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The Hymn Book, of which this is the preface, is a revised edition of the one entitled the “ Boston Sunday School Hymn Book,” first published in 1833, of which six editions found a ready sale, and which, as the editor thinks, has given to it the sanction of public approbation,
Since that time, many new hymns have been written or published, far surpassing in excellence many of those which were then accessible to the editor, and some new wants in our schools, have been created or felt; which circumstances united, have seemed to render a revision of the work necessary. Accordingly, quite a number of those hymns considered the least appropriate and valuable in the first edition, have been discarded from, and a large number of a better class, about a hundred, have been added to, this. The intention has been to make it strictly, a Sunday School Hymn Book. Not a hymn, it is believed, has been retained or added, which is not adapted to some simple and suitable air, to the purposes and objects of the Sunday School, to the minds and hearts of the young, and to the great end of exciting the deepest piety, and the purest and highest devotional sentiment and feeling.
As Sunday School Anniversaries and Rural and Religious Celebrations have become, as it were, a part of our moral means of religious influence and instruction, some of the best hymns which have been written for, or suited to, these occasions, will be found in this edition; and as many new tunes and pleasant and popular airs have been introduced, the names of such as are most approved, have been suby oined to these, and all the hymns. Reference has been made, in some cases, hy proper initial letters, to the" Sunday School Singing Book,” recently pub. lished by W. CROSBY & Co., Washington Street, and to the Sabbath School Minstrel," published by the Sabbath School Union, 79 Cornhill, Boston, in both of which may be found many pleasing airs and good juvenile music. The other tunes referred to, may be found in those collections of Psalmody in use by most of our church choirs.
In many schools, it has been found, hy experience, that forms of prayer and selections of Scripture are desirable for enlisting the attention of the young, in the devotional exercises of the school. To meet this want, a compilation of such exercises has been made, and added at the close of this book. The best mode of using them, is indicated by their arrangement. 1. Hymn. 2. Selections by response; the superintendent leading, in a slow and impressive manner, and the children, having the book open before them, following in a similar manner. 3. Prayer; the children closing the book, or, if thought best, having it open, and responding after the superintendent, as in the other exercise. If a general lesson is given at the opening of the school, it should follow the hymn, and if necessary, on account of time, the selec tions of Scripture omitted. The school should be closed with the reading and singing of a hymn together.
With these few explanations, this little work is commended anew, to the favor of Sunday Schools, and the blessing of Heaven.
L. G. P.
Again the Lord of life and light,