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AND BIGIT REVEREND THE
LORD BISHOP OF DURHAM,
THIS NEW METRICAL VERSION
PSALMS OF DAVID,
AND SELECTION OF PSALMS AND HYMNS,
TO THE SERVICE OF THE UNITED CHURCH OF
ENGLAND AND IRELAND,
WITH HIS LORDSHIP'S PERMISSION,
BY HIS MOST FAITHFUL,
AND OBEDIENT SERVANT,
T has frequently been observed that Praise is
the noblest employment of the Church of God, and that it bears the nearest affinity to the worship of heaven,
To this delightful service the inspired Psalmist tuned his lyre, and observed that whoso offereth praise glorifieth God, Psalm 1. 23. In singing the praises of God, Paul and Silas found their happiness in a dungeon, Acts xvi. 25. The incarnate Saviour composed his mind in the immediate prospect of his agony by singing a hymn with his disciples, Matt. xxvi. 30.
The divine authority thus sanctions and commands this holy employment: Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. In the Epistle to the Ephesians it is also enjoined, (v. 19.) Speaking to yourselves in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord. Giving thanks always for all things unto God, even the Father, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
To assist the pious worshipper in this delightful and edifying employment is the object of this humble attempt; and in order to obviate some objections which have been occasionally suggested on the subject of Psalms and Hymns the following preliminary remarks are submitted to the candid enquirer.
The Book of Common Prayer contains the authorized formularies of the Church of England, and is
the only work prescribed by the authority of Par. liament; but it contains no Psalms except the prose Psalter, pointed, that is, punctuated with colons, to be sung or chaunted in Churches; and no Hymns, except the prose Te Deum, Benedecite, Sanctus, and Gloria in Excelsis, which occur in the course of the services. The Church, therefore, did not provide for, and it is probable, did not even contemplate the introduction of metrical Psalms or Hymns into her ordinary services; though she hạs in some measure sanctioned them by the introduction of a metrical Hymn to the Holy Spirit in her Ordination Service,
Anthems, Psalms, or Prayers taken out of the Bible are permitted to be used, as appears from the Rubric, after the third Collect, and the Statute of the 2nd and 3rd of Edward the Sixth, ch. i. sec. vii. for uniformity of service, which contains the following proviso, “ That it shall be lawful for all men, as well in Churches, Chapels, Oratories, as other places, to use openly any Psalm or Prayer taken out of the Bible at any due time, not letting or omitting the service, or any part thereof mena tioned in the said book.” (Burn's Eccl, Law, vol. iii. 251,
From the foregoing statement it appears that the description of singing regularly appointed by the Church of England is at this day principally confined to Cathedrals and Collegiate Chapels, and that no provision is made for metrical Psalmody.
The Book of Ceremonies, published in 1539, observes, “The sober and discreet devout singing, music, and playing with organs, used in the Church in the service of God, are ordained to move and stir the people to the sweetness of God's word the which