PREFACE TO THE EDITION OF 1861.
ti book of spiritual reading. It has been asked for very urgently and for some years by several persons, who have to do with ministering to those, with whom, from their being in sickness or in sorrow, the effort of following a connected prose book is hardly to be expected.
A few words should be said on the arrangement of the Hymns. The original idea was that they should follow the order of Catholic systems of dogmatic theology, with such portions of ascetical and mystical theology as should be practical. This idea has been carried out as faithfully as the nature of the work permitted; and it has engrossed much of the Author's time and attention for now more than thirteen years. The Collection is therefore divided into seven parts. The first contains Hymns on God, His Attributes, and the Three Persons of the Adorable Trinity. The second treats of the Sacred Humanity of Jesus, and the mysteries of the Thirty-Three Years. The third furnishes Hymns for the festivals of our Blessed Lady, St. Joseph, and the Holy Family, and for the Devotions in honor of them. The fourth part contains the Hymns addressed to the Angels and Saints, while the fifth is concerned with the Sacraments, the Faith, and the Spiritual Life. This last is treated of from the conversion of a sinner and his first ordinary piety to some of the trials, consolations, and experiences of the soul aiming at perfection. The sixth part consists only of seven Hymns, which are entitled Miscellaneous. They are meant to express the Christian's devout view of external things, such as the World, the Poor, and the Phenomena of Nature; and to some of them the title of Hymns can only be given in a large sense. The seventh part is occupied with what theology calls the Novissima, or Last Things; and the Hymns, which deal with devotion to the dead, with sorrow, and with the consolation of the sorrowful, are naturally classed with those on death, the future state, eternity, and the joys of heaven. All readers will probably in each part miss some subject which their particular devotion would have desired to find there. But obviously the task might be an endless one; and it is not unlikely, that, as it is, the collection will be considered rather too copious than too scanty.
It is an immense mercy of God to allow any one to do the least thing which brings souls nearer to Him. Each man feels for himself the peculiar wonder of that mercy in his own case. That our Blessed Lord has permitted these Hymns to be of some trifling good to souls, and so in a very humble way to contribute to His glory, is to the Author a source of profitable confusion as well as of unmerited consolation.
The Fecut oflhe Transfiguration. 1861.
The following Hymns do not, as will be seen, form anything like a perfect collection, but are given as a specimen of a much
end in view in the composition of them; first, to furnish some simple and original hymns for singing; secondly, to provide English Catholics with a hymn-book for reading, in the simplest and least involved metres; and both these objects have not unfrequently required considerable sacrifice in a literary point of view.
When God raised up our dear and blessed Father St. Philip, St. Ignatius, and St. Teresa, and gave them to His Church just as the heresy of Protestantism was beginning to devastate the world, those three Saints seem to have had distinct departments assigned to them. All of them, each in a different way, met the subjectivity, the self-introverted habit of mind, which was then coming uppermost, and thus rendered modern Catholicism the great object of our study and the model for our imitation, as being peculiarly fashioned, and that by the hands of Saints, for the warfare of these latter ages. St. Teresa represents the common sense, the discreet enthusiasm, of devotion and the interior life, which distinguishes Catholic asceticism and the mysticism of the Saints from the fanatical vagaries of the heretics. St. Ignatius, without debarring his children from any field of labor, took in a special way the education of Europe and the evangelization of distant lands for his department, and represented in the Church the principle of faith. St. Philip devised a changeful variety of spiritual exercises and recreations, which gathered round him the art and literature, as well as the piety of Kome, and was eminently qualified to meet the increased appetite for the Word of God, for services in the vernacular, for hymn-singing and prayer-meetings. Sanctity in the world, perfection at home, high attainments in common earthly callings—such was the principal end of his apostolate. He met the gloom and sourness and ungainly stiffness of the puritan element of Protestantism by cheerfulness and playful manners, which he ensured, not in any human way, but by leaving to his children the frequentation of the Sacraments as the chief object of their preaching, and their chief counsel in the spiritual direction of others; and he represented in the Church the principle o* love. St. Ignatius was the St. Dominic, St. Philip the St. Francis of his age. What was mediaeval
The Author has had a double PREFACE TO THE EDITION OF 1849. xix
and suited to the mediaeval state of things passed away, and there appeared at the Chiesa Nuova and the Gesd the less poetical, but thoroughly practical elements of modern times, the common sense which works and wears so well in this prosaic world of ours.
It was natural then that an English son of St. Philip should feel the want of a collection of English Catholic hymns fitted for singing. The few in the Garden of the Soul were all that were at hand, and of course they were not numerous enough to furnish the requisite variety. As to translations, they do not express Saxon thoughts and feelings, and consequently the poor do not seem to take to them. The domestic wants of the Oratory, too, kept alive the feeling that something of the sort was needed; though at the same time, the Author's ignorance of music appeared in some measure to disqualify him for the work of supplying the defect. Eleven, however, of the hymns were written, most of them for particular tunes and on particular occasions, and became very popular with a country congregation. They were afterwards printed for the schools at St. Wilfrid's, and the very numerous applications to the printer for them seemed to show that people were anxious to have Catholic hymns of any sort. The MS. of the present volume was submitted to a musical friend, who replied that certain verses of all or nearly all the hymns would do for singing: and this encouragement has led to its publication.
This, however, as the length and character of many of the hymns will show, was not the only object of the volume. There is scarcely anything which takes so strong a hold upon people as religion in metre, hymns or poems on doctrinal subjects. Every one, who has had experience among the English poor, knows the influence of Wesley's Hymns and the Olney Collection. Less than moderate literary excellence, a very tame versification, indeed often the simple occurrence of a rhyme is sufficient: the spell seems to lie in that. Catholics even are said to be sometimes found poring with a devout and unsuspecting delight over the verses of the Olney Hymns, which the Author himself can remember acting like a spell upon him for years, strong enough to be for long a counter influence to very grave convictions, and even now to come back from time to time unbidden into the mind. The Welsh Hymn-book is in two goodly volumes, and helps to keep alive the well-known Welsh fanaticism. The German Hymn-book, with its captivating double rhymes, outdoes Luther's Bible, as a support of the now decaying cause of Protestantism in the land of its birth. The Cantiques of the French Missions and the Laudi Spirituali of Italy are reckoned among the necessary weapons of the successful missionary; and it would seem that the Oratory, with its "perpetual domestic mission," first led the way in this matter. St. Alphonso, the pupil of St. Philip's Neapolitan children, and himself once under a vow to join them, used to sing his own hymns in the pulpit before the sermon. It seemed then in every way desirable that Catholics should have a hymn-book for reading, which should contain the mysteries of the .faith in easy verse, or different states of heart and conscience depicted, with the same unadorned simplicity, for example, as the "t) for a closer walk with God" of the Olney Hymns; and that the metres should be of the simplest and least intricate sort, so as not to stand in the way of the understanding or enjoyment of the poor; and this has always been found to be the case with anything like elaborate metre, however simple the diction and touching the thoughts might be. The means of influence which one school of Protestantism has in Wesley's, Newton's, and Cowper's hymns, and another in the more refined and engaging works of Oxford writers, and which foreign Catholics also enjoy in the Cantiques and Laudi, are, at present at least, unfortunately wanting to us in our labors among the hymn-loving English.
The kind reader is requested then to consider these Hymns as a sample upon which the Author wishes to invite criticism, with a view to future composition, if sufficient leisure should ever be allowed him for such labor; and they may perhaps be permitted, provisionally at least, to stand in the gap, which they may not be fitted permanently to fill, in our popular Catholic literature.
F. W. FABER,
Priest of the Oratory of St. Philip Aert.
The Oratory, London,
Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus,
O happy Flowers! O happy Flowers! 90 3U7
O Jesus! God and Man! 100 338
O Jesus! if in days gone by, 110 363
O Jesus, Jesus! dearest Lord! 14 65
O Lord! my heart is sick, 5 37
() Lord! when I look o'er the wide-spreading world, .... 127 417
0 Majesty unspeakable and dread! 6 40
O Mary! Mother Mary! our tears are falling fast, .... 87 295
() merciful Father! the blow that we feared, 142 471
O mighty Mother! why that light, 85 139
O Mother! I could weep for mirth 41 161
O Mother! will it alwayB be, 57 206
O Paradise! O Paradise! 149 497
O purest of creatures! sweet Mother! sweet Maid! .... 39 156
O Queen of Sorrows! raise thine eyes, 32 128
O Soul of Jesus, sick to death I 25 109
O vision bright! 48 181
Oh! balmy and bright as moonlit night, 52 194
Oh come and mourn with me awhile! 26 113
Oh come to the merciful Saviour who calls you, 103 345
.Oh do you hear that voice from heaven, 109 361
Oh for freedom, for freedom in worshipping God 99 334
Oh for the happy days gone by, 122 400
Oh how the thought of God attracts, 115 375
Oh 1 could go through all life's troubles singing, . . . . 118 386
Oh it is hard to work for God, 98 330
Oh it is sweet to think, 134 445
O turn to Jesus, Mother! turn 56 204
Oh what are the wages of sin, . . 104 349
Oh what is this splendor that beams on me now, . . . . 150 499
One God! one Majesty! 1 27
Once in the simple thought of God, 125 409
Pining for old poetic times, 84 284
Praise, praise to Jesus, Joseph, Mary, 63 219
Saint of the Sacred Heart 71 247
Saint Philip came from the sunny South 80 273
Saint Philip! I have never known, 82 279
See! the sun beyond the hill 92 311
Sing, sing, ye Angel Bands 47 178
Souls of men ! why will ye scatter, 102 342
Summer suns for ever shining 42 165
Sweet Saint Philip! thou bast won us, 81 277
Sweet Saviour! bless us ere we go, 88 298
Sweet Saviour! take me by the hand, 140 463
That music breathes all through my spirit, 130 425
The chains that have bound me are flung to the wind, . . . 105 351
The day, the happy day, is dawning, 40 159
The grief that was delayed so long 136 450
The land beyond the Sea! 147 491
The moon is in the heavens above, 54 200
The Shadow of the Rock 145 484
The starry skies, they rest my soul, 131 430
The thought of God, the thought of Thee, 94 317
There are many saints above, 62 217
Think well how Jesus trusts himself, 117 381
To arms! to arms! for God our King! 64 222
Thou touchest us lightly, O God! in our grief, 146 488
Thousands of years had come and gone, 30 123
Unchanging and unchangeable before angelic eyes, .... 37 146
We come to Thee, sweet Saviour! 29 120
What end doth he fulfil, 128 420
What is this grandeur I see up in heaven 49 183
Who are these that ride so fast o'er the desert's sandy road, . . 22 101
Why art thou sorrowful, servant of God? 112 368
Why dost thou beat so quick, my heart? 121 397
Why U thy face so lit with smiles, 33 131