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plain old Gothic edifice stripped of its few signatures of antiquity, have lost that little and almost only strength and support which they derived from antient phrases. Such alterations, even if executed with prudence and judgment, only corrupt what they endeavour to explain ; and exhibit a motley performance, belonging to no character of writing, and which contains more improprieties than those which it professes to remove. Hearne is highly offended at these unwarrantable and incongruous emendations, which he pronounces to be abominable in any book, “ much more in a sacred work;” and is confident, that were Sternhold and Hopkins “ now living, they would be so far from “ owning what is ascribed to them, that they would proceed “ against the innovators as cheats'." It is certain, that this translation in its genuine and unsophisticated state, by ascertaining the signification of many radical words now perhaps undeservedly disused, and by displaying original modes of the English language, may justly be deemed no inconsiderable monument of our antient literature, if not of our antient poetry. In condemning the practice of adulterating this primitive version, I would not be understood to recommend another in its place, en

ely new. I reprobate any version at all, more especially if intended for the use of the church.

In the mean time, not to insist any longer on the incompatibility of these metrical psalms with the spirit of our liturgy, and the barbarism of their style, it Mould be remembered, that they were never admitted into our church by lawful authority. They were first introduced by the puritans, and afterwards continued by connivance. But they never received any royal approbation or parliamentary sanction, notwithstanding it is said in their title page, that they are “ set forth and ALLOWED to be “ sung in all churches of all the people together before and " after evening prayer, and also before and after sermons : and “ moreover in private houses for their godly solace and comfort,


· Gloss. Rob. Gl. p. 699,

« laying


“ laying apart all ungodly songs and ballads, which tend only “ to the nourishing of vice and the corrupting of youth.” At the beginning of the reign of queen Elisabeth, when our ecclefiastical reformation began to be placed on a solid and durable establishment, those English divines who had fed from the superstitions of queen Mary to Franckfort and Geneva, where they had learned to embrace the opposite extreme, and where, from an abhorrence of catholic ceremonies, they had contracted a dislike to the decent appendages of divine worship, endeavoured, in conjunction with some of the principal courtiers, to effect an abrogation of our solemn church service, which they pronounced to be antichristian and unevangelical. They contended that the metrical psalms of David, set to plain and popular music, were more suitable to the simplicity of the gospel, and abundantly adequate to all the purposes of edification : and this proposal they rested on the authority and practice of Calvin, between whom and the church of England the breach was not then fo wide as at present. But the queen and those bishops to whom she had delegated the business of supervising the liturgy, among which was the learned and liberal archbishop Parker, objected, that too much attention had already been paid to the German theology. She declared, that the foreign reformers had before interposed, on similar deliberations, with unbecoming forwardness : and that the Common Prayer of her brother Edward had been once altered, to quiet the scruples, and to gratify the cavils, of Calvin, Bucer, and Fagius. She was therefore invariably determined to make no more concessions to the importunate partisans of Geneva, and peremptorily decreed that the choral formalities should still be continued in the celebration of the sacred offices'.

• See Canons and INJUNCTIONS, A.D. 1559. Num. xlix.


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HE spirit of versifying the psalms, and other parts of the

Bible, at the beginning of the reformation, was almost as epidemic as psalm-singing. William Hunnis, a gentleman of the chapel under Edward the fixth, and afterwards chapel-master to queen Elisabeth, rendered into rhyme many select psalms, which had not the good fortune to be rescued from oblivion by being incorporated into Hopkins's collection, nor to be sung in the royal chapel. They were printed in 1550, with this title, “ Certayne Psalmes chosen out of the Psalter of David, and “ drawen furth into Englysh meter by William Hunnis servant “ to the ryght honourable fyr William Harberd knight. Newly

collected and imprinted .”

I know not if among these are his Seven Soos of a forrowful foul for fire, comprehending the seven PENITENTIAL PSALMS in metre. They are dedicated to Frances countess of Sussex, whose attachment to the gospel he much extols, and who was afterwards the foundress of Sydney college in Cambridge. Hunnis also, under the happy title of a HANDFUL OF HONEYSUCKLES, published Blessings out of Deuteronomie, Prayers to Cbrifi, Athanafius's Creed, and Meditations, in metre with musical notes. But his spiritual nosegays are numerous. nothing of his RecrEATIONS on Adam's banishment, Chrif his Cribb, and the LA Sheep, he translated into English rhyme the whole hook of GENESIS, which he calls a HIVE FULL OF HONEY". But his honey-suckles and his honey are now no longer delicious. He was a large contributor to the PARADISE

• I have also seen Hunnis's “ Abridge " the Psalmes in English metre," printed "ment or brief meditation on certaine of by R. Wier, 4to.

Printed by T. Marthe, 1578. 4to.

To say


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Or Dainty Devises, of which more will be said in its place. In the year 1550, were also published by John Hall, or Hawle, à surgeon or physician of Maidstone in Kent, and author of many tracts in his profeffion, « Certayne chapters taken out of “ the proverbes of Solomon, with other chapters of the holy “ Scripture, and certayne Psalmes of David translated into English metre by John Hall." By the remainder of the title it appears, that the proverbs had been in a former impresfion' unfairly attributed to Thomas Sternhold. The other chapters of Scripture are from Ecclesiasticus and saint Paul's Epistles. We must not confound this John Hall with his cotemporary Eliseus Hall, who pretended to be a missionary from heaven to the queen, prophesied in the streets, and wrote a set of metrical visions d Metre was now become the vehicle of enthusiasm, and the puritans seem to have appropriated it to themselves, in opposition to our service, which was in prose.

William Baldwyn, of whom more will be said when we come to the MIRROUR OF MAGISTRATES, published a Phraselike declaration in English meeter on the CANTICLES or Songs of SOLOMON, in '1549. It is dedicated to Edward the fixth . Nineteen of the psalms in rhyme are extant by Francis Seagar, printed by William Seres in 1553, with musical notes, and dedicated to lord Ruffel".

Archbishop Parker also verfified the psaltet ; not from any opposition to our liturgy, but, either for the private amusement: and exercise of his religious exile, or that the people, whose.

• There is an edition in quarto dedica 1563; See John Reade's Preface to his ted to king Edward the fixth with this ti translation of F. Arcaéus's ANATOMY. tle, “ The Psalmes of David translated d. Strype, Ann. i. p. 291. ch. xxv. " into English metre by T. Sternhold, fir ed. 1725. T. Wyat, and William Hunnis, with • In quarto. I have seen also

The “ certaine chapters of the Proverbes and “ Ballads or Canticles of Solomon in Prose " select Psalms by John Hall.” , I think I " and Verse." Without date, or name of have seen a book by Hall called the printer or author. COURT OP Virtue, containing some or f At the end is a poem entitled, “A all of these sacred songs, with notes, 1565. Description of the Lyfe of Man, the 8vo. He has a copy of verses prefixed to “ World and Vanities thereof." Princ. Gale's ENCHIRIDION OF SURGERY, Lond.. " Who on earth can juftly rejoyce."


predilection for psalmody could not be suppressed, might at least be furnished with a rational and proper translation. It was finished in 1557. And a few years afterwards printed by Day, the archbishop's printer, in quarto, with this title, “ The «« whole Psalter translated into English metre, which contayneth

an hundredth and fifty psalmes. The first Quinquagenes. Quoniam omnis terræ deus, psallite Sapienter. Ps. 14. 47. Im

printed at London by John Daye, dwelling over Aldersgate “ beneath Saint Martyn’s. Cum privilegio per decennium.' Without date of the printer', or name of the tranllator. In the metrical preface prefixed, he tries to remove the objections of those who censured versifications of Scripture, he pleads the comforts of such an employment to the persecuted theologist who suffers voluntary banishment, and thus displays the power of sacred music.

The psalmist stayde with tuned fonge

rage of myndes agast,
As David did with harpe among

To Saule in fury caft.

With golden stringes such harmonie

His harpe so sweete did wrest,
That he relieved his phrenesie

Whom wicked sprites pofsest k.

Whatever might at first have been his design, it is certain that his version, although printed, was never published: and notwithstanding the formality of his metrical preface above

& The second quinquagene follows, fol. 146. The third and last, fol. 280.

In black letter. Among the prefaces are four lines from lord Surrey's EccleSIASTES. Attached to every psalm is a prose collect. At the end of the psalms are versions of Te Deum, Benedictus, Quicunque vult, &c. &c.

Day had a licence, Jun. 3, 1561, to print the psalms in metre. Ames, p. 238.

* He thus remonftrates against the secu.
lar ballads,
Ye fonges so nice, ye sonnets all,

Of lothly lovers layes,
Ye worke mens myndes but bitter gall
By phansies pecvith playes.


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