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The diligence of the husbandman, with the quantity and quality of the seed sown, will then best appear, when the harvest shall crown his toil, and, “the
valleys stand so thick with corn, that they shall laugh and sing." Thus engaged in “well-doing,” be not ye, therefore, weary; " for in due time
reap, if ye faint “ not.” Look back with joy and pleasure on what has been done; look forward with hope and confidence on what may be done. The adversary is not weary of exerting his endeavours to suppress and extinguish the religious spirit among us; be not ye weary of exerting yours (as they always have been exerted) to cherish and support it. Consider the prospect which presented itself to the first preachers of the Gospel, when they entered upon the task of Promoting Christian Knowledge ; and consider the event: remember the “mustard-seed," and view the “ tree” which it has produced. Ye are fellow-labourers with them : and according to the ineasures of his grace, and the course of his dispensations, Christ will be with you, as be was with them. Apostolical is your work, and suitable will be your reward. Go on, then, and prosper, in the name of the Lord ; looking forward to that triumphant hour, when the scene shall open of which that now before us may serve to convey some faint resemblance; when the indumerable company of those rescued by your charity from the hands of the destroyer, and numbered among the children of God, shall be seen clothed in the robes of righteousness and salvation, arranged in shining circles around the throne, and heard singing Glory to their Redeemer, who sitteth thereon, for ever and ever.
THE ANTIQUITY, USE, AND EXCELLENCE OF
PSALM, LVII. 8.
Awake up, my glory; awake, lute and harp!
The sound of that noble instrument, which for the first time we have this day heard, is in perfect unison with the words of the text. It
It is intended for the saine purpose, and performs the same office. It calls upon us to employ all our powers and faculties in the service of him who bestowed them; to celebrate the praises of God, and give the glory due to the world's Creator and Redeemer. For this end man was formed : but it is an end which, in the present state of his nature, he is by no means disposed at all times to answer as he should do. Alive to earth, he is often dead to heaven. Troubled about many things, to the one thing needful he is apt to be inattentive. He sleepeth and must be awakened. “ Awake up, therefore, my glory;
awake, lute and harp! I myself will awake right
“ earlya.” Let the instrument accompany the voice, and the heart accompany both.
In the constitution of man, as the all-wise Artist has been pleased to frame it, there are certain tones of the voice, by which the affections of the mind naturally express thenselves. The tone of sorrow is mournful and plaintive; the notes of joy, exulting and jubilant. St. James, therefore, spake with the strictest propriety, when he said, “ Is any afflicted ? “ let him pray; is any merry? let him sing. When the spirits are raised by good news, or any other very pleasing consideration, every one whose actions are unobserved, and therefore unrestrained, will break forth into singing. It is the proper expression of pleasure; it is “the voice of joy and * health in the dwellings of the righteous.” Who shall contest THEIR right so to declare and make their feelings known?” They have been in the possession of the privilege ever since the hour when, at the creation of the world, “the morning stars
sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for “joy ";" and they will be found possessed of it, in the day when, for the redemption of the world, saints and angels shall sing together, “Blessing, and
honour, and glory, and power, to him that sitteth
a Music was used by the Pythagoreans to dissipate the dulness of the mind at first waking in the morning: and it is said, I think, of good bishop Kenn, that, immediately on rising from his bed, he seized his guitar, and played some sprightly strain, for this purpose. b James, v. 13.
c Job, sxxviij. 7.
upon the throne, and to the Lamb"!” During the intermediate period between these two great events, there is upon earth a mixture of evil and good; there is, on that account, a mixture of sorrow and joy; and the service of the church consists of PRAYER and PRAISE, We have sinned, we are afflicted, we pray: Our sins are forgiven, we rejoice, we sing.
If we consult the page of history, we find that among all nations where music has been at all understood and practised, it has been applied to this use, and employed in their religious festivals. Whatever was the object of adoration, in this manner was adoration paid. And as it is notorious, that inost of the rites to be found among idolaters, were originally derived from the primæval church of God, and transferred to their false divinities, it is a fair supposition, that what was practised by one, had been first practised by the other. Short as the account of things and persons is in the Mosaic history of an infant world, we read very early of those who "handled the harp and organ." It is impossible to say, at this time, what specific instruments are denoted by the Hebrew words; that they denote musical instruments of some sort, there is no doubt,
d Rev. v. 13.
+ Gen. iv, 21. Jubal, said to have been “ the father of such," was indeed a descendant of Cain, and the seventh only from Adam in that line. But that, even in that line, idolatry had so early taken place of the worship of the true God, does not appear.
No sooner was there a regular national church established in Israel, a people selected by the Almighty for that very purpose, than we find inusic making a part of the ritual.
“ The trumpet was “blown in the new moon, on the solemn feast day; “such was the statute for Israel, the law of the God “ of Jacob.” The performers, vocal and instrumental, were ranged by the royal prophet, under divine direction, in their several classes, and appointed to wait in succession through the year?.” At the dedication of the temple by king Solomon, they were all assembled, and performed together, the whole pation joining in a grand chorus of praise and thanksgiving, while the glory of the Lord, a body of light above the brightness of the sun, descended from heaven, and filled the house of God.
If music in the Jewish church served to enliven devotion and elevate the affections, why should it not be used, to produce the like effect among Christians ? Human nature is the same, and the power of music is the same: why should there not be the same application of one to the other, for the same beneficial end, under both dispensations ? Vocal music ceased not with the law : why should
fi Chron. xxv.In imitation of king David, the emperor Charlemagne, in the university of Paris founded by him, and in other parts of his dominions, endowed schools for the study and practice of music. At church he always sung bis part in the choral service, and he exhorted other princes to do the same. He was very desirous also that his daughters should attain a proficiency in singing, and to that'end had masters to instruct them three hours every day. See Sir John Hawkins, vol. ii. p. 31.