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and we shall see him as he is in all his glory. Then shall we no longer be tempted, as now we often are, to forget that he is nigh, but shall find that“ in his presence there is fulness of joy, and at his right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”
Animated, therefore, O heavenly Father, by the prospect of these glorious things, we would beseech thee, “ without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy,” “who seest that we have no power of ourselves to help ourselves, and that we put not our trust in any thing that we do ;” we would beseech thee to graft in our hearts, by thy Holy Spirit, such a sense of thy continual presence, that we may thereby be restrained at all times from sinning against thee, and may be “ ready, both in body and soul, cheerfully to accomplish those things that thou wouldest have done,” so that finally, through the merits of our blessed Redeemer, we may arrive in that blissful region where thou manifestest thyself in all the glory of thy inconceivable perfections.
AN HISTORICAL ACCOUNT OF MUSIC; AND OF ITS DIVINE
AND CIVIL USES.
The late ingenious Mr. Thomas Brown, in his Preface to the “ Complete Music-Master," hath these words :-" What eloquence has power sufficient to describe the charms of that heavenly art which persuades and captivates us more than the most prevailing oratory ? Or, what need is there to enlarge upon the merits of harmony, which carries its own commendation along with it? It gently breathes and vents the mourner's grief, and heightens the joy of them that are cheerful ; it abateth spleen and hatred; it inspires the soldier with valour, and contempt of death, for which reason it was always encouraged by those nations that were most celebrated for military discipline; it soothes the pleasing disquietudes and pains of lovers; it relieves the haughty monarch under his most pensive intervals, and communicates its enlivening influence to the miserable' of all sorts ; it is the darling of palaces, and the comforting genius of the meanest cottages; it not only softens, but triumphs over the passions; it disarms envy; it alleviates and extinguishes grief; it bestows a new vigour upon joy, and makes our most exquisite pleasures the more palatable: neither is it excluded from the most awful and sacred assemblies, but even in the infancy of Christianity was admitted into the Church; and, indeed, what places so proper for harmony as those which are consecrated to the infinite
• In our researches after tunes for the projected volume of our Church Music, we have met with the above Preface to a valuable and scarce book of Psalm Tunes, in four parts, collected by Thomas Ravenscroft, B.M., and revised by William Turner, 1728, and which we doubt not will interest our readers.
Author of Harmony? It gives a new force and edge to devotion ; it carries our thoughts up to heaven ; makes us taste the joys of it here upon earth, and raiseth us to the felicity of angels.
•You that the King of kings would jointly praise above,
- All that we know
Is, that they sing, and that they love.
And while we sing, we consecrate our art,
And offer up with every tongue a heart.' “ Having ascribed such noble qualities to music, it may, perhaps, seem beneath its commendation to observe, that nothing is so great an ornament to a young gentleman as it is; it gives a happy bent and elevation to his thoughts; it refines and polishes his manners; and is so far from hindering him in his application to business, that it secures him from those temptations to which plenty and idleness expose those persons who do not know how to employ their vacant hours, otherwise than in unlawful pleasures,” &c.
Mr. John Playford, in the Preface of his “ Introduction to the Skill of Music," tells us, “ That ancient philosophers accounted it an invention of the gods, bestowing it on men to make them better conditioned than bare Nature afforded, and concludes a special necessity thereof in the education of children, partly from its natural delight, and partly from the efficacy it has in moving the affections to virtue, comprehending chiefly these three arts in the education of youth, viz. grammar, music, and gymnastic: the last of which being for the exercise of their limbs,” &c.
Music is an art unsearchable, divine, and excellent, by which a true concordance of sounds or harmony is produced, that rejoiceth and cheereth the hearts of men ; and hath in all ages, and in all countries, been highly reverenced and esteemed: by the Jews, for religion and divine worship in the service of God, as appears by Scripture ; by the Grecians and Romans, to induce virtue and gravity, and to incite to courage and valour.
Great disputes were among Ethnic authors about the first inventor. Some for Orpheus, soine Linus : both famous poets and musicians.
Others for Amphion, whose music drew stones to the building of the walls of Thebes, as Orpheus had, by the harmonious touch of his harp, moved the wild beasts and trees to dance ; but the true meaning therefore is, that by virtue of their music, and their wise and pleasing musical poems, the one brought the savage and beast-like Thracians to humanity and gentleness; the other persuaded the rude and careless Thebans to the fortifying of their city, and to a civil conversation.
The Egyptians, to Apollo, attributing the first invention of the harp to him ; and certainly they had an high esteem of the excellency of music, to make Apollo (who was the God of Wisdom) to be the God of Music. But the people of God do truly acknowledge a far more ancient inventor of this divine art, Jubal, the sixth from Adam ; who, as it is recorded, (Gen. iv. 21,) was the father of all that handled the harp or organ.
St. Augustine goeth yet farther, showing that it is the gift of God himself, and a representation, or admonition, of the sweet consent and harmony which his wisdom hath made, in the creation and administration of the world, and well may it be termed a divine and mysterious art; for, among all those rare arts and sciences, with which God hath endowed men, music is the most sublime and excellent for its wonderful effects and inventions. It hath been the study of millions of men for a great many ages; yet none ever attained the full scope and perfection thereof, but still there appeared new matter for their inventions; and, which is still more wonderful, the whole mystery of this art is comprised in the compass of three notes or sounds, which is most ingeniously observed by Mr. Christopher Sympson, in his “ Division Violist,” p. 18, in these words :-“ All sounds that can possibly be joined at once together in musical concordance are still but the reiterated harmony in three: a significant emblem of that supreme and incomprehensible Trinity, three in one, governing and disposing the whole machine of the world in a perfect harmony : for in the harmony of sounds there is some great and hidden mystery above what hath been yet discovered.'' And Mrs. Catherine Phillips, in her “ Encomium on Mr. Henry Law's Second Book of Airs," hath finely descanted on this subject, as follows:
“ Nature, which in the vast Creation's soul,
That steady, curious agent in the whole,
The first and chief use of music is for the service and praise of God, whose gift it is. The second use is for the solace of men ; which, as it is agreeable unto nature, so is it allowed by God as a temporal blessing, to recreate and cheer men after long study and weary labour in their vocations. (Ecclus. xl. 20.) " Wine and music rejoice the heart." Ælianus, in his Hist. Animal, l. x. c. 29, writeth, that “Of all the beasts there is none that is not delighted with harmony but only the
Mr. William Turner* (a living author), in his treatise, intituled, “ Sound Anatomized,” (p. 13,) where, after a very agreeable comparison between music and the zodiacal constellations, he proceeds thus : “ Here is a very great mystery, which confounds all our philosophy, and which time will hardly, I believe, ever account for. Besides, it expresseth all the different passions of mankind; and not only so, but, by the force of its prevailing charms, it wonderfully affects thein too,
• We think he was a pupil of Dr. Blow, and died in 1740, at the age of eighty-eight. VOL. XVII. NO. V.
and to such a degree, that music may be justly called an enchanting art, by sometimes giving a loose to, and at others by bridling our unruly inclinations, according to the subject which is composed, and the interweaving of the different parts moving together in harmony ; one while inclining the minds of people to deliver themselves up to sensual pleasures, by indulging the insatiable carnal appetite, which knows no limits; and at other times, when rightly applied, it affords such internal comfort to them, as disengages their thoughts from all earthly enjoyments, and disposes the soul to look with earnest attention on the only object of its true felicity—the beatific vision. This, and a great deal more, may be said to display its excellencies; although there are some of so unhappy a taste, that, instead of being delighted with it, they utterly contemn it, notwithstanding its eternal duration in the realms of bliss,"
Mr. Thomas Ravenscroft, in his Preface, tells us, “ That in the Psalms are described the rewards of good and the punishment of evil men ; the rudiments of beginners, the progress of proficients, and consummation of perfect men. The singing of psalms (as say the Doctors) comforteth the sorrowful; pacifieth the angry; strengtheneth the weak; humbleth the proud ; gladdeth the humble ; stirs up the slow; reconcileth enemies ; lifteth up the heart to heavenly things, and uniteth the creature to his Creator ; for whatever is in the Psalms conduceth to the edification, benefit, and consolation of mankind." He concludes, very pathetically, advising all that desire to exercise themselves in the divine praises and precepts of the Lord, to sing the 119th Psalm : “ Wherein (saith he), although even unto the end of thy life thou shalt have sought and searched all that thou canst, yet shalt thou never perfectly understand the virtues and excellencies, or reach unto the heights and depths which are comprehended in it; for there is hardly a verse throughout that whole Psalm, wherein mention is not made of God's laws, commandments, testimonies, and precepts. In a word, he that would give these heavenly hymns their due, had need to compose a psalm in praise of the Psalms; that so the devout and joyful soul might, with looking up to God, reflect upon its own work, and transport itself unto the choir of angels and saints, whose perpetual task it is to sing their concording parts without pause, redoubling, and descanting, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Hosts. And, if vocal music be not full enough, let the instrumental be added : (Rev. xv. 2) They have in their hands the harp of God, and sing the song of Moses and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty.'”
We may conclude with saying, that music is as ancient as public worship, and has ever had the good fortune to be approved of by all parties, of what denomination soever; and therefore the Psalmist directs his precepts, not to any peculiar Church of God, but to all lands, to serve the Lord with gladness, and come before his presence with a song: worshipping of God in the beauty of holiness; where young men and maids, old men and children, may praise the name of the Lord. Amen.
“ Angels and we, assisted by this art,
ON THE ORIGIN OF OUR OLD PSALM TUNES.
The same book also contains the following valuable manuscript observations upon the origin of our old Psalm tunes, by R. Clark, Esq., author of the History of “ God save the King," and which we have pleasure in laying before our readers.
“It is not generally known by whom the melody of the old Psalmtunes was composed, that is to say, the tunes which are to be seen in the old black-letter books of Queen Elizabeth's reign, 1583; and also in those of King James I., dated 1604, printed by Robert Barker, set to the version by Thomas Sternhold and John Hopkins. Before that time, the poetry to the Psalms was by Marot * and Beza. The first fifty Psalms were put into verse by Marot, and the last hundred by Beza, as will presently appear ; but the music, or melody, was composed at Geneva, at the request of Calvin,t by Guillaume Franc. Forty-eight tunes only are to be there seen; which necessarily would require repetition, to make them available to the 150 Psalms.
No sooner was this version of the Psalms (that is, by Marot and Beza) completed, than Calvin, who was then at the head of the Church at Geneva, determined, as it were, to consecrate it, and introduced the practice of singing Psalms amongst his people. For some time he stood in doubt whether to adopt the Lutheran choral form of singing in consonance, or to institute a plain unisonous melody, in which all might join ; he, however, resolved on the latter, and to this end employed a musician, named Guillaume Franc, to set them to easy tunes of one part only ; in which the musical composer succeeded so well, that the people became infatuated with the love of Psalm-singing. In the year 1553, which was about seven after the version was completed, Calvin, to put the finishing hand to his design, divided the Psalms into pauses, or small portions, and appointed them to be sung in churches, and so made them a form of religious worship. Soon after this they were bound up with the Geneva Catechism ; and from that time, the Roman Catholics, who had been accustomed to sing Marot's Psalms in common with profune song, were forbid the use of them, under a severe penalty. The Protestants, however, continued the indiscriminate use of them at church; and considered the singing of Psalms as an exercise of devotion. In the field, it was an incentive to courage and manly fortitude ; for, in their frequent insurrections against their persecutors, a Psalm, sung by four or five thousand of them, answered the end of music of trumpets and other warlike instruments; and, in short, was among them the accustomed signal to battle.
The common notion is, that Marot's Psalms were originally set to music by Lewis Bourgeois and Claude Goudimel, which is only so far true as it respects the setting of them in parts, i. e. harmonizing ; for it appears by an anecdote, communicated to Bayle by a professor of Lausanne, and inserted in a note on a passage of his life of Marot, that before this they were sung to melodies of one part only in the churches at Geneva, and