Quarto: , 72 p. A1, B-K4 The first major work by a New Englander on psalmody and worship & one of the best sources for the study of Puritan psalmody This is the first edition of ?the first major work by a New Englander on psalmody and worship [and] one of the best sources for the study of Puritan psalmody.?(Beeke)The singing of metrical psalms, usually in the version of Sternhold and Hopkins, had been a feature of Puritan worship from the sixteenth-century. When the psalm-loving Puritans migrated to New England, a group of ?thirty pious and learned ministers? joined together to produce a better translation. This was the ?Bay Psalm Book? (1640); its title page refers to the singing of psalms as a ?heavenly Ordinance?, a title that Cotton echoes here. His grandson Cotton Mather similarly described psalm singing as a ?holy, delightful, and profitable Ordinance?.Setting out a series of objections and answers addressed to the scruples of ?antipsalmists?, who argued that singing was a distraction from worship, Cotton points out that Christ sang a psalm or hymn with his disciples after the Last Supper (Matt. 26:30) and that Paul exhorts us to sing psalms aloud in Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16. Like the divines of the Westminster Assembly, Cotton would rule out the use of non-canonical hymns in public worship, but not the spiritual songs of Moses, Deborah, Mary and the like. The singers should be the entire congregation, women as well as men (Exod. 15:1), and, as psalm singing is a ?general Commandment?, those present who are not members of the local congregation and even unbelievers are bound to join in.Touching the manner of singing, Cotton defends English tunes. Since God ?hath hid from us the Hebrew tunes, and the musical accents wherewith the Psalmes of David were wont to be sung, it must needs be that the Lord alloweth us to sing them in any such grave, and solemne, and plaine Tunes, as doth fitly suite the gravitie of the matter, the solemnitie of Gods worship, and the capacitie of plaine People.? He suggests that the ministers read the first line of each song before the congregation sings it, ?so they who want either books or skille to reade, may know what is to be sung, and joyne with the rest in the dutie of singing? Apparently this was a common practice of the time, also mentioned by the divines of the Westminster Assembly.? Wing (CD-ROM, 1996), C6456; Thomason, E.382; Sabin, 17081; Joel R. Beeke, ?Psalm Singing in Calvin and the Puritans?, Sing a New Song (2010), Ch. 2) Bound in modern, blind-ruled calf, edges gilt, gold-tooled label. A very fine copy. Bookseller Inventory #
Title: Singing of Psalmes a Gospel-ordinance. Or A ...
Publisher: printed by M[atthew]. S[immons]. for Hannah Allen, at the Crowne in Popes-Head-Alley: and John Rothwell at the Sunne and Fountaine in Pauls-Church-yard,
Publication Date: 1647
Edition: FIRST EDITION..
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