Hymns of the Ages
Being Selections from the Lyra Catholica, Apostolica, Germanica, and other Sources, with an Introduction by Phillips, Sampson, & Co. 1859. Square 8yo. pp. 300.. Boston :
IN this exquisitely-printed volume the editors have collected specimens of the devotional poetry of the Christian Church, including translations front the Roman Breviary, as well as from German hymns, with a few from English sources. There has been no attempt, evidently, to conform to the requirements of any creed ; the devout Catholic, as well as the Episcopalian Churchman, will find here the favorite aspirations, penitential strains, and ascriptions of praise, which have been consecrated by generations of worshippers. To American readers the collection will, be substantially new, since hardly a dozen of the hymns are to be found in the volumes in use in our churches. If it had been the purpose of the editors to gather all the classic religious poetry, to form a sacred anthology, it would have been necessary to print a great number of the hymns in modern collections ; and the volume would in that case have lost in novelty what it gained in completeness.
Those who like to go back to the ancient forms of worship for inspiration, who feel the force of association in the lyrics which have come down from almost apostolic times, will find in this book an aid to devotion and religious contemplation. With a little more care in excluding stronglymarked doctrinal stanzas, the “ Hymns of the Ages,” if less characteristic, would have been more truly catholic, and therefore acceptable to a larger portion of the Church Universal.