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66                               FRANKLIN-SQUARE SONG COLLECTION.
A Hymn is a lyrical discourse to the feelings. It should either excite or express feeling. The reci­tation of historical facts, descriptions of scenery, narrations of events, meditations, all may tend to in­spire feeling. Hymns are not to be excluded, there­fore, because they are deficient in lyrical form, or in feeling, if experience shows that they have power to excite pious emotions. Not many of Newton's hymns can be called poetical; yet there are few hymns in the English language that are more useful. Scarcely any two ministers would agree in the selec­tion of hymns. A collection should be made so large and various that every one may find in it that which he needs. Neither should one complain of the multitude of hymns useless to him. They are not useless to others. A generously spread table is not at fault because, in the profusion, each guest cannot use everything. Every one should have all
the liberty and the means of following his own taste. Hymn-books have often been so fastidiously made, as not only to exclude many hymns, as extravagant, that were not half so extravagant as are the Psalms of David, and as is all true and deep feeling which gives itself full expression; but also those retained have been abused by corrections, so called, and tamed down from their noble fervor and careless freedom, into flat and profitless propriety. No lan­guage can well replace that which the original in­spiration of the author suggested.—H. W. Beeclier, One evening, I found Felix Mendelssohn deep in the Bible, " Listen," he said, and then he read to me, in a gentle and agitated voice, the passage from the First Book of Kings, beginning with the words,. " And behold the Lord passed by." " Would not that be splendid for an oratorio ?" he exclaimed ; and it did become part of his work, the Elijah.—Hiller.
KINDRED HEARTS. P
German. Felicia Hemans.







E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III