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tent of the mischief wrought by those men who determined to put in peril the peace of the church for the sake of carrying their own points. I have been so particular in stating the facts in this transaction that it may serve as a warning to other churches; for great is the responsibility incurred by that man who puts himself in the way of the peaceful progress of the Gospel. The Holy Spirit never lingers among a people after strife has begun, and who will answer for the guilt of grieving away the Messenger of Heaven's saving grace?

And now that the root of bitterness was cast out, the good pastor addressed himself with all diligence to repair the breaches that had been made He brought the mighty power of. Divine truth to bear upon the consciences of the congregation, and with his characteristic fidelity, tenderness and skill, he plied them with those considerations which, in the course of time and under the blessing of God, resulted in the restoration of peace. Some of the most reasonable and pious of the Bridge party were frank enough to

go to him and confess their error, and to express their strong sense of admiration of his firm and Christian deportment during the whole affair; but others quieted their consciences by treating their minister with a little extra attention, while they saved their pride from the manliness of an apology, when they knew they were wrong. But the singing. That was no better, but worse rather. Those on whom reliance had long been placed as permanent singers, were disgusted and driven from the gallery; a set of tunes unknown to the people was introduced; the new choir were unable to sing without their leader, they soon scattered; Deacon Small returned to his post and rallied a few of the old singers, and for a time "Dundee," and "Mear," and Wells," with one or two other tunes of equal claim to antiquity, were performed upon the return of each Sabbath, with a regularity and uniformity worthy of striking commendation.


This state of things lasted until it could be borne no longer. And I make this remark seriously. It is intolerable that God should be mocked with such praise as is offered to him in some of our churches. Not to say anything of it as a matter of taste, to gratify the ear of man, and exalt the affections of the worshipper; there is another light in which it should be viewed, and a light in which it is very seldom viewed by our churches. I refer to the great truth, that God deserves better praise than he gets in those temples where little or no attention is paid to the culture of sacred music. If that considera

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A short time since I was in Boston, and on Sabbath morning went to the church where Lowell Mason leads the singing, with a choir that has long enjoyed the instructions of that eminent and able master. I did not know that he was the leader, and was not prepared to expect anything more than the ordinary singing of a church in that refined city. But those words,

"Welcome, sweet day of rest
That saw the Lord arise,"

came over my soul as if the morning stars were singing their Maker's praise with the opening of another Sabbath; and as the hymn, sweet in its own melody, but sweeter in the melody which rich music lent it, swelled on my ear, I was carried away by the power of the praise, now wrapt into a glow of ecstatic feeling, now subdued by the melting tones that fell softly and sweetly on my responding heart. Yet I did not think of the singers, or the leader, or the great organ whose deep bass rolled through the temple. I forgot all these, and felt only that we were praising God, in the beauty of his Sabbath and sanctuary, and that He who delights in a pure sacrifice, was receiving a warm tribute of praise from that worshipping people.

“My willing soul would stay
In such a frame as this,
And sit and sing herself away
To everlasting bliss."

Now it is very true that all congregations cannot have Lowell Mason or Thomas Hastings to teach them to sing, nor is it needful in order that the music may be such as shall be pleasing to God and edifying to the people. It requires no sacrifice. The practice essential to success in this delightful art, is itself a source of elevated and rational pleasure to those engaged in it, especially to the young, and when the science has been cultivated until skill is attained, there is scarcely anything that contributes more to the harmony and happiness of the social circle than this. And if our country churches would regard this department of public worship, as an offering to God, who is not willing to be served with that which costs nothing, but who loves to lend his ear to the music of his children when they sing as they ought, it seems to me that there would be a wonderful change in the style


of music. In every church there would be an association of those who have musical taste and talent, and they would labor diligently to elevate the standard of public sentiment on this subject, and of their success there could be no doubt. Pastors have failed of their duty in this matter; for if the pulpit had been faithful in exhibiting the claims of this part of Divine worship upon the conscience of the people, there can be no reason to suppose that it would be looked upon with that indifference with which most of our churches regard it. But I must come back from this digression.

Our old congregation having become thoroughly satisfied that the singing must be improved, and placed on a basis of progressive advancement, sought and found another teacher, who, at the general desire of the people, came to establish a school and lead the singing on the Sabbath day. This time, Deacon Small and all agreed to the proposition. The young people, and some of the older ones, attended a school one evening every week for several months; the old standard tunes, as Old Hundred, St. Thomas, Tamworth, Silver Street, &c., were practised over and over again, till the whole "rising generation" could sing them with propriety; a few new tunes were learned, and learned well, and when the teacher went away there were several in the school who were well qualified to take the lead. The selection was made by the school, who voted by ballot; the elders confirmed the nomination, and, after that, everything went on smoothly. Deacon Small was considerably mortified that nobody voted for him as chorister, but he kept his mortification to himself, and each succeeding winter a school was opened for the instruction of the young in sacred music, and no difficulty was afterwards heard of on that head. But there is reason for the question propounded at the opening of this record, "Why is the choir so often the source of discord in the church?" I have heard it said that singers are naturally nervous, sensitive people, or (to go a little farther into the philosophy of the thing), that the mental and physical organization of those who have the faculties essential to a good singer is so delicate that this class of the human race is more easily discomposed by trifles than any other. But without speculating upon the hidden cause, the fact is well known that trouble from this quarter often comes-trouble that the influence of the pastor and the wisdom of the officers is sometimes powerless to remove or relieve. Frequently have I seen old, established congregations shak

en to their very centre by these musical feuds, when the matter in controversy was so unimportant, the ground of offence so puerile, that it can be reconciled neither with religion nor common sense. Perhaps some one of the singers has heard somebody say that some one else said that the singing was not as good as it used to be. This remark, perhaps made inadvertently, is repeated and magnified; the choir hear of it and refuse to sing. Sometimes an unpopular individual takes a seat in the choir, and the rest resolve to quit the seats unless the unwelcome guest withdraws, and he determines to stay if he stays alone, and so they leave him in full possession. But the most of these troubles grow out of the employment of unsuitable men as leaders of singing in our churches. I have known men of notoriously immoral lives to be appointed to this responsible office, and then most righteously would the sober and discreet members of the church rise in opposition and refuse to be led in their hymns of praise by a man of profane lips. Here is no place to argue the question whether an unconverted person should ever be allowed to lead the singing in the house of God, though I cannot avoid entering a dissent to that doctrine sometimes advocated, that because you would not call on a man of the world to pray in public, so you should not invite or allow him to sing God's praise in public. There is a natural distinction in the two cases which can scarcely be made plainer by illustration. But it ought to be borne in mind by all parties, in every congregation, that the singing is a part of Divine worship, the regulation of which belongs exclusively to the church, or the spiritual officers of the church, and while the authority to order it is in their hands, it is not to be expected that any man of corrupt life will be allowed to take the lead.

And if on them rests the responsibility of excluding from the orchestra those whom they regard as unfit to be there, most emphatically does it devolve on them to take measures so to train the voices of the people that with every Sabbath's services there may go up to God acceptable praise in the courts of his house.

I perceive that this chapter has taken the form of an essay on church music, rather than of ancient history, as I proposed. But the subject suddenly took this turn, and has run to this point, where I must leave it. And I would not leave the reader with the impression that such troubles as I have described were common in our old congregation. The farthest from it possible. Years would roll by and not an event of


a troublous kind would occur to make one year memorable rather than another, and to show how rare were such occurrences as those which laid the foundations of this chapter, I may say that these events transpired when I was so young as to know nothing of what was going on, but they were talked about for many years after, and I have written the history according to tradition and not from memory. People would often speak of the Bridge excitement very much as we speak of the Shay's rebellion, or the Revolution-something that happened once, but never to be expected again. Probably few churches could be found in the length and breadth of the land where there was more peace and less contention than in ours, during the ministry of Mr. Rogers.


Do you suppose, indulgent reader, that they had dancing schools within the limits of that congregation? I am at a loss for an answer to my own question, for if I have not mentioned before I should now remark that there were other congregations intermingled with ours, so that a large part of the population was under other influences, and there were families also that belonged to no church, for whose views and practices no one could answer, and when these facts are remembered it will not seem so strange that now and then the young folks were foolish enough to get up a dancing school in the winter. Mr. Rogers was not in the habit of denounc ing the amusement of dancing as sinful in itself, or of threatening church discipline if any of the members indulged in it. But he frequently alluded to it among other follies of youth, as an amusement unsuited to persons of sense, an idle waste of time, and leading to evils many and serious. In this way he was able to repress the desire for a dancing school among the most of the young, and the more intelligent and pious of the church discountenanced and forbade it in their families. Once in a great while when the young folks went off for a sleigh-ride, or assembled for an evening tea-party, they would wind up with a dance, and sometimes a "ball" would be had at the tavern in front of the Old White Meeting House, but in these cases the leaders were usually young men from the neighboring villages, who had a sort of acknowledged right to set the fashions, and our boys and girls were not slow to follow.

One winter some of the youngsters determined to have a regular dancing school at the tavern just named, and after a great deal of manage

ment they succeeded in getting enough to agree to attend. The school was kept up through the winter, and toward spring they were to have a "public," or a grand finale to their winter performances. Invitations were sent to all the vi!lages within twenty miles, for the fashionables to attend, and every arrangement was made for one of the most splendid displays which that old quiet town had ever witnessed. No expense was spared to adorn the room, and many of our young ladies, by dint of coaxing and crying, had obtained, for the first time in their lives, permission to attend a ball. Close by the tavern and in full view of the ball-room window, lived one of the young ladies who had in the early part of the winter been a member of the dancing school, but who had been taken sick, and as the time for the ball drew nigh she was evidently drawing nigh to death. She died on the morning of the very day on which the ball was to come off in the evening. The news of her death fled rapidly over the town, and the most active of the getters up of the performance were in doubt as to what course it would be necessary to take. One of the managers was said to be betrothed to the young lady, a member of the school, now a corpse in sight of the windows. What should they do? The managers met in the afternoon and held a consultation. The betrothed was not there, but he sent word that there would be a manifest propriety in postponing the amusements of the evening. But the rest demurred. Everything is now ready, all the expense is incurred and will be doubled if they defer; the company will assemble; and so it was decided to go on. They did. The young ladies came together, but before the dancing began, one of them was looking out of the window and saw a dim light over in the chamber of death, where watchers were sitting by the corpse of one who had hoped to be on the floor with them. A chill came over the young lady as she was looking out; she mentioned to one near her what she had seen, and how it made her feel; the sadness spread over the group in that corner, and one began to complain of sickness and to make an excuse for going home, and then another, till all whose consciences were any way tender, had fled from the hall of mirth. But there were many left. "On went the dance." And though death was at hand, and one of their number was in his arms, they danced till morning. This was the last dancing school, and the last ball for many, many years, in that place.

The next Sabbath Mr. Rogers gave them a

discourse on the subject with special reference to the events of the past week. It was the funeral sermon of Mary Leland; and did not the hearts of those youth thrill when he drew the contrast between the chamber of death and the ball-room, the grave-clothes and the ball-dress, the mourners and the revellers? And when he drew from that striking Providence a lesson on the vanity of earthly pleasures, and besought the young of his flock to turn away from the

follies of time and become wise for everlasting life, you might have seen the young men hanging their heads in shame, while the young ladies, all over the house, were weeping with grief that asked no concealment.

Shall we continue these sketches or end them here? I have two or three chapters more, and if the reader will bear them, they shall be forthcoming.



EASTER Sunday closes up the pompous ceremonies of Holy Week. It is the last great day of the Popish feast, and the Pope celebrates high mass in St. Peter's. This is done but three times a year-Easter Sunday, the festival of St. Peter and Paul, and Christmas. This day also the Pope wears the Tiara or Triple Crown. It was first worn by Pope Sylvester, with a single coronet. Boniface VIII., about the year 1300, added a second; and John II. or Urban V., it is not certain which, added a third, making it a triple crown, representing the pontifical, imperial and royal authority combined. But, to the day. It was a bright balmy morning, and Rome at an early hour seemed waking up to some stirring event, and its inhabitants, turned out of doors, were pouring towards St. Peter's. It is a mile or more from the main part of the city to the church; and the principal street leading to it presented two unbroken lines of carriages, one going and the other returning. If for a moment you got a view of the street for any distance, it appeared like two currents of water-one bearing the multitude on, and the other returning without them, while between thronged the crowd of those on foot. At length the Cardinals began to arrive. Carriage after carriage, to the number of forty or fifty, came dashing along, with black horses, and crimson plumes, and gilded trappings, looking like anything but a cortège of priests. Each had its three gaily attired footmen, and fairly flashed with the gold upon them. One carriage, that of the Governor of the city, had all the metal about it, even to the hubs of the wheel, covered with

gold, and sent back the sunbeams like a mirror. One after another they dashed up to the glorious semi-circular colonnade that comes sweeping down from either end of St. Peter's, and disappeared one after another, carriage, horses, plumes and all, amid the massive columns that formed their triumphant entry. You would never take them to be humble servants of God, but rather the grandees of a court, as they indeed were, and crowding, not to a sanctuary, but a magnificent temple of art, and thought not of God, whom they professed to worship, but of the pageant of which they were to form a part. To get an idea of the ceremony, you must not imagine St. Peter's crowded, for that were well nigh impossible-it was never known to be filled, not even when the German army was quartered in it. But imagine, if you can, an area six hundred and thirty feet long, and nearly two hundred feet wide, with two magnificent rows of columns stretching along on each side of the centre, loaded with the choicest statuary. The bottom of this is a tesselated marble pavement, and the arches above richly wrought frescoes, bending a hundred and fifty feet over your head, while the dome circles away on your astonished vision four hundred feet in the air, covered with mosaics. Imagine, I say, this area, so vast that three such buildings as Trinity Church could be placed under the dome alone, without encroaching at all on the body of the church, lined and covered over with gems of art, and holding on its ample floor more than thirty thousand human beings, and you will have some conception of the scene that




awaits his Holiness as he comes to celebrate High Mass. A portion of the army is ranged round the nave, to keep it open for the procession as it advances up the church. In a lofty balcony are stationed a band of musicians, to salute with a triumphal strain the “Head of the Church." This is the grand preparation that precedes the approach of the Pope, and the moment he enters the church, borne in a canopy on men's shoulders, the whole chapter receive him, and the choir and procession strike up, "Tu es Petrus et super hanc petram ædificabo ecclesiam meam," &c.-" thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church." The foolish old man receives all this with becoming humility, the procession moves on towards the main altar at the far end of the nave. The grenadiers, national troops and Capitoline Guard, that stand around the open centre, drop on one knee as he passes, and the whole multitude bow themselves in voluntary homage. At this juncture the choir pause in their "Tu es Petrus," and the military stationed in a gallery at the end of the church, midway to the roof, fill their trumpets with a triumphant salute that breaks along the arches and rolls in solemn grandeur up the lofty nave, while the great bell from without peals forth its acclamations to the “two hundred and fifty-seventh successor of the great Apostle."

I thought at the outset I would give a description of the procession and its order, the costumes of cardinals and eastern bishops, and the various ceremonies that preceded the Mass and Communion; together with an account of the ordinances themselves. But it would be simply to say that his Holiness knelt on a crimson and gold cushion-that now he laid aside his tiara, and put on his mitre, and now vice versa—that he mumbled prayers for which he alone was the wiser and none the better-that the dignitaries of the church held up the corners of his robes, and the choir chanted, and the incense arose, and the trumpets brayed, and the throne looked very comfortable, and the people seemed amused. I loitered it out till the time appointed for giving the benediction to the people, and then threaded my way through the throng, and hastened up to the top of one of the semi-circular colonnades that sweep away from St. Peter's, to witness this really imposing ceremony. To imagine it well, the reader must place before him a magnificent church with the paved ground gently sloping away into an ample area, around which these semi-circular colonnades, four columns deep, go like two immense arms thrown

out from either end of the church to embrace it in. A hundred and eighty colossal marble statues stand along the top of these colonnades, their only balustrade. Two beautiful fountains throw up their spray between, while a grey old granite obelisk from Egypt towers away in the centre. The centre of this area is kept open by the military ranged around it in the form of a hollow square. Between them and the steps are the living multitude waiting for the blessing. Behind the lower file are crammed in a black mass the countless carriages. In front of the church, and about half way up, is a small gallery or loggia, as the Italians term it, covered with crimson cloth, and shaded by an immense piece of canvass. Into this gallery the Pope advances to bless the people below.

Standing on the top of one of the colonnades, leaning against the base of a statue, I had a bird's eye view of the whole multitude and pageant below. Forty or fifty thousand people stood there in a dense mass. It was a grand spectacle and I contemplated it with mingled feelings, yet with the deepest interest. There was the soldier in his cap and plume, and there the peasant in his picturesque garb, and there the beggar in his rags. The Pope had not yet made his appearance, and, indeed, for the time being, I quite forgot him. It was a pageant and a farce, combining all the magnificence that dazzles the crowd, and all the folly that "makes the angels weep."

Nearly under me, far down, were a group of pilgrims, ragged and dirty, lying along the noble steps, apparently unconscious of all around -their staves leaning across them, their head on their hand, and they either nodding or fast asleep. One boy held my attention for a long time. He lay on the hard stones fast asleep, and his father asleep beside him. Suddenly there was the prolonged blast of a solitary trumpet. The father started up from his slumber, and supposing the Pope was about to appear, roused his boy beside him, so that they might not lose the invaluable blessing. The tired, drowsy little fellow rose half way up and then fell back again heavily on the steps fast asleep. The Pope did not appear, and the father, too, soon sunk away in deep slumber beside his son. They had wandered far from their quiet home to receive the blessing of the Holy Father. Reckless of the magnificence around them, of the swaying crowd, the oceanlike murmur that went up to heaven, they had fallen asleep under the shadow of St. Peter's. That boy, ragged and dirty as he was, had also

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