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the same unity in the subject of each particular hymn which is required in a sermon." The deficiency of Belknap's Collec tion in variety of subjects, may partly be gathered from the fact, that although it contains near 600 psalms and hymns, an addition of twenty-eight hymns has been thought necessary. I believe its deficiency in this respect has been of late much lamented by those who have been obliged to select from it. The want of unity, also, in the subjects, has been matter of complaint ; but we are not to look for unity of the kind required in that part of the work which consists of a version of the psalms. It is difficult to conceive why a version of all the psalms has been thought necessary in collections of devotional poetry for christian worship; but the defect of unity here is to be charged to the system which was adopted. I have not examined the hymns particularly with this view, for the limits of this notice would not admit of any proper elucidation of the subject. 5. We come now to the last

of the “ requisites' by which I proposed to test the merits of Belknap's collection ; (that which stands last and makes the most important figure in the communication I have alluded to, 1 do not profess to understand ;) namely, “simplicity of 'style,” and “ poetical virtue and grace. If these be “essential properties," then even on this ground there might be great propriety in introducing one “decidedly better.", I shall cite but a few examples from many that may be found, of passages which are deficient in these requisites.

“God counts the sorrows of his saints,

Their cries affect his ears ;
Thou hast a book for their complaints,

A bottle for their tears. '--Psalm 56. The allusion in the last line is very little understood, and when this is known, it has nothing to recommend it to a place in the devotional poetry of the present age.

In the 50th psalm, the christian, in imitation of David cursing his enemies, imprecates destruction on tyrants in such language as the following:

6 Break thou, their teeth, Almighty God!
The teeth of lions drench'd in blood;

And crush those serpents in the dust :" The blessings of religion are often put in comparison with the pleasures of the table. In psalm 63 this image of a feast is introduced to exalt our ideas of the rich grace of God, and the joy of dwelling in his presenee.

“Not all the blessings of a feast

Can please my soul so well."

In hymn 84 it is used metaphorically for the pleasures of religious worship

“ Here in thy house we feast

On dainties all divine,
And wbile such food we taste,

With joy our faces shine." In hymn 126 we have an instance of a more violent metaphor.

* Our sios, alas ! our cruel sins

His [Christ's] chief tormentors were ;
Each of our crimes became a nail,

And unbelief, the spear.' Instances of great familiarity of expression are not very rare, and nothing can be more improper in devotional poetry. The following is almost ludicrous.

- God frees the souls condemn’d to death ;

And when bis saints complain,
It can't be said they spent their breath,

Or shed their tears in vain,"
This, however, is rather better than Watts :

It shan't be said that praying breath,

Was ever spent in vain.?' The christian “pleading with submission” at the throne of grace might find a simile, one would think, more expressive of his feelings than the following, which would be apt to remind one of domestic scenes very little allied to christian submission.*

“ As servants watch their master's hand,

And dread the stern rebuke;
Or maids before their mistress stand,

And wait the peaceful look,

So for our sins we justly feel, &c.” .: I shall mention but one instance more of bad taste, which occuss in the beautiful hymn of Doddridge, beginning with, golden lamps of heaven, farewell." The last line of the 3d verse, “Where I shall reign with God,” is tamely altered by

66 Ye

[lp regard to this instance, and some of the others mentioned by our correspondent, there will probably be, with some, a different opinion, on the ground that the images are transferred from the Bible, and therefore cannot be unsuitable to religious purposes. Bnt this objection can have no weight when it is remembered, thai that may be very proper and affecting, when it conforms to the customs and taste of a people, which may become very otherwise when it opposes them. The manners and taste of the present age are exceedingly different from those of the Jews in the age of David or of Christ. Ep.]

Belknap to “Where I shall see my God.” The expression of Doddridge is equally scriptural, and no one can fail to see how much the verse is flatiened by the alteration.

I would now ask, whether this be such a collection as we are willing to rest satisfied with, if one “decidedly better" is to be had, merely because the best which can be formed by any probable combination of piety, genius and taste, is to come ? Shall we continue to teach the doctrines of Calvin by our hymn. books, and denounce them in our sermons ? Shall we continue to offend our brother, who cannot conscientiously join in them, by offering addresses to Christ, while the language of the same book is, “worship to God alone we give." It has been thought that Dr. Watts? Hymns have done more to propagate and establish the errors of calvinism, than all the creeds and confessions of faith that were ever written ; and Dr. Belknap's Collection cannot be altogether exempted from the same condemnation.

It is true that part of the evils resulting from the use of such a work, may be, and are, avoided by the judgment which is exercised by many of our clergy in the choice of hymns. But if all would take this trouble, can we expect it will be read in families and by children with equal discrimination ? And yet how important are the first impressions on religious subjects, and from what are they so commonly derived as from the hymn-book, which forms part of every domestic library? Is not this conside. ration alone sufficient to induce the unitarian to choose, at least for his family, that collection which is “decidedly best ?”

I cannot but look upon this matter as one of the greatest importance to the interests of pure christianity, to the interests of piety and virtue; and I shall be happy to have contributed in any degree to the proper understanding of it, through your very valuable journal.

Your's, &c.

P.J.

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MISCELLANEOUS COLLECTIONS.

FULLER-THE GOOD SEA-CAPTAIN.

His military part is concurrent with that of the souldier already described. He differs onely in soine sea-properties, which we will now set down. Conceive bim now in a man of warre, with his letters of mart, well armed, victuall'd and appointed, and see how he acquits himself. The

ve more power he hath, the more carefull he is not to abuse it. Indeed a sea captain is a king in the iland of a ship, supreme judge, above appeal, in causes civill and criminall, and is seldome brought to an account in courts of justice on land, for injuries done to his own men at sea.

He is carefull in observing of the Lord's day. He hath a watch in his heart, though no bells in a steeple to proclaim that day by ringing to prayers. Sir Francis Drake, in three years sailing about the world, lost one whole day, which was scarce considerable in so long a time. 'Tis to be feared some captains at sea, lose a day every week, one in seven, neglecting the sabbath.

He is as pious and thankfull when a tempest is past, as devout when 'tis present. Not clamourous to receive mercies, and tonguetied to return thanks. Many mariners are calm in a storm, and storm in a calm, blustering with oathes. In a tempest it comes to their turn to be religious, whose piety is but a fit of the wind, and when that's allayed, their devotion is ended.

Escaping many dangers makes him not presumptuous to runne into them. Not like those seamen, who as if their hearts were made of those rocks they have often sailed by, are so alwayes in death, they never think of it. These in their navigations observe, that it is farre hotter under the tropicks in the coming to the line, than under the line itself; and in like manner, they conceive that the fear and fancy in preparing for death is more terrible then death itself, which makes them by degrees despe. rately to contemne it.

His voyages are not onely for profit, but some for honour and knowledge. He counts it a disgrace, seeing all mankind is one familie, sundrey countreys but severall rooms, that we who dwell in the parlour (so he counts Europe) should not know the out lodgings of the same house, and the world be scarce acquainted with itself, before it be dissolved from itself at the day of judgement.

He daily sees and duly considers God's wonders in the deep. Tell me, ye naturalists, who sounded the first march and retreat to the tide, Hither shalt thou come, and no further." Why doth not the water recover his right over the earth, being higher in nature ? Whence came the salt? and who first boyled it, which made so much brine? When the winds are not onely wild in a storm, but even stark mad in a herricano, who is it that restores them again to their wits, and brings them asleep in a calm ? Who made the mighty whales, who swim in a sea of water, and have a sea of oyl swimming in them? Who first taught the water to imitate the creatures on land ? so that the sea is the stable of horse-fishes, the stall of kine-fishes, the stye of bogfishes, the kennell of dog-fishes, and in all things, the sea, the ape of the land. Whence grows the ambergreece in the sea ? which is not so hard to find where it is, as to know what it is. Was not God the first shipwright? and all vessels on the water descended from the loyns (or ribs rather) of Noah's ark? Or else who durst be so bold, with a few crooked boards nailed together, a stick standing upright, and a rag tied to it, to adventure into the ocean? What loadstone first touched the loadstone ? or, how first fell it in love with the North, rather affecting that cold climate, then the pleasant East, or fruitful South, or West? How comes that stone to know more then men, and find the way

to the land in a mist? In most of these, men take sanctuary at occulta qualitas, and complain that the room is dark; when their eyes are blind. Indeed they are God's wonders; and that seaman the greatest wonder of all for his blockishnesse, who seeing them daily, neither takes notice of them, admires at them, nor is thankfull for them.

FULLER-RECREATIONS.

RECREATIONS is a second creation, when wearinesse bad almost annihilated one's spirits. It is the breathing of the soul, which otherwise would be stifled with continual businesse.--We may trespasse in them, if using such as are not forbidden by the lawyer, as against the statutes ; physician, as against health ; divine, as against conscience.

Spoil not the morning (the quintessence of the day) in recreations. For sleep itself is a recreation ; adde not therefore sauce to sauce; and he cannot have properly any title to be refreshed, who was not first faint; pastiine, like wine, is poyson in the morning.-It is then good husbandry to sow the head, which hath lain fallow all night, with some serious work. Chiefly in.

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