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remains to be accomplished in this important department of Christian service. The influence of sacred song (whether poetry or doggerel) in the religious world, is beyond computation, and the public mind is becoming daily more alive to its importance. May its claims be rightly appreciated, and may our churches, our families, and private Christians, be led to resort more frequently and intelligently to these refreshing and delightful streams, which make glad the city of our God!

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The foregoing criticism, as the readers of it must have seen, is from a contributor whose residence in Massachusetts has made him particularly familiar with the faults of the books of psalmody, heretofore in general use among the Congregational churches of that commonwealth. He assumes, as Boston men are prone to do, that what is local there is really universal ; and thus it happens that the very first statement of the Article is a mistake in the matter of fact. It is not true that “less than fifty years ago, the Psalms and Hymns of Dr. Watts, in their original form and arrangement, reigned supreme in the Orthodox Congregational churches of New England." There is room to doubt whether the Hymns of Watts, “ in their original form and arrangement,” ever came into general use in that part of New England known to geography as the state of Connecticut. The Puritan prejudice against the use of uninspired compositions " for the service of song in the house of the Lord,” seems to have been somewhat more obstinate in the churches of this state than in the churches of the Bay. The Psalms, as versified by Watts, or rather “imitated in the language of the New Testament,” gradually came into use, notwithstanding an opposition as blind, and almost as strenuous, as that which to this day excludes them from the churches in Scotland; and the reason was that under that freedom and flow of versification, and that simple but exquisite beauty of imagery and language, the common sense and Christian consciousness of reasonable people recognized, for the most part, a true though evangelical paraphrase of that inspired liturgy of song, the Psalms of the Old Testament. But the prejudice against praising God in hymns of merely human composition, though it may have died out among the English Congregationalists, and perhaps in eastern Massachusetts, still lingered in Connecticut. After the separation of the United States from their connection with Great Britain, some changes were necessary in certain Psalms, which, as versified by Watts, contained allusions to the “ British isles," and the “ islands of the northern sea.” In Connecticut, the General Association committed that work to Joel Barlow, instead of leaving it to be done (as we believe it was done elsewhere) by booksellers or unknown editors. Barlow's revision of Watta's Psalms was accompanied by a selection of seventy hymns from the same anthor. The subsequent career of Joel Barlow, in connection with French politics, gave an ill odor to his book as a book for use in churches, and in 1797, President Dwight was requested ( to revise Dr. Watts's imitation of the Psalms of David, so as to accommodate them to the state of the American churches; and to supply the deficiency of those psalms which Dr. Watts had omitted.” The work being completed, the “alterations and additions” were submitted to a joint-committee of the General Association and the Presbyterian General Assembly, and were by them approved. At the recommendation of the joint-committee, President Dwight appended to the Psalms “ a selection of hymns,” two hundred and sixty-three in number, from Watts, Doddridge, and others. “Had I followed my own judgment,” said he in his preface, “ the collection would have been somewhat larger; but I found several judicious divines of opinion, that it would be better to make it still less." This revision of the Psalm-book was the book in all the Congregational churches of Connecticut, without any exception that has ever come to our knowledge.* It was also used in the Congregational and Plan-of-Union churches of New York and Ohio, wherever the emigration from Connecticut established public worship—wherever the missionaries from Connecticut organized Christian institutions.

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* New Englander, IV, 326-329.

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In Massachusetts, unfortunately, there being no General Association, nor any other public body that might act in behalf of the churches or their pastors, a different course was taken. There some of the earliest attempts to deviate from the use of Watts, unaltered and entire, were made, if we mistake not, in the interest of that latitudinarianism which resulted in the Unitarian defection. Watts, with all the juvenile crudities which are so offensive in some of his hymns, becanie, in that way or some other, a popular test of orthodoxy. So strong was this feeling that when the elder Dr. Worcester published his abridgment of Watts, with a fourth book of hymns selected from various authors, he was soon compelled to fall back upon the old book unabridged, with his selection appended. Thus “Watts and Select ” became for a time almost the only psalmody in the orthodox Congregational churches of Massa. chusetts, and, indeed, of the other New England states, Connecticut excepted. When the Church Psalmody, compiled by Messrs. Greene and Mason, appeared, the opposition which it encountered was chiefly in the form of zeal for orthodoxy. But as the line of division between the Orthodox and the Unitarians had already been sharply and definitively drawn, and as the compilers were unquestionably connected with the orthodox body, the new book could not be put down in that way. Great and obvious as were its faults-obvious at least to every pastor who began to use it in public worship-it was incomparably less fanlty than its sole competitor in that market. The merited celebrity of one of its authors as a composer of sacred music and a compiler of tune-books, and his great influence with choirs and teachers of country singingschools, gave it a rapid introduction to congregations in all parts of the country. It found its way into Connecticut, and began to supersede Dwight's revision of Watts in the churches there.

The success of the Church Psalmody had two important results. It impressed the churches generally with a conviction that improvement in their psalmody, as it was before the appearance of that book, was neither unlawful nor impracticable. At the same time it impressed individuals in various

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parts of the country, with a confident belief that the business of compiling and publishing psalm-books and hymn-books for the churches, was lucrative as well as useful, and was fairly open to competition. The Christian Psalmist, the Church Psalmist, and the Parish Psalmody, came forth from various quarters, and with various success, to share in the harvest which the compilers and publishers of the Church Psalmody were reaping. In these circumstances the associated Pastors of Connecticut, annoyed with the growing diversity, finding that the book so long in use among them was likely to become obsolete, determined on making an attempt to re-unite their churches in the use of a book of Psalms and Hymns which should be their own. The attempt has been largely successful, though there are a few congregations in which the Church Psalmody has not yet been displaced. We, in Connecticut, are somewhat prejudiced against the wrangling and scrambling competition among private compilers and publishers of books for use in public worship, and against the system from which such scrambling and wrangling are inseparable.

Our distant readers, therefore, can understand how it is that we in this latitude and longitude look on the new Andover Hymn Book through a somewhat different atmosphere from that of eastern Massachusetts; and why it is that while we cheerfully publish a review from that quarter, written with most evident impartiality, as well as with marked ability, we append some observations of our own from a different point of view. The question in Connecticut, and with many Congregational churches in New York and farther west, is not how much better this new book is than the Church Psalmody and the Watts and Select, but whether it is better on the whole than the “Psalms and Hymns for Christian use and worship, prepared and set forth by the General Association of Connecticut."

The most obvious and not the least important difference between the two books, is that which is announced in the difference between the two title-pages. One of the two is a Psalmbook, with a collection of Hymns appended; the other professes to be simply a Hymn-book. Nor is this a difference merely in name. The Connecticut Psalm-book gives the entire collection of the Hebrew Psalms in a continuons series of versions by Watts and by other writers who have caught in various degrees the unrivaled felicity of his method and manner. Even those Psalms which Watts omitted as too full of certain peculiarities of the Old Testament religion to be easily “ imitated in the language of the New Testament,” are represented by versions which seize whatever in their spirit and meaning seems applicable to “ Christian use and worship.” This is in conformity with the ancient opinion (one of those opinions which have been held semper, ubique, ab omnibus) that the Hebrew Psalms are at least in some sense a divinely given body of songs for worship, to serve the people of God, “in all generations” and in every land and language, as a standard and a guide, and as a fountain of inspiration to all who would edify the church in hymns and spiritual songs. A Psalm-book with hymns and spiritual songs appended, gives the due place of honor to the Psalms. It assumes that the Psalms as such, and as distinguished from all those merely human compositions of song which spring out of the various conditions, exigencies, experiences, and intellectual and religious habits of the church in successive ages, are always to be employed in lifting up to the one God of Israel the adoration and the penitence and praise of his redeemed and covenant people. There have indeed been collections of hymns, heretofore, in which there was no distinct place for versions of the Psalms. Such are Nettleton's, Rippon's, Conder's, and other collections that need not be mentioned, but all such hymnbooks are supplementary to some version of the Psalms which they suppose to be already in use, and with which they do not venture to interfere. Among churches professing to hold the New England faith and order, no formal deviation from this principle took place, if we remember correctly, till the distinction between Psalms and Hymns was ignored by the compiler of the Plymouth Collection. Since that time the Congregational Hymn-Book, and now the Sabbath Hymn-Book, have followed in this respect the guidance of the Brooklyn Star.

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