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rich,' have been transposed, and that the disgraceful and obscure burial.' Maiprophet wrote, 'He made his grave with monides remarks, 'those who are conthe rich, and was with the wicked in his demned to death by a judicial tribunal, death; and that the clauses, too, have are not interred in the sepulchres of their been transposed— He was with the wicked ancestors, but two places of burial are in his death, and made his grave with the appointed by the court,-one for those rich. This is to use a very unwarrantable stoned and burned, another for those freedom with the sacred text. Others | beheaded and strangled.' The place where have supposed that the word rendered in the crucifixion took place was called Golhis death,' means his sepulchre; so that gotha, not improbably because the place the two clauses are strict parallels— His of execution was also the place of intergrave was given him among the wicked, ment. It is indeed highly probable that but his sepulchre was with the rich ; but as the bodies could not, without a violation there is no reason to suppose that the of the Mosaic law, hang on the cross all word has any such meaning.
night, the common grave was already dug. By the application of the principles of His grave was prepared for him among cautious interpretation, a sense has been the malefactors. brought out of the words as they stand in But the malignant purpose of those who, entire correspondence with the facts of the having murdered him, wished to heap case. The word 'wicked' is in the plural. posthumous infamy on him, was di sapIt designates very wicked men-male-pointed. Our Lord died sooner than was factors. The word 'rich' is in the singu- usual in such cases—died before the time lar, and signifies 'a rich man.' The word fixed for taking the bodies down and buryrendered he made, literally signifies, ‘he ing them; and this gave opportunity for gave;' or, ‘it was given.' The word 'in,' an application being made and granted, in the phrase, 'in his death, sometimes while it fulfilled the latter part of the signifies after; as, e.g., Isa. xvi. 14, 'In prediction,— But he was with a rich man three years,'. after three years.' And after his death,' or, ‘in his dead state.' death' signifies not merely the act of The wonderfully exact fulfilment of this dying,' but, “the state of the dead. In prediction cannot be so well represented Lev. xi. 31, · Whosoever doth touch them, in any other way than by quoting the when they be dead,' means, ' Every one evangelical narrative. “And now, when who touches them when dead. And in the even was come, Joseph of Arimathea, Psal. vi. 5, ‘In death there is no remem- a rich man, an honourable counsellor, who brance of thee,' is, “In the state of the had not consented to the counsel and' deed dead there is no remembrance of thee.' of them, which also waited for the kingdom
Taking along with us these well-esta- of God, who also himself was Jesus disblished facts, the following meaning comes ciple, but secretly for fear of the Jews; clearly out of the original words as they this man came and went in boldly unto stand :—My people, by whose wickedness Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus. And he was “cut off out of the land of the living,” | Pilate marvelled if he were already dead: gave'-i. e., appointed, assigned his and calling unto him the centurion, he grave with the malefactors; or, imper- asked him whether he had been any while sonally, ‘his grave was appointed with the dead. And when he knew it of the centumalefactors; but he was with a rich man rion, he commanded the body to be deliafter his death, or, 'In the state of the vered, and he took it down ; and there dead.'
Iso Nicodemus, which, at the first, We have no express record of the in- came to Jesus by night, bringing a mixtention of the Jews to give our Lord an ture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred ignominious funeral. But there can be no pound weight; and these two rich men reasonable doubt of the fact. The injunc- took the body of Jesus, and wrapped it in tions of their law prevented them from clean linen clothes with the spices, as the adopting the Roman custom, which other- manner of Jews,' of the higher order, 'is wise their cruelty would have preferred, to bury. Now, in the place where he was of allowing the body to hang on the cross crucified, there was a garden, and in the till wasted by the elements or devoured by garden was a sepulchre wherein was never dogs; but there can be no doubt that they man yet laid. That selpuchre was Joseph's meant that he should be interred, proba- own new tomb which he had hewn out of bly in a common grave, with the male- the rock. There laid they Jesus.' Is not factors, along with whom he had suffered. this ' He of whom the prophet did write?' In following this course, they would only It deserves notice, before we conclude have done what was usual.° Let him, the exposition of this clause, that the says Josephus, 'who blasphemes God be word in the phrase, 'in his death—'after stoned, and then hanged for a day (a re- his death'—is plural,—' after his deaths.' ference to the custom mentioned by the It is probably emphatic. We find the apostle, Gal. iii. 13), and let him have a violent death of the king of Tyre ex
pressed in this way,— Thou shalt die the tenor or bass. In this way he could equally death?-literally, the deaths of the accomplish the main design of his office, uncircumcised by the hands of strangers.? that of securing precision and good time, Our Lord's death, as it were, included and would be of essential service to the many deaths--all kinds of death. It thus males of the congregation, who are rather very forcibly expresses the awful nature misled by his present mode of singing, of that death to which our Lord sub- being tempted to follow him, instead of mitted.—John Brown, D.D.
taking their own part. Were the precen. tor to sing tenor or bass, many male
voices, taking advantage of his guidance, OUR SCOTTISH PSALMODY.
could then sing those parts which at present they are unable to accomplish, when
left to their own resources. Nor woald We have now seen the position which the females suffer from the want of their sacred music has occupied from a very leader. There are comparatively few feearly period, and the importance attached males who cannot sing the melody, hence to psalmody, as a divinely-appointed in the precentor could be more profitably strument in the worship of God; we have employed in leading either the tenor or enumerated some of the advantages to be bass, for the guidance of male voices. derived from its culture, and we have seen, When a male voice cannot, or will not, refurther, the neglect with which it is treated, frain from singing the treble, it is advisand the duty incumbent on every one tó able that such a one should, for the sake aid in its revival. It now remains to in- of those near him, and of the singing genequire how it ought to be conducted, and rally, sing in a subdued tone, instead of by what means it may be improved. driving manfully through the tune, as is
I. As to the way to sing. Of all in- often done, as if the singing mainly de. struments the human voice is the most pended upon his individual effort. perfect, and, in combination, is capable of With regard to the style of singing. producing the truest harmony. Harmony 1. It is too listless. The people do not is that union of different sounds which exert themselves to sing God's praise as pleases the ear, and' is produced by the the Psalmist enjoins — Sing unto the accordance of two or more musical inter- Lord a new song, sing loudly with joyful. vals. Vocal music is written in four parts ness. There is an apathy exhibited, which
-treble, alto, tenor, and bass. By the accords ill with the magnificence of the combination of these, harmony is made. subject. But all voices are not equally fitted to sing 2. Our singing wants precision. The these parts. The treble cannot with pro- listless way in which it is conducted, gives priety be sung by any except females and to it a character of indecision, which is boys. The alto is the province of high- unfavourable to the promotion of deropitched male, or of deep-toned female tional sentiment, and contributes to destroy voices; and the tenor and bass are exclu- the interest which vigorous singing is sively the part of males. Hence singing fitted to excite. in parts cannot be properly conducted, 3. There is a tendency to sing psalms and can never reach any degree of perfec: too slowly, arising from the idea that in tion, so long as the treble, or air, is sung this way a more devotional spirit is disby males. Their voices are utterly un- played. This is a mistake. Singing is a suited for it; and the attempt is destruc- mark of joy, and the majority of our tunes tive to the harmony. This infringement are written in a joyous strain, and ought of an inviolable principle is most injurious to be song with animation. Of course, to our psalmody, and is an insuperable exceptions must be made in the case of obstacle to its improvement, because the penitential psalms. leading voice of the precentor is heard 4. The singing is too monotonous. above all the others; and also, because, in There is no variety; a plaintive air and a congregation, the male, though less nu- one of a joyous nature differ little in the merous than the female voices, generally style in which they are usually sung. preponderate, by reason of their smaller As to the character of the tune. share of diffidence. If psalmody received 1. It should be free from frivolity and due attention, a precentor's services would lightness, and suited to the character of be entirely different from what they are at the place. present. His duty would consist of teach- 2. It should be simple, and devoid of all ing classes and leading congregational complexity, so that the most untutored practisings throughout the week; and on may be able to follow. It is difficult, Sabbath his part would be to choose suit- not impossible, in a promiscuous assem able tunes, and lead the congregation, not bly, to secure that amount of preparation by singing treble, but by taking that part and practice necessary to accomplish tunes for which his voice is best suited, either other than those of a simple and uncomplicated nature. Besides, effect does not knowledge is sufficient, and their presence depend upon intricacy—the grandest re- uncalled for. Now, this is a great missults may be produced by simple combi- take. Singing in parts cannot be properly nations.
conducted, and is never attempted, by even 3. The tunes should be suited to the accomplished musicians, without practising character of the words they are intended in company. Precision and effect can to accompany. This is too little attended only be attained by this means. The effect to on the part of precentors. To employ of these practisings would be the developthe same air for a psalm of thanksgiving ment of latent powers, hitherto underand one of contrition, is obviously incor- valued or undiscovered by their possessors. rect. To sing such a stanza as this- And many would acquire confidence by
means of these social meetings, which O sing a new song to the Lord, For wonders he hath done;
would result in a vigorous and well-sus
tained effort on Sabbaths, formerly unHis right hand and his holy arm
Another Him victory hath won,'
known, because unattempted.
advantage to be derived, is the introducto the plaintive air of Bangor, or St Mary's, tion of new tunes, with which the congreis manifestly incongruous. Equally un- gation are unacquainted. At present the suited would be the air of Peckham to introduction of a new tune inevitably inthese words
volves discord and distraetion, not once *Thy folk they break in pieces, Lord,
only, but repeatedly. Thine heritage oppress :
But a more efficient means of accomThe widow they and strangers slay, plishing the objects which practisings And kill the fatherless.'
effect, is to be found in the formation of a
congregational association. An edition of the Psalms, having at- We are especially anxious to draw the tached to each a list of two or three tunes, attention of congregations to this. Such suited to the sentiment contained, for the a society is better calculated than other guidance of precentors and heads of fami- means to interest the various parties of lies, is a desideratum.
which a congregation is composed. It has IÍ. The means to be adopted to improve a niore imposing effect, and by its organiour psalmody.
zation, is better fitted to suggest and carry It has already been observed, that the out practical measures for general improvservice of praise devolves upon the people, ment. The success of the association and that they alone are responsible for from whom these pages emanate, in givconducting it properly.
ing an impulse to the congregational sing1. The first step towards improvement ing, has far exceeded every measure is due preparation. A pastor devotes hitherto attempted. This association was many hours of laborious study, in order to instituted in November 1851. The numthe right performance of his Sabbath ber of members is 161. The meetings, ministrations, and it is equally incumbent under the superintendence of Mr Strang, on the people to qualify themselves for are held weekly, carried on with spirit, their share in the ordinances of the sanc- and afford much gratification to all. The tuary. Preparation is of two kinds, pri- proficency which members of an associavate and public. No promiscuous assem- tion such as this attain, is calculated to bly can act in concert on any matter tell powerfully on the congregation. Scatrequiring individual effort or execution, tered throughout the church, each one without previous arrangement and sepa- forms as it were a nucleus of a little band · rate endeavour. Nor does such a require- of singers round him, and both by their ment, in reference to psalmody, involve example and guidance, effect a marked any hardship. The demand upon one's improvement on the general singing. time is trivial, and its actual accomplish- Another measure fitted to be of great pracment is a pleasure rather than a toil. tical value, and to which attention is in
But public preparation is still more es- vited, may also be mentioned. “A few insential. This must consist of congre- dividuals belonging to it, both male and gational practisings and congregational female, have kindly consented to take a classes; the former for those who are fa- more prominent part in leading the conmiliar with music, the latter for the un- gregation, in seats surrounding the pulpit. skilful and young.
As to the first, we By this means the various parts are rewould strongly urge on all the necessity of presented by those qualified to conduct joining them; and more especially is this then. Such an arrangement is of special addressed to those who are proficient in value in regard to the treble. The vigour musical accomplishments, because there and success of the singing mainly depend exists among such a feeling that they are upon the well-sustained efforts of that part; compromising themselves by attending and the plan which has been adopted rethese meetings. They think that their moves the objection of a leading male
voice, which, as formerly observed, is un- that these will be sung during the time suited to sing treble, and at the same time specified, so that they may be prepared at secures that precision and good time, home, as the stones of the temple were which can only be looked for under the by rule and plummet prepared apart, that guidance of a qualified leader. Hired they might be perfectly and pleasantly bands have met with almost universal dis- joined. In this way the whole melodies approval, and are open to many objections of the book could be easily and effectually which ever amateur choirs are not alto- practised, and the different parts tho gether free from. The arrangement roughly prepared, and new tunes could be adopted has no tendency to give rise to introduced without distraction. the abuses to which choirs are exposed, 4. Ministers may do much to improve and is even more effective than a band in the singing of their congregation; but leading the congregation; nor can it be their influence is seldom used as it might offensive to any.
The results are apa- be. Psalmody is, in fact, very much rent, while the agency is unseen; the indu- overlooked. With the exception of a ence is felt, but its source is not conspi- short petition at the close of the last
But even this arrangement will prayer, which is so common everywhere be unnecessary when the association in- as almost to convey the impression of a creases in numbers, and the members ac- form, it is seldom alluded to in pulpits. quire confidence in their various parts. When a subject has been long neglected, The choir which we hope soon to see, is improvement cannot be expected, unless that of the voice of the whole congregation some individual or individuals take a prouniting in one harmonious swell.
minent part in its amendment. A pastor's The other mode of preparation is by position at once points him out as the fitclasses. The importance of these is self- test person. The people look up to him evident. They enlist the sympathies of as their guide, and if he neglects the subthe youth of a congregation, at a time ject of psalmody, and fails to place it in its when their feelings are most impressible proper light before the people, it will be and their affections warmest.
difficult to prevent the congregation neTwo suggestions only would we throw glecting it also. out :
5. The last important means of improvFirst, It is of importance that the ing our congregational singing to which classes be recognised by the office-bearers we shall allude, is the more general emof the church, and that every facility and ployment of praise in family worship. encouragement be given them.
Philip Henry says, "Those do well that Second, They should be limited in du- pray morning and evening in their famiration. If spun out to an undue length, lies; those do better that pray and read the members will one by one drop off. A the Scriptures; but those do best of all short spirited course of two or three that pray, and read, and sing psalms.' months, once a-week, will be far more Nothing tends more to enliven family woreffective than one kept up throughout ship, and render it interesting, than sing
ing psalms, and the influence of the music 2. The next step towards improvement may long endure, when youthful associais the use of a text-book. To trust to the tions are recalled in after years. By the ear is objectionable. Precision cannot be introduction of this practice among his secured, if each one sings as his fancy children and domestics, the head of a dictates. Again, it is essential that the house has peculiar opportunities of aiding same book be used by all. Tunes may be in the revival of sacred music. It is proharmonized in various ways. Scarcely ductive of many advantages, both to the two works are arranged alike, and if the members of the family and to the Church different arrangements are sung at one at large, and an interest in psalmody is and the same time, discord is the result excited which would extend to public ocinstead of harmony. A text-book should casions. The head of a family who omits therefore be chosen and recommended to the practice of praise, not only loses a the congregation; and it is exceedingly precious privilege, but, unless some indesirable that all who have any acquaint- superable hindrance can be pleaded, neance with music, should use it in their glects his duty to his God, his family, and pews; especially as a very limited know his Church. ledge of music is sufficient to enable any We are fully aware that the measures one to derive benefit from its employment urged in this Address will not meet with as a guide.
general sympathy. Numerous objections 3. When a text-book has been adopted, will be raised, on the ground of making it might be very useful to choose from too inuch of psalmody, and causing distime to time a certain number of tunes, traction in our worship. Happily it is easy say twelve, to be used during a definité to retort upon such objectors. Psalmody period, and make the congregation aware is neglected, not because it is unworthy
the whole year.
of attention, but because of the low state in sweet psalms honour God in the assemof spiritual religion in our Church. The bly of his saints. diffusion of religious feeling throughout Scotland in the nineteenth century falls short of that of the sixteenth, when the voiceof praise rosounded from every hearth, THE PARADISE OF FOOLS. and when a promiscuous crowd of 2000 could, as related by Calderwood, sing in METHOUGHT I saw a grave and very four parts one of our most difficult tunes. venerable old man, with a long, white
Relating the return of John Durie to beard, enter my chamber, and quietly seat Edinburgh, he says :—' As he is coming himself opposite to me. Instead of asking from Leith to Edinburgh, upon Tuesday who he was, and how he came there, nothe 4th September, there met him at the thing seemed more natural and proper. Gallow Greene two hundreth men of the We all know how easily in dreams the inhabitants of Edinburgh. Their number mind dispenses with all ceremony; little still increased, till he came within the or no introduction is required; every one Neather Bow. There they beganne to is at once on a most delightful footing of sing the 124th Psalme, “ Now Israel may familiarity with all the world; and the say," &c., and sang in foure parts, knowne greatest possible incongruities appear just to the most part of the people. They comme il faut. came up the street till they came to the He told me that he had come from a Great Kirk, singing thus all the way to very curious part of the best of all posthe number of two thowsand.'' It is sible worlds '—the ‘Paradise of Fools ;' granted that there is a danger connected and on my looking surprised, said, with fine music; but so there is from pul- * Are you ignorant, then, that there is a pit eloquence, and every means of grace spot in the universe where a vicegerent of has its peculiar temptations. In regard the Deity has at his disposal unlimited to the measures now urged, it must be power and wisdom, to enable him to comply borne in mind that peculiar efforts are re- with the somewhat whimsical conditions of quired, by reason of long-continued ne- the theories of those wonderful philosoglect. The risk of distraction arises as phers, who have taken upon them to say much from novelty as from any other how the universe might have been concause ; when this wears off, and the service structed, without any supreme or presidof praise is viewed in its proper light, the ing intelligence at all; or have modestly objections raised will cease to have any suggested that, had they been consulted, valid ground; each one will sing his part certain notable improvements might hare without distraction, and as a matter of been effected in its fabrication or governordinary requirement.
ment; or, lastly, who have complained of But all the means which have been sug- the revelation which God has vouchsafed gested will fail to attain the end for which to man, or contended that, if true, it might psalmody has been instituted, unless they have been more unexceptionably framed, are leavened by grace. Let it ever be re- and more skilfully promulgated ? membered, that the great object is not And what is the result?" I asked. good singing, but God's glory. We aim The result is a part of the “everlasting at perfection in the one, only in as far as shame and contempt” which are the heriit is a means of promoting the other. lage of impiety.! While, therefore, we endeavour to im- There must have been enough for the prove our psalmody, let us beware of the said vicegerent to do,' I remarked. dangers which lie in the path to its attain- Not so much as you imagine,' said he, ment. Let us see that we praise God with smiling. The conditions of these wise a perfect heart, as well as a perfect voice. men's theories, so far as even omniscience Our enemy, the devil, hates to hear God's can comprehend, or omnipotence realize name praised, and it must be a special them, are indeed exactly complied with; cause for triumph if he can make the but nevertheless, they often baffle both. praises of saints an occasion of sin. Satan Sometimes the reproof, thus implied, cannot praise himself, and he will deter obliquely strikes more than its immediate others if he can. Let Paul's resolution objects; it alights even on some the be adopted by all—' I will sing with the profoundest philosophers, who never had spirit, and I will sing with the understand it in their thoughts to call in question the ing also Let our praises be offered infinite superiority of divine Power and through Christ. ' “By him let us offer the Wisdom, but who have delivered themsacrifice of praise to God continually, that selves a little too positively about “mois, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks unto nads" and "atoms, and ultimate constihis name.' When our hearts are thus at- tuents of the universe. They have some. tuned, and our voices prepared, then shall times been not a little scandalized, as well we be able to sing without distraction, and as laughed at, when some half-witted,