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POSTSCRIPT

The task which I had set myself to do is completed. Whatever may be the fortune of the little work, I have had much pleasure, and, I hope, some profit, in the accomplishment of it.

At intervals from parochial visiting and ministerial duty, on a walk, or reclining by the Wye side, or on the ridge of Marcle Hill, I have made, bit by bit, the translation of the first, the earlier and shorter, part of the Anthologia Graeca Carminum Christianorum. I have had no other edition, no explanatory notes, no help or guidance--nothing but the text of the beautiful Leipsic volume, edited in 1871 by the eminent scholars, W. Christ and M. Paranikas. Under such circumstances, it can hardly be otherwise than that I have made blunders which the learned reader will detect 160 here and there, yet I trust the errors will be few and pardonable. Owing to the difference of idiom, and the exigency of metre, some additions, some omissions, there must be. Yet I hope to be able to claim the credit of having fairly and faithfully reproduced the poetic thoughts and holy aspirations of the grand old Greek Christians whose songs and hymns I have ventured to take in hand.

There remain four short hymns of unknown authorship (υμνοι αδεσποτοι), not in verse, but measured prose. These I now render into plain English, line for line and word for word. They are, I doubt not, true specimens of the "psalms and hymns and spiritual songs"3535Eph. v. 9; Col. iii. 16. of the earliest Christians, portions of the divine poetry of the Old Testament combined with the glorious facts and truths of the New. They show also the great antiquity of parts of the Church of England Liturgy and Communion Service, and may well be used now in the way they were designed of old.


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