Imágenes de páginas

petent to teach and lead them, a bass class might be formed. The same may be said of the counter and tenor; and one bass singer for every ten that may be expected to sing the treble; and one counter voice for every twenty trebles, will answer well enough : but part-singing in a Sunday-school should not be introduced till a sufficient firmness in the air has been established.

On a meeting night for practice, one or two tunes will be sufficient for the evening, except the tunes are tolerably well known. The first verse should be sung through several times, (principal only,) and then the other verses, each repeated like the first, till it can be sung well; the singers standing, and each one having a hymn book, or copy of the words; and the tune should be written out on a large sheet, or music board, sufficiently legible to the whole. This would assist the conductor in explaining the various points and intervals of the tune, and thus gradually convey to the singers such an amount of musical knowledge as to make practice comparatively easy. The leader should first sing a verse himself, pointing to the notes, and then endeavour to elicit from his choir fulltoned syllables and correct enunciation. Beating time in the most distinct manner, he should endeavour to obtain correct sliding, without nasal twang, or hissing of consonants, but singing only on the vowels, shew where to take breath, point out the expressive and piano parts, and take some trouble to have them

with their

proper effect. Doubtful or incorrect pronunciation of words should be set right: ble,ple," tle,” &c., had better be sung, bel, pel, tel, &c.; "heaven” being usually a word of one syllable, when it falls on two or more notes, should be sung hea-eavn, and not hea-vn.

When the air has attained some degree of perfection, the singers should sit to rest, and the bass singers try over their part by itself, as the trebles had done, the other parts (if any) to follow the same way; but it may be observed that the bass will need very little solo practice, and the counter still less, if any.

After the parts have been sung as far as it may be necessary for them to be sung singly, they may join in concert-at first some little distance apart—and care

should then be taken by the conductor to repress any predominancy in the rival parties, should such be attempted.

On Sunday, when books are delivered, and the hymn found, the school should first stand; and if the construction of the room and classes admit of it, every teacher should face the leading singer, and every scholar face, if not the leader, the teacher of his class. When the shuffling has subsided, and perfect order obtained, the superintendent should read over articulately and poetically the whole of the first verse; the leader, correctly pitching the key, should start the tune smoothly and majestically, singing the principal throughout, and beating time by a gentle movement of his book. When the first verse has been sung, the superintendent should give out the whole of the second verse, and so of the rest; by this means a few seconds' breathing-time is given to those whose exertions require it, and some help is given to those without books, and those who are not able to read well : indeed hymns and psalms should form a part of the reading lessons of the junior classes.

Every psalm or hymn should have its own appropriate tune, one

adopted to the rythm and punctuation of every line in it. In a few cases two tunes might be found suitable to the same hymn, and used alternately. The tunes chosen should be simple, and the movements easy; the repeats few, and in such harmony with the poetry as not to break the sense of the subject, nor, if possible, the words. Twenty to thirty tunes will be a sufficient stock for most Sunday-schools: these may soon be well known, and well sung. Much of the spirit of worship is lost by an endless variety of tunes. When a new tune is introduced—after previous practice-I would recommend that the principal only be attempted, till the children have all learnt it.

To Sunday-schools generally, many of these remarks may apply: where there is much professional talent and scope for superior arrangements, they may shew us a more excellent way. To musicians: as such, I do not address myself. Teaching vocal music, in the abstract, is not my subject; but the attainment of that amount of

“decency" and "order," that, while we sing with melody in our voices, it may be an outward sign of that inward melody of the heart-in the spirit, and not in the letterwhose praise is not of men, but of God. ZOAR.

EXTRACT FROM A LETTER. “Both you and must, I am sure, sometimes feel oppressed with work. I find C

-- written against a portion which interested me much the other day, because I meant to send it to you:

“ Christ commits his work to the believer, and the believer commits the success of the work again unto Jesus Christ. Faith now leaves the event and the suc. cess unto Jesus Christ; and, therefore, when difficulties and natural discouragements arise, and say, “What wilt thou do now? what wilt thou do now to be preserved ? What wilt thou do to be delivered now? What will become of you now?'

“O Satan! (says a believer,) thou hast mistaken the question: my question is not, What shall become of me? I have left the success of things to God: but my question is, What shall I do for God? My question is, How shall I love Jesus Christ? How shall I be like Jesus Christ? My question is, How shall I serve my generation, and own Jesus Christ in these times ? This is my question. Faith—true, saving faith-leaves the success and the event of things unto Christ, and so thereby the soul is carried through all difficulties and natural discouragements to Jesus Christ.

“If we could realize this state, nothing would oppress us. I am sure that, physically, it is not the number of things that oppresses us, so much as the weight of ONE trial.'

DEATH OF THREE TEACHERS. Three of the youngest Teachers in our Sabbath-school have closed their earthly labours, and have entered upon their eternal reward.

How mysterious are the ways of God! “ He holdeth back the face of his throne, and spreadeth his cloud upon it.” Blessed be his holy name! though his ways are past finding out, yet the light of his countenance shineth through the cloud, and his smiles irradiate the gloom that would be night without him. As a kind Father, his chastisement is the surety of his love to him that trusteth, and the olive branch to him that kisses the rod of affliction.

Three young men, but yesterday, as it were, walking together in the bloom of youthful vigour and health, colabourers in the same heaven-born enterprise, are met in the way by God's messenger, death—they strike hands, and thus fast united, tread the holy hill of Zion, up to the city of the living God. Its gates of peace are openthey enter, and walk the golden streets of the New Jerusalem-their robes washed, and made white in the blood of him that was slain. They go no more out for. ever, for they are “called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb.”

In the circumstances attending the life and death of these Sunday-school Teachers, there were striking coincidences. They were alike unexpected victims of the same insidious malady. The gradation in age-21, 23, and 25 years. They die—two of them on the same day, the other a few days previous. They are borne to the grave on three successive days, in the order of their years of age-the eldest first. The same benevolent, amiable deportment; the same unobtrusive, humble piety; the same conscientious walk in life, characterized the three. And their equally well grounded hope and confidence was in the same crucified and risen Redeemer.

One, as he approached the swellings of Jordan, thus calmly certifies to his weeping relatives, his trust in an Almighty Saviour: “Jesus is precious to my soul, I do not fear: I am ready; and so happy do I feel, at times, that I am almost afraid to indulge my anticipations of heaven.”

Says another, a day or two previous to his deceasewhich was the anniversary of a beloved sister's deathI feel, if it be the will of my heavenly Father, a wish to depart and be with Christ to-day.And the other exclaims, “Heaven seems very near: what a step will that be, from this state of weakness and pain, to an immortal crown!”

Enfolded in the everlasting arms of him, who will thus sustain and assure his believing people, the expiring Christian may calmly meet the “last enemy,” for he is conquered.

In view of such a providence as this, will not the Sunday-school Teacher realize the present urgency of his labours? How soon may you be separated from your little charge? how soon be called to give an account of your stewardship? And have you been faithful to the precious souls that look to you for the bread of life? Your last word of advice and instruction will soon be spoken; and your example, so influential with your Sunday-school scholars, will soon be your only legacy to them: shall its teachings enforce your living instructions, when death separates the Teacher and his class.




1. In setting a high value on our kindnesses or labours for the good of others; impatience or mortification at ingratitude or want of success. (Rom. xii. 3, 8. Gal. vi. 6, 9.)

12. In being tenacious of our own property, and ready to resent encroachments upon it. (1 Cor. vi. 6, 7. Matt. v. 40.)

3. In strictly assuming the dignity, rights, or privilege that we think our due, and being mortified with disrespect or neglect. (Esther iii. 5, 6. 1 Cor. xii. 4, 5.)

« AnteriorContinuar »