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Thy brow a radiant circle wears,

Thy hand a seraph's harp receives,
And singing with the morning stars,

Thy soul in endless rapture lives,
And hymns, on the eternal throne,

Jehovah and his conquering Son.' Mr. Wesley was never married; but in early youth he formed an attachment to an amiable girl of inferior birth. This was strongly opposed by his mother and her family, who mentioned the subject, with much concern, to his uncle, Mr. John Wesley. Finding that this was the chief objection, the venerable founder of Methodism, who was superior to every feeling of this kind, said, Then there is no family blood ? I hear the girl is good, but of no family.' • Nor fortune either,' said the mother of poor Charles. Mr. John Wesley made no reply; but sent his nephew fifty pounds as a wedding present; and there is reason to believe he sincerely regretted that the youth was ultimately crossed in his inclination.

After Mr. Wesley was deprived of his parents, he lived with his sister to the period of her death in the year 1828; and indeed he greatly needed the care of such a friend. He presented in his character several of the eccentricities of genius; and through the whole of his life seldom succeeded in dressing himself, so as not to disturb the gravity of strangers who might happen to see him, unless he was assisted by some friendly hand in the adjustment of his wig and apparel. His sister, the late Miss Wesley, was a lady of a most elegant and cultivated mind ; and for many years, in a great measure, supported the family by the productions of her pen, although she was not in the habit of connecting her name with her publications. For a considerable time she wrote under the direction of the late Dr. Gregory; and there is reason to believe that some of the works which bear his name were her compositions. She and her brother were both below the middle stature. Neither of them had any extraordinary partiality for modern fashions; and when they walked abroad together in London, as they frequently did, their singular and antique appearance attracted the attention of many a passenger, who seemed to regard them as the relics of a former age, without being aware of the peculiarities of mind by which they were both distinguished.

Few professors of music have passed through life with a more pure and upright character than that which Mr. Wesley maintained, or have applied that sublime science to more hallowed and salutary purposes. Like the early masters of music and song, he • handled the harp and the organ' especially for devotional purposes, and the advancement of piety. For this

"his volant touch,
Instinct through all proportions, low and high,

Fled and pursued transverse the resonant fugue.”
Thus imitating the holy angels, of whom our great poet says-

Their golden harps they took,
Harps ever tuned, that glittering by their side
Like quivers hung, and with preamble sweet
Of charming symphony they introduce
Their sacred song, and waken raptures high ;
No voice exempt, no voice but well could join
Melodious part, such concord is in heaven.'

Mr. Wesley's powers of memory were prodigious. He was perfectly familiar with nearly the whole of Handel's music, as well as with the most admired co.npositions of other eminent men; and scarcely ever had occasion to make the slightest referenee to his notes. This gave him a great advantage as a performer. It is said that the late king, when once at Brighton, asked one of his musicians to play a particular piece, who apologized for his inability to fulfil the royal command, saying that he had not the book with him. The king replied, in a tone of mortification, · Mr. Wesley never wants a book. He can play from memory every thing that I request, after a few moments of recollection.'

We sometimes meet even with religious people who speak contemptuously of music and of musical performers; but this generally arises from one of two causes : either there is a defect in their ear, which renders them in a great measure incapable of those emotions which arise from gushes of sweet sound; or they do not discriminate between music and its abuse. One distinguished scholar of modern times has even charged the sweet singer of Israel with corrupting the worship of the Jewish Church, by introducing musical instruments in connection with it; thus forgetting that David was a prophet, and in effect striking out of the sacred canon, as uninspired, those psalms in which the use of such instruments is recommended! • See,' said good Richard Baxter, what this overdoing comes to.' In our present state we know little of heaven; but we learn from the New Testament that its happiness consists greatly in holy music and holy love ; and the piety of the Church on earth would be improved, and our worshipping assemblies more nearly resemble heaven, if due attention were paid to psalmody. Would that all the light and airy tunes, by which modern barbarity spoils our public devotions, were burned, and their places supplied by the fine melodies of the old masters, the men who understood music as a science! The true use of musical instruments in religious assemblies, I conceive to be to guide and assist the congregation in singing the praises of God; and not to overpower, much less to supersede, the voices of the people, whose business it is to • sing with the spirit and with the understanding.'

I conclude with two poetical compositions of the Rev. Charles Wesley, the father of the esteemed musician whose death has called forth these remarks. The latter of these pieces, I believe, never before appeared in print; and the first is at present little known.

Listed in the cause of sin,

Why should a good in evil end ?
Music, alas, too long has been

Press'd to obey the roaring fiend !
Drunken, or light, or lewd the lay,

To thoughtless souls destruction flow'd,
Widen'd and smooth'd the downward way,

And strew'd with flowers the’infernal road.
Who on the part of God will rise,

Restorer of instructive song,
Fly on the prey, and take the prize,

And spoil the gay Egyptian throng?

Who will the powers of sound redeem,

Music in virtue's cause retain,
Give harmony its proper theme,

And vie with the celestial train ?
Come, let us try if Jesu's love

Will nnt its votaries inspire :
The subject this of those above,

This upon earth the saints should fire:
Say, if your hearts be tuned to sing,

What theme like this your songs can claim ?
Harmony all its stores may bring,

Not half so sweet as Jesu's name.
His name the soul of music is,

And captivates the virgins pure,
His name is health, and joy, and bliss,

His name doth every evil cure:
Jesus's name the dead can raise,

Can ascertain our sins forgiven,
And fill with all the life of grace,

And bear our raptured souls to heaven.
Who hath a right like us to sing,

Us, whom his pardoning mercy cheers?
Merry the heart, for Christ is King,

And in the brighten'd face appears:
Who of his pardoning love partake,

Are callid for ever to rejoice;
Melody in our hearts we make,

Return'd by every echoing voice.
He that a sprinkled conscience knows,'

The mirth Divine, the mystic peace,
The joy that from believing flows,

Let him in psalms and hymns confess;
Offer the sacrifice of praise-

Praise ardent, cordial, constant, pure,
And triumph in harmonious lays,

While endless ages shall endure.
Then let us in the triumph join,

Responsive to the harps above,
Glory ascribe to grace Divine,

Worship, and majesty, and love:
We feel our future bliss begun,

We taste by faith the heavenly powers,
Believe, rejoice, and still sing on,

And heaven eternally is ours !


Men of true piety, they know not why,
Music, with all its sacred powers, decry,
Music itself (not its abuse) condemn,
For good or bad is just the same to them.
But let them know, they quite mistake the case,
Defect of nature for excess of
And, while they reprobate the harmonious art,
Blamed, we excuse, and candidly assert,
The fault is in their ear, not in their upright heart.



From the Wesleyan Methodist Magazine. ANECDOTES OF THE EARLY LIFE OF SAMUEL WESLEY,

ESQ. By his Father, the late Rev. Charles Wesley, M. A. SAMUEL was born on St. Matthias's day, February 24th, 1766—the same day which gave birth to Handel eighty-two years before. The seeds of harmony did not spring up in him quite so early as in his brother; for he was three years old before he aimed at a tune.* His first were,

• God save great George our King,' Fischer's Minuet, and such like, mostly picked up from the street organs. He did not put a true bass to them till he had learned his notes.

While his brother was playing he used to stand by, with his childish fiddle, scraping, and beating time. One observing him, asked me, • And what shall this boy do ?' I answered, Mend his brother's pens.' He did not resent the affront as deeply as Marcello ;Ť so it was not indignation which made him a musician.

Mr. Arnold was the first who, hearing him at the harpsichord, said, • I set down Sam for one of my family.' But we did not much regard him, coming after Charles. The first thing which drew our attention was the great delight he took in hearing his brother play. Whenever Mr. Kelway came to teach him, Sam constantly attended, and accompanied Charles on the chair. Undaunted by Mr. Kelway's frown, he went on; and when he did not see the harpsichord, [ he crossed his hands on the chair, as the other on the instrument, without ever missing a time.

He was so excessively fond of Scarlatti, that if Charles ever began playing his lesson before Sam was called, he would cry and roar as if he had been beaten. Mr. Madan, his godfather, finding him one day so belaboring the chair, told him he should have a better instrument by and by

I have since recollected Mr. Kelway's words : It is of the utmost importance to a learner to hear the best music;' and, •If any man

* His mother, however, gave to Daines Barrington the following convincing proof that he played a tune when he was but two years and eleven months old, by producing a quarter guinea, which was given to him by Mr. Addy, for this extraordinary feat, wrapped in a piece of paper, containing the day and year of the gift, as well as the occasion of it. Mrs. Wesley had also an elder son, who died in his infancy, and who both sung a tune, and beat time, when he was but twelve months old.

† This alludes 'to a well-known story in the musical world. Marcello, the celebrated composer, had an elder brother who had greatly distinguished himself in this science; and being asked what should be done with little Marcello, he answered, “Let him mend my pens;" which piqued the boy so much, that he determined to exceed his elder brother.

Incredible as this may appear, it is attested by the whole family, and that he generally turned his back to his brother while he was playing. "I think, how. ever," says Mr. Barrington, “that this extraordinary fact may thus be accounted for. There are some passages in Scarlatti's lessons which require the crossing of hands; (or the playing the treble with the left, and the bass with the right ;) but as what calls for this unusual fingering produces a very singular effect, the child must have felt that these parts of the composition could not be executed in any other way. It is possible, indeed, that he might have observed his brother crossing hands at these passages, and imitated him by recollecting that they were thuis fingered.”

would learn to play well, let him hear Charles.' Sam had this double advantage from his birth. As his brother employed the evenings in Handel's oratorios, Sam was always at his elbow, listening and joining with his voice. Nay, he would sometimes presume to find fault with his playing, when we thought he could know nothing of the matter.

He was between four and five years old when he got hold of the Oratorio of Samson; and by that alone taught himself to read words; soon after he taught himself to write. From this time he sprung up like a mushroom; and when turned of five could read perfectly well ; and had all the airs, recitatives, and choruses of Samson and the Messiah, both words and notes, by heart.

Whenever he heard his brother begin to play, he would tell us whose music it was (whether Handel, Corelli, Scarlatti, or any other ;) and what part of what lesson, sonata, or overture.

Before he could write he composed much music. His custom was to lay the words of an oratorio before him, and sing them all over. Thus he set (extempore for the most part) Ruth, Gideon, Manasses, and the death of Abel. We observed, when he repeated the same words, it was always to the same tunes. The airs of Ruth, in particular, he made before he was six years old, laid them up in his memory till he was eight, and then wrote them down. I have seen him



prayer book, and sing the Te Deum, or an anthem from some psalm, to his own music, accompanying it with the harpsichord. This he often did after he had learned to play by note, which Mr. Williams, a young organist of Bristol, taught him between six and seven.

How and when he learned counterpoint, I can hardly tell; but without being ever taught it, he soon wrote in parts.

He was full eight years old when Dr. Boyce came to see us, and accosted me with, Sir, I hear you have got an English Mozart in your house. Young Linley tells me wonderful things of him. I called Sam to answer for himself. He had by this time scrawled down his Oratorio of Ruth. The doctor looked over it very carefully, and seemed highly pleased with the performance. Some of his words were- These airs are some of the prettiest I have seen.

This boy writes by nature as true a bass as I can by rule and study. There is no man in England has two such sons.' He bade us let him run on ad libitum, without any check of rules or masters.

After this, whenever the doctor visited us, Sam ran to him with'his song, sonata, or anthem; and the doctor examined them with astonishing patience and delight.

As soon as Sam had quite finished his oratorio, he sent it as a present to the doctor, who immediately honored him with the following note :

• Dr. Boyce's compliments and thanks to his very ingenious brother composer, Mr. Samuel Wesley; and is very much pleased and obliged by the possession of the Oratorio of Ruth, which he shall preserve with the utmost care, as the most curious product of his musical library.'

For the year that Sam continued under Mr. Williams, it was hard to say which was the master, and which the scholar. Sam chose what

VOL. V.-October, 1834. 38

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