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LONDON :

PRINTED BY WOODFALL AND KINDER

MILFORD) LANE STRAND, W.C.

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INDEX OF AUTHORS AND TRANSLATORS

INDEX OF SUBJECTS

INDEX OF TEXTS .

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xxiii

PREFACE.

A THIRD of a century has elapsed since the publication of the “Hymns for the Christian Church and Home." If during that time nothing had occurred to affect the value of the volume except a gradual enrichment of our religious literature by new hymns, the publication of a supplement would have satisfied every need : but, in passing through a generation remarkable for rapid change, Christian piety itself, notwithstanding its essential permanence, has insensibly modified its complexion; and, in its truest moments, resorts to other centres of meditation, and speaks in other tones, than those which were natural to our fathers. Hence, in justice to the exigencies of a fresh time, it is not enough to add what is absent; it is requisite also to withdraw something that is present, in manuals of an earlier date ; and, in attempting a complete re-cast of the materials at disposal for the lyrical part of public worship, I hope to provide better for a real continuity of religious life, than by any less extensive change.

Two opposite tendencies have become more and more marked in the devotional literature of the last twenty or thirty years. On the one hand, the Anglican movement which commenced in the fourth decade of this century has nurtured a retrospective and historical piety, which opens its heart to the traditions of the past, reproduces forgotten treasures of poetry and prayer and devoted life, and clings for strength to the last link in the catena of saintly examples. The place of the “Christian Year" and the "Lyra Innocentium," side by side with the Bible in the boudoirs of innumerable English homes, renders it needless to say how the tender music from this source has reached the soul of our time and moved it to accordant response. With this influence, however, resting as it does on Catholic authority, is inextricably blended an ecclesiastical type of Christianity ; not drawn from the interior of Christ's life, but made up chiefly from what others have thought and said about him, in looking back on the imperfect picture of his ministry. This secondary doctrine, of which he is not the source, but the object, was gradually assuming shape from the first pentecost to the end of the fourth century (the Council of Constantinople, A.D.

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