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Tarry with me, o my Saviour !
Lay my head upon thy breast
Morning of eternal rest!
Finally, in that most invidious and difficult portion of their task—the attempt to alter or remodel stanzas which could not well be retained in their original form-we think the editors have sometimes (and this is high praise) been really successful. We may say of them in this respect, what Dr. Johnson said of Watts, that it is sufficient for them to have done better than others, what no man has done well. We annex a few of the most favorable specimens, (some of which we are happy to trace to the Church Psalmody,) and leave the reader to form his own judgment:
SABBATH HYMN BOOK.
With joy let Judah stand
With joy thy people stand
To save my wretched soul.
To save my guilty soul
Creatures, as numerous as they be.
Creatures that borrow life from thee.
*Such as Nos. 11, 21, 38, 107, 135, 157, 166, 183, 194, 225, 232, 254, 287, 300, 351, 408-9, 441, 452, 487, 549, 580, 601, 652, 810, 885, 913, 1026, 1028, 1045, 1065, 1118, 1149, 1159, 1191, 1192, 1212, 1221, 1234, 1236, 1242, 1253, &c.
My love! how full of sweet content,
O Lord! how full of sweet content, I pass my years of banishment.
Our years of pilgrimage are spent.*
(140.) Chained to his throne a volume lies. Before his throne a volume lies. (235.) To Jesus, our superior King.
To Jesus, our eternal King. (325.) The world, sin, death and hell o'erthrew. Who sin, and death, and hell o'erthrew.
(362.) His bowels melt with love.
It melts with pitying love. (424.) The antidote of death.
The conqueror of death. (432.) Jesus, my Shepherd, Husband, Friend. Jesus, my Shepherd, Guardian, Friend.
(441.) Shepherd, Brother, Husband, Friend. Shepherd, Brother, Lord and Friend.
(442.) Come, ye sinners, poor and wretched, Come, ye sinners, poor and wretched, Weak and wounded, sick and sore. This is your accepted hour. (518.) Come, humble sinner.
Come, trembling sinner. (558.)
And let a wretch come near thy throne. And let a sinner seek thy throne. (595.)
No good in creatures can be found,
No good in creatures can be found,
Here the absurdity of the original is at least mitigated.
My God will pity my complaints, My God will pity my complaints,
And drive my foes away:
When they in sorrow pray. (655.) I want that grace that springs from thee. Oh for that grace that springs from thee.
(708.) And midst th' embraces of his God. And in the Father's bosom blest. (873.) May purge our souls from sense and sin. May purify our souls from sin. (1002.) And islands of the northern sea. And grateful isles of every sea. (1036.) He shall be damned who won't believe. And they condemned who disbelieve.
(1135.) God is my everlasting aid,
God is my everlasting aid, And bell shall rage in vain :
My Portion and my Friend: To him be highest glory paid,
To him be highest glory paid, And endless praise. Amen.
Through ages without end. (1170.)
* But why omit the original opening lines of this beautiful hymn?
"O Thou, by long experience tried,
Near whom no grief can long abide."
Or devils plunge it down to hell. Or plunges guilty down to hell. (1172.)
There hopes unfading bloom. (ib.) We have already intimated that the arrangement of the hymns in this collection, and the complete and copious character of its indexes, leave, in our opinion, nothing to be desired. We proceed now to the less agreeable task of pointing out what appear to us to be its principal defects.
And first, though many hymns have been restored to something like their primitive condition, a great number have been allowed to remain disfigured with clumsy and prosaic alterations and transpositions, and, in some cases, (we grieve to say,) original, and, we think, very objectionable innovations have been introduced. We subjoin some specimens: Blest are the saints who sit on high, Blest are the saints who sit on high, Around thy throne of majesty.
Around thy throne above the sky. (14.) Here the words, “above the sky,” merely repeat, and, of course, weaken the idea already better expressed by the words,
on high.” On the other hand, “throne of majesty ” is more graphic and poetical than “throne” by itself, or with the above useless addition. 0, God, our King, whose sovereign sway 10, God, our King, whose sovereign sway The glorious hosts of heaven obey, The glorious host of heaven obey, And devils at thy presence flee, Display thy grace, exert thy power, Blest is the man that trusts in thee. | Till all on earth thy name adore! (15.)
Here hosts is surely more poetical and expressive than host, and the reference to evil spirits is a natural and appropriate contrast.* The fourth line is a gem, and cannot be spared. The lines substituted are prosaic, and have neither any connection with the subject, nor the slightest foundation in the original Psalm.
“ This work shall make my heart rejoice, And spend the remnant of my days."
" This work shall make my heart rejoice, And cheer the remnant of my days." (45.)
* Dominus exercituum: "qui determinat quid faciendum sit per exercitum bonorum angelorum et malorum."
Albert. ad Lib. Nahum, Cap. 2, (ed. Vulg. ad Marg.)
“Cheer” seems only to weaken the effect of the preceding “rejoice.” According to thy faithful word. And come, according to thy word. (82.)
And when his strokes are felt,
And when his wrath is felt, His strokes are fewer than our crimes. Its strokes are fewer than our crimes.
(161.) That were a present far too small. That were an offering far too small. (316.) Loud ring the harps around the throne. Loud sound the harps around the throne,
(273.) And there's no weeping there.
And weeping is not there! (273.) To our Immanuel's name.
To great Immanuel's name. (286.) Do our imperious lusts subdue.
All our imperious lusts subdue. (465.) Jesus, our Lord, arise,
Jesus, our Lord, descend, Scatter our enemies,
From all our foes defend, and make them fall.
Nor let us fall !
(474.) To the great One in Three.
To thee, great One in Three. (ib.) Makes the dead sinner live.
Makes dying sinners live.t (477.) Then he displays his pardoning love. He now displays his pardoning love.
(325.) The pangs he bore, what tongue can tell. What he endured, oh, who can tell. (332.) The head that once was crowned with Jesus, our Head, once crowned with thorns,
thorns, Is crowned with glory now.
Is crowned with glory now. (370.) Here a poetical and beautiful figure is destroyed. Vile and full of sin I am.
False and full of sin I am. (409.) When strong temptations fright my heart. Whene'er temptations fright my heart.
(637.) When the great water-floods prevail.
When high the water-floods prevail.
(670.) Steadfast on this my soul relies. On this my steadfast soul relies. (683.) To raise his figure here.
To raise his honor here!
(974.) This emendation makes the line (to us) unintelligible. And thine own church be filled with | And make Jerusalem a praise ! (1122.)
(praise. God, my Redeemer, lives,
God, my Redeemer, lives, And often from the skies
And ever from the skies Looks down.
* " Whom the Lord loveth, he chasteneth."
Surely this beautiful figure, so appropriate to the glorified humanity of the Redeemer, might have been spared.
These instances, out of many, must suffice. But such as these, though the most numerous, are by no means the worst class of alterations. The following abbreviation and transposition appears to be partially original : Great God, create my heart anew, Behold, I fall before thy face, And form my spirit pure
My only refuge is thy grace :
And form my spirit pure and true !
(492.) Behold, I fall before thy face, My only refuge is thy grace : No outward forms can make me clean, The leprosy lies deep within.
The 1023d hymn, though credited to Newton, is copied verbatim from the Church Psalmody, and there attributed to “Drummond." The original by Newton consists of five double stanzas, making ten single ones, of which two only are adopted in the Church Psalmody, the first being repeated at the close, and a third supplied (we presume) by “Drummond," making four in all! a few alterations (not improvements, we think) are inserted, as usual. The 80th hymn is Newton's, (excepting the first verse,) but is not credited to him. The real first verse, and the last, are omitted, the second is made the 5th, and some very needless alterations are introduced. * We must here warn all future compilers not to trust Pratt's Collection as an authority for hymns. We have never had the pleasure of seeing it, but this is at least the third instance known to us in which old hymns in a new dress have been credited to it by the unsuspecting editors of “Select Hymns,” or “ Church Psalmody." The 298th hymn is so altered from the form which we have always supposed the correct one, as to be hardly recognizable. In the 348th (one of Watts's most striking lyrics) only two stanzas out of six are retained. In the 378th (the last verse being omitted) and others, the first verse is repeated at the end, after the fashion of the Church Psalm
* The original hymn of Newton may be found in Worcester’s selection, (126.)