The Book Of Praise From The Best English Hymn Writers

450 Christian Songs & Hymns Selected & Arranged By Roundell Palmer

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iv                             Preface,
hymn-writers, as he calls it. But he had him­self, about thirty years before, altered the works of other men, in his Christian Psalmist, Bishop Heber, scholar as he was, and editor of Jeremy Taylor's works, silently altered Taylor's Advent Hymn in his own hymn-book; and the hymns of Heber himself, and of writers still living, such as Keble, Milman, Alford, and Neale, are met with every day in a variety of forms, which their authors would hardly recognize. Perhaps, when the masters of the art have taken such liberties, it may be explained on the same principle as that on which musicians, and par­ticularly the composers of anthems, produce variations from, and improvements upon, the works of their predecessors : and, indeed, some such variations of hymns are sufficiently good to take rank as new compositions; better than those by which they were suggested. But this is a rare felicity; and the result is widely dif­ferent, when the work of alteration is under­taken by incompetent hands.
In the present volume, while the Editor has not thought it necessary to give the whole of every composition, from which a selection of parts might, in his judgment, more advan­tageously be made, it has been his desire and aim to adhere strictly, in all cases in which it

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