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This Hymn Book is the result of an agreement between Alexander Campbell—the former proprietor of the Christian Hymn Book—and the Christian brotherhood at large, as represented in the American Christian Missionary Society. At the annual meeting of the Society, in 1864, an overture was made by Mr. Campbell, of the copy-right of the Christian Hymn Book, to be held by certain brethren, in trust, on two conditions: 1. That a committee be mutually agreed on by himself and the Society, to revise and enlarge the book, so as to meet the general wishes of the brotherhood of Disciples; 2. That the profits arising from the sale of the book be given to the A. C. M. S. This overture was accepted, and the Committee of Revision was immediately appointed. That Committee, having fulfilled their task, now present the fruit of their labors to the public.

It will be seen that, while the former book was made the basis of this, the work of revision and enlargement has been made as thorough as possible. Still, comparatively few hymns have been expunged. After making as complete an exploration as our time would allow, of the realms of Christian Hymnology, we were more than ever convinced of the value of the labor, judgment, and taste, displayed in the compilation of the book we have so long used and cherished. We have met with no book of equal size, that possesses equal merit. The principal changes we have made, are:

1.—A new classification of subjects—increasing the facility of reference to hymns on the various subjects of song.

2.—An unbroken series of numbers to the hymns, which, while it necessitates the abolition of the formal distinction between Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs, enables us to avoid the confusion that constantly grew out of the three series of numbers, which the former classification required.

3.—The numbering of the stanzas of every hymn, for easy reference, when any stanza is omitted in singing.

4.—An arrangement of meters, under every heading.


5.—A greatly enlarged number and variety of hymns, suited to the diversified wants of personal, social, and public devotion.

We take pleasure in acknowledging our indebtedness to numerous brethren, for counsel and assistance; especially to Elder William Baxter, whose collected material and original contributions have been cheerfully placed at our disposal.

While we have admitted a few original hymns, prepared expressly for this work, the additions have been made mostly from the old authors, or from the new resources furnished by the living authors of our own and other lands. It is believed that the work is brought fully up to the resources and demands of the present time.

Knowing that in Christian families, the Hymn Book is generally the most popular book of sacred poetry, and, not seldom, the sole resource of the family in that department, we have felt the importance of a large variety of the choicest lyrical productions that our language affords. We have done what our time and means would allow, toward this end. We hope that it may minister to the comfort, strength, and purity of the Church of God; throw over many a hearth-stone, and many a weary pilgrim-path, the sweet radiance of heavenly song; and give fresh encouragement to the cultivation of all pious sentiments and emotions, alike in the closet, the family, the prayer-meeting, and the public assembly.

Cincinnati, O., August 7, 1865.
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