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upon the throne, and to the Lamb!" During the intermediate period between these two great events, there is upon earth a mixture of evil and good; there is, on that account, a mixture of sorrow and joy; and the service of the church consists of PRAYER and PRAISE. We have sinned, we are afflicted, we pray: Our sins are forgiven, we rejoice, we sing.
If we consult the page of history, we find that among all nations where music has been at all understood and practised, it has been applied to this use, and employed in their religious festivals. Whatever was the object of adoration, in this manner was adoration paid. And as it is notorious, that most of the rites to be found among idolaters, were originally derived from the primeval church of God, and transferred to their false divinities, it is a fair supposition, that what was practised by one, had been first practised by the other. Short as the account of things and persons is in the Mosaic history of an infant world, we read very early of those who "handled the harp and organ.". It is impossible to say, at this time, what specific instruments are denoted by the Hebrew words; that they denote musical instruments of some sort, there is no doubt.
Rev. v. 13.
e Gen. iv. 21. Jubal, said to have been "the father of such," was indeed a descendant of Cain, and the seventh only from Adam in that line. But that, even in that line, idolatry had so early taken place of the worship of the true God, does not appear.
No sooner was there a regular national church established in Israel, a people selected by the Almighty for that very purpose, than we find music making a part of the ritual. "The trumpet was "blown in the new moon, on the solemn feast day; "such was the statute for Israel, the law of the God "of Jacob." The performers, vocal and instrumental, were ranged by the royal prophet, under divine direction, in their several classes, and appointed to wait in succession through the year." At the dedication of the temple by king Solomon, they were all assembled, and performed together, the whole nation joining in a grand chorus of praise and thanksgiving, while the glory of the Lord, a body of light above the brightness of the sun, descended from heaven, and filled the house of God.
If music in the Jewish church served to enliven devotion and elevate the affections, why should it not be used, to produce the like effect among Christians? Human nature is the same, and the power of music is the same: why should there not be the same application of one to the other, for the same beneficial end, under both dispensations? Vocal music ceased not with the law: why should
f 1 Chron. xxv.-In imitation of king David, the emperor Charlemagne, in the university of Paris founded by him, and in other parts of his dominions, endowed schools for the study and practice of music. At church he always sung his part in the choral service, and he exhorted other princes to do the same. He was very desirous also that his daughters should attain a proficiency in singing, and to that end had masters to instruct them three hours every day. See Sir John Hawkins, vol. ii. p. 31.
we suppose that instrumental music was abrogated with it? Surely, the trumpet may still be blown upon OUR feast day: the singers and players on instruments may still make their voices to be heard as one, in blessing and thanking the Lord God of Israel, the Redeemer of his people.
On that night, ever to be had in remembrance by us, when it pleased God to bring his first begotten into the world, the angel preached a short sermon on the subject of the nativity, and communicated to the shepherds the glad tidings of the Gospel: "Unto
you is born this day, in the city of David, a Saviour, "which is Christ, the Lord"-Immediately heaven's white-robed choristers appeared, and sung the anthem of the season" Glory to God in the highest, and " on earth peace, good will towards men "." On the evening before our Saviour's passion, when he celebrated the passover with his disciples, they sang a hymn, or psalm, together. St. Paul exhorts his converts, more than once, to cheer and animate each other, in their Christian course, by psalms and hymns, and spiritual songs, making melody in "their hearts," as well as their voices, "to the Lord." And this was the constant practice in the primitive church. Instrumental music could have no place during the times of persecution, when, for fear of their enemies, the Christians were obliged to hold their assemblies in secret chambers, in dens and caves of the earth. Organs are said by some to have
Ephes. v. 19. Coloss. iii. 16.
Luke, ii. 13.
been introduced into churches, about the middle of the seventh, by others, not till the eleventh or twelfth century; since which time this kind of music has made a part in the Christian service'.
With us of the church of England, indeed, it ceased for a short period in the last century. By the sectaries of that day, organs were holden in abomination; and the fury of an enthusiastic zeal, which seems to have been DEAF as well as BLIND, destroyed many capital instruments. It is observable, however, of Milton, though so warmly engaged against the church, that his taste got the better of his prejudices; for, in one of his smaller poems, he speaks of cathedral service-as it ought to be spoken of—and in a manner truly worthy of himself. It is much to the honour of the members of the kirk of Scotland, that many of them have lately subscribed liberally towards the erection of an episcopal chapel,
See Bingham. b. viii. ch. vii. sect. 14.
But let my due feet never fail
There let the pealing organ blow,
And bring all heaven before mine eyes.
with an organ, at Edinburgh. The votaries of presbytery not only bear the sound of the organ, but, I believe, have adopted it in some of their own places of worship in England. O might all their other prejudices in our disfavour die away and vanish in like manner!
The objections, in short, of any account, urged against choral music, are pointed at the abuse which has been sometimes made of it, and to which, like other good things, it is at all times liable. Great care should, therefore, be taken to keep the style of it chaste and pure, suitable to holy places and divine subjects. Religious harmony," says Collier, "must be moving, but noble withal; grave, solemn, and seraphic; fit for a martyr to play, and an angel to hear." The light movements of the theatre, with the effeminate and frittered music of modern Italy, should be excluded, and such composers as Tallis and Bird, Gibbons and King, Purcel and Blow, Croft and Clark, Wise and Weldon, Green and Handel, should be considered (and it is hoped they always will be considered) as our English classics in this sacred science. Nothing
The science of Music was ranked next to that of Theology by Luther, who is thought to have composed the notes now sung to the hundredth psalm.-On the true style and composition of music in general, and sacred music in particular, see the excellent observations made by the reverend and learned Mr. Jones, in his Treatise on the Art of Music, dedicated to the Directors of the Concerts of Ancient Music; Introduction, and occasionally through the work. The manner in which he has illustrated one science by ideas borrowed from another, in the way of analogy, shows the hand of a master.