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991

On Instrumental Music in Divine Worship.

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poured forth the soul of music, was neg. | if not a regular part of the temple worship; lected and forsaken. Unstrung, it stood in the other, in the total silence of the New one corner of the apartment, mutely speak Testament writers on the subject, and also, ing amid the general desolation. "Ai that in the more simple and spiritual character moment a breeze from the opposite case of Christian worship, than that of the Jews. ment, gently touching the mournful strings, But from these appeals to the Bible no seemed to sigh among its unfinished, conclusions can be drawn, forasmuch as, chords, and died away. The sailor stood when weighed together, it may be difficult in speechless agony - all his hopes to say whether of them has the prepon. withered, all his anticipations destroyed. derating weight of plausibility. Destitute

“The mournful tale was soon told, and then of the light of revelation, reason and hither he came to pour forth the feelings of analogy must supply its place; and, rehis soul upon her turfy grave. No tongue garding the subject as a question of expecan speak, no pen can describe the anguish diency, its merits must be deduced from of his bosom. That moment seemed as the adaptation or unfitness of instrumental if it would have been his last. Yet nature music for the purposes of devotion, and the had not her sympathy-she strengthened good or the mischievous effects which can him but to endure the poignancy of grief. be fairly ascertained to result from its introUpon that stone he read the cruel certainly duction. of the lovely Laura's fate—he read it, and As vocal music is universally acknowwept. Then tearing himself from her ledged to be a scriptural and appropriate grave, he left the village, to seek once more part of the external worship of God, our the perilous wave; resolving never to method must be, first, to inquire in what return again to that spot which had wit- the propriety of singing consists, as a part nessed the termination of all his earthly of divine worship, and secondly, whether, felicity.”

or to what extent, the same fitness is pos“ And has he never returned ?" I in-sessed by instrumental music. We must quired. The stranger sighed. “Yes,” | first observe, that there is nothing naturally said be, “time and distance could but ill sacred in singing, any more than in playefface the memory of the departed from ing; they are both to be ranked under the kis soul. It only served to add increased same art of music, or the art by which the anguish to his distress, and to heighten his sense of hearing is delighted by means of misery. He returned, and softens the ri- | melodious or harmonious sounds. Now gour of his destiny in the mournful plea- the most remarkable effect of singing, (for sure of visiting her tomb morning and to the consideration of singing, we now evening; at once to cherish her remem- | purposely confine ourselves,) is, the excibrance, and to preserve the blooming tation and expression of the emotions; the flowerets that deck her grave."

emotions of joy, grief, gratitude, awe, love, Beuconsfield.

J. A. B. &c. The air of a tune may be adapted to

all the more prominent passions of the

mind, and where that adaptation is striking, REMARKS ON THE USE OF INSTRUMENTAL

it does more than merely express the emoMUSIC IN DIVINE WORSHIP.

tion—it awakens and deepens it. Thus a If the universal authority of scripture could tune with a lively air would not only be be applied to the question before us, it , in unison with a cheerful frame of mind; would, of course, supersede any controver- but such a disposition it would cherish. sial inquiry respecting it; but such a de- | A solemn tune is calculated to produce or ciding authority, I am aware, has never deepen a feeling of seriousness and awe. been attempted to be advanced either by Now, singing is applicable to devotional the friends or foes of the practice in ques- purposes, chiefly from its influence on the tion; no passage of holy scripture has been emotions of the mind. Right feeling is produced, in which, by fair interpretation, the very essence of devotion. To underthe use of musical instruments in public stand our obligations and duty to God, is worship is either enjoined or prohibited, | indeed indispensable; but to be so far allowed or discountenanced.

affected by the former as to be inclined to Both parties, it is true, claim the tacit perform the latter is a very different thing, sanction of scripture to their respective and that which is alone truly acceptable to views : the one, in the fact, that instru God, or influential on human conduct. mental music in divine worship is no | Adoration, gratitude, penitence, &c. must, where forbidden, and that it was unques then, not only exist in principle and sentiment, tionably used for devotional purposes by but as emotions or feelings, and whatever some eminent saints of the Jewish church, I tends to awaken, keep alive, and improve

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993

On Instrumental Music in Divine Worship.

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those pious feelings, is really serviceable : , adapted to answer the same purpose. this effect we attribute to singing when pro- The effects above enumerated, it must be perly performed.

remembered, we have attributed entirely Singing is most naturally indicative of to the music of singing; and I confess I joy; and hence, in divine worship it know no sound reason why the music of inseems most naturally employed as an ex- struments should not be as naturally adapted pression of praise and gratitude. Praise, in to produce the same effects, because I can its principle, is a lofty conception of the di- discover no essential difference between vine perfection and glory; in practice, it is an | the sound of the human voice, and the endeavour to give expression to those sound of suitable instruments, performed views and feelings. In adoration, there is by human breath' and human hands. If much of feeling, and that too of the most such an essential difference could be proved exalted description. Now the feeling of to exist, it would also prove, that there is adoration is most significantly expressed in an essential difference between seeing with singing; and there may be infused into the the naked eye and by the assistance of air of a tune a certain kind of dignity, glasses, or between hearing with the naked which shall not only be in exact accord- ear and by the help of an instrument. ance with our emotion and employment, But singing, by means of the articulate but of that emotion it shall greatly elevate language of which it permits the use, may be the tone. Again, gratitude to God for the vehicle of sentiment as well as of emotion. favours received, we are instinctively in. This we'confess is an important consideration clined to express in singing. Gratitude'is in favour of vocal music; for sentiment is the connected with, or rather is productive of, ground-work of emotion. Our feelings on love and joy; and to sing a tune with a any particular subject, arise from the views lively air would not only be in perfect ace and convictions that we entertain concerning cordance with these affections, but would it; and therefore, the clearer is the view, the be calculated to improve them. The use deeper will be the impression. The impresof vocal or instrumental music, in honour sion of adoration, for instance, depends upon of any 'exalted character, or in token of a solemn recognition of the divine perfecgratitude to any benefactor, seems to be a tions; and such a recognition will, doubtlesson taught by nature, as the practice is less, be greatly assisted by the opportunity common among savages. Again: of which the devotional singer has, of using the solemnities of death, judgment, and the language of a suitable hymn. In this eternity, every pious man feels it his in particular, instrumental music labours unterest to have a suitable impression. The der a disadvantage of an 'apparently forfoundation of such impression must indeed midable bulk : but it will be considerably be conviction and principle, but few things reduced by the following consideration. are better calculated to keep alive and 1. The disadvantage in question, is condeepen those impressions, than singing, or fined to the individuals who use instruhearing solemn tunes. Once more : if our ments, and who always compose a very devotion is of the penitential or supplicating small part of a congregation. 2. There kind, suitable singing will counteract our may be a mental recognition of sentiments natural apathy, and assist us to enter more when there is not a verbal one; and 3. strongly into the spirit of that imploring Those who use instruments in public worcontrition in which true repentance consists: ship have generally the opportunity of hearIn a word, to produce impression seems | ing the hymn read, or given out by some to be the principal object of singing ; person; in which case, their circumstances and that by means of its sympathetic cor are not much more disadvantageous than respondence with our passions; and experi that of the singer. ' ence has proved that serious and devout Pursuing thus the' progress of our impressions may be produced by it, as reasoning on this subject, we seem to be well as any other. If the warrior's courage conducted to the following conclusions ; is fired by the sound of martial music; if namely, that musical instruments may be the lover's passion is augmented by music used in divine worship with propriety and in its tender strains ; if the melancholy are advantage, but that singing, is, in general cheered by the sound of melody; 'so, sacred preferable. This conclusion binds us to music elevates the tone and quickens the admit, thát singing ought always, if posfire of the devout worshipper's feelings... | sible, to prevail in this department of

Such properties, then, and such effects public worship'; but it does not require we ascribe to singing, when" piously the universal exclusion of instruments. performed. Our next inquiry is, whether, For- circumstances may exist to render the or to what extent, instrumental music is proper use of a few suitable instruments. 131.-VOL. XI.

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obviously advantageous. For example, , bered, that a very pleasing singer, a tastewhen there is not one or more leading | ful reader, or an eloquent preacher, may voices; or when there is a general paucity be listened to with exactly the same views of good voices : in these cases, the judi- and impressions : and we might say, that cious use of an instrument or two, will, I the more talent is displayed by these several presume, have the effect of introducing performers, the more are their performances more variety, stability, and melody, into calculated to gratify the taste of the hearer, congregational singing. Three objections and the stronger is the temptation thereby are often urged against the use of instru- offered to confine his attention to such ments in divine worship, which I am in. | display of talent, to the manifest injury of duced to notice, from a persuasion, that his spiritual edification ; but all this, we they do not possess that weight which their know, forms no argument against good authors attach to them. The first is, singing or speaking. The only debateable « That sets of singers and players are point of the case then is, whether instruusually found to be persons of shallow, or mental music be more obnoxious to this no piety; amongst whom dissensions fre. charge than singing. Perhaps, in certain quently arise, disgraceful and injurious to cases, there may be something in the sight the cause of religion, and often issuing in and sound of instruments, that renders the dissolution of the party, and their them unfavourable to deep and recollected abandonment of the house of God.” Now, devotion ; these cases are, when the instruif this be a correct statement of this objec. ments are too numerous, of an improper tion, it appears to lie as much against sing- description, or when the individual is unacing as playing. It is, in fact, an objection customed to hear music. If the writer not against the use, but against the abuse might be allowed to illustrate the last menboth of singing and playing. Persons of tioned case by a reference to his own feelsuperficial piety, &c. may confederate toge. ing, he would observe, that the use of an ther as singers in a place of worship, as well organ in a place of worship, he generally as players; but, as it would be absurd to finds an incumbrance rather than a help charge the evils of such a confederation to his devotion, yet this personal fact upon singing, so it would be equally ab he does not feel at liberty to conštrue into a surd to charge them upon playing.

general objection against the judicious use The second objection to which I allude of that instrument; because it is only very is, “ that instruments were not used by the occasionally that he hears an organ, which first Christians.". This objection assumes circumstance, he thinks, furnishes the reathat no forms or usages are lawful in the son why the sound of that instrument takes church, which were not in existence his attention more than those he is regularly amongst the first converts to Christianity; accustomed to hear. The mention of feelan assumption, not only unauthorized, but ing leads him to remark, that some people absurd, in as much as it makes no allow | lay undue stress on their individual feelings ance for the difference of circumstances in the determination of the question at between the primitive Christians, and those issue. To determine the point as a matter who live in christendom at the present of feeling, is impossible, unless we could day. By this argument, we might prove collect the faithful and agreeing testimony the unlawfulness of an elegant, and even a of all mankind on the subject. The testicommodious church or chapel, of a liturgy mony of a single person is but the fracand forms of prayer, and a variety of other tional part of a conclusive argument, in matters which obtain in the present, and are the proportion that he bears to the rest of allowed at least to be indifferent, although mankind.

W. R. no traces of them can be discovered among the original disciples of Christ.

BRIEF DELINEATION OF AMBITION. Lastly, it is objected, that “instrumental | AMBITION is the passion which prompts music is defective in simplicity; that the men to value or to seek any kind of emiart and skill displayed by the performers, nence or distinction, as well as to avoid and often the very agreeableness of the degradation and reproach. It is a kind music, renders it more adapted to gratify of compound of admiration and desire, the taste, than to improve the devotional and becomes either a virtue or a vice, feelings of the worshipper." It is acknow honourable or disgraceful, useful or perledged that many listen to and perform nicious, according to its direction or degree. sacred music, merely as a pleasing art, The opinions of others concerning us, when without designing thereby to glorify God, expressed by words or actions, are prinor attempting to make it subservient to cipal sources of happiness or misery. The their . devotion; but it must be remem. pleasures of this kind are usually referred

997
Essay on History and the Progress of Society.

998, ororoncorso......ourner.......... ooooooo to the head of honour; the pains, to that | ESSAY ON HISTORY AND THE PROGRESS of shame; but as it is most convenient OF SOCIETY, BY THOMAS ROSE. to have a single word, to which to refer "Man is the subject of every history." both pleasure and pain of this class, Dr.

BOLINGBROKE. Hartley selects ambition for this purpose. HISTORY, in the legitimate sense of the He classes the several particulars which word, is a record of facts, and it is one of persons under the influence of ambition, the most important and delightful studies wish to have known to others, or concealed in which the human mind can be engaged. from them, in order to obtain praise or “ The proper study of mankind is man;" dispraise, under four heads; viz. external and to become well acquainted with him, advantages or disadvantages, of which the we must view him in all ages, in all principal are fine clothes, riches, titles, and countries, in all situations, and under vahigh birth, with their opposites, rags, riety of circumstances. poverty, obscurity, and low birth; bodily It is from universal, and not from parperfections and imperfections, of which the ticular history, that we derive a comprechief are beauty, strength, and health, on hensive knowledge of the genius and the one hand; and on the other, deformity, habitudes of man. Particular history, imbecility unfitting a person for the offices which refers to a detached part only of of life, and disease; intellectual accom our species, must be as limited in its use, plishments or defects, such as sagacity, as it is confined in its views. It cannot memory, invention, wit, learning, and their give us adequate ideas of man in general, opposites, folly, dulness, and ignorance; because it treats only of particulars ; much and moral qualities, i. e. virtue or vice. less can it answer the great end of history, This ingenious writer investigates, in con which is, to show us the primitive formaformity to his proposed theory, the asso- tion of society, the birth and progress of ciations by which the pleasures and pains human science, the succession of kingdoms, of ambition are produced-Observations and, above all, the commanding influence on Man, 2 prop. 95. p. 262. &c. Ed. 1791. of the true faith in all ages of the world. . · The Romans erected a temple to Am- In the page of universal history we are bition; and this was the divinity to which made acquainted with the origin of things, they "offered the greatest number, or at and the few particulars which are recorded least a very considerable number of sacri- respecting the antediluvian world. Subfices. It was represented with wings on sequent to this, we see the posterity of its back, and naked feet, to express the Noah collected n the plain of Shinar; extent of its designs, and the promptitude and, after the confusion of languages, we with which they were executed. “A being follow them over the earth, and observe of the nature of man,” says an elegant the first peopling of the nations; we conhistorian, at the close of his account of the template the rise of kingdoms, which reByzantine princes, “ endowed with the sembles “the letting out of mighty waters,” same faculties, but with a longer measure and behold the great monarchies widenof existence, would cast down a smile of ing by degrees, and increasing in luxury pity and contempt on the crimes and and opulence, till we, at length, see them follies of human ambition, so eager, in a sink under their own magnificence, or, narrow span, to grasp at a precarious and more properly, under the depravity which short-lived enjoyment. In a composition that magnificence had introduced. of some days, in a perusal of some hours, 1 After considering the kingdoms which 600 years have rolled away, and the dura- have passed away, we reflect on the causes tion of a life or reign is contracted to a that led successively to their rise, their fleeting moment; the grave is ever beside greatness, and their overthrow. It is im. the throne; the success of a criminal is portant that we should perceive and realmost instantly followed by the loss of member these causes, that as we move his prize; and our immortal reason sur- along the stream of time, we may observe vives the sundry phantoms of beings who what advantages resulted to the states have passed before our eyes, and faintly whose rulers profited by the experience dwelt on our remembrance. The obser. of earlier times, and what evils ensued to vation, that in every age and climate am the countries whose sovereigns neglected bition has prevailed with the same com- | the awful lesson. If we find that similar manding energy, may abate the surprise errors in government inflicted, in various of a philosopher ; but while he condemns ages, similar evils on different states, we the vanity, he may search the motive of shall conclude that the same causes prothis universal desire to obtain and hold the duce at all times the same effects; and as sceptre of dominion."--Gibbon, vol. ix. p. 10. we descend to modern states, we shall

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Essay on History and the Progress of Society:

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judge of them by a physical law, which, 1 Society could not long exist without if not infallible, is at least the best that laws; and laws would be useless without could be framed. Such a course of ob a superior to enforce them. The first servation alone will prepare us to appre attempts at legislation were rude but corciate the blessings of our native land, and rect; the boundary between right and reveal to us the basis on which its glory wrong was easily determined, and disis supported.

tinctly pointed out; vice was summarily We have no means of comprehending punished, and the reward of virtue could the state and perfections of man, as origi- be desired by none but the virtuous, since nally formed by his Maker, with sufficient it consisted in fixing the moral and social clearness, to trace out the physical causes duties in the minds of others by their of his subsequent degeneracy. The high wisdom and example. authority of revelation will not permit us | “The power of the chief was at first to doubt of his primitive excellence in all deduced from the natural privileges of the good that Heaven bestowed, and his paternal authority;" and in primitive times immediate investiture with that exalted the incentives to ambition were not strong character which alone could fit him to enough to draw aside these first of rulers stand forth in the image of God;" while from the practice of kingly virtues : they all human traditions and records incon bore sway, at once, over the persons and testably prove that, since the fall, the first the hearts of men. Hence, when the race of men in every country have ap- traditions of the true God became obscure peared in a low and degraded state, and, or extinct, the memory of their kings was by degrees more or less slow, according held sacred by a people, and they honoured to circumstances, reached a comparative their deceased benefactors with the rites perfection, which is, however, of itself, of apotheösis. Physical strength, at first, insufficient to show either what he was, gave a right to the sceptre. He who or what he shall be. It is not permitted excelled his fellows in the chase, acquired, us to rove through Eden, where “God in consequence, a superiority which none himself, and angels, dwelt with man ;' nor, was inclined to dispute, and that induced independent of revelation, have we any | all to yield to his authority. data by which to judge of the antedilu. When a people have submitted to be vian world. Having premised this, we guided by laws, and have an acknowledged shall, through the present essay, speak of chief to enforce the observance of them, the first stage of society, as observable in they are no longer contented with the mere the origin of the empires whose history, necessaries of life, but begin to pay attentraditional or written, has been brought tjon to its conveniences and comforts; and down to modern times.

this is usually the first sign they exhibit Man is a social animal. The human of a desire after improvement. The low race could not remain long in a state of conical hut is exchanged for more commocomplete dispersion. The wants and in dious habitations; useful animals are doclinations of the individual lead him to mesticated, and the savage, becomes a his species, and oblige him to look up to shepherd. The predatory incursions of a his fellows for the means of safety, and a neighbouring people into their pastures provision for his necessities; impelling him involve the community in a petty warfare, not more by a principle of love to his kind, and the shepherd becomes a soldier. The than by a consciousness of his own weakness party which proves victorious in the conto enter into the bond of social compact. test is elated with success, and wishes for

The first state of society is rude and fresh triumphs and additional spoils. The uncultivated : every individual frames laws flame of ambition, when once lighted in for himself, and the labours of the commu the human breast, is not easily extinguished. nity are directed only to objects of neces The shepherds who successfully defended sity, which are, their safety, clothing, and their flocks from the hands of rapine and daily food. Men, in their savage state, violence, acquired, whilst doing so, a rude are every where nearly alike, since the renown, which they were inclined to use same necessities are common to all. They for their own advantage. They were led are employed in hunting the beasts of the naturally to prefer a life of warfare that forest, whose ravages are the scourge and promised an accumulation of spoils, to the terror of wandering and unsettled tribes ; defenceless state of shepherds, which suband while the destruction of these animals jected them to the depredation of armed secures the safety of man, their flesh pro- tribes. vides him with food, and their skins fur- The second state of society presents to nish him with raiment,

| our view a rude and warlike people, ranged

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