Imatges de pàgina

De filla

reli 1.1.

Jude 23.

ned Heathen, who had no other light but the light of nature,
have yet in this kind honoured the unknown God.

1 Cor.15. 33.

Therefore Lactantius writing to the Heathen to bring them to the knowledge of the true God, proveth the Divinity by the very teftimonies of their Poe's, who in Poeticall raptures have given teftimony to this truth.

1 He nameth the most ancient of Poets that we do readamongst the heathen; Orpheus, who lived about the time when Thola judged Ifrael:

He did celebrate the honour of one God, whom he called apoyovor, Quod ante ipfum nihil fit genitum, fed ab ipfo fint cunEta generata. He spake alfo of the immortality of the fonnes of this god. ἔκτισεν αθανάτοις δόμου αφθέτον,


As Lactantius faith, he could not reftin Jupiter, seeing he heard Saturn was his father, nor in Saturn, who was faid to be the fonne of the heaven, nor in the heaven, which was but a part of the world, &eguit authore: and wanted an authour. Hac illum ratio perduxit ad primo genitum illum deum, cui affignat & tribuit principatum: this brought him to the first begotten god, to whom he affigned primacy, he paffeth over Homer and Hefiod, as finding nothing in them but Virgil, who lived about the time of Chrift, and excelled in Poeticall invention, hath much honoured God in his Verses, according to the Light that fhined on him.


I need not follow Lactantius any further, having in him overtaken the point which I have delivered, that feeing God hath had honour from Poetry anongft the heathen, much more in his Church let him be fo honoured.

St. Paul hath transplanted fome of thofe flowers of Poetry, which grew in the gardens of the heathen into his own holy Epiftles.


From Menander the poet he took that excellent faying, A&s 17.28 that evill words doc corrupt good manners, and he took it out of a wanton Comedy called Thak.annone 15o.

From Epimenides they took that imputation on them of Candie, κρήτες απο ψεύσα μάκα θησια τῇ γὰρ γένε· ἐσμ


[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

Now fince God had honour from heathen Boets, much more is he honoured within the Church, by thofe ravished fpirits, within a lofty ftrain, found out his prayfes, or their own forrowes, and wants.

5 This kind of writing as it is moft delectable, fo it is moft hard and difficult of all others, the ftrict laws of Verfe; exacting choice of words to take their places inthere measure, and the infpired wit affecting fuch fublimity and fvavity of matter and order, as is often involved in tropes and figurative, and parabolicall Phrafes; fo that all readers of holy. Scripture, finde the poeticall parts of the Bible exceeding difficult, more then the hiftoricall and morall...

Now, where most cost is bestowed of fearch, to finde out the meaning of the holy ghoft, and moft delight is reaped, it being found, that doth tarry by us better, and we hold it with strongeft retention. This pleaseth God well, that we hide his word in our hearts, that we do not runne it out' in a leakel ons.n

This doctrine of the holy use of Poetry in the worship and Use. fervice of God ferveth,

1 Toftir us up to affect the best gifts of all in Gods worfhip: if there be any way more excellent then others, to use that in our prayers,and thanksgivings, and prayfes of ourGod.

I remember what David faid to Araunah, the Jebusite, when he offered to give him his threshing floore to erect an altar upon it for God.

I will not offer a burnt Offering to the Lord my God, of that which 2 Sam.24. coft me nothing, mida on



Let it coft us the highest straine of our invention, the lowdeft extenfion of the voice, the earnesteft intention of the heart, we have nothing good enough for him, all we have is of him, let it be all for him, and for the advancement of his glory.h



Seeing this kind of exercise of Hymns and Pfalmes hath been by Gods holy Servants confecrated to the worship of God, let us beftow our wit and inventions that way,not in de

Bbb 3


[ocr errors]

vifing Satyres to gird and lafh our Brethren; not in amorous
and wanton evaporations of our luftfull affections; not in bafe
flattery of the corrupt times, and foothing of ungodly perfons,
not in broaching and venting useleffe fictions, the fcumme
and froth of idle and unfanctified brains, but let our wits and
pens be exercised in glorifying of our God, and our readings
rather bestowed in the Pfalmes and Hymns of holy Scripture,
then in the vain and artleffe, dull and brainleffe Ballads and
Poems, which fly abroad amongst us, and devoure precious
time, which should be better spent, and tranfport affections
which should bend their strength to Gods fervice.

2 I confider that this fong of Habakkuk was directed to the Mufician, to be fitted to the ftringed instruments, fo to be, not onely fung,but played in the meetings of the Church': from whence I collect.

That Church-mufique hath the honour of antiquity, and of holy use alfo.



I need not prove this out of the old Teftament, for the ex: amples grow fo thick there, that he hath read little in the Old Teftament, that hath not informed himselfe of the Churches ufe and practise therein. 167

We have Myriams confort. Exod. 15:20. There were TimJudg.11. brels and Dances, all the momen came out after them


We have fephthaes Daughters confort, meeting her victorious
Father with Timbrels and Dances.

We have Davids full example in the Tabernable: Solomons conftitution, for the full Mufique of the Temple.

If any object, that these be thofe old things, which are done away, but now all things are made new, thole were but thadows and ceremonies ferving onely for thofe times, but now antiquate and abolifht..

Let me tell them, that in the time of the Gofpell, where the Church hath more caufe of joy, then ever it had before, we can give no cause to abate any thing of Gods worship.

Who can deny,but that the firit tydings of the birth of Chirst was proclaimed by an Angell, and the Proclamation was


[ocr errors]

feconded by a Quire of heavenly Souldiers, even a multitude
of them,the whole confort of heaven praising God.
The Aathume which they fung is upon record in the
living Book of the Gofpell. Gloria in excelfis.

Luke 2.14

But yet the finging and Mufick of inftruments in the time. Ob. of the Law were fhawdows of things to come, at the coming whereof they muft ceafe, whereof then were they fhadows.

It is answered of the inward and spirituall joy of the faithfull for the coming of the Meffiah.

Had not then the faithfull before Chrift this inward and fpirituall joy? and why fhould we which have it more in the inward man, expreffe it leffe in the outward worship. David P£48.10. faith, According to thy name fo i thy praife to the ends of the earth. Chrift faith, I have manifefted thy name to them that thou gáveft me: doth it not follow well, where there is manifeftum nomen;there fhould be, manifefta laus.

The Church use to prayfe God with inftruments of Mufick, the Church hath more caufe to prayfe God fince the coming of Chrift then before, why fhould any thing not rethepealed and forbidden to be used be neglected, to manifest


Gods prayfe.


Ob. But all things in the Church muft be done to edification, Mufick doth not edifie.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Sol. Then was it never of lawfull ufe in the Church, and David and Solomon did ill to bring it into the Tabernacle, and the Temple, and the Church did as ill to contiune it, if it be without edification.

But if ever it seemed for edification, why not now as well as ever, it is the fame God that is now ferved whom they worshipped,and as Auguftine, Tempora variata, funt fides vna, times vary, but faith is one: how,where and when did Mufick loofe that honour, that use, in the Church of God?

ob. But it spendeth time which were much better bestowed in hearing the Word of God preached.

Sal. I anfwer,it was ufed, when much more was to be done in the Church, then we have now to do, and they thought it not tedious.



[ocr errors]

They had many Sacrifices to offer, and the time spent in prayer, and hearing of the word; yet they ufe it.

ob. But popifh fuperftition hath so defiled it, that it is not now fit to receive it in our Chriftian Churches.

Sol. I finde that our fathers before the coming of Christ were not fo fqueamish, to like their own holy worship the worfe, because Idolaters did ufe fome of their formes of worship; for

Nebuchadnezzar, made a golden image and that was worfhipped with all kinde of ftil and loud Mufick, yet that did not defile the holy worship of the Church.

It is a dangerous rule of religion to menage it by oppofition, they are not all opera Diaboli, workes of the Devill; which the devill doth, for you know,that he confeft Chrift, which many Scribes and Pharifees did not. They that condemne all that popifh fuperftition hath also abused, may want a candle to light them to bed.

I profeffe fincerly, I cannot fee but that the fame motives. that bgan to bring in Mufick into theChurch,may hold it there ftill for any thing that I can fee..

1 In refpect of God, to glorifie him in the beft manner that we can by any gifts of art or nature. And Mufick being one of them, we fee how much it hath decayed,and how much Students in that excellent art have been difcouraged from that kind of ftudy fince the Church caft out Mufick.

2 In refpect of Gods fervice, the more pompe and folemnity is ufed, the more glorious is the house of God made, and the more differing from our common house of habitation.

3. In refpect of our felves, we have need to have the help of outward things, to draw us on with delight, to entertain our thoughts with cheerfulneffe, to incite and move our affe tions, to quicken our devotion, and to blow the fire of our zeal, and to relieve our naturall wearineffe in Gods fervice.

Thefe reafons brought in the fong and inftruments into the Church, and glorioufly was it fetled in Solomons time in the temple, according as his Father David had left it in the taber


[ocr errors][ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinua »