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that it was in the courts of His Heavenly Father's House that the Son must needs be found; that His true home was in the Temple of Him Whose glories still lingered round the heights of Moriah !.” Do we not see Him here and elsewhere expressing in deed that which of old He expressed in word by the mouth of His “Sweet Singer,"_“Lord, I have loved the Habitation of Thy House .... My soul hath a desire and longing to enter into the Courts of My God ?”
And even after the Ascension, while we read of our Lord's chosen ones meeting together for their private celebrations of the Blessed Eucharist in their own consecrated Oratory, “ the large Upper Room” (that sacred spot, hallowed first by the visible Presence of Christ, and then by that of the Holy Ghost), we find them exhibiting the effect of their Master's reverent example and teaching, by "continuing," none the less, “ daily, with one accord, in the Temple," for the public worship of God.
Our Lord came, not to abolish, but to transfigure the old Ritual ; not to diminish, but to increase its glory ; to breathe into its dead forms a Divine and Life-giving Energy. Christian worship, at its first introduction, was not designed to supplant, but to supplement, the ancient Ritual. It was probably simple in outward character, as being only private ; God's public worship being still entrusted to, and conducted by, the Ministers of the Old Dispensation. For a time, doubtless, the two went on simul. taneously; the public worship of the Old, the private worship of the New Dispensation. The two were ultimately to be fused together : the outward and expressive forms of the Old, adapted, under the guidance of the Holy Ghost, to clothe the august realities of the New.
It is plainly recorded when and where the first Christian Service took place; viz. on the eve of our adorable Lord's Passion, and in “the large Upper Room ”_hereafter to become the first Oratory of the Christian Church. Though outwardly, it may be, without pomp and show, as bearing on it the shadow of the great Humiliation to be consummated on the morrow, yet has the world never beheld, before or since, a Service of such surpassing dignity, sacredness, and significance. Here we witness the meeting. point of two Dispensations; the virtual passing away of the Law, and its transfiguration into the Gospel ; the solemn Paschal close of the Old Economy, the Holy Eucharistic Inauguration of the New. Here we see the whole Representative Church assembled together with its Divine Head. And here we find every essential element of Christian Worship introduced and blessed by Incarnate God Himself. The grand central feature of the Service is the Holy Eucharist itself. Clustering round, and subsidiary to it, we find supplication, intercession, exhortation, benediction, excommunication, and Holy Psalmody: “after they had sung (euroavtes) they went out to the Mount of Olives.” Here, in the solemn Eucharistie Anthem which accompanied the first Celebration ;-the Celebrant, God Incarnate, “giving Himself with His Own Hands;" and the Leader of the Holy Choir, God Incarnate, fulfilling His own gracious prediction, “In the midst of the Church will I sing praise unto Thee" (újvhow oe) —do we behold the Divine Source of that bright and ever-flowing stream of “Psalm, Hymn, and Spiritual Song,” which was to “make glad the City of God.”
In this august and archetypal Service, then, we see all those venerable essentials of Christian Worship which it would afterwards devolve upon the Church, under the guidance of the indwelling Spirit, to embody and express in her solemn Liturgies ; and for the clothing and reverent performance and administration of which, it would be needful for her, under the same Holy Teaching, to borrow and adapt from that Divine Storehouse of Ritual which God had provided in the ancient Ceremonial'.
Ellicott, “Historical Lectures on the Life of our Lord,” | Jerusalem, but wait there for His Promised Gift, and “where p. 93. 1st ed.
abode Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip,” &c. &c., 2 Our English version, “breaking bread from house to who “all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, house" (Acts ii. 46), would lead us to imagine, if it suggested with the women, and Mary the Mother of Jesus, and with His the Eucharist at all, that this solemn Breaking of the brethren.” Bread of Life-that “Bread which is the Communion of the 3 It is necessary to bear in mind, not only what the Upper Body of Christ”-took place irregularly, now in one private Room Service was designed, but also what it was not designed, house, now in another. This is not, however, the meaning. to teach us. Some would gather from it a lesson against the use Kat' olkov is not at any house, but “at home," at one particular of solemn circumstance and ceremonial in Christian worship; but house, or home. And where was the then Home of the Infant most incorrectly. Church but that Sacred Place where the Holy Ghost had de | Passing over the significant notice, that the “Large Upper scended, “filling the whole House where they were sitting ?” Room,” even before any of the Holy Company entered it, was by there, even in that “Large Upper Room,” where the first Eucha- | God's secret Providence (working by human or angelic ministrarist had been celebrated, where our Lord had appeared on two tion) “ furnished and prepared”-words which may imply much consecutive Sundays—“the Upper Room” (td útepqov, Acts i. -it must never be forgotten that, in the possibly simple arrange. 13), to which our Lord's chosen ones resorted after the Ascension ments of the Feast, there was something mysteriously in keeping in obedience to His command that they should not depart from with the then estate of Him who was to be Lord of the Feast.
But the chief point for us, at present, is this; that in the “ Hymn" of our Ever-Blessed Redeemer we meet with a new, and, if possible, more constraining sanction to the use of Music in Divine Worship. We learn that the “ Service of Song," ordained of old by God for His Church, and commended by so many marks of His approval, so far from being discountenanced by our Lord, was deliberately sanctioned, appropriated, perpetuated, re-consecrated, “ for His Body's sake," by His own most blessed practice and example. Music was henceforth, no less than of old, to form one necessary adjunct, one essential element in Divine Worship. Nor must we fail to notice that, as music was doubtless intended to find its appropriate place throughout the entire offices of the Christian Church, even as the threefold division of Church Music into " Psalm, Hymn, Spiritual Song !,” twice emphatically repeated by the Holy Ghost, would seem to indicate, so its special home is the Liturgy. Wherever absent, it should not be absent here: and the immediate juxta-position of the Words of Institution, in both Gospels, with the mention of the Hymns, may be reverently conceived to teach this. So also does the Church seem instinctively to have felt : regarding the Holy Eucharist as the great centre round which her songs of praise should cluster and revolve; the great source from which they should take their rise, and flow forth. Pliny's mention of the early morning meetings of the first Christians to offer Divine Worship and sing hymns to Christ, probably refers to their Eucharistic assemblies. And Justin Martyr's expression must have a similar allusion, when he speaks of their offering up “solemn rites and hymns," IIoutås kai įuvous, where the word Ilouràs is interpreted by Grabius to denote the solemn prayers “in Mysteriorum Celebratione.” [Apol. i. 13.]
With regard to the nature of the music used in God's Church in early times, we are utterly in the dark. Over the grand old Temple Music, in fact over the whole of the ancient Jewish Ritual Song, there is an impenetrable veil hanging. There are doubtless natural reasons which may, in a measure, account for the fact; especially this, that the ancient Jews seem to have possessed no musical characters; so that the melodies used in their services have been traditional, and as an inevitable consequence, more or less at the mercy of the singers. And we must further bear in mind that, ever since the woful time of the Captivity, the Holy Nation, instead of maintaining its ancient grand Theocratic independence, has been in subjection successively to all the great powers of the world ; to the Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Græco-Macedonian dynasties; then, in turn, to Egypt and Syria; then to the mighty power of Rome. When we consider this, and take into account also their intestine factions, their constant unfaithfulness to God, their gradual loss therefore of their inward strength and glory, and with it of the beauty and completeness of that perfect Ritual which at once clothed, expressed, enshrined, and preserved their Holy Faith; can we wonder that, even before their dispersion into all lands, the memory of much of their own ancient music had faded away, and their Church song had lost its character, under the ever-varying heathen influences to which it had so long been incidentally subjected ?
He had “ emptied Himself;" and His voluntary self-abasement | heavy wrath of God, being smitten with "grievous diseases, and was on the eve of its full consummation. At this very Repast He sundry kinds of death." suffers an Apostle to “lean on His Breast” in the unrestrained 1 Eph. v. 19. Col. iii. 16. familiarity of friendly intercourse. From the loving and simple | In this threefold division, it is scarcely possible to miss some freedom, then, of this first Eucharist (in which God Incarnate special secret relation with the three several Persons of the Everwas Himself the visible Celebrant) no single argument can be Blessed Trinity. (1) The “ Psalms," flowing to us from, and adduced against outward tokens of awe and reverence before our uniting us to, the Old Dispensation, primarily lead us up to, and Lord's supernatural and spiritual Presence, which would not reveal to us, “the Father of an infinite Majesty." (2) The equally apply to His natural and visible Presence.
“ Hymns," originating, as we have seen, from the Eucharistic Our Lord is now “very highly exalted." The very same Hymn in the Upper Room, bring us into special connexion with Apostle who here reclined on His Bosom, as on that of a dear our Lord Jesus Christ. (3) The “Spiritual Songs," as their friend, is careful to narrate to us how that, when next he beheld | very name indicates, rather represent the free, unrestrained outHim, after His entrance into Glory, he “fell at His feet as breathings in Holy Song of that Divine Spirit which animates dead.”
and inspires the Body of Christ. So, again, the Holy Ghost is no less careful to record, “ for our So that we find the first in our Psalters; the second chiefly in learning," the solemn warning which the Christian Church so our Liturgical Hymns, “ Gloria in Excelsis," « Ter Sanctus," and speedily received, as to the paramount necessity of fencing round the like; the third in our metrical songs, or odes,—those songs in this Holy Mystery with suitable ceremonial; telling us of the which Christian feeling has ever delighted to find expression. solemn judgments of the Most High upon those early communi. The first class is rather occupied with God Himself; the second, cants, who, presuming on the simple exterior of this august with God in His dealings with man, through the One Mediator; Service, ere yet the Church had been able to perfect her expres- the third, with man in his dealings with God, through the Spirit sive Ritual, and approaching the Sacred Table without reverence, of God quickening him. Reverence and devotion speak in the “not discerning the Lord's Body,” and counting the “Blood of first; dogma finds utterance in the second ; Christian emotion the Covenant” a “common thing," drew down upon them the l in the third.
From the modern Jewish music we can learn nothing Music, we are told, has been authoritatively banished from the Synagogue ever since the destruction of Jerusalem ; the nation deeming its duty to be, rather to mourn over its misfortunes in penitential silence, until the Coming of Messiah, than to exult in songs of praise. Hence the music which still practically exists in so many Jewish congregations throughout the world, is more or less arbitrary, and destitute of traditional authority?
We are in equal doubt as to the nature of the ancient Christian music. All we know is that antiphonal singing was at a very early period introduced : in fact, there can be no reasonable doubt that it was a heritage bequeathed to the Christian Church from her elder Jewish sister, and that the Author of it was none other than the “Chief Musician” Himself. It was at Antioch, however, where the practice seems first to have systematically established itself, and whence it was ultimately spread over Christendom. This was a city of great importance in the history of Church Music. The Church in Antioch was the one which, next in order after that of Jerusalem, rose to pre-eminence. It was in a special way the mother and metropolis of Gentile Christendom. The very name Christian originated here. Socrates account of the beginning of antiphonal singing in this city is too interesting to be passed over. The passage is thus given in Dr. Hanmer's translation (London, 1636):
“Now let us record whence the hymnes that are song interchangeably in the Church, commonly called Antemes [Anthems], had their originall. Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch in Syria, the third Bishop in succession from Peter the Apostle, who was conversant, and had great familiarity with the Apostles, saw a vision of Angels which extolled the Blessed Trinity with Hymnes that were sung interchangeably : and delivered unto the Church of Antioch the order and manner of singing expressed in the Vision. Thereof, it came to passe, that every Church received the same tradition. So much of Antemes.” [Soc. lib. vi. c. 12.]
Antioch, as capital of Syria, capital also of Roman Asia in the East, seems to have become a great intellectual as well as theological centre. Here we find the principal theological School of Syria and the East; a school exercising a great influence throughout Christendom? Antioch appears to have been the city in which Church Song first worked itself into shape; where Jewish tradition and Gentile intelligence met and blended; where the ancient Hebrew antiphonal system of Psalm recitation, and the shattered fragments of the old Ritual Song, allied themselves with, and were subjected to the laws of, modern Grecian musical science. It seems almost certain that Church music is rather Greek than Hebrew in origin. Hellenism had long been doing a Providential, though subsidiary work in preparing the world for Christianity. And though Greece had fallen under the iron grasp of the power of Rome, she had, in turn, subdued her conquerors to her literature, her language, and her arts. In the department of Christian Song, then, in the Church's first essays at giving musical expression to her sacred services, no doubt she would be mainly indebted to the science and skill of that nation which had already furnished her with a language, and which yet ruled the intellect of the world. The very names of the (so-called) ecclesiastical modes, or scales,-Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixo-Lydian, &c.,-bear incidental testimony to this fact. Perhaps the Church's metrical hymn-music is that branch of her song which is most directly and immediately borrowed from ancient Greece. We find the old Greek and Roman metres freely employed in the ancient Christian hymns; and doubtless the music to which they were first allied, bore no very remote resemblance to that used in the heathen temples.
i Dr. Burney says that “the only Jews now on the globe who | affinity to the Gregorian system of melody; nor, in the sequence have a regular musical establishment in their Synagogue, are the of their notes, any possible observance of the ecclesiastical modes Germans, who sing in parts : and these preserve some old melo or scales. dies or chants which are thought to be very ancient.”
There is, however, one exception. One single melody bears so Padre Martini collected a great number of the Hebrew chants, strange a resemblance (probably purely accidental) to a Church which are sung in the different synagogues throughout Europe. Chant, that it is worth preserving. Transcribed into modern Dr. Burney has inserted several of these in his History of Music. notation, and written in a chant form, with simple harmony, it is But, with a single exception, they show not even the remotest | as follows :
Metrical hymns appear to have been first used to any extent by heretics, for the promulgation of their tenets; and then by the Church, with the view of counteracting heretical teaching, and popularizing the true faith. St. Chrysostom's attempts to overcome attractive Arian hymnsinging at Constantinople with more attractive orthodox hymn-singing, are well known. Socrates tells us of “the melodious concert and sweet harmony in the night season;" of the “silver candlesticks, after the manner of crosses, devised for the bearing of the tapers and wax candles," presented to the good Bishop by “ Eudoxia, the Empress," and used by him to add beauty to his choral processions.
It was shortly before this period that St. Ambrose had introduced into the West the system of Hymn-singing and Antiphonal Psalm-chanting. He is said to have learnt it at Antioch, and to have brought his melodies thence. Responsive singing seems never to have been practised in the West till his time: and the circumstances attendant upon its introduction,—for the purpose of relieving his people in their nightly services during the Arian Persecution,-form an interesting episode in Church History. St. Augustine's touching account of the effect produced upon himself by the psalms and hymns in St. Ambrose's Church in Milan, has often been quoted, and is well known. And it is in reference to the period just referred to, that he informs us [Conf. ix. 7], that “it was then ordained that the Psalms and Hymns should be sung 'secundum morem Orientalium partium ;'” and that from Milan this Eastern antiphonal system spread throughout all parts of Western Christendom.
It is very difficult to ascertain accurately (and this is not the place to discuss) the exact nature and extent of the influence exerted by St. Ambrose over the Music of the Church in the West. That his influence was very considerable is shown by the fact of the extended use of the term “Cantus Ambrosianus" for Church song generally. Possibly this wide use of the term may account for the title given to the old melody of the “ Te Deum,” which—certainly, at least, in the form in which it has come down to us— cannot be of the extremely early date which its name would appear to imply.
But the name of St. Ambrose, as a musical reformer, was eclipsed by that of his illustrious successor, St. Gregory, who flourished about 200 years after. As Church Song was all “ Ambrosian” before his time, so has it, since, been all “ Gregorian.” The ecclesiastical modes, or scales, were finally settled by him; until the time when Church music broke through its trammels, rejected the confined use of modes and systems essentially imperfect, and, under the fostering influence of a truer science, developed its hidden and exhaustless resources.
Without entering into any detail respecting the ancient Church scales, it may not be out of place to state thus much :
I. The four scales admitted by St. Ambrose, called the Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixo-Lydian (modifications of the ancient Greek scales so named), were simply, in modern language, our respective scales of D, E, F, G, without any accidentals ; the melodies written in each ranging only from the keynote to its octave, and ending properly on the key-note, thence called the “ final'."
Now each particular scale had its own reciting note (or“ dominant”), generally a fifth above the final. Thus (had there been no exception) we should have had :
But there was one exception. For some reason or other, B was not approved of as a Recitation note; and hence, in the second scale, C was substituted for it.
II. To each of these four scales, St Gregory added a subordinate, or attendant, scale-just as, in the ancient Greek system, each “principal ” mode had two subsidiary, or “plagal,” modes; the one below (útro) it, and the other above (útrep) it-beginning four notes below it, and therefore characterized by the prefix 'mo (hypo, or under). Thus, to St. Ambrose's 1st (or Dorian) mode, St. Gregory added a Hypo-Dorian,
To his 2nd (or Phrygian), St. Gregory added a Hypo-Phrygian.
It is not meant that all the chants or melodies in each mode do really end on the “final ;" but that this is the note, in the
scale, on which a melody, which came to a full close, would naturally terminate.
To his 3rd (or Lydian), St. Gregory added a Hypo-Lydian.
„ 4th (or Mixo-Lydian) „ „ Hypo-Mixo-Lydian. So that the number of the scales, instead of four, became eight.
Each added scale is essentially the same as its corresponding “principal” scale; the “ final” (or key-note, so to speak) of each being the same. Thus, D (for instance) is the proper final note for melodies, whether in the Dorian or Hypo-Dorian mode.
The only points of difference between St. Gregory's added, and St. Ambrose's original, scales are these :
1. That each added scale lies a fourth below its original.
Thus, while the melodies in the four primary scales lie respectively between D, E, F, G, and their octaves; the melodies in the “plagal,” or secondary, scales lie between A, B, C, D, and their octaves.
2. And next, that the recitation notes (or dominants) of the two sets of scales are different; those of the added scales being respectively F, A, A, C.
Thus the eight scales as finally settled by St. Gregory are as follows :
In strict Gregorian song the notes were all of uniform length; and the only accidental ever allowed was the B flat.
It was necessarily by slow degrees that Ritual song assumed its full proportions, and the Divine Service clothed itself, in all its parts, with suitable musical dress.
Monotonic Recitative forms the basis of “plain song.” In fact, in early times it would appear that, except in the Hymns, Church music was exceedingly simple in character. St. Augustine tells us that St. Athanasius strongly discouraged the use of much inflexion of voice and change of note in the saying of the Divine Office. He would even have the Psalms sung almost in monotone: a practice, however, with which St. Augustine's keen musical susceptibilities could not bring him wholly to sympathize.
From the simple monotone, the other portions of the plain song little by little develope themselves. The bare musical stem becomes ever and anon foliate : its monotony is relieved with inflexions, recurring according to fixed rule. Then it buds and blossoms, and flowers into melodies of endless shape.
When the musical service of the Western Church became in a measure fixed, it consisted mainly of the four following divisions :
1. There was, first, the song for the prayers, the “Cantus Collectarum,” which was plain monotone.
2. Secondly, there was the song for the Scripture Lections, the “Cantus Prophetarum," "Epistolarum,” “Evangelii,” which admitted certain inflexions. These inflexions were for the most part of a fixed character, and consisted (ordinarily) in dropping the voice,-a. at each comma or colon, a minor third (“accentus medius”); B. at each full-stop, a perfect fifth (“accentus gravis')) ?
A - men. ? But in case the clause ended with a monosyllable, the following var ations took place :
a. The “accentus medius”
gave way to
| It is noticeable that while the Church of England (following the
lead of Merbecke) has retained the use of the “mediate” and