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making use of those words in singing, which God has ordained, whereby it may be denominated a religious duty.
Answ. To this it may be replied; that to have the affections raised, is no branch of religion, unless they are excited by those, ideas of divine things, in which it principally consists: Therefore, that which is a means of raising the affections, may not have a tendency to excite religious affections; and, consequently, it is not barely singing, but celebrating the praises of God therein, with raised affections, that is the duty and ordinance which we ought to engage in: These two, therefore, must be connected together; and if God is pleased, not only to instruct us as to the matter about which our faith is to be conversant, but to give us an ordinance conducive to the exciting our affections therein, it must be reckoned an additional advantage, and an help to our praising him in a becoming manner.
Obj. 2. Those arguments that have been taken from the practice of the Old Testament-church, to prove singing an ordinance, may, with equal justice, be alleged to prove the use of instrumental music therein; since we very often read of their praising God with the sound of the trumpet, psaltery, harp, organ, and other musical instruments, Psal. cl. 3, 4, 5. which is the principal argument brought for the use of them by those who defend this practice, and conclude it an help for devotion. (a)
(a) I come now to say somewhat of the antiquity of Musical Instruments. But that these were not used in the Christian Church in the primitive times, is attested by all the ancient writers with one consent, Hence they figuratively explain all the places of the Old Testament, which speak of Musical Instruments; as I might easily shew by a thousand testimonies, out of Clement of Alexandria, Basil, Ambrose, Jerom, Augustine, Chrysostom, and many others. I can hardly forbear laughing, when I meet with some of their allegorical interpretations. Thus an Instrument with ten strings, according to them, signifies the Ten Commandments, as the unknown author of the Commentary upon the Psalms, among Jerom's works, often explains it, In Ps. xxxii. 2. xliii. 4, &c. But the pleasantest fancy is the explication of those words: Praise him with stringed Instruments and Organs. Ps. cl. 4. "That the guts being twisted by reason of abstinence from food, and so all carnal desires being subdued, men are found "fit for the kingdom of God, to sing his praises." But Chrysostom talks more handsomly: "As the Jews praised God with all kind of Instruments; so we are "commanded to praise him with all the members of our bodies, our eyes, &c." In Ps. cl. And Clement of Alexandria talks much to the same purpose. Pædag lib. ii. c. 4.
Besides, the ancients thought it unlawful to use those Instruments in God'a worship. Thus the unknown author of a Treatise, among Justin Martyr's works. "Q. If songs were invented by unbelievers with a design of deceiving, and were "appointed for those under the Law, because of the childishness of their minds "why do they, who have received the perfect instructions of grace, which are "most contrary to the foresaid customs, nevertheless sing in the Churches, just "as they did, who were children under the Law? Answ. Plain Singing is not "childish, but only the Singing with lifeless Organs, with Dancing and Cym
Answ. To this it may be replied; that though we often read of music being used in singing the praises of God under
"bals, &c. Whence the use of such Instruments, and other things fit for "children, is laid aside, and Plain singing only retained." Resp. ad Orthodox. Q. 107.
Chrysostom seems to have been of the same mind, and to have thought, the use of such Instruments was rather allowed the Jews in consideration of their weakness, than prescribed and commanded. In Ps cl. But that he was mistaken, and that Musical Instruments were not only allowed the Jews, as he thought, and Isidorus of Pelusium, (whose testimony I shall mention presently) but were prescribed by God, may appear from the Texts of Scripture I have before refered to.
Clement, as I have mentioned already, thought these things fitter for beasts, than for men. And though Basil highly commends, and stifly defends the way of Singing by turns; yet he thought musical Instruments unprofitable and hurt. ful. He calls them, the inventions of Jubal of the race of Cain. And a little after, he thus expresses himself: "Laban was a lover of the harp, and of music, with "which he would have sent away Jacob: If thou hadst told me, said he, I would! "have sent thee away with mirth, and musical instruments, and an Iarp. But the "Patriarch avoided that music, as being a thing that would hinder his regard"ing the works of the Lord, and his considering the works of his hands." Comment. in Is. c. v. p. 956, 957. And a little before, he says thus: "In such vain "arts, as the playing upon the Harp, or Pipe, or dancing, as soon as the action "ceases, the work itself vanishes. So that really, according to the Apostle's ex"pression, The end of these things is destruction?" page 955.
Isidore of Pelusium, who lived since Basil, held, music was allowed the Jews by God, in a way of condescension to their childishness: "If God says he, bore "with bloody sacrifices, because of men's childishness at that time; why should "you wonder, he bore with the music of an harp and a psaltery?" Epist. lib. 2. ep. 176.
Nay, there are some ecclesiastical officers in the Church of England, who, for their very profession and employment, would have been kept from the communion of the Church, except they desisted from it. So we are informed by the Apostolical Constitutions: "If any come to the mystery of godliness, being a "player upon a pipe, a lute, or an harp; let him leave it off, or be rejected."Lib. viii. c. 32.
From what has been said, it appears, no musical instruments were used in the pure times of the Church. It became Antichristian, before they were received. Bellarmine himself does not deny, they were late brought into the Church, "The second ceremony, says he, are the Musical Instruments, which "began to be used in the service of the Church, in the time of Pope Vitalian, "about the year 660, as Platina relates out of the Pontifical; or, as Aimonius "rather thinks, lib. iv. De gestis Francorum, c. 114. after the year 820, in the "time of Lewis the Pious." De Missa, lib. ii. c. 15. Item, De bon. Öper. lib. i. c. 17.
Dr. N. would hardly have denied, the Church of Rome was become Antichristian, when they were first brought in; even though we should allow Bellarmine's first date of them to be the true one. But a Reformed Divine may well be ashamed of that antiquity, that does not exceed the rise of Antichrist. But I am fully satisfied both Bellarmine's dates are false, and that instrumental music, in the worship of God, is much later than either of those accounts allow. For as to Platina, he seems to suspect the truth of what he wrote: “ Vitalian, says Ae, being careful about the worship of God, made an ecelesiastical rule, and "ordered the singing, with the addition (as some think) of organs." In Vital. Again, Bellarmine's Aimonius is not the true Aimonius. For (as Dr. Cave says) Amonius of Fleury, who wrote, De gestis Francorum, flourished about the year 1000; and his History, which begins at the destruction of Troy, is brought down as far as the coronation of King Pipin, or to the year 752. For what comes after
the Old Testament; yet if what has been said concerning its being a type of that spiritual joy which attends our praising
that, and makes up the fifth book, and the latter part of the fourth, is the continuation of another hand. Hist. Liter. p. 597.
Farther, that these instruments were not used in God's worship, in Thomas Aquinas's time, that is, about the year 1250, he himself is witness. "In the old "Law, says he, God was praised both with musical instruments and human voi. ❝ces, and according to that Psalm xxxiii. Praise the Lord with harp, sing unto "him with the psaltery, and an instrument of ten strings. But the Church does not use musical instruments to praise God, lest she should seem to judaize. "Therefore, by parity of reason, she should not use singing." Secunda secundæ Questio 91, art. 4. & conclus. 4. The like objection is made by our author. But Thomas answers: "As to this objection, we must say, as the philosopher, Lib. "viii. Polit. that Pipes are not to be used for teaching, nor any artificial instru"ments, as the harp, or the like: but whatever will make the hearers good men. "For these musical instruments rather delight the mind, than form it to any "good disposition. But under the Old Testament such instruments were used, "partly because the people were harder and more carnal; upon which account "they were to be stirred up by these instruments, as likewise by earthly pro"mises; and partly because these bodily instruments were typical of some"thing." Upon which place Cardinal Cajetan gives us this Comment: ""Tis "to be observed, the Church did not use organs in Thomas's time. Whence, " even to this day, the Church of Rome does not use them in the Pope's pre"sence. And truly it will appear, that musical instruments are not to be suffer"ed in the ecclesiastical offices we meet together to perform, for the sake of "receiving internal instruction from God; and so much the rather are they to "be excluded, because God's internal discipline exceeds all human disciplines, "which rejected these kind of instruments." Cit. Hoffm. Lex. voce Musica.
If any one objects the practice of some foreign churches, I answer with Mr. Hickman: "They are laid aside by most of the reformed churches; nor would "they be retained among the Lutherans, unless they had forsaken their own "Luther; who, by the confession of Eckard, reckoned organs among the ensigns "of Baal. That they still continue in some of the Dutch churches, is against " "the minds of the Pastors. For in the National Synod at Middleburg, in the
year 1581, and in the Synod of Holland and Zealand, in the year 1594, it was "resolved, That they would endeavour to obtain of the magistrate the laying aside
of organs, and the singing with them in the churches, even out of the time of wor"ship, either before or after sermons: so far are those Synods from bearing with "them in the worship itself." Apol. p. 139.
The Church of England herself had formerly no very good opinion of these musical instruments; as may appear by her Homilies: "Lastly, God's ven
geance hath been, and is daily provoked, because much wicked people pass "nothing to resort unto the church; either for that they are so sore blinded, "that they understand nothing of God or godliness, and care not with devilish "malice to offend their neighbours; or else for that they see the church altoge"ther scoured of such gay gazing sights, as their gross phantasie was greatly "delighted with; because they see the false religion abandoned, and the true
restored, which seemeth an unsavory thing to their usavory taste, as may appear by this that a woman said to her neighbour: Alas! gossip, what shall "we now do at church, since all the Saints are taken away; since all the good"ly sights we were wont to have are gone; since we cannot hear the like piping, "singing, Chaunting, and playing upon the organs that we could before? But, "dearly beloved, we ought greatly to rejoice and give God thanks, that our "churches are delivered out of all those things, which displeased God so sore,
and filthily defiled his holy house, and his place of prayer.” Hom. of the place and time of prayer, part. 2. p. 131.
A great number also of the Clergy in the first convocation of Queen Elizabeth
God for the privilege of that redemption which Christ has purchased be true; then this objection will appear to have no weight, since this type is abolished, together with the ceremonial law. And it may be farther observed, that though we read of the use of music, in the temple-service, yet it does not sufficiently appear, that it was ever used, in the Jewish synagogues; wherein the mode of worship more resembled that which is, at present, performed by us in our public assemblies. But that which may sufficiently determine this matter, is, that, we have no precept or precedent for it in the New Testament, either from the practice of Christ, or his apostles. And inasmuch as this is alleged, by some, to overthrow the ordinance of singing, who pretend, that it ought to be no more used by us than the harp, organ, or other musical instruments : It might as well be objected, that, because incense, which was
in 1562, earnestly laboured to have organs, and that pompous theatrical way of singing laid aside, and missed the carrying it but by one vote, as I observe elsewhere. And in this Archbishop Parker concurred with them, or at least did not oppose them.
I will add one or two testimonies of Papists against this cathedral way of worship. The first shall be Polydorus Virgilius.
Having taken notice of Austine's dislike of that way of singing in his time, he thus proceeds: "But in our time, it seems much less useful to the common"wealth, now our singers make such a noise in our churches, that nothing can
be heard, beside the sound of the voice; and they who come there (that is all "that are in the city) are satisfied with the concert of music, which their ears "itch for, and never mind the sense of the words. So that we are come to that pass, "that in the opinion of the common people, the whole affair of religious worship “is lodged in these singers; although, generally speaking, there is no sort of "men more loose or wicked: and yet a good part of the people run to church, "as to a theatre, to hear them bawl: they hire and encourage them; and look upon them alone as ornaments to the house of God. Wherefore, without "doubt, it would be for the interest of religion, either to cast these jackdaws "out of the churches; or else to teach them when they sing, they should do it rather in the manner of reading, than bawling; as Austine says Athanasius "ordered, &c." De Invent. Rer. lib. vi. c. 2. p. 379.
Next hear the judgment of Erasmus: "Let a man be more covetous than Crassus, more foul-mouthed than Zoilus, he shall be reckoned a pious man, if "he sings those prayers well, though he understands nothing of them. But
what, I beseech you, must they think of Christ, who can believe he is delight"ed with such a noise of men's voices? Not content with this, we have brought
into our churches a certain operose and theatrical music; such a confused dis"orderly chattering of some words, as I hardly think was ever heard in any of "the Grecian or Roman theatres. The church rings with the noise of trumpets, "pipes and dulcimers; and human voices strive to bear their part with them."Men run to church as to a theatre, to have their ears tickled. And for this "end organ-makers are hired with great salaries, and a company of boys, who "waste all their time in learning these whining tones. Pray now compute how "many poor people in great extremity might be maintained by the salaries of "those singers." In 1 Cor. xiv. 19.
Lastly, Lindanus says: "Who will compare the Music of this present age, with that which was formerly used? Whatever is sung now, signifies little for informing the people; which 'tis certain the ancients always designed.” Panopliv. c 78. PIERCE'S VINDICATION,
used under the ceremonial law, together with prayer in the temple, Luke i. 9, 10. is not now offered by us; therefore prayer ought to be laid aside; which is, as all own, a duty founded on the moral law.
(4.) In singing those psalms or songs, which are given by divine inspiration, we are not to consider the subject-matter thereof, as always expressive of the frame of our own spirits, or denoting the dispensations of providence, which we, or the church of God are, at present exercised with. This is necessary in order to our singing with understanding; and it may be inferred from what is observed under the second of those heads, before laid down, relating to the agreement which there is between singing and reading any of David's psalms.
It must be allowed by all, that we ought to have the same acts of faith in one, as we have in the other. This is evident from all composures in prose or verse, whether divine or human. If the subject-matter be historical, whatever the form be in which it is laid down, the principal things to be considered are, those matters of fact which are therein related. If an history be written in prose, and the same should be turned into verse; its being laid down in the form of a poem, though it adds something of beauty to the mode of expression, yet the ideas, that are conveyed thereby, or the historical representation of things, are the same though they had not been written in verse. It may be, the reading the same history in verse, may add something of pleasure and delight to those ideas which we have of it, in like manner as singing, according to the third head before mentioned, is a distinct ordinance from reading (though the matter be the same, as it respects the exciting the affections ;) yet this does not give us different ideas of it; much less are we to take occasion from thence, to apply those things to ourselves that are spoken of others; unless parallel circumstances require it. If this rule be not observed, I do not see how we can sing many of the psalms of David. Sometimes the subject-matter thereof is not agreeable to every age of life, or the universal experience of particular persons. It would be very preposterous for a child, in singing those words, I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread, Psal. xxxvii. 25. or what is elsewhere. said; Now also, when I am old and gray-headed, O God, forsake me not, Psal. lxxi. 18. to apply them, in particular to himself. And when some other psalms are sung in a public assembly, in which God's people are represented as dejected, disconsolate, and, as it were, sinking in the depths of despair; as when the Psalmist says, My soul refused to be comforted. I remembered God, and was troubled; I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed, Psal. lxxvii. 2, 3. and else