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know of no application of music to this sublime use, that is not sadly deficient, except what is composed in the manner of anthems. For as in every piece of sacred poesy, there are various and very different tastes, and Itrains, it is evident, that to apply the same returning set of notes to all alike is inconsistent, and not expreslive of the sense and spirit of the piece, The eighteenth Psalm, for example, is one of the noblest hymns in Holy Scripture. From the beginning to the fourth verse, the royal author expresses his, or the Mesliah’s joy and gratitude for his deliverance from his enemies. It is evident, that the music, which is to accompany this part of the piece, ought to be bold, cheerful, and triumphant: else it will disguise and misrepresent the thoughts, instead of exprelling them. The fourth and fifth verfes express the Pfalmift's, or Mefliah's, dreadful distress, by the cruelty of wicked men, or evil spirits. It is plain, that the triumphant strains of music, which suited the former part, are not at all proper to express this; but that, on the contrary, it requires a set of the most dreary and horrid sounds which music can utter. The sixth verse represents the Sacred Writer's, or Messiah's, complaint in his great distress. To express this suitably, neither of the foriner species of melody is proper; but a set of melancholy and plaintive notes. The seventh, and some of the following verses, give an account of the Divine Appearance in answer to the foregoing prayer, attended with earthquakes, tempefts, lightenings, and all the terrors of Omnipotence. Every one of which images ought to be represented by a strain of music, properly adapted to the sense, in taste and expression, But to chant this whole piece, as is done at cathedral churches, or to sing it, as at parish churches, and meetings, to the same set of notes, returning through every succeeding verse, is not performing the piece so well as if the preacher were to read it to the people. For a person of a good elocution, would utter it in luch a manner, as at least should not disguise or misrepresent the sense, as is the affect of applying to it unsuitable, or bad music, which is worse than none. But, to those, who And proper sentiments excited in their minds by the more imperfect ways of performing the Divine Praises, I have nothing to say, to lessen the satisfaction they have. I orly would shew what is the most effectual and perfect way of applying music to religious purposes. And, after all, a proper disposition of mind is the principal thing, without which no bodily service can be acceptable to Infinite Purity.
To conclude, it is evident, that our duty to our Creator is, as above observed, the most important, and noblest part of what we ought to study, and practise, in order to attain the true Dignity of Human Nature, For that Infinite Being, by whom, and for whom we are, though in his essence invisible, in his nature incomprehensible in his perfections inconceivable, does yet present himself to all our perceptions, bodily and mental. Every object we behold, every found we hear, every bodily substance we touch, every subject of thought, must be either himself, or the work of his power, Our senses, whenever we exert them, are employed upon some creature of Omnipotence; and when the mind abstracts itself from all the bodily operations, even then it apprehends, it sees, it feels, the suftaining, informing, and invigorating power within it. It finds itself surrounded with the immensity of Divinity, and that itself and all things are established on that universal basis of existence; that all things are full of Deity; and that his presence is the Mind within the mind.
How amazing then the stupidity of numbers of the human species ! An order of beings formed with a capacity for apprehending the Creator and Governor of the universe ; for contemplating the most delightful and most Itriking of all subjects; for having their minds enlarged and ennobled by being habituated to the grand ideas of immensity, of wisdom, goodness, power, and glory unbounded and unlimited ! Yet how do numbers of them pass through life, without ever endeavouring to form any just notions of that Being, on whom they depend for their very existence; without ever thinking of any duty they may owe him, or any consequence of gaining or losing his favour! What ftupendous glories, what wondrous perfections, what sublime contempla, tions, are lost to the gross and insensible minds of many of our species! How is the only Being, who poffeffes existence in himself, over-looked by those who he himself has brought into being! How does He, by whom all things exift, leem to such inconsiderate minds not to exist! How do the glories of his works, which were intended to point him out, conceal from such unthinking minds the glorious Maker! How do such ungrateful men bafely take up with the gifts, without thinking on the All-bounteous Giver! How much are those men of gross and earthly difpofitions their own enemies ! How do they strive to feed their heaven-born minds with the unsatisfying and nauseous objects of sense ; depriving them of that subline entertainment, tor which they were intended, and which is ever offering itself to them, the contemplation and enjoyment of Divinity, the possession of infinite perfection! Open thy narrow mind, unthinking mortal. Enlarge thy confined desires. Raise thy groveling ambition. Quit the trifling objects which now poflels, and which will in the end disappoint thee. Trample under thy feet the wretched amusements of riches, honours, and pleasures; and aspire to what is worthy the dignity of thy nature, and thy Divine Original. It is thy Maker himself that is ready to take poffeflion of thy mind It is the Din vinity himself, that would pour into thy soul delights ineflable, that would dwell in thee, and join thee to himself in an eternal union, which will raite thee to bliss and glory above thy most extensive wishes, beyond thy moit elevated conceptions.
Miscellaneous Thoughts, and Directions, chiefly Moral.
risms, fome thoughts to much the same purpote with others, in other parts of this work; it is hoped, he will excule luch a repetition, in consideration of the variety of matter, and the usefulress of the subjects; which will bear being inculcated in the most copious manner. Сс
It is not the part of a wise man to be eager after any thing, but improvement in goodness. All things elle may be dispensed with.
To learn to talk well, learn first to hear.
Refft vice at the beginning, and you will conquer is in the end.
A clear conscience is better than a clear estate.
Never think a thought, speak a word, or do a deed, but what you may be fate in setting about with the following preface. “O God my Maker and Judge, I do “not forget, that thou art witness to what I am about."
Has not fashion a considerable share in the charities of the age? Let every one, who gives, carefully consider from what motives he acts.
If you have a well-disposed mind, you will go into no company more agreeable, or more useful, than your own. All is not well with those to whom folitude is disagreeable.
It is no shame to learn. The shame is to be ignorant. Forgive every body rather than yourself.
If you have health, a competency, and a good conscience, what would you have besides? Something to disturb your happiness?
To expect, young man, that your life should be one continued series of pleasure, is to expect to meet with what no mortal, from Adam down to the present times, has yet met with; and what by the nature of things would be more strange, than the throwing the same number with a die ten millions of times succeflively.
When you hear in company, or read in a pamphlet, somewhat smart and lively, and quite new to you, urged against any opinion, or maxim allowed by men of the freest sentiments, and most improved understandings : do not let yourself be immediately perverted by it. But fuppose, that, though it may be new to you, it
have been often started and answered; and though you cannot at once confute it, others can. And make it your business, if the point be of consequence, to find out those, who can. Nothing is more weak, than to be staggered in your opinion by every trifle that may fall in your way.
Accustom yourself to think the greatest part of your life already past; to contract your views and schemes, and set light by à vain and transitory state, and all its vain enjoyments.
To feel old age coming on, will so little mortify a wife man, that he can think of it with pleasure; as the decay of nature shews him that the happy change of ftate, for which he has been all his life preparing himseif, is drawing nearer. And surely it must be desirable, to find himselt draw nearer to the end and the reward of his labours. The case of an old man, who has no comfortable prospect for futurity, and finds the fatal hour approaching, which is to deprive him of all his happiness; is too deplorable for any words to represent.
It is easy to live well among good people. But fhew me the man, who can preserve his temper, his wisdom, and his virtue, in spite of strong temptation and univerfal example.
It is hardly credible what acquisitions in knowledge one may make, by carefully husbanding and properly applying every spare moment.
Are you content to be for ever undone, if you should happen not to live till the time you have set for repentance? If so, put it off a little longer, and take your chance.
It is a shame, if any person poorer than you is more contented than you.
Strive to excel in what is truly noble. Mediocrity is contemptible.
Judge of books, as of men. There is none wholly faultless, or perfect. That production may be said to be a valuable one, by the perufal of which a judicious reader may be the wiser and better; and is not to be despised for a few deficiencies, or inconsistencies.
Do not think of lying for the truth, or working the works of the devil for God's sake,
Honesty sometimes fails : But it is because diligence or abilities are wanting. Otherwise it is naturally by far an over-match for cunning. A bad reputation will lie a stumbling-block in your Cc 2