« PreviousContinue »
OF THE STATE OF NEW-YORK
FOR TİE USE OF
TO WHICH ARE ADDED
PUBLISHED BY ORDER
“I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the un-
derstanding also. I will sing with the spirit, and I will
PRINTED BY M. BILLMEYER,
DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA, To wit :
BE IT REMEMBERED, That on the seventh L. S. day of July, in the thirty ninth year of the Inde****** pendence of the United States of America, A. D. 1814, GEORGE & DANIEL BILLMEYER, of the said District, have deposited in this office the Title of a Book the right whereof they claim as Proprietors, in the words following,
" A Collection of Hymns, and a Liturgy, for the use of
Evangelical Lutheran Churches ; to which are added Prayers for Families and Individuals. Published by or. der of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of the State of Nero-York.” “I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also. I will sing with the spirit,
and I will sing zoith the understanding also.” 1Cor.xiv.15. In copformity to the Act of the Congress of the United States, intituled, “ An Act for the encouragement of Learning, by securing the copies of Maps, Charts and Books, to the Authors and Proprietors of such copies during the times therein mentioned.”-And also to the Act, entitled, “An Act supplementary to an Act, entitled “An Act for the Encouragement of Learning, by securing the copies of Maps, Charts, and Books, to the Authors and Proprietors of such copies during the times therein mentioned," and extending the benefits
thereof to the Arts of designing, engraving, and etching historical and other prints."
PREFACE. THE singing of hymns is justly considered a delightful and important part of public worship. It was in use even among the ancient heathens. Moses introduced it, by divine command, into his religious institution; and David raised it to high perfection by his poetical talents and musical skill. Our blessed Saviour has recommended this pious exercise to his followers by his own practice ; and St. Paul exhorts us to “teach and admonish one another in spiritual songs, singing with grace in our hearts to the Lord.”
No act of social religion is either more pleasing in itself, or more happily adapted to cherish the love of God and man, than that which is enforced by these high authorities.
The Lutheran church in Germany is distinguished for its attachment to sacred music, and is possessed of, perhaps, the best and most numerous collections of hymns extant in the Christian world. From this source, our congregations in the United States have derived abundant supplies. The prevalence of the English language, however, makes it necessary for many members of our communion to conduct their public worship, altogether, or in part, in that language, and of course to provide for them a compilation of English hymns. This indeed been already attempted by several individuals. But as the selections, published by them, evidently admit of great improvement, another was ordered to be prepared by a committee appointed for that purpose by the Lutheran Synod of the State of New York, convened at Rhinebeck in September, A. D. 1812 ; and, in compliance with this order, the fol1 wing work is printed. It is not pretended to be as perfect as could be wished, nor are all its parts of equal value. But the materials, of which it is composed, have been chosen with no little care and consideration; a large number of Hymn-books of various denominations has been consulted; and it is hoped, that it will receive in a good degree the approbation of those for whom it is intended, and become a means of promoting their edification.
The same committee was charged with the preparation of a new and enlarged Liturgy for our churches. * Forms of prayer, with necessary directions and'addresses to congregations, are, accordingly, presented in this volume, proper to be employed in divine service generally, in the administration of the sacraments, and in the celebration of other solemn rites customary amongst us. But the use of these forms is left entirely to the discretion of congregations and ministers, the Synod having no design to make them binding upon any in connection with us, but judging that the leaders of the devotions of their brethren should be at perfect liberty to address the throne of grace in their own words. It will, perhaps, be found most expedient, that such forms and the free or precomposed prayers of ministers should be used alternately. At all events, the Liturgy will, we trust, prove serviceable to young clergymen, to vacant churches, and to persons remote from Christian temples and desiring to unite together in the adoration of the Most High.
Along with devotional exercises for congregations, it has been thought proper to publish others for families and individuals, adapted to a variety of situations, relations, and characters. Some of these, as well as several parts of the Liturgy, have been translated from the German ; others have been taken from English
authors and collections ; and a considerable degree of freedom has been used in selecting and framing them. We commend this part of the work particularly to the attention of our brethren in their domestic and private worship; believing, that it breathes a spirit of pure Christian piety and love ; and hoping, that it will assist in instructing the young and uninformed how to pray, in comforting the distressed, in awakening a sense of religion in the careless, and in quickening the faith, hope, and charity of upright believers in the Lord Jesus Christ.
To the whole of this book, as far as it agrees with his truth in scripture, may it please Almighty God to give his blessing, and make it instrumental in glorifying his name.
FREDERICK H. QUITMAN, D. D. President of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of
the State of New-York. AUGUSTUS WACKERHAGEN.
Secretary, p. t.