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THE

VOICE OF OUR CONGREGATIONS ;

OR,

Responsive Services,

WITHOUT PREPARED PRAYERS,

FOR THE CHURCHES OF CHRIST.

BY

J. W. C. DRANE.

SOLD BY JOHN SNOW, 35, PATERNOSTER ROW.

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INTRODUCTION.

TO MY READERS.

There are certain peculiarities in the structure of Hebrew verse which have struck the attention of nearly all who have duly examined the subject. One of the most marked of these is the parallelism of sentiment and expression everywhere abounding as the essential of Jewish versification. Slovenly rendered in prosaic English, these parallelisms have to modern ears a smack of tautology. But it has long struck the author that Jewish poetry was originally and essentially responsive, consisting of the utterance of a sentiment in excited and elevated mood by one party as leader, and responded to impromptu by another party, who echoed the sentiment of the first with varied expression, and sometimes with varied phase, of the initiative thought. · Occasionally, a third or fourth joined to sustain and amplify the poetic theme. And at certain emphasized intervals all echoed and re-echoed together some spirit-stirring proposition of no small importance in reference to whát had.been already enunciated or had to follow. The choruses, in fact, constituted the telling epitome, or the thrilling disclosure, or the vital link of the poem as far as it had proceeded. Such, in my humble conception, was the origin of the peculiar form of verse prevalent amongst the Israelitish people. And this conclusion is in part sustained by the customs of Shemitic tribes to this day. The following graphic passage I take from “ The Mission of Inquiry to the Jews,” (p. 61):“The young Arabs (say the writers), in order to cheer the way, commenced a native dance and song. One of them advancing a little before the rest, began the song,

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