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kingdom upon earth. These Psalms, then, are now used as properly for the pouring forth of a Christian's feelings, as they were, formerly, in the devo. tions of the Jews. These, then, make a part of the worship of our church ; but it is not absolutely required that they should be sung; it is the sense, not the sound that is wanted, so that it is left to our choice whether they should be “sung" or " said.” Accordingly, in cathedrals, and colleges, and places where a regular set of choristers are appointed for the purpose, these Psalms are " sung," or as it is sometimes called “ chaunted;" so likewise are some other parts of the service, especially the “Te Deum,"
" Benedictus," "Nunc Dimittis,"_" Magnificat,” &c.; but in places where no regular choir is appointed, for singing these portions of the service, they are " said;" that is, repeated without music. In either case, there is the offering of “praise;" the great thing to be asked, is, whether the heart goes with it, and then it matters not whether it be “sung," or" said.” The service of our Church, then, seems to be complete, without the use of what are called the “ Singing Psalms," or the Psalms in English Measures; for, without these, we have songs of praise, both from the Old Testament, and the New, which are used every time we go to church. However, as music has great power in lifting up the heart to praise, it was soon found that " Psalms in Verse,” which could easily be set to common tunes, such as the people might all join in, were much to be desired. Accordingly, what is called the Old Version of the Psalms was made' not very long after the reformed religion was established in England. This version is thought to be a very true translation of the Scriptural Psalms, and it was found that these metrical Psalms were so much better suited to singing, aud could be so easily joined in by the people, that they were very soon adopted in those churches where the generality of the congregation had not the
skill to join in more difficult music. The Old Ver. sion of the Psalms contains some very beautiful lines; but some of the expressions appearing to be old and rather out of date, a New Version was made in the reign of Queen Anne, which is indeed in smoother poetry; but we are not surprised that there are some persons, who, taking it all together, still like the old one best. This point, however, it is not our present object to discuss....... : One great advantage of these Psalms, in metre, is, that they are easily set to such tunes as the whole congregation may join in. This is the great use and purpose of them. How beautiful and how cheering it is to hear a whole assembly of Cbristians lifting up their united voices in songs of praise to their Heavenly King! Some, it is true, cannot sing; but the cheerful melody of the resc seems to tune their hearts to praise, and the words which they utter seem to make a part of the devout Hosannah. *: Most people, however, have some ear and voice, and would soon learn to sing, if the tunes were of a common, easy, and popular kind. Sometimes indeed we meet with some ill-conditioned people among the old singers, who are so, fond, of shewing their own skill, that, instead of trying such tunes as the people can join in, they will purposely play, such as nobody can make any thing of. They get bassoons, and clarionets, and hautboys, a set of instruments very ill-suited to the purposes of church music, and, upon these they play, a tune, which seems very much to please themselves, but is no assistance at all in enabling the congregation to "sing to the praise and glory of God. If they have got a tune in which the people can join, and thus the singing begins to be general throughout the churcb, they then find that their notes are drowned, and they there. fore begin to dislike a tune just as soon as the rest of the congregation begin to like it. But, still, some musical instrument is useful; and these musi
cians might be of great service in putting the others into the way of beginning, --if they would once see the sort of singing that there ought to be, and see it in a proper, and a religious light. Few things are more desirable in the service of our churches, than an improvement in the singing. In many churches, a reform has already been made, and the singing is excellent. In sonie, it still continues wretched. The miserable way of playing tunes for the people to listen to ought to be entirely put an end to. We are all to " sing, to the praise and glory of God.” When praise is thus offered up, it is the people's business, not to listen, but to join. The principal difficulty, as we have said, is with the old singers, who are often found to resist improvement, in which, if they had a'right religious feeling, they would be glad to unite. They will however, we trust, be soon brought to see this matter aright, and there never was a time when an attempt to introduce a becoming manner of singing was more likely to succeed than it is at present; for singing generally makes a part of the education of village children in our “ National Schools;" and, as almost every female now Icarns to sing, there is' in almost every village some well-disposed lady able to assist in bringing about this useful object.
In churches, indeed, in large towns, where there is an organ, generally well played, there seems no reason at all why congregational singing should not be general. The organist would generally be willing to play such tunes as the people might unite in, and the greater part of the females, at least, could join him. This would indeed be employing a de· Jightful talent to an excellent purpose, and we can scarcely conceive any thing more beautiful, or more profitable, than this part of our devotion might thus become.
. . . . V.
QUESTIONS FROM WATTS'S HYMNS.
HYMN IV. ...
How many poor I see;
For all his gifts to me?
Yet God has given me more;
Or beg from door to door.
Half naked I behold;
And cover'd from the cold!
Where they may lay their head,
And rest upon my bed.
And curse, and lie, and steal,
And do thy holy will.
To me above the rest?
And try to serve thee best.
Mercies spiritual and temporal..
Those which relate to the body, which will last i only for a time.
What do you mean by spiritual mercies?
What ought you to render to God for his mercies to you?
Prove this from Scripture. .
1 Tim. vi. 8. “ Having food and raiment, let us be therewith content.”
What has God given you besides food and rais ment?
" A home wherein to dwell, and rest upon my bed.” .
Are these mercies which you have been speaking of temporal or spiritual ?
What spiritual mercies bave you enjoyed ? : :" I have been taught to fear God's holy name, and do his holy will."
And what have too many other poor children been taught?.
« To swear, and lie, and steal.”
Then if God has shown such great mercy unto you, what ought you to do?
“ Love him more than they, and try to serve him best.”
Will God require more of you than of those who have not been instructed as you have been ?
Luke xii. part of verse 48. “ Unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required.
Then it ought you than