This little Greek word has been the theme of no little controversy among us. It is so much involved in the smoke and dust of the conflict that we fear some cannot see it aright. It is indeed a little word, and yet it seems to be a stumbling-block over which some are likely to fall. If we could remove this stumbling-block out of the way we would not regard any amount of labor that we might be able to bestow too great, in view of the end to be accomplished.
The question is not concerning the meaning of this word in the ancient Greek classics, nor even concerning its meaning in the Hellenistic Greek of the Septuagint; but concerning its meaning in the Greek of the New Testament. Does it anywhere in the New Testament, when subjected to the legitimate rules of interpretation, designate instrumental music? Does it afford any authority or warrant for the use of instrumental music in connection with vocal in the worship of God under the present dispensation? We answer this question in the negative. And there are certain plain reasons which, we think, should satisfy every sincere inquirer after truth of the correctness of this answer. We shall briefly mention a few of these reasons:
1. The members of the primitive Church, to whom the Greek language was vernacular, or who spoke the very language in which the New Testament was written, did not understand any passage in it as enjoining or authorizing the use of musical instruments in the worship of God. This is abundantly manifest, not only from the universal practice of the primitive Church, but also from the clear teaching of the Fathers from the very time of the Apostles down to the seventh or eighth century of our era.
Notice the following rule of interpretation, which we quote from Horne's Introduction, vol. 1, p. 325:
“The meaning of a word used by any writer is the meaning affixed to it by those for whom he immediately wrote. For there is a kind of natural compact between those who write and those who speak a language by which they are mutually bound to use words in a certain sense. He, therefore, who uses such words in a different signification in a manner violates that compact, and is in danger of leading men into error, contrary to the design of God, ‘who will have all men to be saved and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.’”
If, then, the Apostle Paul by the use of this word psallo (Eph. v, 19) intended to appoint or authorize the use of instrumental music as well as vocal in New Testament worship, why did the primitive Church not so understand it, and why did she actually employ vocal music in divine worship to the exclusion of instrumental for at least six hundred years?
We know that the Apostles taught those whom they made disciples to observe all things whatsoever Christ commanded (Matt. xxviii, 20). If, then, Christ commanded the use of instrumental music in his worship, and the Apostles by the use of the word psallo intended to teach the observance of it, why did the members of the primitive Church not understand and practice accordingly?
2. Not only is it true that the members of the primitive Church, to whom the Greek language was vernacular, did not understand this word as denoting instrumental music, but the same is true of the most eminent scholars of modern times. Is there no significance or force in the unanimous testimony of learned translators and commentators in regard to the true signification of this word? If in any passage of the New Testament it means to play or conveys the idea of instrumental music, is it not exceedingly strange that the translators of our received version did not find this out? King James's translators were the most accomplished scholars and eminent divines of their day, and being members of the Episcopal Church they were certainly not under the influence of any bias or prejudice against instrumental music in divine worship. If, then, this word conveys the idea of instrumental music in any passage of the New Testament, why did they not, with all their superior knowledge of the Greek language, and with all their care and diligence in the examination of every word which they were required to translate, perceive this important fact and render the word accordingly. But they nowhere give it such a rendering, not even as an alternative rendering in the margin—a thing which they would have done if they had judged that the original Greek word would plainly admit of a different rendering from that which they placed in the text.
Now this word is found five times in the New Testament. The following are the passages: Rom. xv, 9; 1 Cor. xiv, 15, where it is used twice ; Eph. v, 19, and James v, 13. By referring to these passages, the reader will see that it is rendered to sing in every one of them except Eph. v, 19, where the rendering is, “making melody in your hearts.” It is only in two of these passages that our opponents interpret this word as containing the idea of instrumental music, namely, Eph. v, 19, and James v, 13. But look into your Bible and you will perceive that in neither of these passages have we the least hint of such an idea, even in the margin.
But let us turn our attention to the Revised New Testament. This is the result of the labors of two companies of translators—one composed of the most eminent scholars of the present day in England, and another composed of some of the most eminent scholars in America. And let it be observed that while King James's translators labored only three years in giving us our Authorized Version of the New Testament, these companies of learned men have labored ten years and a half in giving us this revision. Certainly, then, if the word psallo has not been properly rendered in any passage of our Authorized Version it will be corrected in this revision; or if the idea of instrumental music is at all admissible, even as an alternative rendering of this word, it will be given in the margin. For, notice what these learned revisers say in regard to alternative renderings in difficult and debatable passages:
“The notes of this group are numerous and largely in excess of those which were admitted by our predecessors. In the 270 years that have passed away since their labors were concluded, the sacred text has been minutely examined, discussed in every detail, and analyzed with a grammatical precision unknown in the days of the last revision. There has thus been accumulated a large amount of materials that have prepared the way for different renderings which necessarily came under discussion. We have therefore placed before the reader in the margin other renderings than those which were adopted in the text, wherever such renderings seemed to deserve consideration.”
If, then, in the judgment of these learned revisers the idea of instrumental music had seemed to deserve any consideration, even as an alternative rendering of the word psallo, they would have placed it in the margin. But look into your revised New Testament and you will find nothing of the kind. Nay, these learned men have strictly followed our Authorized Version in the rendering of this word, excepting that in James v, 13, they have given us “sing praise” instead of “sing Psalms,” and in Eph. v, 19, “making melody with your heart” instead of “making melody in your heart.” And we may here say that we cannot but regard their rendering of the latter passage as a decided improvement, at least so far as idiomatic exactness is concerned.
But what has been said of learned translators will be found to be no less true of learned commentators. So far as our knowledge extends, no commentator interprets or explains the word psallo in any passage of the New Testament as meaning to play in a literal sense, or as affording any sanction for instrumental music. Dean Alford is not an exception. It is true that in his notes he supposes that in the use of the words ado and psallo, in Eph. v, 19, there is a literal reference to the two kir.ds of music—vocal and instrumental—which were employed in the temple service, and that the literal meaning of psallontes here is “playing”; but then he evidently takes it in a figurative sense in this passage, as designating the music or melody of gracious affections; for in his translation he follows the Authorized Version and renders it, “making melody in your hearts to the Lord.”
Nearly all of our commentators, indeed, have been members of Churches in which not only human hymns but also musical instruments are employed in divine worship, and have been interested in vindicating the latter as well as the former; yet it is remarkable that while so many of them interpret the terms hymns and spiritual songs in Eph. v, 19 as being applicable to hymns of human composure and affording a warrant for them in New Testament worship, none of them, so far as our knowledge extends, interprets the word psalio as denoting and authorizing the employment of musical instruments in New Testament worship. In other words, while they maintain that by the terms which the Apostle employs to describe the matter of praise he enjoins or prescribes something more than the inspired songs of the Bible, they are constrained to admit that by the terms which he employs to describe the manner of praise he prescribes or appoints nothing more than the music of the voice.
Let this fact be carefully noted by learned brethren in our own Church, who in the heat of controversy have maintained that in the language of the Apostle there is more evidence of authority for instrumental music than for hymns of human composure. They contradict the unanimous voice of learned and impartial commentators on this point. But we are very sure that the language of the Apostle when legitimately interpreted affords no authority for either hymns or instrumental music—that as he enjoins nothing but the inspired Psalms as the matter of praise, so he enjoins nothing but singing or vocal music in the manner of it; and that human hymns and instrumental music are therefore left precisely in the same category—both absolutely destitute of divine appointment. And we have but little hope that a Church which admits the one will long exclude the other.
3. But again we would observe that this word psallo, when subjected to the legitimate rules of interpretation, cannot mean to play in a literal sense, or does not convey the idea of instrumental music in any passage of the New Testament. Much, indeed, has been said with regard to the classical meaning of this word. And we admit that its primary and classical meaning is to play, and only to play ; we cannot find from any authority to which we have access that it ever means to sing in classical Greek, and much less does it ever mean both to sing and play.
But the classical meaning of this word can have but little influence in determining its meaning in the New Testament. It has been a matter of surprise to us to find learned brethren in our own Church looking into some classical lexicon and from the definitions there given to this word jumping to the conclusion that it must have the same meaning in the New Testament. The meaning of the language of the New Testament is to be ascertained and determined, not from classical, but from Jewish or Hellenistic Greek. It may afford some instruction on this point to quote the language of Prof. Robinson in the preface to his Lexicon of the New Testament, page 7th. He says:
“The writers of the New Testament applied the Greek language to subjects on which it had never been employed by native Greek writers. No native Greek had ever written on Jewish affairs, nor on the Jewish theology and ritual. Hence the Seventy in their translation had often to employ Greek words assigns of things and ideas which heretofore had been expressed only in Hebrew. In such a case, they could only select those Greek words which most nearly corresponded to the Hebrew; leaving the different shade or degree of signification to be gathered by the reader from the context.”
On this same point much valuable testimony has been elicited by the controversy on the mode of baptism. In Dr. Fairchild’s little work on this subject we find some testimony of this kind, and we beg leave to present a few extracts. The following is the language of Dr. Fairchild himself:
“No ripe biblical scholar at this day will admit that the New Testament is written in classical Greek. The idiom is Hebrew, and though the words are Greek they are very often employed in senses quite unknown to classical antiquity. Of this fact many hundred examples might be produced. Indeed all the Jews who wrote in Greek (except Josephus, who wrote professedly for the Gentiles and affected a classical style) used Hebrew idioms and employed words in senses quite opposed to classical usage. In this particular the Apostles seem to have followed those writers of their nation who preceded them. They wrote in what may be called Jewish Greek, and deviated almost as far from classic purity as American German varies from the language of Goethe and Schiller.”
Again, “classical usage,” says Professor Stuart, “can never be very certain in respect to the meaning of a word in the New Testament. Who does not know that a multitude of Greek words have received their coloring and particular meaning from the Hebrew and not from the Greek classics?” And again, Dr. George Campbell, a writer of high authority on the baptist side of the question, speaks of the language of the New Testament as follows:
“But with the greatest justice it is denominated a peculiar idiom, being not only Hebrew and Chaldaic phrases put in Greek words, but even single Greek words used in senses in which they never occur in the writings of profane authors, and which can be learnt only from the extent of signification given to some Hebrew or Chaldaic word corresponding to the Greek in its primitive and most ordinary sense.”
To illustrate the point under consideration, we need go no farther than to the word ado, which is connected with psallo in Eph. v, 19. I look into Pickering’s Classical Lexicon, and here it is defined, “To sing, to play on a musical instrument.” Again, I look into Liddell and Scott and find the following definitions: “To sing, ... to crow as cocks, twitter as swallows, hoot as owls, croak as frogs,” etc. Also of other sounds, “As the twanging of the bow-string ; the whistling of the wind through a tree; the ringing of a stone when struck; to sing to one, but also to vie with one in singing; to sing to the flute.”
And what now? Shall we infer that this word is so general or has such an extent of application in Hellenistic Greek; or since it sometimes mean “to play on a musical instrument,” and “to sing to the flute” in classics, shall we infer that it conveys or carries with it the idea of instrumental music in the New Testament? No scholar would draw such an inference. It is well known that this word is employed in the Septuagint as the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew word sheer, which is always specifically applied to vocal music, or the music of the human voice. It is found 78 times in the Old Testament, and in every place rendered to sing. And ado has only the same extent of signification in Hellenistic Greek, and especially in the New Testament. It means to sing, and nothing else, and the instrumentality of the human voice is implied in the use of the word itself without the help of adjuncts.
But it will be said that the word psallo sometimes means to play in the Septuagint version of the Old Testament, and that this version is admitted to be an important source of interpretation for the New Testament. In reply we admit all that is claimed with respect to the importance of the Septuagint as a source of interpretation. We believe, in the language of Bishop Horne, that “it not only frequently serves to determine the genuine reading, but also to ascertain the meaning of particular idiomatic expressions and passages in the New Testament, the true import of which could not be known but from their use in the Septuagint.” (Horne’s Introduction, vol. 1, page 268.) Professor Robinson in the preface to his Lexicon of the New Testament, page 9th, says: “The version of the Seventy is of the highest importance, since it was probably the only Greek writing with which most of the sacred penmen were acquainted; and many words, phrases, constructions, and even whole passages, are in the New Testament drawn immediately from it.” We admit all this, and regard it not as making against us but for us in this controversy.
And further, we admit that this term psallo sometimes in the Septuagint means to play or make music with an instrument. But does it appear from the Septuagint that this was the usus loquendi of the word, or the meaning which usage attached to it among the Greek-speaking Jews? Here is the decisive point in this controversy. If it only meant to play in certain constructions or a certain connection with other words, and no such construction or connection is to be found in the New Testament, then it is perfectly plain that it does not mean to play in the New Testament. And this by fair investigation will be found to be the fact.
It is true that psallo is employed about twelve times in the Septuagint as the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew word nagan, a word which always means to play or to make music with an instrument. But this only shows that it had such an extent of application as sometimes to be employed in this sense. For it is also employed not less than forty times in the Septuagint as the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew word zimmer-piel, form of the verb zamar, and hence the nature and extent of its signification must be ascertained and determined especially from this latter word. Now the word zimmer is found about forty-five times in the Old Testament, and is in every place rendered either to sing, sing praises, or sing Psalms. King James's translators evidently regarded this word as always implying the use of the voice. Even in those passages where it is connected by a preposition with the name of some musical instrument, as in Psalm xxxiii, 2; lxxi, 22, and xcviii, 5, they seem to have supposed that it retained its usual meaning, and meant to sing with the accompaniment of the instrument, and not merely to play or make music with the instrument. And in this view they have been followed by the great majority of our best commentators. It is to be observed, however, that some men of acknowledged distinction as Hebrew scholars, such as Hengstenberg and Alexander, interpret this word differently. And after some examination of their criticisms we are led to the conclusion that zimmer is a generic term which is applicable to either vocal or instrumental music. In this respect, I think, it is to be distinguished on the one hand from sheer, which is a specific term, and always means to sing, and on the other from nagan, which is also a specific term, and always means to play. The intrinsic meaning of zimmer was, to make music in general, without specifying the particular instrument by which it was made. It does not necessarily imply the use of the voice; yet as the most common way of making music was with the voice, therefore the common meaning of this word was to sing; and it is always to be taken in this sense, except when found in passages where the context or connection determines otherwise.
What has been said with respect to the intrinsic meaning of this word zimmer will appear from a consideration of Psalm xcviii, 5, where it is connected by the same preposition with both the harp and the voice, and evidently sustains the same relation to both. It cannot, therefore, mean to sing in connection with the harp and voice as accompaniments, because the voice is the instrument and not the accompaniment of singing; nor can it mean to sing with them as instruments, because the harp is the accompaniment and not the instrument of singing. And for the same reason it cannot mean to play with the harp and voice, because the former is the instrument and the latter the accompaniment of playing. Hence it must mean to make music in general—the harp and voice both being instruments by which music in general is made. Alexander gives the correct rendering as follows: “Make music to Jehovah with the harp—with the harp and a musical voice.” Hence it appears that zimmer sometimes means to make music in general, without specifying whether it is made with the voice or a musical instrument, o^ both combined. And accordingly when it is connected by the preposition beth with the name of some musical instrument, such as the harp or psaltery, it must mean simply to make music with that instrument, or, in other words, to play with it. Its general meaning in such constructions is rendered definite or specific by the force of the adjunct with which it is connected, so that it is to be taken as synonymous, or nearly synonymous, with the verb nagan. That it was so understood by the Seventy is evident from the fact that they employ the very same language and construction in translating zimmer when connected with the name of a musical instrument which they employ in translating nagan when thus connected. Let the reader look into the Septuagint and compare Psalm xxxiii, 2, with 1 Samuel xvi, 16, and he will find that this is the fact. In both of these places and in every other place where either zimmer or nagan is connected with the name of an instrument we find in the Greek Septuagint psallo connected by the preposition en with a noun in the dative case—designating some instrument of music. But this is precisely the language and construction which we have in Eph. v, 19, psallontes en tee kardia. Accordingly if psallontes here means playing or making music with an instrument, then kardia must denote the instrument by which the music is made, and such is the exact rendering given to this clause in the Revised New Testament: "Making melody [music] with your heart to the Lord." That such is the correct interpretation will be more evident by comparing the clause under consideration with the construction in 1 Sam. xvi, 16, where psallo is employed as the equivalent of the Hebrew word nagan, and confessedly means to play: "Let our lord now command thy servants, which are before thee, to seek out a man who is a cunning player on a harp," (literally cunning: Psallein en kinura, to play or make music with a harp) “and it shall come to pass when the evil spirit from God is upon thee that he shall [Psalee en tee kinura autou] play with his harp, and thou shalt be well.” Now if you substitute kardia in the place of kinura in the above sentence you have the exact language and construction found in Eph. v, 19, psallontes en tee kardia; and if psallein en kinura means to make music or melody with a harp, does not psallein en kardia mean to make melody with the heart? And so in Psalm xxxiii, 2, where psallo is employed as the equivalent of the Hebrew zimmer we find the very same construction and language, the only difference being in the name of the instrument. It is as follows: En psalteerio dekachordo psalate auto, which is rendered by Alexander: “With a lyre of ten strings make music to him.” Now if you turn to Eph. v, 19, and substitute the lyre of ten strings (psalteerio dekachordo) in the place of heart (kardia) you will have the very same language and construction which is found in Psalm xxxiii, 2. The Apostle evidently borrowed the form and construction found in Eph. v, 19, from this and similar places in the Septuagint. And why did he not give the same language in full? Why did he not say making melody with a lyre of ten strings (psallontes en psalteerio dekachordo^ instead of saying, “Making melody in your heart” (psallontes en kardia)! If he had intended to authorize or appoint the use of instrumental music in connection with vocal in New Testament worship, would he not have done so? Here was the very place to do it, and the avoidance of it could not have been accidental—it implies volition and design. Is it not, then, perfectly manifest that by substituting the heart in the place of the lyre of ten strings, he intended to teach that the heart is the ten stringed lyre or psaltery with which we are to make music or melody to God in New Testament worship; that instead of making music to him with the harp, by striking and agitating its strings, we are to make music to him with the heart by exciting and stirring up its graces ; and that instead of offering to him the audible and outward melody of a stringed lyre we are to offer to him the spiritual and inward melody of gracious affections which are as pleasing to him as the most melodious music can be to the carnal ear? Most certainly those to whom the Apostle wrote, being familiar with the language and style of the Septuagint, would understand him in this sense, and, indeed, could understand him in no other. Especially will this appear to be the fact when we remember that probably not one in a hundred of them could play or make music with a literal instrument; but every one of them, if truly converted, could and would, at least to some extent, make music to God in this sense.
Now besides Psalm xxxiii, 2, there are five 6ther passages in the book of Psalms in which psallo is connected by the preposition en with a noun in the dative—designating some musical instrument. The following are the passages: Ps. lxxi, 22 ; xcviii, 5 ; cxliv, 9; cxlvii, 7, and cxlix, 3. And if the reader who is acquainted with the Greek language will look into the Septuagint and compare any of these passages with Eph. v, 19, he will find that the language and grammatical construction is the same in each, except that the Apostle substitutes the word heart where the Psalmist puts the name of the musical instrument. We shall only take the time to refer to one of these passages for illustration. Let us turn, then, to Psalm cxlvii, 7. Septuagint version: Psalate to Theo heemon en kithara. Authorized Version: “Sing praise vpon the harp unto our God.” Alexander’s version: “Make music to our God with the harp.” Greek Testament, Eph. v, 19: Psallontes en tee Kardia humon to kurio. Revised Version: “Making melody [music] with your heart to the Lord.” Now it is not difficult for any one to see, even without a knowledge of the Greek language, that the Apostle exhorted the Ephesians to do the very same thing with their heart which the Psalmist commanded to be done with the harp; and that thing is expressed by the verb psallo. And there are only two senses in which this verb can be taken: either it must be taken according to our Authorized Version, in the specific sense of singing or vocal praise; or it must be taken according to Dr. Alexander, in the generic sense of making music in any way, without specifying the instrument by which it is made. If you take it in the former sense in Psalm cxlvii, 7, then you make the harp the accompaniment of the music designated by this word, and the meaning is: Sing praise to our God with the accompaniment of the harp, or in concert with the music of the harp. But if you take it in the latter sense, then you make the harp the instrument or instrumental cause of the music designated; and the meaning' is: Make music with the harp, or in other words, play with the harp to our God. And accordingly the same thing may be affirmed with respect to psallo in Eph. v, 19. Either it must be taken in the specific sense of singing or in the generic sense of making music. And indeed there are eminent authorities, such as Bloomfield, Hodge, and many others, who maintain that it is here to be taken in the sense of singing or vocal praise, and is really synonymous with the preceding verb ado, although intrinsically a more general or comprehensive term. Says Bloomfield: “The terms psallo and ado are synonymous; but both terms are used; the former to correspond to the psalmoi and the latter to the humnoi.” And says Dr. Hodge: “Singing and making melody are two forms of expressing the same thing. The latter term is more comprehensive, as aidein is to make music with the voice, psallein to make music in any way.” And we may add that it is not unusual in the Scriptures for two or three terms whose intrinsic meaning may not be entirely the same, to be applied to the same thing, or to be employed to express and enforce the same idea.
We are willing, however, to concede that psallo is here to be taken in the generic sense of making music in any way; and in so doing let it be observed that we concede all that is claimed by our opponents with respect to the proper interpretation of this term in this place. We are not ignorant of the fact that there are a number of passages in the Old Testament (Septuagint version) in which ado and psallo are combined, as they are in the passage under consideration. And we are also aware of the fact that it is the opinion of some of our most eminent commentators that when they are thus combined the former means to make music with the voice, but the latter to make music in some other way, or in other words, to play with an instrument. It is well known that this fact has been presented with no little plausibility by the principal writer on the other side of the question in this controversy. Let it be observed, then, that we concede what is here claimed, namely that psallo is not synonymous with ado in Eph. v, 19, and that it does not mean to make music with the voice, but in some other way. But while making this concession we would respectfully call the attention of our opponents to another important fact which they seem to have overlooked. It is this: there are not less than ten passages in the Old Testament (Septuagint version) in which psallo is connected by the preposition en with a noun in the dative case. See 1 Sam. xvi, 16, 23; xviii, 10 ; xix, 9, and six passages already referred to in the book of Psalms. And in every one of these passages if you take psallo in the sense of playing or making music, then the noun connected with it designates the instrument by which the music is made. There is no exception to this rule. Grant, then, that psallo in Eph. v, 19, is to be taken in the sense of playing or making music, it is connected by the preposition en with a noun in the dative, which noun must designate the instrument by which the music is made. And hence the meaning must be just as it is rendered in the Revised New Testament: “Making melody [music] with your heart to the Lord.” According to this. interpretation psallo is here employed in a figurative or metaphorical sense, in order to express the calling forth and exercise of gracious affections by the heart. This we believe to be the true interpretation. That the figurative sense is the true sense here will be still more evident from such considerations as the following:
1. This passage when taken in this figurative sense is in exact harmony with the parallel passage in Col. iii, 16: “Singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord,” that is, singing in connection with the exercise of gracious emotions and affections toward God.
2. It is in accordance with the style of the sacred Scriptures, and especially with the style of the Apostle Paul, to ascribe those properties and actions to the heart or soul which properly belong to the body. We have in Rom. ii, 29, “the circumcision that is of the heart, in the spirit and not in the letter,” and why may we not have in Eph. v, 19, that music which is of the heart, in the spirit and not in the letter? We have in 1 Peter iii, 4, “the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price”; and why may we not have the melody of the heart and spirit which to the ear of God is great pleasure?
3. If psallo here means to play or make music with an instrument, it must be taken either in a literal or figurative sense; and if it were connected with the name of some literal instrument of music this would at once end the controversy; but, unfortunately for our opponents, it is not so connected. And further, the idea of a literal instrument is not implied in the language and construction here employed; but is clearly excluded by it. It is not implied in the use of the word psallo, for, as we have already seen, the intrinsic meaning of this word is simply to make music, without specifying the instrument by which it is made. It may be made either with the harp or heart, either with a literal or spiritual instrument, so far as the intrinsic meaning of this word is concerned. Nor can it be supposed that the language is elliptical, and that the name of some literal instrument is to be supplied; because such supplement is excluded by the insertion of the name of a spiritual instrument in its place. Hence it is perfectly manifest that the Apostle here teaches that instead of the literal melody of the harp or psaltery, we are to employ the spiritual melody of the heart in connection with vocal music in New Testament worship.
Now it will be observed from what has been said that it is only when the intrinsic meaning of psallo is modified by its connection with other words or supplemented by the force of adjuncts that, it signifies to play or make music with an instrument. Hence when found apart from such connection or such supplements, it must mean to sing or make music with the voice. As this is the common way of making music, so it is the common meaning of this word. And this is undoubtedly its meaning in James v, 13. Mark, it does not mean to sing and play both. It never has this double meaning in any passage, either of the Old or New Testament, that is when considered apart from other words by which its intrinsic sense may be supplemented. Nor does it carry the idea of instrumental music or of an instrumental accompaniment with it. The theory that a word may express one word and carry another with it, is a figment of the imagination, without any foundation in fact. Words carry no ideas with them except those which they express. It is true that some of our learned brethren do not think that psallo carries very much of the idea of instrumental music with it—only enough to keep it from being a censurable offence; but not enough to render it either obligatory or commendable (see United Presbyterian of December 22d, p. 875). We wonder if such brethren might not conclude that prayer carries so much of the savor of the “ sweet incense” with it that good Catholics should not be censured for the burning of incense in the worship of God?