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"tian religion, as facrifices, first-fruits, hymns, prayers, fhews, feasts, and "fuch like things "." This is confirmed by Porphyry, who fays, that the Egyptians devote "the day to the worship of their gods; in which, three or "four times, namely, morning and evening, noon and fun-fetting, they fing hymns unto them." The fame Porphyry fays, concerning the Indians, that they spend the greatest part of the day and night in prayers and hymns to "the gods":" And moreover, that when they commit their bodies to the "flames, that they may, in the pureft manner, separate the foul from the body, they fing an hymn and die'." And, in another place, explaining that fymbol of Pythagoras, "That drink offerings are to be poured out to the "gods, by the ear of the cups; by this, fays he, is intimated, that we ought to honour the gods, and fing hymns to them with mufic, for this goes through the ears "." Very remarkable is a paffage of Arrianus, the ftoic philofopher; "If, fays he, we are intelligent creatures, what else should "we do, both in public and private, than to fing an hymn to the Deity, to speak well of him, and give thanks unto him? Should we not, whether digging or plowing, or eating, fing an hymn to God? Great is God, "who has given us thefe inftruments, by which we till the earth. Great is "God, that has given us hands, a faculty of swallowing, and a belly; that "we fecretly grow and increase, and that, whilst we fleep, we breathe; each "of these things ought to be taken notice of in an hymn: But the greatest and "most divine hymn we ought to fing is, that he has given us a reasonable "faculty of using these things in a right way: What fhall I fay, fince 66 many of you are blind? ought not fome one to fill up this place, and give "out an hymn to God for you all ?If I was a nightingale, I would do "as a nightingale; and if a swan, as a swan; but fince I am a rational crea
Η πρώτα μεν γαρ προερχεται ο ωδος εν τι των της μυσικής επιφερόμενα συμβόλων της τον φασι δυο βιβλος ανειληφέναι δειν εκ των Ερμα. Ων θατερον μεν, υμνος περιέχει Θεων, εκλογισμού δε βασιλικό βια το δεύτερον. Paulo poft, δεκα δε και τα εις την τιμην ανηκονία των τσαρ' αυτοις Θεων, και την Αιγυπτιαν Ευσέβειαν περιέχοντα· οιον περί θυμάτων, απαρχων, υμνων, ευχών, πομπων, πορίων, και των Telos oposar. Clem. Alex. Stromat. 1. 6. p. 633. edit. Paris.
Ήμεραν εις θεραπειαν των Θεων, καθ' ην η τρις η τετρακις, κατά την ια, και την ισπεραν, μισορανανία τε τον ηλιον και προς δυσιν καταφερόμενον τέλος υμνουντες. Porphyr. de Abftinent. fμολο 8. p. 153. edit. Cantabr.
* Τον τοινον χρονον της ημέρας, και της νυκίος τον πλείσον εις υμνες των Θεών απένειμαν και 10χως. Ibid. §. 12. p. 168.
Περί το σώμα παραδονίες, όπως δε καθαρώτη την αποκρίνωσι τα σωματα την ψυχήν υμνωμενοί του Arlwo. Ibid. §. 18. p. 170.
η Σπονδας τε ποιείσθαι τοις Θεοις καλα το ως των εκπωμάτων. Εντευθεν γαρ εκτίετο τιμαν τες Θίας Kas over an poin, aurn yap dia wlwr xwp. Ibid. de vita Pythag. p. 200. edit. Cantabr. VOL. III. 4 F
"ture, I ought to praise God; this is my work; this I will do; nor will I "defert this station to the utmost of my power; and I exhort you to the self "fame fong "." And in another place he fays, "This is my work whilst I "live, to fing an hymn to God, both by myself, and before one or many"." Much of this language would well become the mouth of a Chriftian. It is obferved concerning the mufes ', that they were chiefly employed about the hymns and worship of the gods; and that fome of them had their names from thence, as Melpomene, Terpsichore, and Polymnia; and that Homer got fo much credit, admiration, and applaufe as he did, was owing, among other things, to the hymns which he compofed for the gods; and there is ftill extant, among his works, an hymn to Apollo. Moreover, formerly rewards were proposed in the Pythian games', for fuch who beft fung an hymn to the god. And Julian', the emperor, takes notice of many excellent hymns of the gods, which he advises to learn, as being of great ufe in the knowledge of things facred; most of which, he says, were composed by the gods; fome few by men inspired by a divine fpirit. From these, and other instances which might be produced, we may conclude, that the Gentiles were obliged, by the law of nature, to this part of worship, and, by the light of nature, were directed to it; and confequently that it is a part of natural religion and moral worship. Moreover,
2. It is evident, that the people of God fung fongs of praise to him before the law was given by Mofes. When the Lord fo remarkably appeared for the children of Ifrael, by delivering them out of the hands of the Egyptians, and carrying them fafely through the Red-fea, though their enemies were drowned
η Ει γαρ νεν ειχομεν, αλλο τι εδει ημας ποιειν και κοινη και ιδία, η υμνειν το Θείον, και ευφήμεις, και επεξερχεσθαι τας χαρίλας; εκ εδει και σκαπτονίας, και αρωνίας και εσθιονίας, αδειν τον υμνον τον εις τον Θεον; μεγας ο Θεος, οτι ημιν παρεσχεν οργανα ταυλα, δι ων την γην εργασόμεθα" μεγας ο Θεός, ότι χειρας δέδωκεν, οτι καλαποσιν, οτι κοιλιαν, ο]ι αύξεσθαι λεληθοΊως, οτι καθευδονίας αναπνειν. Ταυία εφ' εκας ο εφυμνειν εδει, και τον μεγιςον, και θειοταλον ύμνον εφυμνειν, ότι την δυναμιν έδωκε την παρακολύθητιχην τελων, και οδω χρησικην τι uk, επει οι πολλοι απολελυφλωσθε, εκ εδει τινα ειναι τον ταυτην εκπληρενία την χώραν, και υπερ πανίων διαδιδονία τον υμνον τον εις τον Θεον ;-ει γεν αηδών ημην, έποιες τα της αηδον ανθο, οι κύκνου τα τε κυκνε, νυν δε λογικος ειμί, υμνειν με δει τον Θεον τύλο με το έργον εξ ι. Πονω αυτο, εδ' εγκαταλείψω την ταξιν ταύλην, εφοσον αν διδοται και υμας επι την αυλην ταύτην, ώδης wapaxaλw. Arrian. Epictet. 1. 1. c. 16. p. 127, 128. edit. Cantabr.
ο και ζωντος με τυλο το έργον ην, υμνειν τον Θεον, και αυτοί επ' εμαυία, και προς ενας και προς πολλυς. Ibid. 1. 3 c. 26. P. 350,
P. Phurnutus de natura deorum, p. 22, 23.
• Paufanias in Phocicis, five l. 10. p. 620.
Opera, p. 551. Ed. Parif. 4° 1630, of these hymns to the gods, fee more in Alex. ab Alex. Genial. Dier. 1. 4. c. 17. prope finem.
drowned in it; Then fang Mofes and the children of Ifrael this fong, unto the Lord, and fpake, faying, I will fing unto the Lord, for he bath triumphed gloriously ; the borfe and his rider bath be thrown into the Sea, &c. Miriam and the Ifraelitifh women, fung the fame. This is the first fong the fcriptures make mention of; though, the Jews "fay, Adam fung one before. Now by what law did the Ifraelites fing this fong? it could not be by the Levitical law; for that fyftem of laws was not as yet given to that people; and when that body of laws was delivered to them, we do not find that finging of God's praises was any part of it; it is not to be met with in the whole body of Jewish laws, given out by Mofes; why then fhould it be reckoned of ceremonious inftitu-, tion, or a part of worship peculiar to the Old Teftament? Nor was it by any positive law, or according to any part of external revelation God had made to the fons of men, the children of Ifrael fung; for no fuch positive law was extant, or any fuch revelation made, as we know of: It remains then, that in doing this, they acted according to the dictates of their confciences, and the examples which might have been before them, by which they were influenced, as to cry to the Lord when in diftrefs, fo to fing his praises when they were delivered.
3. It may eafily be observed, that when pfalmody was in the most flourishing condition among the Ifraelites, under the direction and influence of David their king, the sweet pfalmift of Ifrael, it was not confined to that people; but all nations of the earth were called upon, and exhorted to fing the praises of God, even by the pfalmift himself; Make a joyful noife unto God, all ye lands, (Heb. all the earth) fing forth the honour of his name; make his praife glorious. Let the people praise thee, O God, let all the people praise thee. O let the nations be glad and fing for joy; for thou shalt judge the people righteously, and govern the nations upon earth. Selah. O fing unto the Lord a new fong; fing unto the Lord, all the earth, fing unto the Lord; blefs his name, fhew forth his falvation from day to day". Now if finging was not a part of moral worship, but of a ceremonious kind, and peculiar to the Old Teftament-difpenfation, the nations of the earth would have had no concern in it; it would not have been obligatory upon them, but proper only to the Ifraelites, to whom alone pertaineth the giving of the law and the fervice of God.
4. Nothing is more manifeft, than that when ceremonial worship was in its greatest glory, and legal facrifices in highest esteem, that finging of pfalms and spiritual songs was preferred unto them, as being more acceptable to God; I will
4 F 2
Exod. xv. 1, 20, 21. "Vid. Targum, in Cant. i. 1. and my notes upon it. w Pfal. lxvi. 1, 2. lxvii. 3, 4. and xcvi. 1, 2.
I will praise the name of God with a fong, and will magnify him with thanksgiving, fays David; This also shall please the Lord better than an ox or bullock, that bath borns and boofs *. Now can any other reason of this difference be given, than that the facrifice of an ox or bullock was of ceremonial inftitution; whereas, praising God was a part of moral worship, which might be performed in a fpiritual and evangelical manner?
5. When the ceremonial law, with all its instituted rites, was abolished, this duty of finging remained in full force. The apostle Paul, in his epiftles written to the churches at Ephefus and Coloffe, declares in the one, that the middle wall of partition, between Jew and Gentile, was broken down: Meaning the ceremonial law, and that which was the cause of enmity between both; even the law of commandments, contained in ordinances, was abolished: And in the other, fays, Let no man judge you in meat or in drink, or in respect of an boly day, or of the new moon, or of the fabbath days, which are a shadow of things to come, but the body is of Chrift; and yet, in both, exhorts them to fing, pfalms, hymns, and fpiritual fongs. Now it is not reasonable to suppose, that the fame apoftle, in the fame epiftles, written to the fame perfons, should declare them disengaged from fome things, and under obligation to regard others, if these equally belonged to the ceremonial law, and were alike peculiar to the Old Teftament difpenfation.
6. This practice of finging the praifes of God, has been performed by creatures who were never fubject to the ceremonial law; by whom I mean not the Gentiles, who have been already taken notice of, but the angels, who, though fubject to the moral law, fo far as their nature and condition will admit of; yet, in no one inftance, were ever concerned in ceremonial fervice. Now these holy and spiritual beings were very early employed in this divine and heavenly work of finging; these morning ftars, fo called for their brightness and glory, fang together; thefe fons of God, by creation, fhouted for joy, when the foundations of the earth were faftened, and the corner stone thereof laid: As they did also when the corner stone of man's redemption was laid in the incarnation of the Son of God; at which time there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly boft, praifing God, and faying, Glory to God in the bigbeft, and on earth peace, good will towards men; who will likewife join with the faints in hallelujahs and fongs of praife to God, throughout an endless eternity. For,
Pfal. Ixix. 30, 31.
y Eph. ii. 14, 15.
z Col. ii. 16, 17.
• Eph. v. 19. Col. iii. 16.
7. We may fay of this duty what the apoftle fays of charity, that it never faileth, though prophefies, tongues, and knowledge fhall. For, when all ordinances whether of a moral nature, or of positive institution, shall cease, such as prayer, preaching, baptifm, the Lord's fupper, and the like; this will continue, and be in its greatest glory and perfection. This will be the employment of faints when raised out of their dusty beds, on the refurrection morn, in the power and virtue of the refurrection of their rifen Lord. Thy dead men fhall live, together with, or as my dead body, fhall they arife: Awake and fing, ye that dwell in the duft; for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall caft out the dead: Thefe having their fouls and bodies reunited, shall come to the Zion above, with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: These shall stand upon the mount with the Lamb, and fing in the height of it, even that new fong which no one can learn, but those who are redeemed from the earth. But I proceed,
III. To confider the subject-matter of finging, or what that is which is to be fung. The direction of the apostle Paul in this cafe, is certainly to be regarded, who, in two diftinct epiftles', exhorts to the finging of pfalms, hymns, and spiritual fongs; and what these are, it will be proper to enquire. And,
1. By pfalms, is meant the book of pfalms, compofed by David, Asaph, Heman, and others, under the inspiration of the Spirit of God; which is the only fenfe in which this word is used throughout the whole New Teftament:: Nor is there any reason to believe, that the apostle Paul designs any other in the above-mentioned places; or the apostle James, when he fays", Is any merry? let bim fing pfalms. Those who are of a different mind, ought to fhew in what other fenfe this word is ufed, and where, and what those pfalms are we are to fing, if not the pfalms of David, &c. fince it is certain, there are pfalms which are to be fung under the New Testament difpenfation.
Eph. v. 19. Col. iii. 16.
2. By hymns, we are to understand, not fuch as are compofed by good: men, without the infpiration of the Spirit of God. I obferve indeed, from ancient writers, and from ecclefiaftical history, that fuch compofitions were made 1 Cor. xiii. 8. • Ifa. xxvi. 19. 8 James v. 13. ▸ Clemens Alexandr. Pædagog. 1. 3. c. 12. in fine, p. 266. Ed. Parif. Tertullian. Apolog.. c. 39. p. 36. Ed. Rigalt. Eufeb. Ecclef. Hift. 1. 2. c. 17. p. 55, 56. and 1. 5. c. 28. p. 196. and 1. 7. c. 24. p. 271. Ed. Valef. Of these hymns, see more in Fabricii Biblioth. Græc. Vol. 5. c. 1. p. 195, 196, &c. and Bibliograph. Antiq.c. 11. p. 368, &c. These were first objected to by Paul of Samofata. Eufeb. 1. 7. c. 30. p. 281. and prohibited by the council of Laodicea,. in Can. 59.