Page images
PDF
EPUB

The Lyra Ecclesiastica ; consisting of Voluntaries, Introits,

Chants, Services, Anthems, Sanctuses, &c., by eminent living Composers. By the Rev. Joshua FAWCETT, M.A., Incumbent of Wibsey, Bradford, Yorkshire, and Domestic Chaplain

to the Right Hon. the Lord Dunsany. London: Rivingtons. It affords us considerable pleasure to have to notice this unique volume. A work which would embody and set before is the genius of our living composers could scarcely fail to be interesting; whilst the scrutiny of so competent a critic as the Rev. W. H. Havergal, M.A., to whom the editor submitted every contribution, led us to expect, at all events, a classical selection. Yet we were by no means prepared to meet with a work like the one before us, which, in appearance as well as in intrinsic excellence, is really a delightful volume; and which, whilst it does not exhibit the characteristics of the prevailing Church music of the day, is calculated to effect a higher object-to impart a character to it, or rather to recall us to the good old yet immortal style of Tarrant, Gibbons, and Boyce, in the spirit of whom almost every composition introduced seems to have been written. This work is one which reminds us of the almost forgotten fact, that the Church has a musical phraseology of her own-simple, yet sublime; massive, yet not gloomy; fervid, yet not frivolous; and it augurs well for ecclesiastical composition that so many different composers, comprising almost all living ones of any note, have manifested å just appreciation of that beauty in music which is, when

“ Unadorned, adorned the most," by furnishing contributions so classical, chaste, and elegantly simple, as are to be met with in the volume now before us. The Preface contains a well, written, though concise history of Church music, tracing its origin, progress, and decay, and will amply repay perusal.

The following remarks are as just as they are severe:

“With few exceptions, our parochial churches are conversant with a style of psalm and hymn tune which would have shocked our pious forefathers. Instead of the severe but masculine melody of their day, with a syllabic utterance and a fine rich harmony, all moving in stately, yet easy and un-drawling precision, our Church population are habituated to either a dronish, whining, or effeminate class of tunes, in which noise is mistaken for harmony, and secularity for devotion. In fact, most of the tunes are made up of snatches from songs, glees, ballads, marches, and even more indecorous productions, and are as incapable of good harmonization, as they are of inspiring either warm or elevated feelings.” (Preface, p. 15).

We have not space to particularize individual compositions

we may, however, just mention a “Te Deum" by Couchmana name which deserves to be better known; “Nunc Dimitatis," by the Rev. G. S. Faber, B.D., Prebendary of Salisbury; and an elaborate anthem from the Te Deum,” with the “ Trisagion," by the same, in which the editor has discovered an intricacy of construction unperceived by the composer; also a sweet anthem from one of the collects, by Elvey; several excellent anthems by the editor, and one by Kelloroe Pye. The sanctuses and responses are, we think, particularly beautiful; and the chants and psalm tunes are all in a good ecclesiastical style.

The book is beautifully got up (in colours and gold), and is dedicated to her Majesty Queen Adelaide, and can boast of a highly influential list of patrons and subscribers; the proceeds are to be applied to ecclesiastical purposes. We beg to congratulate the editor on having brought his labours to so successful an issue, in thus producing a work which, we think, does honour to the age in which it is published. We are glad to learn that it is already out of print, and that a secondedition is called for. Altogether, the “Lyra Ecclesiastica” is a work which we cordially recommend to all who wish to study Church music, as it has been, ought to be, and, we hope we may add, soon again will be.

Cambridge Prize Essays. The Christian System Vindicated

against the more Popular Forms of Modern Infidelity. By the Rev. DANIEL MOORE, M.A., Minister of Christ Chapel, St. John's Wood. Second Edition, with Additions. London:

Bohn. 1844. The volume before us is divided into three parts, presenting a connected refutation of the principal objections advanced by modern infidelity against Christianity. These three parts originally were three essays, which obtained the Norrisian and Hulsean prizes, at Cambridge, in the years 1837, 1838, and 1839, and which the learned and reverend author has been induced to publish in this connected form. The difference between the essays in their present shape, and when they obtained academic rewards, does not affect the substantial identity of the compositions. A good deal of historical matter is interwoven with the first essay, which originally appeared in the form of an appendix ; and in the second and third, many marginal quotations from the Greek and Latin fathers, as well as from classical authors, are omitted, properly enough we think, from a work designed for popular circulation. Mr. Moore has performed an acceptable service to the cause of Christian truth in the publication of his prize essays in their present cheap, concise, and intelligible form.

mon.

The Jasper Clouded and the Rainbow round the Throne. A Fare

well Sermon. By the Rev. R. A. WILLMOTT. Preached on

Trinity Sunday, June 2, 1844. London: Nickisson. There is a fanciful and poetic handling of this subject which is not so much to our taste as a dryer and deeper tone would be; we rather expected, in such a subject and on such a day, more of theology and less of its practical application. But Mr. Willmott, doubtless, knew his audience, and seems to think that even this discourse may be too elaborate, and half apologizes for it by referring to the effect which a cathedral service has upon those who may not enter into the meaning of all its services, or of its architecture and decorations; in the fretted roof, the illuminated windows, the dim religious light, they recognize the spell of a mysterious influence“ It is exactly so with that structure of spiritual skill entitled a ser

It may seem to be above the capacities of many who listen to it......an impression may, nevertheless, be produced upon their minds, of which the solemnizing grandeur of the cathedral is a lively illustration.” (p. 30).

And it is pleasing to gather, from the manner in which all the different classes of his hearers are addressed, that Mr. Willmott's labours of love have been appreciated by old and young, by high and low. We were particularly gratified in reading his address to the latter class

“Sweet is the thought to me, now gazing for the last time upon that central aisle, to recognize the familiar faces of those who, having seen the salvation of their Lord, may hope, through his grace, to depart

in peace...... With what sentiments of thankfulness I have looked down, Sabbath after Sabbath, upon those seats of my humbler friends, once so deserted, now so crowded, is known only to Him who, having called me, as I trust, to this office and ministry, has poured into my heart a desire to set forth his glory, and to set forward the salvation of his people.” (p. 32). Protestant Missions in Bengal. By J. J. Weitbrecht, Church

Missionary. London: Shaw. 1844. This volume contains the substance of a course of lectures on Indian Missions, delivered by the author in different parts of Germany and Switzerland, and afterwards translated by him, and delivered in London. It is the work of an apparently sincere and zealous man, but offers nothing beyond commonplace views of Indian superstitions and missionary labours, and savours somewhat too much of the platform for a Churchman's taste. It may, however, be usefully presented to readers who have not any information upon Hindoo mythology and manners, and the efforts which are making to overthrow a belief in the former, and to correct and purify the latter.

The Duties of the Christian Ministry ; with a View of the

Primitive and Apostolical Church, and the Danger of Departing from its Doctrine and Discipline. By the Rev. B. BAILEY, M.A., Senior Colonial Chaplain of the Island of

Ceylon. London: Painter. 1844. The basis of this volume is a sermon preached at Colombo, at an ordination held by the Lord Bishop of Madras; but the greater part of it consists of notes and appendix, containing very copious extracts, in support of the assertions made and principles maintained in the sermon.

These refer to apostolical succession; the principles of the Church of England ; the word “priest"; the foreign Episcopal Churches; the state of religion in Germany and Prussia ; calvinism; personal religion; conduct towards native ministers and inhabitants of Ceylon; theological studies; ancient literature in Iceland and the north of Europe, &c.

It hence appears that the chaplains in our distant colonies are not always unprovided with books, and that they often take a very wide range in their enquiries; for the extracts on all the above-named subjects are from the best writers, and to the point. And, moreover, the principles they are meant to inculcate are sound, and the spirit in which they are brought forward is charitable, which, in those whose lot is cast in these distant colonies, are qualities of the greatest importance; since the principles and the spirit must be formed and regulated before they leave home, for no great acquisition, and no wholesome corrective or check, can be reasonably looked for in those outlying posts—those comparative wildernesses and solitudeswhere enlightened intercourse must be, like angels visits, few and far between.

“ Consistent Churchmen (says Mr. Bailey) are charged with bigotry, intolerance, and a host of secular and unworthy passions and feelings.

Conscious rectitude of purpose can bear much more. We have counted the cost-we have searched our hearts. With the blessing of the grace of God, we will not abandon our post...... But let us humbly examine our own hearts, whether these things be so; and let us guard against the intrusion of such unhallowed feelings within the sanctuary. Humile Sapiamus." Life in Athens, in the Time of Pericles ; illustrative of Ancient

and Modern Democracy. From the German of Von Wessen

berg. London: Painter. 1844. A LIVELY and seasonable publication, tending to allay the fever of democracy, and keep the parties opposed in good humour with each other, instead of exasperating them needlessly.

Be it so.

The First Voyage of Rodolph the Voyager. By “G. D. L.”

London: Burns. 1844. THERE is much that is beautiful, and much that is excellent, in this little work, which is of the allegorical class; but it is not equal to many works of the same kind published by Mr. Burns : we would especially indicate the admirable allegories of Archdeacon Wilberforce. As “ Rodolph's Voyages" are to be continued, we would suggest that the real and the figurative should be kept more distinct. The part before us would produce confusion and bewilderment in a young mind, amidst which the efficacy of the valuable lesson inculcated would certainly be lessened, and probably be lost. But the lesson is so good, that we wish, in the succeeding part, it may be more clearly unfolded.

Fifty Pictorial Illustrations of the Life of our Lord. From the Old Masters, as Pictures defining Lessons for Classes ; accompanied by a General Outline of the Gospel History.

By R. MIMPRISS. London: Varty. 1844. This is a very superior work, for the purpose of imparting and impressing the Gospel history on the minds of the young. The 6 General Outline" may be profitably perused by many an adult; for it brings the holy life of our Lord before the eve of a reader in so compact a form, that the harmony of the Gospels is perceptible by those who may not be able to carry in their memory points of correspondence scattered over a wide surface.

1. Six Thousand Years Ago; or, the Works of Creation. Illus

trated by Mrs. Best. Bath: Binns and Goodwin. 1844. 2. Naboth the Jezreelite, and other Poems. By ANNE FLINDERS.

Bath : Binns and Goodwin. 1844. These productions, from the pens of two ladies, are exceedingly well worthy of patronage. The elegant volume for which we are indebted to Mrs. Best tells usefully and eloquently of the divine work of the six days, its purpose and its consequences. The authoress has accomplished her task with great ability, and has produced a book eminently adapted to the young. We may add, that the illustrations are in very good taste.

Miss Flinders' smaller work displays considerable feeling, and a creditable capacity for writing in measured lines. Indeed, the true inspiration of song is not unfrequently caught; and some of the minor poems show this in an unusual degree.

London: W. E. Painter, Church and State Gazette Office, 342, Strand.

« PreviousContinue »