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Christianized version of them; and David said not, “ Lord, what wretched world is this,” but, “Let the floods clap their hands, a the hills be joyful together, before the Lord.” And that is as ti now as it was then ; so, instead of despairing, and doubting Go love when we think of our brothers who do not love Him, let us, t be joyful in God, who shall “judge the nations righteously, and 1 people with His truth.”
The best joy is the joy that comes after sorrow, and we m learn wisdom with many tears. But tears are not the end. “Bles are they that weep now, for they shall laugh.” “Weeping m endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning "—that morni for which all the ages groan.
One means for promoting a wholesome tone of religious feeli is, to reform our amusements, to make them simpler, and heart and more natural, more child-like—not more childish. We need more of the child's heart; we want to “be converted, and come as little children.”
I think that the mental effect of bodily exercise is too mu overlooked. Bodily exercise taken for the sake of amusement ! a wonderful effect on the mind; it does away with the ice of ce mony, and puts everyone in the best of tempers; and I believe it d more than almost any other thing to abate the wretched and 1 healthy self-consciousness always found in a highly intellectual a refined age.
And (to come to the point at last) of all active indoor amu ments, the easiest of preparation, the least annoying to those w may not wish to join, the most natural, and incomparably the m graceful, is dancing.
There is a strong objection to dancing among religious peop and especially among religious Dissenters, but the prejudice is enough to be re-considered. · We are too ready, after taking, p haps, some pains to form an opinion, to settle comfortably do therein, and forget that as we grow older we ought to grow wis and that, with our older eyes, we may see some things other th formerly. A man whose opinions have undergone no modificati in twenty years can hardly have been living to purpose at all. T ought sometimes to look over our mental wardrobes, and see whet! we have outgrown any of these garments which once fitted us. · The objections of religious people to dancing are the gene one, that dancing is a worldly amusement; that is, that “world people” dance; and that it promotes trifling; and the particul one, that waltzes, and polkas, and “round dances” generally, a often very unseemly, and ought to offend the good taste, at lea of everyone.
1. Are we sure that everything worldly people do is wrong? an is it not the old Judaizing spirit, which would make a difference
non-essentials between the Church and the world ? That law of commandments contained in ordinances is done away. Let us be more righteous, not less cheerful, than worldly people. We are Christians and Protestants; let us not return to the Heathenish doctrine (which is too much held also in the very Church' we are " Protestants" against), that God is pleased to see His creatures torment themselves. He desires the sacrifice of our sins, not of our lawful enjoyments. Good weights and measures, and truth and honesty in business and pleasure, are better than solomn faces and dull religious conventionalisms.
And whereas it is said that dancing promotes levity, I think it greatly hinders foolish talk, and a trifler will trifle anywhere.
Is it less religious to move peacefully in a dance, than to make Bedlam of peaceful drawing-rooms in blind man's buff? Is dancing worse than silly songs—neither common sense nor poetry-set to polish, tuneless tunes; and the empty flourishes and “ brilliant" Donžense, which a request for music generally calls forth? Is there more room for vanity in good dancing than in bad music and sing. ing! And, above all, is dancing worse than scandal, and that diluted folly, “small-talk,” which religious people so plentifully infulge in ? We may be wise; we are certainly very dull when we bare" company," and the “company” is generally very dull too.
2. The second objection is against an abuse of dancing rather han against the thing itself. Because some ways of dancing are bjectionable, we will not dance at all. But if we reject things holly because they are liable to abuse, where are we to stop ? bis is the very same principle which leads 'men and women to ave their proper place where God put them, because it is very ard to be good in a wicked world, and to go into monasteries and uoneries, wherein they expect to find it easier. It is the glory of hristianity not to destroy, but to reform; not to pull down, but to bild up. It is much nobler to make an old thing better than to Itent some new thing. But as it is very hard to use the world as ot abusing it, cowardly souls and lovers of ease extol abstinence bove moderation, and gain thereby credit more than others, being ten by men to fast. It is better to try to win back the world from he devil than to leave it to him, and take care of our own souls. erbaps we were not born into this world only to save our own puls, and perhaps peace is neither the best nor the happiest thing a world where there is such a battle to be fought for God and man. We may be sure of one thing—that everything unnatural is trong. No one can deny who believes in a Righteous Creator of kan, that the evil nature, miscalled human, which we feel and see wery day, is not that wherein we were created, but something se. Whatever is really natural must be good in itself; that is, it nust be intended by God, who made Nature. The best things, When abused, are the very worst. Religion is the first of good.
have theire very same are liablet at all. But ways of dang rather
things; but more and more atrocious crimes have been done in t] name of God than for any other cause whatever.
Any one who will watch for five minutes by one of those pe formers on hand-organs, who make melody in London streets, m see for himself whether dancing be natural or not. What do t children who dance round the organ-man know about the five po tions? And if people would not look piously shocked when th ask little girls whether they dance; and if they danced themsely as a matter of course (as, at present, we criticise our neighbou and begin to dissect the sermons on Sunday before we are well of the church door), our dancing would be far more unselfconscio and free from vanity and display than most of our singing a music, and other amusements, are pow, considering here music a mere amusement.
3. The next objection is not confined to religious peop Many parents, who "make po profession,” will not allow th daughters to waltz, and many young ladies feel the bad taste of 1 usual way of dancing “round dances." There are many more teresting dances than waltzes and polkas, to which the objecti does not apply; and even these, polkas at least, may be reforme
We shall never make religion beautiful in the world's eye formality, or by standing aloof from those with whom we canı fully sympathize. We are not at all too good to live in this worl some of us are not so much better as we imagine than some w profess less; and the better we are, that is, the more we love t God and Father of us all, the more we shall love man, and the l we shall think ourselves better than others.
We shall never get any good by trying to be better than hum nature. So the world was lost; and the same adversary w tempted Eve in Eden tempts every one of us with some form of t same lying promise, “Ye shall be as gods." That lie is at t root of asceticism, and all fanatical gloom and harshness. God wou have us buman. The Son of God was made man for us, and lives us as man for ever; and we best follow Him by being human : al if we will “be as gods," let us believe that we shall be then me Godlike, being most like men.” I am, Sir, your constant reader,
SALTEMUS. [There seems to be considerable difficulty in answering this corresponde off-hand. No doubt there is a great deal of superstition among those who t to be “good people." We are the victims of previous ages of con tradictio and extravagances. Because folks have been this, therefore the reformi party have been that- and both have been wrong. The English are all t glocmy, partly through the climate, partly through odd temper, and part through unwbolesome living. They want a natural gaiety to harmonize wi the flowers and bright skies of spring and summer. The religious publ carry the English peculiarity to excess; their worship, their work, and the play are all too triste. There is also this bad quality in the English-th
they do break up this solemn reserve and become gay, they generally little mad. There is a tendency to extravagance in all expression of bent, in order to make up for the previous compression and rigour. occurs in amusements, among none more than in religious families. give the young people an inch and they take an ell. This, however, is
an argument not against amusements, but against the previous unsome constraint and sadness, which tempts to frequent excess. to dancing, there is no doubt that the Bible is full of it; and Nature teaches humanity both ihusic and dancing. Even a doctor of Divinity the effect of well-marked music. But dancing is of two sorts--the g of good young people, and the dancing of bad--and these are very nt things, just like the eating and drinking of the righteous, and of the 1; which difler so much as to create two wholly diverse manifestations same function. The dancing which respects God, the everpresent giver and gladness—which respects duty and labour, so as to avoid late which turn night into day, and consequently day into night—which te womanly dignity and maidenly delicacy-both in the manner in ladies join hands with gentlemen, as usedto be done twenty years ago, lof gentlemen placing their arms around the waists of young ladies, generally done in all companies now—which avoids waltzing, - and is to all expensive and immodest fashions in dress, that remind you of the krauties of the detestable court of Charles II ;-this kind of dancing is ifferent from that which sets at defiance every one of these conditions quirements. And it is, we lament to say, the extreme rarity of the conditions of dancing which renders it almost impossible for religious sto send a girl into company where dancing is going forward with quite table feelings; and therefore almost impossible to advocate dancing t first accomplishing a thorough social revolution. Wbile dancing and & parties are what they are, we wish all stability to the old prejudices
them. But if people can become cheerful enough to wish to dance, 0 manage it “decently and in order," we wish all possible success to dancing, which is one of the prettiest, one of the healthiest, and one of ist innocent of human amusements, especially when in the open air. 8 elsewhere, the first requisite for getting things rightly done, is to get r righteous people to do them. So long as the people are not innocent, lay will be wicked. But by all means let the good combine and resist, orm, and enjoy. Religion does not consist in doing nothing, but in awful things in a lawful way. Until they can be done in a lawful way, doubted!y best not to do them at all. There are things which are which are nevertheless in some circumstances inexpedient. Let us hear thers of our readers may bave to say on this matter. We should be appy to inaugurate a regular battle on dancing, and have this matter ind satisfactorily fought out. It might assist many families out of their ties.]
SHORT NOTICES OF BOOKS.
Work of a London Pastor. By
out of print. They form a volume which may be added to the list of school prizes with great advantage. We sometimes hope that our frequent iteration of this recommendation in a book may be the means of introducing
a little more variety into some old catalogues. A minister in the position of Mr. Martin learns many things besides the art of explaining the Bible, and he gives us in this volume the fruit of much reading, observation, and experience. There is something too, in his style which com mands the attention of all the children of men.” The Essay on Gambling is the only thing in the language that treats fully and decisively upon that vice, and no boy or young man can read it without receiving a fresh inspiration and lesson on the glory of honest industry. Seed for Spring-time; or, Letters to my Little Ones, Concerning their Father in Heaven. By W. LANDELS. Nisbet & Co. 1863.
This is a good book for intelligent children, and is the opening of a new, unexpected, and useful vein in the author's mind. We have heard several of the small folks in different families speak very warmly of its merits, and this is of more importance than the favourable judgment of adults. It is written throughout in the Saxon speech. We have looked into page after page without finding a useless Latin word ; and this is no small achievement and recommendation. Pattie Durant. By the Author of “Our Baby.” Virtue & Co.
The heroine of this tale was the niece of one of the ejected ministers of 1662. - Her journal, written in the quaint style of the period, somewhat modernized, records the sufferings and fidelity of those heroic men, and, together with the connecting chapters, furnishes what we believe to be a faithful and graphic picture of the times. The book is distinguished by that simplicity and pathos which so chamed the reader in the tale entitled “Our Baby," which appeared in our pages sometime ago, and has, in addition, a rich mellow flavour which is all its own--betokening an advance in the writer which we are pleased to notice, and adding greatly to the pleasure of the reader. Though rather
late in its appearance for the Bicie tenary, it has, no doubt, been su gested by the time, and is one of t best memorials which it has yet pi duced. Free from the spirit of co troversy, and depicting the heroism the sufferers rather than the cruel of their persecutors, it contains scarce anything to rouse the prejudice of t most bigotted Churchman; yet it c hardly fail to enlist the sympath and convictions of the candid read on what we believe to be the side truth and righteousnsss; and, best all, its delineations of Christian ex rience are such as are fitted to he inquirers and bring waverers to de sion, nor can we conceive of the mu advanced Christian being otherw than benefited by its perusal. The Pentateuch and Bishop Coler
The Syrian Leper. Both by Rev. CHARLES BULLOCK, of W cester. Wertheim & Co. 1862. Mr. Bullock displays many of characteristics of a most judicio commentator. He has that first quisite of all successful dealing w the Bible, either as exposition or co troversy, spirit in sympathy with a habit of mind which enables him recognize the divine element and bow reverently before the Holy 0 revealing Himself among men. tractate on Bishop Colenso well serves to be added to the list of the which are worth preserving and bir ing up as replies to the arithmeti doctor. Its strongest points are passages in which he treats of false translation of Numbers in version, of which we made use our paper on Ancient Notation, a those in which he deals with the al gations of Christ's ignorance of cri cism.
The Syrian Leper is an edyfy little volume on the History Naaman, well fitted, for the use young domestic servants, and of gre lords, in consequence of Mr. Bulloc wise treatment of the narrative oft relations between the "little capti maid," and the distinguished Com Officer, whose cure she was the mea of obtaining from the Prophet Elish