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CHILDREN of GOD in all Ages,
From the Beginning till now.
In Two PARTS.
Defigned chiefly for the Ufe of the CONGREGATIONS
In Union with the
Speaking to yourselves in Pfalms and Hymns and spiritual Songs, finging
Printed; and to be had at all the Brethren's Chapels,
HIS Collection of Hymns is indebted for its Materials to our own Language, and, excepting the Remains of the Primitive Church, but one fo
Why then is that one fo much borrow'd from? A plain and fufficient Reason directly appears on the Title-page, from very denomination of thofe, who compiled, and make ufe of this Book. But there is fomething farther in the Case which deferves Reflection.
The practice of cloathing divine Thoughts in Metre, is perhaps as univerfal as Speech itself; and has two Grounds for it. First, that when our Affections are strongly moved, which furely Religion may be allow'd to do, finging or a fort of Modulation of the Voice is what the Heart naturally chooses to vent itself by. Secondly, that the comprizing of important Truths or Counfels in Verfe, is a Help to their being remember'd, and a Kind of Memoria technica.
We find particularly that the Chriftian Church, in her very earliest Days, had fuch Compofures; and that in an exprefs Gofpel-Vein. For, as much as they then efteemed the Pfalms of the Old Teftament, (infomuch that our Saviour's finging a Hymn, Matt. xxvi. 30. is supposed to look no farther than that) yet we cannot think that their public WorThip admitted no Singing befides. St. Paul in Eph. v. 19. diftinguifhes Hymns and fpiritual Songs from Pfalms: and in 1 Cor. xiv. 26. by the very Nature of the thing, he leads us to understand fome Odes of fresher compofure; fince none but fuch could be fimilar to the other Things mention'd in the fame Verfe, and none but fuch needed to be fo fubmitted to,, and tried by the College of Prophets. But what puts the Matter out of all doubt, is Pliny's Testimony, that the Primitive Chriftians did ufe to affemble before