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the inte se belongs to the of praise to
touch of the music state of orlinge
leaves an impression upon the mind selected from the compositions of peculiar to itself, and more or less the great men mentioned above, and vivid according to the musical these melodies add greatly to the capacity of the listener; and it is value of the work, musically reimpossible altogether to resist this garded. We would there had been impression. We cannot contemplate more, knowing how much of their the perfections of God, or enter into works are suitable for introduction the true spirit of His worship, when into congregational worship; but we the music belongs to some one else; gladly accept the present as an inor offer up right feelings of praise to stalment, and hope that some future Him, when the vehicle of their ex- compiler may go much further in the pression is in complete discordance same direction, even if they have, in with a devotional state of mind. consequence, to refuse admission into Much of the music we are accus- their pages of the effusions of some tomed to hear, both of what is called modern composers, who, whatever grave as well as what is termed their genius or knowledge, need not joyous, lacks this great element of be ashamed at being counted inferior solemnity; the grave is sometimes to the greatest musicians the world very melancholy, and the joyous has ever seen. very jiggy. But the composers, We would remark, that it is not lacking the devotional spirit them- indispensable to solemnity in music selves, cannot contrive to infuse it that it should be written or sung in into their productions; so that the semibreves. The nature of the proworshipper goes through his psalm gressions in a musical composition, or hymn without much conscious- more than the speed at which it is ness of having praised God in it, taken, determine its true character. and wonders at, and blames, his own We do not mean that music of a hardness of heart, when the real grave kind should be sung as fast as fault lies in the unsuitableness of that of a livelier sort, but simply the music to express what he feels that it is an error, and one, by-theWe have often wondered that so bye, which is not at all uncommon in little of the music of the great Dissenting congregations, to suppose masters has been introduced into that you make a tune solemn in its our churches and chapels. The character by dwelling a long time on compositions of Mozart, Beethoven, each note. By so doing, it may be Handel, Haydn, Mendelssohn, and made tedious or dreary, or even ridiothers, are brimful of devotional culous, but we do not add to its feeling, and could be adapted to solemnity or impressiveness. We metrical verse with but little trouble; have heard some of the grandest and when once introduced, would be sacred music ever composed (we refer as easily learned by the rising gene- to the masses of Mozart and Beeration in our congregations as are thoven) taken, to our view, at much the old-fashioned, traditional tunes too great a pace, and yet it has left into which we were born, and an unmistakeable impression of amongst which, we fear, we are solemnity on our minds. On some doomed to die.
of our church organs, and in most of There is one tune-book, which has our cathedral services, we think the not long been published (we refer music is played too quickly, but in to the Congregational Psalmist, the our Dissenting places of worship the compilation of the Rev. H. Allon), in prevailing mistake appears to lie in which some few of the tunes are the opposite direction.
little are often Press what he of
Neither do we think that it adds tion : how the least of its many to the solemnity of music when it is threads will lead us right away from written in the minor key. It will a subject on which we wish to fasten undoubtedly be looked upon as a very our attention, and land as in a far-off heterodox opinion to hold, but we country in the great world of our must confess that we are not partial memory. And this must be espeto the minor key for congregational cially the case with music amongst singing. At any rate, the effect pro- an educated congregation. Knowing, duced upon our mind by the great probably, most of the secular music majority of the tunes in the minor capable of being adapted, nothing key, when sung without an organ, is can be introduced which does not most depressing; only a portion of bring its own associations with it; the worshippers appear to take part thoughts of other scenes and far difin the service, and those who do, ferent companionships intrude, and seem to join in with no relish or for some time, at least, it is difficult heartiness, while the voices show a to bring back the mind of the wormuch greater tendency to flatness shipper to its proper tone. It may than when the tunes are in the major. be allowable, perhaps, for the purThis may be caused partly by want of pose of laying hold of the sympatraining in the singers, and the thies of those who never frequent a greater difficulty of performance place of worship, and who, therefore, caused by only the occasional use of have to be sought out in the streets the minor; but we should be inclined and reached in the theatre, to set the to attribute something of the un- hymns used in those places to satisfactory result to the character of tunes with which the listeners are the minor key itself, which seems, thoroughly acquainted. We doubt except when used by composers of even the advisability of this; we the highest class, to partake more of think it much more likely that by a plaintive and melancholy than of a this practice the sentiment will be desolemn or tender nature, and is more graded than that the music will be fitted to express feelings of complaint elevated; but in the case of a conor disappointment than those proper gregation who meet habitually to to be conveyed in a hymn of praise. sing the praises of the Most High,
It may be doubted, however, and who, therefore, do not require whether there is any practice more any unnatural stimulus to praise destructive to real devotional feeling God, we believe the adoption of in religious psalmody than that of music which, however good in itself, introducing into our services well- yet is likely' in its associations to known operatic or secular airs. Many lead our thoughts astray, is a very well-meaning people have expressed great evil, and one which should be themselves in favour of thus acting; carefully avoided. the opinion of the late Rowland Hill T he second requisite which any being often quoted in this direction, collection of church or chapel music to the effect that the devil ought not should possess is variety. All of it to have all the best music. Now, should be devotional; but within granting that some few of the popular this limit there are distinctions airs in vogue might be rendered suit- strongly marked, and these should able for conversion into hymn-tunes, be carefully preserved. In the psalms we think that by so doing a great and hymns to which the music is injury is done to the worshipper. joined, there are wide varieties o! We all know the power of associa- sentiments; each of these should
meet with its appropriate expression. this, to our mind, consists one great It is quite possible for this to be advantage these psalms of praise endone ; for there is no thought, how- joy over any possessed by metrical ever grand—no aspiration, however compositions. sublime--no feeling, however tender Now, the great majority of collec—but what can and does find ade- tions of psalm and hymn tunes, alquate expression in music. Some of though they may possess variety our oratorios bear witness to the enough, do not possess a sufficient truth of this assertion. But in these variety of good tunes. For instance, the words are taken pretty nearly as it has long been a matter of comthey were originally written, without plaint amongst musical men that any attempt at rhythm, and are re- there are so few good short metre peated again and again at the will of tunes to be found, even if you pick the composer. But, of course, when them out of all the collections in we come to metrical compositions, print. And really, when you come we must adopt a different rule in the to count up the tunes in regular selection of the accompanying music. use in churches and chapels, even Certain rough and ready distinctions when there are skilled organists and between the various kind of hymns musicians to select them, their nummust be made, and the same distinc- ber will appear ridiculously small tions adopted in the choice of our when compared with the multitude tunes. We find different classifica of those in most collections of music tions of our psalms and hymns have which are never played or sung at been attempted by different writers all. The reason of this we believe to express these distinctions, but to be, that there are so few tunes of among these none more appropriate really first-class description which or full of meaning to the general can be selected to meet the varied reader than these three—the grave, character of the psalms and hymns the tender, and the joyous. The first in use in our congregations. Of may include all those compositions course, there are many leaders who in which the majesty or holiness of make the matter much worse than God, or the uncertainty of life, and they need, by using amongst all the the awfulness of the judgment, are metres only about as many tunes as treated of; the second, those in you can count on your fingers. In which the love and mercy of God in one chapel in the country we used to Christ are celebrated, comprising such visit, they had but one tune, 7's, to do subjects as the Crucifixion, and the duty for every description of hymn Lord's Supper; and the third, those of that metre; and whether it was in which the confidence of the believer in his Saviour, and his thanksgiving
“ Hasten, sinner, to be wisefor mercies received, are expressed.
Wait not for the morrow's sun;" There is a marked distinction in these various classifications of sub
“Hark, the herald angels sing jects, and this distinction should be
Glory to the new-born King," equally marked in the music chosen to express the phases of thought and the inevitable “German Hymn" was feeling peculiar to each. In those harmoniumed by the leader, and duly places of worship in which anthems gone through by the congregation. are introduced into the service, you And even in the suburbs of London may get music exquisitely adapted -not a day's walk from the Eleto every word of the anthem; and in phant and Castle there was a place
of worship, which at one time we claim to merit at all in their melovisited occasionally, but from whose dies, and are simply introduced for the walls we believe we never escaped sake of the beauty of the harmonies. without being obliged to listen to Such a practice, however, must be a “ Byzantium.” We have almost mistaken one as regards congregawished the precentor had been there tional singing, in which the melody himself, instead of in the chapel. always plays, and always must play,
The third point to which we would so conspicuous a part. But not only advert respecting the character of should the melody be simple, and the music to be used in our religious therefore practicable,-especially as worship is, that it should be practi- this can be done without in the least cable. When we say practicable, we detracting from the beauty of the mean not for musicians only, but for music,—but in the harmonies adopted the great mass of the congregation. there should be an absence of anyThe perfection of praise will be at thing like complexity. Nothing tained (as shadowed forth in the should be introduced which is likely Book of Revelations) when in heaven to add to discord in the worship by all the saints shall sing together the overtasking the musical ability or song of praise to their Redeemer. And knowledge of those who attempt their the nearer this can be approached on execution. Some of the harmonies earth, the better. There must be a in the work to which we just regreat mistake somewhere, if only a ferred are what may be called imfew can join in the service. Better possible in the present condition of to have only plain, simple music, musical science in our congregations. than confine the worship of song to We hear them occasionally tried, and but a fraction of the people. Not but the trial ends in failure. This is what the people themselves should always to be regretted, as interfering strive in their leisure hours to fit with devotion. No one can be puzthemselves for the performance of a zling over intricate harmonies, and greater variety of musical composi- retain in his heart and mind at the tions; but still accepting the fact as same time the right true feeling of true at present that the great majority worship and praise. The harmonies, of our worshippers are not musically as well as the melodies, should be educated, we think it desirable that simple and practicable. the quality of the music should be We have thus sketched what we such as admits of the participation in should take to be the three leading it of the largest number of the con- characteristics of the music used in gregation. This does not exclude our sanctuaries. It should be devomusic of the very highest order. tional in its character; it should Some of the very best effusions of comprise variety sufficient to meet the very best composers are ex- the corresponding variety of subjects tremely simple in their melody; and it has to express; and it should be the melody, where but few are practicable-i.e., both the melodyand capable of taking the separate parts harmony should be such as to be in the harmony, is the most impor- readily sung by the congregation. tant part of the music. In one of We have left out of our survey all our present collection of tunes, we reference to the music being good, i.e. are aware some pieces are inserted, pleasing to the ear, as self-evideri and ostensibly so, which have no enough not to need remark.
(To be continued.)
THE SAVIOUR’S PAUSE AT THE TEMPLE GATE.
A STUDY FOUNDED ON JOHN ix. 1.
eohich weres which ary waitin of the
BY THE REV. W. H. WYLIE, RAMSEY, HUNTS. MANY prophets, and kings, and right- presented to their view. Misintereousmen had desired to see those things preting the spirit of the prophetic which were now seen, and to hear page, which had been entrusted to those things which were now heard. Their care by God, the national idea Long ages of weary waiting had of the Messiah had shrunk from the elapsed since the prospect of the sublime and heavenly vision which Messiah's advent had filled the heart satisfied the old patriarch's heart into of Abraham with joy. As he looked, a base and grovelling conception of with that eye of faith which can earth. The Deliverer promised in pierce the clouds, and penetrate be- the sacred record was reduced to the yond the bounded scene of the pre- low level of one who should meet their sent time, the patriarch saw the day temporal necessities. They made him of the Redeemer "gleaming faint answer to the world's notion of a and far" on the horizon, and he was monarch and a conqueror. His weaglad. But that which had been pons were to be the carnal instruseen afar off with joy, was now ments with which men strive for vicbeheld close at hand with the tory; his kingdom was to be a teincoldest unconcern; for Jesus had poral kingdom; and his glory,coming come unto His own, and His own re- first of all from the conquest, and in ceived Him not. The blessing for its grand ultimate issue from the which Abraham's longing heart had sovereignty of the whole world, was pined, and in which he had rejoiced, to be earthly glory. Confirmed in even when it was no more to him the habit of looking at one aspect than a future and far-off good only of the Messiah's character and the sweet anticipation cherished by work, alike by the moral depravity his faith and hope that same blessing which impaired their mental vision, was to his degenerate children, even and by the humiliating circumstances when they had it before their very in which they lay as a subjugated eyes, an object to which they ex- race; bound in the galling fetters of a tended not a joyous welcome, but the foreign yoke, which has always a most bitter contempt.
tendency to debase the soul even The Hebrew race were, it is true, more than to inflict bodily pains on looking for the appearance amongst its unhappy victims; and sharing them of a divine Deliverer. In spite largely in the corruption and sensuof its deep debasement, Judæa was ality which had seized the whole of standing in a waiting posture; its that Gentile world which they yet redown-trodden state, as a nation re- garded with such a bitter hereditary duced to servitude by a foreign hate, the chief charm and the highest power, had generated a keener desire virtue of the promised Messiah, in and a more enthusiastic hope. But the estimation of the Jews, lay in this nothing could be farther removed fact, that in the sight of the whole from the anticipations which the human family he would humiliate and Jews were cherishing than the ap- overthrow their enemies, and set up pearance which Jesus of Nazareth his thronewith an overpowering pomp