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AMONG the number of books composed for the use of children, though there are many, and some on a very rational plan, which unfold the system, and give a summary of the doctrines of religion, it would be difficult to find one calculated to assist them in the devotional part of it, except indeed Dr. Watts's Hymns for Children. These are in pretty general use; and the author is deservedly honoured for the condescension of his Muse, which was very able to take a loftier flight. But it may well be doubted whether poetry ought to be

1881, July 11.
Fist
83
Gorse Dexter,
Cambridge.
(M.U.1858.)

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AMONG the number of books composed for the use of children, though there are many, and some on a very rational plan, which unfold the system, and give a summary of the doctrines of religion, it would be difficult to find one calculated to assist them in the devotional part of it, except indeed Dr. Watts's Hymns for Children. These are in pretty general use; and the author is deservedly honoured for the condescension of his Muse, which was very able to take a loftier flight. But it may well be doubted whether poetry ought to be

lowered to the capacities of children, or whether they should not rather be kept from reading verse till they are able to relish good verse for the very essence of poetry is an elevation in thought and style above the common standard: and if it wants this character, it wants all that renders it valuable.

The author of these Hymns has therefore chosen to give them in prose. They are intended to be committed to memory, and recited. And it will probably be found that the measured prose in which such pieces are generally written, is nearly as agreeable to the ear as a mor regular rhythmus. Many of

these Hymns are composed in alternate parts, which will give them something of the spirit of social worship.

The peculiar design of this publication is to impress devotional feelings as early as possible on the infant mind; fully convinced, as the author is, that they cannot be impressed too soon, and that a child, to feel the full force of the idea of God, ought never to remember the time when he had no such idea-to impress them, by connecting religion with a variety of sensible objects, with all that he sees, all he hears, all that affects his young mind with wonder or delight; and thus, by deep, strong, and permanent

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