Page images


kingdom upon earth. These Psalms, then, are now used as properly for the pouring forth of a Christian's feelings, as they were, formerly, in the devotions of the Jews. These, then, make a part of the worship of our church ; but it is not absolutely required that they should be sung; it is the sense, not the sound that is wanted, so that it is left to our choice whetber they should be "sung" or "said.” Accordingly, in cathedrals, and colleges, and places where a regular set of choristers are appointed for the purpose, these Psalms

sung," or as it is sometimes called " chaunted;" so likewise are some other parts of the service, especially the “Te Deum,"

" Benedictus,""Nunc Dimittis,”—“Magnificat,” &c.; but in places where no regular choir is appointed, for singing these portions of the service, they are " said;" that is, repeated without music. In either case, there is the offering of praise;" the great thing to be asked, is, whether the heart goes with it, and then it matters not whether it be “sung," or " said.” The service of our Church, then, seems to be complete, without the use of what are called the “ Singing Psalms," or the Psalms in English Measares; for, without these, we have songs of praise, both from the Old Testament, and the New, which are used every time we go to church. However, as music has great power in lifting up the heart to praise, it was soon found that " Psalms in Verse,” which could easily be set to common tunes, such as the people might all join in, were much to be desired. Accordingly, what is called the Old Version of the Psalms was made' not very long after the reformed religion was established in England. This version is thought to be a very true translation of the Scriptural Psalms, and it was found that these metrical Psalms were so much better suited to singing, and could be so easily joined in by the people, that they were very soon adopted in those churches where the generality of the congregation had not the


purpose of them.

skill to join in more difficult music. The Old Ver-
sion of the Psalms contains some very beautiful
lines; but some of the expressions appearing to be
old and rather out of date, a New Version was made
in the reign of Queen Anne, which is indeed in
smoother poetry; but we are not surprised that
there are some persons, who, taking it all together,
still like the old one best. This point, however, it
is not our present object to discuss.
: One great advantage of these Psalms, in metre,
is, that they are easily set to such tunes as the whole
congregation may join in. This is the great use and

of them. How beautiful and how cheering
it is to hear a whole assembly of Christians lifting
up their united voices in songs of praise to their
Heavenly King! Some, it is true, cannot sing;
but the cheerful melody of the rese seenrs to tune
their hearts to praise, and the words which they
utter seem to make a part of the devout Hosannah.
*. Most people, however, have some ear and voice,
and would soon learn to sing, if the tunes were of a
common, easy, and popular kind. Sometimes indeed
we meet with some ill-conditioned people among
the old singers who are so fond, of shewing their
own skill, that, instead of trying such tunes as the
people can join in, they will purposely play, such as
nobody can make any thing of. They get bassoons,
and clarionets, and hautboys, a set of instruments
very ill-suited to the purposes of church music, and,
upon these they play a tune, which seems very
much to please themselves, but is no assistance at
all in enabling the congregation to "sing to the
praise and glory of God. If they have got a tune in
which the people can join, and thus the singing be-
gins to be general throughout the churcb, they then
find that their notes are drowned, and they there-
fore begin to dislike a tune just as soon as.

the rest of the congregation begin to like it. But, still, some musical instrument is useful; and these musi

cians might be of great service in putting the others into the way of beginning;—if they would once see the sort of singing that there ought to be, and see it in a proper, and a religious light. Few things are more desirable in the service of our churches, than an improvement in the singing. In many churches, a reform has already been made, and the singing is excellent. In sonie, it still continues wretched. The miserable way of playing tunes for the people to listen to ought to be entirely put an end to. We are all to "sing, to the praise and glory of God.” When praise is thus offered up, it is the people's business, not to listen, but to join. The principal difficulty, as we have said, is with the old singers, who are often found to resist improvement, in which, if they had a'right religious feeling, they would be glad to unite. They will however, we trust, be soon brought to see this matter aright, and there never was a time when an attempt to introduce a becoming manner of singing was more likely to succeed than it is at present; for singing generally makes a part of the education of village children in our “ National Schools ;” and, as almost every female now learns to sing, there is' in almost every village some well-disposed lady able to assist in bringing about this useful object.

In churches, indeed, in large towns, where there is an organ, generally well played, there seems no reason at all why congregational singing should not be general. The organist would generally be willing to play such tunes as the people might unite in, and the greater part of the females, at least, could join him. This would indeed be employing a delightful talent to an excellent purpose, and we can scarcely conceive any thing more beautiful, or more profitable, than this part of our devotion might thus become.



(Continued from page 493.)

Praise for Mercies Spiritual and Temporal.
Whene'er I take my walks abroad

How many poor I see;
What shall I render to my God

For all his gifts to me?
Not more than others I deserve,

Yet God has given me more;
For I have food, while others starve,

Or beg from door to door.
How many children in the street

Half naked I behold;
While I am cloth'd from head to feet,

And cover'd from the cold !
While some poor wretches scarce can tell,

Where they may lay their head,
I have a home wherein to dwell,

And rest upon my bed.
While others early learn to swear,

And curse, and lie, and steal,
Lord, I am taught thy name to fear,

And do thy holy will.
Are these thy favours, day by day,

To me above the rest?
Then let me love thee more than they,

And try to serve thee best.
What do you praise God for in this Hymn?
Mercies spiritual and temporal.
What do you mean by temporal mercies?

Those which relate to the body, which will last only for a time.

What do you mean by spiritual mereies?
Those which relate to the soul, which is eternal.
When you walk abroad, what do you often see?
Many poor people.

What ought you to render to God for his mercies to you?


deserve more than others ?
Has God given you more ?.
What has he given you?
Food and raiment.
Ought you not to be content with these?
Prove this from Scripture.

1 Tim. vi. 8. “Having food and raiment, let us be therewith content.”

What has God given you besides food and raiment?

" A home wherein to dwell, and rest upon my bed.”

Are these mercies which you have been speaking of temporal or spiritual ?

What spiritual mercies have you enjoyed ?

“ I have been taught to fear God's holy name, and do his holy will."

And what have too many other poor children been taught?

“ To swear, and lie, and steal."

Then if God has shown such great mercy unto you, what ought you to do?

Love him more than they, and try to serve him best.”

Will God require more of you than of those who have not been instructed as you have been ?

Where do you learn this?
Luke xii. part of verse 48.

66 Unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required.

« EelmineJätka »