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As the employment of heaven will yield an infinite diversity - for the theme is infinite — so it is a laudable desire, while we are travelling towards the superior mansions to attain a variety in our songs of praise on earth.
I freely confess that no part of public worship has more frequently elevated my mind above earth, than that of singing.
And to your honour, my Christian Friends, I speak it - in few Churches is that part of devotion performed with more propriety and excellence. And many of you are living evidences of its utility in the hands of the Spirit of God, of bringing you first within the sound of salvation, and afterwards of elevating your souls to God: others now uniting their voices with the angelic choir, have left their honorable testimony to this truih.
With these 'views this collection of sacred Poems, which originated from your repeated solicitations, now makes its appearance, containing a considerable number of original compositions, which are now for the first time presented to the public from the press.
Permi tme to express a wish that you would suffer a different mode of reading and singing
from that which prevails. It would be peculiarly desirable, that the whole verse should be read at once : and the tune continued through it, without interruption. This would prevent that confusion of sense, and that violation of harmony, which prequently occur, where two lines only are read at a time. The inconvenience of this method, would speedily vanish, and its propriety force conviction on every reflecting minh.
I present to you this humble effort with that warm affection, which I have long felt, and shall continue to feel, as long as my heart is susceptible of the endearments of christian friendship: a friendship begun on earth, cemented by a thousand erpressions of attention, and perfected in that better, purer world, where I anticipate the pleasure of joining you in nobler praises.
Christian Brethren and Friends,
your affectionate Servant
in the Gospel of Christ,
Plymouth, September, 1801.
Index to the first Line.
29 As on the cross the Saviour hung 31 Angels, roll the rock away
44 Arise, my slumb'ring soul arise
47 Adam, our father and our head
48 And have I, Christ, no love to thee 93 And can my heart aspire so high
97 Away my unbelieving fear
99 Another six days work is done
109 Awake our drowsy souls
110 Awake! celestial mercy cries
134 Amidst a world of hopes and fears 149 All hail the pow'r of Jesus' name 151 At length the Saviour's born
163 Angels, attend your Sov'reign slain 164 Attend! the mortal trumpet sounds 176 Amazing grace! how sweet the sound 190 Approach my soul, the mercy-seat 208 Another Sabbath calls our feet
223 As when the weary trav’ller gains
236 Arise, my soul, adore the grace 224