It’s interesting to note the different persons who are addressed in the various hymns that we sing. For example:-
1. To oneself: ‘Be still, my soul’; ‘Praise, my soul, the King of heaven’; ‘Tell out, my soul’, the greatness of the Lord’;
2. To others (3rd person plural): ‘Stand up and bless the Lord’; ‘O praise ye the Lord’;
3. To ourselves (2nd person plural): ‘Come, let us join our cheerful songs’; ‘Let us with a gladsome mind’;
4. From oneself (singular) to God: ‘O love that will not let me go’; ‘My God, how wonderful thou art’;
5. From ourselves (plural) to God: ‘We love the place, O God’
6. Referring to God in the third person: ‘Songs of praise the angels sang’;
7. To Jesus Christ: ‘Gentle Jesus, meek and mild’; ‘I am trusting thee, Lord Jesus’;
8. To the Holy Spirit: ‘Spirit Divine, attend our prayers’;
9. Indeterminate (i.e. it is clear who is speaking, but not clear who is being addressed): ‘I heard the voice of Jesus say’;
10. To angels (and to ‘blessed souls at rest’, etc.): ‘Ye holy angels bright’;
11. To a star(!): ‘Brightest and best of the sons of the morning’;
In some of these (10 & 11, for example), due allowance should of course be made for poetic licence. And, in any case, the analysis could probably be extended further.
But I think that enough has been said to indicate the richness and variety of expression in our hymns. I really don’t think that such richness and variety can be found in the range of modern songs that we sing. What I do think is that we ought, when selecting hymns for public worship, be aware of the kind of variety I have indicated above, and make it our aim to achieve some kind of balance between subjective and objective, and between first-person (‘I’), 2nd-person (‘we’), and 3rd-person (‘you’) forms of expression.