« ElőzőTovább »
either horn of it, at his option. Strange to tell, he has seized on both, as it suited his purpose, In No. 2, he lays it down as a settled prin. ciple that there must be “some standard of praise;" and in No.3, so eager is he to prove that David's Psalms was not the standard for the Old Testament Church, that he has the people singing, not only other Divine songs than those of David, but also human compositions, such as the 1005 songs of Solomon, long since lost.
If those songs had been inspired for the use of the Church, they would still be in use, for “the Word of the Lord endureth forever.” They were human, and have perished. So then in No 2, our brother contends for a i standard, and in No. 3, and generally throughout the discussion, against one, We stand up for a standard---a Divin e standard---and maintain that David's Psalmis was the Psaim Book---the exclusive Psalm Book of the Old Testament Church. It was for this purpose, as one olject at least, that it was compiled.
3. We plead for the exclusive iise of David's Psalms under the Old Testament dispensation from the fact that David was the sweet Psalmist of Israel-.-set apart to the particular work of preparing and collecting a book of sacred songs for the Church. It is evident from Psalm 137. which was composed during or after the Babylonish captivity, that some additions were made to the look of Tsalms by Ezra, or some one else long after the lime of David. Stili the collection is entitled "David's Psalms,” and ihe authorship is ascribed to the Royal Bard, and not to Ezra or Asaph. The book was compiled in a good degree in the time of David, and under his supervision, as the inspired “Psalmist.”
If we consider the station which David sustained as the "sweet Psalmist of Israel," and the arrangements which he made in Divine worship, and the authority by which he made them, we will be led to the scriptural conclusion that nothing was used in the worship of God but his collection, after it assumed the character of the Psalter, which we believe was in David's time. The compilation was niade
bu the Psalmist " and very lule was left for Fyra 1o add.
ed on him to arrange the order and manner of giving thanks. This position Mr. C. rejects, and affirms that it is without “any warrant whatever," because other persons were Psalmists, as well as David. I am happy to state, however, that since the delivery of my discourse Dr. Claybaugh of Ohio, takes the same view of this matter, and says that David was the "sweet Psalınist of Israel, as Moses was the Law. giver,” &c. I am, therefore not alone in the opinion expressed. But pray, who is Dr. Claybaugh? Why, to be brief, he is a Pro essor of Theology at Oxford, Ohio, and one whose opinions on Psalmody
be depended on, than the opinions of one half of the learned authorities adduced by Mr. C., because he is better acquainted with the subject.
It does not follow, because Asaph and others composed some of the Psalms, that David, under Gou, had not a particular “oversighl" of the whole malier. To David, as we shall see, was committed the regulation of the entire service of the Sanctuary, and a part of that service consisted in singing praises, over which David, as the “Psalm. ist,” had a particular inspired oversight. Paul was the great A postle of the Gentiles, and although there were many preachers and laborers in the field with him, yet on hi'u devolved the care of all the Churches.” So David was “the sweet Psalmist of Israel,” and although Asaph and others composed sone of the sacred songs used in Divine worship, yet doubiless all such passed through the hands of David as "the Psalmist,” and were by him introduced into the Psalter which was then preparing, and ordered to be sung as a part of divinely instituted worship. This is at least a very reasonable and plausible supposition; for if God had not appointed some one to “take order” in this matter---if there had been no regulator---if it had been left to every one to prepare bis own song, or make his own selections, then many individuals would have been ambitious to have had their poetical productions introduced into Divine worship, and they would have felt aggrieved if the “Chief Musician” had excluded their pieces, and admitted those of Hemian, Ethan and Asaph). But when every thing of this kind had to pass through the hands of him who was appointed to the offie of “Psalmist".--and who was inspired and directed in the duties of his office by the Holy Spirit... every song that was not dictated by the Spirit, and had obtained his sanction, would very soon, and with infallible certainty, be detected; so that it was impossible, under this Divine arrangement, that the “Chief Musician” could be imposed on, or that human and unauthorized compositions could be introduced into Divine worship.
That David arranged the whole serrice of the temple, according to Divine direction, is very evident from 1 Chron. xxviii, It is said in verse 11, that he gave to Solomon, his son, the pattern of the House of the Lord; and, in verse 12, that this pattern was furnished him by the Spirit; and, in verse 13, he gave to Solomon, by the same Divine authority, the pattern or plan, “for the courses of the Priests, and the Levites, and for all the work of the service of the house of the Lord.” “All this,” said David, (v. 19,) "the Lord made me understand, in writing by his hand upon me, even all the works of this pattern." What now was “lhe work of the service of the house of the Lord," which a part of the Levites had to perforcı? They were by David set over the service of song in the house of the Lord.” 1. Chron. vi. 31. They were set a part to praise God with harps, psalteries, and cymbals, 1 Chron. xxv. 1, and elsewhere.
And when the children of Israel returned from captivity in Baby. lon, the same class of persons, the sons of Asaph, were set apart with cymbals to praise the Lord, after the ordinance of David, the King of Israel. Ezra iii. 10--11, Neh. xii. 46. Lel it be distinctly observed that this setting apart a portion of the Levites to conduct the song of she Lord, and to praise him with cymbals and harps, though called an “ordinance of David,” was not a contrivance of his own, but the whole pattern of the house of the Lord, the service or the Levites, Musicians, and all, was given to him by the Spirit”..."The Lord made him to understand it in writing,” &c. Now I ask, is it at all reasonable to suppose that God would direct David, the Psalmist as he was, to arrange the order and manner of giving thanks, without directing and inspiring him 10 "exercise a vigilant oversight" over the whole matter of praise? If this is a duty now, it was then, and it "the sweet Psalmist” was not intrusted with this duty, who was? Would God be more concerned about the instruments with which He was to be praised, than about the matter of praise? Would the Holy Spirit, in furnishing David with a pattern of His house, define with exactnes the weight of gold and silver to be used in the con.
the title was not due, nor given to any one else. It was his duty to provide a book of Pralms for the Church---a duty which God never imposed on any one else. His Psalm book is the only one thorized to be used in Divine worship, and from these consideratione we conclude that it was and is to be used exclusively in the Church.
We hope to strengthen the argument and finish on the point now before us, in our next letter, and then proceed to establish the exclusive use of David's Psalms in the New Testament Church. Yours, &c.
W. R. H.
MIAMI UNIVERSITY. The Presbyterian of the West of September 5th contains a communication signed ÅLUMNUS, the writer of which evinces a better acquaintance with the character of a recent movement in relation to this institution, than many who were induced to take some part in it.
It is the almost unanimous voice of all Dr. Junkin's studen:s with wbom we have conversed, that the “good students,” that is, the students who apply themselves faithfully to their studies, are pleased with him, and that a better instructor they would not desire. Per. sons who have no connection with the Institution and who are not the Doctor's particular friends, have stated to us that such also is their information. It might be well if a certain class of men, who are perhaps more infiuenced by private feelings and interests than they are aware, would give themselves less uneasiness on the subject, and leave the matter more with the students, the old men of the country who have sons to educate, and the legal Guardians of the Institution. Too many Doctors will kill any patient. This much we have thought proper to say at present, before introducing an extract from the article alluded to.
The apparent adverse condition of this Institution occupied the earnest attention of its Alumni during this occasion. It is unnecessary 10 attempt to disguise the fact, that this school, though the best endowed, and located, in the Wesi, is in a state of decline. It is al80 unnecessary to conceal the fact, that an extensive coalition has been formed in the parts of our community most interested in the Board can generally be so decisive in this case,
The support, pero manent, hearty support of these, therefore, is essential. This, in relation to the Miami University, is not the case. An almost unanimous disaffection, and a general hostility toward prominent authority and character in the faculty, we regret to know, does exist. The cause assigned for this alienation of the sons of this school, heretofore a beloved Alma Mater, are the ultra sectarian character of much of the ethics, and the undue partizan bias of much of the politics of the Institution. Objections of a personal character also, are urged against parts of the faculty. For these causes, either imaginary or real, sufficient or insufficient, bui for these causes, a large and influential portion of the former friends and supporters of the Institution have become active in opposition to its present success. This is certainly unfortunate. It is due to the President to say, and I will say, that almost every specification of a personal character made against that department, has been refuted. The interested have stud.ously circulated disreputable details, as to the character and administration of President Junkin. These have gone abroad through the whole land, and, we will say, have been used. Now, we are prepared to say, that all of these statements that have come to our hearing are totally unfounder. They are the creations of the unkind--- perhaps proscribed. They have been of so general circulatien, and of so injurious and base a character, that we have thought it proper thus publicly to say, that they are known and acknowledged to be false. We shall not appear here as the apologist of the President. If these allegations as 10 his character and administration are just, then, such an apology would be unimportant; iť false, unnecessary. But this much I will say, that the movers in this affair owe it to theinselves, and to the school, which we believe they sincerely desire to cherish, to move, if move they must, with a circumspection and moderation. It is well known to the whole community, that thə prominent movers in this reformation have long had private views, and private feelings in relation to the President. Men every where, as we know, when they see this new anxiety for the interests of Miami University, talk of first intentions," and "under currents.” Dr. J. has a character in the whole land, for intelligence and ability, which most of us will not soon enjoy. That character he will have after our zeal for literature will have achieved its triumphs; and that character we, perhaps, would do well to assail with some care and tenderness. It may be better for us---as christians at least. We hope, however and desire, that it change in this, or any other department of the school is certainly needed, a change can be effected with proper intelligence and
The University belongs 10 the country, and should be prostituted for the advancement of no selfish interest, or contrantod nima Let its moraiity be high and ennobling. Let its teachings de and comprehensive and may its influences upon the cherished insti.