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the summer breeze, or the chill of It is a truth, as easily proved as death, stopping at once the warm any other principle of philosophy, current of youthful life. We all that the love of natural scenery, and feel that this is an unnatural stupid. the love of music, are alike implantity ; and that he, who has it, by ed by the Creator in the soul of some inhuman process little better man. And it is difficult to conthan suicide, has rendered himself ceive, by what wonderful machinaunfit to live in a world which the tion any persons have so successCreator has adorned with all that fully destroyed the one, and have can regale the feelings and awaken not ventured to impair the other. admiration. A being, who has thus Perhaps it is from the mistaken nothrown aside every thing requisite tion, that one may be put to death to make the way of life pleas- with impunity, while it would be imant, or even passable, we should pious to do violence to the other ; either shun as a monster, or pity as or that one is given only to a por. insane. And happy indeed it is, tion of mankind, while the other is that such destroyers of feeling are the common property of the whole. rarely, if ever, found; for the voice All the varieties of taste have their of nature cries out against them, and foundation in nature, and there is education and Christian principle no excuse for neglecting to cultiunite in proscribing them as outlaws vate any of thern, unless we have from the sympathies of life.
the hardihood to say, our Maker But is it not strange, that we has given us what we may well overshould regard as so sacred, one look as unimportant, and what, in class of pleasures, and condemn so our own superior wisdom, we may readily and so severely, him who venture to disregard as useless. casts upon them a petrifying glance; Men are not composed of so heteand yet permit another class, not rogeneous materials, and formed on less transporting, not less congen. so different models, that only one ial to the soul, and not less our part of them can be susceptible of birthright from heaven, to be disre- the influence of music; can be melgarded, and despised, and thrown ted into tenderness, or aroused to out as useless; and, at the same time, loftier feeling and action, be borne should feel that no violence is done by some wild notes away to fairy to our natures, and no injury com- lands, or rise on sublimer strains mitted ? In acting thus, we are almost to catch the symphonies of not unlike a gardner, who most heaven; while the other part are carefully encloses a flowerbed, and doomed to be as insensible as if the yet exposes his greenhouse to every stillness of the tomb were around lawless invader ; or a man, who them, or the voice of melody had arms himself against the highway never broken primeval silence. robber, and unbars his doors to the Prejudice and education may weakmidnight assassin. He who made en and even destroy some portion the eye, and embellished his works of our natural susceptibilities ; and for its admiration and delight, plant- circumstances may call for the saed also the ear, and awoke for its crifice of our happiest feelings. enjoyment that harmony which was But let not nature herself be made first heard on earth, at the dawn of responsible for the defect, or accusthe creation, which has since pour ed of the blame. She is so far from ed forth its uninterrupted strains, deserving this reproach, that when. and which will not cease till time is ever permitted to use her influence no more, and even then will only and raise her voice, it is to manifest be lost in the grand chorus of hea. her delight in song. In the earliest ven.
days, among the wildest savages, in
the most uncultivated deserts, mu- in which he cannot engage. Nor sic has ever been co-existent and ought any one to believe his “ heart co-extensive with human language. right in the sight of God," the emoThought does not go forth sooner tions of which will not kindle at the in words, than emotion in melody. sound of His praise. The unadulterated feelings of the The great reason why any perchild show their gladness in the sons are unmoved by the power of measured movements and the mod- music is, that opposite feelings have ulated tones.
been so long cherished, and have Music does not indeed start up grown so strong, that they will not spontaneously, like the verdure of give place to those in unison with spring. But its principles, its har- her strains. The chords in the mony, its various combinations, are heart may be so long unstrung, or founded on the immoveable basis of so impaired by a hostile atmosnature, the work of the same hand phere, or so broken by violent pas. that adorns the earth and paints the sion, as to lose all power for tunerainbow. And, therefore, those ful vibration. Let a man persuade who slight it, should remember himself, that he has little or no rethey are slighting what God has lish for these pleasures, and manifest made, and what is as imperishable his indifference, till what was at as his own immutable laws.
first only false persuasion, becomes With regard to musical taste, we the settled conviction of his feelare what we make ourselves ; and ings ; and then he may perhaps bid not under the resistless control of defiance to all the influence of huan original constitution. There is mony. Then tones from the harps as good and as ready an excuse for of angels, may be as ineffectual on him who turns away with cold dis- his ear, as would have been the dain from the splendor and beauty songs they sung in Bethlehem, which heaven and earth put forth chanted over the dead sea. I had all their power to produce; as for almost said, that an indifference to another, who sits with complacent sacred song, may become so great indifference when the choral strains and so obstinate in the soul which are waking around him. Nor do I really loves other religious duties, deem it too much to say, that the that, when it shall go to the courts Christian may as well be justified in of heaven, and find it resounding being uninterested in the devotions, with anthems of joyous praise, it as in being unaffected by the songs, will feel itself unfitted for admission of the sanctuary. It is natural and there, and would gladly return to proper, the dictate of penitential its mortal dwelling, for the enjoysorrow, a privilege which only in- ment of those exercises in which finite goodness can impart, and alone it had found any interest. which only an humbled sinner can It is not said, that every voice enjoy,-to go to the throne of mer- can make “ sweet melody;" though cy and plead there for pardon and the number which cannot, with profor grace. It is alike natural and per care and proper interest, would proper, alike the dictate of pious be small indeed. But it is said, feeling, and alike the privilege that every person can have a conwhich a gracious God has given to geniality with the spirit of music. his intelligent creatures,-to “en- And those who have it not, ought ter his gates with thanksgiving and to feel that they have lost a part of his courts with praise.” No one, their nature, as well as deprived of who is called a Christian,would con- no small portion of their appropriate sider himself as worthy of the name, enjoyment. Is there any one, who if he felt that prayer is an exercise cannot distinguish between the
voice of gladness and the voice of sympathies. Does he go among grief ?-io whom the accents of the soriowing he imbibes the spirfriendship and the ravings of anger it of sadness ; or among the joyous, are alike unmeaning and indefinite ? he takes a portion of their joy. If -whose heart is as unaffected by he wishes for any happiness in So. the tones of natural love and ten- ciety, he lets the current of his derness, as by the careless tramp- feelings be rapid or slow, ruffled or ling of a beast ?--who, when a smooth, according to the nature of bright morning of spring opens upon the course he is pursuing. Ile does him with ten thousand notes of joy, not remain in one unvaried mood, can have the same sensations as and harbor the same unchanging when he gropes along a dark dull thoughts, whatever persons he may night of autumn ? If no heart can meet with, and whatever scenes he be thus insensible and unmoved, un- may witness. Would he as freely less chilled in death ; then there is surrender himself to the influence no heart that cannot be excited by of music, as he does to the influence music. For this makes its appeals of the common occurrences of life; to no otlıer principles, and demands he would find that that also has a no other feelings than those, on power not less resistless and diverwhich love and gladness, and hope sified. Shakespeare could not have and sorrow depend for all their ex- given a better description of the citement. Does affection delight to settled and bloody purpose of Casexpress itself in soft and gentle sius, than to say ; “ He hears no tones ? then surely these tones will music.” At that time the conspirlose none of their meaning and their ator would have passed heedless interest, when made still more soft through the subliinest, or the loveand gentle, by the varieties of modo liest scene on earth. Even the cry ulation, and the dying cadence of suffering affection could not have Does gladness always accompany gained his attention. For one fixed its smiles with a full and sprightly and overwhelming thought had voice ; then to make that voice driven from his soul every other instill more full and sprightly, is but terest. increasing its facility of expression. Delight in music does not require Does an excess of joyous emotion skill in executing it, any more than often terminate in a more pleasing delight in poetry requires the gensadness ; then how can it utter it ius of a poet, or the love of a landself more naturally and more agree. scape, ability to throw its “lights ably, than in the loud sonorous ma- and shadows" upon the canvass. jor key, subsiding and falling away All it asks, is the spontaneous triinto the plaintive minor ? Or does bute of the heart ; and this it will grief make itself known by slow and receive, if philosophical indiffersolemn sounds; then certainly it ence, or mistaken disrelish, has not may do this more freely, when these enclosed the casket in bars of iron. sounds are made more expressively It is indeed a lamentable truth, slow, and more deeply solemn. that on every subject of taste, feel
The enjoyment of music in all its ing may be effectually suppressed. varieties, is only an indulgence of There are those, who can view the the common, yet various emotions loveliest object in Eden, bidding her of our hearts, and an indulgence of final adieu to the loveliness she took them too in the way which nature not with herself, and shedding her has generously provided. To be last tears on the flowers she had interested in it, demands no more reared with so much fondness ; and of any one, than what he uncon- still can be as uninterested, as if sciously gives to his daily social they were looking out on the inde
finite expanse of a clouded heaven. would be as impossible, as to give And when over this scene of most the same proportions to every fig. melting tenderness, there is breath. ure, or the same lustre to every ed the most enchanting melody; gem. To do it, we must furnish all the veriest trifle, sliding into their at the commencement of life, with minds, shows that however deeply the same delights and associations others may feel, impenetrable ice in the nursery ; the same system of is around their hearts. There are early education; giving to the view singers, whose voices can be tuned of each the same series of occurto as sweet harmony, and can shout rences and the same variety of obstrains as exactly modulated, and jects; and keeping them all too in of as great variety of compass, as the similar situations and employments: notes of the organ ;--and as cold -a plan, which, if it were not as and heartless too ;-because their impossible to execute, would perown souls are as void of feeling and haps be as undesirable, as to make interest as the tubes of the instru. the earth's surface a plain, or to imment. Without the kindlings of part to every flower the same hue the spirit within, music can neither and fragrance. be performed nor listened to with But with regard to the music of any effect.
the Temple, there need not, and With regard to this subject as a should not, be any diversity of intermere matter of taste, I do not expect est among Christian worshippers. there can be a similarity of senti. The objects and associations it prement, any more than on either of sents are all deeply affecting to the the other classes of kindred pleas. heart that finds delight in the serures. The foelings of men will re- vice of God. It is a reproach and main at variance as they now are, a sin to the disciple of Jesus to sing, not because they are not susceptı. or to hear, his praises with indifierble of delight from the same source ; ence. No distaste can be pleaded but because prejudice and associa as an excuse ; for none exists, that tion have diversified all their enjoy- may not be overcome. When the ments. Some will find relief to plaintive strain is added to the sentheir sorrows by the soothing melo- timent of penitential sorrow, every dy; others will go and weep in regenerated soul should kindle, and silence. Some will give all their grow warm, and feel a holier ardor sympathies to a tale of fiction ; and in the exercises of devotion. And others will consider the plodding when loftier notes attempt the through its pages, as a penance, praise of the King of kings, that which they can do but once in their soul should swell with deeper and lives. Some have excitement for more solemn reverence, as it may every occasion, for every pleasure know, from this prelude to tbe or pain they witness in those around hosannas of heaven, what will be them, and their hearts are the first its employment through eternity. things they present ;-while the Never, never, let Christians say, interest and feelings of others are that they cannot engage in sacred in eternal solitude, as unexcited by song. They, and they alone, can the scenes they pass through, as feel its spirit and perform it with indifferent to the objects, appealing acceptance. Let each remember, the most powerfully to their pas. that, when he becomes listless to sions, as if they had wandered its voice, he desecrates the choicest, away from them all into a Siberian the holiest offerings of the altar. desert.
Let him remember too, that, in To prevent this diversity of taste, thus acting, he says to the irreli.
be therefore permits them to infer, tention to the sermon, is all they that the worship of God may be all have to do in the house of God. Ininsincere and formal. They will feel, stead of being awakened to deeper that indifference in one act, is only devotion and holier ardor, they are hypocrisy in another; and if a listless and indifferent during the inChristian can justify himself in a terval between the prayers and the careless song of praise ; a heartless preaching, and with duller and coldprayer too may be heard in heaven. er sensibilities, go through all the
In respect to this part of divine public services. There should be service, there has been, and still is, a consistency, and a uniformity in a criminal neglect in our churches. Christian worship. The various Every Christian assembly feels the acts should be performed with one obligation to give permanent sup- spirit, and with one permanent glow port to the preaching of the gospel of pious affection. The emotions But when that is done, there is lit. in the exercise of prayer should not tle or no care taken, that this other be suppressed by a heartless, unpart of worship, without which the meaning attempt to chant the praise messages of grace must lose much of the Most High. It is like throwof their effect and interest, should ing water on a kindling spark, or be conducted in a proper style and smothering the first feeble breathwith its peculiar benefits. Too of- ings of resuscitated life. Devout ten it is given up exclusively to supplication prepares the soul for those, who are regardless of all re- devout singing ; and this inspires it ligious duties, as things pertaining with better feelings to listen to the to their everlasting peace ; and, ex- declarations of heavenly mercy. cepting the occasioual temporary There is then a sacred obligation excitements from accidental causes, resting upon all Christians-an obis suffered to languish and die. Thus ligation which they can never throw the devout worshippers forego all off and be at peace with their conthe inspiring and blessed influence sciences and with God, to be perof sacred song ; and soon, from a manently interested in this part of careless habit, forget to“ praise public service, and to make every the Lord for his goodness," necessary effort to conduct it with and feel, that rising to pray and at- propriety and effect.
THB EVILS OF KNOWLEDGE. gious, there are services in religion
which are anmeaning and vain ; and In much wisdom there is much grief : and The merchant is not troubled as he that increaseth knowledge, increaseth
soon as his ship is cast away, but as sorrow. Eccles. i. 18.
soon as he hears it is. “First of all then, knowledge The affairs and objects that we is the parent of sorrow from its ve- converse with, have most of them a ry nature, as being the instrument fitness to afflict and disturb the and means by which the afflicting mind. And as the colors lie dorquality of the object is conveyed to mant, and strike not the eye, till the mind; for as nothing delights, the light actuates them into a visiso nothing troubles till it is known. bility, so those afflictive qualities