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of the Church Militant. Each of the first three has its merits, which adapts it to peculiar phases of Christian feeling. That of Mr. Pratt is more objectively and variedly experimental ; that of Mr. Ryle more adapted to the specific purpose of instruction and comfort to those inquiring the way of truth ; that of Mr. Bonar to a fuller and more mature Christian experience. Mr. Ryle takes the inquirer to the cross ; Mr. Pratt instructs him there; Mr. Bonar shows him the peace and comfort which fall on the path from the cross, upwards to glory. We think these excellencies are united in the more copious but at the same time exquisitely selected collection lately given to us by our countrywoman, Miss Warner. If we were inclined to make one unfavorable criticism on the latter, it would be, that with Miss Warner the pietist element is more than fully represented. This, however, may be attributed in part to the design of her work, in part the necessarily more subjective view of religion taken from the feminine stand-point. But this we can pass over when it produces such touchingly beautiful hymns as the following. First:
One sweetly solemn thought
Comes to me o'er and o'er-
Than I ever have been before.
Nearer my Father's house,
Where the many mansions be;
Nearer the jasper sea.
Nearer the bound of life,
Where we lay our burdens down;
Nearer wearing the crown.
But lying darkly between,
Winding down through the night,
That leads me at last to the light.
Saviour, perfect my trust,
Strengthen the might of my faith ;
On the rock of the shore of death ;
Feel as I would when my feet
Are slipping over the brink :
Nearer now, than I think !
and this by Mrs. Waring:
Father, I know that all my life
Is portioned out for me,
I do not fear to see;
Intent on pleasing thee.
Through constant watching, wise,
And to wipe the weeping eyes;
To soothe and sympathize.
That hurries to and fro,
Or secret thing to know;
And guided where I go.
There are briars besetting every path,
Which call for patient care;
And an earnest need for prayer.
Is happy any where.
There are no bonds for me:
“That makes Thy children free;"
Is a life of liberty.
We must now close with a brief notice of contributions to Æsthetic Hymnology, of which the last few months have given us at least an average share. The first of these, “The Voice of Christian Life in Song, or Hymns and Hymn-writers of many Lands and Ages," is a really valuable work. Taking the Biblical, the patristic, the medieval, the reformation, the pietist and the missionary periods—if we can follow a classification of our own the editor gives a series of specimen-hymns, preceded by brief historical and critical prefaces. The work is well done, and is imbued throughout with a healthy spirit, both literary and religious. The want, if there be one, is in the lack of delicacy and elegance in some of the renderings.
Very different from this collection is the last that has been published, falling under this particular head. “Hymns for the Ages" is the title of a very extraordinary compilation. It comes forth, like the ancient mysteries, under a double guardianship; the first, the exoteric and avowed, that of the Rev. F. D. Huntingdon, of Harvard College; the second—the esoteric and anonymous, that of “K. C.” and “A. E. G.” From each of these quarters we have an introduction. Mr. Huntingdon, whose recent sermons had led us to hope something more positive than the very remarkable compound of religion. isms which are here represented—speaks with much reserve, as the outer, and to some extent uninitiated representative of and sponsor for those who are the actual authors of the editorial work. • « Most of the pieces," he tells us, “ are culled from the rich and hallowed minstrelsy of the Catholic communion. To many Protestants these pieces will be new.” “The volume is offered to the thoughtful portion of our community, with a cheerful confidence that it will fulfill an elevating, purifying, comforting ministry, in many hearts, closets, and homes." With this comes a preface by “K. C.” and “A. E. G.," which is a strange compound of sacramentarianism and pantheism, and which ends by declaring that“ the heart of humanity in its highest, deepest words, has spoken here, (in these hymns) still speaks; and the divine heart has listened, listens as we still believe, to these tender and glorious songs."
Now, these “songs" may be divided into the following heads :
1. Lyra Catholica, containing a large selection from the Breviary, among which we find odes to the Virgin, to St. John the Baptist, to St. Francis Xavier, to St. Lucy, to St. Elizabeth, Queen of Portugal. Deeply spiritual hymns by Faber, by Brydges, by St. Bernard, are interpersed with addresses to
John the Baptist, to “straighten our crooked, smooth our rugged ways, and smooth our hearts of stone;" and to the Virgin to gain for us "the light to love." Brydges' superb rendering of the “ Dies Iræ" is followed by a tawdry description of “the sister of charity," who is declared to have been, “ once a lady of honor and wealth.”
2. Lyra Germanica, containing a selection of the most sacramentarian of the Hymns already published under that title.
3 and 4. Lyra Apostolica and Lyra Innocentium, which are mainly selections from English Tractarian publications.
5. Miscellaneous, which contains, in connection with such sterling hymns, as, “Just as I am, without one plea,” and “My Times are in thy hand,” Mrs. Stowe's “ Calm of the Soul,” Mr. Longfellow's ordination ode, and part of his poem on the Springfield Arsenal, with a series of selections from “ Alger's Oriental Poetry," in which Brahminical and other pagan writers are called in to add their share to what the “ heart of humanity” here declares.
What we have here, therefore, is not an altar to the worship of the one God, but a Pantheon, in which in the first view, all faiths are placed in picturesque parity. Mariolatry, Sacramentarianism, Transcendentalism, Vishnuism, and Brahminism, sidle into the chancel and take their seats on the sedilia which the æsthetic taste and mediæval propensities of the editors have erected in the edifice which is to accommodate “all vary. ing phases of belief.” Such is the first view. The second, however, is less favorable. The TRUTH is not allowed to enter in its native integrity and beauty into this hierarchy of faiths. Whosoever comes in is to put on the æsthetic attire. In one or two cases, it is true, this process has been escaped. But take the following, to show in what way evangelical truth is to be emasculated, before it is permitted to be received into pantheistic sacramentarian toleration.
Version now before us. Jesu, I my cross have taken,
All to leave and follow Thee; I am poor, despised, forsaken,
Thou henceforth my all shalt be.
Jesus, I my cross have taken,
All to leave and follow Thee;
Thou from hence my all shalt be.
Perish every fond ambition
All I've sought, or hoped, or known; Yet, how rich is my condition,
God and heaven MAY BE mine own!
Perish every fond ambition,
All I've sought, or hoped, or known, Yet how rich is my condition,
God and heaven ARE STILL my own.
Let the world despise and leave me, Let the world despise and leave me; It has left my Saviour too;
They have left my Saviour too; Human hearts and looks deceive me, Human hearts and looks deceive me, Thou art not like them untrue.
Thou art not, like them, untrue; Whilst Thy graces shall adorn me, And while thou shalt smile upon me,
God of wisdom, love and might, God of wisdom, love and might, Foes may hate and friends may scorn me; Foes may hate and friends disown me;
Show Thy face, and all is bright. Show Thy face and all is bright.
Soul, then know thy full salvation, .
Rise o'er sin, and fear, and care ;
Something still to do or bear.
Think what sacraments are thine;
Child of heaven, canst thou repine ?
Soul, then know thy full salvation;
Rise o'er sin and fear and care;
Something still to do or bear.
Think what Father's smiles are thine;
Child of heaven, canst thou repine ?
It adds to the impropriety of this, that the mutilated copy before us is attributed to “Grant.” Now Grant stands in the public eye for Mr. Charles Grant, well known as a faithful hymn-writer of the school of Newton and Cecil. Whether he wrote this hymn, even in its original shape, may be doubted. · It first appeared in the early Methodist hymn-books, and was afterwards attributed to Mr. Lyte. But however this may be, Mr. Grant would have recoiled in horror from the utterance of the sentiments here attributed to him. To use his venerated name to indorse a theology against which his whole life was a protest, is as unfair as it would be to publish an infidel ode over Mr. Huntingdon's signature, or to make Archbishop Hughes sing a Bacchanalian song. We are confident, that whatever Mr. Huntingdon may think of the propriety of grouping together so many originally discordant faiths as those here collected, his sense of right will protest against the propriety of subjecting one, and that not the least loved and potent of all, to such fantastic and dishonoring a disguise as that here imposed.