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gation, with a musical teacher, or a good amateur at their head, form themselves into a sacred music society, or a harmonic club, and practise together two hours a week; or if either of them have any acquaintance with music, let them practise without a teacher--(let one of them be appointed to make the time, however,) and they would, in a few months, sing better than a large majority of the choirs. They would be able to lead the congregation. Then let as many of the adults of the congregation follow them as can be induced to do so; in a short time the whole congregation would join; they would instruct their children in singing, and by this simple, easy process, the whole difficulty would be remedied. Church music would be restored to its original importance as an essential part of the worship; the solemn mockery of the present absurd system would be at an end; and music itself would become a part of the national education.
Yet every one looks at this subject with apathy. It is decried as of little importance,-"so there is some singing done," -how it is conducted. The great object of devotional music is entirely forgotten. By habit we are accustomed to the present inefficient and cold ceremony of choir music-we think it very troublesome to attempt to reform it--we get along very well as we are--our fathers did so before us, let our children do so after us.
These objections are not openly avowed, but they are secretly felt-nay, other parts of worship are, we fear, in the same predicament-Prayer, the reading of the Scriptures, and the sermon, are all, with too many regular attendants, a matter of mere form. But we do not speak of them-we only repeat what every true Christian must acknowledge, that church music, as an essential part of worship, is becoming, through this very feeling of general apathy, almost extinct; while even that poor substitute for it, choir music, instead of pleasing, docs but offend the ear. We have seen how easy it would be to restore this branch of Divine Service to its real use; how sacred is the duty of doing so; how delightful such a reform would be in its effects upon worship, and indirectly upon national character; yet we fear that unless the clergy and the religious laity make it an especial object of direct and active labor, the little we can urge upon the subject will be of small avail.
ON THE FIRST VIEW OF THE FALLS OF NIAGARA.
Niagara! with how intense delight
Thy form, from childhood longed for, fills my soul!
How smoothly calm they flow down the worn rocks!
Thy ceaseless motion and thy changeless form!
Eternally self-stayed, eternally
Creative,-One immoveable,-and yet
And yet, Niagara! I praise not thee,
But Him, whose Name comes sounding from thy lips,
As if the whole Creation spake aloud!—
I praise thee not,-nor bend the knee before
Thy glittering brow and arm of crushing strength.
I lift to God my thanks that on His shrine,
I here can lay an unstained sacrifice;
This outward greatness, pressing through the sense,
Come, then, to gaze upon Niagara;
Its risen drops shine in the morning's beam;
To which, by every work sublimely shown,
The life of Philip Melancthon, comprising an account of the most important transactions of the Reformation.-By F. A. Cox, D. D. L. L. D. of London. 1st American from 2d London edition, Boston, Gould, Kendall and Lincoln. 1835. 12mo. pp. 316.
Who, that has read of the Reformation, has forgotten, or forgotten to love, the gentle and kindly Philip;-the St. John of that great work? Or who that has matched him with his master and fellow-worker Luther, has failed to see in the strength and weakness of each acting for himself, and of both acting to one end, an instance of that perfect and wondrous moral adaptation of men as means, which was so clearly shown in the existence of our Washington, and might, and will one day, be traced out through the whole course of history. The fiery energy of Martin, the calm, trembling, purely moral courage of Melancthon, the impulsive, hot-headed, fearless devotion of the former to his great enterprise, the doubting, sensitive, but equally undaunted devotion of the latter, present to us a system of checks and balances, which was fitted to effect the reformation, as clearly as the eye is fitted to see. And not only were these formed for each other, but also for the times; had they come before, or after the very time they did, they would have been, (as far as our weak vision can see) misplaced. The public soul of Europe, which in the time of Wickliffe and Huss had been torpid, now needed only a touch in order to be roused to resist the court of Rome; and as the mind of Luther went forward from point to point, first denying indulgences, and at length denouncing the Pontiff as anti-Christ,there were thousands that went with him;-among them was Melancthon.
Born in 1497, of very excellent parents, his character and intellect both received early and thorough education. At school he became known to one of the first scholars of th age, Capnio, and was by him encouraged and assisted; in La
Greek and composition he was early distinguished; and being never allowed, as he tells us, "to slur any thing over," he became thoroughly, and not superficially acquainted with all he studied. At the age of twelve he entered the university of Heidelberg, and such were his powers, and such his learning even then, that he was employed to write public harangues for the professors, and even to instruct other boys; he also at this time composed his "Greek rudiments," which were afterwards published. He next removed to the university of Tubingen, where he applied himself chiefly to mathematics, law, logic, medicine and divinity. At seventeen he became Doctor of Philosophy, gave private tuition, and public lectures. At this time Erasmus says of him-"What quickness of invention! What vastness of memory! What variety of reading! What modesty and gracefulness of behavior! and what a princely mind!" And it was of a truth, a princely mind; and princely in those very qualities in which that of Erasmus was barren and worthless, in truthfulness, charity, self-forgetfulness, moral courage. Already, though yet a good Catholic, was he taunted and pointed at because he dared read the Bible for himself; and already by that very act did he prove himself a reformer,—for self-dependence, and unbiassed examination of scripture formed the broad basis of the reformation.
At length when but twenty-one years of age, Melancthon was appointed Greek Professor in the Uinversity at Wittemburg, where Luther already was, so that they were brought into close contact; and so well known was he, and so popular a lecturer, that 2500 persons sometimes came to hear him, and Luther declared that "though but a mere boy, if you consider his age, he is our great man, and master, if you consider the varity of his knowledge." But that "variety of knoweldge" was not empty learning heaped up for display, or to gratify the mere love of acquisition, that avarice of mental wealth which mistakes means for ends;-"the perfume of divine ointments," he says, "far surpasses the aromatics of human literature, and under the guidance of God, the cultivation of the liberal arts, shall be made subservient to sacred objects." But while Melancthon felt the full force of this truth, and while he was in the great principle of private examination and judgment, a reformer, he had paid comparatively little attention to the particular points of dispute between Luther and his opponents; nor did he, until the celebrated discussion between Carlostadt and Luther on the one side, and Eckius on the other, which took place at Leipsic, occupying the time from June 27th, to July 15th, 1519.
The first question debated at this meeting is curious, inasmuch as the Protestant world is at the present time tending very strongly from the reformers, and toward the Catholic side: a fact which explains and enforces what we have before said, that the essence of the reformation was not in the doctrines adopted by the reformers, but in the great principle which rejected bare human authority, while it allowed and even required, private individual examination and judgment; and we also say again, that while there is so much done by clergymen and parents to prevent this, while the one denounces his follower, and the other casts off and curses his child, because honestly, and after examination, of another sect,--the reformation is incomplete and persecution still in existence. And should any answer, (what we have heard said from the pulpit in this city) that all who are anti-orthodox, are so because they are bad at heart, and so deserve no charity, we reply that this claim to infallibility degrades the claimant to the level of those that burn heretics, from whom he differs only as to the expediency of conversion by fire;-the question referred to was this. Has the human will any operation in the performance of good works, or is it merely passive to divine grace? The Catholic held that man's will and God's grace co-operated; the Reformers that man's will did nothing.
At this Leipsic disputation were also discussed the power of the Pope, and many other points of practical interest, to all of which the eye of Melancthon was strongly drawn; and a letter which he wrote describing the disputants having come to the hands of Eckius, he found himself assailed by that opponent of reform in a manner that involved him at once in controversy. But how wide his style and spirit from those of most controversialists! gentle, affectionate, humble and truly christian, this pre-eminently great man replied in a tract of five pages of modest argument, and unassuming piety, which sounds, amid the polemic brawlings of that day, as a strain from the sweet flute would among the cries and clatter of a pandemonium. Never, he says, has he "intentionally given offence to any one, deeming it both unchristian and inhuman to injure, or detract from anothers merit. If he had done injury, he wished it to be imputed to incaution or accident, and begged to be forgiven, conscious as he was of being devoid of all malignity, and forced, as he felt himself, into this unwelcome arena of contention."
In June 1520, the bull of excommunication issued against Luther; its effect upon that stern and bold humorist may be guessed by his language; "I equally despise the favor and fury o