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its whole length, the parts also sound in such sections or divisions as have a certain proportion to the total sound. We find by calculation and experiment, that these measures are harmonious in the greater of them, but that in the lesser they run into discords. Now herein is the wisdom and goodness of God manifest; that these sounds are so attempered to the sensibility of the human ear, that we feel all the pleasant without any part of the disagreeable effect. Were the ear more sensible, or these discords louder, all music would be spoiled,
There is another providential circumstance in the theory of sounds, that if a pipe is blown to give its proper note, a stronger blast will raise it to its octave (8 notes higher.) This is done by an instantaneous leap, which if it were done by procession from the one to the other, as bodies in motion rise or fall, not music, but a noise would be the consepuence, must disagreeable to the ear; to which nothing is more of, fensive than a sound rising or falling by the way of the whole intermediate space, and not by just interyals; for that is a principle of noises as they differ from notes: and a curious principle it is, if this were a proper occasion for pursuing it. We find music as a work of God in the constitution of the air; which is made capable of proportionate vibrations to delight us; and in such degree and manner as to save the ear from offence and interruption.
Music may be farther traced as the work of God in the nature of man : for God hath undoubtedly made man to sing as well as , to speak. The gift of speech we cannot but derive from the Creator; and the gift of singing is from the same Author. The faculty, by which the voice forms musical sounds, is as wonderful as the flexures of the organs of speech in the articu
lation of words. The human pipe is of a small diame. ter, and very short when compared with the pipes of an organ: yet it will distinctly give the same note with the pipe of an organ eight feet in length. The moveable operculum on the pipe of the human throat, which is imitated by the reed of the organ, has but a very small range : yet with the contraction and expansion of the throat, it will utter a scale of seventeen degrees, and divide every whole tone into an hundred parts; which is such a refinement on mechanism as exceeds all description.
But, more than this, man is an instrument of God in his whole frame. Besides the powers of the voice in forming, and of the ear in distinguishing musical sounds, there is a general sense, or sympathetic feeling, in the fibres and membranes of the body, which renders the whole frame susceptible of musical emotion. Every person strongly touched with music must be assured that its effect is not confined to the ear, but is felt all over the frame, and to the inmost affections of the heart; disposing us to joy and thankfulness on the one hand, or to penitential softness and devotion on the other. Whence it follows, that when words convey to the mind the same sense as the music does, and dispose us to the same affection, then the effect of music is greatest; which consideration at once gives to vocal the pre-minence above instrumental music.
It is a very observable experiment in music, that when one stringed instrument is struck, and another in tune with it is held upon the palm of the hand, it will be felt to tremble in all its solid parts : Thus doth the frame of man feel and answer to instruments of music, as one instrument answers to another.
Man is to be considered as a musical instrument of God's forming; he has music in his voice, in his ear, and in his whole frame. Hence the Psalmist, when he calls upon the lute and harp to awake, hath rightly added, I myself, an instrument which God hath formed for his own use, will awake right early : I will utter, and I will feel, such sounds as are worthy of a soul awakened to the praise and glory of God.
Now we have derived music from its proper origin, we are to consider the end which it is intended to answer. The mind of man is subject to certain emotions, which language alone is not sufficient to express; so it calls in the aid of bodily gestures and musical sounds, by which it attains to an higher kind of expression, more adequate to its inward feelings. In prayer, words alone are not adequate to the affections of the soul : so the eyes are lifted up to the everlasting hills, the knees are bent, and the body falls prostrate upon the dust, to denote the prostration of the mind. So naturally are the knees bended, and the hands folded together, when we are imploring the divine forgiveness, that the word supplication is taken from thence. In joy and thanksgiving, the tongue is not content with speaking; it must awale and utter a song; while the feet are also disposed to dance to the measures of music; as was the custom in sacred celebrities of old among the people of God, before the world and its vanities had engrossed to themselves all the expressions of mirth and festivity. They have now left nothing of that kind to religion; which must sit by in gloomy solemnity, and see the world, the flesh, and the devil, assume to themselves the sole power of distributing social happiness. When the holy prophet David danced before the ark of God, Michal scorned him in her heart, as if he was exposing himself, and robbing the vain world of its tributary right : for which she was barren to the day
of her death ;' as all they are likely to be in their hearts, who are either ashamed of the condescension, or can find nothing chearful and pleasant in the wor. ship of the God of Israel. However this may be, it must be admitted, that nothing adds so fully to the expression of joy, as the sound of instruments accompanying the voice. ..;
When the mind is intent upon some great object, then all the aids of speech are called for. They are, therefore, never so proper and necessary as in the praises of God, the best and the greatest. When you glorify the Lord, (saith the son of Sirach) exalt him as much as you can; and when ye exalt him, put forth all your strength, and be not weary, for you can never go far. enough. Ecclus xliii. 30. Here music appears in its proper character: but to call in the assistance of great sounds to magnify little or worthless things, is absurd and ridiculous. The powers of speech are more than they deserve : but certainly, laborious celebration; when dedicated to trifles, is to the reproach of human judgment. The winds of heaven, and the waves of the ocean, which can transport the loftiest ships, were not intended to float a cork, or to drive a feather. When the highest music is applied to the highest objects, then we act with reason and propriety, and bring honour to ourselves, while we are promoting the honour of our Maker. If a musician has any sense of great things, they must lead him to higher performances in his art than little things: they call for an higher sort of expression; and accordingly we find, in fact, that masters have exceeded themselves when their talents have been turned to divine subjects in the service of the church ; in whose archives are to be found the most sublime andexcellent of all musical compositions. What is the senseand subject of the most perfect piece of music in the world, but the humiliation of man, and the exaltation of God? Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but to thy name be the glory! In truth, there is nearly the same proportion between the music of the church and the music of secular assemblies, as between the venerable Gothic aile of the cathedral and the common chamber; and there is the like difference in their effects upon the mind; for its elevation and enlargement are better than its levity; and rapture is above mirth. • It may have been made a question by some people, more melancholy than wise, and soured with the principles of spurious reformation, whether instrumental music may be lawfully applied to divine worship. But it is no question at all.' The voices of men are to speak the praises of God: but not they alone. Every devout and well-informed mind hears the whole frame of nature, the world and all things that are therein, joining in one great instrumental chorus to the glory of the Creator. Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad-let the sea make a noise, and all that therein is; let the floods clap their hands-let the field be joyful, let the vallies sing let all the trees of the wood rejoice before the Lord. This is a grand sentiment, sufficient to overpower and confound all the sullen objections of enthusiastic melancholy *, and to awaken the stupidity of indevotion itself. Here the whole inanimate creation is inusical : and the thought hath been plainly borrowed by our best poct