And I looked, and, see, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand…
We claim for music the first place among the fine arts.
1. Because it is the most ideal, for the ideal is the highest.
2. Because it most thoroughly expresses the various emotions of the human mind, and therefore has the widest reach over human life.
3. Because, like love, it is eternal.
I. WHAT KIND OF MUSIC IS BEST? Universal agreement on the subject is not to be expected, because the subject is so mixed up with questions of expediency, of taste, of knowledge. People have a right to expect that the canticles and hymns shall be sung to music in which they can join, but devout people who can sing must be taught that, while spiritually alert, they must be vocally silent in many parts of Divine worship.
II. HOW CAN WE BEST SECURE THE BEST MUSIC FOR DIVINE WORSHIP? As to the voices, assuming that those of the men are sweet in quality, the success of a male choir may be said to depend on three things mainly: First, that the voices of the boys shall be properly trained, so that they produce a clear and flute-like tone. Secondly, that no music should be attempted which is beyond the ability of the choir to execute. Thirdly, that nothing be put on the programme until it is thoroughly rehearsed and well known. Then let everything be done "decently and in order." Then will our Church music be a real help to devotion. Hearts will be uplifted, voices upraised. Then will our sacred songs be as the echo of the angelic songs above, and God will be glorified.
(J. W. Shackelford, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads.