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be so too ?” But since, on the contrary, thought and consideration, the voluntary denying ourselves many things which we desire, and a course of behaviour far from being always agreeable to us, are absolutely necessary to our acting even a common decent and common prudent part, so as to pass with any satisfaction through the present world, and be received upon any tolerable good terms in it-since this is the case, all presumption against self-denial and attention being necessary to secure our higher interest is removed. Had we not experience, it might, perhaps, speciously be urged, that it is improbable any thing of hazard and danger should be put upon us by an infinite Being; when every thing which is hazard and danger in our manner of conception, and will end in error, confusion, and misery, is now already certain in his foreknowledge. And, indeed, why any thing of hazard and danger should be put upon such frail creatures as we are may well be thought a difficulty in speculation, and cannot but be so, till we know the whole, or, however, much more of the case. But still the constitution of Nature is as it is. Our happiness and misery are trusted to our conduct, and made to depend upon it. Somewhat, and in many circumstances a great deal too, is put upon us either to do or to suffer, as we choose. And all the various miseries of life, which people bring upon themselves by negligence and folly, and might have avoided by proper care, are instances of this; which miseries are beforehand just as contingent and undetermined as their conduct, and left to be determined by it.
These observations are an answer to the objections against the credibility of a state of trial, as implying temptations, and real danger of miscarrying with regard to our general interest, under the moral government of God: and they show that, if we are at all to be considered in such a capacity, and as having such an interest, the general analogy of Providence must lead us to apprehend ourselves in danger of miscarrying, in different degrees, as to his interest, by our neglecting to act the proper part belonging to us in that capacity. For we have a present interest under the government of God, which we experience here upon earth. And this interest, as it is not forced upon us, so neither is it offered to our acceptance, but to our acquisition ; in such sort, as that we are in danger of missing it, by means of temptations to neglect or act contrary to it, and without attention and selfdenial, must and do miss of it. It is then perfectly credible that this may be our case with respect to that chief and final good which religion proposes to us.
233.—THE PATRIOTIC SONGS OF GREAT BRITAIN.-I.
One of our statesmen is reported to have exclaimed, " Give me the making of a nation's ballads, and I care not who makes its laws." Though this sentiment was somewhat exaggerated, there can be no doubt of the power of those impressions wbich are communicated to a people by the aid of music; and history furnishes us some remarkable instances of the effect of popular songs in stimulating a multitude. The expulsion of a band of tyrants from Athens has been ascribed to the influence of an ode which was a universal favourite of the people; violent and sanguinary sentiments engrafted upon well-known airs incited the populace to many of the atrocities of the French Revolution ; while, at the same period, in England, the bold and loyal spirit of our navy was kept alive by a series of songs, wonderfully adapted to the modes of thinking and customs of seafaring life. It is perhaps not too much to say that the character of a people is, in some degree, formed by its stores of national ballads.
The English possess four or five patriotic airs, which are often heard on public occasions ;—which the people themselves sing with an honest enthusiasm;—which are re-echoed through the land in times of danger; and which, therefore, form part of that invincible armoury of defence which is found in national character. We appear to have a greater stock of such songs than any other nations; not light and ephemeral productions, but airs which have an abiding place in the heart of the whole population. These songs are of the very genius of our constitution; and it is only in a country of freedom that they would possess an interest so warm and so universal.
The most popular song in the world is our God save the Queen.' The history of its composition is very uncertain. Perhaps the best sustained theory is that it was originally a Jacobite song, written during the rebellion of 1715, by Henry Carey, and partly composed by him. It rushed into popularity at the English theatres in 1745; and Carey himself sang it publicly in 1740, having changed " James” to “George." The air is simple, and yet stately. It is capable of calling forth the talents of the finest vocal performers; and yet is admirably adapted for a chorus, in which the humblest pretender to music may join. The words are not elegant, but they are very expressive; and
the homeliness of some of the lines may have contributed to its universality. It is one of those very rare productions which never pall; which either from habit, or association, or intrinsic excellence, are always pleasing. Its popularity is so recognised, that it is now often called the National Anthem.'
The next song in point of popularity is 'Rule Britannia.' It was written by Thompson, and was first performed at Cliefden, before the parents of George III., in 1740, in the mask of Alfred, which he wrote in conjunction with Mallet. The music of this celebrated song is by Dr. Arne. The music without the words is never heard without enthusiasm; and the words cannot be read without exciting an elevated feeling of national pride.
To thee belongs the rural reign;
Thy cities shall with commerce shine :
The Muşes, still with freedom found,
Shall to thy happy coast repair :
Rule, Britannia, rule the waves ;
There is another very beautiful though less popular song, of the same character, - Britain's best Bulwarks are her Wooden Walls.' This was written and composed by Dr. Arne.
When Britain on her sea-girt shore
Her ancient Druids erst address'd,
What best defence, by numbers press'd ?
The mystic oracles replied, -
Their threats defy, their rage deride,
Thine oaks, descending to the main,
With floating forts shall stem the tide,
Where'er her thund'ring navies ride.
Where commerce opens all her stores,
And join the sea-divided shores,
Hail, happy isle! What though thy vales
No vine-impurpled tribute yield,
Nor crops spontaneous glad the field.
Of industry to labour prone,
the harvest she has sown;
One of our most animating compositions of a warlike nature is, * Britons, strike home!' It was first performed in the tragedy of Queen Boadicea, or the British Heroine,' in 1696. The music is by the great composer, Henry Purcell. The following are the words :
To arms, to arms, your ensigns straight display,
Success depends upon our hearts and spears.
It is affirmed that the music of this song was played as the great Marlborough led his troops to the attack at the battle of Blenheim. We were present on an occasion when it was performed under very peculiar circumstances. It was in 1805, when the alarm of French invasion was general, and the national spirit was called forth in the most zealous preparations to defend our altars and our homes; and when the great Nelson was in search of the combined fleets previous to the battle of Trafalgar. George III. was walking on Windsor Ter
He was surrounded by all ranks of his subjects. The military band were about to play · Rule, Britannia,' when the king stepped up to them, and with a loud voice called out, “No, no! let us have • Britons, strike home !"" The air was immediately played; and it seemed as if it strengthened the bonds of affection and fidelity between the sovereign and the people.
A great portion of the Patriotic Songs of England have reference to her character as a maritime nation. These allusions not only preserve amongst the people generally a habit of referring to the great cause of our national triumphs, but they keep alive amongst the seamen those