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fixed the love of music and sacred song in the affections of our people stronger perhaps, and more widely diffused than in any other body of Christians; yet it is apparent that we are, as a denomination, without a musical literature or satisfactory professorship
We need music of an elevated and devotionat character, wedded to our incomparable poetry, by which both shall be engraven upon the memory of our people, producing a oneness of taste and practice. Then shall we accomplish the prophetic desire: “Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee!”
The efforts hitherto made have been diverse and sectional, and have not secured the regard and sympathy of our wide-spread membership. A more extensive movement is now contemplated. Already a society has been formed and is in successful operation, designing to associate the choirs of the Methodist Episcopal Church of New York and vicinity, and also extend its correspondence and sympathies throughout our connection.
This society of the “ Associated Choirs" is about to call a Convention of choristers and others interested in the music of the Church, by which a concord of views may be had, and plans devised which may obtain the desired results.
Promotive of such purposes, the society respectfully asks that a committee may be appointed by the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church to co-operate with said society and convention, by which the prestige of official sanction may be given to such measures and publications as may have its approval. For such purpose the subscribers hereto append their names.
John STEPIIENSON, President of the Associated Choirs.
L. A. BENJAMIN, Conductor. NEW YORK, May 2, 1864.
This memorial was presented by Rev. R. S. Foster, D.D., of New York city, and referred to a special committee. The committee, in bringing in their report, stated that they could not give a better expression of their views than those expressed in the memorial, and asked leave to adopt that paper as their report. It was unanimously adopted, and a committee of five were appointed, namely: Rev. Thomas Carlton, of New York; Rev. Luke Hitchcock, of Chicago; Rev. John Lanahan, of Baltimore; Rev. James Pike, of Sanbornton Bridge, N. H.; Rev. Isaac S. Bingham, of Auburn, N. Y.
With the practical wisdom common in deliberative bodies, the General Conference took care that the members of the committee should be so widely scattered that there is no prospect of their meeting before the next quadrennial session.
In October last the associated choirs called a convention in New York city, which sat for ten days, and issued, as the result of its deliberations, the following resolutions, which have not only elicited full notice from our own press, but have attracted attention in high quarters in other denominations:
Resolved, 1. That singing is an important element of divine worship; it is, therefore, our duty to aim at its highest perfection.
2. That singing is the part of public worship in which the whole congregation can unite, and therefore the assignment of this service to a select few, practically to the exclusion of the congregation, is at variance with the spirit of divine worship, and subversive of its purposes.
3. That singing is a religious exercise commanding our entire faculties, and is the mode by which many of our noblest aspirations and holiest feelings find expression.
4. That in churches of non-liturgical observances singing is the only opportunity for a common declaration of faith and public general confession.
5. That this Convention express as its conviction that the authorized version of hymns in use among us should be sacredly guarded from displacement in our public worship by a loose sentimental literature.
6. That a selection of hymns for Sunday-school purposes be embodied in the Church Hymn-Book, and engrossed in the general index.
7. That singing is a part of divine worship, in which instrumental music, when employed, should be subordinate an accompaniment, not a substitute.
8. That the human voice is the standard of perfection in music; and as accompaniment, not supersedure, of the vocal powers is the object of instrumental music in sacred worship, and as the modern organ, in its genera, combines in one instrument the excellences for such purpose, we therefore recommend the organ as the most suitable instrument.
9. That the importance of singing points to the necessity of regarding the wise counsel of our revered founder: “Let all the people be diligently instructed in singing;" we therefore recommend to pastors and Church officiaries that their several congregations be regularly assembled for practice in Church music, and our pecple are earnestly urged to attend thereto as a religious duty.
10. That in the attainment of science an educated professorship is a necessity; it is therefore recommended that we cherish those engaged in the profession of music, and that our Churches make more liberal appropriations for that part of Church service.
11. That while we fully recognize the importance of musical knowledge, and ability to sing " with the understanding,” we are also persuaded that this is of secondary importance in the worship of God, and that the primary injunction to “ sing with the spirit should cause us to commit the direction of such service to those who have also been divinely instructed.
12. That the best form of book for congregational singing is that with hymns and tunes on the same page, and for compactness, the four parts written on two staves.
13. That, in such book, each meter should have a preponderance of tunes selected from those already in use, and most approved by our Churches.
14. That, for congregational music, tunes of extreme intervals or complicated harmony are not desirable.
These resolves tell their own story, and need no special comment from us. They go in heartily for congregational singing, and the subordination of choirs and organs to general vocal music. We indorse their doctrine. The tenth resolution calls for an educated professorship, and liberal appropriation for its support. When talent appears it is well to sustain it liberally, but money will never create it; and we have already shown that the Church fails to compete with the stage in attracting either composers or performers. It costs some of our metropolitan Churches thousands yearly for music, but they are not expended in teaching the people or inducing them to sing. It is doubtful if Methodism needs to go into any such outlay for the execution of its simple hymnody, or to carry out the injunction of the psalmist quoted in the meinorial: “Let the PEOPLE praise thee, O God: let ALL the people praise thee !”
ART. IV.-DANA'S MANUAL OF GEOLOGY.
Manual of Geology : Treating of the Principles of the Science,
with Special Reference to American Geological History. For the Use of Colleges, Academies, and Schools of Science. By JAMES D. Dana, M.A., LL.D., Silliman Professor of Geology and Natural History in Yale College; Author of a System of Mineralogy, of Reports of Wilkes's Exploring Expedition on Geology, on Zoophytes, and on Crustacea, etc. Illustrated by a Chart of the World, and over One Thousand Figures, mostly from American Sources. Philadelphia : Theodore Bliss & Co. Lon
don: Trübner & Co. 1863. This is an excellent treatise on a most interesting and important branch of human study; and its publication will mark an era in the History of American Geological Science.
The author first became known by the publication of his work on Mineralogy, which appeared in 1837, only four years after his graduation at Yale, and very soon was adopted as a standard authority not in this country only, but in all countries where the science is cultivated. Three editions of it have appeared, and it is understood a fourth is in course of preparation. It is one of the most elaborate works on this branch of science that has ever appeared, and in every part gives evidence of the wonderful industry and extensive research of the author. It is such a work as could be prepared only by one having access to an almost perfect collection of modern scientific works and journals; and such a collection, probably, is not to be found in this country elsewhere than in the editorial office of that immense repository of American Science, fainiliarly known as Silliman's Journal, which has just completed its eightyeighth volume, and with which the author has long been connected as associate editor.
His Reports, beautifully illustrated with his own pencil, upon Geology, Zoophytes, Crustacea, etc., in connection with Wilkes's Exploring Expedition, are also well known.
Occupying so high a place among the scientific writers of the country and of the age, when it was known that he had a work in preparation on the subject of Geology, something of more than ordinary excellence was of course expected. Nor have we been disappointed.
We have already said that the publication of this work will mark an era in the history of American geological science, but in some respects it will do more than this, and even mark an era in the history of the science itself.
Before the publication of the great work of Sir Charles Lyell, in 1830, usually called his Principles of Geology, * it was very generally believed, even by educated men, that this earth had been brought to its present condition, not by the gradual action of natural causes, but by the frequent and direct interference of the same Almighty Power that originally called it into being. The effects of the various geological agencies, which are constantly at work before our eyes, were of course acknowledged; but they were supposed to be entirely inadequate to produce the mighty changes that have taken place in many parts of the earth's crust.
* The first volume of this work was published in 1830, and the second in 1832. See Principles of Geology, by Charles Lyell, Esq., F.R.S., Philadelphia, 1837, vol. i, Preface, p. 7.
Nor was this so absurd as it may now seem, if we fail to take into account the opinions that then prevailed on other points. It was then believed - and the Bible was erroneously supposed so to teach—that the earth had existed only some six or seven thousand years; and only this limited time being allowed for the production of the great changes revealed to us by the rocky strata of the globe, it follows, as a matter of course, either that Nature in time past must have been wonderfully “prodigal of violence,” or else there must have been direct interference of creative power.
At one time it was supposed that the seven days of creation, mentioned in the first chapter of Genesis, might be understood to indicate as many different periods of indefinite duration, at the end of each of which the Creator thus interfered by his power, at once putting an end to the then existing order of things, and introducing a new order.* And some even supposed that the grand geological formations, separated as many of them are -- one from the next succeeding — by such abrupt trànsitions, might indicate the successive six days' work. This, of course, required that the number of formations should correspond to the number of days.
The singular abruptness, often seen in the transition from a great geological formation to the succeeding one, is well illustrated in the vicinity of London. We may be allowed to refer to it for the benefit of such as are not altogether familiar with the subject. The city of London stands in a basin which is everywhere covered to a depth of several hundred feet with a peculiar brown clay, known as the "London clay," and directly beneath the clay stratum is the chalk formation. Now the chalk is the uppermost and last of the secondary or mesozoic rocks, and the clay which rests upon it is the lowest and first of the tertiary or cenozoic rocks; but the fossils of the two are entirely and utterly distinct from each other. It appears therefore that after the deposition of the chalk, and before the clay was thrown down, there must have been an entire change in everything in the region! All the old animals of the chalk
* Hitchcock, Bib. Rep., vol. v, p. 115, and vi, p. 287. Jamison, Amer. Jour. Sci., vol. xxvi, p. 26.