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times, sombre and shadowy as they were, it is acknowledged, as a general principle, how much more should it be so now-yes that the abuse of a good thing is no arnow that the Sun of righteousness has gument against the use of it; and why risen up, to thin away the shadows of the should so good a thing as music be exmorning, and to shine so cheeringly over cluded from the sweep of this principle? our heads with healing in his wings.
That which is holy may be given unto In not a few of our Scottish congrega-dogs, but it is holy still; or pearls may be tions there is a deficiency of sacred music, cast before swine, but they are pearls still; and an aversion to progress in it which and however far the taste for melody, or are not easily overcome. Among the power of making it, may be made the provictims of this aversion, the impression is stitute of depravity, that is no reason why more or less prevalent, that, at least in Christian men should cease to rescue it the general, music and frivolity are little from the impious degradation, or be slack else than two names for the same thing, in restoring it to the elevation which he and, of course, that while a few of its who gave it has assigned to it. But there varieties may be admitted into the house is more here. Men have perverted the of God, to conciliate the young and the gift of understanding, as well as the gift inconsiderate, yet anything like particular of music, and, indeed, it is the prior perattention to it is beneath the gravity of version of the former which has led them riper years. This unfortunate state of to pervert the latter; and how do we Chrismind may, in some degree, be traced to a tians reason from this perversion? Do salutary dread of that tendency to put song we say we should avoid thinking, or think in the place of sermon, and ceremony in but very sparingly? No, but we take the the place of substance, which prevailed so fact of such perversion, so extensive and much in the days of our Popery; but there so ruinous, as a very cogent subsidiary can be no doubt that it has been deepened argument, for the assiduous cultivation of and perpetuated, in no small degree, by the our understanding, in the light and by the open and unblushing desecration of music, rules which He who gave it has prescribed in the midst of which they have been to it. Thus we deal with the higher gift, brought up. They have seen the very in order to secure the use of it; and why best of it flung away upon chivalry, or should not the lower, which comes from romance, or war, or political partizanship, the hand of the same Divinity, be dealt or the casualties of courtship, or the freaks | with in the same way? and oddities of eccentricity, or even upon But some may be disposed to say 'it is drunken carousal, or the foulest and most not to music that we object, nor yet to loathsome of human sensualties. These music well sustained, but to those extravathings they have seen, and continue to see, gances connected with it, which, in our in almost every direction to which they opinion, are not suited to the worship of turn their eyes; and looking at them, they God, with the incessant introduction of have been led, by a process of which they such novelties, as put it beyond the power are scarcely conscious, to slide into the of any ordinary congregation to join in the opinion that music is in itself a carnal song. Now, as to the first part of this thing—that to be fond of it is to be, at objection, it is at once admitted, that there least, a fool, if not something worse than are pieces of music now and then, but not a fool, and, of course, that no more than a often, brought into the house of God which tame, aye, and a timorous, approximation are not suited to his service, and that all to it should ever be associated with the such pieces should be carefully excluded. services of religion. But these persons But, on the other hand, it ought to be reare mistaken-they are greatly mistaken membered that this is a question of taste and by a little candid consideration, some, -aye, and of sanctified taste--about which althongh not all of them, might be cured men who are equally devout, and equally of their mistake; for although mere concerned about the decorum of public wranglers may be found among them, worship, may be expected to differ. They who think it backsliding to be convinced, who have skill in music, and a rather yet, to a great extent, they are sincere, lively relish for it, are sure to form a difright-hearted, and devout. Yes, they are ferent opinion from those who have but mistaken, but their mistake is, in many little of either; and the question, who are cases, the result of position, rather than of likeliest to be right ? admits of but one obtuseness, and all they require is to be answer; for, other things being equal, it is reasoned with, not by those who sneer out knowledge which rectifies judgment, here their logic, but by those who have heart as in every thing else. The best informed as well as head, and whose respect for the are the most convinced, that a far greater sacredness of Christian worship they feel variety of song ought to be found in the to be on a par with their own. It is true service of God, than others are apt to that music has been shamefully misused; suppose ; and to form our estimate from about this they are in no mistake; but the meagre specimen of either variety or execution, which is fixed and stereotyped the means of improvement in it are grain not a few of our Scottish congregations, tuitously provided for them, and pressed were to come very far short of the mark on their acceptance. They think it above, Still it is in this way that not to speak of or beneath, or beyond them, to take up the captious, whose point of honour is their heads with such a thing; and the never to be pleased-well conditioned | little they know of it has been picked up, godly persons, the dupes of a limited use not in a school or a class, where its rules and wont, are frequently misled. They are explained and exemplified-not, in not only conclude, from the little that they short, by separate training of any kind know or have seen, but hold tenaciously whatever-but in the social worship of the by the conclusion, as if there were nothing family, or in the house of God. This is beyond it; whereas, had their range of the true account of the matter; it has been vision been wider, their conclusion would so for ages ; and with what grace can they have widened along with it, bringing no to whom it applies blame the introduction detriment, but positive aid, to the fervour of tunes which they cannot sing? Do they of their piety. No doubt, there is such a | not owe to the thing they complain of, thing as the music of rant and frivolity, much of their own attainment, slender as if music it may be called—which ever it is ? and have they not necessiated, by ought to be sternly excluded from the pre- their culpable remissness, the very evil cincts of the sanctuary; but beyond this, which with their lips they condemn ? and far above it, there are congenial va- | The few tunes which they can sing rieties, of which, by judicious selection, were once new to them; and where, in! Christians may avail themselves, as their nine cases perhaps out of every ten, did, appropriate auxiliaries, in singing the joys they learn to sing them? In the worship or sorrows of their hearts, or more directly of the family or in that of the church. the praises of their God.
This they know full well; or if they think Then, as to the remaining part of the they do not, memory will very easily bring objection, which relates more immediately it up to their minds; and they needed its to what are called new tunes, there may aid to rectify or to moderate the excess of be errors here, as well as in the former their present opinions. It is far from case. New tunes may be introduced, with being intended, by these remarks, to pala taste so bad, or a frequency so reckless, liate the recklessness already referred to; as to deserve the severest l'eprehension. but they ought to be taken into account, But here also there is an exclusiveness, and impartially pondered, by those who and a readiness to take offence, which the are sometimes the readiest to raise their best judges in matters of melody, being at outcry against an evil which they themthe same time the most devout, are con- selves have, in part, created. The person
ned to condemn. There is room for who obstinately refuses to prepare himself the introduction of new tunes into many for a due extension of the Church's meluof our congregations, as well as for giving | dies should, in all conscience, be the last more effect to those already introduced-- | to complain of a progress which leaves him there is large room for both: for why behind. should we drawl the praises of our God, After all, the introduction into Christiani and enter with spirit into the feats of a worship, of now and then a piece of music, warrior ?-and to plead more novelty, as a which but a few can sing is, although a bar in our way, were to sanction the prin-| real, vet not so great an evil, as it is someciple which puts an extinguisher upon all times taken to be. It were easy to fret in improvement whatsoever. Wherever there silence, or to talk loudly about desecra. is improvement, there is change; and tion; but it is better to bind our judgment wherever there is change, there is some- | down to the exact amount of merit or de. thing new, whether in the affairs of earth merit. If a tune has been judiciously or of heaven.
selected, and is suited to its theme, and is But still the question recurs, 'is it right, well sung by but a few, the worshipper or can it be right, to introduce tunes, how- who cannot sing itif he has an ear for ever eligible in themselves, which none music-may even at the first derive devobut a small minority of a worshipping tional aid from it in no εmall degree, by people are qualified to sing ?? - And the simply giving his mind up to the senti. answer is, that in the abstract it is not right, | ment, as the melody brings it along; till but should be carefully avoided, so far as | by and by his voice, without an effort, falls circumstances will permit; while yet, with in with the other voices, and so the evil is a very few exceptions, these same tunes at an end. Again, if the worshipper has must either be introduced in this way, or little ear for music, or perhaps none at all, never introduced at all ; .for this plain it is not easy to see how his devotions can l'eason, that a large majority of professing be either aided or disturbed, by any one Christians are not only deficient in sacred piece of it, more than by another. How inusic, but choose to remain so, even where often does it happen in ordinary life, that
| a person sitting dumb and listening to a Scottish Presbyterian song; yet it were | song whose music is new to him, derives too much to say that we are altogether
froin that music, new though it be, a much free from it. There are among us who are deeper feeling of the sentiment of the song verging towards it, although happily but than he could have had without it? So is few, who prefer the melody to the matter it with the songs of Zion; for the action of our song-who would shun to sing of music on our springs of emotion is the Messiah's eulogy,' were it not for Hansame in its principle, whether we apply it del's sake'—and whose zeal for music is a to things which are common, or to things thing so exclusive—so little seasoned with which are sacred. There can be no doubt sense or grace-as to furnish the oppothat, in the songs of Zion, all should join nents of temperate progress with the most i who can join, and all learn who can learn; formidable of all their weapons. Yes, I but it does not follow that the benefit is there are such persons, more or less con
limited to those who actually take up the nected even with Scottish Christian consong. This was never intended, and per gregations-persons whose lives give but | haps is seldom realized. The song of a scanty evidence of their power of apprelarge Christian assembly is far more effec ciating spiritual song—and when these find tive in lifting up the heart to God than their way, as they sometimes may do, to that of a more contracted circle ; and why? be leaders of our music, in the desk or in because there, there are a greater number the pew, the incongruity would be posiof the godly, who, by means of vocal sym- tively less, whatever cucom may say to phony, are found to act and re-act upon the contrary, did we see them displaced one another. But still there may be some by the harp or the timbrel. In the one of them who muse and praise in silence, case, we should at least know what we aided not a little by the voices of their have-it would stand before us undisguised;
brethren; because, while they can enjoy but in the other, we are haunted by the | music, and feel its moving influence, they painful suspicion, if not stung by the posi
are in providence denied the power of put- tive conviction, that the hearts of those ting it in practice. The whole question who lead us on give the lie to their lips. It about new tunes, then, in the present state is not to the mere devotee of song, but to of many a congregation, just comes to this; those whose godliness leads them to song, they must be occasionally introduced where that we are to look for the thing we desibut a few can sing them, unless an arrest derate--to the men who know what music
is to be put upon progress, in one of the is, and who, while they like it well, for the | finest accessaries to the exercise of Chris- pleasure which it ministers, yet like it far
tian piety; and the annoyance given, when more because of its most felicitous tenthey are introduced, is not by any means dency to elevate thought, and to animate so great as they who most need them would devotion. Let them take up the subject have others to believe.
at the impulse of their godliness; but let There is, however, a radical point, which them move on slowly and patiently, ac1 is of course assumed, in all that has been cording to the circumstances in which they | said, and which must ever have precedence are placed; not doubting that, in due time,
in all our attempts at improvement in the God will give them success, in rescuing, song of our worshipping assemblies. In his gift from neglect and desecration, and order to be accepted, it must take its rise, raising it up by progressive advances to
not merely from the heart, but from a the highest and holiest of all the uses for | sanctified heart-from a heart which is which it was at first bestowed. right with God, and sound in his statutes.
D. Y. | He is a spirit, they that worship him,' in
song or in sentiment, in word or in deed, : 'must worship him in spirit and in truth.'
BIBLICAL STUDIES. Music, however pure, or decorously executed, or however sound or scriptural, in the
PSALM CIV., VERSES 5-9.—THE PAST thoughts it expresses, is at the best but a
CHANGES OF THE EARTH. secondary matter. It has its placema high place-a place much higher than is
No. III. often assigned to it in the exercises of de In these verses we have a reference to votion—but let it be kept in that place, changes that have formerly taken place on and on no account raised above it. It is the surface of the globe. That reference may not worship, but the instrument of wor- either be to the deluge of Noah, or to the ship; it is not piety, but the handmaid of separation of the dry land from the sea, piety; and to raise the handmaid to the which took place on the third day of creachair of her mistress were to bring an tion. Modern science informs us that idol in between us and the God we profess these are but specimens of many similar to adore. Be it so, and it is so that this changes which occurred in the past history idolatry is not the reigning error of our of the world which we inhabit. More than
once the earth has been covered with the heavens and the earth, and the time when deep, as with a garment: more than once this world began to be prepared for the have the waters stood above the mountains. habitation of man. The greater part of the rocks which form! There are a few passages in the Bible the crust of the globe have been formed which, though they affirm nothing defiat the bottom of the sea, and in many nitely respecting the age of the earth, do cases have been subjected to repeated up- yet perfectly agree with the supposition of heaval and sinking. They have been de- its extreme antiquity. Of this nature are posited in a soft state at the bottom of such passages as the following :— Of old oceans and lakes, have been gradually con hast thou laid the foundations of the earth;' solidated, and have, by the action of vol. | and, · Before the mountains were brought canic causes, been raised to the surface, forth, or even thou hadst formed the earth and become the abode of plants and and the world, even from everlasting to animals.
everlasting thou art God.' In saying, When we examine the rocks of which therefore, that the earth existed long before the crust of the earth is composed, we find the creation of man, we affirm what is inthat they are divisible into two great perfect harınony with such texts as these, classes. There are some which we find and what is not contradicted by the naroccurring in irregularly shaped masses, rative in Genesis. and there are others which are formed of The doctrine of modern geology respectlayers or strata. The former are called ing the antiquity of the earth is not a inere igneous rocks, the latter aqueous sedimen- supposition; it rests upon sufficient evitary or stratified, and are so called because dence. The proof of it is obtained from their strata have apparently been depo the nature of the stratified rocks. These, sited as sediment in water. These strati- as we have said, bear the appearance of fied rocks contain the remains of plants having been deposited as sediment in water, and animals imbedded in them, and, in and from their vast thickness unnumbered some instances, display the footprints of ages must have been required for their various animals which have passed over formation. They contain the remains of them while they were yet in a soft state. plants and animals, the vast proportion of From a careful consideration of these cir- which are now extinct; and as those in the cumstances, geologists have come to the lower differ from those in the upper forconclusion that this earth must have ex mations, it is inferred that we have in isted for untold ages before man became them the remains of races which succesits inhabitant.
sively peopled the globe. To regard all The result of scientific investigation is these varied appearances as “lusus naturæ directly contrary to the views which were | is highly irrational and absurd. Undoubtformerly held on the subject of creation, edly, God could have created the world and to the opinions which are still enter such as we see it; but to maintain that he tained by not a few. It will be necessary has done só, in the face of all the facts for us therefore to look at the matter a which science has brought to light, is to little more minutely, and to show that the surrender our minds to prejudice rather doctrines of modern geology are not op than to reason-is to take a path which posed to the Word of God. The first chapter leads to very dangerous consequences. of Genesis has commonly been regarded When we see in these rocks the delicate as teaching that the universe sprang from marking left by the frouds of the fern,nothing, and was fashioned such as we now the stump of the tree erect, with its roots behold it, within the space of six days. still left in its native soil, the perfectly But when we consider the narrative atten preserved shell of the mollusc,—the fish tively, there is nothing in it to compel us with its fins and its scales,-the bones of to adopt this interpretation; on the con the reptile, or of the mammal, sometimes trary, it leaves us at perfect liberty to broken, sometimes entire,- it is impossuppose that a period indefinitely long sible for us to do otherwise than believe may have elapsed from the original crea that these are the remains of plants which! tion of matter to the first of these six days. grew, and of animals which lived on this It will be observed, that the narrative of earth, in former ages. No one who has each day's work begins with the expression, examined the rocks for himself has ever and God said, so that the account of what come to an opposite conclusion, took place on the first day commences Regarding then these fossils as the rewith the third verse. Besides, the second mains of once living organisms, we proverse may with equal propriety be trans ceed to inquire when they were deposited lated thus : 'Afterwards the earth was in their present situations. Very little without form, and void, and darkness was consideration will serve to show that the upon the face of the deep.' Untold ages flood of Noah is insufficient to account for may therefore have elapsed between the the phenomena which present themselves period of the original creation of the to our notice. If water containing sedi
ment is allowed to settle, the largest and I never knew a man who, in this walk of heaviest particles fall first to the bottom, practical benevolence, did more and said and the smallest and lightest are deposited | less. Indeed, I sometimes have been last of all. If therefore the strata of the tempted to think that he took a pleasure earth's crust were deposited from any one in having the right thing done in such a flood, such as that of Noah, we should find way as to make it a puzzle to others to disthat the lower series of rocks were com- cover the doer thereof. In these and posed of the coarse and heavier particles, other respects I think the character
of Dr and that the upper were composed of the Kidston is sketched in the 15th Psalm. finer. This, however, is not the case. He was a most obliging acquaintance. Here The fossils, too which these strata contain he excelled, so much so, that his family are arranged with remarkable regularity. ) were sometimes tempted to grudge to the Each formation has its own peculiar fos- public and to the Church the great amount sils, the species which prevail in the upper of time and trouble which he took to be rocks never being found in the lower, and serviceable. Numerous instances of this vice versa.
We are therefore forced to present themselves to my memory at this conclude that the present strata were not moment, but I must refrain; suffice it to deposited by the deluge. It may be asked, say, that in all this he was perfectly disintehowever, might they not be formed during rested. It arose from no vain motive--from the period which intervened between the no wish to be thanked—from no wish to get creation and the flood ? We answer, No. influence. He did it from pure liking The immense thickness of the strata must to kindly deeds, and had his reward in full, be borne in mind—not less than ten miles from simply being permitted to act an -and it will at once appear incredible that obliging part. Hundreds live who shared this enormous mass of rock could have his unostentatious but delightful hospitabeen deposited in the comparatively short lity, and who will never forget either the period mentioned. Besides, if we adopt value of his services or the kindliness of this view, we must believe that in the 1600 | the manner in which they were performed. or 2200 years that followed the creation of On this subject I cannot allow myself to man, new forms of vegetable and animal speak of the instances in which, while a existence were successively created, to be fatherless boy at college here, he acted to successively entombed in the rocks, while the speaker the part of a father and a the remains of man himself were singu- counsellor. But the decency of common larly preserved from such a fate. We are gratitude justifies this much. In a word, therefore constrained to refer the founda- he was a prudent counsellor. Many asked tion of the crust of the globe to a period his advice, and many took it; and few, I anterior to the creation of man, and to presume, ever repented doing so. It adopt the geological doctrine of the im- would be going too far to say that his admense antiquity of the globe.
vice was uniformly judicious—he was a A. H., C. fallible man, even as others; but upon the
whole, his judgment had very much of the character of common sense-an ingredient
which seldom fails to give currency and BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH. win agreement to friendly propositions
and cautions. No doubt Dr Kidston had
his imperfections, just like other people; · WILLIAM KIDSTON, D.D.
but I am sure you do not wish me to dwell In resuming the Sketch of the renerable upon them here. None knew these faults Dr Kidston, we may remark that he was in- better or deplored them more than he did. deed a faithful friend, a generous benefactor, Perhaps one of them was, what by many a most obliging acquaintance, and a pru- will be deemed a virtue, his lowly estimate dent counsellor. He was a faithful friend of himself in matters that commanded for Once a friend, he continued such till death. him public respect and private gratitude, Some of his brethren who are dead, and and his severe judgments against himself some who live, could tell of his fidelity to in those infirmities of his nature, which them in administering reproof, in a tone made repentance and confession promiand manner so peculiar to himself, that no nent exercises in his private and secret deoffence could be taken. He was a generous votions. 'But let us bury all the short-combenefactor-a man of few words indeed, ings of the man in his recent grave, and which might dispose some to think him remember only the uprightness, the incold and uninterested ; but while others tegrity, the benevolence, and the piety of were expressing sympathy, Dr Kidston his walk among the children of men. was away among his friends exerting his This much I will say, that for the last influence to 'do good and to communicate.' | fifteen years I have been very much in his Not a few ministers' widows and orphans society, and have known him in many of will rise at ‘that day' to call him blessed. the outgoings and incomings of his pil