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but I have been led to write of Divine things, according as I have experienced them, amidit the various changes that have happened to me in life, and as facred impreffions have occafioned Devout Breathings to arife in my Soul after God.
For what relates to doctrine, exhortation, or the encouragement of others, &c. I have carefully and impartially examined whatever fell in my way, either from men or books, with a mind wholly in fearch after TRUTH; and as fuch I have advanced nothing but what I fincerely be lieve is built on this everlasting foundation. For. which reason, I readily offer my best thoughts to the world, hoping my labour will not be in vain. in the Lord.
Concerning poetry we find there is but little. mention made of it in the Scriptures; yet it appears to be quite agreeable to the Gofpel, or the Apoftle Paul would not have quoted the Athenian. Poets in fupport of its doctrines; neither would our LORD have fung an Hymn with his Difciples,, had not fuch a compofition been confiftent with the true Spirit of Devotion. Herein then we have an infallible precedent, without having to refer back to fuch accounts as are, at beft, only. handed down by tradition.
Much might be faid alfo in favour of finging,. but I have already treated a little on this fubject in the Preface of a volume of Hymns, which I published at Whitby, in the year 1781, and fhall take fome notice of it again at the latter end of this bookt: I will, therefore, now only speak of its ufe. We find the Ephefians are exhorted to fpeak to themfelves in. Pfalms and Hymns, and: Spiritual Songs, &cf. and the Coloffians are bid to admonish one anothers in the fame manner: from which it evidently appears, that finging is recom-. mended as a very profitable means both for pri
(d) Acts xvii. 28.
(e) Matt. xxvi. 30.-Mar. xiv. 26.
See the Conclufion, page 255.
vate and public worship; and this is happily experienced by all thofe who fing with grace in their hearts to the Lord, whether alone or in the affemblies of the righteous.
Therefore, that this book might be rendered ufeful for both purposes, I have divided it into two parts, and arranged each part in fuch order as I truft will meet the approbation of serious perfons of every denomination.
With refpect to the ftyle of this work, let the reader take notice, that I make no pretences to much erudition; and I have much better work for the few precious moments that can be spared from the temporal concerns which are neceffary for the support of a large family, than to wafte them in hammering a work upon the anvil, to make it proof againft cenforious Critics. I rather judge it is more my duty to do that which may promote the glory of God in my own falvation, and the falvation of others. To this end I have every where, as much as poffible, clofely confined myfelf to the language held forth in the Scriptures, and all along have pointed to fuch paffages. as will in fome degree illuftrate the fubject, and render its ufe more extensive..
As to the work in general, no part of it is borrowed or picked up from other authors, except. fome of the remarks which are made as marginal references: of thefe I have selected a few, but the name of each author is given, or where this was not known, the place is mentioned where the quo tation is taken from. For all the reft I am anfwerable, and muft fhortly give an account to the Searcher of Hearts, who will bring every work into judgment, and reward every man according to his works1..
GILLING, 4th of the 11th month, 1793.
A fool I'm counted for Chrift's fake,
All glory be to God most High!
All nations tremble at the rod
Almighty God! lay to thine hand;
Almighty God! how great art thou?
Almighty God of fov'reign pow'r
Almighty God how wondrous great?
And has our friend, fo late deceas'd,
Angels with joy good news do bring;
Arife, O God, come and make known
Arife, my foul, thy Maker praife,
Awake! God bids his faints rejoice
Awake, my foul, arife and fing
Awake, my foul, and call to mind
Behold! the Lamb of God was flain
Behold this congregation, Lord,
Before the awful judgment feat,
Chief Shepherd, thou thy Lambs doft bear;
From fin, Lord, convert
Glory be to thee, O Lord!
God willeth not at all
In mercy view thy creatures, Lord,
In the beginning thou, O Lord, haft laid
Jehovah, Lord! all praife to thee,