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G8
1877
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PREFACE.

THE

HE favor with which the first series of

Hymns of the Ages was received, has led
us to prepare a second, including, with hymns
of a like character, many others which the plan
of that forced us unwillingly to reject.

For the previous volume we sought such utter-
ances as in their gentle mysticism embodied a
religious sentiment, fitted to console and soothe,
to bind up broken reeds: in the present, our pur-
pose being rather to strengthen the reeds that they
may not break, and haply bend them into use, -
we have given with less sentiment, more religious
thought.

Because both of their obscurity and striking
merit, large selections are presented from verse-

M690194

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GIFT

Menill
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1860,

BY TICKNOR AND FIELDS,
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts.

G8 1877 via

PREFACE.

THE

THE favor with which the first series of

Hymns of the Ages was received, has led us to prepare a second, including, with hymns of a like character, many others which the plan of that forced us unwillingly to reject.

For the previous volume we sought such utterances as in their gentle mysticism embodied a religious sentiment, fitted to console and soothe, to bind up broken reeds: in the present, our purpose being rather to strengthen the reeds that they may not break, and haply bend them into use, we have given with less sentiment, more religious thought.

Because both of their obscurity and striking merit, large selections are presented from verse

M690194

writers of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, “ from the tender and earnest numbers of Southwell and Crashaw and Habington,” the gentle symphonies of Vaughan, the rugged verse of Donne and Jeremy Taylor, from the quaint “Church Emblems ” of Quarles, and the voluminous “Hallelujah ” of Wither, which touched with a poetic glow each object of every-day life.

For the rest, we have, like the householder, brought together things “new and old :” some of the latter we must thank the German writers for passing on to us, and Miss Winkworth and others for translating. We are also indebted to the compilers of a little Scottish Hymn Book, which, when we discovered the two worn volumes, had been through a score of editions at Edinburgh.

Choosing irrespective of creed, we have been often guided by rare and deep associations of the past; hymns there are here which have been breathed by dying lips, traced on the walls of prisons, sung with hushed voices in catacombs, or joyfully chanted on the battle-march, or fearlessly at the stake.

The poet Robert Southwell, when in prison awaiting martyrdom nearly three hundred years ago, wrote thus to his friend: “We have sung the canticles of the Lord in a strange land, and in this desert we have sucked honey from the rock, and oil from the hard stone; but” “ We now sow the seed with tears, that others hereafter may with joy carry in the sheaves to the heavenly granaries.”

The martyr's prophecy has seemed to us nearing accomplishment, as in the course of our pleasant labor, we have gone back gleaning these precious handfuls which the years let fall.

C. S. W.
A. E. G.

Roxbury, July, 1860.

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