« PreviousContinue »
ual for pecuniary aid. The most deserving young men would be least inclined to do so.
To the second method, there are insuperable objections. The members of a church are liable to be biassed for or against one of their own number. The youthful prophet, in these days, is frequently without honor in his own country. A church is not always the best judge of the literary promise of an individual. And then he must, almost necessarily, have a feeling of dependence upon his patrons, which does not exert the best influence upon his character. If there is a decided failure, the cause itself will be prejudiced in the view of that church for at least one generation.
Now an association comes in to his relief, with a well-digested plan, with rules which have had the test of many years' experiment, having no partialities for a particular part of the country, no favorite seminary of learning, but the impartial friend of all that will comply with its conditions.
It proposes to introduce into the ministry men of promising piety and of thorough education. And if there ever was a necessity for these two qualifications, they are indispensable now. What but piety can sustain the minister as he looks over his afflicted and distracted country? What but an unwavering trust in God can give him the heart to pray for his native land, when the flood-gates of the depravity of the old world are opened upon us, when patriotism in our rulers seems to be merged in a reckless party spirit, when pestilent religious delusions are popular in proportion to their absurdity and impiety.
Again, a thorough education for the ministry was never more urgently demanded than it is now. Never had the youthful preacher more occasion to be clad in the panoply of the Gospel. No language can adequately express the importance of his being familiar with the doctrines of the Gospel, with their mutual relations, and with the best methods by which they may be defended.
At no time since the Protestant Reformation has it been of more vital consequence to him to be versed in the history of the Church. Nothing would more contribute to his steadfastness, or to his power to grapple with the disorders of the present day. Scarcely any thing could furnish more pertinent proofs and illustrations to aid him in his work of preaching the Gospel, and of guiding the souls of men.
So likewise in respect to the interpretations of the Scriptures; when multitudes are wresting them to their own destruction, putting upon them arbitrary meanings, deducing false inferences, placing their credibility on a sandy foundation, and exposing them to become the object of utter contempt. How imperative, then, is it upon every one who goes out into this world of delusion, that he should be armed at all points, well trained, thoroughly furnished.
But no less imperative is it that these youthful champions should not be borne down by pecuniary embarrassments in the early stages of their education; that they should be aided so that they may enjoy a season of unbroken preparation.
If there be one agency which can save our great nation from going the way of every other republic-which can prevent her from becoming the scoff and jeer of all coming time, it is the agency which might be put forth in Education and Home Mission Societies. The latter are doing a service to our country worth more than all our fleets, and armies, and Congresses combined.
It is often said that our only hope is in revivals of religion. But can these be expected-we had almost said, how are they possible-without an able, stated, numerous ministry? Without it, they are certain to end in the wild fire of the fanatic.
In pleading for the Education Society, we feel that we are pleading for one of the two or three instrumentalities which are to save our nation, and without which our power to bless the pagan world cannot exist. To let it languish is suicidal. We may depend upon it that it is an agency which is vital to the existence of every other.
We feel no envy at the success of the Foreign Missionary Society. Rather we rejoice that the friends of Christ have gathered round her in her darkest hours, and nobly sustained her. The churches of our land have given a most honorable testimony to their sense of the value of the Bible, in contributing more than three hundred thousand dollars in a year of pressing pecuniary embarrassment. That Society is of inestimable benefit in awakening and keeping alive a spirit of benevolence. All other institutions feel the salutary influence of this. No other could supply her place. She nobly goes in the van.
SECOND SERIES, VOL. VIII. NO. II.
At the same time, her operations cannot proceed prosperously if the Education Society is abandoned. If the intimate connection of the two Societies is not seen now, it will be three years hence.
Just so will it be with other benevolent Societies. If you dry up the spring, you dry up the streams. If you break the connection at one point, you do at all others.
It has often occurred to us, that the people of the more favored parts of the Eastern States, of all others, will be led to judge erroneously in this matter, unless they cast their eye beyond their own small horizon. There is no want of ministers here. Why the necessity of increasing their number? But because there is no lack of civil liberty in this country, we might just as well argue that there is no lack in Spain, in Austria, in Turkey. Because we have an abundance of food, because the harvests are spreading and waving all around us, there are not fourteen hundred thousand persons in England starving at this moment. Because we live on a green island, an oasis of plenty, there is not a continent of barren and burning sand stretching all around us. Because we happen to see no spiritual want, therefore there is none in our immense western regions.
But let us lift up our eyes and look over the mountains. Let us believe credible and overwhelming testimony. Let our faith, if our eye cannot, affect our heart. Let us act as those ought to act who live, as we had almost said, in the garden of Eden. Let us feel, pray, labor to save our beloved country from the doom which seems to be menacing her more and more every day.
By Rev. John Richards, Pastor of the Church of Dartmouth College.
THE history of music, both as a science and an art, is involved in obscurity. As a science we do not know how much the ancients understood of it, and as an art, to what excellence they attained in the management of instruments and the voice. Very carly music was cultivated as an art. Indeed we have one fragmentary notice of music before the flood, "And Adah bare Jabal; he was the father of such as dwell in tents and of such as have cattle. And his brother's name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and the organ. The Egyptians doubtless practised music, both vocal and instrumental; and the Hebrews, at least as early as Miriam celebrated the passage of the Red Sea with timbrels and with dances, saying, "Sing unto the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously, the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.' 97 We hear of a band of instrumental music in the days of Nebuchadnezzar,-"At what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery and dulcimer, and all kinds of music, ye fall down and worship the golden image which Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up." In Grecian times we read of Timotheus, the first, and the second, who ravished the ears of monarchs and people.
But, as to what was the character of the ancient music, we do not know. If they had any method of notation to exhibit sounds to the eye, no fragments remain. Whether they were acquainted with harmony, or whether their strains were simple melodies, we do not know. The more general opinion is, that they were acquainted with melody only. Another opinion strenuously maintained is, that they were acquainted only with the minor mode; which must have given to their music a sombre character. This opinion is strengthened by reference to the present character of Chinese music. This nation seems to have remained stationary in improvement for many centuries; and so pertinacious of old customs are they, and so hostile to new ones, that we may with much confidence study the present in China, not only as an index, but
as a picture of the past, almost to the days of Noah. But in respect to this nation, it is well known that their music is confined to the barrenest melodies, and these in the minor mode, making their music as lugubrious to the ear, as their countenances are to the eye.
The progress of music from the days of Alexander to the close of the dark ages in Europe, it might be interesting to trace, were there time; but passing that whole subject, I go on to say that the full development of music, as a science and an art, was reserved for the western world as its theatre, and the three last centuries as its period. Then and there instruments were brought to a degree of excellence which the ancient and the middle world knew nothing of,-the system of notation, both invented and perfected,-the science of harmony analyzed and displayed,-modulation from key to key and from mode to mode introduced, the full power and variety of the human voice explored, and finally the union of all these in the Opera and Oratorio.
That we may not discourse to no purpose by using terms unintelligible to some, we digress to explain a little the Opera and the Oratorio. In their musical characteristics they are essentially the same. They differ specifically in this respect -the Oratorio is sacred, the Opera secular. Both are dramatical; and while the Opera admits more action and exhibition of character, the Oratorio is confined chiefly to the drama of narration. In both a subject of thought is chosen and a unity preserved throughout. In the Opera a fine example is found in the Tauberflote (Magic Flute) of Mozart, in the Oratorio, the Messiah of Handel and the Creation of Haydn. In all these the narration is conducted by a series of vocal recitations, that is, single voices, duetts or dialogues of two voices, terzetts, of three voices, of chorusses and grand chorusses, in which many voices join to give utterance to the emotions which the subject is supposed to inspire. The whole is accompanied by such instruments as the genius of the composer perceives will heighten the effect. That this idea is not fantastic, but is in accordance with the nature of things, is manifest from the temple music of Jerusalem, of which we have some reason to believe a pattern was given to Moses in the mount. As examples, Psalms 24th and 84th, in their responsive and choral character, contain the elements of the Oratorio. More to the purpose, may be adduced the