« PreviousContinue »
In all my ways thy land I own, (10.) And in all cases, whether Thy ruling providence I see : for public or private devotion, care Assist me still my course to rno,
should be specially taken that these And still direct my paths to thee.'
sacred measures be clear, interest[ oft hath the sea confess'd thy pow'r, ing, and edifying: whatever be And giv'n me back at thy command: their peculiar tendency, whether It could not, Lord, my life devour,
to humble, to console, or 'to eleSafe in the hollow of thine hand.]
vate, they should at the same time Oft from the margin of the grave,
instruct us in the principles and Thou, Lord, hast lifted up my head :
duties of religion. On some of Sudden I found thee near to save; The fever own'd thy touch, and fled,
these points, Mr. Baxter, in the
Preface to his “ Paraphrase on the Whither, O whither should I fly,
Psalms of David, &c." differs in But to my gracious Saviour's breast; Secure within thine arms to lie, judgment from Mr. Kennedy, and, And safe beneath thy wings to rest. we may add, from ourselves. As
the work is scarce, and some of his The next, of a more general na- remarks are rather singular, and ture, but still not generally appli- others instructive, we shall take the cable, is from Mr. Montgomery. liberty to select two or three para
graphs. O God, Thou art my God alone :
" Some stumble at the singing of Early to Thee my soul shall cry;
David's Psalms, because there are A pilgrim in a land unknown,
A thirsty land whose springs are dry. many words not suited to their case. O that it were as it hath been,
But, 1st, May they not as well scruWhen, praying in the holy place,
plereading or saying them in prose? Thy power and glory I have seen, Singing them in metre is no more And mark'd the footsteps of thy an owning of all that we say as our grace.
case, than saying or reading them Yet through this rough and thorny is. And by that reason they must maze,
not say the Songs of Moses, the I follow hard on thee, my God; Book of Job, Canticles, LamentaThine hand upseen upholds my ways, tions, or the Gospel Hymns' or
I safely tread where Thou bast trod. Scripture Prayers. 2d, That may Thee, in the watches of the night, ,' be recited as the common case of
When I remember on my bed, the church, yea, or as a narratiop Thy presence makes the darkness of his case that wrote them, whichi light,
is not spoken of his case that wrote Thy guardian wings are round my them, which is not spoken as of ourhead.
selves. 3d, And if this satisfy not, Better than life itself thy love,
such may choose at home Psalms . Dearer than all beside to me; For whom have I in heaven above,
suitable to them, and in the church Or whaat op earth, compared with be silent at the words which they Thee?
dare not speak. Praise with my heart, my mind, my Psalms have so little about the life
“ Some are stumbled that David's voice, For all thy mercy I will give;
to come, and speak with so great My soul shall still in God rejoice, concernedness about prosperity and My tongue shall bless Thee while I adversity here, and especially that live.
pp. 51, 52,
he saith so much, through almost The reader will find in a former and the oppression and cruelties of
all the book, against his enemies, volume of the Christian Observer, wicked men, and his great danger a beautiful hymn, which has since of them, and sufferings by them, appeared in several collections.
even cursing them and their pos“Wben gathering clouds around I'view," terity. &c. (Vol. for 1812, p. 91.)
" Answer as to this: It must be considered, first, that it is most lecteth present means ou pretence certain that not only David, but the of only contemplating the end. Jews generally, except the Saddu: "I have added, the apocryphal cees, believed the immortality of the hymns, Ist, for their excellency soul, and the rewards and punish- and usefulness ; 2d, to confute ments of the other life: and many them that think that no forms of passages in the Psalms prove it. worship but those found in ScripAnd so do the histories of Enoch ture may be used or imposed ; and. Elias, and Saul's seeking to 3d, to confute the casuists that tell dead Samuel, and the raising of the world that we are all against divers dead men, &c."
such Liturgick forms. “And though Christ teach us to “ Those that published the old love our enemies, and bless them Church Psalms added many useful that curse us, and pray for them hymns that are still printed with that hate and persecute us; yet be the Psalms ic metre. And doubt forbids us not to desire deliverance less Paul meaneth not only David's from them, nor to hate their diabo- Psalms, when he bids men sing lical lying, malignity, and cruelty, with grace in their hearts Psalms and enmity to the Gospel, and to and hymns and spiritual songs. obedience to God. It is a great Yea, it is past doubt that hymns duty to note the universal war in more suitable to Gospel times may all lands and ages belween the and ought to be now used. And if serpent's - and the woman's seed, used, ihey must be premeditated. and to know that brutishness first, How else shall congregations sing and Cainism and diabolism next; them ? And if premeditated, they are the serpent's progeny, as natu- must be some way imposed. How rally prospering in corrupt and else sball the congregations all graceless man, as maggots in a dead join in the same? I plead not carcase. And they that live in an for imposing by cruel penalties, nor age and land where these prevail, laying the church's love and comand are in power, will have a sensi- munion on a tune or metre.— There ble commentary on David's Psalms: arc three sorts of imposing such and in prisons, and in wars and Liturgick forms of Psalms, praise, fields of blood, many have con- or prayer. 1. One is, when the fessed ibat now they understood pastor is left free to his own disa the Psalms of David, which they cretion; but yet his words of prayer never soundly understood before. or praise are a form to the con
“ Lastly, though David say not gregation, which he imposeth on So much of the life to come as we them by the authority of his office, could wish, he saith very much of obliging them to concur. For if the way to it, and the necessary every one speak there his own means. He knew that heaven is words, it will be liker a 'bedlam ready for us, if we be but ready than a church.-2. A second way for it. And all that must be done of imposing is when the united for it by us is in this short and churches of a nation, for edificahasty life: and as a traveller doth tion and amiableness of coucord, Dot all the way talk and think so agree all in one translation, version, much of his journey's end as of all metre, or form of words. Which passages in his way, and yet doth is useful, first, when heresies are all ibis for the end; so a good abroad to keep them out of public Christian that layeth out his care worship; and, secondly, that peoand labour in obeying God's word, ple may know beforehand #kat and avoiding sin, and doing all the the worship of the church is in good be can in the world, and this which they are to join, and may in faith and hope of heavenly feli- not say, We know not what worcity, doth better than he that nego ship we will offer to God, till the minister have spoken, and the merely plain and vocal music, that words be past, and so there inay in 1562, when it was proposed in be as many sorts of worship as convocation “that ihe Psalms may there are speakers; and thirdly, be sung distinctly by the whole fore-knowledge may make amiable congregation; and that all curious concord easy to them. And no singing and playing of the organs doubt such an agreement of the may be laid aside;" there was an churches is good and amiable.- actual majority of eight against the 3. And the third way of imposing organ: but the proxies turned the is by the laws of Christian ma scale*. gistrates. And who can say that
The tunes' adopted in metrical They may not command that ami. Psalmody ought doubtless to be of able concord which the churches
a grave and solemn character, and might of themselves agree in, should such that, while easily learnt, they the magistrates leave them to their may afford also a general interest choice? I do not say that rulers to the people. It is of the first should hang, burn, or ruin all per- importance that every thing of a sons that by weakness are against ballad-like nature should be totally a commanded version, metre, or rejected. Mr. Kennedy, who has iune, or form. But good Christ- dedicated his first section entirely ians should abhor all such vain to the music of Psalmody, tells scruples, and self-conceits, and af- us that the music in vogue during fected singularity and disobedience the struggles and growth of Calvinas are against the real concord of ism was in the opposite extreme. the church.”
“The use of instruments was wholly 10. It remains only that we say interdicted: and their Psalmody, a few words upon the music of confined to unisonous and syllabic Psalmody
tunes, is represented to have been The music which was sance of the most unmeaning and cheerlioned at the Reformation was, less character, without harmony, agreeably to the usage of former without variety of accent or rhythin,
grave and solemn descrip- and wanting most of the constition: and the antiphonal or alternate tuent parts of mere melody.”. Mr. manger of claunting, used in the Basil' Woodd has the following Christian church so early as the practical observations on this subfirst century, and evidently derived
ject. from the service of the ancient Jewish people, was also continued.
“ The perfection of Church Psalmody There are complaints, however, consists in the union of the whole con from very early times, of the intro- gregation in this important part of wor
ship; and in order thereto, the Psalmduction of a more theatrical and less intelligible style : and Mr. ody should be plain and simple; the less intelligible style: and Mr. tones should be harmonious, but dut Gray, from whom we borrow these complex: partial repetitions, various remarks, is of opinion that the notes to express single words, and objections made by the clergy of fugues, are generally unintelligible to the lower house in tlie province of the bulk of congregations.": Canterbury, declaring, iu a protest “ The old church melodies Bapply to the king, that“synging and saying the finest standard and examples of of mass, matins, or even song, is but congregational music. Such composi.
tions as the 100th Psalm, the 84th and rorying, bowling, whistleyng, mum.
others, are best adapted for public wor. mying, conjurying, and jogelying ; ship. 'while they exhibit a dignity and and the playing at the organys a melody, which the most eminent masters foolisb vanilie," were, so far as re: of music have acknowledged, they posspects the kind of musick, not withi sess also a perspicuity and simplicity out foundation. Such was the preference shewn by the Puritans to
ages, of a
which repder them'attainable by the Individuals may be allowed to please humble worshipper, and a pathos, so. and possibly to edify themselves, by lemnity, and sublimity, which cannot singing in their own way in their own but interest in congregational wor: honses. But singing in pablic worship ship.
is designed to promote public or general "Light, alry, theatrical tunes are ends. It is designed to give worship totally unsuitable to the dignity and in the house of God an attractive charm, simplicity of a Christian church. Dif. which is not attainable in private, avd ferent subjects of Psalmody may re- to prodnce, by the upion of musical qnire more pathetic, more solemn, or voices, such an increase of pious feelmore animated strains of music, but ing and social sympathy, as cannot be levity is always to be avoided. Inter. produced without it. Where, therechanges of loud and soft music, the fore, that which is called music at forte and the piano, have a fine effect, church, tends rather to counteract than relieve the ear, and give emphasis to the to promote these ends, and disgusts expression ; and it would greatly heightmany who are present by loud and en the effect, if the voices of the men. doleful dissonance, the public praises singers, which are necessary to swell of God had better be spoken than 80 the chorus, were moderaled, or were attempted to be sung. wholly silent, in the softer, or piano “ The tunes of Psalmody should, of strains, io wlich the voices of the women course, vary with the subjects of it: and children should alone be distinctly yet we may assert, that a part of its beard.
general tendency should uniformly be, “Another great injury to Church to soften the obdurate, and refine the Psalmody frequently arises from the barbarous. This is one of the effects charity children: the evil is almost commonly ascribed to the concord every where complained of. They are of sweet sounds; and that the music too apt to siog at the utmost stretch of which is heard in our churches on every their voices, the effect of which is to returning Sabbath, shonld contribute to excite general disgust : whereas, if they produce it, is a matter of obvious imwere instructed to moderate their portance to the best interests of the voices, their joining in this service community : while, in a religious view, would be affecting, delightful, and edi. it is unquestionable, that whatever fying. The effect of a little attention civilizes men as social beings, prepares to this important point is practically them for holy impressions, and is most andible in the children of the National likely to improve them as Christian School, St. Mary-le-bone, London. worshippers.
“ Occasionally practising Psalmody • Of good parochial music, well per: in the week-day, or half an hour before formed, the practical recommendations the beginning of service, attended by are these. It will best enforce instructhe minister or some judicions super. tive words, and make delight the vehicle intendant, might greatly contribute to of improvement. It will excite in those the improvement of this important part who hear it, a desire to join in it; yet of worship, and, by the Divine blessing, it will be accompanied by a respectful render it more interesting and edifying impression, which will prevent them to the congregation at large."- Woodd's from so joining in it as to spoil its Preface, pp. 10–12.
effect. This effect will extend, in a
greater or lesser degree, to persons of We shall conclude these remarks every description. It will extend, to with one or two brief extracts from those who for a time continue silent, Mr. Kennedy ; whose publication
as well as to those who sing. It inay -although in some points we dif- there is none in the voice; and tlius
produce melody in the heart' where fer from him-is, like that of Mr. good Psalmody may be justly thought Gray, both amusing and instruc
a very useful part of social worship. tive.
particularly if we consider that it is
commonly employed in praise and "There are those who seem to think, thanksgiving, acts of piety, which, more provided as many as possible unite in than any other, call for fellowship and the singing, it matters little of what admit of unanimity, and the former of nalare it is, or how it is performed. which is said to be This, however, is an erroneous notion. • The jarring worid's agreeing sacrifice.'
“Such concord, in a public exercise fices of the Established Church are of devotion, has a tendency to produce imperceptibly falling into desuesimilar concord in the relations of social tude. Theoretically its discipline life; and this is one most forcible and
continues as exact as ever: the prodistinguishing argument in favour of congregational singing, especially visions made for the maintenance of where it is brought to such perfection, good order are the same as in for, that the voices of a whole assembly are mer ages, but practically there is a all united in the expression of one great deficiency: and from whatfeeling,' and all who are present, per, ever source it arises, whether from ceive, not only that they are doing the a widely spreading community, or same thing in the same place, but doing from a disinclination to the duty it with one accord*,'"-Kennedy on itself, it is still much to be lamentPsalmody, pp. 22, 23.
ed. One cause, however, of these Mr. Kennedy closes the section defects is an ignorance of the obliwith the suggestion of a plan for gations imposed on those by whom the improvement of Parochial Psal. they are occasioned. This is at mody, by means of a society to be least tbe most favourable manner formed for this object. How far of explaining the circumstance; but his plan might conduce to the still it must continue a subject of proposed end we are unable to regret that the offices to which we decides the subject, however, is allude are so habitually undertaken confessedly important, and deserves with an unconsciousness of the momore attention than it has bitlierto mentous duties attached to them, received.
and quitted at the expiration of the
appointed period, usually with pot The Duties of Church-wardens et their necessary secular, obligations
one of their spiritual, and with only plained and enforced., A Charge at all fulfilled. The circumstance delivered to the Clergy and Church - wardens of the Archa is the more surprising because to deaconry of Colchester, in the
some of these duties the parties Diocese of London, in the Year are accustomed to pledge themselves 1821. By the Rev. J. JEFFER- by the solemnity of an oath; and SON, A. M. and F.S.A. late although very probably this may, Archdeacon.' London. 1822:
at the moment of initiation, awaken
in the breast of an upright man If there be one circumstance more
some auxiety to acquit bimself of clear than another in our modern his undertaking with fidelity, yet ecclesiastical history, it is, that,
the inquiries occasioned by this from whatever causes, a consi. anxiety appear seldom to go beyond derable relaxation of the ancient the temporal part of the subject, strictness has been suffered to be leaving the higher and more im introduced. Restraints which used portant branch of it unexamined. to be conscientiously submitted to
These remarks are infended pecuby our forefathers are now thrown liarly to apply to the duties of those aside as irksome; those whose pro
ecclesiatical officers termed Church, vince it is to' impose them shrink wardens; duties which are but imfrom their obligation; and some of perfectly understood, but rarely exthe best and most wholesome of- plained, and still more rarely fulfil.
ed. On these accounts, we were « * See an Answer to Gilbert Wakea field on Public Worship, by Mrs. Bar- pamphlet before us,-a Clarge de
pleased at the announcement of the bauld. See also vol. ii. p. 189, of the Classical Tour, by Enstace, who speaks livered bythe lateArchdeaconjefferof the members of Catholic congrega son to the Church.wardens in his jutions throughout Germany and the Aus. risdiction, The Archdeacon opens trian dominions, as all joining in chorus his Charge by some observations on with a real and ardour truly edifying that spirit of innovation which, pot