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the Kaffir in his unenlightened state. His constant cry is Basela, Basela! “ A present, a present!” whilst he himself will seldom or never part with anything, unless with the hope of getting something in return. But let this self-same Kaffir come under the influence of the Gospel, and he will readily contribute of his substance in support of it. The members of our native churches, both in Graham’s-Town and elsewhere, pay their class. moneys cheerfully, and many of them are annual subscribers to the funds of the Missionary Society likewise. At our Native Missionary Meetings individuals who had experienced the beneficial influence of Christian instruction, would rise and testify of the truth of the Gospel, and conclude by presenting a subscription of ten or twenty shillings, in aid of the cause they loved. The sum contributed in Graham’s-Town by the Native Branch Missionary Society, in the year 1846, was fifty-one pounds twelve shillings and ninepence; whilst the entire amount collected in the town from our several societies and congregations, was four hundred and seventy-five pounds eight shillings and fourpence. Are these facts worth anything; or will it be said that they are of no account? Fifteen years ago the Rev. Stephen Kay thus wrote:-“ As the influence of religion has diffused and extended itself throughout the (Albany) settlement, a Missionary spirit also has been gradually kindling amongst the people. Hence the Albany Missionary Society has now assumed a degree of importance far exceeding our most sanguine expectations; and the Annual Missionary Meetings, held in Graham's-Town, in January and February, generally excite intense interest among all classes of the inhabitants. On the platform may be seen Kaffir Chiefs, and Ministers of all the various denominations around us; Episcopalian, Independent, Baptist, and Presbyterian ; which, of course, forms one of the most interesting features of the occasion. The amount of subscriptions and donations, inclusive of various small sums from the Caffrarian stations, transmitted to the Parent Society in London last year, (1833,) was no less a sum than three hundred and sixty-five pounds and threepence. These statements apply in all their force to the year 1847, with this difference, however, that the sum transmitted to the Parent Society was one thousand and ninety-five pounds thirteen shillings, of which one-tenth was contributed by Christian natives. This surely betokens progress. It speaks well for the Colony and for its spirited inhabitants, shows how highly they appreciate Missionary efforts, and proves how beneficial is the tendency of religious institutions on the native heathen mind.
Educational efforts among such a community as that of Graham’s-Town are of the highest value and importance. At the Annual Meeting of our Sunday-school Union, held in 1842, the following resolution was adopted :“That this meeting views with gratitude to Almighty God the progress of religious instruction in this rising Colony, and anticipates the day when Sabbath-schools shall be established in every part of the country, and education based on scriptural principles be afforded to all our youth.” In the spirit of this resolution were our Sabbath-schools sustained. The English Sunday-school numbered that year two hundred and ten scholars, the Fingoe school, two hundred and sixty, and the Dutch, forty-five; and there has been a gradual increase of pupils during each succeeding year; whilst the funds requisite for the support of these institutions have been chiefly raised in the town. If Graham's-Town had nothing else of which to boast, she might well be proud of her Missions and her schools. Situated in &
* Caffrarian Researches, p. 467.
distant portion of the globe, but lately occupied by savage men, she has become a centre of moral influence, and is spreading abroad among barbarous tribes the invaluable blessings of civilization and Christianity. In her English schools there have been raised up many devoted youths, the descendants of the settlers, who have become active agents in the diffusion of the Gospel ; and in her native institutions numbers of the Heathen have been taught to worship God, and thence, animated with the love of Christ, have gone forth into the distant regions of the interior, with the lessons they had learned upon their lips. And there is ample room in Southern Africa for twenty more such centres. Towns such as this might gradually be formed in various other localities; and some, indeed, are already beginning to arise. England seems destined, by the Great Ruler of nations, to carry the blessings of salvation to the world ; and, by her Missionaries and her colonies, she may accomplish this design. “Emigration, on right principles, commercially, politically, morally, religiously considered, is a measure which well merits the support of every true friend to England and mankind. Let cities rise in the wilderness, and let the desert echo the accents of Englishmen.”* Yes ; but let the chief design be, not merely our own aggrandizement, the increase of our wealth, and the honour of the British name, but let it be the glory of Christ, the evangelization of heathen tribes, and the spread of Gospel blessings and institutions in every portion of the globe. The whole of Southern Africa, in particular, is open to us--to our enterprise, our industry, our commerce, and our religion; and numbers might there find full employment; whilst, if so disposed, they might also aid in the spread of Christianity among the destitute aborigines of the land. Enough has been accomplished in those regions to cheer both the emigrant and the Missionary ; but there is yet room for the exertions of both, on a far more extended scale. Physically and morally, Africa is yet a desert. A few bright spots have been reclaimed from the wilderness; but it will yet yield to the patient cultivator much valuable and abiding fruit.
(To be continued.)
WESLEYAN PSALMODY. (To the Editor of the Wesleyan-Methodist Magazine.) It is undeniable, that the two Wesleys designed their societies to “sing with the spirit, and with the understanding also : ” indeed, it might be readily presumed, that those highly-gifted brothers, who had given to the churches such an unequalled collection of devotional poetry, would adopt every means to secure their proper and scriptural use in the public worship of their people, rather than suffer those hallowed compositions to be mangled by ignorance and caprice, and thereby be despoiled of their interest and value. The labours of the Rev. John Wesley in this department may be classed with those many proofs which exist of his eminent qualifications to be the Founder of Methodism, of the comprehensive survey which he took of his people's wants, and of the rich provision which he made for them in this respect. Thus, even a century ago, did he see the importance of rightly singing the songs of Zion, to a sense of which the churches generally are
Martyr of Erromanga, p. 476.
only just awaking. It was with more than paternal care, that he took such deep interest in this part of public worship, guarding his societies against the evils so often attached to it, by giving them invaluable rules for their guidance, and choosing some of the finest melodies extant, as the medium of singing the noble sentiments of his hymnology. The venerable Wesley, possessing in common with that remarkable family great knowledge of music, was a master of song; and therefore well fitted to form a model of Psalmody. Let his followers only comply with his regulations, and Wesleyans will have, what is aptly termed “Congregational Psalmody;" their singing will be rich and varied, excelling in simplicity, gravity, and melody; and the opinion of the late Rev. Richard Watson will be everywhere verified : “Our people are a devotional people : they love psalmody; and were they not hindered by the trifling of the choir, they would produce the finest congregational singing in the world.”
So little known are Mr. Wesley's published opinions on this subject by the people for whom they were designed, that a reprint of them, with other quotations, cannot but be highly valuable to the numerous readers of the Magazine.
Mr. Wesley's “Directions for Congregational Singing." “ That this part of divine worship may be more acceptable to God, as well as more profitable to yourself and others, be careful to observe the following directions :
“ I. Sing all. See that you join with the congregation as frequently as you can. Let not a slight degree of weakness or weariness hinder you. If it is a cross to you, take it up, and you will find a blessing.”—He requires the Ministers to exhort every one in the congregation to sing, and not one in ten only. The Conference also requests that all will join in singing. The celebrating the praises of the most high God is an important part of divine worship, and a part in which the whole congregation should endeavour, vocally, to join. This was plainly the custom of the primitive Christians. Bingham says, that, “from the first and apostolic age, singing was always a part of divine service, in which the whole body of the church joined together." “Herein,” says Lightfoot, “is not only a sign of communion, but of excitation.” Besides, is it not this which makes it “worship,” that all unite ? What an interesting spectacle is thus presented, of an entire assembly glorifying God in songs of love and thanksgiving ! Will not the God of glory overshadow them with his presence, and shed abroad his sanctifying love ? What multitudes, at such seasons, have felt the power of God present to hallow, strengthen, and animate their souls in this house of their pilgrimage! But how many who sin, even in the temple of the Lord, by their silent neglect, or careless indifference of this divinely authorized duty! (Psalmcl.6.)
“II. Sing lustily," (that is to say, heartily, with spirit,) "and with a good courage. Beware of singing as if you were half dead, or half asleep; but lift up your voice with strength. Be no more afraid of your voice now, nor more ashamed of its being heard, than when you sung the songs
of Satan.”—While numbers are guilty of an utter neglect of this service, are there not others who perform it so faintly and languidly, breathing 80 indistinct a whisper, that they cannot be said to make “the voice of God's praise to be heard ?” Do they suppose that they have a privileged exemption from the obligation? Do they desire the Father of Mercies to estimate their gratitude by the mode in which they offer him praise ?
“III. Sing modestly. Do not bawl, so as to be heard above, or distinct from, the rest of the congregation, that you may not destroy the harmony ;
but strive to unite your voices together, so as to make one clear melodious sound.”
IV. “Sing in time. Whatever time is sung, be sure to keep with it. Do not run before, nor stay behind it; but attend closely to the leading voices, and move therewith as exactly as you can : and take care you sing not too slow. This drawling way naturally steals on all who are lazy ; and it is high time to drive it out from among us, and sing all our tunes just as quick as we did at first.”—In his instructions to Ministers, he says, “Do not suffer the people to sing too slow.” This naturally tends to formality, and is brought in by those who have either very strong or very weak voices. “Perhaps," says a judicious writer, “one cause of dulness is the very prevalent idea that tunes in which each word has its distinct note, and all generally of the same length, must be performed in the same time, whereas they are in their own character energetic and spirited, as the old 104th Psalm. And not only so, but the time ought to vary according to the subject of the poetry. To make no difference between the language of praise and that of contrition, when hymns upon both subjects are applied to the same tune, is manifestly incorrect. Now, a very marked distinction is made by a judicious variation of time ; and hence, the same notes which have, in solemn sadness, accompanied a penitential prayer, may, by additional speed and briskness, convey heavenward the strains of a rapturous thanksgiving.” “This may be a convenient place,” observes another eminent writer, “ to correct a serious error, which prevails in most of our congregations, of supposing that tunes written in minims, &c., are necessarily dull and slow. It is a serious error, because the persons under its influence are in danger of treating with neglect the most classical and devotional tunes which have ever been composed. The semibreve, &c., do not represent any fixed and absolute portions of time, but are simply terms expressive of relative duration. The precise duration to be assigned to them must be determined by the subject of the verse to be sung. The music of the tune must in all cases be made to subserve the expression of the sense.” This is an interesting, instructive, and important branch of the study of Psalmody. Tunes of this class admit of great variety in the manner of singing them, and thus they readily adapt themselves to different subjects. The tune “St. Stephen's” may be sung to hymn 42 in sixty-seven seconds, (apart from the Minister reading the words,) and to hymn 702 in about forty-eight seconds. The tune “New Sabbath” is sometimes drawn out to the intolerable length of one hundred and fifteen seconds to hymn 699, and “Oxford,” to a similar hymn, to ninety-eight seconds; whereas eighty-five seconds would be sufficient for the former, and sixty-five for the latter. Hymn 640 should be sung to “Bedford” in four minutes, or sixty seconds each verse ; hymn 679 to “St. Magnus,” in fifty-two seconds to each verse, or three and a half minutes for four verses.
V. “Above all, sing spiritually. Have an eye to God in every word you sing. Aim at pleasing Him more than yourself
, or any other creature. In order to this, attend strictly to the sense of what you sing ; and see that your heart is not carried away with the sound, but offered to God continually: so shall your singing be such as the Lord will approve of here, and reward when He cometh in the clouds of heaven.”—In hymn 204 there is a beautiful illustration of these sentiments. Let each person thus sing, it will tend to kindle up the spirit of devotion around him, and cause the whole congregation to glow with a desire to make the praise of God glorious. With what sacred delight will it then fill the heart of him who
VOL. IV.-FOURTH SERIES.
thus scripturally performs it! It is this which will render Psalmody a rich means of grace, by which the believer may be edified and the sinner converted. In its present defective state it has been productive of a vast amount of good; and when the intelligence and piety of the church shall have raised it to its highest possible efficiency, how incalculable will be the extent of its influence both upon the church and upon the world!
To which may be added,
VI. Sing in a standing posture. “I stand,” observes Mr. Wesley, “whenever I sing the praise of God in public. Does not the Bible give you plain precedents for this ?” (Neh. ix. 5.) The Conference remarks, “ that it is very indecorous not to stand up on so solemn an occasion as that of celebrating the praises of the most high God. We desire that all our Ministers will strongly urge on their congregations the propriety and importance of standing while they sing the praises of God.”
VII. Sing no complex tunes. “ There are two things (Works, vol. iii., p. 160 ; vol. viii., p. 318) in all modern pieces of music, which I could never reconcile to common sense. One is, singing the same words many times over; the other, singing different words by different persons, at one and the same time. And this, in the most solemn addresses to God, whether by way of prayer or of thanksgiving. This can never be defended. It necessarily prevents attention to the sense, and destroys the very end of music, which is to affect the passions.” Again : Mr. W. asks, “Is not formality creeping in already, by those complex tunes, which it is scarcely possible to sing with devotion? The repeating the same words, (but especially while another repeats different words,) as it shocks all common sense, so it necessarily brings in dead formality, and has no religion in it. Besides, it is a flat contradiction to our Lord's command, Use not vain repetitions. For what is a vain repetition, if this is not? What end of devotion does it serve ?” It might be supposed, therefore, that under the guidance of such a master of song as Mr. Wesley, the singing of the early Methodists would have been distinguished by its sweetness and simplicity, its nobleness and spirit; and exempt from the bad taste and dull monotony which spoil the effect of the finest sacred poetry, not inspired, ever put into the lips of religious worshippers, and are so utterly destructive of that rich and solemn melody which best becomes religious services. Those who are conversant with his selections of music, will remember “Chimes, or New York," “Carey's," “ Angels' Song or Hymn,” &c., specimens of the melodies in which he taught his people to glorify God with the voice of song. Hence, in the Minutes of Conference, 1805, we find the following directions : “Let the original, simple, grave,” (not slow, dull, but serious,) "and devotional style be carefully preserved, which is so admirably calculated to raise the soul to God.” Again : “Let the Ministers promote as much as possible the restoration, in our public singing, of (this) style of music, and which is exemplified in many of our best and oldest tunes." “Simplicity,” says Mr. Watson, “excludes not genius, but is the effeot of it. It is in complex airs that genius is usually most absent."
VIII. Sing intelligently : that is, with musical correctness and propriety. “Let the women," writes Mr. Wesley, “constantly sing their parts alone. Let no man sing with them, unless he understands the notes and sings the bass.” Referring to this, an eminent writer remarks," that the admixture of the adult male voice always pollutes the treble melody. All who have deep voices should combine to lay the foundations of the tune in a dignified bass. Those whose voices are not deep may give the full