SALMS and hymns and spiritual songs in which we do homage to our blessed
Lord remind us of our mercies and enkindle us to love and gratitude and joy.
By raising the character of the service of praise in our churches, we present a
more joyous type of Christianity, and attract the world, especially the young, within
hearing distance of the Gospel.
The editors of this book have endeavored to preserve the best and the dearest of
the old hymns and tunes-music the church does not willingly let die, hymns rich in
doctrine and suggestive of holy childhood memories. The congregation has rights
which the minister is bound to respect, and one of them is, that there should be given
out at each service one hymn at least which is familiar to all. But it will not do to
keep singing over and over a few old hymns; there should be at least one new hymn
at each service. Hence we have embraced in this collection many modern tunes in
which the melody is so clear and sweet as to catch the popular ear, while at the same
time we have taken pains to omit the cheap and sensational airs which are sure in
the end to weary and repel people of good taste. Recognizing, also, the wide-spread
musical culture that characterizes our time, and the consequent demand in our churches
for a higher and more classical order of music, we have introduced many new adap-
tations from the great German and Italian composers, and following in the direction
of the old Laudes Domini, we have amply availed ourselves of the modern English
school with its rich and varied harmonies. We have striven to make the book
comprehensive, so as to meet and to educate the popular taste, and at the same time
to satisfy the most cultivated and fastidious of musical critics.
We hope that “ The New Laudes Domini” may help the people of God to attain
that which should be the final goal and product of all musical effort in our churches,
good congregational singing - praise which will not only be acceptable to our Lord,
but, as Milton says, will have
Power to mitigate and suage
With solemn touches troubled thoughts, and chase
Anguish, and doubt, and fear, and sorrow,
From mortal or immortal minds.
It must be a matter of honest pride to the Baptists on both sides of the sea to
discover, what has become more and more evident to us, as we have gone forward
in making our selections, namely, that a large and most honorable part of the whole
hymnology of the Christian church has proceeded from Baptist authors.
CHARLES SEYMOUR ROBINSON.
New York City, October 1, 1892.