As it was Delivered in the Parish Church of St. Andrew Ʋndershaft, UPON The 31th of May, 1696, being Whit-Sunday, and the Day wherein the ORGAN there Erected was First made Use of.


LONDON, Printed for B. Aymer, at the Three Pigeons in Cornhill, MDCXCVI.


EPH. 5. part of the 18th and 19th Verse.

—But be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to your selves in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs, singing, and making melody in your heart to the Lord.

The whole Period runs thus,

And be not drunk with wine wherein is excess, but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to your selves in psalms, and hymns, &c.

THE Purpose of the ensuing Discourse is to satisfie the double business of this day; That which prompts you to reflect upon the Graces of that Spirit, which did as this day descend upon the Church; And that which prompts you to commemorate that, and all other [Page 6]the Blessings of God to it with Psalms, and Hymns, and Spiritual Songs: Whether they be such as mount up to Heaven on the alone wings of their own breath; Or whether they be such as are also advantag'd in their ascent thither by the breath of Musical Instruments, and both conducted, and pushed on by it. And may that Spirit, by which these, and all other Religious Actions ought to be directed, so assist me in the handling of the Exhor­tations that are now before me, that I may both my self apprehend, and set before you the due im­portance of each of them, and approve them both to your Reason, and Affections. In order where­unto,

I. I will begin with that, which suggests our be­ing filled with the Spirit, and accordingly enquire,

  • 1. What St. Paul means by being filled with the Spirit.
  • 2. For what end we are to endeavour after it.
  • 3. By what means we may come to be filled with it.
  • 4. Of what use our being so filled is.

1. What St. Paul means in the general by being filled with the Spirit, will not be difficult for him to learn who shall consider what that Spirit is, which he, and indeed all Christian Writers commend to our desires, and endeavours, or who they are whom St. Paul invites to get themselves replenished with it. Because it is certain on the one hand that the [Page 7]only Spirit, which either he, or they commend to us, is that Spirit of God which did as this day de­scend upon the Church, or rather the Gifts, and Graces of it; And no less certain on the other (be­cause St. Paul directs this Exhortation of his to the Community of the Ephesians) that he meant such Gifts, or Graces of that Spirit, as are common to all Believers, or at least intended by God to be so.

2. But because it is certain that even those Gifts, or Graces of the Spirit are many, and various, and no necessity lies upon us to understand St. Paul of all alike, but rather the contrary, as will appear by and by from what precedes, and follows his Exhor­tation to be filled with them; Therefore it will be necessary for me to go on to enquire for what end he exhorts us to endeavour after such a filling, as which alone will give us to understand what Gifts, and Graces he especially intended.

Now that I shall not doubt to affirm, to be the either exciting, or maintaining in us the Passion of Joy. A Passion, which Religion doth not only not forbid, but enjoyn upon us, and commend to us; As without which Religion it self would be very uneasie to us, but however we should not be able to bear up under those many evils, which either Reli­gion it self, or the present Dispensations of the Di­vine Providence will be sure to bring upon us. Now as for that Reason it is that Religion it self doth so often endeavour to stir up this Passion of Joy in us, and indeed never professeth any the least enmity to it, save where it is either misplac'd, or immoderate; [Page 8]so we shall find, if we look into the Context, that it is St. Pauls great design in this place to stir up, and keep alive in us this Passion of Joy, and make it acceptable to God, as well as beneficial to our selves. For wherefore else should St. Paul exhort, that Men should rather be filled with the Spirit, than drunk with Wine, as that too in order to their Sing­ing, and making Melody? But that he meant to direct them to a proper means for the exciting of their Joy, and such as should give them a much more innocent, as well as more excellent one, than the Wine of the Drunkard doth to him. Or where­fore insist, as he doth, upon their speaking to one another in Psalms, and Hymns, and Spiritual Songs, Singing, and making Melody in their Heart to the Lord? These, as they are the Natural Expressions of Joy, and accordingly directed to by St. James Jam. 5.13., when a Man is under the sensation of it; so the fomenters, and maintainers of it, that I say not also of the well-being of him in whom it is. St Paul saw how necessary the Passion of Joy was to support the Spirits even of Christian Men; But especially when they are also taken off from the common in­centives to it in Mankind, from the indulging of Lustful Practices, Eph. 5.3, 4. or as loose Discourses. He alike saw how necessary it sometime was, even where there wanted not proper incentives to that Passion, to make use of other means to raise the dull spirits of Men, and put them into a condition even to enjoy their own Happiness: Those, who live more at ease than the Christian doth, making use of brisk Wine to raise their Spirits, and furnish them [Page 9]with that pleasing emotion, which all their other acquisitions cannot give them. That therefore those, with whom he had to do, and who by means of their own sense of Sin, or Calamity, had much more need of it, might not want such an ex­citation; He exhorts them, instead of filling them­selves with Wine (which would give them but a fading, as well as superficial Joy) to fill themselves with Gods Spirit, and particularly with such Graces of it as might be thought most to minister to it, as well as afterwards to keep it alive, and increase it with Psalms, and Hymns, and Spiritual Songs.

Which supposed, the Graces, wherewith St. Paul exhorts that we should especially fill our selves, will be found to be a grateful sense of Gods good­ness and beneficence; a stedfast belief of his promises; but especially of those which relate to the Happi­nesses and Glories of the other World; and what will not fail to follow from the former if they be well improv'd in our Thoughts, and Meditations, an ardent love, and affection for himself. For if our Souls be filled with these, they cannot want a Joy as great, as they themselves are able to con­tain, and such as no present Evils, how great so­ever, can ever ravish from us: The Passion of Joy, though for the most part arising from a present Good, yet arising no less from such a one as is pre­sent to us by Faith, provided that that Faith be firm, and stedfast, and we find that in us which may as certainly entitle us to the object of it. The former whereof he cannot want, who hath a due sense of [Page 10]Gods Truth, as well as Goodness; no more than he can be without the latter, who finds in himself an ardent Love for God, because the whole both of the Law, and the Gospel.

3. That therefore being the due sense, and mean­ing of being filled with the Spirit, and the Passion of Joy the end for which we are exhorted to get our selves so fill'd; Enquire we in the Third place by what means we may come to be filled with it; which, as it is a much more important enquiry, so may seem also of more difficult resolution. Be­cause that, no doubt, depends more upon the good pleasure of the filler, than it doth upon any thing that we can do toward the attaining of it. But as if we be well assured of the good Will of him that is to fill us, as well as of his calling upon us to get our selves filled with it, we cannot doubt of his chalking out wayes, whereby we may come to be filled with it; so we shall find, if we consult the Scripture, or our own Reason, what those wayes, and means are, because directed to either by the one, or the other. Of which,

(1.) The first, and, no doubt, most especial one is to invite that Spirit into us by Prayer, and beg of God to fill us with the Graces of it; because ex­presly recommended to us as a means to attain it, yea assured of obtaining it from him. For after our Saviour had set before his Disciples the general efficacy of Prayer, and confirm'd it from the dis­position of Earthly Parents to gratifie their Chil­dren [Page 11]in all those good things, which they may be supposed to ask of them; He not only infers from it the greater likelyhood of Gods gratifying the Requests of his Children in all their Reasonable Demands, and particularly as to what they make of his Holy Spirit, but represents it as a thing in­conceivable how God should deny that Spirit to them. For if ye (saith heLuk. 11.13.) being evil, are not yet so evil as to deny good Gifts to your Children; how much less shall your Heavenly Father deny the Holy Spirit to them that ask him.

(2.) I look upon as no less sure a mean, though not so particularly directed, your cherishing that Spirit when you have it in any measure (as to be sure all Believers have) by attending to the Motions of it, and readily complying with them, in all those things to which they shall incline you: Such an attention and complyance naturally disposing a Benign Being not only to continue his Graces to you, but to give you more and more instances thereof, as knowing that what he shall farther vouchsafe you, shall be as kindly received and comply'd with, as what he hath already afforded to you. Which supposed, it will not be difficult to shew, which is all that will be farther necessary on this Head, how you may come to be filled with those particular Graces, which I have said St. Paul to refer more especially to, when he exhorts to be filled with the Spirit: For then may you expect to be filled with a grateful sense of Gods Goodness, a firm belief of his Promises, and as ardent a love for [Page 12]himself, when you not only endeavour to cherish them by a due consideration of the excellency there­of, but set your selves to the doing of all those things, which such a sense, and belief, and love will prompt you to the performance of; because that is all, be­side Prayer, which can be supposed to be requir'd of you to invite God to fill you with them.

4. The Fourth and last thing comes now to be spoken to, even of what use our being filled with the Spirit is, and particularly as to that Joy, for which I have said it to be design'd. Which we shall find upon examination to be, to direct our Joy in an especial manner to Spiritual Objects, to moderate it as to Earthly, and Sensual ones, and both keep it up, and express it, if not by means purely Spiritual, yet by such as are principally and especially such.

For whereas he, that is inspir'd with Wine, will by that very Wine of his be prompted to place his Joy on Sensual Objects, if not also on forbidden ones; He, who is filled with the Spirit of God, and particularly with those Graces of it which I before described, will by that very Spirit be directed espe­cially to fix his Joy upon God, and the things of God, to delight in his Commands, and to aspire after his Favours. In fine, to set as high a value upon them, as the Men of the World do upon their most pleasing Enjoyments, yea to suffer the want of all Sensual Enjoyments, rather than run the ha­zard of more Spiritual and refined ones.

Whereas again he, who is inspir'd with Wine, will by that very Wine of his be tempted to an immoderate Joy in Earthly and Sensual Things, and such a one, as shall not only prompt him to forget that God, who is the giver of them, but abuse them also to his dishonour; He, who is filled with the Spirit of God, will by that very Spirit of his be prompted to enjoy them with Moderation, because no way comparable to those Spiritual En­joyments, which he himself suggests, and much less to those Blessed and Heavenly ones, which he assures us of in another World.

Whereas lastly he, who is inspir'd with Wine, will by that very Wine of his be prompted to keep up, and express his Joy by Extravagant Actions, or Lewd Songs, and such as tend rather to corrupt his own, and other Mens Minds, than either to refresh, or improve them; He, who is filled with the Spirit of God, and particularly with a grateful sense of his immense Goodness, a stedfast belief of his Heavenly Promises, and a no less ardent love and affection for him, will be thereby prompted to keep up, and express his Joy by Psalms, and Hymns, and Spiritual Songs, by such as will put new Life into his Devotion, as well as shew it forth, and put new Life into other Mens Devotions, as well as into his own. The Second General to be spoken to, and equally enjoyned with the former: He, who (as you have heard) exhorts Men to be filled with the Spirit, exhorting them in like manner to speak to themselves, or rather to one another in Psalms, and [Page 14]Hymns, and Spiritual Songs, singing, and making me­lody in their Heart to the Lord.

II. In the handling of which Second Exhortation, I will proceed in this Method;

  • 1. I will enquire what the Apostle meant by Psalms, and Hymns, and Spiritual Songs.
  • 2. What he meant by speaking to themselves, as our Translation here renders it.
  • 3. What he meant by singing, and making melody in their Heart to the Lord.
  • 4. Of what use such a Singing, and making Me­lody is, and particularly in the present case.
  • 5. What is to be thought of that Singing, and making Melody, which is attended with Musical Instruments.

1. That, which is first to be enquir'd into, with respect to the present Exhortation, is what St. Paul meant by Psalms, and Hymns, and Spiritual Songs; That is to say, whether he meant so many different sorts of Songs; and, if he did so, what those sorts of Songs are. I must needs say, that I cannot think St. Paul made use of so many words to ex­press one, and the same thing: And I think as little that he was so curious, as other Men think he was, in distinguishing them. For which last cause I must alike say, that Beza's Annot. in Col. 3.16. distinction of them seems to me to be more nice, than well grounded, when he makes St. Paul to understand by Psalms [Page 15]all sorts of Songs, whatsoever their Argument be, as it is certain those of David were of many; By Hymns, Songs of Praise; and by [...], or Spiritual Songs, such as were of a more Artificial Composition. For beside that it is plain from the Argument, that I am now upon, that our Apostle is here entreating of the matter of Joy, and no other Songs therefore to be here understood but Songs of Praise, or such as have an affinity with them: I do not see why Hymns, as well as Odes, may not pass for Songs of an Artificial Composition, and Odes therefore, no more than Hymns, to appro­priate that Notion to themselves. I rather think that when St. Paul exhorted these Men to speak to themselves in Psalms, and Hymns, and Spiritual Odes, or Songs, his meaning was that they should speak to one another, and to God either in such Songs as were taken out of the Scripture, and par­ticularly out of the Book of Psalms, or in such Songs as were of their own, or other Private Mens Com­position, by what Names soever known, or distin­guished, and particularly by those of Hymns, and Odes. According to that known distinction of Ter­tullian Apolog. cap. 39., where he speaks of the usual Singing in the Antient Church; To wit, that as any Man was able to sing either out of the Holy Scriptures, or of his own Composition, he was invited into the midst of their Assembly to do it to entertain the rest, or rather to be their Praecontor unto God. And indeed than this sort of Singing there is nothing more known in the Church, even from the very beginning [Page 16]of it. For there is mention in that so well known Epistle of Pliny Lib. 10. ep. 97. to Trajan of their Singing upon the day of their Assemblies a Song, or Hymn to Christ as God: As in like manner elsewhereEuseb. Eccl. Hist. lib. 5. cap. 28. of other the like Hymns which were fram'd by the Brethren from the beginning, and from which Paulus Samo­satenus Euseb. ibid. lib. 7. c. 30.took occasion to introduce others of his own Composition, but which were more in honour of himself, than of Christ.

2. But to go on to that, which is next in order, even what St. Paul meant by speaking to themselves in them, according as our Translation hath rendred it; but which ought rather to have been rendred among themselves, or to one another: That being not only the signification of the word [...] in several other places of Scripture, and particularly, Eph. 4.31. but more agreeable too to the design of all Publick Devotions, which though not without an eye to the Private Benefit of every one that useth them, yet are more especially intended for a mutual stirring up one another to that Spirit, wherewith the whole ought to be attended: According to that parallel place of St. Paul to the Colossians Col. 3.16., and where though the same Greek [...] is used, yet it is rendred even by our selves teaching, and admonish­ing one another in Psalms, and Hymns, and Spiritual Songs, singing with Grace in their Hearts to the Lord. And stands farther confirmed by that as known place of the Authour to the Hebrews Heb. 10.25., where he dehorts from the forsaking of their common Assem­blies; [Page 17]because opposing to it on the one hand their considering one another, and provoking unto Love, and to good Works, as on the other, the Exhorting of one another. Both the one, and the other of which shew what is the principal end of Christian Assemblies, or rather that Mens inciting one another to a kind of Contention in Devotion is.

3. Which supposed, we may proceed to enquire what is in like manner meant by Singing; and ma­king Melody in the Heart to the Lord. A thing not difficult for those to guess at, who shall but remem­ber that St. Paul doth not only invite Men upon this occasion to Psalms, and Hymns, and Spiritual Songs, both here, and in the forequoted place to the Co­lossians, but in this place to speak among themselves; or rather to one another in them, and in the other to teach, and admonish one another by them. For that is enough to shew, that by Singing, and making Melody in the Heart, cannot be meant a meer inter­nal praising of God, because that is a sort of Me­lody, which can be heard by none but God, and cannot therefore be supposed to have an influence upon any other; But either (as Chrysostome In locum. [...].hath well glossed it) causing the atten­tion of the Mind to go along with the Voice, or both that, and the Affection to accompany it. As without which Men will have no more share in the Praises of God, than those Musical Instruments, which attend their Singing or at best sing [Page 18]rather to themselves, than unto God. And indeed were it not for a certain peevishness of Mind, or rather a resolution in some Persons to go cross to all that went before them; such Expressions as Singing, and making Melody in the Heart could not ever be look'd upon as in the least excluding the Melody of the Voice, but rather as supposing, or connoting it. I say not only, because that is the known and usual sense of the words, that are made use of to express it; But because we learn from St. James James 3.9., that the Tongue was made to bless God, as well as the Heart; and from St. Paul Rom. 10.10., that as with the heart men believe unto righteousness, so with the mouth con­fession is made unto salvation. And how much it may contribute both to the one and the other, will appear if we consider,

4. Of what use such a Singing, and making Me­lody may be, and particularly a, to the matter of Joy, the next thing to be enquir'd into.

Now that we shall find to be,

  • 1. First, Its composing the disorderly Passions of the Mind, and bringing it to a serene and se­date Temper.
  • 2. Secondly, Its stirring up, and improving, and directing its more regular ones.
  • 3. Thirdly, Its prompting the Mind to reflect with so much the more pleasure on that which is the subject matter of it.

The Learned Authour of the Questions and An­swers ad Orthodoxos Apud. Justin Martyr q. 107., hath this Question among many others; Why, when Songs were invented by Infidels to deceive, and were brought in upon those that were under the Law by means of the weakness of their Minds, they, who have receiv'd the perfect discipline of Grace, and such as is far remov'd from the man­ners of the other, should yet make use of the same Songs in the Church? I meddle not at present with that part of his Answer to it, which concerns In­strumental Musick, because I shall by and by have a fairer Occasion to consider it. But I cannot for­bear to take Notice of that which concerns Vocal, because it gives such an Advantageous Character of it. For not only doth he deny that sort of Musick to be a thing adapted only to weak, and tender Minds, but affirms moreover, That it draws the Mind, not without some pleasure to the desire of that, which is the Argument thereof; That it layes asleep such of the Passions, as rise up against us from our own Fleshly Nature, and repels those Evil Thoughts, that are injected into us by our invisible Enemies; That it prepares our Soul, as by a kind of watering, for the bringing forth of Divine Fruits; That it makes the Champions of Piety to bear up stoutly under their several pressures, and is a cure of all those affli­ctive Evils, that may happen to them in the present Life: In fine, That it is a driver away of Devils, and perfects the Soul in all those Vertues, which true Piety suggests. Which several Properties of it I shall take Notice of, as they shall fall in with those [Page 20]Uses, of which I but now said this Singing and making Melody to be.

1. To begin with that, which is first in order, even its composing the disorderly Passions of the Mind, and bringing it to a serene and sedate Tem­per. A thing not to be doubted of by those who shall consider, that it doth by the I leasure, and even Surprize, which it gives to the Mind of him that hears it, fix his Spirits, and stops them from running out into those extravagant courses, which a disorderly Passion puts them in. But how much less to be doubted, when we find by the Scriptures, that it was also the effect of Instrumental Musick, and which, because wanting that sweet and enga­ging Sense which belongs to Songs, must be sup­posed to be farther removed from it. For thus it appears from the 16th Chapter of the First Book of Samuel, that when an Evil Spirit from the Lord came upon Saul (which the Jewish Writers, and not without cause, interpret of a disorder of the Mind, whether raised in him, or fomented by the Devil) the Servants of Saul, agreeably to his own Injun­ctions, did in order to his Cure provide him of that great Musician David, who no sooner took his Harp, and played with his Hand, but Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the Evil Spirit departed from him, v. 23. of that Chapter. Agreeable hereto is what we learn from Profane Authours, as Grotius hath per­tinently observed on the First of Samuel, the tenth, and the fifth Verse: He there telling us, that Py­thagoras did by Musical Sounds soften fierce Minds, [Page 21] Asclepiades put a stop to Seditions, Damon reduce Drunken, and Petulant Men to a Sober, and Modest Behaviour, and Xenocrates by the same means bring Madmen to themselves.

2. But beside that the Musick we speak of doth compose the disorderly Passions of the Mind, which is in it self of no small service to Religion, beside the disposition it produceth in us to farther impres­sions of it; We shall find if we look a little far­ther, that it doth equally stir up, and improve, and direct its more regular ones. Of the first of which we have a famous instance in the great St. Augustine, which is so much the more worthy of our belief, because it hath a place in the Confessions, which he made to God, and in which Holy Men, at least, are not wont to speak lightly, or unadvisedly. For how much, saith heConf. lib. 9. cap. 6., did I weep at thy Hymns, and Songs, being not a little stir'd up by the Voices of thy sweet-singing Church? Those Voices of theirs flow'd in at my Ears, and together with them thy Truth was melted into my Heart, from whence boil'd up an affe­ction of Piety, which again issued forth in Tears, and then it was well with me because of them. And tho' in the next BookConf. lib. 10. cap. 33. of the same Confessions, he seems to be afraid, lest the Musick of the Church should more affect his Ears, than that, which was sung, did his Heart, and was thereupon inclin'd to think that it would be much better if such a Sing­ing were used, as departed little from a simple pro­nunciation; Not well considering, I suppose, at that time this Exhortation of St. Paul concerning [Page 22]speaking to one another in Psalms, and Hymns, and Spiritual Odes, or Songs, which undoubtedly signi­fie somewhat more than Words deliver'd with a light flexion of the Voice: Yet again, when he considered the Tears, which he himself shed in the very beginnings of his Conversion, and how much he was even then mov'd, not with the Singing, but with the things that were sung, when they were chanted forth with a clear, and agreeable Voice, he was led again to acknowledge the great profit of that Institution, and of the Custom of the Church in it. So great force there is in Songs to stir up a regular Passion, as well as to compose an irregular one; And if so, there will be less doubt of their being able to im­prove, as well as stir it, and least of all of their di­recting it aright. Because the matter of the Song, where it is Holy, and Pious, will draw the Passion after it; and, where it hath to do with Sorrow, improve it into a Penitential one, as in like manner, where it hath to do with Joy, into a Holy, and Pious one, and such as shall even in Temporal Bles­sings consider rather the goodness of God in them, than the sweetness of the Blessings themselves.

3. The Third, and last Advantage of Vocal Mu­sick, or (as my Text expresseth it) of Singing, and making Melody, is its prompting the Mind with so much the more Pleasure to reflect upon that, which is the subject matter of it, and possess it with the thing sung, as well as with the Singing it self. A thing which you see St. Augustine was brought to acknowledge as to himself, even when he was most [Page 23]afraid of being carried away by the Musick; And will not be so hard to attain, where the Man is in­tent (as no doubt he ought to be) to sing with the Heart, as well as with the Voice, with the Devotion of the one, as well as with the Psalms, and Hymns, and Spiritual Songs of the other. For as Charming as Musick is, and must be acknowledg'd to be; yet may it, no doubt, be made subservient to that, which is the subject matter of it, where a due In­tention of the Mind goes along with it: Yea made to give such a delight to that Argument, which it professeth to adorn, and sweeten, that it shall make Grief it self lovely; And how much more then imbellish such things, as are of a more Joyful Con­sideration. Otherwise I do not see how it shall come to be the delight of the Saints in Heaven, be­cause there, to be sure, nothing shall enter that shall take them off from more Spiritual Delights. I will conclude this Argument, when I have said that the Advantage is so great to a Mind, that is also intent upon the matter, from the Melody of Spiritual Songs; And the motions of the Mind so languid, in comparison, where there are mean Words, and as mean Singing to commend the subject matter thereof to it, that a Devout Soul will willingly pre­fer the former with all its Accidental Disadvantages, before the dulness and heaviness of the other. For that any of our performances should be without all Disadvantages is impossible in this state of things, and nothing therefore, which is otherwise of sig­nal use, and beside that, under Command, as we [Page 24]see this of Singing is, to be refused because of them.

5. I have hitherto proceeded with very little di­sturbance, because there are not many, that are Enemies to that Musick, which hath been hitherto considered. But I must not expect to pass on so smoothly while I deliver my Opinion concerning that Singing, and making Melody, which is at­tended with that of Musical Instruments; Because though our Foreign Writers allow of Singing, even where the Composition is more Artificial, yet they represent Instrumental Musick among the Rudi­ments of the LawCalvin. Com­ment. in Psalm 33.2. & alibi., as long before them the Au­thour of the Questions and Answers ad Orthodoxos Resp. ad qu. 107.as a thing only suitable to that Infant-state, wherein those of the Law were. For which cause the use of it was (as he saith) taken away in the Churches, and simple Singing left in its stead.

What reason there is to look upon Instrumental Musick as a Rudiment of the Law, I cannot under­stand; because throughout the whole Law there is no mention of any other Instrument, than of the Trumpet, and which too appears rather to have been usedNum. 10.2. Lev. 25.9. to give notice of a Festival, or to call the People together to celebrate it, than any proper attendant of its service. And as little reason I think there is, why we should look upon such Instruments as accommodated only to an Infant-state, and par­ticularly to that of the Law; Because as there is mention of the use of them before the giving of [Page 25]the Law, and particularly at the Singing of that so famous Song of Moses upon the overthrow of the Egyptians in the Red Sea: (For Moses tells usExo. 15.20.that Miriam the Prophetess, and the Women that attended her, did not only answer that Song of his with their Mouths, but with their Timbrels); so it appears that they were mostly employ'd, if not also appointed, when the Spiritual part of Gods Wor­ship was at the highest among that People, (as to be sure it was in the time of David) and frequent and earnest ExhortationsPsalm 33.—81.150. & alibi passim. made to the Praising of God with them. For who can look upon that as a Legal Institution, which was the attendant of the most Spiritual Worship, which ever the Jews had, and which hath alwayes been thought so Spi­ritual, that the Scriptures of the New Testament call upon us to make use of it, and the Church of God hath from the beginning made the principal part of it's.

This I take to be a sufficient Answer to an Obje­ction, that is without all ground; because that very Law, to which it entitles Instrumental Musick, makes no mention of it. But I will however, to silence, if possible, the Clamours of Unreasonable Men, make it appear to have a sufficient foundation in that Reason which is common to us all, and which as it had a being long before the Law of Moses, so will continue of force, as long as we our selves shall: That, I mean, which perswades the use of such things in the Worship of God, as may be servicevble to it, or helpful to the Devotions of those that have a part in it.

For whereas the greater part of those that assist at the Worship of God, neither have, nor can well be supposed to have, any such skill in Singing, as to carry them with any tolerable concent through the Psalms, or Hymns that are used in the Church; By which means the Service it self comes to be ab­borred, or, at least, many, that are concerned in it, are forced to give it over: The Organ, in particular, both by the Lowdness, and the Harmoniousness there­of doth, with a kind of grateful Violence, carry the Voices of Men along with it, and not only prevents any such indecent Discords as might otherwise arise, but makes their Voices indeed and in truth to answer that Melody, which is here exhorted to, and is, it may be, the only Instrument that can with any cer­tainty procure it.

Whereas again the Affections of the generality of Men are, and will be dull, but however there is none of us all, whose Affections do not often want quickning in the Worship of God; In which case Reason it self will perswade the use of such pro­bable means as may be helpful to us in the stirring of them, but especially in that part of Gods Ser­vice, which requires a sprightly and a chearful Mind: What can be more reasonable than to make use of such Instruments of Musick, as tend in their own Nature to excite and improve them; yea, do not seldom transform Men into a perfectly different Temper from what they were before they liftned to them?

So great reason is there to believe that Instrumen­tal Musick, as well as Vocal, came into the Church, not from any perverse imitation of the Law of Moses, as some have fondly enough imagined, but from the apparent usefulness of the thing it self, and which Mens common Reason, as well as Experience, led them to the approbation of. If it came not in sooner, or did not spread more universally when it did, (for it appears not to have come into the Church till the Year 660Joan. Bona Divin. Psalmo. cap. 17. sect. 2., nor to have diffused it self every where when it did) it was either be­cause the disconsolateness of the Times did not com­port with it, as to be sure those of the first Three Hundred Years did not; Or because Men had an unreasonable scruple against it as a thing only suited to the Infant-state of the Synagogue; Or, because, where it was received, it was not managed with that Gravity, wherewith all Ecclesiastical Offices ought to be attended. For against the thing, in it self considered, there can be no scruple at all; nei­ther have there been more devout Men upon Earth, than those who have delighted in it, and practised it with signal advantage to themselves, if the Pro­phet David, and our Divine Herbert may pass for such.

What remains then, but that having in the first place endeavour'd to get our selves replenished with the Spirit, and particularly with those Graces of it, which serve more immediately to the exciting of a Spiritual and Heavenly Joy, we endeavour to keep it up, and improve, and express it by Psalms, and [Page 28]Hymns, and Spiritual Songs? Singing indeed, and making Melody in our Heart to the Lord, because without that it can be no Melody in the Ears of the Divine Majesty, but withal Singing, and making Melody with our Voices, and Instruments, as well as in our Hearts, because these do in their way ex­press our grateful resentment of his Benefits, and do moreover excite, and improve that Melody of the Heart, which we have said to be so acceptable to him.

After which the following Hymn was sung.


COme Holy Ghost, and with thy Light, and Fire
Dispel our Mists, and kindle our Desire;
That we at once thy saving Truths may know,
And with thy gracious Fruits enamour'd grow.
The greater, and the lesser World to thee
Doth owe its Light, and Life, and Purity.
By thee the Patriarchal Age was taught,
By thee the Christian was to Knowledge brought;
By thee each came to love, as well as know
What their Great Lord had ordered them to do.
Thou didst to each their Light, and Heat impart,
For thou the Teacher of their Teachers wer't.
O may'st thou still the same kind Beams display,
Direct us to, and chear us in our way;
Prompt us to love, as well as to fulfil
The harshest parts of our Creatours Will.
The fear of Ill may drive Men to his Law,
But thou alone to it can'st sweetly draw.
And may we also, when w'are thus inspir'd,
And with a calm, but ardent Zeal are fir'd
Make liveless Organs joyn with us in Praise,
And to thy Grace a grateful Trophy raise.
For 'tis not they, but we those Accents frame,
Which our Devotion, and thy Praise proclaim.

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