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PREFACE. :

“Why should the devil have the best tunes?" was oft the language of the Wesleys, of Rowland Hill, George Whitfield, Hugh Bourne, and other champions of the cross. Every person is aware of the almost omnipotent influence of national ballads on national morals, and thus on the formation of national character. “Hence,” said a daring sinner, “I care not a straw who makes the laws of a nation, if I may but make the ballads.” And perhaps it is not too much to say, that when the Angel of Doom shall read the history of ballads, it will be seen that they have corrupted the morals, polluted the hearts, and damned the souls of millions. The first race of Methodists gave a mighty check to profane song singing in the following manner :--Whenever they found that the devil had got a tune that seemed to charm the people, some one immediately composed a hymn, or spiritual song, to that tune, and thus cheated Satan out of both tune and singers: and thousands in later times have imitated these fathers of Methodism in this respect, with glorious success. Witness Edward Brookes, Esq., George Nicholson, Charles Richardson, Rev. Mortimer, Edward Brown, John Cliffe, the Primitive Methodists, Revivalists, Any Carr, R. Winfield, &c., &c.

In this place an important question will naturally arise-Have the ballads become popular from the beauty and simplicity of the airs to which they have been set, or otherwise? We boldly answer— While we believe that thousands of our youth are polluted by the influence of the jerry-shop, play-house, infidelity, and of bad example, that they would prefer an obscene song, with any tune, to even the holy psalms of David, or the next-to. inspired hymns of Wesley, Watts, or Montgomery; yet, at the same time, we have no hesitation in saying that it has been the trines, rather than the words, that have drawn away so many of our Sabbath scholars; and it is from this that we infer the salutary tendency of an attempt to redeem our best popular airs, by adapting them to the songs of Zion. We have long listened to all that has been advanced against the introduction of song tunes into the worship of God; and all that we mean to say in reply, in this place, shall be in the language of an old divine :-“Why, there are only seven or eight notes to all the tunes in the world, and they all belong to Jesus Christ; so that, if the devil wants any fresh ones, he must make them." The plain fact is, psalm or hymn tunes (so called) can be adapted to any song of the same metre. Witness the “Old Hundred,” which is oft sung in the most filthy obscene song in the devil's book. But shall the church of Christ abandon its claims to so good and solemn a tune on that account? No!

We are not pleading for the introduction of those light songs and tunes with a view to supersede those of Charles Wesley or Dr Watts. No, no, no! All that we ask is, let them be judiciously introduced into our infant and Sabbath schools, family worship, protracted and revival meetings, love feasts, prayer meetings, open air services, class meetings, tea meetings, &c., &c., and we have no fear but they will be attended with the blessing of God. We have known thousands attracted to the house of the Lord by such singing, and what is far better, attracted to the cross. It will be quite soon enough to vindicate the use of song tunes in the worship of God when

any

Christian shall bring a scriptural or common sense objection against it.

If we don't use such tunes to advantage, the devil will."- Rev. J. M.

“ While lukewarm ministers are stopping warm-hearted young Christians from singing song tunes in the house of the Lord, the children of this world, who are wiser than the children of light, use them to fill the tap-room, theatre, jerry shop, &c.”Rev. J. C.

“ Brother Cliffe converts more sinners by his lively singing, than some fifty of us do by our preaching."-An American Minister.

“I have known the ranters enter a town at a time when the place has been nearly flooded with political and infidel excitement-and with their lively singing sweep the whole place.”Rev. G. H.

“I have attended feasts, pleasure fairs, horse-racings, &c., with a band of lively singers, and have often succeeded in drawing hundreds of the young from Satan's sports.Rev. J. S.

“ It is foolishness to say that singing song tunes in the house of God will revive old feelings; it will raise feelings of holy gratitude to think that we are not singing the tunes to the devil's songs. Let thousands of converted souls, who now sing Zion's songs to those tunes, testify to the truth of this assertion.”-Rev. J. C.

“Look at the teetotallers, how they have succeeded in taking tunes from Bacchus, and will any one say that the singing such tunes is a temptation to them to go back to drink again ?”. Rev. F. B.

“I long to see the devil a bankrupt for good tunes."- Rev. G. P.

In conclusion, we cannot do better than give the following from the Rev. R. Chester's Penny Selection of Revival Hymus.

WESLEY'S DIRECTIONS FOR CONGREGATIONAL SINGING.

(ABRIDGED.) " That this part of divine worship may be more acceptable to God, as well as more profitable to yourself and others, be careful to observe the following directions :

“1. Sing all. See that you join with the congregation as frequently as you can. Let not a slight degree of weakness or weariness hinder you. If it is a cross to you, take it up, and you will find a blessing

2. Sing lustily, and with a good courage. Beware of singing as if you were half dead, or half asleep ; but lift up your voice with strength. Be no more afraid of your voice now, nor more ashamed of its being heard, than when you sung the songs of Satan.

“3. Sing modestly. Do not bawl, so as to be heard above, or distinct from, the rest of the congregation ; that you may not destroy the harmony; but strive to unite your voices together, so as to make one clear, melodious sound.

“4. Sing in time. Whatever time is sung, be sure to keep with it. Do not run before, nor stay behind it; but attend closely to the leading voices, and move therewith as exactly as you can: and take care you sing not too slow. This drawling way naturally steals on all who are lazy; and it is high time to drive it out from among us, and sing all our tunes just as quick as we did at first.

“5. Above all, sing spiritually. Have an eye to God in every word you sing. Aim at pleasing him more than yourself, or any other creature. In order to this, attend strictly to the sense of what you sing; and see that your heart is not carried away with the sound, but offered to God continually; so shall your singing be such as the Lord will approve of here, and reward when he cometh in the clouds of heaven.-See Works, vol. xiv., p. 358.

"I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.'-1 Cor. xiv. 15.

Singing, to be suitable, must include every variety of manner : slow and solemn-soft and gentle—sweet and warbling-quick and lively-sprightly and energetic-loud and rapid : each in turn, and mingled and modified, according to time, place, and occasion. Singing is for the worship of God; or the benefit of man; or both. Let the aim always be, not show, but effect. Whether the lines be praise or prayer, warning, invitation, instruction, exhortation, en. couragement, or consolation, try to sing them with effect. But there can be little or no effect where there is sameness. Sameness effectually destroys effect. A solemn tune takes most effect where there is usually the most sprightly singing, and vice versa. The

same tunes should be sung much quicker in a class-meeting or a $ small prayer-meeting than in a large congregation; much quicker

on a jweek-night than at a Sabbath evening service. A skilful variety is the very life and soul of singing.”

CONGREGATIONAL SINGING.

(From the 'Revivalist,' 1837.) “A revival of religion is always a revival of singing.* It was so at the Reformation. But congregational singing was no invention of the reformers.

" It was the renewal, Mr. Latrobe remarks, of a practice adopted in the earlier ages of the church, which had, indeed, decayed amid the general corruption, but which was ever renewed with the least semblance of real religion. Thus the Albigenses, during the hottest season of their persecutions, are represented as cheering themselves, in the very prospect of death, with singing the psalms and hymns of their church. In the same manner, the disciples of Wickliffe and John Huss cherished psalmody, as richly conducing to godliness. The Bohemian brethren published a hymn book with notes, from which it is evident, that the melodies therein used originated in the chants to which the ancient Latin hymns of the church were sung. The reformers of the succeediný century, Luther, Cranmer, Calvin, Beza, Knox, and Zuinglius, equally encouraged congregational psalmody. Among these, however, Luther stands preeminent. He was a man of great musical talent, fostered by the opportunities afforded him in the Romish church, of which he seems to have availed himself with the same largeness of soul which characterised his actions in a more important field of labour. The high estimation in which he held music, was the result of a cultivated taste and an accurate knowledge of mankind. 'I verily a think,' said he, ‘and am not ashamed to say, that, next to divinity, no art is comparable to music.' • We know that music is intolerable to demons.' With this idea, therefore, we need not wonder that he s ude it a prominent feature in his public services. The tunes int luced by him were of the same choral stamp as those of 1 the Unite Brethren.

“ In England, already in the reign of Henry VIII., psalms were much sung by all who loved the Reformation. Some poets, such as the times afforded, translated David's psalms into verse; and it was a sign by which men's affections to that work were everywhere measured, whether they used to sing these or not. A clause in the Act of Uniformity, 1548, authorised this practice: · Provided also, that it shall be lawful for all men, as well in churches, chapels, oratories, or other places, to use, openly, any psalm or prayer, taken out of the Bible, at any due time, not letting or omitting thereby the service, or any part thereof, mentioned in the said book. The general practice was, to sing before and after morning and evening prayer, and also before and after the sermon. When Sternhold's psalms, which had been at first composed for

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* Rev. W. C. Miller, Wesleyan minister, converted thousands with his lively singing; and all his hymns go in song tunes.

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