Covenant Theology, RPW, and Musical Instruments

Discussion in 'Covenant Theology' started by Backwoods Presbyterian, Jul 26, 2008.

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  1. dcomin

    dcomin Psalm Singa


    I'm really not seeing the distinction you're making here. Why does it matter if the instruments were introduced into the ceremonial worship of Israel under Moses or under David? It doesn't change the fact that they were tied to the sacrifices and used by the priests and Levites as part of the ceremonial ritual. The fact that God delayed the inclusion of instruments in the typological ritual until the time of David does not mean they were not part of the ceremonial system.
  2. panta dokimazete

    panta dokimazete Panting Donkey Machete

    :handshake: :)

    All I am saying is that the types and shadows argument used in Hebrews is against the ceremonial components instituted under the Law of Moses.

    As it is, I am simply not willing to go beyond what the scriptures are clearly abrogating.

  3. dcomin

    dcomin Psalm Singa

    I certainly can't fault your desire not to go beyond Scripture... but I think you are splitting hairs [we need a smiley for that].

    The author of Hebrews is contrasting the outward and external elements of the OT worship ceremonies with the inward and spiritual elements of the New Covenant worship brought by Christ's finished priestly work. The main point is that the Great High Priest has replaced the earthly priests. All of the outward, external, sense-oriented, tutorial elements are now abrogated - whether instituted under Moses or David.

    You quoted yourself from 2 Chronicles 23:18

    Moreover, Jehoiada placed the offices of the house of the LORD under the authority of the Levitical priests, whom David had assigned over the house of the LORD, to offer the burnt offerings of the LORD, as it is written in the law of Moses-- with rejoicing and singing according to the order of David.

    David did not act in abstraction from the law of Moses. What he did to enhance the ceremonial worship was a divinely inspired and prescribed addition to the Law of Moses. The point is not whether it is Mosaic or Davidic... the point is whether it was Priestly.
  4. panta dokimazete

    panta dokimazete Panting Donkey Machete

    It was certainly part of the Davidic requirement for the Levite priests. It was not, however a component of the ceremonial duties Christ perfectly fulfilled.

    That is - if we are still commanded to sing, it follows that we did not lose the circumstance tied to it, as Paul demonstrated:

    Ephesians 5:19
    speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord;
  5. dcomin

    dcomin Psalm Singa

    Note that Paul said "with your heart" - not "with your harp" :lol: (Sorry... that one was too easy)
  6. panta dokimazete

    panta dokimazete Panting Donkey Machete


  7. Bygracealone

    Bygracealone Puritan Board Sophomore

    JD, their arguments can hardly be said to rest on that single passage from the Book of Hebrews. It's a BT argument, taking all of the pertinent passages together and looking at them in light of the work of Christ. I suppose I expected more by way of response.

    JD said:
    JD, are you sure those are quotes from Orthodox Jews? I looked at the articles and the websites and didn't see any reference to the Orthodox sect. If no reference is found, I would tend to think these articles are written by the Reformed or Conservative Jews who are much less conservative than the Orthodox and Chassidic Jews.
  8. panta dokimazete

    panta dokimazete Panting Donkey Machete

    from here

    from here

    Sounds pretty orthodox to me...
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2008
  9. panta dokimazete

    panta dokimazete Panting Donkey Machete

    Well, as I honestly recall, I don't believe I said it was the extent of their argument - more like the core.

    I think Doug and I went back and forth on it after that post. What areas did I miss?
  10. Bygracealone

    Bygracealone Puritan Board Sophomore

    Interesting, but I wonder if they're referring to the act of playing instruments on Shabbat in general or if they're talking about their use in the actual worship service???

    I continued to poke around Wikipedia and found this under the heading "synagogue"; it comes right after the section on Orthodox Judaism in the section on Reformed Judaism:

    The first Reform synagogue, which opened in Hamburg in 1811, introduced changes that made the synagogue look more like a church. These included: the installation of an organ to accompany the prayers (even on Shabbat, when musical instruments are proscribed by halakha[citation needed]), a choir to accompany the Hazzan, and vestments for the synagogue rabbi to wear [2].

    Seems to show that one of the differences between an Orthodox synagogue and a Reformed synagogue may be it's use of instruments in the worship service...

    Anyway, I also found a number of other resources that I will list. I realize that when we provide this amount of content, it can certainly be overwhelming, but I figure it will serve as a helpful resource for those who appreciate this sort of stuff :)

    From the Jewish Encyclopedia:

    1. The modern organ in Reform Synagogues as an accessory of worship was first introduced by Israel Jacobson at Berlin in the new house of prayer which he opened for the Shabu'ot festival, June 14, 1815. It aroused great indignation and opposition on the part of the rest of the community, a successful appeal being made to Emperor Frederic William III. to close the place, on the plea that the Reform schism was detrimental to the established rights of the Jewish Church, and was especially disturbing to the Jewish congregation of Berlin. The house was closed December 6, 1815. The members of the Reform party succeeded in building and dedicating their first temple on October 18, 1818, at Hamburg, where they set up a fine organ, but employed a non-Jewish organist. * * * The objectors based their prohibition of the organ in the synagogue on the following grounds: (1) Playing on musical instruments is prohibited on Sabbaths and holy days, and even to engage a non-Jew to play for Jews on Sabbath is considered a "shebut" or disturbance of the Sabbath rest; (2) music, except at marriage ceremonies, is generally prohibited, in token of mourning for the destruction of Jerusalem; (3) Jewish divine services must not be made to imitate the customs of the Christian Church.--Jewish Encyclopedia, Vol. IX., p. 432.

    2. Among the Reform congregations in the United States the organ was first introduced in 1840 in Temple Beth Elohim at Charleston, S. C., under Rabbi Gustav Posnanski, by a vote of 46 against 40 of the older members, who objected to the innovation and who in 1844 carried the matter into the courts. The decision was against the minority, who appealed the case; and the higher court affirmed the decision in 1846. In the opinion, written by Judge Butler, the court held that, being unable to decide the merits of this religious controversy, it must rely upon the judgment of the majority of the congregation (text of decision in Ezra's Collection, "The Jews of South Carolina," article VIII., "The Organ in the Synagogue"). The minority finally withdrew and organized a separate congregation.--Ibid. pp. 432, 433.

    3. Instrumental music is quite a modern feature in synagogal worship. Owing to the rabbinical "fence" which prohibited the use of an instrument on Sabbath and festivals because of the probability that it would require tuning or other preparation, it is still avoided by conservative congregations on those days. Much controversy has raged about this point in Jewish as in other communities. The earlier hesitation of the church to adopt the organ because it was "a Jewish instrument" has been reproduced in the assumption of many Jews that it was specifically a Christian one. It is still banned by rigid adherents to old ways; but in ordinary conservative congregations it is unhesitatingly employed at weddings and other services on week days.--Ibid. p. 134.

    The following quotes come from the following source:

    M. C. Kurfees, Instrumental Music in the Worship: Index

    II. Encyclopedists.

    Under this head, we present the testimony of scholars whose business it is to make an impartial record of facts concerning the great variety and multiplicity of subjects embraced within their scope. Considering their ability and eminence, what they say is certainly [152] significant; and we will now hear from them in the following order:

    1. The American Cyclopedia:

    Pope Vitalian is related to have first introduced organs into some of the churches of western Europe, about 670; but the earliest trustworthy account is that of the one sent as a present by the Greek emperor Constantine Copronymus to Pepin, king of the Franks, in 755.--Vol. 12, p. 688.

    2. Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia:

    In the Greek Church the organ never came into use. But after the eighth century it became more and more common in the Latin Church; not, however, without opposition from the side of the monks. Its misuse, however raised so great an opposition to it, that, but for the Emperor Ferdinand, it would probably have been abolished by the Council of Trent. The Reformed Church discarded it; and though the Church of Basel very early reintroduced it, it was in other places admitted only sparingly, and after long hesitation.--Vol. 2, p. 1702.

    3. The New International Encyclopedia:

    The organ is said to have been first employed in the church during the time of Pope Vitalian I. (c. 666 A.D.). Pepin placed the Constantine organ in the church of St. Corneille at Compiègne, and Charlemagne had one made at Aix-la-Chapelle, a model of the one at Compiègne--Vol. XIII., p. 446.

    4. McClintock and Strong's Cyclopedia:

    The Greek word ψαλλω is applied among the Greeks of modern times exclusively to sacred music, which in the Eastern Church has never been any other than vocal, instrumental music being unknown in that Church, as it was in the primitive Church. Sir John Hawkins, following the Romish writers in his erudite work on the History of Music, makes pope Vitalian, in A.D. 660, the first who introduced organs into churches. But students of ecclesiastical archaeology are generally agreed that instrumental music was not used in churches till a much later date; for Thomas Aquinas, A.D. 1250, has these remarkable words: "Our Church does not use musical instruments, as harps and psalteries, to praise God withal, that she may not seem to Judaize." From this passage we are surely warranted in concluding that there was no ecclesiastical use of organs in the time of Aquinas. It is alleged that Marinus Sanutus, who lived about A.D. 1290, was the first that brought the use of wind organs into churches, and hence he received the name of Torcellus. In the East, the organ was in use in the emperor's courts, probably from the time of Julian, but never has either the organ or any other instrument been employed in public worship in Eastern churches; nor is mention of instrumental music found in all their liturgies, ancient or modern.--Vol. VIII., p. 739.

    5. Chambers' Encyclopedia:

    The organ is said to have been first introduced into church music by Pope Vitalian I. in 666. In 757, a great organ was sent as a present to Pepin by the [154] Byzantine emperor, Constantine Copronymus, and placed in the church of St. Corneille at Compiègne.--Vol. VII., p. 112.

    6. A Concise Cyclopedia of Religious Knowledge:

    Instrumental accompaniments date back from the days of St. Ambrose, and some also accredit him with the introduction of antiphonal singing, while others give it to St. Hilary, of Poitiers, who borrowed it from the practice of the Eastern Church.--Page 649.

    Then, under the article "organ," on page 683, the same work further says:

    The organ has never been used among the Greeks. From the time of Charlemagne organs seem to have come more and more into use in the West, though protests were made against them, and the monks were very averse to their use. At the Reformation they were discarded, being considered "the vilest remnants of Popery;" but they were reintroduced at the Council of Basel.

    7. Johnson's Universal Cyclopedia:

    The organ is said to have been introduced into the church by Pope Vitalian in the seventh century, but its employment in church services probably dates from a much earlier period. Organs were certainly used in churches very commonly in the time of the Carlovingians. We read of organs being sent to King Pepin and Charlemagne as presents by the Byzantine emperors.--Vol. VI., p. 335.

    8. Encyclopedia Britannica:

    Though the church from time to time appropriated the secular art forms from their rise to their maturity, its chief authorities were always jealous of these advances, and issued edicts against them. So in 1322 Pope John XXII. denounced the encroachments of counterpoint, alleging that the voluptuous harmony of 3ds and 6ths was fit but for profane uses.--Vol. 17, p. 84, Art. Music.

    9. Fessenden's Encyclopedia:

    1. Vocal music. This species, which is the most natural, may be considered to have existed before any other. It was continued by the Jews and it is the only kind that is permitted in the Greek and Scotch churches or with few exceptions, in dissenting congregations in England. The Christian rule requires its use both for personal and social edification, Eph. v., Col. iii. The vocal music of the imperial choristers in St. Petersburg incomparably surpasses in sweetness and effect the sounds produced by the combined power of the most exquisite musical mistruments. 2. Instrumental music is also of very ancient date, its invention being ascribed to Tubal, the sixth descendant from Cain. That instrumental music was not practiced by the primitive Christians, but was an aid to devotion of later times, is evident from church history.--P. 852, Art. Music.

    10. London Encyclopedia:

    Pope Vitalianus in 658 introduced the organ into the Roman Churches to accompany the singers. Leo II. in 682 reformed the singing of the psalms and [156] hymns, accommodating the intonation of them to the manner in which they are sung or performed at the present day.--Vol. 15, p. 280, Art. Music.

    11. Biblical Encyclopedia, on Eph. 5: 19 and Col. 3: 16:

    Psalms, either the psalms of the Old Testament, or a sacred song similar to them in character. Hymns, Christian songs of praise. And songs, perhaps songs of a more personal character, like Simeon's Nunc dimittis, or Paul's swan song (2 Tim. 4: 6-8). Singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord, the heart moving devoutly with the voice. * * * The design of public worship may be learned from the word worship itself. 1. There is in the constitution of our nature a necessity for the expression of emotion. 2. Audible worship is enjoined. 3. We have divine example--Jesus prayed audibly--and sang with His disciples at the last Supper. 4. There is apostolic example. 5. We have the example of the early church, and of the universal church to this day. 6. Without audible prayer and praise there can be no social worship. * * * Teaching and admonishing one another. The spiritual importance of Christian hymnody comes out impressively here. It is no mere luxury of devotion, certainly no mere musical pleasure; it is an ordained vehicle of instruction and warning. * * * On one of the days when President Garfield lay dying at the seaside, he was a little better, and was permitted to sit by the window, while Mrs. Garfield was in the adjoining room. Love, hope, and gratitude filled her heart as she sang the hymn commencing, "Guide me, O Thou great Jehovah!" As the soft and plaintive [157] notes floated into the sick chamber, the President turned his eyes up to Dr. Bliss, and asked, "Is that Crete?" "Yes," replied the Doctor; "it is Mrs. Garfield." "Quick, open the door a little," anxiously responded the sick man. Dr. Bliss opened the, door, and after listening a few moments Mr. Garfield exclaimed, as the large tears coursed down his sunken cheeks, "Glorious, Bliss, isn't it?"--Vol. V. pp. 283, 332.

    12. The Catholic Encyclopedia:

    To praise God in public worship through songs or hymns in the widest meaning of the word (see hymns) is a custom which the primitive Christians brought with them from the synagogue. For that reason the ecclesiastical songs of the Christians and the Jews in the first centuries after Christ are essentially similar. They consisted mainly of the psalms and the canticles of the Old and New Testaments.--Vol. VII., p. 597.

    It is a remarkable fact, particularly noted, as we have seen, by a number of the foregoing encyclopedias, that the Greek Church, which has continued to speak the Greek language to the present day, has always rejected pouring and sprinkling for baptism, and the use of instrumental music in the worship; and they do this, being perfectly familiar with the words baptizo (βαπτιζω) and psallo (ψαλλω) as used both in the New Testament and in Modern Greek in which these words are still current. This fact is certainly a significant comment on the meaning of these words. Modern Greek is the language still [158] spoken by native Greeks, many of whom have come, in recent years, to the United States, especially to the larger cities. A number of them have located in Louisville, Ky., and they still use these words as meaning, respectively, to dip and to sing.[14]

    III. Historians.

    We next introduce that large and interesting class of witnesses--ecclesiastical or church Historians, whose province it is to furnish a faithful record of facts connected with religious affairs as they have transpired since the establishment of the church.

    1. Eusebius. This author, who lived during the latter part of the third and first part of the fourth century, is styled, by way of preëminence, the father of ecclesiastical historians. He makes a number of references to the simplicity which characterized the lives and worship of the early Christians. Referring to the famous letter of Pliny the Second to the emperor Trajan informing him about the Christians, he says:

    At the same time he informed him that as far as he had ascertained, they did nothing wicked or contrary [159] to the laws; except that they rose with the morning sun, and sang a hymn to Christ as to a God.--Eccles. Hist., Book III., Chap. 33.

    2. Neander:

    Church psalmody, also, passed over from the synagogue into the Christian Church. The Apostle Paul exhorts the primitive churches to sing spiritual songs. For this purpose were used the psalms of the Old Testament, and partly hymns composed expressly for this object, especially hymns of praise and of thanks to God and to Christ, such having been known to Pliny, as in customary use among the Christians of his time.--General Church History, Vol. I., p. 414.

    3. Mosheim:

    The Christian worship consisted in hymns, prayers, the reading of the Scriptures, a discourse addressed to the people, and concluded with the celebration of the Lord's Supper.-Eccl. Hist., Vol. I., p. 303.

    Referring to the changes that took place even before the close of the fourth century, the same authority says:

    The public prayers had now lost much of that solemn and majestic simplicity, that characterized them in the primitive times, and which were, at present, degenerating into a vain and swelling bombast.--Vol. I., p. 304.

    4. Henry Hart Milman:

    Like the rest of the service, the music of the church no doubt grew up from a rude and simple, to a more [160] splendid and artificial form. The practice of singing hymns is coeval with Christianity; the hearers of the apostles sang the praises of God; and the first sound which reached the Pagan ear from the secluded sanctuaries of Christianity was the hymn to Christ as God. * * * The first change in the manner of singing was the substitution of singers, who became a separate order in the church, for the mingled voices of all ranks, ages, and sexes, which was compared by the great reformer of church music to the glad sound of many waters.--Hist. of Christianity, Vol. iii., pp. 406, 409.

    5. J. E. Riddle:

    In the first ages of the Christian Church the psalms were always chanted or sung. In the Apostolical Constitutions (Book ii 57), we find it laid down as a rule that one of the officiating ministers should chant or sing (ψαλλετω) the psalms ('υμνους) of David, and that the people should join by repeating the ends of the verses. And this regulation is repeated and explained by other writers.--Christian Antiquities, p. 384.

    In the same work, writing on "organs," the same author says:

    These instruments of music were introduced into the Christian church about the ninth century. They were unknown alike to the early church, and to all the ancients. * * * The large wind organ was known, however, long before it was introduced into the churches of the west. It appears, from the testimony of Augustine and others, that it was known in Africa and Spain, as early as the fifth and sixth [161] centuries. The first organ used in a church was one which was received by Charlemagne as a present from the emperor Constantine Michael. * * * In the east, organs were never approved as instruments of sacred music, nor did the use of them continue without opposition in the west.--Ibid. pp. 734-736.

    6. Johann Joseph Ignatius Döllinger, who, during his life, held the chairs of Theology and Church History, respectively, in the Royal University of Munich and the University of Bonn, and who is said to have been the greatest Catholic writer of the nineteenth century, says:

    The mass of the catechumens began with the singing of psalms: in the Latin Church, and in the liturgy of the Constitutions, it commenced with the lecture from the sacred Scriptures, between the parts of which, verses of the psalms were sung, which were thence called responsaries. Pope Celestine I. first introduced into the west, probably after the example of St. Ambrose, the custom of reciting a psalm at the beginning of the mass. In the first ages the psalms were sung by the whole assembly standing; after the fourth century the practice introduced by St. Ambrose from the east was adopted in the west, by which the psalms were sung in alternate chant by the congregation, divided into two choirs. The melodies in which they were sung were simple, almost recitative; but at the end of the fourth century, a more artificial song was introduced into some churches as in that of Milan.--History of the Church, Vol. II., pp. 307, 308.

    7. Heinrich Ernst Ferdinand Guericke, once Professor in the University of Halle and author of "A Manual of Church History and "Antiquities of the Church," says:

    The example of Christ and His Apostles (Matt. 26: 30, and Acts 16: 25), and also their precepts (Jas. 5: 13; Eph. 5: 19; Col. 3: 16), justify us in considering the custom of singing hymns to be very ancient indeed in the Christian Church. The practice of singing such spiritual songs is said to have been fostered and promoted by so early an authority as Ignatius of Antioch; and it was practiced not only for private edification, but also for the purposes of public worship (Plinii. Epist. ad Traj. X. 96), who mentions not only the practice, but also the subject-matter of the hymns.--Antiq. of the Church, pp. 202, 203.

    8. Lyman Coleman, an eminent Presbyterian author and noted for vast learning and accurate scholarship, says:

    The organ constituted no part of the furniture of the ancient churches. The first instance on record of its use in the church, occurred in the time of Charlemagne, who received one as a present from Constantine Michael, which was set up in the church at Aix-la-Chapelle. The musicians of this city, and of Mentz, learned to play on the organ in Italy, from. which it appears that they were already known in that country.--Antiquities of the Christian Church, p. 192.

    9. Alzog, the eminent Catholic Scholar and Church Historian of the University of Freiburg, though favoring [163] the use of instrumental music in worship, nevertheless bears testimony which shows its corruption of the original practice. He says:

    St. Ambrose and St. Gregory rendered great service to church music by the introduction of what are known as the Ambrosian and Gregorian chants. The latter, composed of notes of equal duration (cantus firmus, Romanus), is, in many respects, very similar to our present choral chant. The Ambrosian chant, with notes of unequal duration, has more the character of a recitative. The Gregorian chant, so dignified and solemn, was taught and brought to perfection in a school founded by the excellent Pope from whom it derives its name, whence it gradually spread through the whole church. Ecclesiastical chant, departing in some instances from the simple majesty of its original character, became more artistic, and, on this account, less heavenly and more profane; and the Fathers of the Church were not slow to censure this corruption of the old and honored church song. Finally, the organ, which seemed an earthly echo of the angelic choirs in heaven, added its full, rich, and inspiring notes to the beautiful simplicity of the Gregorian chant.--Universal Church History, Vol. I., pp. 696, 697.

    10. George Park Fisher, Professor of Ecclesiastical History in Yale University, in his "History of the Christian Church," says:

    Church music, which at the outset consisted mainly of the singing of the psalms, flourished especially in Syria and at Alexandria. The music was very simple in its character. There was some sort of alternate [164] singing in the worship of Christians, as it is described by Pliny. The introduction of antiphonal singing at Antioch is ascribed by tradition to Ignatius. * * * The primitive Church music was choral and congregational. Hilary, and in the early part of the period, Gregory the Great, were influential in improving church music. The Arians and other heretics embodied their doctrines in verses to be sung. It was to counteract this influence that Chrysostom caused antiphonies and doxologies to be sung in processions. In the West, Ambrose, in his contest with the Arians, taught his congregation to sing antiphonal hymns. The most famous composers were Ephraëm Syrus, Hilary of Poictiers, and Ambrose. There was some opposition to the use of such hymns, on the ground that they were not taken from the Scriptures; and this could only be overcome by age and usage.--pp. 65, 121.

    11. Thomas Stackhouse, eminent historian of the Church of England and author of a "New History of the Holy Bible," gives in this work the following testimony:

    In all the books of the Old Testament, there is not the least hint given us of any musical instruments employed in funerals. We read indeed of a good deal of mourning for the dead, of mourners hired on purpose, and of the dismal ditties which these people sung, to excite sorrow in others: but the use of music was reckoned an incongruous thing, and nowise comporting with the solemnity of this sad season. Among heathen authors there is frequent mention made of it, as a thing long in use both with the Greeks and Romans; and therefore we may presume, [165] that from these nations it was that the Jews borrowed, and adopted it into their funeral ceremonies.--Vol. 5, pp. 426, 427.

    12. Dr. Karl August Hase, Professor of Theology at the University of Jena and a voluminous author, though in favor of the instrument in worship, testifies to the constant opposition to all instrumental music of every kind as follows:

    The outward forms of religion became gradually more and more imposing. From the ancient temples the incense and many ancient customs of heathenism were transferred to the churches. By the use of tapers and perpetual lamps, the solemnity of nocturnal festivals was combined with the light of day. * * * Soon after, in face of continual opposition to all instrumental music, the organ (οργανον), worthy of being the invention of a saint who had listened to the minstrelsy of angels, was brought to Italy from Greece.--History of the Christian Church, p. 153.

    13. Johann Karl Ludwig Gieseler, eminent as a Professor at the Universities of Bonn and Göttingen and celebrated as a church historian, describing the simplicity of the service in the primitive church, says:

    They assembled for worship in private houses; in cities the churches were often divided into several societies each having its particular place of meeting. In the assemblies the exercises consisted in reading the Scriptures of the Old Testament, explanation of what had been read, exhortation, singing, and prayer [166] (Col. 3: 16; 1 Tim. 4: 13). The letters of Paul, too, were read and sent from one church to another (Col. 4: 16; 1 Thess. 5: 27). The communion was with them an actual evening meal (αγαπη) vid. 1 Cor. 11: 20.--Ecelesiastical History, Vol. I. pp. 58, 59.

    14. Charles John Vaughan, of the Church of England, member of the New Testament Revision Committee and the author of a work entitled "The Church of the First Days," describing the simple and impressive service of song among the primitive Christians in times of persecution, says:

    The well-known words, And at midnight Paul and Silas in their dungeon prayed and sang praises unto God, have a sweet music in them for anxious and troubled souls. The thought of those songs in the night; verses, perhaps, from our own sacred Book of Psalms, so full of appropriate words for the prisoner and the captive; of those prayers in the jail at Philippi, which have been the example and model of so many Christian confessors and martyrs in all times in their long hours of patient suffering for the truth's sake; may well both encourage and shame us; encourage us by its testimony to the living grace of Christ, and yet shame us by the comparison of our luxurious softness with their noble endurance and their bold confession. The prisoners heard them. The original language says, were listening to them. Strange unwonted sounds must those have been, those prayers and hymns, in a heathen prison: well might they listen!--Vol. II., pp. 308, 309.

    15. John Fletcher Hurst, in his "History of the Christian Church," says:

    The singing was simple, and modeled after the Jewish psalmody. The lower clergy were almost universally the precentors, for the singing of the congregation was regarded as such an integral part of the divine service that only clerical officers should direct it. The music was at no time, and in no place, regarded as the prerogative of the singers. That only was held to be sacred music which the congregation could participate in, either responsively or continuously. The two churches most noted for sacred music in the early period were Antioch in Syria, and the Italian Church of Milan, where Ambrose created the later psalmody of the Western Church. The music of the church was at first simple, but to the old melodies were now added new words, which in many instances found their way into the public services, and had a tendency to displace the older psalmody. * * * The churches soon adopted an elaborate ceremonial. The hymns of Ephraim the Syrian, of Hilary of Pictavium, and of Sedulius, showed traces of the artificiality which now disturbed every factor in the service of the church. The bombastic rhetoric which had ruled in the Roman world since the death of Cicero was now introduced into the Christian pulpit, and the congregation burst forth in applause extravagant enough for a welcome to a chief returning from the conquest of a new province. The assertion of the secular spirit was prompt and thorough.--Vol. I., p. 357.

    16. John Kurtz, a German Lutheran scholar and a great church historian, says:

    At first church music was simple, artless, recitative. But the rivalry of heretics forced the orthodox [168] church to pay greater attention to the requirements of art. Chrysostom had to declaim against the secularization of church music. More lasting was the opposition of the church to the introduction of instrumental accompaniment.--Church History, Vol. I., p. 376.

    The same author, commenting on the great revolution in church music that had taken place by the opening of the nineteenth century, says:

    Church music, too, now reached its lowest ebb. The old chorales were altered into modern forms. A multitude of new, unpopular melodies, difficult of comprehension, with a bold school tone were introduced; the last trace of the old rhythm disappeared, and a weary monotony began to prevail, in which all force and freshness were lost. As a substitute, secular preludes, interludes, and concluding pieces were brought in. The people often entered the churches during the playing of operatic overtures, and were dismissed amid the noise of a march or waltz.--Vol. III., p. 153.

    17. Edmond de Pressense, pronounced by competent judges an able scholar and a brilliant historian, says:

    The church does not remain satisfied, as at first, with singing the psalms. Christian feeling finds expression in its own spiritual song. This utterance, like prayer and the work of edification, proceeds in the first instance from individual inspiration. "If any man hath a psalm," says the apostle, "let him speak," Eph. 5: 19; Col. 3: 16; 1 Cor. 14: 26. Here [169] the reference is evidently to a new song given by inspiration of the Spirit of God to one in the assembly.--The Early Years of Christianity, p. 372.

    18. Philip Schaff, the distinguished President of the American Company of New Testament Revisers, and one of the greatest scholars of the nineteenth century, in his "History of the Christian Church," says:

    The use of organs in churches is ascribed to Pope Vitalian (657-672). Constantine Copronymos sent an organ with other presents to King Pepin of France in 767. Charlemagne received one as a present from the Caliph Haroun al Rashid, and had it put up in the cathedral of Aix-la-Chapelle. * * * The attitude of the churches toward the organ varies. It shared to some extent the fate of images except that it never was an object of worship. * * * The Greek Church disapproves the use of organs. The Latin Church introduced it pretty generally, but not without the protest of eminent men, so that even in the Council of Trent a motion was made, though not carried, to prohibit the organ at least in the mass.--Vol. IV., p. 439.

    19. Joseph Bingham, the well-known author of "Antiquities of the Christian Church," and said to be one of the greatest scholars the Church of England has ever produced, says:

    Music in churches is as ancient as the apostles, but instrumental music not so.

    Then, after noting the use of organs in the churches of the thirteenth century, he says:

    The use of the instrument, indeed, is much ancienter, but not in church service. * * * In the Western parts, the instrument was not so much as known till the eighth century; for the first organ that was ever seen in France was one sent as a present to King Pepin by Constantinus Copronymus, the Greek emperor (an. 766). * * * But, now, it was only used in princes' courts, and not yet brought into churches; nor was it ever received into the Greek churches, there being no mention of an organ in all their Liturgies, ancient or modern.--Works, Vol. 2, pp. 482-484, London Ed.

    20. James Craigie Robertson, Professor of Church History in King's College, London, testifies concerning early church music as a means of instruction, as follows:

    Psalmody formed a large portion of the early Christian worship. It consisted partly of the Old Testament psalms, and partly of hymns composed on Christian themes; and both in the church and among heretical sects it was found a very effective means of impressing doctrines on the minds of the less educated members.--History of the Christian Church, Vol. I., p. 166.

    21. William Jones, the Church Historian, noting the fact that the primitive Christians received from the apostles all the acts of worship, says:

    They received from the apostles the various ordinances of public worship, the apostles' doctrine, the [171] fellowship, the breaking of bread, and the ordinances of prayer and praise; and in these they continued steadfastly.--History of the Christian Church to the Eighteenth Century, p. 49.

    22. George H. Dryer:

    The order of worship seems to have been prayer, reading the Scriptures, prayer, teaching, prophecy, speaking with tongues, singing. Teaching was probably an exposition of the passage read with practical applications, the result of reflection and the attainment of knowledge or gnosis. * * * In time, teaching and prophecy came together and formed the sermon and exhortation. Speaking with tongues passed into the songs and hymns of the Church.--History of the Christian Church, Vol. I., p. 243.

    23. Philip Smith:

    A large part of the service consisted in singing the psalms of the Old Testament, the few but cherished canticles of the New, and the hymns, which were coniposed not only as the utterance of praise, but as the means of impressing doctrine in a more vivid form on the minds of the worshipers.--History of the Christian Church During the First Ten Centuries, Vol. I., p. 1.95.

    24. George Waddington. Commenting on the letter of Pliny the Younger to the emperor Trajan, this historian of the Church of England, says:

    This being justly considerd as the most important document remaining to us in early Christian history, [172] we shall here transcribe some portion of it, the more willingly as we shall have occasion hereafter to refer to it. After mentioning the difficulty of his own situation, and his perplexity in what manner to proceed against men charged with no other crime than the name of Christian, the writer proceeds as follows: "Others were named by an informer, who at first confessed themselves Christians, and afterwards denied it. * * * They affirmed that the whole of their fault or error lay in this--that they were wont to meet together on a stated day before it was light, and sing among themselves alternately a hymn to Christ, as to God, and bind themselves by an oath, not to the commission of any wickedness, but not to be guilty of theft, or robbery, or adultery, never to falsify their word, nor to deny a pledge committed to them when called upon to return it," etc.

    After quoting still further from Pliny's letter, Waddington adds his own testimony to its great value as a historic document, as follows:

    So few and uncertain are the records left to guide our inquiries through the obscure period which immediately followed the conclusion of the labors of the Apostles, that the above testimony to the numbers and virtues of our forefathers in faith becomes indeed valuable. No history of our Church can be perfect without it; and its clear and unsuspected voice will be listened to by every candid inquirer in every age of truth and history.--Waddington's History of the Church, p. 10.

    25. William Hetherington:

    In the beginning of the year 1562, a meeting of the Convocation was held, in which the subject of further [173] reformation was vigorously discussed on both sides. * * * When it was proposed that there should be some alterations in the Prayer book, a very warm debate ensued. Six alterations were proposed, * * * [one of which was] that the use of organs be laid aside. * * * When the vote came to be taken on these propositions, forty-three voted for them, and thirty-five against; but when the proxies were counted, the balance was turned; the final state of the vote being fifty-eight for, and fifty-nine against. Thus it was determined, by the majority of a single vote, and that the proxy of an absent person who did not hear the reasoning, that the Prayer book should remain unimproved, that there should be no further reformation, that there should be no relief granted to those whose consciences felt aggrieved by the admixture of human inventions in the worship of God.--History Westminster Assembly of Divines, p. 30.

    26. Socrates, surnamed "Scholasticusi" was the Greek Church historian who has the distinction of continuing the subject of ecclesiastical history from the point where Eusebius closed his history--that is, from early in the fourth century to near the middle of the fifth century. So great is the influence that mere singing has in impressing doctrine and forming sentiment and character that, as we learn from Socrates and some others, the different religious sects, which arose during the course of eenturies, invariably resorted to it as a means of spreading their principles. He says--

    The Arians, as we have said, held their meetings without the city. As often therefore as the festal days occurred, that is to say, the Sabbath and Lord's day[15] of each week, on which assemblies are usually held in the churches, they congregated within the city gates about the public piazzas, and sang responsive verses adapted to the Arian heresy. This they did during the greater part of the night; and again in the morning, chanting the same responsive compositions, they paraded through the midst of the city, and so passed out of the gates to go to their places of assembly.--Ecclesiastical History, Book VI., Chap. VIII., p. 314.

    27. Sozomen, another Greek writer of ecclesiastical history and a cotemporary of Socrates, wrote a history of the Church covering the period between the years 323 and 439. Writing on the power of song and the use made of it, he says:

    About this time, Apollinarius openly devised a heresy, to which his name has since been given. He induced many persons to secede from the church, and formed separate assemblies. Vitalius, a Presbyter of Antioch, concurred with him in the promulgation of his peculiar opinions. In other respects, Vitalius was blameless in life and conduct, and was zealous in watching over those committed to his pastoral superintendence; hence he was greatly revered by the people. He seceded from communion with Meletius and joined Apollinarius, and presided over those at Antioch who had embraced the same opinions; by the sanctity of his life he attracted a great number [175] of followers, who are still called Vitalians by the citizens of Antioch. * * * They sang the psalms composed by Apollinarius; for, besides his great attainments in other branches of literature, he was a poet, and by the beauty of his verses he induced many to adopt his sentiments. He composed verses to be sung by men at convivial meetings and at their daily labor, and. by women while engaged at the loom. But, whether his songs were adapted for holidays, festivals, or other occasions, they were all alike to the praise and glory of God.--Ecclesiastical History, Book VI., Chap. XXV., p. 280.

    28. James Pierce. Although this learned Presbyterian scholar of the eighteenth century, and some others to be presented in this connection, were not Church Historians in the strict sense, yet some of their works are practically of this nature, and it is not improper to hear from them under this head. Writing in the interest of the "Dissenters," this eminent Non-Conformist says:

    I come now to say somewhat of the antiquity of musical instruments. But that these were not used in the Christian Church in the primitive times is attested by all the ancient writers with one consent. Hence, they figuratively explain all the places of the Old Testament which speak of musical instruments, as I might easily show by a thousand testimonies out of Clement of Alexandria, Basil, Ambrose, Jerome, Augustine, Chrysostom, and many others. * * * From what has been said, it appears no musical instruments were used in the pure times of the church.--A Vindication of the Dissenters, cited by Girardeau, pp. 157, 158.

    29. Thomas Aquinas, sometimes called the Angelic Doctor, one of the most learned Roman Catholic scholars of the thirteenth century, and a voluminous writer, says:

    Our Church does not use musical instruments, as harps and psalteries, to praise God withal, that she may not seem to Judaize.[16]--Bingham's Antiquities, Vol. II., p. 483, London Edition.

    30. Cajetan, a Roman Catholic Cardinal and theologian of the sixteenth century, says:

    It is to be observed the church did not use organs in Thomas' time; whence, even to this day, the Church of Rome does not use them in the Pope's presence. And truly it will appear that musical instruments are not to be suffered in the ecclesiastical offices we meet together to perform for the sake of receiving internal instruction from God; and so much the rather are they to be excluded, because God's internal discipline exceeds all human disciplines, which rejected this kind of instruments.--Cited by Girardeau, pp. 161, 162.

    31. Johann Jahn. This eminent Oriental scholar and Biblical archaeologist of the eighteenth century, after mentioning singing, reading the Scriptures, exhortation, prayer, and a contribution for the poor, as the items of worship in the ancient Jewish synagogue, then states that the items of Christian worship, [177] as established by Christ and the apostles, were the same, with the exception that the Lord's Supper was added. His words are:

    §399. Mode of Worship Practiced by the Apostles. It was by ministering in synagogues, that the apostles gathered the first Christians. They retained also essentially the same mode of worship with that of the Synagogues, excepting that the Lord's Supper was made an additional institution, agreeably to the example of Christ, Acts 2: 42; 20: 7-11, 1 Cor. 11: 17-34.--Jahn's Biblical Archaeology, pp. 503, 504.

    32. Professor John Girardeau. In his work on "Music in the Church," written while he was "Professor in Columbia Theological Seminary, South Carolina," this Presbyterian scholar says:

    It has thus been proved, by an appeal to historical facts, that the church, although lapsing more and more into defection from the truth and into a corruption of apostolic practice, had no instrumental music for twelve hundred years;[17] and that the Calvinistic Reformed Church ejected it from its services as an element of Popery, even the Church of England having come very nigh to its extrusion from her worship. The historical argument, therefore, combines with the Scriptural and the confessional to raise a solemn and powerful protest against its employment [178] by the Presbyterian Church. It is heresy in the sphere of worship.--Instrumental Music in Public Worship, p. 179.
  11. Bygracealone

    Bygracealone Puritan Board Sophomore

    Continued from above:

    IV. Commentators.

    For reasons already mentioned in this work, commentators, as well as some other scholars, sometimes fail to discriminate between the ancient meaning of psallo, "to strike the chords of an instrument," and its subsequent exclusive meaning "to sing," which it everywhere has in the New Testament. Hence, many of them constantly confuse the two meanings, and are consequently misleading on this point just as they are on baptism. They overlook the radical changes which the word underwent during its history. But there are others in this class equally eminent for scholarship who have not overlooked it, and their testimony is of great weight. We shall now hear what some of them of both classes have to say:

    1. Conybeare and Howson. Commenting on Eph. 5: 19, these eminent scholars of the Church of England say:

    Throughout the whole passage there is a contrast implied between the heathen and the Christian practice, e. g. when you meet, let your enjoyment consist not in fullness of wine, but fullness of the Spirit; let your songs be, not the drinking songs of heathen feasts, but psalms and hymns; and their accompaniment, not the music of the lyre, but the melody of the heart; while you sing them to the praises not of [179] Bacchus or Venus, but of the Lord Jesus Christ.--Life and Epistles of St. Paul, Vol. II., p. 408.

    2. Joseph B. Mayor, Emeritus Professor of King's College, London, commenting on James 5: 13, says:

    Ψαλλετω. Properly used of playing on a stringed instrument, as Luc. Parasit. 17 ουτε γαρ αυλειν ενι χωρις αυλεων ουτε ψαλλειν ανευ λυρας. We find it also used of singing with the voice and with the heart, Eph. 5: 19, 1 Cor. 14: 15.--Commentary on the Epistle of James, p. 162.

    3. Bishop William Beveridge, "Lord Bishop of St. Asaph," a very learned churchman who died in the early part of the eighteenth century, and who was styled "the great reviver and restorer of primitive piety," is an important witness in the case. He favored the use of instrumental music in the worship; but after a labored and unsuccessful effort to defend it, he lays down a "rule" to be observed in its use, and is compelled to say:

    All the while that you are singing and praising God, keep your minds as intent as you can upon it, without taking any notice at all of the organs, for they will have their effect upon you better if you do not mind them than if you do; for your minding of them will divert your thoughts from the work you are about.--Thesaurus Theologicus, Vol. II., p. 523.

    4. Charles Buck, English Independent minister, referred to by the Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia as [180] "the never-to-be-forgotten author of the Theological Dictionary,"--a work which still holds a place in the libraries of scholars, says:

    Much has been said as to the use of instrumental music in the house of God. On the one side it is observed that we ought not to object to it, because it assists devotion; that it was used in the worship of God under the Old Testament; and that the worship of heaven is represented by a delightful union of vocal and instrumental music. But on the other side, it is remarked, that nothing should be done in or about God's worship without example or precept from the New Testament; that, instead of aiding devotion, it often tends to draw off the mind from the right object; that it does not accord with the simplicity of Christian worship; that the practice of those who lived under the ceremonial dispensation can be no rule for us; that not one text in the New Testament requires or authorizes it by precept or example, by express words or fair inference; and that the representation of the musical harmony in heaven is merely figurative language, denoting the happiness of the saints.--Theological Dictionary, Art. Singing.

    5. Adam Clarke, the illustrious Methodist commentator, says:

    But were it even evident, which it is not, either from this or any other place in the sacred writings, that instruments of music were prescribed by Divine authority under the law, could this be adduced with any semblance of reason, that they ought to be used in Christian worship? No; the whole spirit, soul, [181] and genius of the Christian religion are against this: and those who know the Church of God best, and what constitutes its genuine spiritual state, know that these things have been introduced as a substitute for the life and power of religion; and that where they prevail most, there is least of the power of Christianity. Away with such portentous baubles from the worship of that infinite Spirit who requires his followers to worship him in spirit and in truth, for to no such worship are those instruments friendly.--Commentary, Vol. II., pp. 690, 691, note on 2 Chron. 29: 25.

    Then, on Amos 6: 5, the same author says:

    And invent to themselves instruments of music, like David]. See the note on 1 Chron. 23: 5; and especially the note on 2 Chron. 24: 25. I believe that David was not authorized by the Lord to introduce that multitude of musical instruments into the Divine worship of which we read; and I am satisfied that his conduct in this respect is most solemnly reprehended by the prophet; and I farther believe that the use of such instruments of music, in the Christian Church, is without the sanction and against the will of God; that they are subversive of the spirit of true devotion, and that they are sinful. If there was a wo to them who invented instruments of music, as did David under the law, is there no wo, no curse to them who invent them, and introduce them into the worship of God in the Christian Church? I am an old man, and an old minister; and I here declare that I never knew them productive of any good in the worship of God; and have had reason to believe that they were productive of much evil. Music, as a science, I esteem and admire: but instruments [182] of music in the house of God I abominate and abhor. This is the abuse of music; and here I register my protest against all such corruptions in the worship of the Author of Christianity. The late venerable and most eminent divine, the Rev. John Wesley, who was a lover of music, and an elegant poet, when asked his opinion of instruments of music being introduced into the chapels of the Methodists, said in his terse and powerful manner, "I have no objection to instruments of music in our chapels, provided they are neither HEARD nor SEEN." I say the same, though I think the expense of purchase had better be spared.--Commentary, Vol. IV. p. 686.

    6. Marvin R. Vincent, Baldwin Professor of Sacred Literature in Union Theological Seminary, New York--a Presbyterian of acknowledged scholarship, and the author of "Word Studies in the New Testament," commenting on I Cor. 14: 15, says:

    I will sing (ψαλω). See on Jas. 5: 13. The verb αδω is also used for sing, Eph. 5: 19; Col. 3: 16; Apoc. 5: 9; 14: 3; 15: 3. In the last two passages it is combined with playing on harps. In Eph. 5: 19 we have both verbs. The noun ψαλμος psalm (Eph. 5: 19; Col. 3: 16; 1 Cor. 14: 26), which is etymologically akin to this verb, is used in the New Testament of a religious song in general, having the character of an Old Testament psalm; though in Matt. 26: 30; Mark 14: 26, 'υμνεω hymneo, whence our hymn, is used of singing an Old Testament psalm. Here it is applied to such songs improvised under the spiritual ecstasy (ver. 26). Some think that the verb has here its original signification of singing with an instrument. This is its dominant sense in the Septuagint, and [183] both Basil and Gregory of Nyssa define a psalm as implying instrumental accompaniment; and Clement of Alexandria, while forbidding the use of the flute in the agapae, permitted the harp.[18] But neither Basil, nor Ambrose, nor Chrysostom, in their panegyrics upon music, mention instrumental music, and Basil expressly condemns it. Bingham dismisses the matter summarily, and cites Justin Martyr as saying expressly that instrumental music was not used in the Christian Church. The verb is used here in the general sense of singing praise.--Word Studies, Vol. III., pp. 269, 270.

    7. Robert Milligan, who, for varied learning and scholarship particularly in theological and biblical lore, was practically unsurpassed at the time of his death in 1875, says:

    The word psalm is from the Greek noun ψαλμος, and this again from the verb ψαλλω, to touch, to feel, to play on a stringed instrument with the fingers, and, finally, to make music or melody in the heart, as in Eph. 5: 19. The meaning of the noun corresponds with that of the verb, and denotes a touching, a playing on a stringed instrument, any song or ode. And hence it is evident that the word psalm may or may not refer to instrumental music. Its proper meaning, in any and every case, must be determined by the context. And, according to this fundamental law of interpretation, it is pretty evident that in Ephesians and Colossians the term ψαλμος has no reference to instrumental music; for, in both cases, it is the [184] strings or chords of the heart, and not of an instrument, that are to be touched.

    Then, in reply to the question whether instrumental music should be used in Christian worship, he gives a negative answer with five reasons for it, as follows:

    (1). Such a practice is wholly unwarranted by anything that is either said or taught in the New Testament. The inspired Psalmist said to his Jewish brethren,
    "Praise him (Jehovah) with the sound of the trumpet; Praise him with the psaltery and harp; Praise him with the timbrel and dance; Praise him with stringed instruments and organs; Praise him on the loud cymbals; Praise him on the high-sounding cymbals."

    --Psa. 150: 3-5.

    But Paul says to all Christians, "Teach and admonish one another in Psalms, and Hymns, and Spiritual Songs, singing and making melody (ψαλλοντες, psalm-ing) in your hearts to the Lord." Eph. 5: 19. The antithesis here is certainly very marked, and seems to be intentional and significant.

    (2). It is at least doubtful whether such a practice is in harmony with the tenor and spirit of the Christian Institution.

    (3). The tendency of instrumental music is, I think, to divert the minds of many from the sentiment of the song to the mere sound of the organ, and in this way it often serves to promote formalism in Churches.

    (4). I am not aware that instrumental music has ever served to promote unity, peace, harmony, and love in any congregation of Christians; but I am aware that in some of them it has had a contrary effect.

    (5). It is often at variance with the law of love.--Scheme of Redemption, pp. 380-387.

    8. Expositor's Greek Testament:

    Ψαλλω denoted, first, playing on strings, then singing to such accompaniment; Eph. 5: 19 distinguishes this verb from αδω. Ed. thinks that instrumentation is implied; unless forbidden, Gr. Christians would be sure to grace their songs with music. Through its Lxx. use, especially in the title ψαλμοι, t'hillim (Heb.), the word came to signify the singing of praise to God.--On 1 Cor. 14: 15.

    9. Charles John Ellicott, the eminent "Bishop of Gloucester and Bristol," mentioned sometimes by way of preëminence as the De Wette of English commentators, says on Eph. 5: 19:

    "With psalms and hymns and spiritual songs." The distinctions between these words have been somewhat differently estimated. Olshausen and Stier would confine ψαλμος to the Psalms of the Old Testament, 'υμνος to any Christian song of praise; this does not seem borne out by 1 Cor. 14: 26, compare Jas. 5: 13. * * * In a passage so general as the present, no such rigorous distinctions seem called for; ψαλμος most probably, as Meyer suggests, denotes a sacred song of a character similar to that of the Psalms, * * *; 'υμνος, a song more especially of [186] praise, whether to Christ (ver. 19), or God (ver. 20; compare Acts 16: 25, Heb. 2: 12); ωδη, a definition generally of the genus to which all such compositions belonged. * * * αδοντες και ψαλλοντες] "singing and making melody in your heart;" participal clause, coördinate with (Meyer), not subordinate to (so as to specify the moral quality of the psalmody, μετα συνεσιος, Chrysostom) the foregoing λαλουντες, etc. Harless very clearly shows that εν τη καρδια, without 'υμων, could not indicate any antithesis between the heart and lips, much less any qualitative definition,-- * * * but that simply another kind of psalmody is mentioned, that of the inward heart.

    Thus, this eminent New Testament exegete carefully distinguishes between the melody made, as in the ancient usage of ψαλλω, on the lyre or other instrument, and that made, in the New Testament usage of the term, in the heart. The latter is so distinct from the former that he calls it "another kind of psalmody."

    Then, he translates and comments on I Cor. 14: 15 as follows:

    "I will sing praise with the spirit, and I will sing praise with the understanding;" i. e. "I will not only sing praise with my spirit, but will interpret what I sing." The term ψαλλαν (properly το δια δακτυλων επι ψαυειν των χορδων της λυρας, Etym. M.) is here probably used without any reference to any instrument (Comp. Jas. 5: 13), but as denoting the singing of praise.

    Thus, this eminent critic finds the instrument ruled out of this passage; and on strong contextual and [187] philological grounds, many eminent scholars, some of whom are quoted in this work, find it ruled out of every other passage containing the word whether in the New Testament or in cotemporaneous literature.

    10. Heinrich August Wilhelm Meyer, the eminent Lutheran scholar and New Testament commentator, referred to by competent critics as the "prince of exegetes," makes the following comment on Eph. 5: 19:

    The distinction between ψαλμος and 'υμνος consists in this, that by ψαλμος Paul denotes a religious song in general bearing the character of the Old Testament psalms, but by 'υμνος specially a song of praise, and that, in accordance with the context, addressed to Christ (ver. 19) and God (ver. 20). Properly ψαλμος (which originally means the making the cithara sound) is a song in general, and that indeed as sung to a stringed instrument; but in the New Testament the character of the psalm is determined by the psalms of the Old Testament, so called κατ' εζοχην preëminently" (1 Cor. 14: 15, 26; Jas. 5: 13). According to Harless, the two words are not different as regards their contents, but ψαλμοις is the expression of the spiritual song for the Jewish-Christians, 'υμνοις for the Gentile-Christians. An external distinction in itself improbable, and very arbitrary, since the special signification of 'υμνος, song of praise, is thoroughly established, and also was a word very current in Greek, which--as well in itself as more especially with regard to its sense established in Christian usage in accordance with the conception of the Old Testament psalms--could not but be [188] equally intelligible for the Gentile-Christians as for the Jewish-Christians. According to Olshausen, ψαλμοι are here the psalms of the Old Testament, which had passed over from the synagogue into the use of the church. But worship is not spoken of here; and that the Christians, filled by the Spirit, improvised psalms, is clear from 1 Cor. 14: 15, 26. Such Christian psalms and hymns are meant, as the Spirit gave them to be uttered (Acts 2: 4, 10: 46, 19: 6),--phenomena doubtless, which, like the operations of the Spirit generally in the first age of the church, are withdrawn from our special cognizance. --και ωδαις πνευματικαις.] Inasmuch as ωδη may be any song, even secular, πνευματικαις is here added, so that by ωδαις πνευματικαις is denoted the whole genus, of which the ψαλμοι and 'υμνοι were species. * * * αδοντες και ψαλλοντες εν τη καρδια 'υμων τω κυριω] coördinate with the preceding λαλουντες κ. τ. λ. containing another singing of praise, namely, that which goes on in the silence of the heart. The point of difference lies in εν ταις καρδιαις 'υμων, as contradistinguished from the preceding εαυτοις. Usually this second participial clause is regarded as subordinate to the previous one; it is held to affirm that that reciprocal singing of praise must take place not merely with the mouth, but also in the heart. But how could it have occurred to Paul here to enter such a protest against mere lip-praise, when he, in fact, represents the psalm-singing, etc., as the utterance of the being filled by the Spirit, and makes express mention of πνευματικαις ωδαις, in which case, at any rate, the thought of a mere singing with the mouth was of itself excluded.--Commentary on the New Testament, Gal. and Eph., pp. 506, 507.

    Now, notwithstanding this eminent authority favored instrumental music in the worship, and while [189] he does not say, in specific terms, that this idea had disappeared from ψαλλω in its New Testament usage, yet the testimony which he bears clearly shows that he recognized a change of meaning in the word at the opening of the New Testament period. In proof of this, we collate and submit the following facts candidly admitted by him in the passage quoted:

    1. He says ψαλμος "originally means the making the cithara sound." Mark the word "originally." In Chapter II., of the present work, which is devoted to the Lexicons, it is abundantly shown that this was one of its ancient meanings--a fact freely conceded by those who deny that it had this meaning in New Testament times.

    2. Although he says it "properly" means "a song in general, and that indeed as sung to a stringed instrument," yet it is clear that, in his case, as in that of many other scholars, its ancient classical meaning is confused with its later meaning. This is shown by his use of different expressions which seem to be intended to make the impression that there is some sort of difference in the meaning of the term in the two periods. For instance, referring to ψαλμος as "a word very current in Greek," he speaks particularly of "its sense established in Christian usage," which he would hardly do if, in his judgment, that usage did not vary from classical usage.

    3. He testifies that in Eph. 5: 19, where the "psalloing" is said to be "in the heart," and where the word is used in connection with αδω, another word meaning to sing, it denotes "another singing of [190] praise, namely, that which goes on in the silence of the heart."

    4. Finally, he describes all the music of the passage signified by ψαλλω as "psalm-singing," and this cannot mean psalm-playing.

    11. Erasmus (Desiderius), a cotemporary of Martin Luther, who has the reputation of being the most renowned classical scholar of his age and is represented by high authority as "the most gifted and industrious pioneer of modern scholarship," says:

    We have brought into our churches a certain operose and theatrical music; such a confused, disorderly chattering of some words, as I hardly think was ever heard in any of the Grecian or Roman theatres. The church rings with the noise of trumpets, pipes and dulcimers; and human voices strive to bear their part with them. * * * Men run to church as to a theatre, to have their ears tickled. And for this end organ-makers are hired with great salaries, and a company of boys, who waste all their time in learning these whining tones.--Commentary on I Cor. 14: 19.

    12. John Calvin. This illustrious Reformer and reputed founder of Presbyterianism says:

    Musical instruments in celebrating the praises of God would be no more suitable than the burning of incense, the lighting up of lamps, and the restoration of the other shadows of the law. The papists, therefore, have foolishly borrowed this, as well as many other things, from the Jews. Men who are fond of [191] outward pomp may delight in that noise; but the simplicity which God recommends to us by the apostle is far more pleasing to Him. Paul allows us to bless God in the public assembly of the saints, only in a known tongue (1 Cor. 14: 16). The voice of man, although not understood by the generality, assuredly excels all inanimate instruments of music; and yet we see what Paul determines concerning speaking in an unknown tongue. What shall we then say of chanting which fills the ears with nothing but an empty sound? * * * What, therefore, was in use under the law is by no means entitled to our practice under the Gospel; and these things being not only superfluous, but useless, are to be abstained from because pure and simple modulation is sufficient for the praise of God, if it is sung with the heart and with the mouth. We know that our Lord Jesus Christ has appeared, and by His advent has abolished these legal shadows. Instrumental music, we therefore maintain, was only tolerated on account of the times and the people, because they were as boys, as the sacred Scripture speaketh, whose condition required these puerile rudiments. But in gospel times we must not have recourse to these unless we wish to destroy the evangelical perfection and to obscure the meridian light which we enjoy in Christ our Lord.--Calvin's Commentary on the Thirty-third Psalm, and on 1 Sam. 18: 1-9.

    13. John Chrysostom. This celebrated Greek Father of the church, whose Homilies on the Scriptures have been widely circulated, lived in the fourth century of the Christian era, being born, as noted on a preceding page, A.D. 347. His period, therefore, extends back to within two hundred and fifty years [192] of the Apostles, and even at that early day the same view which, as we have seen, was advocated by Calvin, was held as to why instrumental music was allowed in the Jewish worship. Chrysostom says:

    It was only permitted to the Jews as sacrifice was, for the heaviness and grossness of their souls. God condescended to their weakness, because they were lately drawn off from idols; but now, instead of organs, we may use our own bodies to praise him withal.--Chrysostom on Psa. 149, Vol. iii. p. 634, Paris, 1616; and on Psa. 144, Vol. i. p. 862, cited by Bingham, Vol. II., p. 485, London Edit.[19]

    14. Justin Martyr. Wherever Christianity has been long established, the name of this justly celebrated Church Father of Palestine, who is said to have suffered martyrdom in the year 165, is well known. He was born at the beginning of the second [193] century, and hence his period begins where the apostolic period closed. His testimony is, therefore, of the greatest importance that can be justly attached to the testimony of uninspired men. Eusebius says (Book IV. Chap. 11.) that he "was the most noted of those that flourished in" the second century. We quote him among the commentators that his testimony may be considered in connection with that of Chrysostom and Calvin in its bearing on the question of instrumental music in the Jewish worship as well as in Christian worship.

    A considerable number of Justin's writings have come down to us, and some have been attributed to him, concerning the genuineness of which, scholars are not agreed. The work entitled, "Questions and Answers to the Orthodox," which has long been attributed to him, is claimed by some critics to have been written by another person. But even if it were proven conclusively that Justin was not the author of this work, it remains a fact that it was written by some Christian scholar of that early period, or near that period, and its testimony, even in such an event, would still be of the greatest value. On the subject which we now have in hand, this ancient author, as we render his language, says:

    Simply singing is not agreeable to children, but singing with lifeless instruments and with dancing and clapping; on which account the use of this kind of instruments and of others agreeable to children is removed from the songs in the churches, and there [194] is left remaining simply singing.--Justin's Questions and Answers to the Orthodox, Ques. 107, p. 462.[20]

    This testimony is certainly explicit and to the point. The term which he uses for children (νηπιοι) is the same used by Paul in Gal. 4: 1, 3, and the context shows that he intends to describe by it the infant state of the Jews under the law, and that it was because of this undeveloped condition that the Lord permitted the use of instrumental music in the Jewish worship. Be this as it may, he is very clear and positive as to its omission from the worship after the establishment of the church.

    15. Theodore Beza, the great Genevan scholar and translator, who was a friend and coadjutor of Calvin, says:

    If the apostle justly prohibits the use of unknown tongues in the church, much less would he have tolerated these artificial musical performances, which are addressed to the ear alone, and seldom strike the understanding even of the performers themselves.--Girardeau's Instrumental Music, p. 166.

    16. David Pareus, a scholar of the seventeenth century and a Professor of theology in the Heidelberg University, says:

    In the Christian church the mind must be incited to spiritual joy, not by pipes and trumpets and timbrels, with which God formerly indulged his ancient people on account of the hardness of their hearts, but by psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.--Commentary on 1 Cor. 14: 7.

    17. Dean Henry Alford. This brilliant commentator on the Greek New Testament, though strongly in favor of instrumental music in the worship, yet is compelled, as a scholar, to make statements which support the opposition, renders psalleto (ψαλλετω) in Jas. 5: 13--"let him sing praise." He then adds in parenthesis the significant remarks:

    Literally play on an instrument but used in reff. Rom. and I Cor. and elsewhere of singing praise generally. The word "Psalm" is an evidence of this latter sense.

    Then, on Eph. 5: 19, he renders the words αδοντες και ψαλλοντες εν τη καρδια 'υμων, "singing and playing in your hearts." The playing, according to Alford, is in the heart. On the term ψαλμος in this passage, he says:

    The word properly signifies those sacred songs which were performed with musical accompaniment, as 'υμνοι without it; but the two must evidently here not be confined strictly to their proper meaning.

    According to these candid utterances, this great New Testament exegete knew that the word psallo (ψαλλω) in the New Testament meant to sing, and was used as meaning to play, only in a figurative sense; that is, to play in the heart.

    On psalmos (ψαλμος) in I Cor. 14: 26 he says:

    Most probably a hymn of praise to sing in the power of the Spirit, as did Miriam, Deborah, Simeon, etc.

    18. Charles Haddon Spurgeon. It is a well-known fact that this renowned London preacher, whose name is familiar in religious circles throughout the English-speaking world, did not use instrumental music in the worship. In the Metropolitan Tabernacle, London, where thousands gathered every week to hear him preach, simply singing without any kind of instrumental music, was used. James A. Garfield, after attending worship in the famous Tabernacle and listening to the mighty volume of vocal melody that went up in praise to God, said, on his return to the United States, that for once in his life, while listening to that impressive service of song, he had sympathy with those who did not use instrumental music in the worship. Of this distinguished preacher some time before his death, Professor Girardeau said:

    Some few yet stand firm against what is now called, in a painfully significant phrase, the "downgrade" tendencies of this age. Prominent among them is that eminent servant of Christ--a star in His right hand--the Rev. Charles H. Spurgeon, who not only proclaims with power the pure doctrines of God's word, but retains and upholds an apostolic simplicity of worship. The great congregation which [197] is blessed with the privilege of listening to his instructions has no organ "to assist" them in singing their praises to their God and Savior. They find their vocal organs sufficient. Their tongues and voices express the gratitude of their hearts.--Instrumental Music in the Church, p. 176.
  12. dcomin

    dcomin Psalm Singa

    Wow Stevie! I've got a headache now! Almost as bad as if someone were blaring and ORGAN next to my head! :lol::lol:
  13. Backwoods Presbyterian

    Backwoods Presbyterian Puritan Board Doctor

    All that just goes to show a couple of things.

    1) The complete and eclectic sources that agree on this point.

    2) The overwhelming and constant voice of the Church through the ages.

    3) What else did the East and West agree on besides this? Practically nothing.

    4) How novel the position of the 21st century "RPW" is when placed against the voices of the past.
  14. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    The OT command isn't conditional as to whether one happens to have instrumentation on hand; therefore your "necessary premise" is redundant and the original premise stands.
  15. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    The fallacy of this parallel is manifest from the fact that mechanical amplification was not commanded under OT worship, hence there was no command to be made null and void.
  16. Casey

    Casey Puritan Board Junior

    Perhaps the "Thanks" button should be changed to read:

    The Following User Says Thank You to ________ For This Post That I (Probably) Agree With & (May Even) Find Useful:
  17. Bygracealone

    Bygracealone Puritan Board Sophomore


    Well, I didn't want to get another wake up call from you tomorrow morning, so I thought I'd contribute a post long enough to keep you occupied for a while :p
  18. fredtgreco

    fredtgreco Vanilla Westminsterian Staff Member

    So you are willing to state that at no time in the OT did the people of God ever sign without instruments accompaniment? Because if instruments were an element, it is not permitted to refrain from an element of worship.
  19. Backwoods Presbyterian

    Backwoods Presbyterian Puritan Board Doctor

    What are you trying to say here?
  20. dcomin

    dcomin Psalm Singa

    Instruments were an element of OT worship and they were appointed to be used specifically in connection with the priestly and Levitital work of the sacrifice, as the passages I've cited in 1 and 2 Chronicles demonstrate. 2 Chronicles 29 plainly shows that "when the sacrifice was ended" the instruments were put away and the praise of God continued with the singing of David and Asaph's Psalms, according to God's appointment. There is no logical problem here.
  21. dcomin

    dcomin Psalm Singa

    Shall we tell the members of the PB at what time you were still in bed???? :p
  22. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    The question fails to account for the debated point of this discussion. JD wants to make the Psalms prescriptive for NT worship where OT commands have not been specifically abrogated. This means that the command to sing with musical instrumentation is binding on the church and such instrumentation is an ordinary part of worship, being prescribed and limited by God's own revealed will. This is entirely different from the 19th century Presbyterian movement which sought to make instrumental accompaniment a circumstance of worship to help keep the singing in tune. This allows for the use or non use of mechanical instruments; but in JD's argument the music itself is worship offered to God.

    Now, to answer the query in this context -- yes, there were undoubtedly times when the people of God sang without instrumental accompaniment. Their "convocations" would have been without mechanical instruments. Traditional Presbyterians argue that the temple worship was a model of the eschatological service of Christ in the heavenly tabernacle whilst synagogue worship was the model for the earthly worship of the apostolic church. Proof for both points is found in the epistle to Hebrews, where Christ is vividly portrayed as the great High priest who fulfils the "tabernacle" service in the very presence of God whilst believers are exhorted to "synagogue" together.

    Was there any time in which the people worshipped without musical accompaniment? It is granted by all that they did, but in what context? It was in the context of convocation or synagogue worship. It is also granted by all that musical accompaniment was commanded, but in what context? It was in the context of sacrificial service that musical instruments were commanded (not simply permitted) to be used in worship. The real question which needs to be answered, therefore, is this -- which context of worship is normative for the New Testament church? Once it is concluded on the basis of NT evidence that synagogue worship is normative, and that the sacrificial service of the tabernacle/temple has been fulfilled in heavenly places in Christ and abrogated so far as earthly obligation is concerned, then the question is easily answered -- the non-instrumental worship of the synagogue is the pattern for NT congregations whilst the musical accompaniment of the sacrificial service is abrogated.
  23. panta dokimazete

    panta dokimazete Panting Donkey Machete

    Wow! Argumentum ad nausem! :)

    So, I guess you concur with the point I made that rebutted your earlier assertion:

  24. panta dokimazete

    panta dokimazete Panting Donkey Machete

    Where is it conclusively shown that synagogue worship is normative? Christ demonstrated time and time again that Jewish practice and adherence had become corrupted.

    And it has, insofar as the sacrificial requirements associated with the Law of Moses are concerned, but it is clear that singing and making melody was not abrogated.

    And so 2 faulty premises lead to an incorrect conclusion.
  25. panta dokimazete

    panta dokimazete Panting Donkey Machete

    as an aside - you'd think a fellow with both his graduate degrees focused around the human voice (Voice Performance and Vocal Pedagogy) would be less "vocal" about the use of instruments... :)
  26. timmopussycat

    timmopussycat Puritan Board Junior

    OK, at the risk of being a little terse:
    The only way your original syllogism, based on Paul and Silas in prison. could have proved anything is if they had had musical instruments with them in jail and refrained from using them.

    The OT clearly commands both sung praise (Ps. 149:1 may be read as unaccompanied, and there are other commads to sing praise that were pre David and thus, presumably unaccompanied) and instrumental accompanyment of sung praise (Ps. 149:3). If the circumstances of a particular incident are such that the apostles don't have musical instruments present, then citing the incident says NOTHING whatsoever about what they practiced when instruments were available to them.
  27. ColdSilverMoon

    ColdSilverMoon Puritan Board Senior

    I could site just as many well-known, scholarly proponents of instruments in worship throughout the ages. The list of scholars referenced proves only your first point - and the exact same thing could be said of the pro-instrument group. The only thing that bygracealone's post proves is that a lot of people agree with you, which really adds nothing to this discussion...
  28. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    The NT assemblies were synagogue-meetings, James 2:2; Heb. 10:25; likewise those who presided over such assemblies took their names from the synagogue -- presbuteroi; further, the various procedures, such as voting in office-bearers, the power of excommunication, and the congregational Amen, are from the synagogue. This evidence, taken in connection with the fact that the Christian congregation was historically annexed from the Jewish synagogue, conclusively shows that synagogue worship was normative for the apostolic church. For more evidence one may consult Litton's "Church of Christ, pp. 185-188, available here: The Church of Christ, in Its Idea ... - Google Book Search
  29. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    Your objection doesn't take into account the point being controverted. If the OT command is prescriptive for NT worship then the OT command is obliging and non-negotiable. Other non-instrumental contexts are irrelevant.
  30. panta dokimazete

    panta dokimazete Panting Donkey Machete

    They are instructive, not irrelevant concerning what is commanded and what is allowable within the context of praxis. Obviously, the NT is instructive in that instruments are not required, but not prohibited, and prescriptive in terms of orthopraxy, in that the NT points to the Psalms as our guide to worship in spirit and truth.

    Not either/or, but both/and within the liberty of conscience.
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