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their own juice," as it was phrased. The Khedive was compelled to subunit to the humiliating measures proposed by Great Britain; and to secure the alliance of the King of Abyssinia by consenting to the cession of the port of Massowah, and the abandonment of a great part of the Soodan, drawing the new frontier on a line from Suakin through Berber to Khartoum. In the winter of 1883–84, Osman Digna, the leader of the slave-dealing coast Arabs, acting independently, and yet in relation to El Mahdi, inflicted crushing defeats on the Egyptians on the east coast. Suakin was the only remaining post that conld offer effective resistance. Belief in the irresistible destiny of El Mahdi paralyzed the courage of the troops, and convinced both foreign and native officers of the futility of any further attempts on their part to check his progress. The brilliant exploits of the British troops in the same region have since humbled the pride of Osman Digna, and done much toward the probable ultimate success of the British expedition, by way of the Nile, against El Mahdi.

Britain has a providential commission to execute there. Her snblime mission is to abolish slavery, establish beneficent commercial relations, and introduce that Christianity which will take up the work of ethnically-unifying Islam, and cause the unity in diversity of the human race to be apparent under conditions of truth, justice, and love.

The African race has attained its present civilization through the white race, notably from the Arabs. In order to raise itself to a higher civilization, it has need of a new initiation. To the white race, consequently, belongs the initiative in the development of the common civilization.*

The grand purposes of the Almighty march on to their ultimate accomplishment. Christian civilization is bent upon the redemption of the “Dark Continent.” Faith working by love is the golden line to be stretched across that boiling caldron of warring races—a line around which the different divisions shall crystallize-in distinction and yet in unity, in difference and yet at peace.

* M. d'Eichthal. " Bulletin de la Societé Ethnologique de Paris, 1847."

EDITORIAL MISCELLANY.

CURRENT TOPICS.

READING THE HYMNS. SEVERAL weeks since two successive numbers of “The Independent” contained each a contributed article devoted to the reading of hymns, as a part of the exercises of public worship. First, Professor Townsend, of the Boston School of Theology, recognizing the especially infelicitous style in which this part of the service is often rendered, proceeded to point out, somewhat “professionally," how it should be done. Some of his suggestions are unquestionably good; but our observation readings in poetry, and especially of hymns, by professional elocutionists, has not increased our confidence in the prospect of any considerable relief from this confessed evil by any of the ordinary rules of the rhetoricians. As with artistic music, so with artistic readings, both are but ill adapted to the requirements of public worship. The second paper is by Professor Harris, of Andover Seminary, who proposes to obviate the whole difficulty by entirely omitting that part of the service, which may remind one of the quack doctor's method for curing his patient—let him die, and that will make an end of the disease. The reasons urged for this are in the form of facts, which in nearly every case belong to the category of false facts. “It retards the progress of the service," he tells us; which, however, cannot be the case, if it is itself a part of the service, as it should be, and (as it is capable of being made) an important and especially interesting part. This assumption, that reading the hymn is not properly a legitimate part of the service, runs through all the plea for its disuse, and the whole objection falls if that assumption is set aside.

It is conceded that our non-liturgical worship is liable to suffer from want of attention to the æsthetical element, which is so intimately related to public worship; and but for which Church music of any kind would be out of place. The public reading of the Scriptures needs no defense; and though the lesson may be an entirely familiar one, its reading is not for that reason any the less acceptable or profitable. The sermon itself may present nothing really new, but be simply made up of “the old, old story," so often told in our hearing, and with which we have been familiar from our childhood. One might, at less expense of time and labor, read quite as good sermons at home_if wisely selected, much better ones than the average of pulpit discourses—and yet we do not plead for no sermon from the pulpit. The services of the house of God are not to be tried by the rules of either the concert or the lecture; they have other and higher purposes, and their exercises are to be directed by other rules. And these, properly understood and reduced to practice, will much more

than simply justify the reading from the pulpit of the hymns that are to be used by the choir or the congregation, as the case may be. In passing, it may be observed that the hymns, as to their sense and meaning, can be heard in the church only as they are read; for, unless helped by the book, the worshipers in most cases will be as ignorant of the words of the hymn ostensibly being sung as they would be if the language used were Italian or Choctaw. And as between private reading, whether at home or in the pew, and the public presentation, either -- said or sung," the preference must be conceded to the latter, if at all well rendered. So in the lack of intelligible articulation in the singing, the reading of the hymns is all that the congregation can have of these “aids to devotion.”

In non-liturgical worship, the hymns chiefly supply the place of the ritual; the "hymnal” holds the place of the prayer-book or the breviary. Every argument that can be offered in favor of “common prayer" applies with larger emphasis to congregational singing; and yet, in the peculiar condition of musical education among us, that style of worship has become very nearly impossible. We have been educated beyond the inartistic melodies of the past age, when quantity of voice compensated for any deficiency of correct musical rendering; but yet we remain, scarcely less than were our fathers, without musical training as to both performance and appreciation; and our choirs, away in the organ-lofts, seem to regard it as no part of their business to cause the silent occupants of the pews to recognize any thing but the mingling of sweet, but inarticulated, sounds. The rationale of placing the music at the farthest possible remove from the congregation, and in the most complete isolation, is among the unexplained mysteries which fail to excite surprise simply because we have become familiar with them. Sympathy, at such long range, is not easily awakened, and to average church-goers, that part of the service is something as to which they feel themselves to be spectators rather than participants. In nearly all American churches fashionable music is, by the mass of attendants, endured rather than enjoyed ; and those who have come with a sincere desire to worship and be edified, must wait in exemplary patience for the “performance” to end, and something appreciable to take its place. So far as instruction and stirring up the mind to spiritual thoughts and aspirations is the object to be sought for in public worship, about the only available good to be derived from the hymns must come from their being heard from the pulpit rather than from the organ-loft.

The old-style method of “lining the hymns," now quite antiquated, was not without its advantages. Words and sentences uttered by the living voice are vastly more effective than when simply presented to the thought through the eye; and then the retention of the words and forms of speech in the memory, that they might be sung a little later, tended to command closer attention and to fix them permanently in the memory. And there is but little room to doubt that church-going people of fifty Fears ago, among whom the hymns were “lined,” were much more familiar with the contents of their hymn-books than are their children and grandchildren. The Wesleyans in England still practice the tin honored usage with slight modifications. They usually first read + whole hymn through, often six six-line stanzas (they make much use the 6-8 measures), and then they repeat it, verse by verse, as it is sui The practice evidently improves the performance, for they are genere good readers of hymns, while with us there are very few such. A hy properly read is also interpreted in the reading, and its chief points emphasized and made impressive. There is all the difference in world between the mere recitation of a few lines of poetry, and rende! the piece in such a manner that the soul of the reader shall go out his words to the hearts of the hearers. It may be doubted whethe any other method so much of the very best forms of scriptural theo can be taught—not as dry dogmas, but as living spiritual verities—as judicious use of our hymns; but in order to this, the reader must hii be in sympathy with their spirit; must have rooted in his mind heart what he reads; and must render this service not merely per torily, but as an integral part of the worship of the house of the Lor

PHILOSOPHICO-THEOLOGIZING. It is a remarkable but a very obvious truth, that one's own failur dom convince him that he is not still entirely competent to teach how to succeed; and accordingly your thoroughly "played-out" usually assumes to speak oracularly concerning the things as to wh has most surely demonstrated his incompetency. Accordingly, Mr Frothingham, whose name is sufficient introduction to our reade who has certainly proved a most conspicuous failure as a religious t and at length has abandoned not only the pulpit but also the seems now to expect that he will still be regarded as quite comp dispose of all the great questions respecting the subjective phenoi “ religious experience," and therefore he asks us, in a late numbe “North American Review," to sit at his feet and learn of him.

It must not be supposed, however, that when he talks about " sion” he uses that word as one of the cant expressions of tho whom he differs. Quite the contrary; he includes himself am “all religious people (who) believe in a new life as the condition itual peace and contentment, and of that tranquillity of soul in supreme felicity.” All who are familiar with the dialect of th« quasi-religionists, in which Mr. Frothingham must be reckonedthe classification is rather loose-know very well that almost t vocabulary of evangelical religion has been made to do service i forth their “other gospel.” They can talk as readily as any rev mystic of "the new birth,” “change of heart," "sacrifice,” ar secration;" and, indeed, of whatever is understood by evang lievers as precisely indicative of the very things as to which their "liberal” antagonists are diametrically separated. But

tle attention to their utterances makes it manifest, that while the words are the same the sense is wholly different. It is not their method, however, to openly reject and antagonize the t which real Christians hold to be fundamental and indispensable, but to ignore all these, and then by another form of teaching to infuse new meanings into the language used, and so to divert the whole train and substance of thinking toward new, and distinctively other, modles and tendencies. ..It is known that in adopting the Greek language as a vehicle for the deer spiritual truths of the Gospel, new meanings were infused into the terminciogy of that classical language; insomuch that a lexicon of the ancient Greek is not a proper exponent of the Greek of the New Testament: A reverse course is now pursued; and the language of the religious life is, by a process of evisceration, compelled to indicate an unspiritual naturalism. The word and its cognates, which in the New Testament is used to indicate evangelical repentance, in its classical use implies simply “consideration " and "change of proceeding,” in respect to either methods or objects. Accordingly, it is now the fashion to restore to this word (and others in like manner) its old heathen import, and so reduce the repentance of the Gospel to a "reformation” of life and manners more or less thorough and far-reaching

The great and controlling design of the so-called liberal pulpit and press of the present time is to eliminate the supernatural from religion, Just as the Scientists have been especially concerned to get rid of God in mature, so are these, above all else, solicitous that their theology shall have the least possible of God in it. And as those find in nature the "promise and potency” of all the phenomena of the material world, so these profess to be able not only to explain all the phenomena of mind without going beyond itself, but also to provide for all the wants of humanity from within itself. And so neither class has any use for God. The language of Scripture is very freely employed by these writers and preachers; but clearly not to teach what must be believed, but only for illustration and ornamentation. As one would quote words and phrases from Shakespeare or Milton in literature, or Bacon in philosophy, or Blackstone in law, so these employ the words of Scripture, for only secondary purposes. To the ingenuous reader who comes to the Bible that he may learn from it what is the truth, its teachings are scarcely capable of being misunderstood, for there are manifest in all its parts and in its totality a tone and tendency of spirit and a trend and drift of thought that cannot be mistaken; and by these the willing and believing will be almost infallibly guided into all needful truth. But if it is used only as a collection of historical illustrations, and of wise or not so wise sayings, the language of the Bible may be made the vehicle for a merely soulless naturalism. The process by which the words of Scripture are made to do service for the "liberal ” theology affords a remarkable instance of what may be accomplished by unrestrained skill and ingenuity in replacing the substance of a thing by other matter without destroying its form. very much as a mass of so-called petrified wood retains its original outline, but none

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