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Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1871, by
THE BIBLE AND PUBLICATION SOCIETY, In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.
THE preparation of a new hymn book for the use of our Baptist churches has been long and earnestly urged upon this Society. So numerous and pressing had these appeals become, that the Board was no longer justified in bearing alone the responsibility of inaction, and accordingly, in 1867, at the Anniversaries in Chicago, the subject was referred to the Society. The Society appointed a committee who reported the following resolutions :
1st. “That they regard the publication of a new hymn book for the use of our churches desirable and important.
2d. “That they deem the American Baptist Publication Society the suitable vehicle for giving the denomination its book of sacred songs."
The work thus inaugurated has been steadily pursued. It has proved to be one of no common magnitude, involving the study of almost all the hymns in the language. It has also involved extensive correspondence with competent persons in different parts of the country, not only as to their judgment of particular hymns, but also to learn just what were deemed to be the imperfections of the books in use, and how these imperfections could best be remedied.
The present volume is the result of our efforts. In its preparation it has been our aim to furnish, not everything, but the best. Should some favorite hymn be missed, it need not be supposed to have escaped our attention ; out of many thousand hymns, one thousand only were to chosen. Some hymns, ende ed by sacred
associations and that we would gladly have retained, had necessarily to be omitted.
In the preparation of this book, we have constantly remembered that it is to be used by those who are born of God. The ideal of the service of Christian song is declared in the words of the Apostle Paul, “I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.” Hymns which express those emotions that are the fruits of the Spirit have been specially sought, and those which utter merely natural feelings or human sentimentalism have been, as far as possible, rejected. We have aimed to make a book which shall be emphatically a book of praise, embodying the warm outgushings of Christian emotion,-of penitence, faith, hope, love, joy, peace, and holy aspiration,-a book which shall be full of Him whom God hath highly exalted, giving him a name, which is above every name; that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
May he who inhabits the praises of Israel accept from his redeemed people these offerings of grateful and adoring love.
The number at the right hand of the hymn refers to the page in the Baptist Hymn and Tune Book, on which the hymn will be found.
BAPTIST HYMN BOOK.
0. M. Benito
Let us draw near.
Up to the courts above,
Upon a throne of love.
And venture near the Lord:
Nor double flaming sword.
Are opened by the Son;
And reach th'almighty throne.
Great Advocate on high;
Who lays his anger by.