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“ These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made thein white in the blood
of the Lamb."-REV. vii. 14.
ROBERT CARTER & BROTHERS,
No. 530 BRO ADWAY.
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1858, by
ROBERT CARTER & BROTHERS,
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the Southern District of
T. B. SMITH & SON,
E. O. JENKINS,
24 Frankfort St.
This is simply a book of hymns for private use. They are chosen from many sources; are of many countries; and were written, some of them, centuries ago. Perhaps I cannot better tell what the book really is, than by a title which I once thought of giving it--Hymns of and for the Church Militant. The pages will, I think, prove such description true. They are not fuller of trial than of consolation.
I wished to bring together all the really fine hymns, and none others; but I found that I must admit a little class of general favourites, so long known and loved that they are beyond criticism-like the faces of old friends.
Of many a hymn I wish I could know the history, sure do I feel that some special circumstances called it forth; and every hint that I have found makes me wish to know more. Thus the hymn on page 218, was found treasured up in a chest in some poor cottage in England, -that on page 615 is a French hymn, written in Paris during the cholera summer of 1832; and who can read “The Battle Song of Gustavus Adolphus,” (p. 253) and not feel stirred to know that it was sung by his army before every battle? While many another is the war-cry of unknown combatants, in unseen strife. The old leaf whereon I found “ The Saviour's Merit,” (p. 351,) was so worn through with use, though the rest of the book was
perfect, that some few words had to be supplied. To me, the hymns have been like a vision of the “great cloud of witnesses."
It is perhaps well that I cannot put.in words all the pleasure this hymn-work has given me, nor just what I think of its results,—I fear the gentlest charity would call me at least eccentric. But I may tell (since I am but usher to the book) I may tell some of its titles to favour, and some of the grand truths which its pages collectively teach.
It has brought most vividly before my eyes, some of those Bible facts which before I knew rather by faith. For these are not assembly hymns, nor paraphrases, nor hymns written to order, they are the living words of deep Christian experience.
And they tell that the Church is one. In prose, one denomination will war with another ---War, and strive as some of the disciples did-for a place above the rest. The Church Militant is to outward eyes, often a Church divided against itself -- every banner attacking every other, forgetful that the great standard of the Prince of Peace floats over all.
Yet this is but a différence of head-look here at their hearts. Read Luther and some old Catholic monk, side by side, -read Wesley, and all he ever opposed, or who ever opposed him. They fight still, but it is with themselves, with sin, with unbelief. They work out that other word—“through much tribulation." O friends-whether christian or unchristian-see what a hidden war doth rage in the midst of the Church; and find kinder cause than hypocrisy, for a ruffled temper and an unsteady walk! Even Christian gave way a little, when “Apollyon wounded him in his head, his hand, and foot."
The Church are one here also—they suffer in mind, in