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CHRISTIAN LIFE IN SONG;
HYMNS AND HYMN-WRITERS
Many Lands and Ages.
BY THE AUTHOR OF
“TALES AND SKETCHES OF CHRISTIAN LIFE."
The translations in the following pages are all new, unless when the contrary is stated; because, the object of the translator being rather historical than literary, it was more essential than in ordinary cases that the colouring of the present should not be thrown over the faith of the past. The first aim, therefore, has been to 'represent faithfully the creed of the hymn-writers—the next, to reproduce their thoughts and images. Wherever this has been found practicable, the original metres have been imitated.
It is hoped that this volume will explain its own purpose; and it therefore only remains to state the authorities on which the hymns and biographies are given.
The historical facts are drawn from the ordinary
histories and biographies — German, French, and English.
The Oriental, Ambrosian, and Mediæval hymns have been selected and translated from those in Daniel's “ Thesaurus Hymnologicus,” Mone's “Hymni Latini Medii Ævi," and Trench's “Sacred Latin Poetry.” The hymns of Ephraem Syrus have been re-translated from the German version of the Syriac given in Daniel's “ Thesaurus;" all the rest have been rendered from the original languages, and are commended to the charity of those whose greater familiarity with classical literature may detect blemishes unperceived by the translator.
The German hymns have been translated from Dr Leopold Pasig's edition of Luther's “Geistliche Lieder,” Albert Knapp's “Liederschatz," and a “Sammlung von Kirchenliedern aus dem Gesangbuche der evangelischen Brüdergemeinen ; the Swedish, from hymns kindly sent to the writer by Swedish friends.
If the Christian men of former times cannot be our perfect examples, since we and they may own but One, they are still our fathers; and their creed, although not our Bible, is nevertheless our precious and sacred heritage. It is trusted that the treasures of sacred song, faintly reflected in these translations, may serve to illustrate that unity of faith which binds one age to another through the Communion of Saints. If they help to raise any hearts to Him in whom alone that unity is life, the first and dearest purpose of the writer will be attained, .