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“Sing ye praises with understanding."-Ps xlvii. 7.
PREFACE TO THE TENTH EDITION.
At the request of several dear friends in the ministry, I have added to this edition the whole of Hart's Hymns which did not already appear in the Selection, and I trust that the usefulness of the book will be thereby increased.
JOHN GADSBY. Manchester, Nov. 23, 1844.
PREFACE TO THE NINTH EDITION.
To be employed with solemn pleasure in singing the praises of God with the spirit and with the understanding also, is a blessing peculiar to God's elect; nor can even they be thus engaged, only as the blessed Spirit influences the mind, and favours them with the unction of his grace. It is one thing to have the ear charmed, and another to have the heart engaged in this most delightful part of God's worship, in his church below. “Blessed are the people that know the joyful sound."
It may be thought by many a great piece of folly for such an obscure mortal as I to publish a selection of hymns for the public worship of the eternal Three-One God; nor shall I attempt to make any apologies for having done so. Suffice it to say, that the church and people over which the Holy Ghost has made me overseer, had been in the constant habit, ever since I came among them, of using Dr. Watts' Psalms and Hymns, Rippon's Selection, and Hart's Composition. But though some of these hymns are big with the important truths of God, there are others, especially among Dr. Watts' and Rippou's, which give as legal a sound as if they had been forged at a certain foundry.
This was one reason wbich induced me to publish a selection. Another was, we had three editions of Hart's Hymns amongst us, either differently arranged or differently paged; so that when any of those hymus were given out, one part of the congregation was unable to find them. These circumstances, togeiber with a desire ia iny own breast ard the express wish of others to bare a selection of hymus, in one
book, free from Arminianism and sound in the faith, that the church might be edified, and God glorified, were what induced me to attempt this work.
In the former editions many of the hymns of my own composing were too long for public worship, consequently comparatively useless, extending the size of the book without producing a proportionate benefit. In the present edition I have curtailed them; but, as I have been careful to leave entire, or nearly so, the first verse of each; and as I have not materially altered the language of the remaining verses which still appear, I think but little inconvenience will be experienced, particularly if the hymns be given out from this edition, as in that case no verses can be read which are not in all the books. It will be seen that I have sometimes taken a line from another author; but for this, not professing perfection, I shall offer no apology.
The pages gained by the curtailment of my own hymns, as above named, are occupied with a Supplement, consisting of 120 hymns, which have prin. cipally been selected from Hart and Berridge, those two men being, I believe, the sweetest and greatest experimental writers that have left any hymns on record. The Supplement may be had separately, at a low price, by those who have the former editions of this work.
If the dear Redeemer will be gracious to make this selection of hymns a blessing to his people, I hope the same grace which will accomplish this end, will influence me to feel amply rewarded for my labour, and cheerfully give him the whole of the glory.
Manchester, November, 1838.
Tribulation and Inoonstancy)