Excerpt from A Collection of Hymns, for the Use of the People Called Methodists: With a Supplement And here I beg leave to mention a thought which has been long upon my mind, and which I should long ago have inserted in the public papers, had not I been unwilling to stir up a nest of hornets. Many gentlemen have done my Brother and me (though without naming us) the honour to reprint many of our Hymns. Now they are perfectly we] come so to do, provided they print them just as they are. But I desire, they would not attempt to mend them: for they really are not able. None of them is able to mend either the sense or the verse. Therefore, I must beg of them one of these two favours either to let them stand just 'as they are, to take them for better for worse: or to add the true reading in the margin, or at the bottom of the page; that we may no longer be accountable either for the nonsense or for the doggerel of other men.
But to return. That which is of infinitely more moment than the Spirit of Poetry, is the Spirit of Piety. And I trust, all persons of real judgment, will find this breathing through the whole Collection. It is in this View chiefly, that I would recommend it to every truly pious reader, as a means of raising or quickening the spirit of devotion; of confirming his faith; of enlivening his hope; and of kindling and in creasing his love to God and man. When Poetry thus keeps its place, as the handmaid of Piety, it shall attain, not a poor perishable wreath, but a crown that fadeth not away.
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