Books Should Be Free is now
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

Hymni ecclesiae   By: (1801-1890)

Book cover

First Page:

HYMNI ECCLESIAE

PARS I E BREVIARIO PARISIENSI

PARS II E BREVIARIIS ROMANO, SARISBURIENSI, EBORACENSI ET ALIUNDE

Londini APUD ALEXANDRUM MACMILLAN 1865

OXONII EXCUDEBANT T. COMBE, A. M., E. PICKARD HALL, ET H. LATHAM, A. M. ACADEMIAE TYPOGRAPHI.

HYMNI ECCLESIAE. PARS I. E BREVIARIO PARISIENSI.

PREFACE.

Of the three kinds of poetical composition which, in accordance with the Apostle's direction, have ever been in use in the Church, "Psalms and Hymns and Spiritual Songs," two are supplied by inspiration. We have no need, through God's bounty, to turn our thoughts to the composition of Psalms or Songs; and, to judge from the attempts which have been made, doubtless we are unequal to it. And the unapproachable excellence of the two which have been supplied serves to suggest the difficulties which beset the composition of the third which has not been supplied. Indeed, it is hardly too strong to say that to write Hymns is as much beyond us as to originate Psalmody. The peculiarity of the Psalms is their coming nearer than any other kind of devotion to a converse with the powers of the unseen world. They are longer and freer than Prayers; and, as being so, are less a direct address to the Throne of Grace than a sort of intercourse, first with oneself, then with one's brethren, then with Saints and Angels, nay, even the world and all creatures. They consist mainly of the praises of God; and the very nature of praise involves a certain abstinence from intimate approaches to Him, and the introduction of other beings into our thoughts, through whom our offering may come round to Him. For as He, and He only, is the direct object of prayer, so it is more becoming not to regard Him as directly addressed in praise, which would imply passing a judgment on Him who is above all scrutiny and all standards. The Seraphim cried one to another , "Holy, Holy, Holy," veiling their faces, neither looking nor speaking to Him. The Psalms, then, as being praises and thanksgivings, are the language, the ordinary converse, as it may be called, of Saints and Angels in heaven; and, being such, could not be written except by men who had heard the "unspeakable things" which there are uttered. In this light they are more difficult than Prayers. Beggars can express their wants to a prince; they cannot converse like his courtiers.

Much the same remark may be made about the Songs or Canticles of the Church, which are also inspired, and are a kind of Psalms written for particular occasions, chiefly occasions of thanksgiving. Such are the two Songs of Moses, the Song of Hannah, those in Isaiah, the Song of Hezekiah, of Habakkuk, of the Three Children, of Zacharias, of the Blessed Virgin, and of Simeon, most of which are in the Breviary, and the last four are retained in our own Reformed Prayer Book.

Yet though Hymns, as being of a measured length, and restrained metrically, are so far safer to attempt than Psalms or Songs, they have their own peculiar difficulties. They are direct addresses to Almighty God, which ever must be most difficult to the serious mind, whatever be the difficulty of other devotions. This, in the instance of Prayers, has led to the use of Sentences, such as occur in our own Services; which, besides the advantage of extreme brevity, for the most part admit of being taken from Scripture. It has led also to the repetition of the Lord's Prayer, and of the Kyrie Eleison ; and, again, to the use of Collects, which lessen the difficulty of addressing God by subjecting it to fixed rules... Continue reading book >>




eBook Downloads
ePUB eBook
• iBooks for iPhone and iPad
• Nook
• Sony Reader
Kindle eBook
• Mobi file format for Kindle
Read eBook
• Load eBook in browser
Text File eBook
• Computers
• Windows
• Mac

Review this book



Popular Genres
More Genres
Languages
Paid Books