28 FEBRUARY 1885, Page 14



Sin,—May I be permitted to point out a slight error into which your reviewer has fallen in his kindly notice of "Congregational Hymns." He there speaks of Watts's hymn in which the verse "In thee what endless wonders meet," as beginning with "Celestial King our spirits lie trembling beneath thy feet." This is the third verse of that hymn, which is the first in Book I. of the " Horm Lyricm." The hymn begins with the line" Who dtres attempt th' Eternal name ?" If the hymn as a whole—or even a part of it, sufficient and complete enough for use—had been as fine as the verse quoted by your reviewer, I would certainly have included it in my collection. I may perhaps be permitted at the same time to express my conviction that George Herbert's lines on "Virtue "—" Sweet day, so cool, so calm, so bright,"—whilst lovely as a poem, are not in any sense a hymn. His poem called "Sunday," beginning with the line "Oh day most calm, most bright," which is often confounded with the former, is more like a hymn, but even that is not adapted for singing. I am too great a lover of George Herbert and his poetry to have omitted anything of his that seemed to me suited for singing, either in the home or the church. The canon I laid down for my collection was that everything in it should be suitable for singing ; and it was this which led me to exclude many compositions with what your reviewer calls "the stamp of keen personal feeling."

Had I felt at liberty to increase the size of my book, and devoted, as Dr. Martineau has done, a section to private devotional readings, I should gladly have included them, since I recognise their beauty and helpfulness to • the spiritual life quite as fully as your reviewer does. Some day I may, perhaps, offer the public a collection of sacred verses suited rather for private reading than singing, in which these would find a place.

—I am, Sir, &c., W. GARRETT HORDER.