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Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1865, by
THE N. E. UNIVERSALIST PUBLISHING HOUSE,
Stereotyped and Printed by
37 Congress Street.
By a major part of the Congregations and Parishes which accept the faith, and adhere to the organization, of the Universalist Church in the United States of America, this volume will be used, for the present at least, exclusively as a Hymn Book: by some (and this number is rapidly increasing) it will be adopted as a Book of Vespers, also; and by others it is probable there will be found amongst its remaining contents something to supply an occasional, if not a permanent, need.
The character and variety of the Selections-embracing, as they do, not only a large number of those standard hymns, which, from their religious fervor, beauty, or familiarity, have become indispensable aids to worship in all Christian Protestant congregations, but also many of the finest hymns and lyrics of modern times, not a few of which have been written since the publication of any other Hymn Book - are such, it is believed, as will commend the volume to those congregations which feel the want of a Hymn Book, only. Its value to such, is in no manner lessened by the fact that it contains other matter than hymns, while to all who find in these forms, or any of them, something to help them in their Christian work, its usefulness will be thereby increased. To these, it will be at once more convenient and economical than two volumes containing the same matter could be.
By many of the best minds and most earnest souls in our
Church, it has long been thought that a work of this kind would promote its more perfect organization, its better unity, and its higher life. And the hope is entertained that there are no families within its fold, to whom it shall be introduced, in which it will not be a minister of aspiration, strength, and comfort.
The book will be found to differ from other Hymn Books in the fact that it is also a Book of Prayer. It is unlike other Liturgies, in that it is largely and mainly a Hymn Book.
It will also be found to differ from the Liturgies and Prayer Books heretofore prepared for the use of our Church, in the closeness with which it follows the Book of Common Prayer of the Episcopal Church, departing from the same only when necessary for purposes of brevity, to avoid objectionable or questionable matters of doctrine, and to bring the different Services into better harmony with the instincts and methods in and by which alone the former can best live.
The language of the Book of Common Prayer is the language of our English translation of the Bible, and for the uses of a Liturgy it has never been equalled, and can hardly be surpassed. All attempts hitherto to improve upon it have failed, and it is not deemed expedient to add to their number at this time.
BOSTON, August, 1865.
The Prayers and Hymns, or Liturgy and Hymn Book, are so paged that they can be bound separately, and either used without the other, if need be.