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on the day you read this, seek in earnest for salvation. Remember what it is “ to walk humbly with thy God.” It is to go to him as a guilty, helpless sinner, having no good of your own to boast, humbly seeking for pardon, through Christ our blessed Lord and Saviour, and for sanctification or holiness through him.
Another beautiful specimen of ancient Hebrew poetry, is David's lamentation over Saul and Jonathan. It has been thus translated, with attention to the division of lines in the original.
O Beauty of Israel!
Tell it not in Gath :
Ye mountains of Gilboa,
From the blood of warriors,
Saul and Jonathan !
Ye daughters of Israel, weep over Saul!
How are the mighty fallen,
0, Jonathan, pierced on thine own mountains !
How have the mighty fallen!
Music was used in the worship of the Jews, and at their festivals. On occasions of rejoicing or thanks. giving, both music and dancing were customary. Thus Laban spoke of his desire to have sent Jacob away
with the sound of the tabor and the harp. The prophet Isaiah mentions that the harp, and the viol, the tabret, and the pipe, were si in their feasts,” Isa. v. 12. and, in the
para. ble of the prodigal son, Luke xv. 25. we find mention of music and dancing on a private occasion of joy. They were also used to celebrate victories over enemies, as by Jephthah's daughter, Jud. xi. 34. on David's victory over Goliath, 1 Sam. xviii. 6. and on other similar events. Music and dancing were also used on more solemn occa. sions, as after the deliverance of the Israelites and the destruction of Pharaoh's host, Exod. xv. 20, 21. on the removal of the ark by David, 2 Sam. vi. 14. and generally on such occasions ; see Psa. cxxix. 3, &c. But we must remember that music and dancing were also used for bad purposes. Thus the Israelites danced when they worshipped the golden calf, Exod. xxxii. 19. The Ama. lekites thus rejoiced after plundering Ziklag, 1 Sam. xxx. 16. Job refers to the rejoicing of the wicked in the same manner, Job xxi. 11, 12. and the dancing of the
daughter of Herodias, Matt. xiv, ended in the murder of John the Baptist. First, as to music, David played very well upon
the harp; and this was blessed by God so as to make it often the means of calming Saul, when the evil or wicked spirit troubled him, 1 Sam. xvi. 23. The prophets also called for music sometimes, when they were about to speak the words they were commanded, as Elisha, 2 Kings iii. 15. see also 1 Sam. x. 5. David had four thou. sand Levites who praised the Lord with instruments which he caused to be made expressly for that purpose, 1 Chron. xxiii. 5. These instruments were used in the services at the temple; see 2 Chron. v. 12. vii. 6.
The principal instruments of music among the Jews were harps, lyres, (a sort of small harp more like a vio. lin,) tambourines, mouthpipes, a sort of bagpipe, trum. pets, flutes, cymbals, triangles, musical bells, and others which cannot now be correctly ascertained. Some of these are represented at page 144.
Trumpets are often mentioned. Moses was command. ed to make two, which were used to call the people together in the wilderness, and to give signals for their marching, Lev. x. These are supposed to have been straight, with bell-mouths, and about two feet long. Two such trumpets are represented on the triumphal arch of Titus at Rome, where there is a sculpture representing the candlestick and other sacred vessels of the Jews, as carried in his triumphal procession, see pages 146, 147.
It is remarkable that the heathens should have been led to give representations of several of the sacred arti. cles of the Jews, and that these should have been pre.. served, while many other arches and representations commemorating their victories have been destroyed.
As to the proper use of music, we well know how much it solemnizes and affects the mind ; and also that it is often much abused for profane and wicked purposes. This should make us very careful to shun trifling or foolish music, while there appears sufficient warrant to authorize us to use it for good purposes. Like wine, and many other gifts of God, it is too often misused ; and
those who cultivate this talent or ability, I mean those who learn music, should earnestly pray that it may not lead them into temptation, but that they may use it only for the glory of God, and in such a manner as his word permits. They should be particularly reminded of the apostle's declaration respecting singing, which may be fully applied to music, “I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also,” 1 Cor. xiv. 15. Remember, it is not the sweet or pleasant sounds that show our meaning, but the words we use, and especially the manner in which our hearts feel them.
With respect to dancing, it is hardly necessary to say that the wicked, or at best the foolish, moving and jumping about, now called dancing, is very different from that used by David and others; to say nothing of the evil com. pany to which dancing now always leads. The dancing mentioned in the Bible as accompanying music on solemn occasions, was a grave, regular manner of moving, or a measured step. There certainly is not a text or passage in the Bible which justifies what is now called dancing. The dancing of Herodias indeed was probably some thing of that sort, and we see its evil effects. [t led to the destruction of the life of a prophet, which tended to fill up the measure of iniquity of Herod and his wicked family. We also find other instances in the Bible in which dancing ended badly. Then let the follower of Christ abstain from it: surely exercise can be had with. out the evils which now invariably accompany dancing, both in public and private parties.
As for plays, or, as they are called, theatrical amuse. ments, which often include music and dancing, it cannot be necessary to say more than that no true christian will be found encouraging such abominations. The apostle Paul expressly mentions revellings and such like, among the works of the flesh, and says, that “they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God,” Gal. v. 21. The apostle Peter also condemns revellings as being con. trary to the will of God. The original word used in both these places is KOMOI, or 'comedies, and plainly shows that what we call plays are forbidden in the word of God.