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SELECTION OF TUNES AND HYMNS,
BY HENRY BACON.
Let the words of my lips, and the meditations of my heart, be accept
SABBATH SCHOOL DEPOSITORY, 25 CORNHILL:
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1849, by
A. TOMPKINS, In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of Massachusetts.
HOBART AND ROBBINS ;
HERBERT has beautifully said, that we may look: merely at the glass of a window, or through it, and the heavens espy. This aptly sets forth the proper relation of all ritual services : they are designed to let in the light of devotion to the soul, and not to shut out the view of spiritual truth and beauty. They communicate the devotional feeling which originated them. They come in as aids to devotion, -as mediators between the senses and the spirit. They bridge over the chasm which is so often felt to exist between our relations to material and spiritual things, and bring us more speedily than we should otherwise be brought into communion and fellowship with the Divine. This is nowhere more apparent than in the Sabbath school ; and in all denominations where use has been made of any kind of a liturgy, as an aid to devotion, its utility has been demonstrated. It secures a participation in the devotional exercises of the school better than the opposite method of extemporaneous prayer.
Such a conviction impelled to the preparation of the SERVICE Book now presented to the public. Several books designed to meet the same wants are already before the public; but it is believed that the work herewith offered for the acceptance of Sabbath schools, is nearer what Pastors and Superintendents desire in such a work than any one yet issued..
It contains thirty-seven regular, and twelve occasional ser• vices, with forms for the induction of officers and teachers;
a collection of tunes with appropriate hymns; and a selection of hymns suitable for all the themes and occasions which may arrest the attention of a school. The whole number of hymns in the book is over two hundred.
The verse with which each regular service opens is designed to be read or sung, to fix attention. The Scripturereading, as also the Prayer, can be read by the whole school, or by the Superintendent; or, which is often very impressive, the male and female scholars may read alternately a period of the Scripture-reading. So also with the verses of the hymn,- the males may read one verse, the females the other, and both the third. Sameness of procedure should be guarded against as much as possible, for by so doing, attention is best secured, and the service is rendered most effective.
All the prayers, and a large number of the hymns, were written for this work. The music, it is believed, will commend itself when tried; and for the selection I am indebted to Charles E. Carpenter, the very worthy superintendent of the First Universalist Sabbath school in this city, who has, for several years, trained our scholars to sing in the school and at exhibitions, to universal satisfaction.
Offering the best that I could do to answer what I thought to be the desire of those interested in the use of a Service Book in our Sabbath schools, I humbly pray of God that my labor may not be in vain.
HENRY BACON. Providence, R. I., Sept., 1849.