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The present compilation is an attempt, made with some care, to supply a hymn-book that shall be adapted, as far as possible, to the services of the United Church of England and Ireland.
In making the selection, a higher importance has been attached to the poetical excellence of the hymns than has perhaps been usual in such compilations. No doubt the correctness and appropriateness of the religious sentiment expressed are the most essential qualifications of a good hymn; and accordingly none have been admitted into this collection that are not in perfect harmony with the spirit of the Church of England as exhibited in the Book of Common Prayer. But it may be doubted whether a production in which the poetical element is wanting can fairly be called a hymn at all. All compositions open to this criticism have, therefore, as far as possible, been excluded, together with such as have not the dignity,