The Great Source Of Beauty
( Originally Published 1896 )
From the one great Source of the Beautiful above comes every lovely thought or idea, whether expressed in tone, in word, in marble, or in color. As a fine art, "music hath charms." Is there a heart so hard as never to be touched by the sweet strains of music? This blessed boon from heaven will open and expand the heart, kindle the affections and ennoble human nature. It awakens pure sentiment, the language of the heart. It rouses into activity our dormant spirits.. The mind often needs awakening and stimulating. Music can increase courage and moral temper. It can stir our soul-fibres to moods of rapturous contemplation. The simple fife and drum will kindle patriotism and excite men to enlist in the army, fire their hearts, nerve their arm, and steady and accelerate their footstep as they march forth to meet the foe.
Music is a moral tonic, rousing man to action, while sweetly comforting and sustaining him amid life's stern duties and responsibilities. It will drive away gloom, yea, cast out devils. Did not David's harp exorcise the evil spirit even from the king? Music has charmed the-ferocious nature and tamed the savage spirit in man. Some people are said to have no ear for music, and one sordid wretch had the audacity to call music "the least disagreeable of noises." We cannot but believe that there is something wrong with the hearts of people who have no ear for music, unless their tympanums are out of order. Bad people are not as a rule fond of music, and that man is in a bad way indeed who never has any music in his soul. The apostle exhorts to " Singing and making melody in your heart."
Sacred music will stamp the heart with the impress of the divine nature. It will open new feelings in the human soul, filling it with eagerness, joyfulness, holy triumph, aspiration, and spiritual yearning. During revival seasons, how many thousands of penitent souls have been borne into the kingdom on the rising tide of sanctified melody, as the congregation has joined in singing such standard hymns as
" Come, ye sinners, poor and needy,"
" Just as I am, without one plea."
We have seen the golden sunrise bursting into light across old ocean's back, and so the glorious orb of song rises serenely bright out of the heart's deep emotion. Music will make us oblivious of pain and suffering, and soothe our sorrows. It will encourage the despondent, and let in upon the broken heart the glad sunshine of hope and joy. How oft have we gone to the sanctuary, and the sacred singing there has driven the clouds away from our soul! ,If we cannot easily love some people, we can stand and sing with them and love them. An eminent divine says, that the concord of sounds has the tendency to bring souls into harmony with each other. O that more people would try the remedy of sacred song for ill-feeling and sadness, for doubts and fears, for mental and even physical depression. Let us sing evil out of the world and sing more good into it.
"O what a gentle ministrant is music