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HYMNS

FOR THE

CHRISTIAN CHURCH AND HOME.

COLLECTED AND EDITED BY

JAMES MARTINEAU.

PRINTED FOR THE EDITOR,

AND SOLD BY
LONGMAN, GREEN, LONGMAN, AND ROBERTS,
PATERNOSTER ROW, LONDON,

1859.

147.8.131.

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PREFACE.

WORSHIP is an attitude which our nature assumes, not for a purpose, but from an emotion. Whenever it is genuine, it is the natural and spontaneous utterance of a mind possessed by the conception of the infinite relations in which we stand, and aspiring towards a point of view worthy of their solemnity. And though it breathes forth the deepest and greatest of desires, it is essentially an end, and not a means; and, like the embrace of friendship, or the kiss of domestic affection, loses all its meaning when adopted from conviction of its reasonableness, or with a view to personal advantage. Those who ask, or would explain, what it is for,—whether disposed to regard it as serviceable for persuading God, or for benefitting man,-have as absolutely lost its true spirit, as the mother would forget her nature, if she were to regulate her caresses by expediency. The plaints of a sacred sorrow, the cry of penitence, the vow of duty, the brilliancy of praise, shed forth, like the laughter and the tears of infancy, from a heart conscious of nothing else, are examples of the true and primitive devotion.

In opposition to this Natural idea of worship stands the Utilitarian, which considers it an “In

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