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The hymns in this series have been chosen from various sources, most of them being such as would be found in any standard collection. The greater number, however, are taken from Bunsen's "Versuch eines allgemeinen Gesang und Gebet buchs," a collection distinguished above most others by its wide range of Christian experience and sympathy, and the poetic merit of the versions it gives. The short notices prefixed to some of these hymns are derived from the same source.

One or two verses have been omitted in several of the hymns, for in many instances even fine hymns are weakened by repetition, or disfigured by verses of decidedly inferior merit; this is especially the case with Paul Gerhardt, xii notwithstanding the remarkable beauty of his works. The original metre has been almost invariably maintained; in some hymns metres strange to our ears have been preserved with care for the sake of the fine chorales attached to them.

Alderley Edge,
    May 19th, 1858

*** From the frequent inquiries received from clergymen and others for tunes adapted to these hymns, it has been arranged to bring out an edition of the work, containing the fine old German chorales to which they are sung in their own country by vast congregations. This edition, which will shortly be completed, is now in progress, under the superintendence of Professor Sterndale Bennett and Mr. Otto Goldschmidt, and will be adapted for use in choirs and families.

Feb. 15, 1859

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