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of introducing into the services of devotion, 'Glorious Apollo'-Tell me, babbling echo, why?
- Thou soft-flowing, Avon :- Rule, Britannia — Vedrai, carino – Batti, batti, o bel Masetto '-'Ah perdona il primo affetto?-and various invocations to Bacchus, Apollo and Venus. It may be said that the music of these amatory (sometimes indecent) songs from Italian Operas are known, in their original form, to few only whó listen to and join in them in their new connection, and that such unseemly and indecorous associations are, on that account, but rarely engendered. This question, we apprehend, has been settled by the highest authority.* We are enjoined to take heed lest by any means this liberty become a stumbling-block to them that are weak.' And if the performance of an Opera song shall have the effect of interrupting the devotions of only a single worshiper, if it shall cause only
one brother to offend,' better far is it that it be omitted. The reasoning of the apostle applies exactly, as it appears to us, to the point in question; and, if so, it is conclusive in condemnation of the practice.”7
We have too often had to endure the double infliction of hearing a beautiful melody of Mozart, Handel or Haydn, first mangled by the adapter, and afterwards destroyed in performance, while the appeal of Zerlina to Masetto was most undesirably and unavoidably intruding itself upon our thoughts ;f and we are somewhat surprised to learn that a psalm-book which, if we are not misinformed, is in general use at Mr. Binney's chapel contains too many of such violations of good taste and decorum.
We conclude with thanking him for his pamphlet. He has pointed out the right path, and if his advice and direction be followed, singing will again be a pleasant and comely service-welcome to the musician, delightful to the worshiper.
TO THE MEMORY OF THE REV. J. JOHNS.
WHEN on the field the warrior brave
Bows low in death his head,
What tears are o'er him shed !
Her weeds of sable gloom,
Around his stately tomb.
But O how doubly strong should move
The current of our grief
To bring mankind relief:
To conquer human woe-
And oft subdued the foe!
• 1 Cor. viii. † The People's Music Book, edited by James Turle, Organist of Westminster Abbey, and Edward Taylor, Professor of Music in Gresham College.
I Don Giovanni.
One greater than a prince or peer
Or warrior brave is dead, -
Their tears of trouble shed;
Encountering want and woe-
He felt the mortal blow.
Where want and misery wept,
There his sad watch he kept:
Undauntedly he stood,
Could change his godlike mood.
And aid and solace bore,
Could do and bear no more;
The heart by kindness stirr'd-
With him ensepulchred.
To penury's dark abode -
And told of heaven and God;
man's home no more shall hear
The widow's weeping eyes.
He loved and tuned so well,
And silent is his shell ;-
Alas! untimely gone-
And claim him for their own.
Shall o'er his relics flow,
The widow's bitter woe :
Than hero's high renown;
J. R. W.
HISTORY OF THE HEBREW MONARCHY. This work, which beyond a question is the production of a well-furnished and highly-cultivated mind, cannot fail to make an impression, if not form an era, in the theological world of England. What Strauss did for the New Testament, is here, though with less exactitude and completeness, attempted in regard to the Old; or perhaps it would be less incorrect to compare this effort with Niebuhr's destructive operations on the Roman history, only that we miss the profound and accurate learning, the patient comparison, the clear and deep insight, and the exact yet broad and systematic treatment, which distinguish that learned German scholar. Like Strauss and Niebuhr, however, the present writer seems wanting in the æsthetic feelings; so that he very imperfectly comprehends, and can scarcely at all reproduce in his mind, states of society and mental influences which, not being set down in the letter nor recorded in monuments, have to be gathered and learnt from general principles of social causation, fragments of institutions, and faint literary vestiges. When a mind, accessible chiefly to tangible and definite evidences, and pervaded by a bias against the received construction of the history of the Hebrews, applies itself to the task of writing a narrative of their fortunes, it is almost sure to leave on one side the more spiritual and superhuman agencies, although they may have given shape, pressure and direction, to the national progress. The defective treatment which hence ensues, is made worse by any abstract principles which expressly disown the intervention of God's extraordinary providence. When a presumption of the kind prevails, miracle is regarded as an impossibility; and ordinary human causes being alone admitted, every thing that bears a miraculous aspect is pronounced mythical or legendary. The contact of such a state of mind with the Old Testament, where the immediate agency of God is constantly either affirmed or implied, can have no other effect than that of extinguishing all its lights and perverting its whole character. The Bible, when thus dealt with, ceases to be the Bible. You might as well expect to retain Homer without his battles, or Spenser without his allegory, as to present a real narrative of Biblical history after having admitted none but human causes. We do not by this mean to intimate that the materials supplied in the Old Testament are to be received without scrutiny and without discrimination. Doubtless both are necessary, and in the present day both are rapidly becoming increasingly necessary. But he that has wholly renounced the Biblical view of the call and mission of Israel, is not in a condition to write its history. He may prove useful as an assailant, but cannot act the part of a friend. He may aid others in the selection of materials, but has not the hand for raising the edifice. True history was never yet written except in a spirit of sympathy. And if an excess of sympathy leads to exaggeration, it is equally true that the nil admirari tone must fail in reproducing the life of a people, especially of so religious a nation as were the ancient Hebrews. In such a case, to recognize nothing higher than the action of the human mind on the
A History of the Hebrew Monarchy, from the Administration of Samuel to the Babylonish Captivity. London-John Chapman. 1847.
universe and on itself, is to disregard the highest and most powerful influences that operated in the formation of the national character.
Such, however, seems to have been the aspect in which the present historian of the Hebrew Monarchy viewed his subject. Starting with a cursory allusion to the distracted state of the nation which prevailed under the Judges, and taking Samuel rather than Moses as the founder of the national institutions (p. 27), he weaves such a narrative as pleases him, now questioning this scripture or fact, now denying that, but always taking care to admit the operation of no other causes than such as may have originated with human beings. That a value attaches to this mode of treatment we do not deny. We are glad to see what can thus be done. A great service is rendered to truth, when untruth is made to put forth all its powers. The insufficiency of extreme naturalism is fully exhibited in this book. If this is the true interpretation of the mission and work of the chosen people, then was its religion vain, its social polity a falsehood and a failure, and we are reduced to the admission that the best religion, and the holiest, wisest, most enlightened and most benevolent teacher the world ever saw, came forth from a system in which credulity and deception were the chief moving causes.
The principles pursued in the composition of the work are thus announced in the Preface:
“God is always like himself; whatever are his moral attributes now and his consequent judgment of human conduct, such were they at all times. Nor ought we to question that the relations between the Divine and the human mind are still substantially the same as ever, until we find this obvious presumption utterly to fail in accounting for the facts presented to our examination."-P. iv.
This presumption, containing the essence of extreme rationalism, and being the same as that on which the Leben Jesu is constructed, is here merely thrown out, and, without discussion or justification, is rigorously applied throughout the volume. Now we are not about to investigate its validity; but we do think that the author should have made an attempt to establish the fundamental principle of his book, especially when he knew that in this country the “presumption" would not find acceptance as a matter of course. This neglect of his foundations, however, pervades the entire work. Thus the antecedents of “the Hebrew monarchy" are passed over with short or incidental notices, and some, not by any means the least important, with none. Yet how can “ the Hebrew monarchy" be justly treated of, if the origines of the nation are overlooked, and the literature, which is said to have preceded the regal period, is considered only in the course of the narrative, and that more in a didactic, not to say dogmatic, than an inquiring spirit? In this very important particular, as well as in others, our present historian might have borrowed valuable hints from Ewald's Geschichte Volkes Israel.
In the course of his narrative, however, the author, conscious that its tenor is very different from the ordinary view, enters constantly into a justification of the opinions advanced. Much as this plan interrupts the flow of the discourse, and tends to convert the volume into a series of critical notices, it nevertheless corresponds with the general tone of the work, and, to the theological reader, enhances its value. Yet would that value have been greater had the prevailing temper been less partial, the evidence more severely scrutinized, and the statements rigorously revised. If we investigate one or two of the author's positions, the pertinence of these observations may be more apparent.
Even at a late period of Hebrew history, the writer maintains that there prevailed a patronized, if not in some sense legal, worship of idols in conjunction with the worship of Jehovah.
“ But we must not confound the worshiping before symbols, at least in this stage (in the days of Samuel] of the Hebrew mind, with idolatry in the offensive sense. Just as it has been for ages customary in Christendom to reverence a crucifix or a picture with adorations alleged not to be idolatrous, so did the Hebrews worship Jehovah himself by help of images in human form, called Teraphim; in adoring which they fondly believed themselves irreproachable. The seers themselves appear to have sanctioned this : indeed, even at a later time, a startling passage in the only extant prophet of northern Israel mentions images and teraphim as part (it would seem) of the desirable apparatus of a religious state. (Hosea iii. 4, 5.) Fuller experience at length, or clearer insight, shewed to the leading religious authorities in Judah that idols (that is, sensible images or symbols
of the Divinity) must be totally forbidden, if idolatry is (was ?) to be extirpated. But the zeal of the earlier prophets did not attack statues or emblems, as such: they were satisfied with denouncing all honour paid to a foreign god, and with securing that, under whatever outward rites, Jehovah alone should be the professed and felt object of worship."-P. 28.
These startling statements have for their basis scarcely any thing else than the writer's arbitrary conception of Hebrew history. As if to shew how little Scripture was necessary in his narrative, he refers to only one passage (Hos. iii. 4, 5), the meaning of which he misrepresents, and one fact (the worship of teraphim), with the exact significance of which he appears to be unacquainted. If we briefly inquire of the Bible what was the nature of that worship, and what its relation to monotheism, we shall also be led to assign the correct import to the text.
Teraphim are first mentioned in Gen. xxxi. 19, where we find that Rachel, having left her Mesopotamian home, had "stolen the images that were her father's;" which images, or teraphim, Laban, her father, afterwards designates as “my gods.” These gods Rachel had “put into the camel's furniture and sat upon them” (comp. 1 Sam. xix. 13, 34); and when Laban sought, he could not find them. Hence it is probable that they were small and much-valued images, like the Roman household gods, worshiped in connection with the idolatry of Mesopotamia (comp. Ezek. xxi. 21), out of the errors and evils of which Abraham had been called of God, but which were thus found as a source of corruption in contact with the progenitors of Israel. That the “ abominations” remained may be learned from the fact, that in Judges xvii. 5, Micah is found in possession of teraphim, along with “ a house of gods.” The mention of an “ ephod” as a part of his idolatrous establishment, and especially his consecration of a Levite to be his priest, may seem to shew that he held his idolatry in union with Mosaic observances. Yet the emphatic record made of the fact evinces its singularity, and serves to prove that the bulk of the people were not liable to similar imputations. The account makes it clear that the teraphim were different from the ordinary “graven images” (17, 18).