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The Grandeur of Praise.
“And when they had sung a hymn they went into the Mount of Olives.”
USIC in the Christian Church dates from Passion Week, when the Saviour himself sung a hymn with his disciples the night preceding his crucifixion.
There is no doubt that they sung one of the Psalms of David, as they had been accustomed to do in the synagogue; and perchance it was one of those very ones relating to Him who was now about to be offered up in fulfillment of prophecy. No other words than the plain Psalms were introduced into the church until after the lapse of several centuries. With them were celebrated the victories of Constantine, and all other grand occasions. Sacred song was a source of delight and solace to the early Christians. Martyrs have sung amid the flames, and, in the height of their most exquisite agonies, the chords of their spirits have vibrated to the seraphic anthems of Paradise.
What a graphic expression is that of St. Ambrose :
The noble army of martyrs praise Thee !"
for who so worthy to pour forth songs of adoration and triumph as they “who had come through great tribulation !” What dread of their persecutors could repress the glowing strains of the devoted Vaudois, when, amid hunger, cold, and desolation, they meet to worship the living Jehovah, although the myrmidons of Rome, like hungry wolves, were on their track, even to their mountain fastnesses? Or the Scottish Covenanters, whose hymns ofttimes betrayed to the enemy their hidingplaces? Their music was with them a religious duty, and it ceased but with their lives. Ceased ? No; it only paused on earth to be resumed in lof-· tier, sweeter strains above. Many persons, in the hour of death, when the power of language had long failed, have given vent to their ecstasy in exultant melodies, as if in echo to the “seraph's sweet song.” One young lady, whose voice during
" several hours preceding dissolution, had been entirely hushed, just as her eyes were closing forever on all below, sung distinctly these touching lines:
“There I shall bathe my weary soul
In seas of heavenly rest,
What a beautiful valedictory to earth!
“It is well becoming that melody be poured forth when a redeemed spirit is pluming its wings, ready to depart.” There is an affecting circumstance related of a lovely young girl, sister-in-law of the celebrated Sheridan, who was called hence in early youth just before the time appointed for her debut as a public singer. A short time prior to her departure, she raised herself up in the bed, and with momentary and surprising animation sung a part of the aria, “I KNOW THAT MY REDEEMER LIVETH." Exhausted by the effort, she sunk into the arms of her attendant, and shortly afterwards breathed her last.
A. B. GARRETT.
% Thought of the Departed.
“We all will meet again.”
ITH the blessed hope of everlasting life,
sternest strife, And drain the deepest dregs of sorrow's cup ? In this transporting trust, bright through the mist
I see the vista ope of heaven's supernal years.
The garden of my soul, from its fair banks,
bright, Where love and beauty graced the stately ranks, And wooed the heart to dalliance of de
light;From this charmed haunt of peace, like meteor
stars away, I've seen each glory fall, and droop into decay.
“We all will meet again !”—the parting words Traced by thy faltering hand; while thy calm
smile Gave token none of death, nor that the chords Thrilling thy heart's strings—heart so free of
guileWere by dark Azrael struck. This precious
legacy, In my sad heart, beloved, treasured for aye shall be.
“We all will meet again!”—how could we deem
Midway thy feet were then in Jordan's flood ? E’en then;—though in thy bearing naught did
To note the sudden call to meet thy God. This thy adieu to time—this prophecy of love, As earnest I embrace of joys assured above.
To meet again! Oh, hope serene and high, Quickening the soul to rapture ! 'neath that
dome Lit by the Godhead's glory; where no sigh
E’er grieves the echo, dearest, be our home! And ours to meet and mingle with the ransomed
throng, Who, robed in light, their King extol in swelling