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know our diseases and defects; and therefore beft able to direct us to the remedy,for as in the state of bodily health many superficially in-lighted in some empericall. Phyfick, do hurt themselves, by being their own Physitians.
So in the state of the spirituall man, many do overthrow their fpirituall health, by presuming to be their own Divines, and trusting too much to their own skill.
Therefore it is wisedome for the flock to be directed, especially in the service of God by their Pastours, and to hear his voyce, ler Habbakuk teach Israel how to pray.
And for us howsoever the spirit of contradiction, which likes nothing long, have laboured long to disgrace our publique Service, yet because many faithfull and godly Paftours of the Church have zealously joyned their united forces of piety and charity to compose this book, and the approbation and authority both of Church and Common-wealth hath commanded it to the use of our Congregations, and the malignity of all the times Gince hath not been able to remove it, let us embrace it, and use it as Gods ordinance, sealed with the feal, the double seal both of prescription of time, and good successe in the use of this Church of England.
He putteth this prayer into verse, and makech a song of it, and fitcech it to be sung by the Church with an instrument of Musick, for so the last verse of the Chapter directeth it to the chief Singer on my stringed instruments.
This manner of praising God is ancient, and of much use in the Church
Mr. Beza hath taken the paines to colled fourteen songs, eleven out of the old Testament, and three out of the new, which he hath interpreted by way of Paraphrase, and hath annexed them to his · Paraphrale of the book of Davids Psalmes, and they are translated into English.
I shall not lose my labour nor you your time, to shew you where you may finde them.
Exod. 1.15. The song that Mofes taught Israel to sing to the praise of God for cheir deliverance from Pharoah and his Vion
armies, which is of such excellency, being a type of the deliverance of the Church, from the adversary power of the world, and the tyranny of the beast; that there is mention of it in the Revelation. And they sung the song of Moses Rev.15.3. the servant of God.
Deut. 2. 32. When Möses drew neer his end he maketh a Propheticall song for the use of the people, both to commemorate Gods. mercies to them, to lay open the judgements of God against them to chide their rebellions and to comfort them with types of grace in the revelation of the Mesliah. And promising them the gift of the spirit of repentance to returne them into the favour of their God.
The triumphant song of Deborah and Barak, after the Judg.se vi&ory of Jabin, king of the Cananites
. 4 i Sam. 2.1. the song of Hannah, the Mother of Samuel, in thanksgiving, for the blessing of her fruitfulnesse, conteining in it both thanksgiving, do&rine, and prophecy. 5.2.
Sám. 1.19. the elegie of David, bewailing the death of Saul and fonathan. ; ; 6 2 Sam.7.18. A song of David in thanksgiving to God,af
ter Nathan the Prophet had from God told him, that the Meffiab should be the Sonne of David.
7 Isaiah 5. Conteining the rebuke of the people, which is a Satyricall Psalme
8 Jaiah 26.1. the song of the Church conteining consolation and prophecy,
9 The song of Hezekiah,when God comforted h's sickness with promise of recovery. Ifaiah 38.
10 The song of fonahin the belly of the Whale.
In the New testament we haue three.
The song of Simeon: Nunc dimittis.
From whence gather these two observations. 1. That Poetry is ancient, and lach been 'of use in the Church of God, and in Gods service and worship, for these were the Anthons of the Church in former times.
2 That Church-musique hath had the fame-honour, both of reverend antiquity and holy use.
The first point concerning the ancient, laudable, and holy use of Meeters, which we call Poetry, fo continued through the whole course of the Bible, as you have heard, doth Thew that God requireth of us in his worship, not only plaini faithfulnesse,foundly and sincerely to expresse our selves in his fervice : but he requirech also that we lhew all our learning, wit, and art in our compositions, according to the ftrict lawes of a Verse: those were the Ballads of former times:
And though vaine, obscene, wanton, lying rithmes, now printed, do carry the name of Ballads wholly, yet holy fongs have been so called, if you look in your old Church Bibles
, that were first printed in English, you shall finde the Song of Solomon or the Canticles called Solomons Ballad, or the Ballad of Ballads. The reasons why God desired and delighted in this form of worship.
i Because this gift of holy Poetry is of and from himself, he is the Authour of it,and the sweet Singer of Israel learned it of him to honour him in Hymnes, therefore the Apostle calleth them spirituall songs,that is inspired by the Holy Ghost;& it is just that those spirituall graces, which derive their being from him, should be confecrated in their use to him. And this is cleer, that there is no poetry so ancient as the holy Hymns of the Church.
2 St Auguftime, in his preface co the Psalmes, faith. Spiritus sanctus videns obluétantem ad virtutis viam humani generis animam, ó ad dele&tationes hujus vitæ inclinari dele&tabilibus modulii Cantilena vim fue doctrine permiscuit, ut dom vavitate Carmine mulcetur anditus divini Sermonis pariter utilitas inferatur.
He faith, he hath observed that both yong children, and
those of more yeares, who have at Church given no heed to the reading of the Prophets and Apostles, have been fo taken with the delight of the Psalmes, that they have learned to sing them at home, and upon the way, which also brought forth good effects in them, by the power of that good Spirit which
endited them; quia miscuit utile dulci. St Augustine resembleth the wisedome of God herein to the art of the Phyfitian, who gives his patient things wholesome, but not very tastfull in lome sweet sirrups, or liquours, which may convey it without distast into the body.
3 This expressure of the zeal of Gods glory in verse, being the labour of the brain, the marrow of wit, the earnest wrestling of the soul striving to glorifie God, as David faith, with the best member thut we have doth beft present the inward man, the hid man of the heart; as St. Peter calleth it, to Almighty God.
The Apostle biddech us to affe&t the best gifts. They that do only read a Pfalme, or a Prayer in a book, have done little, but they that love the dead letter, an enlightened understans ding, and fan&ifjed affections, they pray and praise God.
They that wisely compose their own meditations, and exexprefle their own hearts in their own words, holy hearts in holy words, do mount a degree higher.
But they that honour God with art and nature, observing the lawes of time, number, and meafure; as Bernard faith, they may have Eruditam mentem, a learned mind, and they are come, ad prove&tam atatem, to a ripe age.
Solomon excelled in this kinde , whose Nuptiall Hymne is called worthily Canticum Canticorum. It is a good observation of St. Bernard, that the Proverbs of Solomon, which is Disciplina morum , the discipline of manners, and Ecclesiastes which is Disciplina amorum, the discipline of loves, the one corređing our vain love of our selves, the other of the world, must go first, and then our understanding and affections will be fitted to make fuch Verses.
05.12A This kind of honouring. God in Dirties rand Hymriese doth please God in the Church, becaufe even fuch of the earde que es
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ned Heathen, who had no other light but the light of nature, have yet in this kind honoured the unknown God.
Therefore Lactantius writing to the Heathen to bring them to the knowledge of the true God, proveth the Divinity by the very testimonies of their Poe's, who in Poeticall raptures
have given testimony to this truth. > filla
I He namech the most ancient of Poets that we do readarelik 1.1. mongst the heathen; Orpheus, who lived about the time when Jude 23. Thola judged Ifraeli
He did celebrate the honour of one God, whom he called mpérgoyov, Quod ante ipsum nihil sit genitum, sed ab ipso fint cunEta generata. He spake also of the immortality of the sonnes of this god.
έκπσον αθανάτις δόμον αφθον, και As Lactantius faith, he could not rest in Jupiter, seeing he heard Saturn was his father, nor in Saturn, who was said to be the sonne of the heaven, nor in the heaven, which was but a part of the world, eguit authore: and wanted an authour.
Hec illum rațio perduxit ad primo genitum illum deum, cui assignat & tribuit principatum:this brought him to the firlt begotten god,
to whom he assigned primacy, he "paffech over Homer and Hefiod, as finding nothing in them but Virgil, who lived about the cime of Christ, and excelled in Poeticall-invention, hath much honoured God in his Verses, according to the Light that shined on him.
I need not follow Lactantius any further, having in him Overtaken the point which I have delivered, that seeing God hath had honour from Poetry aniongst the heathen, much more in his Church let him be lo honoured:
St. Paul hath transplanted some of those flowers of Poetry, which grew in the gardens of the heathen into his own holy Epistles.
From Menander the poet he took that excellent faying, AQs 17.28 that evill words doe corrupt good manners, and he took it out of
azivantot Comedy called Thads. Brimonio
From Epimenides they took that impucation on them of Candie. xpátas de Havaa kaxd Onosa to z dip zór @ forefe
i Cor.15. 33.