The great success and usefulness of the SACRED SONGS, published by the American Tract Society in 1842, attest its excellence. This smaller collection is not designed to supersede that, but to supply a want, felt and expressed in all parts of the country, of a manual fitted for general use, especially in meetings for prayer and in the family circle — compact, convenient, and cheap, and at the same time comprising most of the hymns and tunes that are established favorites with Christians of every name. To assist the people of God in his worship and to promote the salvation of souls, are the great objects to which, in making this selection, every other consideration has been subordinated. It is believed that the experienced worshipper will recognize at almost every page the music and verse that are interwoven with his deepest hopes and joys, like words of holy writ. The tastes and partialities of all have been regarded in the choice of tunes and hymns, and it is hoped there are none in this volume which Christians generally will "willingly let die." From the SACRED SONGS those only have been
4taken that seem essential to every good collection. The hymns have been kept in their most authentic form, as well as the tunes, which have been examined by the highest musical authority, and are changed from the current arrangement as seldom and as slightly as possible consistently with the laws of harmony.
It is a pleasure to acknowledge the Christian liberality of various living composers and the respected publishers of their valuable works, in generously allowing the insertion of their choicest copy-right tunes in this unpretending selection. Such acknowledgments are especially due to two whose praise is in all the churches, LOWELL MASON, Esq., by whom one third of all the tunes in the book were composed or arranged, and THOMAS HASTINGS, Esq., who has given many of his choicest tunes and aided in preparing the work for the press; also to Mr. W. B. Bradbury, and others. The tunes of which a copy-right is claimed are designated in the Index at the close. May those who wrote and all who shall sing them unite in the triumphant hallelujahs of heaven.