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them in the fong, fince they had a share in the common deliverance. The pfalmift David, declared it as his refolution, and, no doubt but it was his practice, when he had opportunity, to fing the praises of God among the heathens. Therefore, fays he, will I give thanks unto thee, O Lord, among the heathen, and fing praifes unto thy name. I will praise thee, O Lord, among the people, I will fing unto thee among the nations. The church, in Solomon's fong, is represented, not only as taking her part in the fong in the midft of, but as joining with the daughters of Jerufalem, though they were ignorant of Christ her beloved. It is evident, that the church at Corinth fung pfalms in the presence of unbelievers, as well as performed other parts of public wor ship; which was one reason that made the apostle fo defirous of rectifying the irregularities in this, as in the rest, that fo unbelievers, who came in among them, might be convinced and obliged to own, that God was in them of a truth. Moreover, inafmuch as unbelievers are admitted to public prayers, and to join with you in them, why not to public finging? especially, fince fome ends of this ordinance cannot be answered without their presence; which are to declare the Lord's doings among the people, and make known his wonders and his glory among the heathen': To add no more, This ordinance has been an ordinance for converfion; I have known it to be fo, and fo have others besides me; and a good reason this is why it fhould be continued publicly in our churches, and unbelievers be admitted to an attendance on it.
V. I come now to confider the manner in which this ordinance fhould be performed, which I fhall do very briefly, and fhall chiefly regard what is expreffed in my text, in which the apoftle is defirous that he might, and determined to, fing with the Spirit, and with the understanding alfo.
1. With the Spirit. By which may be meant, either the extraordinary gift of the Spirit, by which the apoftle was capable of delivering out a pfalm or hymn extempore, and that in an unknown tongue; though he was determined to make use of this gift in fuch a way, as to be understood by others, that so they might receive fome profit and edification by it; or elfe, by the Spirit, may be defigned the Spirit of God, who is abfolutely neceffary to the fpiritual performance of this duty. Believers in the discharge of this work, stand in great need of him to excite their attention, affift their meditations, enlighten their understandings, raise their affections, strengthen their faith, and make a comfortable application of what is fung to themselves; or, by finging
finging with the spirit, may be meant, finging with his own fpirit; and indeed, believers fhould be fervent in fpirit, whilft they are ferving the Lord in any ordinance: As God is a Spirit, he must be worshipped in fpirit, or with our fpirits, that is, with our hearts, engaged in the work we are concerned in; and then may we be faid to fing with the fpirit, when we fing with grace in our hearts, or in the lively exercise of faith, and hope, and love; for to the due performance of this ordinance in a spiritual way, are required a large measure of grace, a good deal of spiritual light, knowledge, experience and judgment; for we should fing,
2. With the understanding alfo; that is, either in a language that is to be underftood, or with the understanding of what is fung; fing ye praises with underStanding; or to the understanding of others; for one end of this duty is, to teach and admonish others as well as ourselves; and perhaps, the apostle may have fome regard here to one of the titles of David's pfalms', namely, b maschil, which fignifies a pfalm, giving instruction, or causing to understand. Unless we fing in all these fenfes with understanding, we fing with little advantage, either to ourselves or others. In a word, befides our mutual edification, we should have in our view the glory of God; we are to fing unto the Lord, not to ourselves, or to raise our natural affections, or to gain applaufe from others, by the fineness of our voice, and exact conformity to the tune; but to the glory of Father, Son and Spirit, who are that one God, who condefcends to inhabit the praises of Ifrael.
Having now confidered the feveral things I propofed, relating to the ordinance of finging, I fhall fubjoin a fhort account of the faith and practice of the faints in the first three centuries of Christianity, with respect either to finging alone, or in the family, or in the churches; which, added to the scriptural account of this duty, may ferve the more to confirm us in the practice of it.
If the Therapeutæ, a fet of religious perfons mentioned by Philo the Jew, who was cotemporary with the apostles, were Chriftians, as Eufebius" thinks, then we have a proof, befides the fcripture ones, of the Chriftians finging of pfalms and hymns in the times of the apoftles; for of these Philo fays, "That they not only gave themselves up to a contemplative life, but com"posed fongs and hymns to God,. in various kinds of metre and verse; and "which they wrote as was neceffary in graver rhyme, and which they not VOL. III.
"only compofed but fung"" though perhaps he may intend the Effenes, of whom Porphyry says, that "They kept the feventh day of the week in hymns to God, and in reft." There are fome, indeed, who think they were neither, but a fect of Jewish philofophers: However this be, it is certain,
That there is now extant an epiftle of Pliny to Trajan the emperor; in which he tells him, that one part of the charge against the Chriftians was, "That they used to meet together at a ftated time, before it was light, and fing a hymn among themselves, to Chrift, as to a god." Turtullian refers to this letter, and expreffes the charge in it thus; "That they had their "meetings before it was day, to fing to Chrift and to God." Eufebins cites the fame, and obferves, that "Pliny declared that he found nothing impious
in them, nothing done by them contrary to the laws, except that rifing early "together, they fung an hymn to Chrift after the manner of a god "." Now this letter was written in the latter end of the first century, or at the beginning of the fecond, and, as fome think, while the apostle John was yet living. Justin Martyr, Anno 150, in his epistle to Zena and Serenus, if it will be allowed to be genuine, speaks of the finging of pfalms, hymns and fongs; and directs to the use of pfalmody, in fuch a manner, as not to grieve our neighbours.
Athenogenes, a martyr, in the fecond century, as he was going to the fire, delivered an hymn to those that ftood by, in which he celebrated the Deity of the bleffed Spirit".
Clemens Alexandrinus, Anno 190, or 200, speaking of a good man, fays, “ His "whole life is a continual holy day; his facrifices are prayer and praife; the
* Ωστ' ο θεωρείσι μονον, αλλα και ποιεσιν ασμαία και υμνες εις θεον δια παντοίων μέτρων καὶ μελων, ε pulμois ceμvolepors avaynatws xaparler. Philo de vita contempliva, p. 893. edit. Paris. Ella αδυσι πεποιημένες εις τον Θεον υμνες πολλοις μετροις καὶ μελεσι. Ibid. p. 902.
* Τη εβδομαδι fon δείθαι κι κενώσεως, ην τηρειν ειώθασιν εις τες υμνες τω Θεω, και εις αναπαυσιν. Porphyr. de Abftinent. l. 4. §. 13. p. 162. y Vid. Vales. not. in Eufeb. p. 34, 35.
* Affirmabant autem, hanc fuiffe fummam vel culpæ fuæ vel erroris, quod effent foliti ftato die, ante lucem convenire: Carmenque Chrifto quafi Deo, dicere fecum invicem, Plin. Ep. 1. 10. ep. 97. p. 278. edit. Londin. 1722.
* Nihil aliud fe de facramentis comperiffe, quam cœtus antelucanos ad canendum Chrifto & Deo. Tertull, Apolog. c. 2. p. 3.
Ο Μηδέν ανόσιον, μη d παρα τις νομες πρασλειν αυτές καταλειφεναι, πλην το γε αμα τη έω διεγειρο MEVUS, TOV XPITON Oεe dinny vpver. Eufeb. Eccl. Hift. 1. 3. c. 33. p. 105.
Ύμνος τι καὶ ψαλμες καὶ ωδας και αινον ρητέον, μη δια ψαλμωδίας τον πλησιον λυπεῖν Juftin. ad Zenam. p. 509. edit. Paris.
• Vid. Fabricii Biblioth. Græc. vol. 5. c. 1. §. 24. p. 195.
scriptures are read before eating of food; and, whilft eating, pfalms and hymns are fung; and, at night, before he goes to bed, prayer is per"formed again." And, in another place, he observes, that " a man's love, friendship, and good-will to God, fhould be fhewn by thanksgiving and " finging of pfalms ;" and he himself compofed an hymn to Chrift, which is ftill extant at the end of his Pædagogue.
Tertullian, who lived about the fame time, has many things in his writings, which fhew that finging of pfalms, both publicly and privately, was prac ticed in his day; in one place he fays, "After washing of hands, and "lighting up of candles, (meaning at their Christian meetings, and love
feafts) every one might come forth, and fing to God, either out of the "holy fcriptures, or what was of their own compofing." And, elsewhere", among the arguments he makes use of to prevail on Chriftians to marry among themselves, this is one; " Pfalms and hymns, fays he, are harmoni
oufly fung between the happy pair; and they provoke each other to fing "the better to their God." And in another place he speaks, " of the "reading of the fcriptures, finging of pfalms, preaching fermons, and of
prayer," as the several parts of public worship. And to add no more, in another book he makes this to be one part of the happiness of a chafte and continent man, that "If he prays to the Lord, he is near to heaven; if "he studies the fcriptures, he is wholly there; if he fings a pfalm, he pleafes. "himself."
Origen, Anno 226, or 230, speaking of the need of the Spirit of God in prayer, adds, " Even as no man can fing a pfalm or hymn to the Father in "Chrift, in good rhyme, proper verfe and metre, and in concert, except the "Spirit, who fearcheth all things, even the deep things of God, first searches, "and,
4 H 2
• Απας δι ο βία, αυτό πανηγύρις αγια αυτικα,θύσιαν μεν αυτώ, ευχαι τη καὶ αινοι, και αι προ της απ άσεως ενδέυξεις των γραφων ψαλμοι δε και υμνοι παρα την εργασιν. Προ τε της κοίλης, αλλά, καὶ νυχλωρο suxai waniv. Clement. Alex. Stromat. l. 7. p. 728. edit. Paris:
Προθέρα με η εις Θεον διευχαρισίας καὶ ψαλμωδίας γενέσθω φιλοφροσυνη. Id. Pædagog. 1. 2. c. 4.. p. 165.
8 Poft aquam manualem & lumina, ut quifque de fcripturis fanétis, vel de proprio ingenio poteft, provocatur in medium. Deo canere. Tertull. Apolog. c. 39. p. 36.
h Sonant inter duos pfalmi & hymni, & mutuo provocant, quis melius Deo fuo cantes. Ibid. ad uxorem, 1. 2. c. 8. P. 191.
1 Jam vero pro ut fcripturas leguntur, aut pfalmi canuntur, aut adlocutiones proferuntur, aut petitiones delegantur, ita inde materiæ vifionibus fubminiftrantur. Ibid. de anima, c. 9. p. 311. * Si orationem facit ad dominum, prope eft Cœlo. Scripturis incumbit, totus illic eft. Si pfalmum canit, placet fibi. Ibid. de Exhort. Caftitat. c. 10. p. 670.
"and, as much as can be, comprehends the deep things of the mind, with fongs of praise and hymns'."
Cyprian, Anno 246, exhorted Donatus to the practice of singing of pfalms, in an epistle to him; "Let a pfalm, fays he, be fung at a feast, kept with "moderation; and that thou mayeft have a retentive memory, let thy voice "be melodious. Begin this work after the ufual manner "."
Nepos, an Egyptian bishop, Anno 260, is greatly commended by Eufebius, not only for his faithfulness, labour, and diligence in the scriptures, but for his pfalmody; which was very grateful to many of the brethren at that pre
I might go on to produce teftimonies, proving pfalmody to be in use in the churches in the times of Conftantine, not far from the third century, which, as Eufebius, who was on the fpot, relates, was performed with a very decent and agreeable modulation of the voice. As also, in the churches at Alexandria and Milan, when Athanafius was bishop of the one, and Ambrose of the other, who both lived in the fourth century. I might alfo obferve, what spiritual delight and comfort the great Austin found in attending on this ordinance; but I choose to go no further than the three first centuries, which were the pureft and most uncorrupt ages of Christianity.
Paulus Samofatenus, who denied the divinity of Chrift, is the only person I have met with in this period of time, that objected to the pfalms and fongs being fung in the churches, which he condemned as novel compofitions; and yet provided women to fing in the church concerning himself: His reafon for it seems to be, because the divinity of Chrift was in an excellent manner fet forth in the old fongs and pfalms; as appears from a paffage in Eusebius, mentioned to confront Artemon and Theodotus, who had reprefented Chrift's divinity
1 Ωσπερ εδε ψαλκι καὶ ευρυθμως και εμμελως και εμμείρως καὶ συμφωνως υμνησαι τον Πατέρα ναν μη το Πνευμα πανία ερευνων, και τα βαθη τε Θεό, πρότερον αινέσει και υμνήσει τι να τα βάθη ηρεύτηκε, και ως εξισχυσε κατειληφεν. Origen Περι ευχης. edit. Οxon. 1686.
m Sonet pfalmos (vel pfalmus) convivium fobrium: Et ut tibi tenax memoria eft, vox canora; aggredere hoc munus ex more. Cyprian. ad Donat. p. 10. edit. Oxon. 1682.
* Εν αλλοις μεν πολλοις αποδέχομαι και αγαπω Νεπωία, της τε πιςεως και της φιλοπονίας και της εν ταις γραφαις διατριβής, και της πολλής ψαλμωδίας, η μεχρι νυν πολλοι των αδελφων ευθυμενίαι. Eufeb.
Eccl. Hift. 1. 7. c. 24 p. 271.
• Ibid. 1. 2. c. 17. p 57. & l. 10. c. 3. p. 371.
▸ August, Confeff. 1. 9. c 6. §. 2. & 7. 1. & l. 10. c. 33. §. 2.
Ibid. 1,9 c. 6. §. 2. & 1 10. c. 33. §. 3.
Eufeb. Eccl Hift. 1. 7. c. 30. p. 281.