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hallowed association is unbroken. Every year adds to the strength of attachment. The sacred airs, instead of being changed with the fashion of every new teacher or publisher, abide in massive dignity, little less mutable than the clustering piers and fretted arches of their stone cathedrals. Whatever aids can be derived, therefore, from imagination, memory, and reverent affection, are here combined in behalf of the national religious song. Hence the rigorous demarcation, even among a most musical people, between the music of God's house, and the music of the stage and the drawing-room. The two operate only in an indirect way on each other. The church borrows no lilting measures from the opera or the streets, and never violates the sanctity of communions or funeral rites by the intrusion of song-tunes redolent of secular or licentious remembrances.
How far the riches of German hymnology has been transferred into the Dutch and Scandinavian languages, we are unprepared to say; but many of their favourite productions have been translated into English. The deep impressions made upon John Wesley, in favour of German piety, first by his voyage to Georgia and residence there among the Salzburgers, and then by his visit to Herrnhut, in 1738, may have had a more direct bearing on the musical zeal of the early Wesleyans than is commonly thought. Of those who sing the Methodist hymns, in different parts of the globe, there are few who know that some which they most approve are early translations from the German. Thus, for example, "Commit thou all thy griefs," is Paul Gerhardt's famous Befehl du deine Wege; and "O God, thou bottomless abyss," is Lange's O Gott du Tiefe sonder Grund. It is a most interesting fact, little known by our foreign brethren, that twenty-two of the Methodist hymns were translated from the German by John Wesley.* They include some of the most touching effusions of a collection as widely used as any in the world.
With all our predilections for the poets of our own tongue, we are forced to admit that our treasury of sacred song is less ample and varied than that of our neighbours. We could single out hymns in English, which in our judgment are fully equal to the best ever produced abroad, in matter, spirit, unction, and lyrical completeness. In a purely literary view, the proportion of excellence is on our side. Correctness, elegance, and a certain pomp of verse, not without fire of passion, exist in the masterpieces of Watts, Wesley, and Steele. But in the union of tenderness, penitent, beseeching, and lamenting love, with a simplicity equal to the childlike naïveté of the old ballad, we admit that we are surpassed. German hymns, at * These are given in detail, in Creamer's Methodist Hymnology, p. 103.
the time of the Reformation, were, as we have said, to a great extent doctrinal; they were religious tracts in verse, and vehicles of the revived truth in every land. At a later period, especially under Gerhardt, while there were still many didactic pieces, often of inordinate length, the church hymn took a new form, which became normal. Hence the spiritual songs of Germany are characteristically emotional, and abound in direct addresses to God, and especially to the Lord Jesus Christ, expressive of the warmest evangelical feeling, and contemplating the Redeemer in all his offices, but chiefly as dying for our sins. Some of these are touching beyond expression. Sometimes they involve the peculiar tenets of the old Lutherans, but seldom offensively. All our indignation at Gerhardt's zeal against Calvin vanishes, when we sing one of his Passion-hymns. Such strains could have issued only from a spiritual church, and hearts filled with genuine emotions of grace. Even those too familiar expressions, which severe taste would reject, are products of unfeigned attachment; and are not without paralÎel in the stanzas of Watts and Hart. Generally speaking, the best German hymns concerning the person and sufferings of our Lord are marked by pure, and reverent, and spiritual affection. If German Christianity of the old stamp lays more stress than is common in America, on personal love for the Lord Jesus Christ, and on the sorrowing contemplation of his cross, it is only because we have too deeply felt the influence of northern theology, and the balance of advantage is clearly against us.
We rapidly indicated certain derelictions of the old manner. In the progress of modern innovation and theological development, new hymn-books, as a matter of course, were made. Though the popular habits of mind would resist an entire omission of the savoury old evangelical hymns, great changes really took place, and many additions by later hands have been in a spirit utterly foreign to that of Luther, Hans Sachs, Gerhardt, and Schmolck. Our commendation of German hymns must not be extended to these, which show a beautiful moonshine instead of day, or a corpse decked with flowers instead of rosy life. They are Blair's sermons compared with Baxter and Bunyan, or Robert Montgomery by the side of Milton. What they gain in nicety and scholarship they lose in popular effect. They forsake the dialect of the people.
In a comparison of hymns as to number, we must at once abandon the field. We should be afraid to state the number of German hymns as sometimes given. On certain topics, a little aside from the common track of public worship, they have scores where we have one or two. Not to speak of their church-year, which is celebrated even to profusion by appropriate compositions, they abound in hymns for every season of the
year and day, every station of life; and a little volume might. be filled with dying hymns. The following titles, in Knapp's Treasury, include no less than seven hundred and forty-two articles: Hymns for New Year-the Four Seasons-Morning -Trades-Table-Evening-Birth-day-Week-days - Children-Youth-School-Charity-houses-Marriage-House
hold-Cradle-Juvenile Education-Government-Servants -Widows-Orphans-Old Age-the Sick-the Travellerthe Seaman-the Soldier-Times of Famine-Tempest-Pestilence Conflagration-Harvest. Of these, the morning and evening hymns alone amount to more than three hundred.
In order to account for this extraordinary number of hymns, we must adduce a fact which, so far as our observation extends, has never been placed in the strong light which it deserves. Hymnology is almost two centuries older in Germany than in Great Britain. In the English language, original hymns are of comparatively recent date. Recurrence to our books will show how few we employ further back than Dryden and Merrick. Both in England and Scotland the Psalms of David were sung almost exclusively for a large part of two centuries; and this is true of most churches in Scotland at the present day. There were unquestionably many sacred lyrical effusions, from private Christians, in both countries; such as some of Blackmore's, the celebrated hymns of Bishop Ken, and in Scotland "Jerusalem, my mother dear," and Erskine's Gospel Sonnets; but these were not heard in publie worship, and so never became the common property of the people. The general and popular use of lively gospel hymns in England does not date much further back than the labours of Watts and Doddridge, and the great revival of religious feeling under Hervey, Whitefield, and the Wesleys; and it is remarkable how large a portion of the hymns now current among ourselves is derived from these very collections. In the Anglican Church, which best represented the English mind, the prevalent psalmody was first that of Sternhold and Hopkins, and then that of Tate and Brady. There are thousands of Presbyterian worshippers who to this very day content themselves with the rough, bald, and scarcely metrical prose of Rous; and some, though their number is happily decreasing, who think it a sin against God to use any praises in his worship which contain the name of Jesus.*
* [Issuing as our Review does from Scotland, we can scarcely allow this sentence to pass without a caveat. The following notes, from a few of the many writers who have adverted to the subject, will serve our purpose.-ED. B. and F. Ev. REVIEW.]
1. Rous's Version of the Psalms." It has been the fashion with our Southern neighbours," says one who (by common consent) stands in the front rank of modern Exegetes, "to sneer at that version, on account of its occasional baldness and harshness; but it will stand a comparison with any literal metrical version in any
How greatly in contrast with this has been the state of things in Germany, we have sufficiently shown. Long before the Reformation, German Christians possessed a store of spiritual songs, partly from the Latin hymns of the Breviary, and partly the product of original pious feeling; since that time, we have attempted to trace the progress. We have seen in Luther himself a prince among Christian poets; and none can tell how much the great religious movement of the sixteenth century owed to those strains of his, of which one might say, as did Sir Philip Sydney, concerning Chevy Chase, that they "stir up the soul like the sound of a trumpet." There has been no time for three hundred years, in which German Christians have not been praising God in the words of original hymns. These have passed from mouth to mouth, and from language. It is commonly considered as little better than a reprint of Rous's version; but this is a mistake. It was the result of the careful labours of a Committee of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland."—(Sufferings and Glories of the Messiah, by J. Brown, D.D., Edinburgh, note p. 74.) "Sternhold and Hopkins," observes the devout Romaine in his "Essay on Psalmody," "had a scrupulous regard for the very words of Scripture; the versification is not always smooth-but what is a thousand times more valuable, it is generally the sentiment of the Holy Spirit. This should silence every objection-it is the Word of God This version comes nearer the original than any I have seen, except the Scotch, which I have made use of when it appeared to me better expressed than the English. Here is every thing great, and noble, and divine, although not in Dr Watts' way or style. It is not, as good old Mr Hall used to call it, Watts' jingle." (Romaine's Works, vol. viii. p. 339.)
The name of Christ, it is alleged, is not found in the book of Psalms. The name of the blessed Jesus ought to be in our psalm_book." That the blessed Redeemer should have in our Psalmody a prominent place, is admitted by all. And has he not a commanding place in the book of Psalms? Is it true that the NAME of Christ, literally, is not there? Is not Messiah found in the original, and in our version, The Anointed? Do we not find in various forms of expression, "The Saviour God?" "God of Salvation?" &c. Turn them into Greek, and we shall then literally have Christ, and Jesus God. We bow at the NAME of Jesus, but we know no evangelical charm in mere Greek sounds, whatever they may have of literary fascination to the educated ear. We are unwilling to identify the spirit of the objector and of his objection, with that of the superstition which always bows at the name of Jesus, while knowing little of, and caring as little for, the glorious person and character of the Anointed Saviour. But to meet the objection: It is not true that these names of the divine Redeemer are not in the book of Psalms. Will the objector venture to say, that Christ is not in the Psalms of inspiration? that they are Christless Psalms? If not, then is not the objection a trifling play on words, not becoming the good man, when treating a serious subject? Or is it so that the church-at least the whole Presbyterian church-till a very late day had nothing but a Christless Psalmody That those hundreds or thousands of churches in Europe and America, who use the scripture songs, have nothing but a Christless Psalmody? This will not in so many words be said; and yet, if the objection has any meaning, such is its import. But Christ Jesus is in those sacred compositions, his NAME, his character, is there delineated."-(An Apology for the Book of Psalms, by the Rev. G. M'Master, D.D., Philadelphia, p. 197.) In the language of this divine book, the prayers and praises of the church have been offered up to the throne of grace from age to age. And it appears to have been the manual of the Son of God in the days of his flesh; who, at the conclusion of his last supper, is generally supposed, and that upon good grounds, to have sung a hymn taken from it; who pronounced on the cross the words of the 22d Psalm, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?' and expired with a part of the 31st Psalm in his mouth, Into thy hands I commend my spirit.' Thus He, who had not the spirit by measure, in whom were hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, and who spake as never man spake, yet chose to conclude his life, to solace himself in his greatest agony, and at last to breathe out his soul in the Psalmist's form of words rather than his own. No tongue of man or angel, as Dr Hammond justly observes, can convey a higher idea of any book, and of their felicity who use it aright."-(Bishop Horne on the Psalms, pp. v. vi.)
father to son, and being connected with the freshness and dearest experiences of a most vital Christianity, as yet untainted by rationalism, have become part and parcel of the national inheritance. In this respect they possess all the traits and influence of the English or the Spanish ballad. Indeed they bear a close resemblance to those popular and soul-stirring compositions, in vigour of thought, simplicity of structure, and homely raciness of diction.*
ART. VII.-The Reformed Faith in Italy.
In the history of nations, that wondrous encyclopædia which has now become so voluminous and so complex, and in which our attention is daily becoming more bewildered, there are two countries that hitherto have constituted, and still will continue to constitute, the great centre of human interest. In them alone is to be found the key by which the gates of mystery are unlocked, and the destiny of nations understood. After this assertion, need we repeat the names of PALESTINE and ITALY? In the one country, we recognise the home of religion; and in the other, that of civilization: † the former was the temple, and the latter the academy of the world. But as the intellectual in man is so closely connected with the spiritual, that civilization cannot well be disunited from religion, therefore much of the religious history of the world is to be found in Rome, the mistress of nations, as well as in Jerusalem, the home of prophets and apostles,-so that the high and holy mission of the one was materially affected by the influ ence of the other. In this important point of view, the history of Rome, even from its earliest era, is essentially a religious history. Its wars with the Etrurians, Latins, and Carthaginians; its triumph over every antagonist, and ascent to universal supremacy-what was the worth of these, except by how much they bore upon "a religious movement. that occurred many centuries afterwards, and of which the end is not yet, though many centuries more have elapsed?
A conclusion so un-heroic, un-classical, un-Roman, in the estimation of many of our modern historians, was utterly unknown to Livy and Tacitus; and we can scarcely imagine with what superb astonishment they would have heard it announced. While they wrote the annals of their glorious country, they
In addition to the works named at the head of the article, and others noted in the margin, there are two to which our debt is so great that we cannot omit their titles-viz. Hagenbach's Kirchengeschichte des 18 u. 19, Jahrh, and Alt's "Christlicher Cultus."
† Civilization, i.e., in its practical character and most effective ancient form.