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TO

THE REV. HENRY PARRY LIDDON, M.A., STUDENT OF CHRIST CHURCH, PREBENDARY OF SALISBURY, EXAMINING CHAPLAIN TO THE BISHOP

OF SALISBURY,

IN REMEMBRANCE

OF HIS EXAMPLE AND TEACHING

WHEN VICE-PRINCIPAL OF S. EDMUND HALL,

AND AS A SMALL ACKNOWLEDGMENT

OF HIS CONTINUED FRIENDSHIP

AND GUIDANCE,
THIS ANNOTATED EDITION

OF

"Hymns, Ancient and Modern"

IS GRATEFULLY AND AFFECTIONATELY INSCRIBED.

PRE FACE.

It would be no cheerful task to write the history of English Hymnody during the first 250 years which followed the days of the Reformation. The compilers of our Prayer-Book, unable to retain the ancient hymns in their original language, having, moreover, scanty leisure and but little poetical skill for translating them, were still further discouraged from attempting the task by the dearth of appropriate music to which these hymns might be sung. * They never intended that metrical hymns should be wholly disused, and, indeed, the introit is supposed to have been omitted in the Second Prayer-Book of King Edward VI., in order to make room for one of those metrical psalms by Sternhold, of which the young king was so fond. Having already fixed a place

. in the morning and evening service for the introduction of an anthem, the authorities of our Church thus gave a tacit sanction to the use of the psalms of the Old Version. This is more than can be pleaded in behalf of the New Version, the use of which rests solely on the authority of King William III. and the isolated recommendation of a single Bishop of London. When we consider the spiritual listlessness which was, at the time of its publication, creeping over the Church, we shall be less surprised at the unfortunate travestie in which the two Irish

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See, for an account of Cranmer's attempt to translate the “ Salve festa Dies," and of the hymns in the Primer of 1545, Procter on Common Prayer, p. 174.

poets Tate and Brady have presented the Messianic Psalms. For it is the Life, and, most of all, the newly awakening Life of a Church which is wont to find its expression in Psalms and Hymns. We have, indeed, seen that this was not the case with that greatest and truest Revival of our own Church—the Reformation. But all subsequent movements, the Wesleyan, the Evangelical, the Tractarian, though differing widely in their influence as reforming the Church, have alike contributed to enrich its hymnological treasury. The example of some parts of Germany proves how powerful a hymn-book may become for keeping alive national religion. The goodly store of her popular hymns, chiefly amassed in the days of her Reformation, is said to be her only safeguard against perishing in these her days of spiritual dearth. Often, where nothing but the dreariest Rationalism is preached, and where no other part of her Church services has escaped the icy breath of Scepticism, it is in their hymn-book that the faithful among her children find the clear and everflowing well-spring of their Faith and Hope and Love. God forbid that the hymnals of our own Church should ever be so severely tested as to be its only spiritual stay; yet should we all do our utmost, that, even under such a test, some of them, at least, might not be found ineffectual. This consideration leads us naturally to the question, what is required in order to make the best possible hymn-book for the Church of England ?

In the first place, such a book cannot be made by rule. There are indeed some few preliminary conditions which everything (whether hymn or prayer, confession or thanksgiving) must fulfil ere it demands a place in the services of the Church. Hymns must be devotional, really bringing the soul of the singer into communion with God. And, that they may do this, they must certainly first be intelligible. An involved construction, a foreign phraseology, an allusion unexplained or misunderstood,

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