UTILE DULCI. OR, A Joco-Serious Dialogue, Concerning Regular Singing: Calculated for a Particular Town, (where it was publickly had, On Friday Oct. 12. 1722.) but may serve some other places in the same Climate.

By THOMAS SYMMES, Philomusicus.

Auditum admi [...], Risum tene [...]tis Amici? Hor.
Omnium Temporum Heroes et Pii Vin, atque [...]tis Amantes, Musicam Magnifecerunt. Alded. De Musica.
Of all Beasts, there is none (saith Aelian) that is not delighted with Harmony, but only the Ass. Plays Introd. Pref.
No Science but Musick may enter the Doors of the Church. Ven. Beda

BOSTON: Printed by B. Green, for Samuel Gerrish, near the Brick Meeting House in Cornhill. 1723.

[Page i]

The Preface.

THE Occasion of the Ensuing Dialogue it accounted for in the Introduction.

IT's the Fruit of a few Hours pains; being begun after Noon on Thursday, and finished before Noon next Day, without One tho't of it's ever being thus Exposed to the publick view.

BUT several of my Friends, upon Hearing of it, were desirous of having it Printed: which I the rather consented to, because divers for whose sake it was drawn up, were not present, when it was publickly delivered, who may possibly take the pains to read it.

I design'd to have polish'd it as well as I cou'd before I let it appear abroad; and (having other Business in hand) I deserv'd the Transcribing it, one Week after another, hoping for a more Con­venient season still, to see about it. But at length despairing of any such leisure, and being unwilling to d [...]soblige my Friends, by any longer Delay, I resolv'd to Transcribe it, a [...]fast as I could, and have done so, without making any Material Alteration, save the Adding a few Quotations more than were in it at first. I therefore ask the Candour of my Critical Readers, (if any such will [Page ii]vouchsafe to look upon it:) And as for the Cap­tiens, if they don't like it, I hope they will be so very kind, as to let it alone.

IF it may, by GOD's Blessing, be Effectual, to satisfy any piously Disposed Persons, (or stop the Mouths of hold gainsayers) in the dark, about Singing by Note; so that, This Excellent, Good Old Way of Singing, may be more promoted and practic'd in the Country, I've gained my Point. Now that it may be so and our Singing Dev [...] as well as Musical, is the Humble, Fervent Pray [...]. of the Unworthy Author,

T. Symmes.

The Recommendation.

WE the Subscribers, willing to Countenance and Promote Regular Singing, or Singing by Note, Do signifie our Approbation of the Sub­stance & Design of the Ensuing Dialogue. We pray GOD to bless it, for the Noble End unto which it is Adapted.

  • Thomas Blower of Beverly
  • Samuel Moodey of York
  • John Rogers of Boxford
  • John Tusts of Newbury
  • Thomas Foxcroft of Boston.
[Page 1]

A DIALOGUE Concerning Regular Singing.

The Prologue, or Introduction.

THERE has seldom any Reformation, how Reasonable & Needful soever, been bro't forward in the Church of Christ, or proposed to consideration; but thro' the Subtilty & Malice of Sat [...]n and his Vassals, the weakness of the Gifts & Graces of some of GOD's own Servants, and prevalency of Corruption remaining in them such Proposals and Essays, and the Promoters of them, have met with more or less Opposition.

THE Ecclesiastical History of our Nations, yea of our own Land, doth furnish us with too many sorrowful Instances of this sort, both Ancient and Modern. For, altho' the Pro­fessed Design of our Fathers of Blessed Memory, in leaving the Pleasant L [...]nd of their Nativity, and coming to this Country, then an Howling [Page 2]Wilderness; ‘was not a Reformation in Religion according to GOD's word, but a Progress in Reformation, or agoing forward unto any of the things of CHRIST, we are defective in; (as the late Venerable Higgi [...]sen, The cause of God — Stated. An Elect. Serm. 1663. p. 13. has reported to the World) yet how many amongst us, thro' a mis­understanding & miserable misre­presentation of the Errand of our Fathers into the Wilderness, have still Retarded, and very much Obstructed the execution of their Noble & Glorious Intention, in coming Hither? I'le mention two or three Particulars here. First, We are fully satisfyed from our Platform of Dis­cipline, as explained by the Famous Mr. R. Ma­ther of Dorchester (the most Unexceptionable Ex­positer, of said Platform. It being chiefly drawn up by him, Mr. R. Ma­ther's Life, in Dr. C. Mather's Magnal. Book 3. p. 128. and also from many other Writings of our most Eminent Divines, That the first Pastors of the N. English Churches were not Morellians or Brownists; and yet were very sensible that above 70 Years since, there were in too many in New-England, a strong Disposition to promote and practise upon, Brownistical & Morellian Princi­ples. [...]id not this give occasion to Mr. R. Ma­ther to write a Treatise to prove, That whatever Privilege & Liberty may belong to the Fraternity, the Rule of the Church belongs only to it's Presby­tery? Dr. C. Matler's Magnal [...] Did not this occasion Mr. Norton's Expostulation, in [Page 3]his Epistle Dedicatory, before his Discourse of the Sufferings of Christ? where having said, ‘I Appeal to any competently judicious & sober-minded man, if the denial of Rule in the Pres­bytery, of a Decisive voice in the Synod, and of the Power of the Magistrate in matters of Reli­gion, doth not in this point translate the Papal Power unto the Brotherhood of every Congrega­tion;—He thus expresses himself; 'Thou that abborrest Epis [...], dost thou commit Popery? Alas, Alas! Is there no medium between Bo­ni [...]ce and Morellius, between Papacy & Anar­chy—? If there be a Mystery of Iniquity in the one, is there not an University of Iniquity in the other?’ Briefly Did not this early Disposi­tion to Corahism, give occasion to Mr. Shepard of Charlestown, to say, ‘Let not the way of the Ri­gi [...] Seperatists—be acted over again here, till the Churches be buried in Confusion. In case of Divisions in Churches, hath not the Con­gregational-Way Balm for this wound appointed by Christ, but Morellius must be rak'd out of his Grave to be the only Physician?’ Mr. Shepard's Elect. Ser. 1672. p 38.

AGAIN, Was there not long ago great struggles to prevent the Rising Generation in this Country being bro't under the Government of Christ in his Church, so that when grown up and quali­fied they might have Baptism for their Children? Is not thus much intimated in Mr. R. Mather's D [...]g Advice to his Son, the now very Reverend [Page 4]Dr. Increase Mather? Magnal. B. 3. p. 129. And is not this very evident from that Passage in Mr. Norton's Life, ‘This excellent Man, would fain have had in­serted in the Platform, agreed by a Synod, in the Year 1647, certain Propositions concerning the Watch, which our Churches are to have over the Children born in them; which Propositions were certainly the first Principles of New-Eng­land: Only the fierce Oppsitions of One emi­nent Person, caused him—to forbear urging them any further; by which means, when those very Propesitions came to be advanc'd and em­brac'd in another Synod, more than twice Seven Years after, many People did ignorantly count them Novelties. Idem. B 3 p. 34. Whence I observe, En Paessant, That it is no New thing for some Weak People, to declaim against such things as Novelties, that were not generally practised within their Memo­ry; tho' it's certain, they were highly esteemed, by the Wisest & Best of the First Generation of New-England. But what Notion soever it pro­ceeds from, we know, That Opposition to the work of Reformation, was judg'd by the Last Synod of these Churches to be one of the Provoking Evils of this Land.

NOW, tho' I could easily produce several other Instances to illustrate this point before us, I'll take notice only of one more: And that is, The opposition made in too many T [...]wns to the Reformation of our Fsaimody, notwithstanding all [Page 5]that has been done to show the Reasonableness, Advantage & Necessity of it. And this brings me to say, That I have us'd my best endeavours, according to the measure God has given me, to pre­vent the rise & afterwards the progress of such an unhappy Controversy in this place; yet then has been a great deal of Contention & Uneasiness a­mongst us, about Singing by Rule, and I perceive there are some yet dissatisfyed. Parva Scint [...]la maximum e [...]citat Incendium.

NOW, it being my purpose to encourage Singing Meetings in the Town, in the long win­ter-Evenings, I tho't it prudence to make another Essay, introductory to my setting forward such a Laudable Pra [...]tice, that if it be possible I might ease the Minds of all amongst us, that remain dissa­tisfy'd on this score. And agreeably, I projected to draw up in form an Answer to all the Objecti­ons, I could remember to have heard about this matter, and at a Meeting call'd for that purpose to communicate it, to such as would give their Attendance. For tho' in all my Conversation with Mankind, I never (in my opinion) observ'd a more Ridicu'ous & Groundless Controversy; and altho' I have always esteem'd the Objections a­gainst Singing by Rule, too weak & ludicrous to be mention'd in a Sermen; and knowing that, Rectumest Ind [...]x sui ct Obliqui and consequently, that having prov'd abundantly (in more Ser­mons than one, occasionally; and in one Sermon especially, Preach'd in sundry Congregations) That Singing by Rule, or according to the Pattern [Page 6]in our Psalm-Book, is agreeable to the Will of God: and having also seen sundry Treatises on this head, that have been dispers'd about the Town; in one of which, the chief Objections of our Anti-Regular-Singers, [let me use [...] Phrase for short­ness] are designedly and particularly and very solidly answer'd, I held my self Excused from en­deavouring an Answer to them. And that I might justly say in this case with the Apostle 1 Cor. 14.38. If any be ignorant, let hi [...]e be igno­rant. i. e. says Mr. Clark, ‘If any will not be bro't to a rig [...]t Understanding in these things, by all that I've said, but is still Contentious and U [...]ruly, be it as his own Peril; I'll trouble my self no further about him, and don't you regard him.’ Clark's An­notations is Lo [...].

FOR tho' I know it is the business & duty of the Ministers of the Gospel (acc [...]ing to the Example of Christ and his Apostles) to answer weighty objections against their Doctrine [...]r Practice, for the removing the Conscientious scru­ples of the Weak & Ignorant; and stopping the Mouths of Gain-sayers; yet I know also, that many objections are Refuted, by being Recited. The bare proposing of them, to Unprejudic'd Per­sons, is a sufficient Representation of their absur­dity. And as to others, of more Solidity, they are fully answer'd, tho' there be a Legion of them, if there be One Conclusive Argument on the other side. For Unquestionably, One good Argument for a thing, is of more value, than Ten Sophisms, or inconclusive arguments against it. And as I've [Page 7]often had occasion to say publickly, If men will never Embrace any Articles in Religion, but such as there are no Objections against, they must re­nounce all the [...]rticles of the Christian Faith, and turn Scepticks in Religion. Having therefore as I said, sufficiently prov'd Singing by Rule, to be agreeable to the Will of GOD; I have sufficient­ly proved all Objections against it, and Pleas to the contrary, to be utterly vain & insignificant; and that such strive against God and oppose Reli­gion, who oppose that: And hereupon (for some­time) I supposed, as I said, I had no obligations upon me, to take the method I'm now come into.

BUT being willing to become all things to all men (as far as I may with a good Conscience and to Edification) I tho't, if on a Week-Day, and in a Discourse, (not a Sermon) I could help any of my Nei'bours to light in this matter; and con­vince any of them, that they'r out of the way, in speaking against this good Practice; It might be Time & Pains well spent.

AND, accordingly having first sought to Heaven for Direction, and consider'd in what method to proceed, I at length concluded to draw up my Th [...]'ts in the way of a Dialogue, between a Minister for Singing by Rule, and one of his Hearers vehemently set against it: Resolved to give the Hearer all the advantage I possibly could in the Dialogue, and to set his Arguments & Ob­jections in the best light, my little skill in argu­ing would allow me: And then to give an answer, according to my power, agreable to the nature [Page 8]of the Objection, and the Objector, & Answerer. Such Objections as are Grave, I'd answer Gravely; such as appear Conscientious, I'd give a soft answer to them; such as are Untoward, I'd answer with more Smartness; and if any will make Merry objections, they I be so kind as to take a Merry answer: For thus variously have the most Cele­brated Writers, [Marvel. Alsop. Dr. wild. Presi Willard, Ne Sutor, &c. &c. Sic parvis Componere—! A mean Hand may write after an exact Copy.] Yea, the Amanuenses of the Holy Ghost have taught us thus to answer those, we've occasion to contro­vert with. 1 Cor. 15.12. v 35, 36. Jam. 2.18—20.1 King. 18.27. Jud. 9.7, 21. Job 6.25.12. c. 2.13. c. 4.16. c. 3.21. c. 3.27. c. 5. Prov. 26.5. &c &c.

Here then I shall introduce, The Proposed DIALOGUE.


How d'you Nei'bour? I'm glad to see you. What occasions your looking so sad, & uneasy?


Alas! Sir, I have met with a great deal of Affliction in my time; I've had [...] great deal of Sickness, been exercised with many Crosses and Disappointments, but indeed never met with any thing in all my life, that made me so uneasy, as this New Way of Singing, that's forced in upon us.


Truly N. I'm heartily sorry for your Un­easiness about that matter, and the more so, be­cause I'm satisfyed Satan has got a great Advan­tage against you, or you'd never remain so out of tune, after all that has been said and done for your satisfaction. But I pray you N. to produce your Cause and bring forth your strong Reasons, [Page 9]and make out your Charge, that Singing by Note is a New-way, or obtruded upon you; and I'll be your easy Proselite, and make you a Confession in Folio, if you desire it, that I've been deceiv'd and done very much amiss in this matter.


Well Sir, but you'l be angry (they say) if I should be plain with you, and it will do no good, to have any Discourse with you about it.


And are none of your Party transported sometimes with anger, when they talk about Singing? But— If what you call Plainness, be down-right Rudeness, and the last Dogmaticalness, and if those that should come to learn of me and be instructed by me, come rather to dictate to me: and instead of (as the Apostle directs) Entreating me as a Father (supposing they think me out of the way) arraign my Administrations, and treat me with the last Scurrility, or at best, as if I were the Pupil, and they the Tutor; (I say, if so) I've just reason to be angry and I do well to let them know I am so. I should sin against God, and be­tray the Authority I'm vested with, and vilify my office, if I should tamely suffer my self to be insulted, and not manifest my Resentments, with due discretion, Rebuking with sharpness where there may be occasion for it, as the Apostle di­rects. Tho' I hope I do not forget, that the Ser­vant of the Lord must not strive, but be gentle un­to all men: not a brawler, but apt to teach, patient, and in meekness instructing those that opppose themselves. And let me assure you, N. if you'l modestly produce your Allegations & Objections, [Page 10]I'll (by the help of God) use you, with all the Patience & Calmness, with all the Goodness and Gentleness, you can desire. And this, I think, is fair.


Truly Sir, I think so too. And if any say otherwise, I must own they'r very unjust. If then you'r at leisure, Sir, and will give me leave to speak freely, and hear me patiently, I'll tell you what sticks with me.


Well N. I dare promise nothing in my own strength; and I must confess, there's scarce any thing apt to put me out of patience so soon, as to hear the Unsufferable Impertinces of some of you Anti-Regular-Singers; However (as I told you) I'll endeavour to hear you patiently, at least while you keep within the bounds (I don't say of good sense! but) of Modesty and good Manners. Let me then, hear your Objections: Only, let them be reduc'd to a proper order, that I may'nt be oblig'd to answer ten times to the same thing, but may know when I've done, and that our co­ming together and this our Confabulation may be for the better and not for the worse.


Why truly Sir, I don't know whether I've shall end to range my Objections to your mind. I believe you've heard all the Objections I have to produce, and if you'll please to dispose them in an agreeable Method, I'll endcavour, as my Me­mory serves me, to keep to that Method.


You speak well N. and give me good hope, (tho' you look'd so Unpleasantly at first) that you come hither with a Teachable Disposition; [Page 11]and if so, I doubt not, but I shall give you full sa­tisfaction in every Article, e'r we've done. How­ever, I'll promise you N. in this Conference, to act not only the part of a Respondent, but of a Moderator also, and will agreeably assist you, in stating and prosecuting your Objections, that you may have no cause to complain, You can't be heard.


Sir, I thank you for your Civility. I'm sor­ry I ran away with the Popular Clamour against you. I must needs own you treat me very Candidly.


Well, N. I'm thankful, and rejoyce greathy, if I can give you content; for that's my Ambi­tion & hearty Desire; and since you ask it of me, I'll tell you how you may Range your Ob­jections, to make them look most Formidable and fit for business. Those that I've heard of, (tho' no doubt some of you A. R. S. that have such an incomparable talent at raising Objections against Mathematical Demonstrations, may have many more in store, against the Day of Battel) but those they've been pleas'd to favour us with the Know­ledge of, are reducible to Three Heads. First, Some against the Thing it self, which you'r pleas'd to call a New Way of Singing, and the Consequents of it. And they are these Seven. (1) That it is a New Way, an Unknown Tongue. (2) That it is not so Melodicus as the Usual Way. (3) That there are so many Tunes, we shall never have done lear­ning. (4) That the Practice of it gives Distur­bance; Roils & Exasperates men's Spirits; grieves sundry good People, and causes them to behave themselves indecently & disorderly. (5) That is [Page 12] Quakerish & Popish, and introductive of Instru­mental Musick. (6) That the Names given to the Notes are Baudy, yea Blasphemous. (7) That it is a Needless way, since their good Fathers that were strangers to it, are got to Heaven without it. Secondly, Some are against the Persons, that are the Promoters, Admirers & Practitioners of this way. And they are Three. (1) It's said to be a Comrivance to get Money. (2) They spend too much time about learning; they tarry out a Nights Disorderly, and Family-Religion is neglected by the means. (3) They'r a Company of Young Upstarts that fall in with this way and set it for­ward: and some of them are Lewd & Loose Persons. Thirdly, The other Objections are against the Manner of bringing Regular Singing into the Church: And these are peculiarly level'd against my self. These are your Principal Ob­jections; a'nt they, Nei'bor?


Yes Sir, They are so. But for my part, I don't father all of them; yet since we'r upon the Head; I should be glad to hear what you can say, (as the time will allow) to these several Objections, or any other that in Discourse may come tomind.


Well N. I am willing to speak particularly to them; but there's so many of them, you can't expect I should say much to them, but I'll endea­vour to speak to the purpose and eno', if you'll lay aside your Prejudices, and hear and judge impartially.


Sir, I know that is my daty; and I dare do­no [Page 13]otherwise, I should have no Charity for my self, if I were unwilling to see my Mistakes & Errors, and to come to the Light for that end.


You speak Christianly, N. O that there were such an heart in all of you, that make these Ob­jections! Please then to begin with your first set of Objections. There's a perfect number of 'em; and if they wou'd hold weight, when try'd in the Ballance of the Sanctuary, they'd carry the Case against all the Skilful Singers under heaven. Come, N let's hear them!


Nay, Sir, Proy be Serious, and don't run up­on me neither! I don't come hither to be laugh'd at.


Prithee N. keep your Temper, and allow me to handle the matter according to the Nature of it (or I shall not do it wisely) and I'll be as good as my word; If I find one solid objection in the whole Croud, I'll endeavour a solid answer.

Come, let me hear your first Objection; and âdone with Preambles.


Why Sir, my first Objection is this, That it is a New Way, an unknown Tongue.


As for this Objection, N. you may see it solidly answer'd in a little Treatise, Entitul'd, The Reasonableness of Singing by Note; which Book was well approv'd of by very good judges of Books. I advise you, if you can, to get that Treatise, and read it, with humble Supplication to the Father of Lights, that He wou'd open your Eyes to see the Truth there held forth unto you: And if you can't otherwise procure it, I'll furnish you with it. — Now besides that you find it [Page 14]there truly asserted, That this you call a New Way, was study'd, known and approv'd of in our Col­lege, from the very Foundation of it; (and tho' for some Years of later time it was unhappily neglected, yet (blessed be God) it is again reviven, & hope will be ever continued in that School of the Pro­phets.) And besides, that it is there observ'd that the Notes of the Tunes were plac'd in our New-England Psalm Books from the Beginning, with general Directions for Singing by Note; and that there are many of the Children, and Grand-Chil­dren of the first Setlers of New-England, who are now living, that well remember their encesters Singing by Note; I say, besides all this, It's evi­dent, that Singing by Note is no Novelty, since ‘Musick is one of the Liberal Sciences, (or, (as Alsted terms it) a Mathematical Science subal­ternate to Arithmetick,’ and may be call'd a spe­cial Arithmetick,) has been so accounted in all Ages, and amongst all learned Nations; and was doubtless Coaeval to, if not more ancient than In­strumental Musick; of which Jubal was the In­venter, as Moses tell us, Gen. 4.21.

Moreover, the very Tunes prick'd in our Psalm Books, are with little or no variation in Mr. Ra­venserests Psalm-Book, printed above a Hundred Years ago; in One of which, there's an account of the Gentlemens Names, that made our Tunes.

Furthermore, (as is evident from a Psalm-Book of Elder Chipman's, now in my hands) The Church of Plymouth (which was the First Church in New-England) made use of Ainsworth's version of the [Page 15]Psalms till the Year 1692. For altho' our New-England Version of the Psalms was composed by sundry Hands, and compleated by President Dun­sier, Magnal. B. 3 p. 100. about the Year 1640; yet that Church did not use it, it seems, till about Two & Fifty Years after, but stuck to Ainsworth; and till about 1682. their excellent Custom was to Sing without Reading the Line. Now, in Ainsworths Psalm-book, there are about 44 Tunes, and but 4 of them that I ever saw (to my knowledge) any where, save in that Psalm-book: And there the Tune is pricked as in Ravenscrosis & Playford's at the beginning of the Psalm, or you there find a Reference to the Tune the Psalm is to be sung in, so that all the Chief Masician or Chorister had to do, was to give the Pitch and lead the Tune, and all were to sing according to the Notes in the Psalm Book.

Briefly, all that know any thing to purpose a­bout Singing by Note, know as certainly, as they can any thing, that what is now call'd the Usual Way, in opposition to Singing by Note, is but a Defective Imitation of the Regular Way. And in some Places, they've kept nearer to the Rule, and in others, they've varied more from it. And wherever they differ any thing considerable, their Singing, as to the external part of it, is so far Defective and Irregular. And,

Finally, Singing Skilfully or by Note is express­ly & by just consequence requir'd in the Word of GOD; as in Psal. 33, 3. & 47.7. 1 Chron. 15.22. 1 Cor. 12.31. Mal [...]. 1.14. with the Third Command, [Page 16]and many other Scriptures; several of which you've heard me Expound. So that your Usual Way of Singing is but of Yesterday, an upstart No­velty, a Deviation from the Regular, which is the only Scriptural good Old Way of Singing; much elder than our Fathers, or Fathers Grand-fathers; as we could easily further evince were it needful; But they that won't be satisfyed with what I've now offer'd to consideration, or with what is in the Book refer'd to, neither would they be per­swaded, tho' one arose from the dead l What say you N?


Say! Why truly Sir, I'm amaz'd I should be so long deluded & Hood-winck'd. I must own, You have Antiquity on your side, or I shall forseit the Character of a Reasonable Creature, if things are as you tell me.


I aver what I've said to be so; and I'm ready to produce the Books to prove what I've asserted.


Sir; I'm obliged to take your Word in some things of greater Consequence than this, and there­fore I can believe you as to the History you've gi­ven me of this Matter: if any still besitate, let them take the Pains I've done, to satisfy themselves. Let them Come and see!

But what do you say, Sir, to it's being an Un­known Tongue?


I say there is in it, on Allusion to the A­postles expression of Praying or Preaching in an Unknown Tongue: And tho' it's used with a good [...] of Confidence, It is a comparison without [Page 17]any similitude, as the Objector supposes there is. Indeed, if we propos'd to Sing in Latin, as the Papists do, this comparison would be just. But tho' we possibly Sing Tunes that some in the Congregation can't sing, yet we sing the same Psalms we ever us'd to sing. Yea, if we throw by our Psalm Books and Sing only F. S. L. in the Meeting-house, as some have been so weak, as to suppose we intended; tho' alas! We'r so dull, we should I ever have thot of such a thing, if our surmising Objectors, had not suggested it; but, had we done so, there had been some room for such a [...]ram [...] Objection. But verily, this Objecti­on will hold against Singing any Tune, for there is to one Tune, that all in the Congregation that try to sing and do well to do so, are Masters of, and conseconently in your sense they'r an Unknown Tongue to them. And surely Persons may sing the Words, the Matter to be sung, in a Congre­gation when there is enô to lead the Tune, tho' they were never acquainted with one Note of the Tune before, and that very acceptably to God, if their hearts are right with Him. But, let me hear your next Objection, and try if there's any more force in That, than in This.


My second Objection is This, That this Sing­ing by Note is not so Melodious & Pleasant, as the Usual Way: Some have call'd it Yelling. Others have said, they'd as leeve hear the Wolves howl. And for my own part, I can't fancy [...]. One good man said, He never had heard Christ's Voice in this way of Singing since it came up.

[Page 18] M. As to this Objection also; you may find it sufficiently answer'd in the Book I before re­fer'd to. And not to enlarge here, I'll honestly confess to you that before I was pretty well ac­quainted with the Rules of Singing, I rather fan­cy'd the Usual, than the Regular way: But my Judgment satisfy'd me the Regular must be best. And I know, one reason why my Fancy for the present was most gratify'd with my singing the Usual way, was, because I was used to that, and not Master of the other. And hence it is, that Home is Home, be it never so Homely. And even so the miserable Hottentots (pardon the Comparison!) who think to adorn themselves with the Gats of Beasts, with all the Garbage in them; prefer these Guts to a Chain of Gold, because it's what they'r used to, and it pleases their Fancies. But surely if they'd exercise Reason, the Ornaments us'd by other People, are more beautiful and be­coming; or else all the Civiliz'd & Polite part of the World are deceiv'd and those Dregs of Man­kind are in the Right of it.

Furthermore. I've said to some of my Hearers, that if any of you A. R. S's would take the pains to acquaint your selves with the Rules of Singing, so as to be able to Sing 6 or 7 Tunes tolerably by Art, If they did not then say as I do, that singing by Note is Unspeakably preferrible to singing the Usual way; I'd give up the Cause as to them.

Besides, There are few of you A. R. S's, that ever heard Singing in the several parts of Musick; and some of you don't know the Difference be­tween [Page 19]the Treble & Bass. Hence I heard one, (that your Fraternity set much by) say, that the Treble & Bass must be sung with the same Voice! And another was pleas'd to say in my Hearing, That one Sabbath-day in a certain Meet­ing-House, there was Four sorts of Singing! for some sung Rowly Way; and some sung the Usual Way; and some sung the New Way; and some sung Bass. Whence I learnt that the Usual Way at one Town, and the Usual Way at another, were very Different: Fas est —. Now there is no man can judge aright of the Melody of Singing by Note; that has not heard Tunes sung in the several parts, or in Consort; and that not by Begin­ners only, but by ideptists, or at least persons well skill'd in the Science of Musick; any more, than a man can judge of Reading, by Hearing one Read that just begins to put his Syllables together.

Again, Consider N. that the Beauty and Har­mony of Singing consists very much in a just Timing & Turning the Notes: every Singer keep­ing the exact Pitch the Tune is set in, according to the part he Sings. Now you in the Usual Way, are very faulty on this account. Hence you may remember, that in our Congregation we us'd fre­quently to have some People Singing a Note or Two, after the rest had done. And you common­ly strike the Notes not together, but one after a­nother; one being half way thro' the second Note, before his Nei'bour has done with the First, [...] Now this is just as Melodious to all [...]-Musical-Ear, as Aesop was Beautiful to [...] ­ous Eye.

[Page 20] Once more, I put it to your Conscience N. who are the Best Judges of Melody, Such as can Sing both the Usual Way and by Note; or they that can Sing neither; or only the Usual Way? Why truly N. the man deserves to be more severely stigmatiz'd, than some can well bear, that won't readily say, the Former: And if so, we're sure the Case will be decided in our favour. For the Chief Musicians in our Country & Nation, recom­mend the Regular Way, as Unspeakably most Melodious; and our Reason and Sense tell us so likewise: Whereas it is only an Ungovern'd Fan­cy tells you the contrary. This several amongst us, declare upon Experience.

But suppose your way is after all, by you estee­med most Melodious; yet surely the Conse­quents of People's learning to Sing by Rule, should prevail with all that love God, to deny their own Fancy, rather than in the least discou­rage such a Method of Singing For, I trust we'r all agreed that Singing the Praises of GOD is a Duty incumbent on us Christians. And if it be a Duty to Sing, it is a Duty to use our endeavours to learn to Sing. For we don't come Singing, but Crying into the World. And tho' some have a more Musical Genius than others, yet Men don't Sing as naturally, as Pigs Squeak, or Children Cry; but their Genius must be Cultivated, e're they can Sing with skill & understanding. Now if we are to learn any Art we shall surely take the E first and most Speedy way to learn it; and this generally speaking is by acquainting our [Page 21]selves with the Rudiments & Rules of that Art. If we would teach our Children to Read, we don't set them first into Chronicles, but to their Horn­book or Primmer. And so if we would learn to Sing, we must first learn to raise our Notes.— And I profess were I to learn the Usual way for my life, I'd first learn to Sing by Note. And I'll engage, every Master of Song among us will say with me. And this we know, that there are Mul­titudes, can learn to Sing no other way, that can learn by Rule. And will you shut out so great a part of Mankind from joyning in the Worship of GOD, for a meer Fancy, and a Groundless one? When if you turn the Tables, all that can learn the Usual way easily, can if they will learn the other.—I might here (by the way) say some­thing to a Silly Objection, Iv'e heard, that it can't be right to Sing by Note; because it's so easy to learn it. Surely no man need go Seven years to College to know how to answer this! Won't you suffer your Children to learn to Read, or Write, or Cypher, because some, yea the generality of Children and Trung Men, learn all these things with a great deal of Facility; whilst such as did not learn them when Young, can never learn them, without the greatest Difficulties, if at all.

Besides, sometimes you object. It's so Difficult to learn to Sing by Rule, that it's more pains than profit: more cost than worship. Thus do your Objections Militate with one another; and I'll leave you to reconcile 'em; or e'n let 'em fight it out! So then your Usual Way of Singing, [Page 22](wherein you Sing commonly the Treble only, not keeping your Pitch, not keeping Time; or turning your Notes alike) is as much less Melo­dious (to a Musical Ear & proper Judge of Har­mony) than our Singing a Tune in the several parts of Musick with great Exactness, as a Tune play'd by an Unskilful Hand, or an Untun'd In­strument, is less Melodious than the same Tune play'd on a Well-tun'd Instrument, with great Accuracy, by a Skilful Musician. And this I think you may Conceive of, or you'r neighty dull of Apprehension.

And, whereas you tell me, One Good man said, He had not heard Christ's Voice in this way of Sing­ing by Note, or to that purpose —: I speak solemnly, The man that talks so, has just reason to consider, and others to suspect, whether He knows Christ's Voice. Sure I am that the same person, as good as he is, (if I am rightly inform'd) betray'd so much ignorance of that Sacred Voice, that I could scarce have suspected a well-grown [...]b, much less a Sheep of Christs Flock, could have been guilty of; in aslerting three things; (1) That Instrumental Musick was an Invention of David, and not of Divine Institution, even un­der the Law: tho' the Roval Prophet tells us, Psal. [...] 1.4. This, i. e. Instrumental Musick was a Statute in Jacob and a Law of the God of Israel. (2) He asserted, that if Instrumental Musick were of Divine Appointment, Organs were not. Where­as the Jewish Church, however, are expressly ex­horted. Isal. 130.4. to Praise God, with Organs. [Page 23](3) He was pleased to say, that if Instrumental Musick and particularly Organs, were of Divine Institution, yet the Jews did not play on them, upon the Sabbath-Day. Whereas, in the 150 Psalm the People of God are directed to Praise Him in the Sanctuary with Organs. And in the 92 Psalm, Entituled, A Isalm or Song for the Sabbath-Day; It's said, It's a good thing to give thinks unto the LORD.— 3. v. With an Instrument of ten Strings &c. Now unless, your good man, knew Christ's Voice better in his Word, that has an Im­mediate relation to Musick; I'd advise him, ne­ver to Utter any more such complaint lest he oblige us to conclude, he's as shy of his Bible, as some A. R. S's are of some other Books printed for their Instruction.

N. Sir! I can't but say, you've convinc'd me, there's no manner of sense in this Objection; and if you as fully answer the Rest, I'll never open my mouth more against Singing by Note.

M. Well said N. let us hear your next Ob­jection. But you must excuse me from speaking so largely to most of the other Objections, or I shall grow weary, and must adjourn to another Opportunity.

N. Sir, my next Objection is, That there are so many Tunes we shall never have done learning, 'em. If you'd set any bounds, that we might know when we should have done, there would be some sense in it. But some tells us, there's an 150 Tunes, and we need do nothing else but learn to Sing. And I hear that one of our New Singers, (that is a Pillar [Page 24] among us) says, That there are Six Excellent Tunes, and if a Man fall into any one of them, he may make Principal Melody.

M. A goodly saving indeed! You'd best get it annex'd to the sayings of the seven wise men of Greece, in the next Edition of 'em. Suppose N. when the Man fa [...]ls into one of those GimmTunes, he should unhappily Turn out again, as they tell me, he does, on some occasions; whether that won't spoil the Harmony? — But to the For­midable Obj. (which no doubt is sufficient to puzzle fr [...]le and all his Followers, to solve,) I'll tell you N. That as all the English Books in the World are composed of 24 Letters, and when a Child has learn't those Letters thorowly; and learn't to spell and put his Syllables together, he can read, in another Lad's Book, as well as in his own: and does not complain,—O! if there were but 10 or 12 Books, I could learn to read with some Courage; but when I hear of so many Thou­sand, I'm utterly disheartn'd, I shall never have done, I must do nothing else but learn to read! So, in Musick, all Tunes are composed of 7 Notes, and when a person has learn perfectly to Name & Raise his Notes and Turn his Thirds; He may with a little Practice, if within the age of D [...] ­pline, and apt to learn, Sing any Tune he sees prick'd at first sight, or with a little Conning over, or hearing another Sing it; and here's no occasion to complain of the Multiplicity of Tunes; for he's still at his liberty to Sing what he pleases.

[...] as to their being Sung Publickly; It's [Page 25]time enô for People to complain, when they'r burt. How many Tunes soever there are (and indeed there may be Ten Thousand made by the same Rule that one is) yet, there has hitherto but Five been Sung in our Congregation, more than were wont to be Sung And as to one of them, viz. Hackney or, St. Mary's, it has been prick'd in one Edition of our Psalm Books above this 30 Years. As to Stamdish, it has been Sung for many years, (as I'm inform'd) in the Church of N. Hampton. As to Dunhead or Brunswick, It's King George's Tune (it's said) and I hope none but the Pre­tender's Followers will speak against that. As to 85 Psalm-Tune; There is no other, in which the First Metre of that Psalm in our Version, can be Sung with any Decorum; and surely our Fathers inserted that Metre to be Sung. And as for Lon­don-New, it was Sung at the Publick Election, in­comparably well, and to good acceptance above a Year ago. And I never propose to set any Tune Publickly, but what I'm assur'd there's enough to lead the Congregation in the Singing of it; and if they won't follow, you may guess who's to blame. — Besides, Variety delights. And it's strange that People, that are so set against stated Forms of Prayer, should be so fond of Singing half a Dozen Tunes, nay One Tune, from Sabbath to Sabbath; till every body Nauseates it, that has any Relish of Singing. In short, Ministers are Debtors, not to the Weak only, but to the Strong. They must give strong Meat to strong men, as well as Milk to Babes. And such as are Chief [Page 26]Musicians and Masters of Song must not only con­sult the Gratification of the more feeble sort of Singers (who if they knew their own Weakness, would for ever follow others, and not pretend to go before them) but, they must also set Tunes to Ex­ercise the Gifts of the more skilful, or how shall they daily improve the Talent, God has given them? Finally, Its said, 1 King. 3.32. Solomon spake 3000 Proverbs, and his Songs were 100 [...]. Quaere, Whether this is spoken, by way of con­demnation, or of Commendation? Was it to his Dishonour, that he had so many Songs, or to his Praise? And then, pray Consider, whether such as reproach us for Singing so many Tunes, are guilty of what the sweet Singes of Israel com­plain'd of, viz. Turning our Glory into shame? Psal. 4.2.

N. Sir, I pray spare your self the pai [...]s of En­larging any further. I'll never complain again of Plenty of that which is good, while I have my senses.

M. A just Resolution truly! I wish you may keep of that mind. Let us hear your next Ob­jection.

N. Sir, you make such fearful work with my Objections I begin to grow asham'd of 'em. How­ever, you weat me kindly (tho' you put upon me now & then, I 'count) and I'm willing to heat what you'll say to the other Objections. My Fourth Objection.

M. Nay, Prithee N. don't mistake me neither. Don't be uneasy at my manner of Expression. For I assure yea, on the word of a Minister (and that's [Page 27]sacred with me) It is not any Man's Person, but the Objections against Regular Singing, I'd ex­pose the weakness of. For notwithstanding the Rude & Unchristian Treatment I have met with from some A. R. S's, I can freely over-look it, and say in the Apostles sense, Ye have not injured me at all: But as to the Objections against Sing­ing by Note, I know 'em to be Ridiculous; and I wish that you all could, or would see it, as fully as I do. And let this be for an Answer, once for all, to your complaints of my putting on you. And when [I] use such Objections against any thing, I'll give you, or any Man else leave to put as much upon me. But bring out your Fourth Objection, my Friend! for the time spends, and I long to be better Employ'd: or at a more agre­able Entertainment, [...] The Singing Meeting suc­ceeding this Exercise.

N. Sir, my ary Objection was, That the Practice of Singing by [...]re makes Disturbance, roils and exasperates [...] grieves good People, and couses them to [...] have themselves indecently and disorderly: And seeing there's a great many speak against it, and it's en indifferent thing, methinks it's pity that there should be so much Noise and Towse about it, and that so much pains should be taken in this matter, when there are things of greater Consequence —.

M. That there are things of greater Moment, (even in the Doctrine of Singing the Divine Praises) Heaven & Earth are witness, I always assert. But that Singing by Note is Lawful, Ex­pedient [Page 28]and Best, and should be endeavour'd by some, and encouraged by all, These are suffering Truths, that ought to be born witness to, where our Silence will be Construed a Denial or Dispi­sing of them. Indeed, if these points were Proble­matical, or Disputed amongst Wise and Learned Men; there were some sense (I acknowledge) in this Objection. But (alas) the Case is far otherwise. And (let the Man make what Figure he will, and let his Coat be of what Fashion or Colour, or other Quality it will) I profess I'll not affix either of those Honourary Epithets to his Name, that won't readily own, that whoever will Dispute those points, may also Dispute Whether Two & Two make Four! A learned Question in truth! For my part, GOD helping me, I'll ne­ver betray any known Truth of Religion, or the Confessors of it, to secure my own ease; tho' all this world were against me! I know who has said, Whoso shall break one of these least Commands, and teach men so, shall be called least in the Kingdom of God, i. e. without Repentance, he shall never come thither. And again; These things (weigh­tier matters) ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other (the lesser points) undone. These Text are no part of the Apocrypha. And I appeal to all men of sense, whether Christians are to make Reason & the Word of God the Rule of their Faith and Practice, or the Cheigo's & Whimsies of some, who have Cor Bonum (we [...]ope) but not Caput Regulatum (we'r sure) i. e. Men whose Hearts are better than their Heads.

[Page 29]

And whereas you were speaking of acquainting our selves with the Rules of Singing as an Indif­ferent thing, I utterly deny it to be so, as to all persons. Indeed, as to some Elderly People, and such as have a natural Incapacity to learn, doubt­less God does not expect it of them. But as to all that have a Competent Ability, and Conveni­ent Opportunity to learn, my firm belief is, That God as really requires it of them, as He does any thing in His Word; and particularly as He does Singing. 1 Cor. 12.31 For, He that requires the End, requires the Means; or all Expositors (that I've met with) are out, in Expounding the Decalogue: For, all take this for a Granted Maxim, and Expound the Com­mands by it. But no doubt, you A. R. S's that are much Wiser than your Teachers; you are the Men, and Wisdom will dye with you!—Besides, suppose this were an Indifferency, (which verily it is not) please to hear the words of the Famous Mr. Samuel Clark, (in his Treatise of Scandal) ‘If persons (says He) are scandaliz'd at an In­differency, and then scandal arise from some superstitious conceit and perswasion, and such as they've no tolerable pretence or ground of Reason for, they'r rather to be Cross'd, than com­plied with therein; because that is more like to tend to their Edification, and yielding to them would but nourish them up in their Superstitious Fancy. As Solomon (he goes on) says concer­ning a Fool, Prov. 26.4, 5. Answer a Fool (i. e. a Conceited Fool) according to his Folly; i. e. [Page 30] Smartly; let him not have his way and saying, left [...] be wise in his own eyes. But, Answer not a Fool, (i. e. a Trectable Fool) according to his Folly, i. e. Weakly, left thou be like him. He pro­ceeds, so may I say in this case, Comply not with an Obstinate person in his Erroneous, irra­tional, superstitious Fancies, that thou Bolster him not up therein. N.B. And says Mr. Rutherford, we read not of scandals culpable in God's word, but where there is some apparent Moral Reason for them. Cit. Clark.

Thus he.

Again, Whereas you say, There are many speak against it: I answer, Not every where. It is not so, at Boston (that I can learn) nor at Cambridge, where People have as much Ability & Opportu­nity surely, to know What's wha [...] [...] [...]ur Town, and some others in the Country. But granting it were so, That's no solid Argument against it; for, the Gospel it self was said to be every where spoken against; and I pray God, it may never be said so again, of some Articles in Divinity, of Unspeakably greater Moment, than Singing by Note. Time was, when it was said, The whole World sigh'd, to see it self become an Arian.

Besides, supposing Regular Singing is spoken against by many, Is it not also spoken & preached, and printed for, and that by as wise and good Men, Men as able & faithful to judge in this mat­ter as any Anti-Regular-Singer upon earth, and no Reflection on them?

And whereas you say, Many good People are [Page 31] griev'd about it. I answer, That's none of their goodness, I'm sure; but their Pittiable weakness at best. And for any to be angry at it, is to be angry without Cause, if ever men were so. And you remember, what Christ has said of such, Mat. 5.22. And tho' we'r Commanded not to give offence, we'r not Commanded, not to let People take offence. And if Good People are offended with us, when we give them no reason to be so, that's our unhappiness, and not our Sin. The wo belongs to such as take offence, where there is none given. And if many Good People are griev'd; I'm perswaded as many and as Good as they are, are rejoyc'd at this matter, and look upon the re­vival of the study & Practice of the Art of Musick, as an happy Omen that the time of the singing [...]irds is coming on. And on the other Hand, Are they not, with good Reason, displeased and offended with you A.R.S's? Which some of you, and some (that find their account in it, I presume) that Connive at and Countenance you, seem uncon­cern'd about. Whom, if I were worthy to ad­vise, I'd beg them to remember, that there are some Patrons of Singing by Note, understand themselves as well, and make as much Consci­ence of their Duty, as they do; and are as loth to offend when they can avoid it, as they are: But they remember, Prov. 28.23. But let who will be Displeas'd in the Case, I'm Confident the GOD of Order (who as Alsted says, is the Au­thor and F [...]utor of all Harmony) is well-pleased that Singing by Note is promoted in these Chur­ches, [Page 32]and will be greatly Glorify'd for it, and by it. There are many Thanksgivings to GOD, for bestowing this Good Gift on his People, notwith­standing all the Disturbance occasion'd by it. And whether is better, to please GOD, or Men, judge ye!

Farthermore, As to it's roiling the Spirits of Irreligious Men, and giving Disturbance; — If you'll take the pains to read the Treatise I've refer'd you to, several times, and the Sermon about Prejudice dispers'd in these Towns, you may find an answer to it, and it may be to your Satisfaction. For, I remember, I heard one of the wifest and best men in this Town, say, to one of the oldest, ‘Sir (said He) I was my self as much in the Dark about Singing by Note as you are, but when I heard the Sermon from that Text, Come and see, I went Home (and advised) and made it a Case of prayer, and read over the Treatise (before quoted) and really I found so much Reason and Scripture for it, that I'm satisfy'd, 'Tis of GOD.—An abun­dant Recompence, I acknowledge, for all my Pains and Sufferings occasioned by that Sermon!

In short, N. Do you love Peace, so, as to pur­chase it with the l [...]ss or practical Denial of Truth. I tell you truly, It's a Cursed peace you get up­on those Terms! It's bought too Dear! No! fol­low Peace and Holiness. Love the Truth & Peace, Z [...]ch. 8.19. Both are best. But better Truth without Peace, then Peace without Truth. There­fore, [...] Truth and S [...] not; N [...] not for Peace it self. And y [...] [...] [Page 33]ownes! The Lord Bless his People with Peace! And to conclude the Answer to this Objection, I'm heartily griev'd that any of you are uneasy; or, I wou'dn't have taken so much pains for your Satisfaction, and have undergone the Drudgery of Answering such Trifling Objections. And I would yet Gladly spend and be spent to quiet you in a way of GOD; and yield to any thing, I may Wisely and with a good Conscience; but if after all. Men will be Humorsome, and wilfully blind, and fly from Books offered for their Illu­mination and Conviction, as they would from a Rattle-Snake, as the manner of some has been, I say, I know who has said, Jer. 15.19, 20. Let them return unto thee, but return not thou unto them. i. e. says Mr. Clark in his Annot. ‘Com­ply not with them in their finful Courses, nor sooth them up therein.’ You may read the Twentieth verse at your Leisure. And now please to produce your 5th Objection, and let's try the weight of that.

N. It was this, That this way of Singing is Quakerish, and Popish, and introductive of In­strumental Musick.

M. Well, N. And what's your Sixth? I think (if I remember right) their pretty near of kin, and therefore let us answer them together.

N. Sir, I find already you'll Non-suit me [...] these Objections, and therefore I'll only mention them: I shall never plead to 'em. My Si [...]th Ob­jection was, that the Names given to the Notes are Baudy, yea Blasphemous.

[Page 34] M. Verily, my Friend, Apollo himself, that Laugh'd but once a Year, could never forbear Giggling again, at such Comical Objections. Quis talia sando temperet a Risu? These Objections certainly labour of the Malady, of Obscurum per Obscurius, to prove a dark point by that which is more dark. In plain English, N. A Broad Laugh, is all the Answer such Whimsical Objecti­ons deserve: or rather, a hearty Scoul; or, Deep Sigh, to observe the Doleful Effects of Man's A­postacy. To be oppress'd with such Objections would make a wise man mad, Eccl. 7.7.

However, To gratify you N. I'll say in a few words! Tho' we understand Quakerism and Popery as well, and hate them as much as you do; yet, I'll never despise what is Laudable in them. I admire the Quakers neat and modest Dress, and condemn nothing in it; but the wearing it, with Affected Singularity. And if the Papists sing a better Tune, or with a better Air, than we do, I'd as soon imitate them, and a thousand times sooner, than the Honestest man among you, that has no Skill in Singing. You've heard frequently, That Truth is as precious in the Church of Rome, as in the Churches of New-England. And verily, the Papists in many Articles, and particularly in their Bodily Devotion, are a sh [...]me to many Pro­testants! If Papists will come Early to Meeting, and behave themselves in the Worship of GOD with Gravity and Wakefulness, must I (under a pretence [...] abhorring Popery) make a Trade of Coming, when Prayer is just done; or run out, [Page 35]needlesly and unexemplarily, before the Exercise is ended; and go away without the Blessing; or sit and Sleep, or Loll my Head on the Seat, as if I did so, in the time of Divine Worship, as—? Away, Away! The Papists themselves will rise up in judgment against Protestants, that act at this Rate, and will condemn them!

And since you make a Noise (tho' no pleasant one) about Instrumental Musick, I'll give you an unanswerable argument, that may put you out of all pain about it: And that is, That, truly, it's too Chargeable a peice of Worship ever to obtain amongst us; and you may depend upon it, that such as are not willing to be at the Cost of a Bell, to call the People together on the Lord's Day, and of a Man to ring it (as it is with too many amongst us) will never be so Extravagant as to lay out their Cash, (especially, now Mony is so scarce) to buy Organs, and pay an Artist for playing on 'em.

N. Yea, Sir, But what won't People do for their Wills?

M. Why truly N. it's well tho't of! They'll do e'n just any thing. Agreeably, I remember I once heard a Grave yet Facetious Divine ob­serving, That Corruption will do more than Grace at Building Meeting-Houses. But yet, I'll tell you N. for your comfort, when People grow so extream flush of their Money, and so wilful as to lay it out upon Organs (if you and I live to that Day) I can help you to several Arguments, that some eminent Divines have invented against [Page 36]Instrumental Musick, in Divine Worship. And in the mean time, pray be Easy; and assure your self, that Singing by Rule, won't in our Day, in­troduce Instrumental Musick, much less Quaker­ism and Popery. I promise you, your Usual way of Singing, would much sooner, dispose [...] to full in with them. Because the Quakers don't Sing at all, and I should be out of the Noise of it; and the Papists Sing much better, when they Sing by Rule. I mean only as to the External part of the Service. But I speak in Jest, and to show you the Absurdity of this Objection.

But then as to the Baudiness of La, Sol; All I need say is, That as the Fool thinketh, so the Bell Clinketh. No Mortal that can spell would ever have had such a Tho't, and it's a shame to men­tion it. And I'm sure, I'd never have done it, but to let the world see, what Treatment we have from you, who have a Zeal without Know­ledge, as I must bear you Record.

But that we may hear no more of this Nasty Objection; I'll tell you, that the very Letters, F. S. L. are in some Editions in our Psalm Books, and the whole Mystery of the Business is this, That these Names of the Notes were given them (as Alsted and Playford tell us) by Guide Are­tinus, several Hundred Years ago; they being the First Syllables of that Saphick,

  • Mi-ra Gestorum
  • Sol-ve Polluti
  • Fa-muli Tuorum
  • La-bii Reatum.

And these Names have been retained ever since. Because they answer the End as well as [Page 37]any other. And some Names there must be for the Advantage of the Learner: But if any will use, A, B, [...] or, Bo-Ce-Di-Ga-lo-ma-ni, propo­sed by Alsted, instead thereof, it will serve the turn. And so as to the Names of the Tunes. St. Mary's, Isle of Wight—they'r to distinguish one Tune from another, and one Name is us well as another for that End, Tho' it be isle of Shoals for Isle of Wight, or Bullbead for Dunbred, as some in Derisien have call'd 'em. But then the Names must be such as People commonly agree to call them by, or it will breed the Confusion of Babel, where, when a Man called for a Trewel, his Ser­vant brôt him a Spade or a Pick- [...]x. And why may not a Tune be called St. Mary's as well as St. David's, and so one of our most celebrated Tunes is termed in our Psalm Books; unless you think with one, that said to me, He did net know but that Tune was made by King David, about 200 Year ago. Commend me to that Man, how­ever for a Chronologer, if he's no Musician!

And then, as to the Blasphemy of Fa, Sol, La, it's too foul-mouth'd an Objection to be repeated, and as hideous Nonsense as ever was utter'd: and therefore Good now, N. let's pass on to your 7th Objection, if you please.

N. Well Sir, I hose if all the other were tou light, and weak, to bear the stress I've said upon them, This will do the Business, and I presume is Unanswerable by you.

M. Well N. please to produce it, and I'll try my skill upon it; and if I [...]n't answer it, I'll [Page 38]come over to your side, I'll promise you: if you'll come to our side, if I do. Come, Let's hear this Mighty, Dead-doing Argument!

N. Sir, It is this, That this way of Singing is Need­less, since our Good Fathers, that knew not this way, are got to Heaven without it. And therefore what need of all this Adoo and Pudder for Nothing?

M. Why look'ee, N. as to the Good Fathers of some of you A. R. S's, I can't say, but that they were unacquainted with this Excellent way of Singing, and I can't say whether they could sing any way; nor can I tell, whether they did not leave the Old Land (as you sometimes call it) to steer clear of Singing by Rule, thô I hope they had more Wisdom. But this I know certainly and affirm constantly, that some of our Fathers, that were I suppose, pretty near as Good, as any of yours, were acquainted with this way of Sing­ing My Father learnt it at College; and I can Sing a Tune he learnt me by Note when I was a Child; and I have now in my Study, Tunes prick'd with his own Hand, and I can't be more sure of any thing of that nature, than of this, That he highly approv'd of it, & greatly delighted in it. And one Reason doubtless, why he did not practise it, was, because his People could not do so; and it's probable he (did, as another Mini­ster famous in our Neighbour hood, I've been in­form'd, has said he did) shuck in with the People, and sang himself out of all. And thô, (I am humbly thankful) I've as much reason as some others to reverence the Memory of my Ancestors, [Page 39]yet I cannot but close with that eminent Man of GOD, Mr. Jer. Burroughs (of whom it has been said, he was a Prince of Preachers, and sit to be a Preacher to Princes,) in his Exposition of Hosea; and Edit. and Vol. [...] 556, 557. where he thus expresses himself, (and my Good Father has set a special Mark upon it) ‘What a fond opinion is it, and what a sluggish Spirit does it manifest, to be satisfy'd with that Knowledge which hath been in former times? Therefore such speeches as those, What shall we be wiser than our Fore-Fathers? May be answered, we'r to be thank­ful for the Knowledge of our Forefathers, and say as Master Greenham did, I bless God for what our Forefathers knew, and I bless God also that bath kept back some of his Counsels for this Generation to be acquainted with. 'Tis an ar­gument of a poor spirit to rest satisfy'd with small measures of Knowledge; the Light [...] 4 hundred Years ago was small, and in these Days our Light is small, to that which shall be revealed. It is very little in the matter of God: Worship and in the ordering of his House. There­fore had not we need to follow on to know the Lord, and not scorn at the New Light which God discovers? For tho' there are no New Truths, in respect of the Word yet in respect of the Mani­festation of them to us, they may be fall to be New. Thus Mr. Barroughs, a strict Con [...] ­tional Divine, & one of the very Fathers of them. And new [...]can't you [...] this to [...] [...] ­sent Case?

[Page 40] Besides, to say it's needless to learn to Sing by Note, for the Reason you mention, is just as much sense, as the Man's saying, It was needless to learn to Read, because his Uncle, that could not read had as good Corn, as any Body in Town. Alas, N. there's many a one I hope got to Heaven, that could not read, & had a very mean gift in Prayer, or I'm sure some of your Fathers & Grand-fathers (to use a Phrase of the American Apostle's, Dr. Mather's Magnal. B 3.2 [...]8. Mr. Eliot,) are Gone the wrong way. And what? Is there therefore no need to stir up People to learn to Read. And here I'd take occasion to answer a Plea made by some that never had any hand in the Gun-powder-Plot, that if Singing by No [...] be Right, then Singing the Usual way is [...]rong and then what's become of our Fathers that Sung in this way? I answer, I deny the Corse­narn [...]. It was not wrong in them, because they did as well as they could: They offer'd their Best. And if they could have Sung better, I believe they would. And if there be a willing mind, it's accep­ted according to what we have —. It is not wrong for him that can read but poorly, or pray, but meanly, to read or pray as well as he can. But if a man has a Male in his Flock, and sacrfi­ [...] to the Lord a corrupt thing, he expose's him­self t [...] the Livine Malediction. He that has two [...] [...]epted if he faithfully improve them, whilst [...]e that has ten, w [...] be accepted, if he [...] them. Where much is given much [...] little is given, little is [...] all these Objections [Page 41] to the place from whence they came, and bring on your Second R [...]nk of Objections, and Fire t'other Round, and let's see, if we can answer you!

N. Sir, my second set of Objections was against the Persons that are the Admirers, Promoters and Practitioners of this Way of Singing und r Consi [...] ­ration. And my first particular —.

M. Hold N! One word if you please, as we go [...]ng, to all Objections of this nature; which (it may be) may save you the labour of mentioning, and me of answering them particularly: And that is, That no Obj. of this kind can touch the M [...]rit of the Cause. For if so, are there not with you, even with you? as scandalous persons, per­sons of as vile & ignominious a Character, and guilty of as much folly & iniquity as any in the Town —? Are there no A. R. S's that are Tip­lers, Tavern-haunters, Idle, Sauntering Drones, and meer Incendiaries—? But tho' we com­mend all that are for Regular Singing, on that ac­count; we are very far from commending any thing victous or of Bad Report in them. And we pray, that what you see amiss in any of Us, you'd mend in your selves. And consider, are there no scandalous N.Consormisis? Are there no Hypo­pocrites in the true Church? And will you then Condemn the True Church, and give up the cause of N. Conformity for that Reason? Do you dis­like the good Fish, you take in the Net, because there are some and, slide in among them? Should the Ministers of Christ, reject the Gospel, because by the Pre [...]ing of it, some are bro't into the [Page 42]Church, that prove a Pest in it; and when they come to discover their Hypocrisy & Unsoundness, they wish them out again [...] On the other side, Are there not some, are there not many yea are not the principal Encouragers of Regular Singing, such as you ought to Esteem Faithful Servants of Jesus Christ? And such as are more Proper Judges in this matter than any of you? And mayn't you with more Reason, argue thus, There are these and those, Men of Learning & Wisdom & Piety, for Singing by Rule, and therefore we dare say no­thing against it? Does not the argument hold this way, at least as well as the other.

You take my M [...]ing N. I presume; and if you see meet, yet, to mention your Particulars, pray do so, and don't say you can't be heard. Only, bring 'em all out together, for there's ne'r a Bar­rel the Better Herring; and the time wou'd fail to enlarge on 'em all.

N. Sir, You'l gratify me to say a few words to each, that I may however, know Low to answer such as Reproach you on the account of them.

M. 'Tis well, N. please to say on.

N. Sir, It's sand (1) That the bringing up of this way is a Contrivance to got Money. (2) That there's too much time sp [...]nt in learning. That People Tar­ry out Disorderly, and Fam [...]ly-Religion is neg­lected. (3) That they'r a Company of Young Up­starts that fall in with this way, and set it for ward, and some of them are Lord & Loose Persons and guilty of Prophetness in Singing I s [...]lm Tunes in Barns and at Plow & Ca [...] will make nothing to [Page 43]Sing part of a Psalm Tune, and then, Cry, St'r up Darby—Nay, they'll Sing Fa, Sol, La, in the Tavern.

M. Now take an answer N.—As to getting Money by it; This were a Better Contrivance (allowing the Objection) and more justifyable, than many approved of, by some that Object this. And why the Singing Master, is not worthy of his Reward for his pains in teaching our Children to Sing, as well as the School Dame and School Master for Teaching our Children to Read, Write & Cypher, I can't Devise. For, Musick is as Real & Lawful & Ingenious an Art, as either of the other. I don't say indeed as Useful & Ne­cessary. But to put you, in this place, out of pain about your Purses; I'll undertake, if you'll learn to Sing, you shall all be taught on free Cost.

And as to spending too much Time, or neglect­ing Family Religion, (if there be any ground for such an Objection) we'r very sorry for it. I'll countenance no such things. But I won't there­fore condem the Practice, and discourage any from learning to Sing; but will Exhort them to reform such things, and cut off occasion, from such as seek it, to speak evil of the things they understand not. For my own part, as Iv'e the Honour of Conduct­ing this Flock of Christ, I shall recommend it to Heads of Families, that, when they go out in an Evening to Sing, they'd set their Houses in order before they go from Home. And as for being out late, it can't well be avoided, where People go so far, as some must do; and I wish some that make the Objection (thô this I confess is only. [Page 44] Argumentum ad Hominem) did not drive a Trade of tarrying out unseasonably, on less Justifyable Occasions.

And, as to Singing in Barns and Fields— you may see the Objection answered in the Trea­tise, I've so often refer'd too. And tho' there may possibly be some Deference to be paid to Common Psalm-Tunes; yet it's wonderful to hear those talk at this rate, that deny the Holiness of Places. For surely the Meeting-House is as Holy as any Tune. Is the One improv'd in the Worship of GOD? so is the other. But this Objection arises from a Su­perstitious Notion, some have Imbib'd, That there is some Sacredness in Tunes. But I assure you, & can easily demonstrate to you, there is not the least Jot. If any would suppose there's a Relative Ho­liness in some Psalm-Tunes, I affirm, there is no more Real Holiness in the most Celebrated Psalm Tune, than in the Tune of, Pepper is Black. And if People have taken up any other notion, It's high time they should be better inform'd, and convicted of their Error. Psalm-Tunes & Song-Tunes are all made by the same Rule: and those that made the Psalm-Tunes were not Divinely inspir'd; nor had they Authority to consecrate any Tune to the wor­ship of GOD. I remember, as I was talking with one good Man on this Head, he cry'd out, I'm con­vinc'd; for (said he) tho' the Bible is Holy, the Covers are not so.—And further I affirm, the most of the Psalm-Tunes, as Sung in the Usual way, are much more like Song-Tunes, than as Sung by Rule; because you've more Supernumerary Notes & Turnings [Page 45]of the voice in your way, than in ours. An In­genious Gentleman, who has prick'd Canterbury, as some of you Sing it, finds (as I remember) no less than 150 Notes, in that Tune, in your way, whereas in our's, there are but 30. Did we pro­pose so many Crotchets, and Quavers, and Semi-quavers and Demi-semi-quavers, in every Tune, I should not wonder if you were discouraged from endeavouring to learn to Sing. But alas! This is what you've generally no Notion about: And yet think your selves sufficiently accomplish'd to judge in the Affair—. Yea some Rage again in their Confidence. And yet sometimes their own Mouths condemn them. I was told by a very worthy Man, That he was not long since arguing with one of your Fraternity, and at length us'd this Similitude,—You are a Planter Ner'beur. Now suppose, while you'r Planting, there comes a Sailer athwart you. Well! crys he; What are you doing, Friend?— A doing (say you)? Why, I'm Plan­ting.— What at this time of Year? quoth the Sailer. The Planter replys, Yes; when should I Plant?—Why (says the Saile [...]) in August; if you intend to have a Crop,— No (says the Plan­ter) you'r deceived: Iv'e been a Planter this no Year, and my Father was a Planter before me, and I know certainly, I should have no Crop if I should Plant in August. You know better how to Rig and Sail a Ship, than how to raise Corn.— You talk like a fool (cryes the Sailer) I knew, you and your Father before you, were deceived: I tell you, you should Plant in August —. [Page 46] What would you say to him? says my Friend.— Say? Cryes he: I'd up with my Fist [which he did at that Instant] and hit him a Dab in the Chaps, [and he gave the Man a good Dowse.] And upon the whole I say, Ne sutor ultra Crept­dam. Let not the Shoe-maker go beyond his Last. And every Man to his Trade, wherein he's to be believ'd.

Briefly, Whereas you say, it's by some ob­jected, they'r young Upstarts—. I answer, It's an unparellel'd (I'd almost said unpardonable) piece of Ignorance, or Impudence, for any to say so. I remember indeed, that one of my Reve­rend Brethren, told me, That some of his Hearers made this Objection, at the Beginning of this Ri­diculous Controversy. Whereupon, he took oc­casion to ask the Judgment of several Aged Mini­sters, and of several of middle Age; and finding they all agreed in their Sentiments about this matter (and whatever he is for a Christian, I'll be bold to say, He's a poor Tool of a Scholar; and may either be Saluted,— Salve Doctor, sine Libris! or, if he has a Library, His Books may be Complemented, Salvete Libri sine Doctore; that does not know, that Musick is as proper a Science, as Geometry or Arithmetick: I won't Eng­lish it to you, but I say, finding all the Ministers he discours'd, highly approving of singing by Note) He tells his Friends, Tho' you were pleas'd to say there were no Ministers for it, but some Young Men; yet I find this and the other Aged Minister of the same Judgment—. Yes, say they, but those [Page 47]Ministers are superannuated. Well says my Friend, but I've discoursed with these and those, middle­ag'd-Min [...]ters, and they'r of the same mind—. Yes, cry they, Ministers will hang together right or wrong!Horribile d [...]! I'm amaz'd to think of the Perverseness not to say, Atheism, some disco­ver, when under the power of inveterate prejudice.

Furthermore, There was an Excellent Man of our Church, that told me, about a Year ago, that some of your Party said, if Old Dr. Mather up­prov'd of it, they should then suspect they were out of the way in opposing it. Upon which I wrote to that venerable Doctor. And he very kindly sent me his Son's (Dr. Cotton [...]ather's) Accomplish'd Singer, and upon the last [...]age of said Book, He wrote with his own hand, these Words.

I DO concur with what is here Published by my Son, and heartily wish, that Young People may be Encouraged to Learn to Sing Regul [...]ly.


Now, Dr. C. Mather, (in said Book, Page 22—) thus expresses himself. ‘It would be very de­sirable, that People (and especially our Young People, who are most in the Years of Discip [...] would more generally learn to Sing and become able to Sing by RULE, and keep to the Notes of the Tunes, which our Spiritual Songs are set unto; which would be to Sing as Or [...]gen expres­ses it, — Agreeably and Melodiously.—It has been found that in length of Time, in some [...] our Congregations their Singing has degen [...] [Page 48]into an Odd Noise, that has more of what we want a name for, than any Regular Singing in it whereby the Celestial Exercise is Dishonoured; and indeed the Third Commandment is tres­parsed on. To take notice of the Ridiculous Pleas, wherewith some very weak People go to confirm this Degeneracy, would indeed be to pay too much Respect unto them. And they must have strange notions of the Divine SPIRIT, and of his operations, who shall imagine, that the Delight which their untuned Ears take in an Uncouth Noise, more than in a Regular Sing­ing, is any Communion with Him. The Skill of Regular Singing, is among the Gifts of GOD unto the Children of Men, and by no means unthankfully to be Neglected or Despised. For the Congregations, wherein 'tis wanting to re­cover a Regular Singing, would be really a Re­formation, and a Recovery out of an Apostacy, and what we may judge that Heaven would be pleased withal. We ought certainly to serve our GOD with our Best: and Regular Singing must needs be better than the Confused Noise of a Wilderness. GOD is not for Confusion in the Churches of the Saints; but requires, Let all [...]hings be done Decently. — The Tunes com­monly used in our Churches are Few; 'Twere well if there were more—. It is to be desired, that we may see in the Rising General on, a fresh and strong Disposition to [...] the proper Tunes; that GOD may be [...] Religion Beau­tify'd, with a Regu [...] [...]ing among us’[Page 49]Now I should have tho't that by Two such Emi­nent Witnesses, the Cause of Regular Singing might have been Establish'd. But tho' I lent this Book to some, and gave them the preceeding account; they regarded it not. After this, I shew'd them Mr. Walter's Singing Book, recommended by Fifteen Ministers. They took as much notice of it, as if the famous Sam. Hide had commended it. Quis talia fando temperet a Lacrymis? Is this to Obey the voice of the Lord's Servants? To be­lieve his Prophets? To learn the Law at the Mouths of Christ's Messengers? I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping,—'Tis a La­mentation, and should be for a Lamentation! And especially that it should be so in a place so fa­mous for Religion, as this has been!

But where now is that Mouth, that said, The Abettors of Regular Singing, were only Young Upstarts? The man one would think, should blush into a Flame, unless his Face is harder than a Rock, and he has eat shame and drank after it.

And whereas you say, there are lewd and vici­ous People that are pleased with this way: As I said before, Are there not as vicious Persons a­gainst Regular Singing, as there can be for it? And if there are any Good People against it, It's more than I know, tho' I suppose some of them, are Faithful Brethren; but I'm Confident this is none of their Wisdom and Goodness, but their Weakness and Carnality; and if they die Mar­tyrs in this Cause, as some have boasted they would, I dare assure them, they'l never obtain the [...]own of Martyrdom for their pains.

[Page 50] In a word, It's utterly unfair to Charge the faults of all the Pretenders to this or that way, on the way it self. Are we willing a Judgment of N. Conformity should be made, from the Prin­ciples or Lives of some N. Conformists? No verily! Therefore, Good now Nei'bour, let's hear no more such Objections, and come to your Last. Bring on your FORLORN-Hope! And if w [...]'ve stood the shower, I hope we shan't flinch for the Drops, of this Puny Objection. You know my Refe­rence!

N. Sir, I'm willing to do so; for I think you've sufficiently answered all the former; and for my part, if you can answer this as fully, I'll give up the Cause; let who will be against Regular Singing, I'll have done, and come over to your side.

Sir, My last Objection was against the way of bringing Regular Singing into practice in our Church. Some have said, they had nothing against Regular Singing, but they dislike the way of bring­ing it in; they account it's intruded upon them.

Min. If you'd allow me one Random-Guess; I suppose it's 20 to one, but it had been bro't in right, if some of those Objectors, (who can't Sing, no not the Six Excellent Tunes aforesaid, if it were to save their Lives;) and some of their Queer Comrades, had been consulted, and leading in it. But some Men think nothing well done, that they han't a Hand, a Chief Hand, in the management of. If they think themselves neg­lected, all the Fat's in the Fire [...] And they'l set the whole Course of Nat [...] in a Flame!—But [Page 51]you may Remember, N. (if you don't, I do) that I've publickly Declared, That as to this, I'm answerable for it. And I aver, it has been fairly and Regularly introduc'd; and I shan't be determined by those, that understand neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm, In this matter: And if any will be so Hardy as to Arraign my Administrations on this Score, I appeal to Council. And I'm still of the same mind. And if any will still go on to Censure me on this Score, and yet decline the proposed Method: or, if any in other places will do so, upon Hearsays, The Lord Judge between me and them! And the Good Lord forgive them, who know not what they do! And for further Answer (tho' I han't time now to go thro' the Story of it's Introduction) I'll hint to you a few things. First, I don't understand your Notion of Intrusion. Men intrude on a Society, if they de­prive them of their unquestionable Privileges, and oblige them to any thing unwarrantable and unreasonable—But who, ever before, complain'd of being intruded on, for being urged by their Pastor to the Practice of that which is Laudable and vertuous, and which they account so.

Besides, You may think possibly, it should have been introduced by a Vote of the Church. But here you Blunder most miserably, and are igno­rant of your own Principles. For your Platform of Discipline, which when it suits your Turn; (and I speak soberly, never else that I find) you'r very fond of, tells you in Terms, Chap. 10. Sect. 5. That the Power granted by Christ to the [Page 52]Body of the Church and Brotherhood is a Privi­lege, which the Church doth Exercise, (1.) In Choosing their own Officers, whether Eiders or Deacons: (2.) In admission of Members.— But not a word about matters of Doctrine or Worship. Here, the Pastor is Master of the Assembly, and unless he Preach false Doctrine, or introduce any part, or means of Worship, not warranted by the Word of God; he's Justifiable before all the World by your own Principles.

And further, Some plead the matter should be decided, by a Vote of the Congregation: And (tho' there's neither Precept nor Precedent for such a thing, that I know of) this seems more Reasonable than the former. For every one in the Congregation has as much Liberty to Sing, as the Oldest Deacon in the Church, and as good a Right to decide this Question. For, there are many N. Communicants of you Anti-Regular-Singers, that know ten times as much about Sing­ing, and can Sing ten times as well, as any of those of you that are Communicants. And since you'r as much divided about the Persons, who you suppose have a Right to vote in this Affair, as the Papists, about the Subject of Infallibility, (for, some of them, say, it's in the Pope alone: others, that it is in an Aecceminical Council; o­thers, think it's in Beth together, and in neither seperate; and we Protestants justly say, it's in none of them) till you'r agreed, who are to de­cide the matter by a Vote, it must e'n go Unde­termined in any such way.

[Page 53] But then further I affirm, that the Care (at least) of Setting the Tune, does properly belong to the Pastor; and supposing he's tolerably skilled in Singing, it appertains to him to set it. I'm sure, in the Jewish Church, the Levites were over the Song, 1 Chron. 6.31 [...]. ch. 15.19, 22. 2 Chr. 5.12. ch. 7.6. & 30.21. And I see no Reason why Ministers should not be over it now, especially, when they are Skilful. I'm sure I know no such Ecclesiastical Officer of Divine Appointment, as a Quiris [...]er. As for the Deacons, the Business as­sign'd 'em by the word of GOD, is to serve Tables, and not to Tune the Psalm. And I'm humbly of opinion, that the Reason why our New-England Pastors han't generally done this Service for the Church, but put it on the Deacons, has been either because they could not Sing, or because they would free themselves of the Trouble. And no doubt, if a Minister can't set the Tune, or it be burdensome to him; he may direct one to do it; who is most capable and best skill'd. For as every man has received the Gist, so let him minister the same, 1 Pet. 4.10. But such are much deceiv'd, who think a Minister takes too much upon him, that sets the Tune himself; especially, if he can Sing as well as any of his People, or if he can't, yet Calls upon whom he sees best to do it. The Mas­ter of a Family, will set the Tune himself if he can: and if he can't, and any of his Children or Servants can do it a great deal better, I think he's a Proud Man, that scorns to put them upon it; and to be guided by them in this Exercise and part of Family-Religion.

[Page 54] And then, in our way, when a Person has been p [...]d upon to set the Tune, it has ever been l [...] his Dise [...]tion, what Tune to set, and How. And agr [...]bl [...], when Deacon Tenny (of Blessed Memory) set the Tune in our Congregation, he [...] Tune of the 119 Psalm, when, (there are yet Living Witnesses that can well remember) there was but three or four Men in the Town could Sing it. And yet none ever grumbl'd a­gainst him for it, that I can learn. And when I set the Tune in mother Place, I bro't in a Tune to the 24th Psalm, which is said to be an Indian Tune, when but about 10 or 12 Men, were Mas­ters of it, as I remember, when we sung it first. But none called my doing so Intrusion, but all were pleas'd with it, so far as I know. And there's the same Reason Now, not to say a great deal more, why, my setting the Tune, and now and then, one, not so commonly Sung, should be acceptable. For truly, I never took upon me to [...] the Tune here, till the Good old Deacon, yet a [...]ive, had many Years ago, beg'd me to Excuse him, in Deacon Tenny's Absence—; and Elder Tenny had desired me again and again to do it; and a whole Room full of People, at my own House had done the like, the matter being pro­p [...]sed and Discoursed amongst them, and all ac­quiesc'd in [...] so far as I perceiv'd (I profess I can't conceive why they should not) and Finally, I confess, I took one wrong step; condescending to propose to the Brethren as I did, whether it would be grateful to them, that I should for the [Page 55]future Tune the Psalm, acquainting them with Elder Tenny's Desire, and what Discourse had pass'd at my own House. Upon making which Proposal, a Principal Brother of our Church, (after a little Pause) said, Sir, I [...] you'll take the T [...] ­ble of setting the Tune, to be sure it will be grate­full to us. And no Man saying the least word to the contrary, I took their silence for Consent (as I do in a multitude of other cases) and thence­forth have set the Tune. And for several Months I set only the usual Tunes, and in the way I was ever wont to set them; and continued to do so till I was told to my Head (by some I shan't name) that I set the Tune by Rule—. And indeed, when I see People so unreasonable, and would be angry with me for Singing by Rule (as they supposed) I at length resolved never to set a Tune again, any other way than by Note. And have govern'd my self accordingly, and intend to do so. And further I receiv'd a Letter from the Reverend & Aged Mr. Wise of [...]sw [...]ch, wherein he gave it, as His Judgment, That when there were a s [...]ff [...] ­number in a Congregation, to carry away a Tune Roundly, it was then proper to intr [...]duce that Tune: Which Letter I rea [...] to the Church; and I never yet set any Tune Publickly, but there were (as I said before) [...] to carry the Tune, without the least hazard of making a [...]er.

And now after all [...]. I've us'd, I never (as I might have added [...] a word in any Sermon about this U [...]ace [...] till a great part of the T [...]n had for near halt a [Page 56]Year, been in a meer flame about it; and then, I at first Preach'd only some general Truths, that I hop'd, by God's Blessing, might compose the Minds of the Good People amongst us— I say after all] to be treated as I have been, not only in this Town, but in other Places, by some, at who [...]e Hands I deserve no such Treatment, is not fair, nor just. And I think, I'm justly offended at it. And I pray God convince and pardon those who in a time of Temtation, (not knowing [...]hat manner of spirit they were a [...]ed by) have shame­fully entreated me: And, Deliver me from unrea­sonable Men!

Thus Net'bour, I've endured the Fatigue of Hearing and Answering your Objections. I might say abundance more in my own Vindication, but I will rather still seek unto God, and Commit my Cause to him, who sits in the Throne Judging [...]ght. And verily, I would not have said so much, Remembring what my late Excellent Friend, Mr Bernard of Andover, said to me on a special occasion,— He that is not Tattle-proof, is not sit to live i [...] this World, especially in a Publick [...]) but that I know,—While it's sufficient for [...] Mi­nister, [...]at he have a Good Conscience, it's neces­sary for [...]is Hearers, that he have a Good Name.

I might also, have considered what Arguments there are for Regular Singing; but, besides that the thing is self evident, you may see Arguments sufficient to satisfy any unprejudiced Person, in the close of Dr. C. Mather's [...]ed Singer, and in the other T [...]ea [...]se, I have so often men [...]io­ned; [Page 57]and I must be Excused at present, being weary with speaking, if you a'nt with hearing.

N. Sir, I'm abundantly satisfy'd, and I thank you for your pains; and pray God Reward you; and follow you Good Endeavours among us to for­ward Regular Singing, and every other thing that's praise-worthy, with a signal Blessing. And I beg your Pardon, [...] all you've seen amiss in me, in this matter.

M. I heartily thank you, Nei'bour for your kind Acceptance of my poor Endeavours, and pray, that if you've receiv'd any Light, God may have all the Glory; and I your Prayers, that God will still assist and bless me in his Work: That He will forgive all my Follies and Weakness, and sinful Infirmities attending my best Performan­ces, and bring us at length to serve him Day & Night in his Temple, and Sing his Praises with­out Imperfection and without End, in the Hea­venly World. Farewel.

The Epilogue or Conclusion.

BUT thus my Friends, I've used Similitudes. And wish what I've offered may be rightly apply'd and improv'd; and if any don't Under­stand any part of our Dialogue, or have yet any Objection I han't reach'd, and fully satisfyed; if they'l come to my House (and treat me properly) when I've Leisure, I will with all my Powers, endeavour their Satisfaction. And wherein we [Page 58]are agreed, Let us walk by the same Rule, let us mind the same thing, Phil. 3.16.

And I beseech you all who have Light in this Affair, to put your Shoulder to this Good Work. Consider, E [...]ra 10.4.

Finally, Let all our Young People be encouraged to improve the L [...]ng Winter-Evenings in Learn­ing to Sing. And if this be to teach Children & Servants to [...]is [...]hey their Parents, Let 'em e'n say on. This is as Groundless a Cavil as any of the former. And pray don't let Parents and Masters, by their Example or any other way, teach their Youth to disobey their Ecclesiastical Guides and Overseers.

Indeed, You that are in your Min [...]ity, must not absent your selves from the Service of your Parents or Masters, without their Leave. But it's to be supposed they allow you some time for Recreation. And if you spend that in Learning to [...]ing by Note, you do well. I'll be answerable for it, if it appear otherwise. If your Superiors allow you no time at all for suitable Diversion, it's very bard; but while it's so, you must e'n bear it patiently, th [...] I hope we've no such Parents or Masters amongst us. However, I charge you to observe the Good Orders of the Families you belong to; and be sure don't be absent from prayers. And in all things approve your selves Good and Obedient Children and Servants; and Sing at your Work, when you can do it Decently; and learn to Sing as well as ever you can. And Remember you've a Master in Heaven, and [Page 59]if Superiours Commands are repugnant to His, you're under no Obligation to obey them. And now, The Good Lord help us all to remember This, and help us always to approve our selves to Him, who is our Father and Master in Hea­ven, that we may at length meet together, and bear our part in Singing the Song of all the Crea­tures. Rev. 5.13. Saying, Blessing, Honour, Glory and Power, be unto him that sitteth upon the Throne and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. Amen.


This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. This Phase I text is available for reuse, according to the terms of Creative Commons 0 1.0 Universal. The text can be copied, modified, distributed and performed, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.