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schemes for a rapid extension of his work, but once, after due thought and prayer, a course had been determined upon, he threw himself body and soul into its accomplishment.
II. He was a man who magnified the Cross of Christ. More than once he said to me: “They may laugh at the Cross, but I never feel satisfied in preaching until I have done my best to impress its significance.” He had a good knowledge of Chinese literature and a mind well stored with apt proverbs, but in preaching, the Word of God, and especially the Cross with its potent meaning, formed the basis of his admonition and plea. In the guest hall, in the street chapel, in the Sunday services, on itinerating journies, he never lost opportunity to lift high the Cross of Christ; and, for this reason, he brought hope and salvation to many sinenthralled souls. The earnestness with which he preached, and the emphasis with which he enforced his words, often brought physical exhaustion. Though our brother no longer abides with us, his work remains, and the influence of his life and labors will continue to bear fruit to the honor of the Master whom he loyally served.
CHINESE HYMNOLOGY AND all the treasures of music which
the West possesses. CHURCH MUSIC.
Chinese psalmody undeveloped To the Editor of
beyond what it would be if " THE CHINESE RECORDER."
regarded entirely from the Chi
outlook would mean to DEAR SIR : In discussing the leave the Chinese church in an subject of Church Music one isolation which is as undesirable has first to decide the point of as it is necessary. view from which it should be From this wider point of view regarded. My own opinion is it appears to me to have been a that to approach it solely from a true instinct which led Chinese standpoint would tend predecessors to translate, to limit, if not to destroy, the imitate, the hymns which enhigh ideal we should have before shrined for them so many sacred us in considering it. It has memories and emotions. That often been remarked, as regards the result was not always sucother lands, that no matter how cessful is only too evident in the widely the church may be curious caricatures of famous divided in doctrine and in ritual hymns which exist in some she is practically one in her collections, and also in the stilted service of praise. I can conceive phraseology of so many more of no higher ideal than to seek to the hymns we and the Chinese lead the Chinese church to inherit Christians sing for want of the wealth of hymns, psalms, and something better. We are told chants which already exist with that the Chinese language is not fitted for the expression of opinion, as shown by the votes thought in poetical form, and sent in; others for the best that until the language itself is hymn, with reasons given for modified, it will be impossible considering it to be so, etc. to produce fine hymns which, It does not seem to me to while elevated in sentiment be necessary at present to press and clear in thought, shall be for original Chinese hymns, but simple in language and truly rather to encourage competent poetical in style. Not a few of scholars to improve those hymns the hymns in existing collections which exist. Eventually they conform to one, or even to more may feel their way to fresh than one, of these conditions, metres and a new style. but very few conform to all. It is strange that the only There are, however, in almost nation which can boast of a every collection a few outstand
government Board of Music is ing hymns which approach very about as far behind as it could nearly to an ideal standard, and be, both in vocal and in instru. all but satisfy the strictest canon mental music. Devotion to a of requirements. Such hymns false ideal has cramped and afford valuable evidence that it stultified development, and the is possible to weave the ap- natural musical instincts of the parently stiff and unbending Chinese have been overgrown language of China into a grace- and concealed by this perverful and fitting garment for the sion, so that mere screeching clothing of inspired thought, if has come to pass as song and only the right person can be brazen noise and banging of found to do it.
drums as music. Not that China It would be an immense help is wholly without plaintive songs in the editing of hymn books if and instruments which yield it could be definitely known soft and rippling music, but the what hymns in each collection taste of the masses lies in the at present in use are popular, direction of noise and falsetto. and for what reasons. We Many foreigners hold the creed should probably find that in of some of the older missionaries some cases the tune makes the that the Chinese will never be hymn a favourite ; in others, able to do more than "make certain associations connected melody in their hearts before with the hymn itself ; in some, the LORD." the opportunity the hymn affords This belief, however, is all for the expression of certain but worn-out and it is going religious experiences; and in the way of many more ancient others, again, a rythm in the fables which were unable to lines and music in the rhymes bear the test of experience. For which give pleasure. In order it is a fact that many individual to get some light of this kind, Chinese have been musically the various religious magazines trained and have shown conand papers might institute hymn siderable aptitude to learn and competitions on the lines of natural ability to understand the “favourite hymn competitions" true underlying principles of at home, offering prizes for so music. Moreover, some Chinese many lists of ten or twenty congregations, and especially hymns as should come nearest some schools for boys and girls, to the general consensus of have been trained to sing to
gether with proficiency and cor- to the discomfiture of those rectness. What is true of some more advanced in years who may become true of all if the were not caught early enough, right method is followed.
but that in the church services It should be an axiom as the bulk of the tunes sung shall regards congregational singing be easy, while occasionally althat the tunes should not be lowing a more difficult measure beyond the powers of the great in order to gratify and encourmajority. The unintelligent age the younger part of the selection of difficult tunes which congregation. The tune-book the congregations are quite un- published by the Central China able to sing, is one of the chief Religious Tract Society in 1905 obstacles to the progress of Chi- was prepared to meet such renese psalmody. But here arises quirements. It contains many the question as to what classes of pentatonic tunes and others tunes the Chinese find difficult. which the Chinese find more
Any tune which contains no difficult, but still not beyond half-notes, or only one or two their
power of attainment after unaccented half-notes, can be a period of training. learnéd by most congregations It is a matter of taste as to with comparatively little teach- whether the old Scotch song ing. The more tune con- tunes, such as
.“ Auld Lang forms to the diatonic scale the Syne" and "" Ye banks and more disastrous will be the braes," which are strictly penfailure of the congregation to tatonic, should be annexed for render it correctly. The true use as hymn-tunes. There is an method is at first, and for a undoubted objection on the score considerable time, to stick faith- of association of ideas of which fully to pentatonic, or nearly I myself had an illustration pentatonic tunes. Such tunes some time ago when officiating at
“Kentucky,” Balerma,' the funeral service of a wealthy “Evan,” “Ortonville,"
Chinese Christian. The milidau," " Amesbury," and others ''
tary official in the neighbourhood can all be easily learned and sent his brass band, which was intelligently and correctly sung more or less in tune. I had by Chinese congregations. Fol- not noticed the presence of the lowing on from these there is a band until the procession was large number of well-known just abreast of it, and when it Western tunes containing only suddenly struck up the wellone or two half-notes in unac- known tune which we associate cented positions which could with partings of different then be readily acquired, and character it required an effort to thus a congregation could be led keep a sober appearance. Apart on from easy to more difficult from old Scotch and Irish airs tunes. Meanwhile, let it be re- there are many good tunes availmembered, the young in our able without needing to have schools and churches are learn- recourse to Chinese tunes. ing the diatonic scale, and they Chinese air is adopted there will be able to learn anything should be no idolatrous or other we are able to teach them. The evil associations connected with warning needed in some cases is it. that the young should not be A good harmonium or organ allowed to revel in diatonic tunes gives a suitable accompaniment
and support to the congregation, pose of the article criticised but a musical instrument often that I must ask for space for a serves to cover a multitude of
brief reply. sins of discord A violin well- Of the two points selected for played is effective in leading the commendation, one is the asair, and when the congregation sumption that the following is very large a well-played cornet passage quoted (or misquoted) keeps the singing in tune and is a declaration of belief: “We time, but it should not be used believe in the Trinity and in small congregations. There Christ's place therein, in His can be no objection to either miraculous birth, and in the wind or stringed instruments historicity of the New Testafrom the point of view of rever- ment miracles, in His true ence. Some find the concertina humanity.” a convenient and portable in- Now this statement, taken by strument for country work, and itself, would indeed be read as a it is certainly effective.
declaration of doctrinal belief to The time has scarcely come, which the writer subscribes. at all events away from the But that such was not the incoast ports, for mixed choirs of tention will, I think, be abunmen and women. There is an dantly evident to the careful advantage, however, in arrang- reader of the article. So far ing, if possible, that a choir of from wishing to introduce any women and girls only shall sit doctrinal statement, the writer in a convenient position among expressly urged that we should women to support the choir of acknowledge among ourselves, boys and men which actually and make plain to all, that our leads the singing. To sum up,
mission is not to propagate any it is about as sensible to expect creed, but to diffuse a Spirit. every Chinese man, woman, and Taken in its context, the purchild entering the church to be pose, of the above passage is, I able by the unaided light of think, perfectly plain. nature to sing the songs of Zion The argument is that the to strange and unheard melodies prevalent presentation of Christ as it would be to expect them to to non-Christian Chinese gives be conscientious, well-informed prominence to the supernatural Christians without instruction. and miraculous aspect of His Some, doubtless, are
life, and it is the opinion of the able enough to expect both writer that this tends to mystify results, but the wise will not the hearer, and moreover, that only live and learn ; they will it obscures the true humanity also live and teach.
of our Lord, removing Him I am, etc.,
from sympathetic touch with A. BONSEY.
mankind. The wiser course, it is urged, is to give first pro
minence to the historic Jesus, A REPLY TO MR. MADELEY.
the Son of Man, rather than To the Editor of
plunging at once into the in
scrutable mysteries of the Tri“THE CHINESE RECORDER.”
nity and Christ's dual nature. DEAR SIR : Mr. Madeley's let- Through the human to the ter shows such a serious mis- Divine, is the method suggested. understanding of the main pur- The question was not of the