, wept, and bled for me!
If the reader will carefully compare these two versions, and bear in mind that the one was printed precisely as here given nearly ten years before the other, and that the verses were then credited to Charles Wesley, as they continue to be in more than a million hymn books scattered through all parts of the land he will share our astonishment at the statement put forth in the Sabbath Hymn Book.
The hymns in this collection are arranged in two grand divisions, and these divisions are subdivided into fifteen different “ books." Each book has several parts—book third has as many as sixteen—and the parts are again subdivided into sections ranging in number from two to seventeen, while some of the sections are again subdivided and distinguished by letters of the alphabet. Many of the divisions contain but a single hymn, and many of the hymns would have found a place quite as appropriate in any one of half a dozen other divisions. As a specimen of the minuteness of this arrangement we may refer to book viïi. It is entitled, “Hymns pertaining to the Christian Virtues.” It has thirteen different “parts.” Part jij is entitled, “Feelings of a Christian toward Christ.” This part has nine different “sections.” Section fifth is called “Trust in Christ," and is thus subdivided :
a. Prayers expressive of general trust in Christ.
This classification took a great deal of time, doubtless, in its preparation. Possibly it may be of some use to those who search for hymns on any given subject. It is, at any rate, evidence of painstaking on the part of the compilers; and, after being obliged to find so much fault with the contents of their book, it is a source of some little gratification that we can at least commend their industry in this part of their labors; and that we are enabled to add, also, that in no other hymn book have we met with so complete an “alphabetical index of subjects,” or so full an index of the passages of Scripture which are illustrated.
subject of es of Christi, Nighly eva
ART. IV.—THE PRAYER OF HABAKKUK.
(CHAP. III.) This passage of Scripture has usually been regarded as one of the most difficult of interpretation, not on account of prophetical obscurity, but by reason of its abrupt transition and imaginative fire. At the same time its highly evangelical tone and aptness to many themes of Christian discourse have made it the frequent subject of formal exegetical essays and pulpit exposition. On both these accounts we have selected it as specially worthy a more copious and critical elucidation than is to be found in the commentaries usually accessible, and we hope to be able to set it in a somewhat clearer light even than those who have heretofore expressly treated it.
Of the personal history of the prophet Habakkuk very little is known. From a comparison of chap. i, 6, with chap. ii, 3, of his own prophecy, it appears that he lived and wrote not long before the Babylonian invasion of Judea, therefore about B.C. 608, near the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim. The Jewish state at this time was tottering to its fall under the long accumulation of public and private guilt, and the prophet vividly describes the impending overthrow by the Chaldeans as the divine retribution. He then (chap. ii) predicts the humiliation in turn of the cruel and impious instrument of their chastisement, at a date distant in comparison with the inflictions upon Judah; and in the concluding chapter celebrates Jehovah's ancient interferences in his people's behalf, and implores a similar intervention for them in view of their desolation, now depicted as already complete. His style is highly vigorous and poetical throughout, and has been greatly extolled, especially by Eichhorn, (Einleitung ins Alte Testament, Reutlingen, 1790, iii, 292 sq.) Lowth (De Sacra Poësi Hebræorum, Oxon., 1763, p. 282) pronounces the last chapter “oda quæ inter absolutissimas in eo genere merito numerari potest." Besides the numerous introductions, commentaries, and general works on the entire prophecy, the following are the principal special treatises on this chapter in particular: C. H. Bahrdt, De equitatione Dei in mari [ad ver. 15,] (Lips., 1749, 4to. ;)