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“ Cum reminiscor lachrymas meas, quas fudi ad cantus ecclesiâ tua, et nunc ipso commoveor cum liquidâ voce et convenientissima modulatione cantantur magnam instituti hujus utilitatem agnosco."
Aug. Conf. lib. x. cap. 33.
The use of singing in the worship of God is coeval with society in the very earliest ages; mention is made of it in the Pentateuch; and though there is no precise description of the manner in which it was then practised, it may be gathered from the account of the restoration of the Temple-worship given in Nehemiah xi. xii., which was clearly in accordance with the practice in earlier ages.
Bedford, in his learned essay on the Temple Music, shews that the original Hebrew word which is translated singing would more properly be rendered answering, and that it was the practice of the Jewish Church to sing or chant the Psalms antiphonally, or by a double set of singers, one answering the other. He also sufficiently proves that the Psalms were written for
1 In Exodus xv. we are told that Miriam "answered them." Those who are familiar with Handel's sublime chorus, “The horse and his rider," will recollect how beautifully the idea is conveyed.