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of consolation to those around him; and, even when in personal affliction, have we seen him with tears in his eyes singing the praises of God. His patience under provocation was equally great.

When ill-treated, he seemed not so much to think of himself as to lament over the poverty and weakness of human nature; and many a thing which would sorely try the tempers of other men, he appeared scarcely to feel. In sickness too, his patience was wonderful. We allude particularly to his last days, when not a single repining word escaped his lips. Though he had enjoyed for many years a good degree of health and strength, and during that time not a day passed without active engagement, yet for the three or four weeks preceding his death, he quietly laid aside his regular duties, and waited till he should feel better. But this resignation may be attributed to that decision of purpose which, we may observe, was the most striking feature in his character. He probably saw that it was now his duty to cease a little from his work, and so he at once resolved to abide by this conviction.

The firmness of his mind was indeed remarkable. What he found to be his duty was every thing to him. He persisted in it through all opposition, and never lieeded the opinion of others, unless they were satisfactory to his own mind and his own conscience. Did he fix upon any plan, and he never did this without prayer and mature consideration, he ceased not till it was, if possible, carried into effect. To those who felt unpleasant consequences from his determined purpose, it cannot be expected that his proceedings could be agreeable, and to such they might appear to be the fruit of pure obstinacy. But we know well the kindness of his heart, and that nothing but a deep conviction of duty ever led him to act in opposition to the desires or entreaties of others. At least, we have the testimony of one, who was for twelve years his fellow-labourer, and as well capable as any to judge impartially of the character of the deceased. We refer to Mr. Schmid. In a conversation with a friend respecting Mr. Rhenius he spoke thus, “He is a remarkable man. We often differ, and I often think him precipitate and deaf to counsel; but almost intariably the end has proved that he was right.

His talents as a Missionary, we have no hesitation in saying, were of the first order. His Tamil writings tended not only to lead to the principles of practical Christianity, but were of a far more diversified kind. On morality, on general knowledge in different departments, in fact on whatever subject that he thought would be useful for enlarging the minds of the native Christians or the heathen, he attempted to write, and has written much. Latterly he composed a Tamil Grammar in English; and it was his intention, in case the present undertakings by others should happen to be frustrated, to enter upon the laborious work of compiling a Tamil Dictionary. Just before his illness, he finished “ The Body of Divinity” in Tamil, a book intended particularly for the use of Catechists : but his translation of the Scriptures has been left incomplete, several of the books of the Old Testament not being translated,

He possessed a retentive memory. When going about among the villages and congregations, if there was any of the people, noted for something either of a pleasing nature or otherwise, he has been known to recognize such an one immediately, though he may not have seen him for a considerable time. His manner among the people was the most affectionate and attractive, and his command of the language was very great. In his Diary, many are the interesting accounts to be found of his journeys, not only within the district, but in other parts of India'; and we believe his remarks to be valuable in many respects. From a hasty perusal of journals it appears to us that he very early obtained an insight into the Hindoo character. There was much indeed to blame and dislike in it; but, though he always sharply rebuked the blame-worthy, he never behaved towards this people in any other than the mildest and most considerate ways. While none was more quick in discovering their faults, yet, unless fully convinced of their guilt, he put the best possible construction upon their actions, and aimed only at teaching them the ways of purity and holiness. He well knew that a moral change cannot be wrought upon a people so long immured in darkness, without time and without much patience. And thus, especially in the later years of his life, there was a tenderness in his exhortations both to heathen and to erring native Christians, which they only can imagine who have witnessed the love and the forbearance which he manifested on those occasions.

We have hardly any room for enlarging upon his private virtues. His habitnal cheerfulness and patience saved his family from many a scene of confusion and unhappiness. His love, and, above all, the concern he showed for the spiritual welfare of the children the Lord had given him, will, we trust, never be forgotten by any of them who can appreciate a father's affection. But we may proceed to express our feelings npon one more point of his character, bearing principally npon his public connexion with Tinnevelly. It was that entire subordination of all else to the grand work of Missions. Every thing he did was with this view, and for this end. It was the earnestness of his zeal for their real good, which secured to him the love and veneration of this people. He thought himself well rewarded, if besides an approving conscience, he obtained the affections of those whom he loved, and for whom he sacrificed much of private comfort. Many years ago, when he found that his work here was gaining strength and the Lord's blessing rested upon it, he resigned to other members of his family in Prussia the property which he there possessed. Latterly too, when his brothers urged him to return home, and they would secure him a living, he decidedly refused to entertain the thought. There was none, we believe, who so entirely took the word of God for his guide, heedless of men's opinions-none, who more fully, more unreservedly cast all his cares upon the Almighty: and truly never did the Lord put to shame the confidence of this his servant. Among the people whom he loved, and by whom he was venerated, has he closed his useful life. His remains lie, not very far from the spot in which were written the affecting lines in his journal, already quoted in another page.

We now bring to a close this hasty review of Mr. Rhenius's life and character. Imperfect it must be confessed to be ; and we trust that

we shall be excused for having dwelt at some length upon the last hours of his earthly existence. These, at least for the present, retain the strongest hold upon our memory, and have inflicted the deepest wound upon our feelings. But we are assured of the joy unspeakable and full of glory which has now become his portion; and we mourn for ourselves, not for him. His religious course has been that of " a strong man” rejoicing. To us it appears to resemble the scene, which we in these climes witness nearly every day. His sun was not preceded by a long and faint twilight. He rose at once into warmth and brightness, and took his steady course upwards, and increased only in splendour: but, scarcely had he reached the meridian, when he has been snatched away to fairer worlds. His was the life of a cheerful Christian, from first to last; and we shall not, perhaps, better express the feelings and thoughts which were present with him during the whole of his eventful career, than by transcribing a passage from his journal of the year 1811. The following lines, originally in German, were written when he was on the point of devoting himself to the work of a Missionary, by entering the Institution in Berlin.

"" His will be done,' was the motto of my heart, in respect to what was to happen to me in future. On him, who is the Lord of the whole creation-the greatest Benefactor of men- 2- the all-wise finisher of the great work of making known his gospel to every nation, I could implicitly trust, because he would do all things well. And indeed I have at all times, even under the most trying and afflicting circumstances, experienced his free grace. For without him, I should be a miserable grovelling creature, who would have for ever perished.

“ The glory of his name sound far and wide from eternity to eternity-from one end of the earth to the other; and in all the heights of heaven be sung, Amen. Hallelujah!"

Many solemn and affecting thoughts occur, both respecting this revered man of God and those who survive him, but we must, at least for the present, leave the whole subject to the serious reflections of every intelligent reader.

ON TIIE ABUSE OF SACRED MUSIC AT ORATORIOS.

A PASTORAL LETTER.

MY BELOVED Friends - Your welfare lies near my heart. That your soul should prosper, and be in health, is my fondest wish. To hear that my spiritual children walk in the truth is my richest joy. That my feeble ministrations should contribute to either of these results is my liveliest encouragement in my work of faith and labour of love. Just in proportion, however, to the gratification your spiritual weal will confer, is the pain I feel when any thing in your conduct gives me the slightest occasion to apprehend that your high and holy principles are less influential with you than they should be. I rejoice, indeed, that I am not constrained io say with the anguished apostle, “ Many walk of whom I have told you often, and now tell you, even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ;" (Phil. iii. 18,) that I am not even forced to pass upon any the mitigated censure, “I stand in doubt of you.” (Gal. iv. 20.) Still I must say, that a recent occurrence has filled me with anxiety, lest you should inadvertently be led away into a seeming approval of that which I am persuaded your judgment, if brought to bear upon it, and your piety will lead you to condemn.

That you may be aided in arriving at that conclusion, which I conscientiously believe to be scriptural and true, I have thrown together a few thoughts in the simplest phrase and most inartificial order, having in view not so much to commend myself to your critical tastes, as to commend the truth to your heart, conscience, and understanding. The question suggested by the occurrence to which I have already alluded, and to which I thus invite your attention, is—" are we authorized to use SACRED MUSIC upon ordinary occasions, or for secular objects? How far are those fashionable entertainments, called ORATORIOS, sanctioned by the principles of Terealed truth, and how far are they deserving of the countenance of Christians? Are they sanctioned at all; are they worthy of conntenance at all, on the principles just named?

I believe not. I conceive that the nature of such compositions places thein beyond the range of amusements, and that Scripture, and good taste, and correct feeling, forbid their employment for such a purpose. Let me beg your patient and candid attention to the few remarks I have to make on this point, in which I shall give you the calm unimpassioned expression of my opinion, the result of deliberate reflection, and not the crudities of precipitation, nor the impetuosities of prejudice. I will tell you boldly and plainly what I think of them-yet gravely and collectedly, I will withhold nothing — “nothing extenuate;" yon will, therefore, expect no mincing and delicate phrase ; neither will I " set down aught in malice, so that I shall render justice to those who differ with me in sentiment.

I. No Christian, I conceive, will dispute my first position that it is wrong to make sacred things mere food for entertainment, and that the wrongfulness of doing so bears exact proportion to the sacredness of the object desecrated. Now an oratorio, whether we regard its name or structure, is an address or series of addresses to God,“ the greatest and best.” It is, if rightly performed, an act of worship. Praise and prayer are the loftiest occupations of created beings. They annihilate infinity, and place the soul in apposition with God. To do that then for amusement alone, which, offered from a pure heart, and with correct motives, is the highest homage of the creature to the perfections of the Creator, I cannot but call a gross profanation. Of course I here reflect chiefly upon the employment of sacred words for such a purpose; because music, properly speaking, can have no sacredness in it, although there is a style of composition to which we may, with conventional propriety, apply the name. It is not then to the instrumental department of such a performance I now refer, the stateliness of whose march, and gravity of whose tone, may comport with the solemn character of the words ; but to the making such words the vehicle of conveying to the ear

" the concord of sweet sounds” they accompany, the string upon which the rich pearly notes of the music are strung, and which thus play but a subordinate part in the performance. Út, re, ini, fa, sol, la, would furnish the singer precisely as convenient and suitable a medium for bringing out the harmonies of the music, as the loftiest adoration the most sacred words could ernbody.

Now, not in one case out of a thousand, in which these performances are exhibited, are the words, the sentiments, the song, the chief attraction. The chief attraction is the music, and the skill of the vocalist. Neither the performers nor the audience pretend that an oratorio is an act of worship, the grateful homage of reasonable men to the God of their life.

To bring down then “ the high praises of our God,” the words of the Holy Ghost, the eternal verities of scripture, to the level of a sing-song or hurletta; to reduce the hallelujahs of the sweet singer of Israel to a mere instrument, upon which some popular artist may display the flexibility and compass of his voice-Oh! this is a use of the sanctities of scripture, from which every right thinking, not to say pious mind, must, I conceive, revolt.

But it will be said, are not very solemn and delightful emotions prodnced in every heart by the performance of the oratorio? Yes, I reply; there are certainly very pleasing emotions produced, and of a very sober, perhaps solemn, cast, while you are under the spell of such performances. But there are two very grievous mistakes committed by those who advocate their continuance upon this plea, if, indeed, they be not intended sophisms. The one is, that the words are the source of these feelings, and the other is, that these feelings are religious.

Now I contend that it is not the words, but the instrumental music which awakens the emotions described, as any one may easily ascertain who is familiar with the music of our best known and most highly prized oratorios. The man must have ears of felt and a leaden heart who is not overpowered by the thunder of sound which burst from an orchestra boasting hundreds of performers, melted by the softness of some touching melody, and won to admiration by the blended sweetness and skill of the symphony.

But that oratorios owe their effect, in any great degree, to the words, is contradicted further by the rule that prevails in those entertainments which are professedly profane, (I use the term simply as notative of a class, and not in an invidious sense.) In the opera, who regards the words, except as the accompaniment of the music? Which abide most in memory, the words or the notes of a favourite song? Which affects us most, the numbers of the music, or the rhythm of the poetry? And, finally, which part of the opera is most laboured, because most attractive, popular, and impressive, as most likely to bestow fame and recompense upon the composer, the overture or the airs adapted to words? The overture, undoubtedly, as any one knows who knows any thing of music. It is by their overtures our best composers make their deepest impression, and win

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