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tained in our Liturgy, is far better has an appropriate music, and of a calculated for a close and exact kind which might be as easily exefollowing of the Apostle's direction cuted as the popular hymn' tunes -to speak to one another, and ad- now in use, if the people were monish one another, in psalms, and made acquainted with it. It will hymns, and spiritual songs. be readily perceived that I mean
Two or three verses of one of what is commonly called chaunta our metrical psalms, with their slow ing, which has always appeared to and solemn tunes, can but accom- me a happy device for the carry
plish this design in a very small ing into execution the Apostle's · degree, even if there were no other direction. The psalın and hymn
exceptions to this style of psalm- tune, and the anthem especially, ody, as for many years back per- may have a claim to a higher speformed in our parish-churches. cies of excellency; but for its Our modern hymns, though they sweet simplicity, unaffected tenhave many excellencies, and seem derness, and subserviency to the to be in actual possession of the meaning of the words, the chaunt office of edifying the people of seems best of all calculated for God, yet they fail most in the at- this occasion. In short, if I mistempt at the sacred dialogue, or take not, it is an invention to which responsive song. Hymns of praise the occasion itself bas given birth, drawn up in New Testament lan and will be found of all others tho guage we have, most unexception- most suitable mode of speaking in able ; but our hymns of instruction ourselves in psalms, and hymns, and and rehearsals of Christian experi- spiritual songs ; and if the Apostle ence, are generally, I think, better had the inspired Psalter in vieir, adapted for the use of private de- which is most probable, it is, in fact, votion, and the instruction of the the only method we can adopt exignorant, than for the solemnities actly to comply with his injuncof public worship. There is an tions. A late eminent writer has authority in the word of God, when very justly observed, “ Singing is either said or sung, at which no as much the proper use of a psalm, human composition can or ought as devout supplication is the proto aspire. Let an intelligent Chris- per use of a form of prayer ; and tian but use the inspired Psalter as a psalm only read is very much his manual of devotion, and he will like a prayer only read. Now the soon perceive a vast superiority, method of chaunting å psalm, such beyond every collection of hymns as is used in the colleges of the of human composition, however, universities, and in sonie' churches, from his present habits, he may is such as all persons are capable have been led to think otherwise of; the change of voice in thus Not that I extend this claim of ex- chaunting a psalm is so small and cellency to paraphrastic transla- natural, that every body is able to tions of the Psalms into modern do it, and yet sufficient to raise poetry; these I rank with hymns and keep up the gladness of our of human composition; and cer- hearts. You are therefore to containly some that affect no higher sider this chaunting of a psalm, as claim are as true and exact a re, something that is to awaken all presentation of the sentiments of that is good and holy within you; · the inspired writers as these poeti- that it is to call your spirits to cal psalms; but I mean a close and their proper duty, and to set you literal translation, after the divin in the best posture towards heaven, sion of the original Hebrew, like and tune all the powers of your that in our public Liturgy, sung soul to worship and adoration; for with its appropriate music; for it there is nothing that so clears the
way for our prayers-nothing that heart:"-meaning, evidently, that so disperses dulness of heart-10- we should affect our hearts with thing that so purifies the soul from sentiments of piety, and love, and poor and little passions-nothing holy joy. And though these spithat so opens heaven, or carries ritual feelings may be without muyour heart so near it, as these sic, and something more than musongs of praise : they create a sic is at all times necessary to exsense and delight in God; they cite them, yet both nature and reawaken holy desires; they teach velation itself do point out music, you how to ask; they kindle an as well instrumental as vocal, as holy fiame; they turn your heart an useful accessary to this end, into an altar, and your prayers and as having, from the constituinto incense, and they carry them tion of the human mind, a suitableas a sweet savour to the throne of ness to prepare it or these pious grace. The difference between exercises. This, if I mistake not, reading and singing a psalm will is the spirit of the Apostle's direceasily be understood, if you consi, tion here; not as though we were der the difference between reading to attempt, by any direct act of and singing a common song that our own, to embosom the divine you like. While you read it you inspiration-a' wind that bloweth only like it, and that is all; but as where it listeth, which no man can soon as you sing it, then you en- take to himself, or at his pleasure joy it, you feel the delight of it; communicate to another ; but that, it has got hold of you, your pas- by the means here pointed out, sions keep pace with it, and you the exercise of sacred psalmody, feel the same spirit within you that we should solicit, and prepare our there seems to be in the words *.” hearts to receive, those gracious
. Should it be urged, in favour of influences of the Spirit of God our present cheerless mode of re- which he hath promised to give to citing the Psalms, that the Apo- them that ask him. stle's expression is, “ Speaking to If I may be indulged a little. yourselves,” it should be observed, longer on this subject, which I canthat the phrase used by St, Paul, not but think is not sufficiently ataa28y7es Low.ois, - like " carmen tended to by the Ministers and memdicere” among the Latins, certain-bers of our Church, I would remark, ly signifies the conveying of senti. there are few persons who do not ments by singing. It follows, in- experience, more or less, the indeed, singing and making melody fluence of music, and especially in your heart unto the Lord ; or, that of the human voice, over the to aim at a more literal translation various passions and affections of of the last words, touching the the mind; and, again, these talents strings of the heart (Fam.OUTES EV TN are so generally diffused among moedice); or, if you please, with Dr. mankind, that you can scarsely Doddridge, “ chaunting in the ever assemble a number of people,
together, but that a sufficiency of * Law's Serious Cali, chap. xv. “The
i talent will be found, capable, if it ruie laid down for church music in England almost a thousand years ago was, that they
ev be called forth, to excite and give
be call should use a plain and devout melody, ac- a direction to the affections of the cording to the custom of the church: and whole assembly. Surely, one for the rule prescribed by Queen Elizabeth in the first time recognising this cirher Injunctions was, that there should be
cumstance in the composition of a modest and distinct song, so used in all parts of the common prayers in the church,
human nature, would exclaim, that the same may be as plainly understood Here is a powerful instrument, ei. as it it were read without singing +." ther of good or evil, whoever shall
+ Burn. Public Worship. seize it! To what purpose, then,
were these talents given-this sus- keep them from running into lawceptibility planted in the very na- less excess ? ture of man? To be an instru. There was a time (and that time ment, no doubt-a means of glo- will come again), when God alone rifying his Maker : and how excel- was the subject of song, and this lently is it adapted to excite holy heavenly gift solely appropriated to thought in the mind, to convey to laud and magnify the great and the heart of the mourner the con- bounteous Creator. solations of God's Holy Word, and We have witnessed the powerful especially to convey expressions of effects of music in its debased Jove and adoration and holy boast- state:-when the syren sings, when ing, which the mind of the crea- the drunkard cheers his companion, ture feels towards the everlasting when merely some idol amusement God, and in his promises. I would or idolized creature of the imagiseriously enforce it upon every nation is the subject of song, what conscientious Christian, in any mea- a flame, unhallowed indeed, is sure endowed with these powers, kindled! what unblessed joys are that he has a talent committed to felt! how does the mind expand him of God, for which he is ac- with the conception of the poor countable ; he has received a gift, vanity it boasts! a portion of the manifold grace of God, that he ought to minister to “Their song was partial, but the harmony, the edification of his people; and
(What could it eise, when spirits immortal
sang?) could all such who profess our holy Suspended bell, and took with ravishment religion, be induced faithfully to 'The thronging audience.”. employ their talent in that congregation where they are called to What shall we then conceive of serve, the obscurest parish-church that heavenly melody, when, in in the kingdom would not be want- perfect love and unison, in true ing in the outward means of making and reasonable ecstacy, the wliole the praises of God to be glorious ; creation, as yet unimpaired by sin, and that a Christian should ever united in one grand choir to extol employ this talent in any other ser- the name of the glorious Creator ; vice, has something in it, I cannot “ when the morning stars sang tobut think, of the crime of sacri- gether, and all the sons of God lege--a consecrated instrument is shouted for joy :" or, rather, what profaned! And when we hear the shall be the felicities of that scene fine powers of music employed to when the redeemed of the Lord extol the praises of the creature, shall come to Zion with songs of and especially to celebrate the ex- everlasting joy; when those who cellencies of some evil passion or have gotten the victory shall sing wicked excess, it certainly seems upon the harps of God the song of to partake of the nature of idola- Moses and the song of the Lamb try; for what more did he, who, in the great and marvellous works the rites of pagan worship, sang of the Lord God Almighty ; the the praises of his fabulous god, just and true ways of the King of than he who exerts the fascinating saints ? powers of his voice in extolling the But the precepts and examples vanities of life, in hymning the 'of revelation, which directly call for praises of hunting or drunkenness, the exercise of sacred p loody in or in painting, with seducing effi- our devotions, is what I wouid jarcacy, those passions of the human ticularly insist upon · not at I breast which require, at all times, know that its propriety is pazinie the utmost vigilance and care, to ed by any members of our church, yet it must be owned we have suf- the tumultuous passions which agifered it very generally to fall into tate the human breast to be more strange neglect and abuse, as if soothed and calmed, and better we saw nothing particularly divine regulated, in order to prepare for or excellent in this service. the reception of the spirit of pro
In addition to the apostolical phecy, than for those visitations precepts which we have considered and sanctifying influences of that above, the very circumstance of same Spirit which are wont to fill a number of psalms or sacred the Christian's heart with love and songs, purposely inspired for the holy joy, and to kindle there the public worship of the Church, and spiritual flame of true devotion ? actually set to music under the su- Assuredly not : for, in the former perintendence of inspired prophets, case, the man is only the organ is itself a sufficient proof that this whereby the Holy Ghost speaks to is -an acceptable offering to the others; but in this case he acts Lord; the worship which himself immediately upon the heart, the has chosen. Let us but notice him man is himself the end and object whom the Scripture has designated of his operation. by the title of the sweet singer of That our Lord himself sang an.
Israe', invoking all the powers of hymn or psalm with his disciples the music to celebrate the praises of night before his sufferings, will not God: Awake, . my glory; arake, be forgotten; and the exhortation lute and harp! And who can doubt of the Apostle, Heb. xiii. 15, if we of the mind of God in respect of carefully mark its connexion, fairly the use both of vocal and instru- transfers that part of the worship of mental music in subserviency to the Jewish temple to the Christian devotion? Here, surely, beyond church. By him, therefore, let uz all exception, we have a model offer the sacrifice of praise to God of a scriptural mode of worship: continually, that is, the fruit of our Therefore will I praise thee and lips, giving thanks to his name. thy faithfulness, O God, playing The Apostle had been speaking at upon an instrument of music; unto large of the superseding of the thee will I sing upon the harp, O Jewish ceremonial, as having rethou Holy One of Israel. Remark ceived its accomplishment in also the conduct of the Prophet Christ. He had just mentioned Elisha. An intercourse with wie- HIM as the victim whose blood ked men had ruffled his spirit : in sanctified the people, and he says, beholáing tkeir ungodly deeds he by, or, rather, because, or on achad vexed his righteous soul. It count of him (da), let us offer the was at a time, in short, when, de- sacrifice of praise. Now it appears siring the inspiration of the pro. that, according to the custom of phetic spirit, he felt that dissipa- the Jewish church, the offering of tion of thought, of which the praise ever accompanied the sacriChristian so often complains when ficing of the vietim: and when the he would step aside from his neces- burnt offering began, the song of sary vocation among men, to hold the Lord began also, with the trumintercourse with God. Observe, I pets and instruments appointed by say, on this occasion, the expe- king David of Israel. And all dient of the Prophet. But now the congregation worshipped, and bring me a minstrel. And it came the singers sang, and the trumpets to pass, as the minstrel played, the sounded, and all this continued till hand of the Lord came upon him. the burnt offering was finished *. Was Élisha's mind, I would ask, Such were the circumstances of differently constituted from the minds of men in general? Or need . * 2 Chron. xxix. 28, 29. i
this sacrifice of praise, which, it is I was at B ! it blows a storm, probable, was present in the view and the continual rains have of St. Paul, and of the Hebrews brought down the food, which, to whom he wrote; the tenour and like an invading enemy, is spreadspirit of his direction will therefore ing itself, and widening its conbe, “ Though no victim shall here- quests every minute. The cheerafter bleed upon your altars, yet ing sun is hidden the trees stand when ye assemble together in the leafless and desolate the meadow name of Christ crucified, to con- where the lamb formerly fed and template the memorial, or hear the gambolled is now a lake, and tarecord of his death and resurrec-, ken possession of by a new set of tion, by or on account of him offer inhabitants, the fish--the flowers, the sacrifice of God continually, as and even the ground upon which a never-failing ordinance, even the they grew, are no longer to be fruit of your lips, giving thanks-- seen--it is winter; but we expect or, according to the larger accept- blue skies, bright suns, gentle ation of the original word (ipodbyew), breezes, green leaves, and beauticonfessing to his name, acknowledg. ful flowers, will, by and by, return, ing his mercies, describing his ma- and the lambs will recover their jesty and greatness, and celebrat- former pasture! nay, we believe ing the wonders he hath wrought. that the winter, though unplea
sant, is necessary and useful in its ORIGINAL LETTERS FROM PIOUS
RS FROM POUS season; and the inconveniences it . CHARACTERS DECEASED.
brings, will likewise make the
spring and summer more welcome, No. LXXII.
and more sensibly pleasant, than From the Rev. John Newton, late if there was no change to take
Rector of St. Mary Woolnoth, place. Thus it is in the little London, to Miss
world: the soul experiences a vaDEAR MISS ,,
· riety and succession of seasons, · Though I cannot indulge my- but all are useful in their turns, self in writing many or long letters, and if it be now winter it will be while I have in hand the long bu- spring hereafter: the Lord will siness of transcribing and revising bush the storm, the Sun of Righmy hymns for the press, yet I teousness will again break forth, must not give you reason to sus. and give us clear shining after pect I forget you. Indeed, as you rain. Then the garden of the say, there is little often between Lord will flourish, graces revive, you and me but recapitulations, to and all will look new and cheerful. tell each other again and again How beautifully is this image set how good the Lord is to us, and forth in Solomon's Song, ii.10-13! what poor unsuitable returns we It is often said, that if men had the make to him. However, these are disposal of the weather, we should fruitful subjects, which will bear have but poor harvests; and I beabundance of enlargement, and lieve we should have poor'success may be branched into a variety of in the spiritual life, if we were perparticulars; and when we have mitted or left to choose our own talked for months, and written frames. Let us leave the disposal queries about them, all may be of the weather to the good, the briefly summed up the Lord is infallible, the great Husbandman : gracious, but we are sinners: to he will so adjust and vary his dishim belong compassions and tender pensations, that we shall be found mercies, but to us shame and cons fruitful in the time of harvest, and fusion of face.
be, like the corn, fully ripe, when How is the weather altered since the time comes for removing.us