The following is from Paxton Hood, Isaac Watts His Life and Hymns, p. 100-102 --
“It was about the time that Isaac Watts came to London that some of the assemblies of the saints were shaken by the innovation of singing. The Baptists appear to have been most indisposed to the doubtful practice; and in the church of the well-known Benjamin Keach, of Southwark, the pastoral ancestor of Charles Spurgeon, when the pastor, after long argument and effort, established singing, a minority withdrew and ‘took refuge in a songless sanctuary,’ in which the melody within the heart might be in no danger of disturbance from the perturbations of song. The Society of Friends was not alone in regarding with distaste all the exercises of song in the house of the Lord. Those who are interested in the curious literature of that time may easily discover pamphlets and lectures which show ‘great searchings of heart’ upon the question ‘whether Christ, as Mediator of the New Covenant, hath commanded His churches under the Gospel in all their assemblies to sing the Psalms of David, as translated into metre and musical rhyme, with tunable and conjoined voices of all the people together, as a Church ordinance, or any other song or hymn that are so composed to be sung in rhyme by a prelimited and set form of words?’ The dispute was mainly confined to the Baptist churches. But in 1708 one of the Eastcheap lectures, in a discourse by Thomas Reynolds, replied to the ‘objections of singing.’ A few years before the controversy had run strong and high. Isaac Marlow very angrily maintained the ordinary songless usage, in the year 1696, in his ‘Truth Soberly Defined’ and in the ‘Controversies of Singing Brought to an End.’ Benjamin Keach seems to have been the first to lead on in this suspicious diversion by the publication of his ‘Breach Repaired in God’s Worship; or, Singing of Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs, proved to be an Holy Ordinance of Jesus Christ.’ This appeared in 1691. ... It was into this state of things that Isaac Watts was introduced. ‘I almost think,’ says Alexander Knox, ‘that he was providentially appointed to furnish the revived movement of associated piety, which Divine Wisdom foresaw would take place in England in the 18th century, with an unexampled stock of materials for that department, which alone needed to be provided for, of their joint worship.”
Sharing Policy: Much of our material is available for free, such as the hundreds of articles at the Way of Life web site. Other items we sell to help fund our expensive literature and foreign church planting ministries. Way of Life's content falls into two categories: sharable and non-sharable. Things that we encourage you to share include the audio sermons, O Timothy magazine, FBIS articles, and the free eVideos and free eBooks. You are welcome to make copies of these at your own expense and share them with friends and family. You may also post parts of reports and/or entire reports to websites, blogs, etc as long as you give proper credit (citation). A link to the original report is very much appreciated as the reports are frequently updated and/or expanded. Things we do not want copied and distributed are "Store" items like the Fundamental Baptist Digital Library, print editions of our books, electronic editions of the books that we sell, the videos that we sell, etc. The items have taken years to produce at enormous expense in time and money, and we use the income from sales to help fund the ministry. We trust that your Christian honesty will preserve the integrity of this policy. "For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward" (1 Timothy 5:18). Questions? email@example.com
Goal:Distributed by Way of Life Literature Inc., the Fundamental Baptist Information Service is an e-mail posting for Bible-believing Christians. Established in 1974, Way of Life Literature is a fundamental Baptist preaching and publishing ministry based in Bethel Baptist Church, London, Ontario, of which Wilbert Unger is the founding Pastor. Brother Cloud lives in South Asia where he has been a church planting missionary since 1979. Our primary goal with the FBIS is to provide material to assist preachers in the edification and protection of the churches.
Offering: We take up a quarterly offering to fund this ministry, and those who use the materials are expected to participate (Galatians 6:6) if they can. We do not solicit funds from those who do not agree with our preaching and who are not helped by these publications. We seek offerings only from those who are helped. OFFERINGS can be mailed or made online with with Visa, Mastercard, Discover, or Paypal. For information see: www.wayoflife.org/about/makeanoffering.html.
Way of Life Literature
Publisher of Bible Study Materials