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dint of merit and modesty together, he made his way not only to considerable preferment in the church, but gained the estimation and affec. tion of all parties.
Sir Matthew Halë, though a learned, was a very modest man.
Soon after he was constituted Chief Baron of the Exchequer, he was knighted. This is an honour usually conferred upon the chief judges; but Mr. Hale desired to avoid it, and therefore declined, for a considerable time, all opportunity of waiting on the king ; which the lord chancellor observing, he sent for him upon business one day, when his majesty was at his house, and told his majesty
6. There was his modest chief baron :” upon which he was unexpectedly knighted.
MUSIC. NOTWITHSTANDING music has been prostituted to the worst of purposes, it is not, on that account, to be considered as an evil. Wise and good men have found it a most pleasant relaxation from the anxiety of care, the toil of business, and the labour of study. Pope, Swift, and Johnson, indeed, deemed music so trivial an art, that it degraded human nature, and they treated its votaries as fools : but their ears, , as has been observed, were so defective, that a totally blind person was as well qualified to decide critically on painting, as these great writers were with respect to music.
It was Luther's custom to amuse himself with his lute at dinner and supper: “music," said he, " is one of the fairest and most glorious gifts of years, learned
God, to which Satan is a bitter enemy; for it removes from the heart the wheight of sorrow and the fascination of evil thoughts. Music is a kind and gentle sort of discipline; it refines the passions, and improves the understanding: How is it,” continued he, “that on profane subjects we have so many fine verses and elegant poems; whilst our religious poetry remains so languid and dull ? Those who love music are gentle and honest in their tempers. I always loved music,” added Luther, "and would not, for a great matter, be without the little skill which I possess in this art.”
Socrates, when far advanced in to play upon musical instruments.
The celebrated Bishop Berkeley was so fond, of it, that he always kept one or two exquisite performers to amuse his leisure hours.
It is said of the Rev. George Herbert, tha his chief recreation was music ; in which art he was a most excellent master, and composed many divine hymns and anthems, which he set or sung to his lute or viol. It is also observed, that Bishop Potter's recreation was usually vocal music ; in which he himself always bore a part.
Dr. Cotton Mather thus writes to his son. “ As for music, do as you please. If you fancy it, I do not forbid it; only do not, for the sake of it, alienate your time too much from those that are more important matters. It may be so, that you may serve your God the better for the refreshment of one that can play well upon an instrument. However, to accomplish your. self at regular singing, is a thing that will be of
daily use to you. For I would not have a day pass you without singing, but so as, at the same time, to make a melody in your heart to the Lord ; besides the part you may bear in hymnis suavisonantis ecclesiæ : In the sweet-sounding hymns of the church.'
Bishop Beveridge observes, that, of all recreations, he found music to be the best, and especially when he played himself.
« It calls in my spirits," says he, “composes my thoughts, delights my ear, recreates my mind, and so not only fits me for after business, but fills my heart at the present with pure and useful thoughts.”
Music,” says Dr. Knox, “ is the most delightful soother of the wearied mind. The heart dances at the sound of the lyre ; fresh spirits animate the veins; the clouds of dejection are dissipated, and the soul shines out once more, like the sun after a mist, in the blue expanse of æther.”
“ I have been informed,” says the author of Fitzosborne's Letters, “ that one of the great lights of the present age never sits down to study tiil he has raised his imagination by the power of music. For this purpose, he has a band of instruments near his library, which play till he finds himself elevated to a proper height; upon which he gives a signal, and they instantly cease.'
Notwithstanding all that has been said above in favour of music, I cannot dismiss this article - without observing, that even here we may run into an extreme. It appears to me, also, to be an error in many parents, who bring up their children to this, while things of a more important nature are neglected.
“ Almost any ornamental acquirement,” says Mrs. H. Moore, “is a good thing, when it is not the best thing a woman has ; and talents are admirable when not made to stand proxy for virtues. I am intimately acquainted (she observes) with several ladies, who, excelling most of their sex in the art of music, but excelling them also in prudence and piety, find little leisure or temptation, amidst the delights and duties of a large and lovely family, for the exercise of this charming talent : they regret that so much of their own youth was wasted in acquiring an art which can be turned to so little account in married life, and are now conscientiously restricting their daughters in the portion of time allotted to its acquisition.”
THE NEGLIGENT MINISTER REPROVED.
A CERTAIN minister, who was more busied in the pleasures of the chase than in superintending the souls of his flock, one day, meeting with little sport, proposed to entertain his companions at the expence of an inoffensive Quaker, whom he had often very rudely ridiculed, and who was then approaching them. Immediately he rode up briskly to him, saying, “ Obadiah, have you seen the hare ?" Why, neighbor, has thou lost him ?” said the Quaker.
« Lost him! yes, indeed !” “ Then,” replied he, “if I were the hare, I would run were I am sure thou couldst never find me.” Where the d--is that ?” said the blustering son of Nimrod. “ Why, neighbour,” the other answered, “I would run into thy study.”
THE NEGRO PREACHER.
[An affecting Narrative.] IN the island of St. Thomas, in the West Indies, there was a negro named Cornelius : he was enlightened about fifty years ago, and soon began to preach to his countrymen. He was blessed with considerable talents, and was able to speak and write the Creole, Dutch, Danish, German, and English languages. Till 1767 he was a slave. He first purchased the freedom of his wife, and then laboured hard to gain his own liberty ; which at last he affected, after much intreaty, and the payment of a considerable sum. By degrees, he was also enabled to purchase the emancipation of his six children. He learned the business of a mason so well, that he was appointed master mason to the royal buildings, and had the honour to lay the foundation stone of six Christian chaples for the use of the Moravian brethren. His gifts for preaching were good, and remarkably acceptible, not only to the negroes, but to many of the whites. He spent even whole nights in visiting the different plantations, yet was by no means puffed up, but ever retained the character of an humble servant of Christ. When death approached (which was in November 1801), he sent for his family. His children and grand-children assembled round the bed of the sick parent : he summoned up all his strength, sat up in the bed, uncovered his venerable head, adorned with locks as white as snow, and addressed them thus :
“I rejoice exceedingly, my dearly beloved children, to see you once more together before