Lyra Ecclesiastica/Second Series
Many may be likely to ask me, why I bring out another series of the Lyra Ecclesiastica when nearly all that were printed of the first series lie uncalled for in the hands of the bookseller? Surely, they will say, this alone is enough to show that neither the hymns themselves, nor the way wherein they have been done into English, have met the people's taste. To any who may put such a question to me, I can only answer, that I have not written these books with a view to suiting the taste of men generally, still less those of this country, where the views of most men, even on the weightest of all matters, the Christian faith to wit, and the Christian Church, are as wide of mine as the east is of the west, as numberless and strange, as the dialects of Babel, and as opposite to each other as to truth and the Church. My book has been written for those who love the old Church of our Fathers in all its hoary beauty; whose hearts burn in pondering on the deep and awful mysteries of our Faith; and whose souls, filled with reverential and adoring love, wander often in fellowship with the cloystered saints of by-gone times, to enjoy for awhile the warmth of unbroken devotion in the lone lovelyness of those spots which so often surrounded our Abbeys, and served to call heavenly things to every mind, till the mercyless tornado of the Reformation swept all that was holy and all that was beautiful from the land, one mighty offering to selfishness, industrialism, and gain. And there are many men of this stamp in the land; nay, even within the pale of the Protestant Establishment; and these will look with gladness on every indeavour to aid the devotion of their fellow-men by bringing them more acquainted with the hearts and feelings of our Fathers who lived in holyer and better ages, before the fiends of heresy and schism had been let loose for the scourging of the Church.
To this I will only add that as I have the satisfaction to know that some have found pleasure and edification in my first series, if this also should raise one good thought, or one holy feeling in any reader's breast, it's end will be more than answered, and I shall find therein further incouragement to go on.
A. D. W.
P.S. Words or letters inclosed thus [ ] have been put in by me on guess.
RICHARDS, 100, ST. MARTIN'S LANE.