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TO THE RIGHT REV. THE
LORD BISHOP OF MELBOURNE.
MY DEAR BISHOP,
To avoid the delay which would be occasioned by my sending an application to you at your distant diocese, and waiting for your reply, I venture to assume the permission which, I doubt not, would be accorded to me, and to dedicate to you, at once, the accompanying pages.
It is a great pleasure to me to do so, because it affords me the means of paying a tribute to a prelate whose name, I feel assured, will not only be long reverenced in the diocese over which he has presided, and for which he has effected so much, but will be also remembered with gratitude by the Colonial Churches in general, as having given them the first example of a regularly organized and legally established ecclesiastical constitution.
Nor is it less gratifying to me to have an opportunity of recording the uninterrupted friendship which I have myself enjoyed with you from our first introduction at Trinity College to the present hour, and at the same time of acknowledging my obligations to yourself and other like-minded friends for the sympathy and encouragement afforded me during the prosecution of the present work.
In laying before the Public a new metrical version of the Book of Psalms, the Author thinks it proper, in consequence of the dissatisfaction expressed by some of his friends, and not unlikely to be entertained by others of his readers, at the absence of rhyme, to state briefly his reasons for the course which he has adopted.
Though fully alive to the attractiveness of this popular finish to verses, and not forgetting that from long habit it is looked for almost as a matter of course in a metrical version of the Psalms, the Author has been induced to disregard these considerations for two reasons: first, because, notwithstanding the beauty of rhyme in itself, it has appeared to him that a rhyming version is not so suitable to the character of the sacred compositions before him as one which is merely rhythmical ; and, secondly, because the introduction of rhyme would in his case (it might be different with a person of greater skill) have involved a wider departure from the literal meaning of the text, and prevented him from making use, to the extent that he has done, of the familiar and beautiful language of our authorized prose versions.