OTEY-BRINEY DEBATE BETWEEN W. W. OTEY of Lynn, Indiana AND ELDER J. B. BRINEY
of Louisville, Kentucky QUESTIONS DISCUSSED "INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC" and "THE SOCIETIES"
Held at Trinity Methodist Church, Louisville, September 14-18, 1908
F. L. ROWE, Publisher, Cincinnati
In the world's history many, many battles have been fou ght to settle some point of difference between the contending parties. Might is not necessarily right and it is, therefore, interesting to the lover of history to study the matters in dispute, great and small, and see how they were settled, right or wrong. The field of blood does not furnish the only conflicts in which questions of gravity or of small import were up for adjudication. When Martin Luther, warned of the dangers ahead, as he approached the city, said "Though every tile upon every house in the city were a demon from hell I would go on." A terrible battle raged and the questions to be settled in point of importance reached as high as heaven and looked away to the infernal regions. It is well, it is right, that he who reads history shall have the opportunity of discerning the truth brought out by the fierce contests over matters both great and small. So great, however, has been the warring ofttimes and so small has been the cause of it, that it has been set forth to the mind in a strong but impressive figure as "T he bone o f contentio n." This do es not, in any way, suit the ques tions in dispute, or in the least apply to the matters for investigation in the debate held in Trinity Methodist church, Louisville, Ky., between W. W. Otey and J. B. Briney, beginning on September 14, 1908, and ending on Friday night following. It was a fair, square battle over the most momentous questions o f the age. It involved the duties, privileges, rights and obligations of the Christian. It was not whether, like Catholics and Mormons, men should make for them
selves a new religion out and out, with only enough of Bible phraseology to give it caste and currency. Both men strongly repudiated this course and contended heartily that, when service to God is intended, all things should be left to the arbitrament of His word. The question above all others is, What is C hristian liberty? Who is entitled to it? Whe re does it beg in and where does it end? Both the debaters contended that all Christians h ave the liberty to practice all things that the Apostles and early Christians observed in their worship and service to God. Here the road forks. Does one Christian have the God-given liberty to invent or to borrow something called EXPEDIENT, and force his brother to accept it, to use it in the worship, or to be ejected therefrom? Or has the majority the right and liberty to make the minority accept and use things called "expedients" that are not enjoined by the Apostles nor mentioned in the New Testament? In Christ, has the minority any liberty? Has it the liberty only to accept the impositions of the ma jority? In Christ, h as the individ ual any liberty? or has the ma jority all the liberty in the Lord Jesus Christ? Has the Great Son of God thrown around the poor, the weak and the helpless no protection from the rich, dogmatical and tyrannica l schismatic? If not, then what does He mean when he says, "Whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in m e it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he w ere cast into the sea"? Mark 9: 42. Or what does the Spirit mean when it says "When ye sin so against the brethren and wound their weak conscience ye sin against Christ"? I. Cor. 8: 12. Again, "He that lov eth not his brother, abideth in dea th." I. Jno. 3: 42. Has every man, under Christ, the liberty of a conscience? Has that co nscience th e liberty to dema nd respect? These are weigh ty matters.
Another fine point in dispute was, Did God thoroughly furnish the man of God for all good works as He said He
did, (II. Tim. 3 :16 ) or did he leave many of the details out? Hath the Divine power "given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness,' or did He leave some out., II. Pet. I: 3. When the Spirit said "Whosoever goeth onward and abideth not in the teaching of Christ hath not God," (II. Jno. 9) did it mean to set bounds which say peremptorily to all men, "Thus far shalt thou come and no farther"? When God refused Cain's offering b ecause he made it in h is own way; Nadab and Abihu's incense because they m ade it in their own way; would not let Moses go into the promised land because he did his own way at Meribah Kadesh; took the kingdom from Saul because he got up an offering in his own way; would not let the ark go to Jerusalem in David's way, the que stion then arises, Will He let men w orship Him now in their own way? Are these cases of the Old Testament our ensamples; Does God require all Christians to be one? How? Upon what basis? In order to have unity must the minority accept all the "expedients" so-called thrust upon them by the majority? Will the minority be guilty before God if they rupture the peace and harmony of the body by refusing to obey the commandments of men? Or did Paul lay down God's law of unity when he taught the divided church at Corinth "that they all speak the same things, and that there be no divisions among them; but that they be perfectly joined together in the same mind and the same judgment" In doing this, that is, speaking the same things, must every man, if he speaks for the Lord, "speak as the oracles of G od"? Or has he the lib erty to call some things that he uses in his worship, Organs, Fiddles, Horns, Clarionets, Missionary Societies, En deavor Societies, Fairs, F estivals and T heatricals? Does Paul teach that Christians must be one in body, one in spirit, one in speech, one in practice? I heard all of the debate except the last two speeches. It was a m asterly effort to elim inate from the accumulated theological trash of time, the dogmatism and skepticism of
8 INTRODUCTION .
the present age—to eliminate from these truth, yes, truth that cam e to this sin-cursed world with Christ in loving embrace with grace: truth that makes men free, by which they are sanctified, and by obedience to which they must purify their souls. Oh God, help us all to kno w the blessed truth!
I commend the book, the report of this debate, to all who love the truth. Reader, s trive to lea rn what G od sa ys, rot what men say.
J. M. BARNES. OTEY-BRINEY DEBATE
Joint Debate between W. W. Otey and Elder J. B. Briney, held at Trinity Methodist Church. September 14-18, 1908. MODERATORS: Fo r Elder B riney, G. G . Bersot.
For Elder Otey, Daniel Sommer. OPENING REMARKS.
Moderator Elder Sommer: It devolves upon me to read the propositions that are to be discussed and the rules of debate.
I. The use of such organizations as the Illinois Christian Missionary Society, the Foreign Christian Missionary Society, etc., is authorized in the New Testament Scriptures and acceptable to God. My good friend refers to burning incense, and offering sacrifices.
Now, I wonder if he does not know that these things belonged to that arrangement that passed away? Can he find where an y Apostle ever sanctioned any of these things? I find where the Holy Spirit, through an Apostle, authorized the singing of songs that were accompanied by instruments of music. And what did he do with the scholarship of the world that I read here against him? Nothing under the heavens, but to wave his hand, and imply, "Avaunt ye, I am here." The scholarship of the World says that these words mean songs that may be sung with an instrument, and if they do the Spirit of the Lord is there, because those words were spoken by the inspiration of the Spirit of the Lord.
My good brother said that psalloing w as something in addition to singing, but he said, wh ere was it? "In the heart." Well, that is not in the throat. Have you any vocal cords in your heart? What is the idea? The idea is you are not to d o these things simply from a worldly point of view. My friends, a musician c an come just as nea r putting his heart into his instrument as my good brother ca n come to putting his heart into his throat. "Obey from the heart." That is, your heart must be in it. I had the good fortune once to hear that marvelou s violinist, Rem enyi, and you could just see that his heart was in his instrument, his soul was wrapped up in it, and it in his soul. That is the idea here, and we are to do it heartily, as unto the Lord. You are to do it with the idea of praising the Lord. My good brother says the only purpose it can serve is to please the fleshly ear. What a reflection tha t is upon D avid! Did David sing his psalm in co nnection w ith his harp, or whatever musical instrument it was, to plea se the sensu ous ear. W ho in this house will claim to occupy a higher plane of spirituality than David did? Who here will pretend to have more heart in doing things to praise God than that man who was after the Lord's own heart. You could do
J. B. BRINEY, affirm s.
W. W. OTEY, denies.
2. The use of instrumental music in connection with the songs sung by the church on the Lord's day, when assembled for edification and communion, is opposed to New Testament teac hing and s inful.
W. W. OTEY, affirms.
J. B. BRINEY, denies.
RULES OF DEBATE.
I. The debate is to be held at Sand Creek, Shelby Co., Ill., unless the place is changed by the consent of both disputants. 9
10 OTEY-BRINEY DEBATE
2. Not less than four days of four hours each day are to be devoted to the discussion of the two propositions.
3. The duty of the moderators shall be to keep time and to preserve order.
4. Each disputant shall be at liberty to introduce as argument whatever in his judgment is proof of his proposition.
5. In his closing speech the negative shall not introduce any new argument, but shall reply only to the arguments of the affirmative.
6. Each disputant reserves the right to em ploy a stenographer to take down th e debate and to publish it separately, unless an agreement is reached to em ploy a stenographer and publish it jointly. We, the undersigned, agree to be g overned by the above rules in our debate.
W. W. OTEY.
J. B. BRINEY.
June 30, 1908.
We agree to change the place of the above named d ebate from Sand Creek, III., to Louisville, Ky., to such house as may be provided by the Campbell Street, P ortland, Highla nd, and F Street church es, to begin September 15, 1908 unless the d ate is changed by mutual consent. It is further agre ed that we will debate instrumental music first.
W. W. OTEY.
J. B. BRINEY.
The order of the questions has been reversed by agreement, and the first question to be discussed is, "The Use of Instrumental Music in Connection with the Songs Sung BY the Church on Lord's Day, when Assembled for Edification and Communion, is Opposed to New Testament, and Sinful."
Elder Otey, affirming, is now introduced to the audience to make a speech of one hour.
W. W. Otey's First Speech.
Gentlemen. Moderators, Ladies and Gentlemen: In opening a debate of this character it is mete that the questions under discussion shall be clearly defined and the issue clearly set forth. So , while it is not my habit or prac tice to read from manuscript, I propose to read somewhat during this first hour's speech, and I apologize for doing so, and assure you that after this is through my speaking w ill be extempore. "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." He created the sun and the planets, placed each in its orbit, where it revolves in silent, but glorious and eternal majesty, The contemplation of the grandeur and perfection of the heavenly bodies makes the profoundest philosopher and astronomer to stand with uncovered heads.
But the final triumph of creative wisdom and power was reached when God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness, and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and ove r all the earth." Bearing the image o f his Creator, knowing no sorrow nor pain, man was placed in the "Garden of Delights." But Satan entered the garden to oppose the benevolent design of God, and to seek the ruin of the crowning work of the Creator. Man was tempted, sinned and was expelled from the garden. Ever since the fateful hour in which Satan entered the garden there have be-en two spiritual forces in the world—God and Satan God,
12 OTEY-BRINEY DEBATE.
truth, and right have been, and still are, on one side, w hile Satan, error and wrong have been, and still are, arrayed in opposition to the will of God-and to the best interests of man. The conflict between the two forces has never ceased. There are no vacations nor flags of truce. The battle must continue till Christ destro ys the last enemy.
Every accountable being stands on one side or on the other. There are no neutral grounds. We must and do take our stand on one side or on the other. No one in choosing his side of any question should ever ask, "Who is o n this side,'' or, "Who is on tha t side?" No one should ever ask, "Which side has the majority?" or, "Which side is the popular side?" The only question that any one should ever ask is, "On which side is truth and right'" The side of truth and right may be in the minority, as men count nu mbers. It may be, and is, the unpopular side. It may not be the successful side, as men measure success. Yet, it is the strong side, and in the final triumph of right it will be the side of eternal victo ry. Error and its advocates, whether many or few, whether popular or unpopular, will go down in final an d eternal de feat, while right and its advocate s will ultimately triumph and will stand in that numberless, blood-washed throng, and enter in through the gates into the Eternal City of God.
We are met he re on this occasion in a conflict— a conflict between right and wrong, between truth and error. Two truths can never conflict—can never oppose ea ch other. Between two principles of right there is always perfect agreement. But truth and error are as incompatible as light and darkness, as vice and virtue. T herefore tru th and right can no t be found on both sid es of this investigation. Error must necessarily be on one side, else there would be no opposition. On which side is truth? On which side is error? You, my friends, who listen are
OTEY- BRINEY DEBATE. 18
to be the judges. But, in view of the prayer of Jesus for unity, and the command of God to be "perfectly joined together in the same mind and the same judgment," I entreat you to hear us patiently, to measure what we say by the "Orac les of Go d," and to decide impartially. Do not be swayed either by numbers nor by popularity, but be influenced alone by the Word of God.
I wish to emphasize the fact that this conflict is not between men, but between principles. For Elder Briney, as a man, I entertain none but the kindest feelings. In this investigation I shall not combat the man personally. I shall combat only what I most sincerely believe to be errors in his teaching and practice. I would spare the man, but I shall not spare his errors. These principles of difference between us, and of which he is so able an advocate and defender—these principles, I sincerely believe to be diametrically op posed to truth, to the peace and unity of the church and to the will of God.
Jesus established but one religious body—the church— and instituted but one order of work and worship. He prayed that all "that believe on me through their word; that they all may be one; even as Thou, Father, art in me and I in Thee, that they may- also be one in us; that the world may believe that Thou didst send me." (Jo hn 17: 2 0, 21.) God, through th e inspired apostles, commanded the members of that one body to "speak the same things"; to be "perfectly joined together in the same mind and the same judgment." As long as the members of that one body obeyed th ese injunctio ns, unity prevailed. In fact, while these commands are obeyed, division is impossible. But in course of time ambitious men began to substitute the "traditions of men" for the commandments of God The result was division that culminated in the great apostasy in which the "man of sin" was developed to full ma14
OTEY-BRINEY DEBATE .
turity. The darkest hour of the dark ages was caused by men's substituting the wisdom of men in the work and worship of the Church for the wisdom of God—was caused by substituting the "traditions of men" for the commandments of God
In the early part of the nineteenth century the Campbells and their co-laborers, seeing the divided and warring condition prevailing among believers in Christ, and recognizin g the sinfulness of such division, began to urge those of all sects to lay aside their "traditions of men" and unite upon the Bible alo ne. They realiz ed that the only unity taught in the Bible was to be one in Christ, by teaching and practicing just as did the first churches under the direct supervision of the inspired apostles—no more and no less. They adopted this as their motto,
"Where the Bible speaks we will speak; where the Bible is silent we will be silent." Th ey held that the silence of the Bible on any religious question was as binding as its voice. What the Bible says must be taught, what the B ible enjoins must be obeyed. That which is not clearly taught in the Bible must not be urged as a matter of faith that which is not clearly enjoined must not be practiced as a religious observance. What the Word of God enjoins we dare not neglect, what the Word of God does not enjoin we dare not practice as religion. Here was inaugurated a religious movement unlike any other movement since apostolic days. All other religious movements had been efforts to ref orm existing religious bodies by purging out immorality and some of the grosser assumptions of ecclesiastical authority. Since the apostasy no trumpet-call has been heard fo r a complete return to apostolic teaching and practice. The church was not reformed, but restored in teaching and practice just as the. first model church that was established und er the direct supervision of the Holy Spirit in the. apostles. There was
OTEY-BRINEY DEBATE. 15
no organization larger or smaller, nor different from the local congregations. The plurality of elders and deacons were the only officers set in the church. There were no "presidents," "vicepreside nts," nor "boards of directors," whose position of authority was paid for in cash. There were n o "socie ties," "district," "Sta te," "hom e," or "foreign." The churches did not send "delegates" to "annual conventions" to frame and amend "Constitutions," "bylaws," or pass "resolutions of federation." They did not organize "Societies of Christian Endeavor." Each lo cal congregation wa s itself a Divin ely constituted endeavor society. They "endeavored to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bonds of peace." They framed no addition al society to destroy the "unity of the Spirit" and to break "the bonds of peace." In the language of one who pu t it tersely, "in their cong regational ca pacity alone they moved." Their acts of worship consisted in "continuing steadfastly in the apostles' teaching and in the fellowship and in the breaking of bread and the prayers," and in "singing psalms, hymns and spiritual s ongs." (Acts 2 :42, Ep h. 5 :15.)
Tens of thousands of honest-hearted believers in Christ saw the divine grounds o f unity propos ed and laid aside their "traditions of men" and united in the one body of Christ upon the Bible alon e. All walked by the same rule —the Bible—and were "one in Christ." The very foundations of sectarianism were shaken and its w alls began to crumble. The prayer of Jesus wa s rapidly being answered and the w orld was being converted to Christ. Some began to think tha t, at least, all Protestants would so on be un ited. Such a plea urged by a united people was well-nigh irresistible. But alas! how different the picture now before our eyes! Instead of the "u nity of the Spirit in the bonds of peace," we are divided and warring among ourselves. The people who so earnestly and e ffectively plead for unity stand to-day a divided people. The effectiveness of our
16 OTEY-BRINEY DEBATE.
heaven-born plea has been destroyed, and in many places it has become a "hiss and a byword." The Church—the body of Christ—that He purchased with His own blood— has been rent asund er, and is mangled and bleeding at every pore: the promoters of "spiritual w ickedness in high places" are shouting hallelujahs, while thousands of the purest and best of earth hang their heads in shame, and pour out their tears like a mighty river.
The wedge of division began to be driven about the year 1849. From 1890 to 1900 the lines of separation were rapidly drawn. To-day the lines are about as clearly drawn between the two bodies of disciples—one known as the-Church of Christ and the other as the Christian Church —as the lines between any two Protestant bodies. The greatest brotherhood of believers in Christ since apostolic days has been rent asunder. The heaven-born plea for unity has been rendered ineffective. The answer to the prayer of Jesus has been deferred. Is this division well-pleasing to God? As certain as Paul was inspired when he wrote, "There is one body," as certain as the Holy Spirit guided his pen when he condemned division and commanded unity, as certain as Jesus prayed the prayer recorded in the seventeenth chapter of John, just so certain is it that an awful sin has bee n, and still is, being committed in this division. Who is responsib le for this division? The Church of Christ? Or the Christian Church? The answ er to that question is found in the answer to this question, "What has caused the division' The answer is, The use of instrumental music in the worship and the use of various religious org anizations in the work and wo rship to supplant the Church. These things c onstitute the we dge of division . Till they were introduced unity prevailed. When this wedge was driven the church was split. Who splits the log? The man who drives the wedge splits the log, and not the man who protests against its being driven. Elder
OTEY-BRINEY DEBATE. 17
Briney and his brethren drove the wedge that split the church. Who did right in splitting the log, the man who drove the wedge or the man who protested? That depends upon whether or not the log oug ht to be split. If it was right to s plit the log, the w edge-drive r did right. Follows it not, then, as clear as demonstration itself, that Elder Briney and his brethren have split the church? Till they drove the wedge the church was united. We pro teste d again st that wedge being driven, and warned them that it would split the church. Had they refrained from driving this wedge into the work and worship of the church, we would to-day be a united people. The hou r that they will rem ove this wedge we will again be a united people. But are they sinfully resp onsible for this division? That all depends upon by whose authority this wedge was driven. Who authorized the splitting of the log—the church? Was it right that it should be split? Did God want it split? By whose authority, then, are these things used in the work and worship of the Church—God's or man's, This is the pivotal point in this controversy. If God authorized the wedge to be driven and the log to be split it must be done; it matters not who protests. But if God has not authorized the wedge to be driven, then those who protest against its being driven stand upon the side of God.
Jesus said, "I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man at variance against his father and the daughter against her mother." (Matt. 10.) He re Jesus caused division. But it was caused by preaching the truth and urging obedience to the divine commands. He who causes division by teaching and practicing what God requires does right, while he who opposes what God commands commits sin. But Paul says, "Now, I beseech you, brethren, mark them that are causing the divisions and oc--
18 OTEY-BRINEY DEBATE
casions of stumbling contrary to the teaching of Christ; and turn away from them." (Rom. 16:17.) Here Paul says that those who cause division contrary to the teaching of Christ—by teaching anything else in religion than the gospel—sin. N ow, in the light of these Scriptures, if my opponent can show that the things which he and his brethren have introduced into the work and worship of the church, and by which they have rent it asunder"—I say, if he can show that God has authorized these things, then h e will clear him self and brethre n of all guilt before c the throne o f heaven . But if I succeed in showing- that God has not authorized these things to be used in the work and worship of the church, then he an d his brethren will stand convicted before heaven and earth.
I am glad that it is my privilege to stand before you and to participate in this investigation, to measure these practices by the Divine measuring-reed—the Word of God. And I am specially pleased that I have as my opponent a man of such splendid natural and acquired talent as possessed by Elder Briney. One writer has said, "Briney is the best debater that the Christian Church has in the world." Another writer, whose judgment is always sound, has said, "Briney is a tactful, eloquent, powerful man, and his presentation will be as strong, in my judgment, as it is possible to make it." Both of these writers are my brethren. They ate not partial eulogists of my opponent. It may be saf ely said that the Christian Church is as strongly repre sented in the person of Elder Briney as it could be represented in the person of any man on earth. If the teaching and practice of the Christian Church is not sustained in this discussion, then we m ay safely say no man can sustain them. To whom can they go, or upon whom can they rely, in this hour of extremity, if not Elde r Briney? Indeed, they are fortunate in having him as their re presentO TEY-
BRINEY DEBATE. 19
ative, and he is justly deserving of their gratitude for appearing here in their defense.
A word of explanation as to the origin of this d ebate is necessary. More than a year ago J. Fred Jones, State Evangelist of the Christian Church in Illinois, went into the vicinity of Sand Creek, Shelby County, Illinois, and slanderously attacked the Church of Christ. Elder J. P. Warren, one of the elders at Sand Creek, w rote him a respectful letter, and asked him to come b ack and re peat his attack when the Church of Christ could have a man present to defend it. tie refused to do so. Two letters passed each way. Elder Warren then turned the correspondence over to the church at Sand Creek. After due consideration of the matter the officers of the Church of Christ turned the co rresponde nce over to me, with the request that I secure a discussion of the differences between the Church of Christ and the Christian Church with Mr. Jones or some other representative man in that church. After several months of correspondence, Mr. Jones wrote me that he had gotten Elder J. B. Briney, of Louisville, Ky., to take charge of his side of the correspondence. Several more m onths of correspondence followed, and we agreed on the propositions and rules that you have heard read, except the appendix, which was written later. You have noticed that the first rule says, "The debate is to be held at Sand Creek, Sh elby Co., III., unless the place is changed by the consent of both parties." The Church of Christ at Sand Creek engaged the Chautauqua Auditorium and grounds of the Lithia Springs Company, in which to hold the debate. Why, then, was it not held there? On June 4th Elder Briney wrote me that he had received word through J. Fred Jones, State Evangelist of the Christian Church in Illinois, that his b rethren in the vicinity of Sand Creek were opposed to the debate being held in that community. Perhaps the question will arise in your minds, "If the Christian Church
20 OTEY-BRINEY DEBATE.
were not to be at any expense in furnishing the place to hold the debate, then why should they urge tha t it should not be held in that vicinity? It may be necess ary at another tim e to enlighten you on this point. In the same letter already referred to, Elder Briney also wrote me, saying, "I have already 'let go,' and you can go to S and Cree k and ho ld the debate alone if you wish; I will not be there ." In the same letter he said, "If one of the churches (in Louisville) that are in sympathy with your views will invite the deb ate and furnish the hou se, I am ready to m eet you." This course of conduct needs no comment, at least not a t the present. I simply state the facts briefly. You may decide th e case. I pressed him to meet me at Sand C reek, as stipula ted in the rule that he had signed, or furnish another place and secure my consent, and thu s save his signature. But this he positive ly refused to do . I came to Louisville and laid the correspondence before several of my preaching brethren who live in this city. The debate was invited, not by one congregation, but by four Churches of Christ worshipping in this city. They have furnished the house, and here we are in the first session of the discussion.
The proposition, the merits of which we are now to test, reads as follows: "The use of instrum ental music in connec tion with the songs sung by the church on the Lord's day, when assembled for edification and communion is opposed to New Testament teachin g and sinful." The first question that arises in your minds is this: "If you are opposed to the use of instrumental music in the worship, and thus occupy a negative position, why do you appear here as an affirmant?" My answer to that question is. Because Elder Briney positively refused to affirm his own practice. It is universally agreed that every man is logically and morally bound to affirm his own practice.
OTEY-BRINEY DEBATE. 21
But this my opponent refused to do and appears before you in the attitude of one w ho is unw illing in open discussion to affirm his own practice. My attitude toward the use of instrumental music in the worship is that of opp osition. His p osition is that of endorsement and practice. He both endorses and practices the use of instrumental music in the worship. I neither endorse nor practice its use in the worship, but oppose it. The affirm ative idea is the idea of endorsement—the idea of approval and participation. The negative idea is the idea of opposition. Follows it not, then, as clear as demonstration itself, that he was logically and morally bound to affirm his own practice? But this he refused to do. Finally, I consented to negotiate a proposition in the affirmative form on the negative side of the question. I framed the following: "The use of instrumental music in the worship is not authorized in the New Testam ent Scriptures a nd sinf ul." But he w ould not permit the words "not authorized in-the New Testament" to appear in the proposition. Does it not, my friends, im press you as p assingly strange that he would neither a ffirm his own pra ctice nor pe rmit me to affirm that it is not authorized in the New Testament? You will ask, "If his practice is authorized in the New Testament, why is he not willing so to affirm?" On the othe r hand, yo u ask,. "If his practice is not authorized in the New Testament, w hy, then, is he not w illing that his opponent should affirm that it is not authorized therein?" His practice is either authorized in the New Testament or it is not. If it is, why is he not willing to af firm it? If it is no t, then why is he not willing for his opponent to affirm that it is not? I predict that you will never be enlightened on this poin t by him, but that you will be left to form your own conclusions. You will draw the right conclusions.
22 OTEY-BRINEY DEBATE.
But notwithstanding that the proposition is unfair to me and my brethren, for the two reasons ass igned, yet I wish to say boldly that I feel abundantly able to sustain it as it is, although-so unfairly and arbitrarily worded by my opponent.
Let us address ourselves to the proposition before us. I wish now to define the proposition and mark out the line of battle. The words "instrumental music," in its most limited construction, must be interpreted to embrace all the instruments used by the Christian Church at any time or place.
That part of the proposition that states w hen and w here used is long, but sufficiently explicit, at least for th e present. "Is o pposed to New Testament teaching" means that it is put in opposition to New Testament teaching. In other words, its use transgresses New Testament teaching. I believe this is th e strongest form in which this can be put, and I am willing to prove it in its strongest form.
The proposition has a double or compound predicate. "Opposed to" and "is sinful." To put it in its strongest shape I will use these terms synonymously. If it is "opposed to New Testament teaching," it is sinful. If it is "sinfu l" it is "opp osed to New Testam ent teaching." You will also observ e that this part o f the propo sition limits this discussion to the New Testament. In all controversies, or in the test of all questions. there must necessarily be an agreed standard of measurement—a standard of test. If a man were on trial for a crime in this city, the statute law of Kentucky would b e the standa rd of autho rity by which to measure the evidence and to determine the guilt or innocence of the accused . His prosecutor could not appeal to laws of the Colonies and secure a verdict of guilt against the accused. Those laws have been abrogated and superseded by the laws of the
OTEY-BRINEY DEBATE. 23
United States. Neither could his advocate appeal to those laws in order to secure an acquittal. He must be convicted or acquitted by the laws of Kentucky, the laws under which the act was committed.
On the same p rinciple the question before us must be measured, and the conclusion reached solely by the New Testament. This must be done for two reasons. First, we are not worshiping u nder the au thority of the Old Testament Scriptures, but under the authority of the New Testament. Christ is the "end of the law to all them that believe." In the second place, the question before us can not be appe aled to the O ld Testament Scriptures fo r the plain reason that the prop osition sa ys "opposed to New Testament teaching." The New Testament, then, is to be the sole rule of measurement, in point of authority, in settling the question now before us.
Whose practice is involved in this proposition? The practice of Elder Briney and his brethren. The acts of worship of m y brethren are not called in question in th is proposition. I think he endorses what we teach and practice as being right. Should it develop that he calls in question an y act of work or worsh ip in which- I participate, I w ill say, it can not log ically nor lawfully be introduced into this discussion. But I will say, in advance. that I hold myself ready to affirm every item of work and worship in which I participate. Bu t it must, be stated in another proposition and on another date.
What is the practice to be discussed now and here? The use of instrumental music in connection with the songs sung by the church on the Lord's day when assembled f or edification and communion. Let it be remembered, then, w hat we are here to discuss and what we are not here to discuss. We are not here to debate sprinkling for baptism nor infant church membership, bu t we are he re to
24 OTEY-BRINEY DEBATE.
debate the use of instrumental music in the worship. We are not here to debate meeting-houses, benches, lights, carpets, tuning-forks, baptismal suits, hymn-books, or any other item of like character. W e are here to debate the Scripturalness of instrumental music in the worship, and that alone. All these other items mentioned may be highly important, but not on this occasion. They come not within the scope of this proposition, and should they be introduce d, it will be solely for the purpose of raising a false issue, to muddy the waters in order to draw your attention away from the real issue.
My first argument is this: The use of instrumental music in the worship is a "doctrine and commandment of men," and as such it "transgresses the commandments of God," is sinful, and renders the worship of those w ho use it "vain worship.''
Every act in religion comes from on e of two s ources of authority (if we except the devil), comes from God or from men. Every religious observance has for its support one of two authorities—the authority of God or the authority of men. If a religious practice has as its support the authority of God, then it is a teaching of God, a command of God, a tradition of God. If it has as its support only the authority of men, then it is a teaching of men, a command of men, a tradition of men. T here is absolutely no other source of authority, if we except the devil, than that of God and that of m en. Nor is there any middle ground. The whole issue, then, turns upon this pivotal question, By wh ose authority is instrumental music used in the worship? Who has authorized its use in the worship, God or men? If it is used by D ivine authority, then it is right, and those who neglect its use in the worship sin. But if it is used by the authority of men, then it is a "doctrine and commandment of men," a "traOTEY-
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dition of men," "transgresses the commandments of God," is "vain worship" and sinful. The point of authority, then, is the pivota l point, and must first of all be settled. Till this point is settled no conclusion can be reached. If my opponent can show that instrume ntal music is used in the worship by Divine authority, that will end the controversy, and end it in his favor. This he m ust prove, o r else admit th at it is a "commandment of men," ,1 "tradition of men." I He must admit that as a "tradition of men" it does what Jesus says the traditions of men do; namely, "transgresses the commandments of God" and renders such worship vain. O r else defend it a s a "tradition." Among other things the scribes and Pharisees had added to the Divine acts of worsh ip the was hing of the hands, po ts, cups, braze n vessels, etc., as a religious observance. It was right to observe this act of cleanliness as a private act. Indeed, it would have been wrong not to have done so as a private act of cleanliness. But when they practiced these acts of cleanliness as religious acts it changed the whole question, and Jesus said to them, "Why do ye also transgress the commandments of God b y your traditio n." "Ye hypocrites, well did Isaiah prophesy of you saying, This pe ople draw eth nigh un to me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrine the commandments of men." (Matt. 15:2-8; Mark 7:7-8.) From these Scriptures we learn the following facts: (I) That things, though right in themselves, arid that as personal acts would he wrong to neglect, yet, when practiced as religious acts, are called by Jesus "traditions of men ;" (2) That Jesus says the "traditions of men "transgress the commandments of God ;" (3) That if we "teach for doctrine the commandments of men," our worship is "vain." Here, then, is the pivotal point on which this question turns—the point of authority. Here is the is26
sue that must be met. My opponent must either affirm that the use of instrumental music in the worship is a commandment of God, and then produce the proof, or else admit that it is a "doctrine and commandment of men," and then defend it as such. The real issue can not be ignored nor evaded. It must be squarely met. Jesus asked the Jews this question, "The baptism of John, whence was it? From heaven or of men? They answered, We can not tell." I ask Elder Briney this question "Instrumental music in the worship, whence is it, From heaven or of men?" Will he also say, "I can not tell?" We shall see. Had the Jews answered, "It is from heaven," it would not have been -fatal. Had they answered, "It is of m en," it would have been fatal. Had they remained silent, it would have been fatal. They answered, "We can not tell," and it was fatal. If Elder Briney says that instrumental m usic in the worsh ip is "from heaven" it will be fatal. If he says, "It is of men," it will be fatal. If he says, "I can not tell," it will be fatal. If h e remains s ilent, it shall be fatal.
Now, my friends, this brings us to my second arg ument that I desire to introduce to you. My second argument is this: The use of instrumental music in the worship of God is opposed to the New Testament law of expediency. I will say at this point that I never qu ote an uninspired man as an authority, but when I find that a man with a fearlessness of spirit and a force of logic and power reasons clearly and strongly upon a subject I am at liberty to adopt his arguments as my own. Acting upon this principle I am going to prove this argument by a noted writer.
At the very threshold of this debate I desire to make known the fact that when my respected opponent, earlier in life, was sa tisfied with the Bible alone in all his religious practice, he not only stood where I stand to-day on the
OTEY-BRINEY DEBATE. 27
question now at issue between US, but he made arguments which no man was then able to answer, and which have never since been answered. In fact, as this intelligent audience may see for itself, I might very properly turn this debate into a debate of Elder Briney against himself. In the year 1869, soon after some of the churches of the Reformation dared to intro duce instrumental music into their worship, and thus trampled under their feet the great cardinal principle on which the Reformation had been projected, E lder Brin ey himself, before he turned over to the popular side, made the following strong argu ment in the Apostolic Times, published at Lexington, Kentucky. which has been copied for this deb ate verbatim from that journal. Listen, if you please, to his masterful argument, which was as follows:
"THE DOCTRINE OF EXPEDIENCY"
"It was a glorious day for the cause of truth when the pious and venerable Thomas Campbell conceived and set forth the p rinciple contained in the following language: 'Where the Scriptures speak, we speak; where the Scriptures a re silent, we are silent.' This declaration contains the germ and pith of the present Reformation. It was the guiding star of such men as the Campbells, Scott, Stone and Creath, in their march back to the apostolic ground. It was the watch-word of those noble, grand old veterans as, weak in numbers. but strong in faith, they bared their bosoms to the darts of po pery and rushed forward to rescue the ordinance of Jesus Christ from oblivion's embrace. This was the banner that gave them possession of many a hotly contested field, and led them on to glorious victory. Under it they fought, under it they conquered, and, dying, they bequeathed it to us, that under it at least we might hold what they ha d gained. S o long as w e adhere to this
28 OTEY-BRINEY DEBATE.
principle may we march forward with heads erect and banners streaming. But the moment we aban don this we will be at sea, without compass or rudder, and our ship will be driven before the merciless blasts of the head-winds of sectarianism in the direction of the port of Rome; and in this state of case we may well haul down our colors and seek recogn ition in 'co urts ecclesiastic.' We will need the sympathy of such courts then.
It is no matter of astonishmen t that, when the forego ing principle was enunciated, such a thoughtful man as Andrew Munroe should make the following statement: 'If we adopt that as a basis, then there is an end of infa nt baptis m.'
I beg leave to make the following respectful suggestion to Bro. J. S. Lamar: If we adhere to that as a basis, then there is an end of instrumental music in the worship.
But we must adhere to that, or the Reformation is a failure. This brings us to the main point had in view in the preceding essays. That singing as worship is a divine appointment is abunda ntly clear from the following Scriptures: "What is it the n? I will pray with the spirit, and I w ill pray with the understanding also. I will sing with the spirit, and I w ill sing w ith the un derstan ding als o." (I Cor. ~ 5: ~5.) And be not drunk with wine wherein is excess; but be filled with the spirit; speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making m elody in you r hearts to the Lord." (Ep h. 5 :18, 19.) "By him, therefore, let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips, g iving thanks to His name." (Heb. 13:15 )
Singing is worship only as it consists in prayer and praise. It is not the soun d sim ply, the mere music, that renders it acceptable to God, but the sentiments of devoOTEY-
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tion. From the first of the above quotations we learn that in these sentiments of prayer and praise th e spirit and the understanding unite. In the third quotation these sentiments are called the "sacrifice of praise," and are defined -to be the "fruit of our lips." It follows, then, with the clearness of a sunbeam, that the instruments to be used in offering this sacrifice are the vocal organs, with which God has endowed His creatur e, man. H ere, then, is a divine ordinance consisting in the offering of prayer and praise to the L ord with our lips—this latter term being used generically to denote all the vocal organs. Now, I affirm that an "instrumental accompaniment" is an addition to the ordinance, and effects its character, and is therefore an infringement of the divine prerogative.
That singing as worship is a divine ordinance will not be questioned in the face of the Scripture cited above. That the "instrumental accompaniment" is an addition, is sim ply certain from the historical facts in the case, it having been born five hundred years out of time. There fore, wha tever men may think of its expedien cy it affects the character of the divine appointment, and can not be tolerated for a moment.
There is no room here for expediency or man's wisdom. It is not the prerogative of exped iency to say in wh at an ordina nce shall co nsist. Inspiration has ordained that the sacrifice of praise shall be offered with the human voice. Then let expediency neither add nor subtract. Expediency may regulate my voice; that is, it may determine whether I shall sing with a bass, tenor or alto voice; but beyond this and the like, it must not go. It must not say with what I shall praise, for it would be the determining in what an ordinance shall consist, which, as we have already seen, must not be allowed.
From the foregoing it seems to fo llow, both lo gically
30 OTEY-BRINEY DEBATE.
and Scripturally, that the "instrumental accompaniment" nullifies the ordinance!
Now, at this som ebody may get "scared, feel his hair standing on end, start to run, find somebody else sitting by the camp-fires no dding," etc. Be it so. I could only wish that this fright w ere real. I should think that a man might well afford to become frightened when he sees himself tampering with an ordinance of the Almighty! But when I see a man affecting f right to try to excite mirth at the expense of a brother who is earnestly contending for the faith, my heart sinks within me. The "accompaniment" is ex pedient, we are told. Expedient, forsooth! "Infant baptism is expedient," say Stewart and Beecher. Now, the New Testament Scriptures are just as silent upon the "accompaniment" as upon infant baptism. If, therefore, expediency may introduce that, why not this?
But in what respect is the "accom paniment" expedien t? If it is expedient, it is because it gives some good resu lt which w ould not be obtained without it. But if this be true, the Saviour either failed in His wisdom or His benevolence, for He never ordained the "accom paniment." Expediency, stay thy impious hand! That the instrument in the worship gives a good result which would not otherwise be realized, is an assumption which never has been and never will be proved. And just here is the point at which the argument for the instrument must forever break down.
Am I told that it is expedient because "it attracts the world?" I beg leave to state that the worship of the Lord's house was not ordained for the world. Is the church of the Lord Jesu s Christ to be brought down to the standard of the world? Is this the program of expediency? If the caprice of the world is to be regarded in these m atters, the very same emergency that demands the
OTEY-BRINEY DEBATE. 31
organ will dema nd the very be st skill in its use, and, therefore, the beerbloated dutchman from the theater of Saturday night will be in demand in the san ctuary of G od on the Lord's da y.
We are told that the organ need not affect the worship of the individual; that those who are opposed to the instrument may worship in spite of it. This I might do. I might w orship, but it w ould only be in the silent breathings of my spirit. I can not engage in singing as an act of worship w here there is a n "instrume ntal accompaniment," for this would nullify the ordinance. Now, some one may say that in this I am so straight that I lean back a little. Be it so. If I lean back it is but to rest upon the W ord of G od. and resting upon this I dread n ot the fall. Call to mind the illustration of the supper. The bread and the wine are on the table. But the congregation, from consideration of "proprie ty and expediency," have determined to add water. Do you observe the Lord's supper when you sit down with those brethren and partake of the bread and wine, though you reject the water? You do not. Neither do I worship God when I sit down and sing with brethren who add an "accompaniment." Yet once more. J. J. B.
Apostolic Times, June 10, 1869, page 69.
Now, my friends, this is only a part of his arguments I have for you. The remainder will be deferred until tomorrow evening. W e see where my worthy opponent stoo d nearly forty years ag o. He has changed to the other side. Now, what has brought the change? We all know he has changed. What caused it? Did he change to-be popular or to be with the crowd? Perish the thought! What changed him? Surely nothing but God's Word. Then, friends, we ask him to open God's book and point to the chapter or chapters, verse or verses, put his finger upon
32 OTEY-BRINEY DEBATE.
that which wrought the change and that caused him to see things differently now from what he did shell. Then he could not w orship with instrumental music; now he can. Then he exclaimed, "Expediency, stay thy impious hand." Now we want to know what caused the change; where is the Scripture, what chapter and what verse? We can not for a moment intimate that anything else but the Word of God has wrought the change, and w e want the Scripture that reversed him and that causes him to be here defending that which he preached against so strongly. go I leave this matter right here. with the request that, in this debate thus early, before we bring the balance we have from him, he tells us what wrought the change in him. We want to know what wrought this wonderful change.
J. B. Briney's First Reply.
Gentlemen Moderators, Ladies and Gentlemen:
I would su ggest, as my firs t remark, that it is my Brother Otey who is under obligation to prove things. This proposition does not oblige me to undertake to prove anything. I stand to-day as a denier calling in question the correctness of his proposition and it is my business as a logician and reasoner to exam ine what he adduces as proof a nd to attempt to show that it fails to sustain his proposition, or I may propound a contrary. proposition and attempt to prove that. In either of these ways, or both, according to my own choice, I can meet him upon this proposition, and if I undertake to prove anything outside of that, it is a matter per gratiam upon my part; I am un der no ob ligation to do it. I wish to join my brother—and he is my brother; I reco gnize him as such, and I shall address him as such, and
OTEY-BRINEY DEBATE. 33
if I should chance to miss him in Christ, I guess I would hit him in Adam, so he is my brother anyhow. And I w ish to join with him most heartily in his opposition to error. I have no fellowship for that article, and it shall be my pleasure to join to his effort whatever aid I may be able to do to expose error, and to cause it to stand out in that clear light that the people may perceive it, and may be able to differentiate it from the truth as it is in Christ Jesus the Lord.
My brother refers to the grand principle enu nciated in the early days of our movem ent by Thomas Campbell, "Where the Bible speaks we speak; and where the Bible is sile nt, we are sile nt." I want to add to what he has said on that subject, that when that principle was enunciated, after having been matured, the idea was that in matters of faith, things that must be believed , and matters of ordinance, things that must be clone, where the Bible speaks on those subjects, we speak; and where the Bible is silent on those subjects, we are silent. That great principle was never intended to be applied to matters of mere opinion or philosophical or theological speculation, but to matters of faith and ordinance. Why, my dear friends, if you were to undertake to load upon that principle the philosophies and opinions and speculations of men, you would soon sink it far beyond recovery beneath the rubbish of the traditions to which he has referred, and others besides. It does not pertain to church architecture. It does not mean to regulate church furnishings. It does not mean to decide what kind of windows shall be in a church house. These are matters that pertain to human taste, and one man may have one opinion in regard to church architecture and another man may have anoth er, but whe ther the one or the other, it is a question that does not fall under this principle, and I want to call your attention particularly to that at this stage of our discussion.
34 OTEY-BRINEY DEBATE.
My good brother took a very wide range, as I suppose it was his right to do under our rules, in the matter introduced in his speech. He discussed conventions, which are not in this prop osition a t all. I expect coming events cast their shadows before, and somebody is a little nervous.
Federation! Why, is his proposition that federatio n is contrary to New Testament tea ching, and sinful? He entered a loud and emphatic protest against introducing matters not germane to the question, and I want to say that these q uestions have not a drop of G erman blood in them. The y are w holly fore ign to the question , wholly, Endeavor! Does his proposition say anything about endeavor? He insists, and correctly, too, that I shall adhere to the propo sition. I turn to my brother and insist most earnestly that you, sir, adhere to the proposition, and don't hop, skip and jump all over creation to avoid the proposition.
I suppose we agree on the question as to division and unity; there is some division amongst us, but I don't recognize the division he presents. There are differences of opinion among us about some things, but I protest against making differences of opinion lines of cleavage among us to our fellowship and our communion.
Elder Briney: He says that one body is the Church of Christ and the other the Christian Church. Well, my dear broth er, I claim to belong to both.
A voice So d o I.
Elder Briney: Now , brethren, plea se be quiet, and let us conduct the discussion. That is, I belo ng to the institu tion sometimes called the Church of Christ and sometimes the Christian Church, and I expect that half of our congregations, especially north of Mason and Dixon's Line, are known as Churches of Christ. But I want to say to you, my dear friends, that when you take one Scriptural name
OTEY-BRINEY DEBATE. 35
and make use of that to the exclusion of all the others, you sectarianize and denominationalize it, and introduce it as a wedge of division. Now, who is responsible? Well, when he. proves his proposition, he will put the responsibility on those who introduce and use instruments; when he fails to prove his proposition, as he will fail—and you know he has already proved that I am a prophet—when he fa ils to prove his proposition, as inevitab ly he will, he shoulders the responsibility involved in this matter. If the use of the instruments, as related in the. propo sition, is contrary to the New Testament and sinfu l, then those who use the instrument are responsible for the sin, and the resultant division. Bu t if it is not contrary to the New Testament teaching and is not sin ful, those who take it up and make it a test of fellowship run lines of division through the body of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Ch rist, and they take upon themselve s the respon sibility involved in the matter, and must answer fo r the divided body in the presence of the Judge of the living and the dead. Who introduced the dividing wedge? Well, that all depends upon this proposition. When he proves the proposition , he will prese nt me here with a maul in my hand driving the wedg e; but whe n he fails to p rove his pro position, he w ill present himself before you and before the Lord with a maul in his hand driving the wedge of human opinion and speculation and inference, and, therefore, shouldering the responsibility in the matter; an d this should suggest to him, as it does not doub t, that he should manfully come up to this qu estion. The laboring oa rs are in his hands, and I want to say to him here and now as we are embarkin g upon th is voyage, pull for the shore, sailor, pull for the shore, and come up to the task of establishing this proposition by New Testament proof. He quoted a passage from the New Testament, but I want to call your attentio n to this, that he has not quoted a soli36
tary passage from the New Testament that even mentions the subject we are discussing. How does he expect to prove the question he is undertaking to prove in this proposition, from the New Testament, without quoting any Scripture from that volume that contains even the principal term that is involved in the discussion? You know very well he has no t done that.
Now, in passin g, I want to lay down a principle or two here. What makes a thing sinful? My reply is, one of tw o things, or b oth. First, it is sinful in itself, like murder or theft. W ell, I presume he will not take the position that the use of instruments in the worship of God is sinful in itself. He da re not do tha t, and I will leav e that matter th ere. Then it is sinful if it transg resses the div ine law, fo r sin is transgression of the law in the old version, and lawlessness in the new practically the same thing. Therefore, the use of instruments m the worship of God must be sinful in itself to be sin ful, or it must violate or transgress some divine law. Has he produ ced the law? Where is it?
Now, I want to refer to this Scripture that he quoted or referred to, at any rate, in the sixteenth chapter of the letter to the Romans, seventeen th verse: "Now, I beseech you, brethren, mark them which. cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrines which ye have learned, and avoid them." Now, it devo lves upon my Brother O tey to produce the teaching that the use of instrum ents of mu sic is contrary to in New Testament teaching. If he can do that, he w ill show that the use of these musical instruments is sinful because it transgresses the law, because it is contrary to the mind of the great Law Giver. But if he f ails to do that, then his proposition falls to the ground, all goes to pieces, and there is no rec overy for it. And I do hope that my brother will lay aside his conventions, so far as this propo sition is conce rned and his endeavor societies and his federations; and all those exOTEY-
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traneous matters, and just squarely face this issue, and tell us why this thing is sinful. Is it sinfu l in itself, or is if sinful because it transgresses the law? If h e says yes to the la tter, then to the law and to the testimony. Let the law be broug ht forth. It ought to be very plainly written. It ought to be so inscribed that he who runs may read; because f rom his point of view the question involves the eternal interest of the people. So I want the law, and you want the law, and I s hall not be sa tisfied with h is philosophies or his inferenc es or his opinions. These used to satisfy me when I was a baby preacher, but I have learned a great deal better than that in these thirty-nine or forty years; but that comes a little farther along. Now, this passage of Scripture says, "Mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have le arned." Has Brother Otey received any such tea ching? If so, bring it forth, and let us look at it and weigh it. I am as much interested in it as he possibly can be, and those who sympathize with me in my position want to know where the law is. No man's interpretation of any part of the Lord's book is law. No man's opinion in regard to an ything in the sac red writings is law. It may be law to him, but not to me or to the rest of the Christian world. We call for the law. We want it as it is written in the bond, and if it must come from very near the heart of the opposition, very near the heart of this great error, then let it come, and let the blood flow. We want the law. If it is sinful beca use it transgresses the la w, again I say, give us the law, and it shall suffice; an d the very mo ment he d oes that, I am ready to take him by the hand a nd sit dow n in heavenly plac es in Christ Jesus and say, you are right and I am wrong, but I want to be right, and I am now with you; but if he fails to produce the law, will he do that or an ything like it?
Then any brother speaks as to the origin of this debate.
38 OTEY-BRINEY DEBATE.
I supposed we were here to debate and not to give an account of the origin of the debate. If I w ere to judge from the contents of ~ my dear brother's speech , I would conclu de that we we re not here to debate, but to run around here and there discussing about Sand Creek and things like that, thus consuming time without any reference to the obligations of logic or the requirements of this proposition. We are here to debate, to investigate, to d iscuss the issu es involved in the wording of this proposition. It was agreed between him and me that this discussion should be at Sand Creek. I found out, however, that my brethren there, those who sympathized with the view I take, did not want the discussion, and I have never yet imp osed myself upon any people contrary to their wishes in the matter, and w hen I found out ho w their sentiments were on the subject, that was enough for me, as I think it ought to be for any self-respecting man, and I cancelled the engagement and gave him the liberty of going over there and holding the debate by himself, if he were so disposed. I don't think he went. He has been about Sand Creek a good deal, and I h ope that he bundled u p a little sand and brought it with him somewhere about his corporosity, enough to come squarely up to the proposition and discuss it, and let us see how it is. Somebody is wrong. If I am wrong, I want to know it, but I can not be made to know exce pt by the law—the Word of God. Why does he affirm? He affirms because he agreed to affirm, and he affirms an affirmative, too. To say that a certain thing is contrary to New Testament teaching is to make a n affirma tive assertion. T o say that a thing is sinful affirms the same thing in regard to that thing. My good friend, there is nothing to gain by skirmishing and maneuvering in that sort of way. He IS clearly and logically in the affirmative. He has stepped out on this proposition and agreed to affirm it. Now, let him walk up manfully
OTEY-BRINEY DEBATE. 39
to it and undertake what his proposition requires at his hands. Now, my dear f riends, I objected to the word "authorized," and I objected to it because that term is am biguous, and the discu ssion would have turned upon what is authority, and how can a thing be made authoritative or authorized , and that would open - the field of skirmish, and the skirmish line might have been drawn around all creation and might have kept US away from the issue involve d, and I wanted to come right UP to the issue.
Now, I want to sa y, as to the merits o f this question , I am who lly indifferen t. He refers to my practice. I have no settled practice in the matter. I worship with people where the re is an instrument, and where there is none. I do not care whether an instrument is used or not. Looking at it from the standpoint of its own merits, I am indifferent, but there are some attendants that go along with it sometimes that make it somewhat important. W hen left to itself, when caused to stand out before me in its own proper habilaments, I do not care the snap of a finger about it. But when my brother undertakes to erect it into a test of fellowship, and to make it a dividing wedge between the disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, then I am profoundly interested in the question. Now, a thing may be authorized in various ways. It may be authorized by a direct command or it may b e authorized in this way; that is, a certain thing may be required to be done. Well, the doing of that thing authorizes me to use whatever assists me in doing it, unless I propose something that contra venes e xpressly the Word of G od. I claim the use of an instrument of music is authorized from that point of view. It aids me in the matter of singing. In the first place it gives me the right pitch. Our brethren who differ from us use the tuning-fork. That is an instrument of music. All the difference is they use
40 OTEY-BRINEY DEBATE.
the fork for the first note and we accompany every note. And if the use of an instrument all along the line is contrary to the N ew Testament, and sinful, the same is true of the tuning-fork.
My friend had a good deal to say about washing hands and cups and pots. If we were discussing domestic economy that w ould be very appropriate, because it is exceedingly proper to do that in the home. But what has that to do with this proposition? My friend strenuously objects in one brea th to introducing irrelevant matter, and then goes right on and occup ies most of his speech in troducing irrelevant matter. What has the w ashing of pots and c ups to do w ith this matter? Does he affirm that the washing of pots and cups is contrary to New Testament teaching and sinful? No , sir; he is affirming that the use of instrum ents of music is contrary to New Testam ent teaching an d sinful. My friend don't stop with presenting a dilemma. He presented a trilemma, and I think he exhausted the whole catalogue of lemmas, and whichever one I take will be fatal. I believe the Bible, which both of us respect,' says something about not boasting until you put off the armor— not to boast before you put the armor on but to wait until the battle is over, and then boast. I recommend that expression to my w orthy brother.
Well, it is opposed to the law of expediency, and here his chief witness was one J. 13. B riney. Is that his proposition? Of course, not. I once held that view. I w as brough t up in it almost from the cradle, and without very much investigation I just accepted it, mostly at secondhand. He says this was my position' before I turned over to the popular side. Be careful! Tread lightly! I want to say to you that when I espoused the cause of the liberty of people to use instrum ents of mu sic in the State of Kentucky, it was a most unpopular thing among our brethren. That was my position thirty-nine or forty years ago, when
OTEY-BRINEY DEBATE. 41
I didn't know any more about this subject than my friend seems to know about it now. If a m an does not learn anything in thirty-nine or fo rty years, he ought to resign. Now, I have changed my opinion in that regard. I have cha nged it on several matters. I believe the re is an old adage, that wise pe ople chan ge their opinions sometimes, but another class never does. I believe that you w ill, or would decide, if it were submitted to you, that the large part of this speech, which was copied from me, was by far the best pa rt of it, and if my brother will continue to read and study and imitate T . B. Briney, why, l think there is some hope for him.
Brother, let us discuss this question. Bring the Scripture tha t this practice transgresses or undertak es to show tha t the use of in struments in the worsh ip of God is sinful in itself. That is your laboring oar. That is your proposition. That is what you are under obligation to do standing under this proposition. That is what you have to prove, and lay aside all these extraneous matters. Lay aside all these conventions, and march right up and stand erect. He can do that; that is, until something like that occurs.
That is just a motion of my fist, Mr. Reporter; you can't take that down, and I don't intend to put that in practice. You need not have any uneasiness about that, Brother Otey. I said that the use of instrumental music in worship was born five hundred years out of time. I took up that old error that has been exploded again and again since then by myself. I hav e answered myself, Bro ther Otey. Why didn't you read the answer? Born five hun dred years ou t of time! The common idea is it was introduced into the Ch ristian worsh ip by the Pope, and I wa nt to say here, and I expect to prove that away yonder in the latter part of the second century at any rate, it is historically certain that instrume nts accompanied
42 OTEY-BRINEY DEBATE.
the music in Christian worship. Of course, I have not reached that stage of the con troversy yet.
Now, I believe that I have shown that my brother's speech does not establish his proposition. I think it comes under the adage that we used to have when I was going to school, when I was even younger than I was when I made that mistake that my brother reads, to say of an argument that fails, "The conflux of the argument does not subtend the analogy of the case ," and I think that is the w ay with my brother's argument. Its conflux fails to subtend the analogy of the case. That is, he fails to connect it with his proposition, and I want to say here, my dear friends, that, if his proposition were afflicted with measles, his proof wouldn't catch it, for the reason that they don't come close enough together. That is, not so far; but I am willing to wait and see. Now, I shall take up the other branch, rep utation, and u ndertake to establish a counter proposition, and I am going to the Scriptures, I am going to the Word of God. I am not going to skirmish all over creation, but I am going directly to the fountain of Divine Truth. And first of all, I want to indulge in a little history about as my good brother has done on another line, and I have this in view in doing that; namely, to show that the use of such music is not sinful in itself, because God approved it in days agone, and not only approved it, but established it by direct and immediate command; and, of course, He would not do that, or anything else that was sin ful. It would outrage all idea of God to suppose that He would approve and command a thing to be done that was sinful in itself. Now, I call your attention to the first insta nce o f it in Bible his tory, so far as I have been able to ascertain. The children of Israel are coming out of the land of Egypt. They have been bowing their backs under loads of oppression and wearing yokes of tyranny for some centuries.
OTEY-BRINEY DEBATE. 43
deliverer comes to them in the person of Moses, and by and by he assembles them together and leads them out of the land of bondage, and in doing so, he takes them through the Red Sea, by a channel open ed to them by miraculous and Divine power. They are now safe on the other side. The horse and his rider have been cast into the sea. The oncoming and mischief-intending armies of Pharaoh have been overthrown by the same Divine ha nd that opened that passage of deliverance for H is people, and now, on the side of deliverance, Mirriam, the sister of Moses, leads the women in a song of praise and thanksgiving to the Almighty, and in doing that she led them with timbrels and other instruments of music. (E x. 15.) Now, where did God command that? I want to say to you, that a loving he art, love in the heart, does not wa it for direct and im mediate commands to express those feelings of devotion and love.
Again and again it is said of the disciples that they worshiped Jesus. I do not know how they did it. I do not know how they expresse d their worship. They fell down on one o ccasion an d took ho ld of His feet, and thus worshiped Him. That was a way of expressing their d evotion to him. Where did God ever command that? Again and again throughout history these disciples prostrated themselves in His presence, and worshiped Him in ways that the law of God knows nothing about. That is, their hearts w ent out spontaneously in some kind of expression of devotion to their Lord and Master. W ell, come on down and we f ind it in connection with the tabernacle. I do not mean the tabernacle in the wilderness, but the tabernacle that too k its place in the tent that David built in Palestine, and we find instruments of music employed in connection with that;
and then in connection with the temple, and in that house of God there were wonderful demonstrations of the Divine Presence and of the Divine approval, and yet
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there were instruments of music employed in that service in praising and blessing and thanking God.
Coming down to the re-building of the temple and the reconstruction of the City, there it is again, and even the walls of the rebuilt Jerusalem were dedicated in connectio n with instru =ments of m usic in thanking and praising God, and on down into the days of Our Saviour and of his Ap ostles. My dear friends, just come with me for a moment and let us go into that Temple. There is the Master, and he is surrounded by a company of his- disciples. There were these instruments of music being used in praising and worshiping and thanking the Almighty. Did the Saviour arise and plait together some thongs, and drive the users of those instruments out of that Temple? Did he sa y it is wrong,—"It is written that my Father's house shall be a house of prayer, and ye have made it a house of players on instruments"? He was there, and his Apostles were there , and not on ly before the day of Pentecost but afterwards Peter and John were going up into the Temple at the ninth hour of the day, and there were these instruments of music, and that these men went up there to participate in those devotions where these instruments were being used, it seems to me, does not admit of reasonable doubt, and yet, notwithstanding the fact that the Saviour was there in his life time, and notwithstanding the fact that the Apostles frequented that Temple and participated in those thanks and adoration and praise, yet not one line or one word or one sentence ever fell from Apostle, Prophet or Christ in condemnation of that practice. - I imagine, had my Brother been there, he would have taken John and Peter aside and said, "Brethren, don't you know they are using instruments of music up there in the service? Now, I cannot conscientio usly do that. I cannot even conscientiously go into a house where it is being done." I have an idea he would have done something like that if he had the courage to do it, and
OTEY-BRINEY DEBATE. 45
he is a courageous man; bu t no one either by word or deed expressed any disapprobation in regard to that matter, and they are there, and the praises of Jehovah are ascending and being accompanied by those instruments of various kinds, and these men give by their presence and participation in the service, indorsement to the use of those instruments; and I claim that right there is authority, because not condemned, authority because these men by their presence approved. So that, not only has my friend not presented an y scripture that co ntravenes th is custom, but I have called your attention to facts, and I will pay attention more in detail to them further along—facts that sanction the use of instruments of music in the praise and worship of God. There was uttered no word of disapproval, and that continued on every glad occasion. Oh! what an occasion for song and hallelujah was that on the banks of the Red Sea when these people had just been emancipated, and in their joy they joined their voices together in singing and praising Jehovah, and accompanied their voices with those instruments. Then on the glad occasion of the bringing up of the A rk. That w as attended with singing and shouting and paeans of joy attended by the use of instrumental music. Then the erection of the Temple, and the reerection of the Temple, an d then the Saviour in the Temple, and then the Apostles g uided by the sp irit of the living God, in the Temple, engaging in these services where these instruments were being used.
Now I take an advance step on this subject, and say that the New Testament in words authorizes the use of instrumental music in connection with the singing that the New Testament approves, and this word is as much his as it is mine. It is there for either of us to see at any time, and I am going to make use of a few passages that I rather apprehend my friend claims belong to him; but they don't belong to him any more than they belong to me.
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"Speaking one to another in psalms and hymns and Spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord." Here are two words. One is psalms, and there is lexicographic authority and scriptural teaching that psalms were song accompanied by the use of instruments. What psalms are those? Evidently the psalms of David, the psalms of the Old Testam ent. If you want to know how they were rendered, let us go to the pe ople who made use of those psalms and see how they did it; and when we turn to those psalms written by David, guided, I suppose, by the spirit of the living God, we learn that they were accompanied by the harp which was an instrument of music. Of course, that will be developed more fully. And then there is another word, songs. The first word is psalmos, and the other is ode, which means a song, and I shall prove by lexicographic authority that both this word and psalm os allowed the use of instrumen tal music, and I shall show that in praising God in the ode they used instruments, and I shall show this from the New Testament. So I find here authority, both direct and implied, for the use of instrumental music in the worship of God, in songs and in praise and in thanksgiv ing and adoration. My dear friends, if a psalm could be sung by David m connection with an instrumental accompaniment, in the name of sense wh at principle cu ts it out under the new dispensation? And right here is room for my good friend to do some very close and careful and skillful work. We are told to sing these psalms. How am I to learn how to sing them. Did not the man who indited them and first sung them, know how to do it, and if he did it in a certain way, and I am not forbidden to do it in that way I am authorized to do it in that way, in that I am adm onished to sing psalms. I go to this Word, and I find out that psalms were sung, and how it was done, and I am admonished here to sing a psalm, and I am authorized to do just like the man who first indited and first employed
OTEY-BRINEY DEBATE. 47
psalms in the service of God. Again Christian people are permitted to prophesy; and I allege that we must learn how that is done from the Bible, and I learn from this sacred and inspired volume, that Prophets prophesied in connection with the use of instrum ents of music. I am just laying down general propositions in this speech. I will follow them later on with analysis, and with detail of argument and proof. Paul says you may all prophesy, and I go bac k to the prop hets of the O ld Testament, and I find them prophesying in connection with instruments of music. And I am authorized to sing a song, and to find out how to d o it I must learn how it was done by the prophets of old, and I find out that they did it in connection with instruments of music.
I now call your attention to some passages found in the Book of Revelation. First I refer to the 5th Cha pter, and the 8th and 8th verses. I will begin reading with the 7th verse. "And he came and he tak eth it out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne. And when he had taken the book, th e four bea sts and the fo ur and twenty elders fell down before the lamb, having every one of them a harp, and g olden vials f ull of incense which are the prayers of the saints, and they sing a new song"--that is the word ode I refe rred to a while ago. How are they singing this ode? How are they rendering this song? They are rendering it in connection with harps, that is, in connection with instruments of music. Now, says the Apostle, sing the [ode], and I turn over here and I find out that those who sang the ode did it in connection with the harp and other instruments of music, and thus God's approval rests upon it.
Again in the 14 ch apter: "And I looked, and, lo , a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him tan hundred, forty and four thousa nd, having his Father's name written in their foreheads.
2. "And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of
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many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder; and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps:
3. "And the y sung as it were a new son g before th e throne." A gain that word [ode], the song that Paul tells us to sing, and here were these people in connec tion with the ir adoration o f Jesus, in connection w ith praising the Lamb, singing this song in connection with instruments of music. Once more and finally, in the 15th chapter of this same book, the Book of Revelations: "And I saw an other sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels having th e seven last p lagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God.
2. "And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire; and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.
3. "And they sing the song of M oses" —There again is the word ode—"the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb." There it is, my friends, singing the song of Moses, because Moses was the type of Christ, singing the song of the Lamb, who was Christ. and they did that in connection with the use of harps and other instruments of music. Now, if we are authorized to sing psalms, and we find out that those who sang the same psalms did St, in connection with instruments of music, and if we are admonished to sing the ode! and we find out that those who san g the ode d id it in connection with instruments of music, and that God approved it, who shall say nay? It is a question of liberty in Christ Jesus the Lord. It is a question of a man's right, and of a church's right to do things that are approved, in such a way as n ot to violate anything taught on the same subject either there or elsewhere. Now, my friends, refe rring to the matter of baptism: I w ear waterproof overalls becau se it aids me, and there
OTEY-BRINEY DEBATE. 49
is nothing forbidding it that I have been able to f ind in the word of God. A man who canno t hear very we ll uses a trumpet. W hy? To aid h im in hearing, to aid his ear. A man who has lost his teeth may use artificial teeth in singing the praises of God, because they aid him in that. They help him to do the thing that he is authorized to do by the word of the living God, and being thus authorized to do it, it is not sinfu l, for it transgresses no law.
It is said in the word of God that God is love, and from my reading of his Word I believe it might as well be said that God is music.
Elder Daniel Sommer: The time is up. Elder Briney: And so is the speech.
W. W. Otey's Second Speech.
Gentlemen Moderators, Ladies and Gentlemen: In beginning the second session of o ur discussio n, I desire to say tha t I am deligh ted with the progress made, with one exception.
It becomes now my duty to remove what little rubbish my opponent may have been able last evening to pile upon the issue, and to clarify the water that was so little muddied.
In the first place I want to say that that part of the past discussion with which I am not pleased as referred to, was the wit and ridicule and stale humor th at was ind ulged in by my opponent on yesterday evening. I am sorry beyond expressio n that this has ta ken place so early in this debate, and I will say, furthermore, that the importance of this occasion is too great, the solemnity of the situation is too overpowering, for me to feel like either be ing mirthful or trying to ex cite your m irth. We are here on th is occasion in vestigating in the light of God's
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Word issues of such magnitude that they have rent asunder a body of believers in Christ numbering one and a quarter million of people, or more. It seems to me that it is an occasion that should overwhelm us with sadness an d sorrow and cause us to weep rather than anything else; and I earnestly appeal to my worthy opponent this afternoon, as a son might appeal to a father, let us not mar this occasion or the book that shall be printed by anything of this character. Let us elevate this discussion to that high and holy and grand and glorious plane upon which it ou ght to rest.
Now, in the first place, I w ish to say some reply was made to what I said with reference to the origin of the debate, and what propositions ought to have been d iscussed. I am satisfied with what was said on my part, and I pass that by.
The first thing I sha ll notice is this, the fact that h e has chan ged in his teachings and practice since the year 1869. This is shown by the article I read from his pen on yesterday evening, and he acknowledges it as his own, and admits that he has changed; not only changed, but absolutely reversed his position upon th e question now at issue. I graciously exonerated him from having changed through any impure or sordid motive, but I said surely he must hav e been change d by the Word of God, and I have asked him kindly and plainly and pointedly and repeatedly to turn to the passages in God's Word that wrought the change. We are waiting for the Scripture, and we ask again. I said we would not imply for a moment that anything but Scripture had wrought the change, so let us have the Scripture. B ut did you notice his reply to that? He said "I was then a bab y preacher," and implied that you couldn't expect anything more of him at that age. Be that as it may, but I have taken the argument word for word and letter for letter from a man whom he calls "the baby preacher," an d I give those arguments
OTEY-BRINEY DEBATE. 51
my indorsement, and I make them my ow n, and now I ask the man to refute the baby. Elder Briney has grown since then. He is a man of power today, a man of intellect, a logician of reputatio n that is as wide as the earth itself. He speaks in contempt, you might say, of the argument of the "baby preacher." T hen, it ought to be a very easy task indeed for a man of Elder Briney's power and logic to refute a "baby preacher." We ask that he refute him, and until he enters into that essay item by item, argument by argument, scripture by scripture, and shows wherein the reasoning is illogical, and the conclusions are unscriptura l, it stands and will stand. N ow let us h ave him re fute it. It has stood f orty years unrefuted: will it stand to the close of this week? We shall see. Now, you will reme mber that I drew the issue last night as clearly as I could, and defined the issue as being the issue of authority. By whose authority is instrumental music used in the worship? Then I asked a question, "Is it from heaven, or of men," and requested and demanded a categorical answer. And what has he done? As I understand, he has answered, and if I have misunderstood him, I am willing to be corrected, and if I be correct in memory, then we have a definite issue, and an opportunity for som e very close logical, scriptural, analytical, work, and that is just the kind of wo rk that I like to have.
Some months ago my opponent w rote me saying, "If you work w ith me in discussion, you will have to work in short harness." Now, how did he answer the question I asked him? He didn't give a catego rical answer at that time, bu t later, if my ears and th ose of oth ers heard him aright, he said that instrumental music is authorized in the New Testament Scripture. Now, we have something definite, something clear, an issue defined. Now, what do we want? We want the Scripture, or scriptures upon which he bases that affirmatio n, and then we will meet there and test the question. Here is an issue as clear as
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light, as close as it can be drawn; an issue o f authority, and he ha's affirmed, as I say, that it is used by Divine Authority, and therefore, has said it is from Heaven and not from men What was my first argument last night in proving that instruments of worship were opposed to the New Testament teaching and sinful? It was this, that it was a doctrine and commandment of men, and as such it transgressed the commandment of God ! and is sinfu l, and renders the worship of those who used it, vain worship. Now, right here there is a thought that presents itself. I am not assuming that an instrument of music is sinful in itself. Instrume ntal music in and of itself is all right, but the question to be decided here is, is instrumental music as used in connection with the Lord's Supper. opposed to New Testament teaching. and sinful, and that is what I am affirming. You will remember that I read the language of the Saviour in which he talked to the Jews. The Jews had taken the act of washing cups and pots, etc., and made it a religious observance. You will remember that I called attention to the fact that these things were all right in and of themselves, and furthe rmore I aff irmed it wo uld have been wrong to have neglected them in the private circle as acts of cleanliness, but I said when they did this as a religious obs ervance, it changed the whole matter, and Jesus said, "Why do you also transgress the commandment of God? But in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments o f men." (Matt. 15:3, 9.) Instrumental music in the worsh ip, "when ce is it? from heaven or of men'" Then I asked the question. How did my worthy opponent meet the question? Did he come to that Scripture and analyze it and show that it had another application than the one I made? Did he show that my reasoning was unsound or that my conclusion was false? If he did, I did not so understand it. You remember last evening that he told you what he had
OTEY-BRINEY DEBATE. 53
proved, and what I had not proved. That is no t my business. I am not going to tell you what I have proved, or what he has not proved. I am going to bring the Scripture and the argument, and you may judge. Whenever an individual begins to tell his audience what he has done and what his opponent has not done, I feel that it is because he is uneasy for fear the audience will not find it out without being told. I am willing to produce scriptures and adduce the argument, but I will leave the result with you. How did he treat that? He simply said, it is not a matter of dom estic aff airs at all, and brushed aside the sacred and solemn words of Jesus Christ with lightness and levity and ridicule. So I say that argument stands.
My next argument is this: The use of instrumental music in the worship is opposed to the New Testament law of expedience. I did not introduce any argument on that which I myself had originated. What did I do? I took the argument of "the baby preacher," arid for the time being rested my case on that. Did it stand? If there wa s any attempt to refute it, I heard it not. He brushed it aside by saying that that was written by a "baby preac her." Will the man refute the "baby preacher," and show wherein the "baby preacher" reasoned illogically, and reached wrong conclusion s, and that w ill suffice. When he defeats the "baby preacher,' it w ill be my defea t. for I am standing upon that argum ent. Now, I am coming to consider some other things. He said he had changed. He repudiates those things which he said forty years ago, but I will come closer to the present date. That he has changed. no one will deny, but he is still changing. I am coming closer home and I am going to read quotations from the Christian Companion that he published and edited in this city a few years ago: "We are fully satisfied tha t this (instrumental music) is a matter that belongs to the sphere of Christian liberty,
54 OTEY-BRINEY DEBATE. and that it is a trespass upon this liberty for anyone to unde rtake to abridge it.... "Here we rest the case from this point of view, and hold that the questio n is pure ly one of expediency.... "We now state that the New Testament by fair and logical implication, allows the u se of an ins trument in singing the praise of God. . "We understand that it might or might not be used;" that is you can use it or not. Now I come do wn close to our time, an d I am read ing under the date of November 5th, 1907. That is not forty years ago: "We beg leave to say that we do not defend the use of instruments of music in the worship of the Lord. We do not care a rap about it." Last night he said, "I do not care a snap a bout it." "Life is too short and other things too important for US to spend time in defending or opposing instrumental music in the wo rship."
"The New Testament is silent in regard to the use of instruments of music in the wo rship of God." Now here is February 4th , 1908 "T he use of instruments is an aid in singin g, and it is proper to use it."
Again under the same date: "We deny that God prescribed any music for worship in his church." I get these over the signature of my worthy opponent in this year.
Again in April, 1908: "We now deny that singing is an ordinance of divin e worship at all." "The brethren took to it of their ow n accord in the early part of the church of Ch rist." Again: "Christians without any command continued to use that method to praise their M aster."
Now come down to last night when he says: "I now take an advance step. The New Testament authorizes the use of instrumental music in the wor ship." If that is n ot changin g, I don't know what would be. "I have no settled practic e on this subject,"
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Now, in the name of all that s reasonable, when will the man have any settled practice if he has been going at this rate for the last ten months?
So we see that he says that he does not care "a rap about it," and then he sa ys "the New Testament is silent;" then he says "it is an aid ," and then that "it is pro per;" next "we deny that God has prescribed any music," that is, either vocal or instrumental If he has not, by whose authority do w e use it?
"We deny that singing is an ord inance of divin e worship at all." "The brethren took to it of their own accord." "God never commanded or authorized it, but the brethren took to it without any command at a ll." And he says, "I now take an advanced step and say that the New Testament auth orizes it." I have cut that out of a written discussion of his, conducted within the last ten months. Now, w e want to know where he stands this evening. He took an advance step last evening that I never saw taken before. Where will he be this evening?
Now, I will take Up some things that were introduced last evening. The most plausible thing that he referred to was Miriam and the timbrels, and then to David and the ha rp, and then to the disciples in the Temple, and finally to Revelation.
Now take up Miriam We find that when they crossed the Red Sea she took timbrels and went out and sang a song, and she used the timbrels. She sang and had an instrumental accompaniment. But let us see something else: "And Miriam . . . and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances." (Ex. 15:20.) Now, he reasons that because Miriam and those women used trimbrels with the psalm that we may use instrumental accompaniments, tile organ, the fiddle or the horn, around the Lord's Table on the Lord's Day. If he has proved that we may use instrumen tal music in connection with the Lord's Supper, he has proved also that we may dance
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around the Lord s table. He says that the prophetess used timbrels w ith her singing. All right. Does it not prove also that she danced? Then, we say he has violated that principle of logic which says, "that which proves too much proves nothing." Stand by all or nothing. Now if he has proved that because Miriam used timbrels in connection with the song, and that therefore we can use an instrument of any kind in connection with the Lord's Supper, he has proved that people can come to the Lord's Table and dance.
Now, what else do we find? In the second place, we find that he referred to David and Miriam, and justified his position by going back to the law. What does Paul say about the man who justifies his practice by the law? Turn to Galatians 5:1,3. H e says: "Stand f ast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage." What was that? Going back to the law, and he says in the 3rd verse, "For I testify ag ain to every man that is circum cised that he is a d ebtor to do the w hole law ."
"Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace." Now, he justifies to practice by the law. Paul says "Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever o f you are justified by the law ."
In the third place, what does he say? Whatever God at any time commanded in the worship cannot be sinful in the worship now. God once commanded instruments of music in the worship Therefore, instruments of music in the worship cannot be sinful now. That was his reasoning. In other words, he said it was justified, because, if not specifically forbidden, it could not be sinful now.
Here is the conclusion: Whatever God commanded in the worsh ip at any time cann ot be sinful in the worship now. God once commanded the burning of incense in the worship. Therefore, the burning of incense in the
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worship cannot be sinful now. They burnt incense under the law. Would you burn incense now? Has God said in so many words that you shall not bun, incense? H as God said in so many words that you sh all not pray to the Virgin Mary? Has God said in so many words you shall not go to the confessional? Has God said in so many words that you shall not p ray souls out of Purg atory? Oh, no . But we say that God's silence upon these questions is binding, and so God's silence upon the question of instrumental music is binding. That is the way we reason. I s it correct, is it goo d reasonin g, is it scriptural, is it logic al?
Now about Re velation. He went to Revelation, and what did he find? They sang the song of Moses and the Lamb: "And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vitals full of odo urs, wh ich are th e prayers o f saints." (Rev. 5 :8.)
He said the word that is here translated song, is the same w ord translated song In Ephesians 5:19, and that they sang th is song in heaven with harps, and therefore, we may sing songs in the church w ith instruments. If that prove s that we m ay use instrum ental music in the worship, it also proves that we may burn incense in connection with the Lord's Supper, for the same verse that sa ys they used harps, also says that they burned incense.
Suppose that where Elder Briney worships, some persons should come in on Lord's Day with howls of incense to burn in connection with the Lord's Supper, and some one should object and say it is wrong to burn incense in the church. Then my opponent could rush to their rescue and say, "They burned incense in connection with the song in heaven, and what God approves in heaven cannot be sinful to do in the church. Do you not see that if he ju stifies the use o f instrumen tal music from this scripture he also justifies the burning of incense in the worship? But
58 OTEY-BRINEY DEBATE.
if the harp ha d been m entioned b y name in this scripture would he have suspected their being a harp there? If the Holy Spirit had not used the specific word that is here translated "harp" w ould any man have suspected that they used the harp? In Ephesians there Is no word translated harp. Then, why suppose that there was any musical instrument there? This is an important question and we want a direct answer to it.
J. B. Briney's Second Reply.
Gentlemen Moderators, Ladies and Gentlemen: I shall take hold of that speech by the hot end, that is, where he left off, and pursue him on the back track.
First. If the harp had not been mentioned, who would have suspected that it had been there? My good Brother missed the point wholly that I aimed to make by referrin g to this passa ge. I did that to show that this Ode means a song that may be accompanied with an instrument, and that is my proof. There it is, and it is in Colossians, and in Ephesians. Sing the o de, the rough breathing is not there. I turn to Revelation and I find the ode is a song that may be sung to the accompaniment of an instrum ent. Who cannot see that point?
And he referred to incense. It expressly says there that the incense is the prayers of the Saints, That incense was a type or representation of the prayers of the saints. Do you find anything like tha t in regard to the music of the harp? He says that God did not say, do not pray to the Virgin Mary, or do not pray to get people out of Purgatory. May we do it now? If God ever authorized it we may. My argument that he was attempting to answer was that when God has authorized a thing, that may be done in the same line, unless it is forbidden. Did God ever
OTEY-BRINEY DEBATE. 59
authorize people to pray to the Virgin Mary? Did- he ever authorize people to pray people out of Purg atory? He's a thousand miles from the subject.
Now about Miriam. My good brother fell into the trap just as I expected he would. She went forth an d her sisters w ith timbrels and dances. Now my friend says if we may have instrumental music because the timbrels were there, then we m ay dan ce around the Lord's Table, because the dances were there. My good Brother, don't you know that the Hebrew people had a musical instrument they called the "dance." If you don't, read up on the subject. Get Smith's Bible dictionary and learn something about the dance. They went forth with timbrels and dances, that is, with timbrels, which were musical instruments, and with musical instruments called dances.
I don't know what my good brother would do if I hadn't written something on this subject. He has not touched the subject this afternoon at all. He has been bringing forward things that I said. How does his proposition read?
The use of instruments of music under certain circum stances is contrary to New Testament teaching, and sinful. That is the thing that he is under obligation to prove, or to try to prove, but he avoided as much of it as he possibly can. He aims to keep just as far from it a s it is possible for him to do. Is he afraid of his own proposition? Has he put some dynamite in it that he is afraid may go off?
Where is the New Testament Scripture that the use of an instrument of music in worship violates, and where is the teaching of the New Testament against which the use of an instrument arrays itself? I insist that my friend shall take his proposition in one hand, and his alleged proof in the other and bring them together. Le t him lay his prem ise in the New Testament Scripture, and connect his premise with his proof, and say, therefore the
60 OTEY-BRINEY DEBATE.
use of an instrument of music in the sense in which we are discussing the question, is contrary to New Testament teaching and sinfu l. That is his burden. He cannot do it, and he has to do something, and therefore he just plays all around the subject, but fails to get to it. You have listened patiently and carefully to this discussion so far, and I just want you to go to work in your own minds and see if you can find the passage or passages that he has adduced here out of the New Testament, that condemn the use of musical instruments in singing the praises of G od. You cannot do it for the simple reason that he has not enabled you to do it. He has given you no chance to perform that task, because he has not made an attempt to show any passage of Scripture that he is willing to lay down and say that the use of musical instruments contradicts o r transgresses it. He says he w ants close, short work. So do T. and we can have it right here. Give your passages. name them one by one, that relate to the use of musical instruments, and so relate to it as to condemn it and make it sinful. Then you will have argument. These people know what an argument is.
Well, has my friend attempted to show that singing is a divine ordinance of worship? He seems much more concerned about getting me to contradic t myself, than he is to try to sustain his own proposition. When he adduces a passage which he claims does make singing a divine ordinance in the worship of God, then I will pay respectful attention to it but I insist that he is off of the subject and out of reach of it in running all over creation an d ignoring the proposition that he is under obligation to try to prove. Now I insist that we shall have some close work here, and we shall have it whenever he adduces his passage or passages w hich he is willing to say the use of instruments in singing the praises of G od contrad icts. He has yielded the point of it being sinful in itself. He sa ys it is not sinful in itself. Then it is sinful because it transgresses
OTEY-BRINEY DEBATE. 61
some law. Well, where is the law? l hat ought to be easy to adduce if it exists. You can find the law of circumcision, and for the sacrifice, but where is the law tha t the use of m usical instruments in praising God transgresses? I have c alled for it, and I shall call again and again, and about the last thing I shall do in this debate will be to call for that law, and I am sure it w ill not b e bef ore u s at th at tim e. Now, he sa ys I don't care a rap about it. That is a fact.. I am wholly uninterested in it, hut when my brother con ies UP w ith his inference, and undertakes to force that On me as a standard of orthodoxy and faith, I object, and w ith all the force and power in my ardent nature. I refuse to be bound where Christ has left me free. ] say again that this is a que stion of liberty and a question of expediency. The matter of eating meat was a question of liberty and expediency. Whether it might he done depended upon circumstances and expediency. It was a matter of liberty, but Paul admonished his brethren that they should not use their liberty to the hurt of other people. A man may forego his privilege, and disregard his liberty, and make concessions to other people for the sake of harmony and peace.
My friend got among the cups and pots again this morning. Now the Saviour in that connection said, "Why do ye thus transgress the law of God?" T hen there was som e law on th at subject. Now 1 call again for the law concerning instruments of music. Where is the law that the use of instruments of music transgresses? And when he shows that law, we shall have something in the nature of argument from a logical point of view, but not until then. My friend says w hen L do certain things we shall have a clear issu e. We started w ith a clear issue, and that clear issue requires you to prove your proposition. That is clear enough. The proposition don't require me to do anything hut follow him and notice what he adduces under the name of argument. :l hat is all I am under
62 OTEY-BRINEY DEBATE.
obligation to do. I may go beyond that, if I p lease, as I did la st night, but the burden of proof is on him, and he drew his own proposition, and if he didn't draw a propositio n that presen ts a clear issue, what was he about? Was he aiming to draw a pro position that w ould not present a clear issue? My friend is interested in my welfare, and I sincerely appreciate that very much, and he wants to know why I changed. I changed because I found out I had been w rong. Tha t is why I changed, and I congratulate myself on b eing in splendid company about that. Peter changed his mind about going to the Gentiles and preaching the Gospel to them. Paul changed his mind in regard to the whole scheme of justification. God changed his mind in regard to Nineveh. I say further, that just such speeches as my brother has been delivering h ere were potent factors in bringing about my change. When I came to look at the matter caref ully and dispas sionately, I saw th at the argum ents in support of the theory my friend is advocating were absolutely void from a logical poin t of view. I h ad taken them up without question and planted myself upon them, but when I came to carefully weigh the matter, I saw there was nothing to them from the standpoint of logic and argumentation, and therefore, I changed, and I am ready to do it again whenever I see that I am wrong, and will do it whenever he brings some Scripture that the use of musical instruments contradicts. Whenever he does that I will change, and I am not afraid of being called a turn-coat either. As Bro. Franklin said, if I were to go out to supper with my coat wrongside-out, and somebody called my attention to it, I would turn it, and I wouldn't care whether they called me a turncoat or not. My friend referred to what he termed stale wit and humour. Now, my good broth er, I am here to show th e futility of your argument, and if in doing that they appear ridiculous and some people laugh, I have no strings on the mouths of people. I deny that I went below the plane of
OTEY-BRINEY DEBATE. 63
high-minded, honorable discussion, as between brethren I am aging to keep in good humour all the way through. There is just a little vein of humour that bubbles through m e, and I have never taken pains to throttle or destro y it. I am not conducting a funeral. There is none on my side. If he has one on his side, he can conduct it as it pleases him. I am not in the funeral business.
Then he said he w as going to remove the rubbish . What rub bish is he going to remove? The Scriptures fro m fifteen hundre d years before Christ, on down and through his day and the days of the Apostles, and the primitive Disciples. I have quo ted Scripture running a ll through that period to show th at the use ' of in struments o f music in praising God is from God, and he calls that rubbish.
Now I laid down some propositions last night with the promise that I would endeavor to make them good in due time. Now, there are two words used in these passages from Ephesians and Colossians, around which this controversy of course must revolve' from a scriptural point of view. They are the word psalo, in the verb form, or psalmos in the noun form, and the word ode. These two words mean different kinds of songs or hymns. What do these words mean, and how are you to find an answer to that question? Of course we must go to the learned scholars, to men who have studied these subjects and written books upon them, and find out what these words mean as used in the New Testament Scriptures.
I want to call your attention now . first of all' to what the distinguished author of Thayers' Greek-English lexicon has to say upon this subject. Under the word, "humnos, psalmos, o de: Ode is the generic term; psalmos and humnos are specific, the former designating a song which took its general character from the old Testament psalms '(although not restricted to them, See 1. Cor. XIV . 15, 26), the latter a song of praise " Now here is a quotation from Bishop Lightfoot. one of the greatest scholars that mode rn
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times have produced, and which met with the approval of Thayer himself, of course, bec ause he en ters no objection to it: "While the leading idea of psalmos is a musical accompaniment, and that of humnos, praise to God, ode is the general word for song, whether accompanied or unaccompanied, whether of praise, or on any other subject. Thus it was quite possible for the same song to be at once, psalmos, humnos and ode."
Now here these great scholars tell us that psalm os especially suggests the idea of song accompanied by an instrum ent, and that ode indicates a song that may be sung either with or without instrument, and these two kinds of songs may be sung in the connection in which they are named. I shall have something more to say about that if my brother plants himself on the ground that singing is an ordinance of worship. Now I am going to call your attention to what some of the greatest exegetes, interpreters of the Word of God, who ever wrote, have to say on this subject. Commenting on this passage from Ephesians the Expositors Bible says: " 'Singing and playing', says the apostle. For music aided song; voice and instrument blended in His praise whose glory claims the tribu te of all creatu res. But it was 'with the heart', even more than with voice or tuneful strings, that melody was made. For this inward music th e Lord listens."
So in the interpretation of that passage this scholarly work says that playing is implied, playing upon a musical instrument.
And who more properly would come next than the celebrated and disinguished Dr. McKnight. He says that "psalms and hymns and spiritual songs are poems which were composed to be sung, accompanied with a Iyre or othe r musical instrum ent." Psalmos, one of the words used he re, and ode, another,
OTEY-BRINEY DEBATE. 65
this scholar tells us, indicate songs that may be sung to the accompaniment of an instrument, and that this is the idea of this passage. Who is going to say that this distinguished man and this distinguished work e rr in this matter?
When I say that Dean Alford was one of the greatest scholars and exegetes that England ever produced, I se' what every competent Judge knows to be the fact. Commenting on this passage this distinguished scholar and textual critic says: "Singing and playing (as well as speaking, not explanatory of it Singing and playing corresponding to hymns and psalms above)." So says that great scholar.
Now, my dear brethren, if on any disputed Greek word, we feel authorized to go to the scholars, to the lexicographers, who have studied these questions out, and who are as familiar with them as my brother and I are w ith our A. B . C.'s, if that is the source of appea l in regard to the meaning of words generally, why not in regard to these particular words? And when we make this appeal the a nswer co mes in clear and ringing tones that these words mean songs that may be sung with instrumental accompaniment,—"teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart unto the Lord." Singing and psaloing. I want my friend to make the distinction. Sing and do something else, and that something else indicated by the word psalo, the w ord from which psalm comes. Singing and psaloing, or m aking melody in your heart u nto the Lord. There are two things. It is not singing or psaloing, but singing and psaloing. Our word and is suggestive of the word add. It implies an addition, that is, the essential thought is that you are singing and adding something to it, and that something is indicated by the word psalo. Now, my friend I think m issed the po int in regard to
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my allusions to the Old Testament Scriptures, and I want to refresh his mind on this with my argument on that point. It is this: We find that God approved the use of instru ments of m usic in the praise tha t people rendered to him from the b eginning o f the career o f the Israelites in their wilderness life, on dow n. We find it in connection with the removal of the A rk. We find it in connection with the building and dedication of the Temple, and in connection with the re-building and re-dedication of the Temple. We fin d it in connection with the building and the dedicating of the walls of Jerusalem, under the sanction of God, and then we come on down and find it under the sanction of our Saviour.
Now, what did my brothe r do with th at? He d id not even allude to it. There is something that has been going on for fifteen hundred years under the approval of God and receiving the sanction of God's Son. He is in the Tem ple where it is, and not a frown or w ord of disa pproval. W. W. Otey's Third Speech.
Gentlemen Moderators, Ladies and Gentlemen: I am sure you will rejoice with me in the improved tone of the discussion, for which I am thankful, and from which I tak e courage . I am going, God willing, to publish this discussion by the thousand, and I should very much regret that it should contain anything that is not of a high tone Christian character
Now, I am going to begin and notice just a few thin gs where he quit off, and I am going to notice nearly everything he said, but I may lay over some things u ntil later.
One of the last things he said was th at Jesus sanctioned instruments of music in the Temple. Very well, let us admit that he did. Did he not sanction the burning of
OTEY-BRINEY DEBATE. 67
incense, and the bu rning of b odies of an imals as w ell? That was under the law, and whatever was under the law, the Son of God sanctioned. Now, I am not going to tell you what I have proved, or what he has not proved. I w ill let you decide tha t your selves. Now he referred to what he said was psaloing. He said it is to sing and add something. Very good. What was added? He says psaloing. Very well. He says that psaloing means making melody, and correctly so. Well, then this psaloing is correctly translated "making melody." He says it must be done with an instrument. Now let us find where the melody was to be made, and -then we will find the instrument to be used. Where do you make the melody? "Making melody in your hearts." Is not that clear enough? Elder Briney says that we must sing and do something else, and that that something else is psaloing. What is the correct translation of psaloing? He says- making melody. He says it was making melody on an instrument. Let us grant it, but let us find where the melody was to be made and we will find what the instrument was. We find it was "making melody in your hearts." I have taken his definition, and taken his application, I have taken the melody as made by an instrument and located that instrument in your hearts. The heart, then, is the instrument to be used in psaloing. T hat is all that it is necessa ry to say in reply to that long speech he made from the lexicons.
God says to do som ething. What is it? Sing, make melody. Now then, if there is a musical instrument required, an organ or a harp or a fiddle, we must have it. This is specific. There is no may be or perhaps about it. God commands something specific. If it is to sing, let us sing. If it is to play an instrument, then let us play it. God says to do something. What is it? Is it to "sing an`: make melod y in your heart " or "sing and play? " Let him state positively.
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I now proceed to examine some other things along this line, and the first thing to which I want to call your atten tion is this. You know he said I had slipped up on the dance. Have you noticed how little he could get hold of on anything I said, and how few slips he says I have made? He says that a dance was a musical instrument. Let the word of the Lord def ine that. Turn to 2 Samuel, 6: "David danced before the Lord with all his might." What did David do? He danced.
Elder Briney said a while ag o that I missed the point w ith reference to Miriam. He says that whatever God commanded at any time and has not forbidden, is right to use now. Therefore, God commanded the use of instrumental music under the law, and has not spe cifically forbidden it, therefore it is right to use it now. Do you remember that I spoke of the incense? God commanded it under the law. Now, find the Scripture where God has specifically for bidden inc ense in the w orship now, and you will find where He has forbidden the use of musical instruments. In the same chapter where God forbids the incense, and says you shall not burn incen se, he says you sha ll not use instruments. Everything under the law that was not repeated under the Gospel of the Lord and Saviour was rejecte d. He says, and insists that I must bring the sp ecific Scripture that instrumental music in the worship transgresses . Did I not bring Matthew 15, and Mark 7? Did I not give you the interpretation of Jesus as to wha t constitutes tran sgression? Did not Jesus sa y to the Jews that when they washed their hands, cups and pots as a religious observance that it transgressed the commandments of God? He asks, "what Commandments"? Ah if only my those Pharisees had had my worthy opponent to demand of the Saviour, "Where is the command that it transgresses?" It transgressed them all, and rende red all their worship v ain. That is w hat Jesus said. He said
OTEY-BRINEY DEBATE. 69
that to make the washing of hands a religious observance, made all their worship vain.
He says I yielded the point that instrumental music was sinful in itself. I never yielded it, as I never held that it was sinful in itself. Therefore, I could not have yielded it, and I want to call your attention to that at this time.
You remember that my second argument last evening was that the use of instrumental music in the worship is opposed to the New Testament law of expediency. Now, he demands that I bring the Scripture that instrumental music transgresses. I will read what the Apostle Paul says on exp ediency, I Cor. 6:12 and 13: "All things a re lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them." Again in I Cor. 8: 12 and I3: "But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ. Wherefore, if meat make my brother to off end, I will eat no flesh wh ile the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offe nd."
I read again, I Cor. 11:32 and 33: "Give none offense, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God: Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved." N ow, here is the law of expedien cy as laid down by Paul, and to what does Paul apply it? Before we can know whether or not the use of instrumental music is opposed to the law of expediency and transgresses it, we must know what the law of expediency is, and to what Paul applied it. First, Paul applies it to things named in the law o f Christ. Sec ond, he ap plies the wo rd expedient to individual, personal, private privilege s, like eating m eat. Third, before a thing can be expedient it must edify. Fourth, if a nything of a p rivate nature or character offends, it is not expedient. Now the fourth characteristic
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must necessarily be present before anything can be exped ient. First, it must be named in the Law of Christ; se cond, it must be an individual, personal, private privilege. Third, it must edify. Fourth, it must not offend.
Now, does instrumental music violate the law of expediency on any one of these four points? If so, we have found the Scriptures that the use of instrumental music in the worship transgresses.
Now, let us see: Paul applies the w ord expedient to thing s lawful, things men tioned in the law of C hrist.
The organ, the horn and the fiddle are not lawful, because not mentioned in the law of Christ.
Second, Paul applies the word expedient to individu al, personal, private, liberties, like eating meat.
Now the second point of comparison: instrumenta l music is no t a personal, private, individ ual liberty, but it is a public act of worship in connection with the sacred and solemn institution of the Lord's Supper. Third, before a thing can be expedient, it must edify. Instrumental music cannot edif y.
Fourth, before anything can be expedient it must not give offense to the weak brother. Instrumental music has offended thousands and thousands of peop le, and divide d the body of Christ.
Paul applies the w ord expedient to things lawful, things mentioned in the law of Christ. Paul applies the word expedient to individua l, personal, private liberties. Third, before a thing can be expedient, it must edify. Fourth if it does all these things, yet if it offends one weak brother, it is not e xpedient.
I. Instrumental music is not lawful because it is not men tioned in the law of Christ.
2. It is not an ind ividual, p ersonal, p rivate liberty.
3. It has no t the power to edify.
4. It offends brethren in Christ Now I claim that instrumental m usic violates and trans
OTEY- BRINEY DEBATE. 71
gresses the law of expediency on those four points. Let us join issues on this point and fight it out. I am willing to rest the whole case here. He says that it helps; that it aids the singing. Let us se e if instrumental music does aid in obeying that commandment. Before we can know th at, we must know clearly what are the purp oses and o bjects that God has in view to accomplish by singing? What does God wish to do for us or for Himself by the singing? We must have a clear understanding on that point before we can know whether instrumental music aids or not.
Paul says: "I will sing w ith spirit and understanding.' (I Cor. 14: 15. ) Then he says, "Teach and admonish one another." (Col. 3: 16.) Then again, "making melody in your heart to the Lord." (Eph. 5 : 19.) So there are five objects that God wants to accomplish by the singing. What are they?
1. To teach.
2. To admonish.
3. To do it w ith spirit.
4. With the understanding.
5. Make melody in the heart to the Lord.
Now, I will say I was under no obligation to leave the true issue, and meet him on his own ground. He says that it is an aid. That is not the true issue b etween u s. But I will deny that it is an aid, and risk the whole question on that point.
What does God want to accomplish by singing? First, teach; second, admonish; third, with the understanding: fourth, with the sp irit; fifth, make melody in your heart to the Lord. Let us see if instrumental music can help o r aid in doing this. Can instrumental music aid in teaching your brothers? Mere sound tends to obscure the meaning of the words sung. Hence it cannot help to teach. Can mere sound aid in admonishing? You know it is an utter impossibility, and it hinders admonishing.
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Can instrumental music, mere sound, enlighten the understanding? Let him affirm it and prove it if he can. I say it can not.
Can the sound of an instrument aid the spirit to be more d evout? You know it is impossible.
Can an instrument of music aid in making melody in your heart to the L ord? You know it is an u tter irnpossibility.
Then I leave the question with you, friends, on that point for you to say whether the sound of an instrument can aid in doing any of the five things that God wants to do by singing.
Now, the question arises, if an instrument of music c annot, in the very nature of things, aid in doing the five things, or accomplishing the five objects that G od wants to accomplish in singing, how, and in what way, may it and does it aid? I w ill tell you: It aids the sound of the instrument to please the fleshly sense of hearing, and that is all it can do. Now, my friends, if we may add an instrument of sound to the singing to please and satisfy and gratify the fleshly sense of hearing, can it not be said with equal force that we may add bread and the flesh of animals to the loaf, and the fruit of the vine to aid these in satisfying the fleshly senses of taste. Let him answer who can. I say then, that if we are at liberty to add a mere instrument of sound to the solemn songs of Jehovah to gratify the fleshly sense of hearing at the Lord's Table, on the same principle we may add common bread, and the flesh of animals to satisfy the fleshly sen se of taste. B ut we learn that the worship of Jehovah is not for the flesh, but for the spirit, is not to gratify and satisfy the flesh, sense of hearing or the fleshly sense of taste, but to edify and strengthen and build up the spirit of man, and to honor and glorify God. When we realize this sacred and solemn truth taugh t in God's word, that worship in all things is to strengthen and nourish the spirit of man, and
OTEY-BRINEY DEBATE. 73
to glorify God rather than to amuse and to entertain an appeal to the fleshly and sensuous nature of man—I say, when we learn this grand and important lesson, we will no long er mix the tra ditions of m an with the mandates of God , but in faith an d reverence and hum ility we will bow to the Throne of Heaven and do only the things that God has required.
Now, here is an issue. He says it helps. Does it help or aid in doing what God wants done? Or does it aid m pleasing the flesh only? That is the point we w ant to consider. I will say to you, my friends, that if you would express the inmost thoughts of your hearts you would say that the first and last thou ght in using instrumental music in the worship is to gratify the flesh. We know that the introduction of instrumental music is not to teach, nor to admonish, nor to enlighten the understanding, nor to aid the spirit, nor to make melody in the heart to God. but it is to please our fleshly sense of hearing, and to attract the giddy and the va in of the w orld. In the language of one w ho wrote clearly and powerfully in a document that I shall read this evening, you will see that the worship of the L ord's house is not intended fo r the world.
Now, I desire to introduce my third argument. The use of instruments of music in the worship violates the law of Christian liberty, and is opposed to the New Testament teaching, and is sinful. Here I will make another clear issue, that the use of instrumental music in the worship is opposed to the New Testament law of liberty, and, therefore sinful. Now, that word "liberty" has been mot c abused than almost any other w ord in th e language. What doe s liberty me an.? I am going to give you some information on that subject from Paul's letter to the Galatians, and then I w ill sum it up. Turn to Galatians 3: 3 and 13: "Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, -are ye now made perfect by the flesh?"
13. "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the
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law, being ma de a curse f or us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth o n a tree :"
Now in Galatians 4: 3, 4, 5, 9, 10, we read as follows:
3. "Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world:
4. "But when the fulness o f the time w as come, G od sent fo rth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
5. "To redeem them that were UNDER the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
9. "But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the w eak and b eggarly eleme nts, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage.
10. "Ye obser ve days, and months, and times, a nd years." Now Chapter 5:1 to 4:
1. "Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
2. "Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.
3. "For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.
4. "Christ is become of no effect unto you, w hosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.
14. "For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty: only use not liberty for a n occasion to th e flesh, b ut by love serve one another." Then Paul says in 2 Cor. 3:17: "Now the Lord is that spirit: and where the spirit o f the Lord is, the re is liberty."
Now we have liberty mentioned in contrast to bondage. What was that bondage? T here was a two-fold bondage, a bondage-under the law, and a bondage to the flesh. What is liberty in the teaching of Ch rist? Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ has made you free. Where
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do you stand? In the church , in the Gospel, in Christ. T hen the word liberty is used in contrast to bondage. Liberty is not license to do as you please, but used in contrast with bondage under the law. In Christ, in the Gospel, in the church, is where we have liberty in contra st with bondage, and then Paul says, "Where the Spirit of th e Lord is, the re is liberty." Where is the spirit of the L ord? It is in the Gospel, in the body of Christ, in the Church. Liberty, then, is bounded by the limits of the church of Jesus Christ, by the Gospel. It is in the church, in the kingdom, and not license to do as you please. How does the use of instruments of music violate this law of liberty? By taking those who use it in the worship back into bondage The Apostle says, "Ye have been called to liberty; only use not libe rty for an occa sion to the flesh." (Gal. 5: 13.)
Now, if you bring the instruments of music in, to gratify the fleshly sense of hearing , you are in bon dage to the flesh. Then again, he says, if you justify yourselves by the law, "Ye hav e fallen from grace." (G al. 5:4.)
My worthy opponent has appealed to the law to justify himself, and Paul says he has "fallen from grace," has gone back into bondage, and that Christ has become of no effect to him.
Perhaps he will say he appeals to the Psalms of David, an d that is not law. If he wants to take that position, let him do so, and I will meet on it. I say he appeals to the law to justify the use of instruments in the worship, and Paul says if you justify yourselves by the law, you have fallen from grace, and Christ is of no effect. Therefore, you have gone into bondage to the law. On the o ther hand, if you use it to gratify the fleshly sense of hearing, you are in bondage to the flesh, for the A postle says, do not use "liberty for a n occasion to th e flesh." (Gal. 5: 13.) Prompted by either of these motives, you are in bondage to the flesh or to the law, and you have lost your liberty Are you in bondage to both the law and the flesh? Let
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us have this question met. Here is the Scripture that the use of an instrument of music in the worship transgresses. Here it is, unless he can refute the argument, unless he ca n define C hristian liberty so as to justify its use. If he ca n, please tell us how? Liberty is within the limits of the Gospel, not outside. Others extend liberty far enough to justify the burning of incense, and others to praying to the V irgin Mary, others to praying souls out of Purgatory, others to bring in this, that, and the other thing.
Now, if we are to determ ine the bou nds of C hristian liberty by the judgment of man, all are right, and every man can extend it just as far as he wants to. Then, by what rule of measurement are we to fix the bounds of Christian liberty, and where are we to stop? That is the question. Mark out the bounds, take your compass and run the line. Point out how much you may include under Christian liberty. What must we include, and what must we exclude? I say, you must exclude everything that God has not required or authorized in his word. J. B. Briney's Third Reply.
Gentlemen Moderators, L adies and Gentlemen.—If you will kindly give me your atten tion, I shall try to make this h alf hour seem as sho rt as possible.
My good Brother began his speech by congratulating himself and me, too, I suppose upon my improved tone. Now I just want to say that anybody who has had any experience with debaters and debating understands that is fol-de-rol. T hat is all it is, and ev ery sensible person knows how to estimate that kind of insinuation and innuendo. Talk about falling beneath the plane of honorable debate, and spitting out of his mouth innuendo and insinuations that have no foundation whatever in fact! "Physician , heal thyse lf."
OTEY-BRINEY DEBATE. 77
My good friend refers to burning incense, and offering sacrifices. Now, I wonder if he does not know that these things belonged to that arrangement that passed away? Can he find where an y Apostle ever sanctioned any of these things? I find where the Holy Spirit, through an Apostle, authorized the singing of songs that were accompanied by instruments of music. And what did he do with the scholarship of the world that I read here against him? Nothing under the heavens, but to wave his hand, and imply, "Avaunt ye, I am here." The scholarship of the World says that these words mean songs that may be sung with an instrument, and if they do the Spirit of the Lo rd is there, because those words were spoken by the inspiration of the Spirit of the Lord.
My good brother said that psalloing w as something in addition to singing, but he said, wh ere was it? "In the heart." Well, that is not in the throat. Have you any vocal cords in your heart? What is the idea? The idea is you are not to d o these things simply from a worldly point of view. My friends, a musician c an come just as nea r putting his heart into his instrument as my good brother ca n come to putting his heart into his throat. "Obey from the heart." That is, your heart must be in it. I had the good fortune once to hear that marvelou s violinist, Rem enyi, and you could just see that his heart was in his instrument, his soul was wrapped up in it, and it in his soul. That is the idea here, and we are to do it heartily, as unto the Lord. You are to do it with the idea of praising the Lord. My good brother says the only purpose it can serve is to please the fleshly ear. What a reflection tha t is upon D avid! Did David sing his psalm in co nnection w ith his harp, or whatever musical instrument it was, to plea se the sensu ous ear. W ho in this house will claim to occupy a higher plane of spirituality than David did? Who here will pretend to have more heart in doing things to praise God than that man who was after the Lord's own heart. You could do
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this and not say a word. You tan make melody m your he art to the Lord and not utter a syllable, and a good ma ny people have to do it, for there are those who cannot sing; but they can make melody in their hearts to the Lord. Well, a person that can sing, and make melody in his heart to the Lord, can play an instrument and make melody in his heart to the Lord. My Brother's singing comes out of his throat. In the matter of song, it says in the heart. It is not near the throat. Sometimes his has been near there, but it don't belong there. There is just as much difference between a heart and its emotions and the throat with its vocal as there is between an instrument and the vocal cords of the throat. Then he refers to Samuel, and says that David danced. I didn't understand him, but I don't think he took the position that in that Miriam passage the word means that kind of exercise, and not a musical instrument. How do I understand you on that? Do you deny that it was a musical instrument, and do you claim that it was the exercise of dancing, such as w e have, H e is as dumb as an oyster, and no wonder. He dare not take a position on that. That passage in Samuel says David danced. The other passage says the women took timbrels and dances, and any good authority will tell you those dances were musical instruments that they took along with them in connection with the timbrels. Then my friend goes to Matthew again, to where the Saviour says. "Ye do transgress the law of good with your tradition.'' The Saviour said that! and I do not think my good friend Otey, tall as he is, is quite as tall as Jesus from the standpoint of authority. He says an instrument of music transgresses the law of God. The Saviour never said so. No inspired A postle ever s aid so, no Prophet could ever have said it. Nobody ever said it but an uninspired man, who spoke not by authority on a question like this. He is to prove or try to prove that the use of musical instruments in the service, e tc., is contrary to New Testament teaching.
OTEY-BRINEY DEBATE. 79
Now, he does not claim any passage th at it directly violates. But he goes and gets several passages, and brings them together, and draws inferences, and they are his inferences. And I want to say that his inference is at variance with the teaching and understanding and scholarship of the best scholars of the world, in regard to the import of these passages.
Now let us take the one conce rning eating meat. The idea is you are not to do that which causes your brother to offend. The idea is not that you shall not do anything that an ybody might no t like—that is not the idea, but you must not do anything that will lead another to sin. Here is an animal that has been sacrificed to an idol, bought in the market place for people to eat. There were people who had weak consciences, and they supposed if you ate from the body of an animal sacrificed to- an idol, that you recognized the id ol and engaged in idolatry. Well, if I play an instrument and there by sin, I am responsible for that, but I do not tell anybody else to d o it. I am the only one. But I have called your attention to the fact that an inspired apostle, by using words that the scholarship of the world tells us indicates songs that may be sung with an instrument, justifies the doin g of that, and it is my liberty under that permission to engage in that; and that liberty I may forego if I choose so to do, b ut it is a libe rty.
Well, I believe that about covers what I have to say about these passages from Corinthians.
Now, he says a th ing to be expedient m ust be lawful. I have shown that it is lawful. I have shown from these passages, and backed up my poor opinion with the mountain like opinions of the world's best scholars, that tell me and you and him that the Holy Spirit there uses words that mean singing done to the accompaniment of an instrum ent, and that makes it lawful. tender that permission I may do it, but as it is a mere permission, and not an obligation, I
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may fore go it and sacrifice my liberty in the case for the sake of another.
"Sing with the spirit and with the understanding." That is psallo, my brother, which the scholars tell us means such singing as may be accompanied with an instrument, and I have just shown you now that can be done with the spirit, and how it can be done with the heart. You can tell the difference between a man who pla ys an instrume nt with his heart in it, and one who has not, just as you can tell the difference between one who sings with his heart, and one who has not his hea rt in it. You can tell the difference every time. My brother says that singing does not aid in teaching. Well, I think it does. He says it does not, and here we are. Singing, well enunciated and sustained by harmonious melody of the accompanying instruments, edifies me and aids in the matter of teaching me. It has a subduing effect upon me. It brings me more and more under the influence of the sentiment in the words thus spoken. The words of real force can reach my soul with add ed power, such as they would not have done without the accompaniment. You know, my friends, that music has a tam ing effect even upon wild animals. You can manage them better. It su bdues them. Just so in regard to the human spirit, and I imagine when David strung and tuned his harp, and sang those beautiful songs of praise in the presence of the people, that they felt the thrill of the sentiments of the words much more keenly on account of the accompanying instrument. If not, why was the instrument used? I again ask my brother to say whether David was a sensuous man, and whether he used his harp to appeal to the physical senses and the sensuousness of the Lords' ear? Was he moving on that low plane, or moving on a lofty plane of a high degree of spirituality and used his instrument to help convey the sentiment and ideas and thoughts of the words he uttered into the hearts and minds and lives of those wh o heard him? Which was it?
OTEY-BRINEY DEBATE. 81
He says it is done to attract the giddy and th e gay. Well, if he w ants to become a judge of his brethren , all right. I am w illing, my brother, to face you in judgment on that. Who is this that says, "Sta nd ye apart, sensuous, fleshy, worldly?" I wonder if David, in these grand , heartinspiring, soul-uplifting psalms, in which he approached God, and on the bosom of whose music he bore the people up to the very throne, I wonder if he was appealing to the gay and th e giddy, and the worldly and the frivolous. My brother Otey says that it's all an instrument of music can do. David used an instrument of music. Therefore, that is what David was doing!
Now, I want to say that pretty much all that the apostle has to say in regard to being in bondage to the law has reference to the law of circumcision. That u as a bone of contention among the early disciples. They never contended about instruments of music, because it had not dawned upon anybody's mind then that instruments of music could not be used in praising God . That was not the question. Wh y was it not a question? Circumcision was a question. The eating of meat sacrificed to idols was a question. But there was no question am ong them in regard to the use of instruments of music. simply because it had been ordained of God and continued on down to the time of the destruction of the temple, and while he correctly says the Saviour lived under the law, the apostles didn't live under the law after the law passed aw ay, and they went into the temple and participated in the exercise just as the Saviour did before his death, and after the new covenant was established, and the new order came in. And not one word of disapproval, not a word of censure, not a question raised as to the legitimacy of this music. Not a w ord. It remain ed for after ages and uninspired men to coin out of their own minds some opinions- and draw some inferences, a nd try to erect them as a standard of orthodoxy, and make them a bond of union and communion
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among the people of God. It was not done in the days of the apostles. Peter and John were go ing up in the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour of the day, about 3 o'clock. There were these exercises and instrumental music, and these men were going up there and participating. Why did the y go at that hour' To engage in the services of that hour in the prayers and praises. And incense and offerings gave way to the things that the y typified. I c all my brother's attention to--the fact that incense was but a shadow of something to come and the substance came in and displaced the shadow. What displaced the music? By taking the individual back under the law, you destroy human liberty, that is, in regard to circumcision. That is what Paul was talking about. The Jews were insisting that the Gentiles should be circumcised, and nobody could be saved under the gospel unless he was circumcised. That is what Paul calls enslaving the people, taking them back under that law of circumcision, which was temporary, and of which it was expressly said it wag removed and taken away. Where is that said in regard to the use of an instrument in praising God?
Now, my friends , I want to take up my own line of argument. You know I said there are two meth ods of m eeting an af firmative arg ument. One is to show that the argument adduced does. not sustain the proposition; the other is to e stablish a contrary proposition. I have contended, and still maintain, that that contrary proposition rests upon premises plain ly laid in Scripture. And I want to say to you that instrumental music is in the Church of Jesus Christ by prop hecy, and I want to call your attention to the 45th Psalm which, by common consen t,- is Messianic psalm, a psalm contemplating the coming of Christ, and the establishing of his kingdom and the praise of that kingdom:
"Thy throne, O Go d. is forever and ever: A scepter of equity is the scepter of thy kingdom.
OTEY-BRINEY DEBATE. 83
Thou hast loved righ teousness, and hated w ickedness: Therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee With the oil of g ladness above thy fellows. All thy garme nts smell of m yrrh, and aloes, a nd cassia; Out of ivory pala ces stringed instruments have made thee gla d." You would judge from my good brother's speec hes that they make him very mad. Bu t here is a ma n speakin g by the spirit of divine inspiration, looking forward to the coming of the Messiah and the establishing of his kingdom, and praise and worship of the Lord. in and through that kingdom. and he says, "Stringed instruments hath made me glad." A prophecy is often presented in the past tense.
Then turn to the letter to the Hebrews, and you will find Paul applying this psalm to Jesus in his kingdom. Of the psalm he says, "Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever." This is. spoken of the Son's kingdom, and the prophet is look ing forward to that and contemplating it as a living reality. He says, "Stringed instruments have made me glad." I am reading, from the revised version of the Scriptures. Now, I want to call your attention' to the eighty-seventh psalm, where we have language of very similar import. To get the connection I will read the entire psalm . It is short.
"His foundation is in the holy mountains.
Jehovah loveth the gates of Zion
More than all the dwellings of Jacob.
Glorious things are spoken of thee,
O, City of God.
I will make mention of Rahab and Babylon as among them that
Behold, Philistia, and Tyre, with Ethiopia:
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This one was born there.
Yea, of Zion it shall be said, this one and that one w as born in her;
And the Most High himself w ill establish her.
Jehovah will count, when he writeth up the peoples.
This one was born there.
They that s ing as well as th ey that dance sh all say,
All my fo untains are in the e."
Now, in the margin we have this reading: "Or the p layers on instruments shall be there." That is the rendering, I believe, of the old version, and it is given in the marg in as the equivalent of the other. Here we have two distinct prophecies looking forward to the Messiah and His kingdom, and these prophecies put the praise of Jehovah as accompanied with instruments in that kingdom. It is there by the authority o f prophecy.
Then when w e come to examine it from the standpoint of history, and see the instructions that the inspired men of God have given on the subject, we find their instructions according with those prophecies. Now, just a word in conclusion on that passage in Ephesians touching admonishing one another. My friend and I are discussing singing from the standpoin t of worsh ip. This is not worship. If so, they would worship one another: "Teaching and admonishing one an other." It is teaching and admonition, not worship. Teaching and admonition addressed by the brethren one to another, and not w orship add ressed to God. Is not that just as plain as anything can possibly be made? Teaching and admonishing one another and not worshiping God. And do this in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, using the two words to which I referred in my former speech, which scholars say indicated singing to the accom paniment of an instrument. Now, unless my brother can come up and meet these scholars and say, gentlemen, you are all wrong and I am
OTEY-BRINEY DEBATE. 85
right about this—you university men, you men whose praises are sung around the world on account of your scholarship, you men who understand the Greek language to which these words belong, you men who have studied these matters through and through, you are mistaken in that matter, an d I, W. W. Otey, of Lynn, In diana, am right.
W. W. Otey's Fourth Speech.
Gentlemen Moderators, Ladies and Gentlemen:—I shall not waste your time by any preliminary remarks, but will enter at once upon the discussion now before us, and it is necessary first to reply to some things that my worthy opponent has said. You remember that he said I had tried to make him "contradict" himself. I b eg leave to say in kindness, that I did not try to make him contradict h imself. I wo uld not try to make any man do that. I simply read some statements made over his own signature w ithin ten months of the present time, and, you can decide whether or not he has contradicted himself. November 7th, 1907, he says: "We beg leave to say we do not defend the use of instrumental music in the worship."
Under the same date he says, "we do not care a rap abo ut it." Further on he says, "the New Testament is silent in regard to instrumental music in the worship," and under date of February 4th, he says, "the use of instruments is an aid in singing ," and 'fit is proper to use them."
Then under the same date he says, "W e deny that God has prescribed any music for the wo rship of his churches." Under date of April, 1908 he says, "We now deny that singing is an ordinance of divine w orship a t all."
Under the same da te he says, "The Brethren to ok to it
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of their own accord." "Christians, without any command, continue d to use that method to exp ress their devotions."
On yesterday evening, September 14TH, 1908, he says: "I now take an advanced step. The New Testament authorize s the use of instrumen ts of music.''
He then says, "I have no settled practice on the sub ject." You w ill remember that he introduced Miriam a nd her timb rels in order to prove that we should have instrumental music in the worship now. I read Exodus 15:18, and found, "dancing," there as well as timbrels. You remember in his last speech he took that matter up, and said my opinion was held up against the scholarship of the world, and that I had been "trappe d.' Now, I b eg leave to s ay this, that there was a time when a part of the scholarship of the w orld said that the Hebrew word translated dance, did mean a musical instrument, but now the scholarship of the wo rld says it means to dance, a motion o f the body. Furthermore, more than one hundred American revise rs of our B ible have translated tha t word in its noun form , and in eve ry instance it is translated to mean to dance. Now, who is against the scholarship of the world? and who is "trapped"?
That brings us to the next matter of importance, and that is the word psallo in the Ephesian letter. You will remember that my opponent has introduced that several times. I permitted it to pass because the time was not yet ripe to reply. I waited until all his arguments were introduced. You remember, also, that his first authority introduced on that word was T hayer. Now we will read from Th ayer. It is not fair to take only a part of what any witness says, and suppress the balance.
The quotation made from Bishop Lig htfoot in Thayer's Lexicon, to which he has referred, does not occur where Thayer is giving the distinction between the classical meaning of psallo and its New Testament meaning, nor was it given by Bishop L ightfoot him self in that connection, but
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it is a simple statement of the difference of meaning in these words as used in history. But when Thayer comes to state the difference between the classical and the New Testament meaning, he distinctly declares that, while in classic Greek it meant to p lay on an instrum ent of mu sic in the New Testament, it means to "sing the praises of I will remind the gentlem an, if he has forgotten it, tha t Liddell & Scott is not a Greek Lexicon of the N ew Testament, but a classic Greek Lexicon. We accept what it says on baptize, bec ause baptize in the New Testament means to dip or immerse, just as it mea nt in all classic Greek. That is, the meaning of the word never changed. But psallo d id change in meaning; and hence, Thayer, in his Lexicon, which is a New Testament Lexicon, gives both meanings-the classical meaning and the New Testament meaning; and in defining p sallo, which is the word under which he gives the difference between the classical and the New Testament meaning, he gives its classical meaning to be to play an instrument of music, but he then adds that, "in the New Testament, it means to sing, to celeb rate the p raises of God in song."
Now I will read from Thayer. He says in the notes, "Sing a hymn, celebrate the praises of God in song." Now. my friends, in all kindness, but honestly, I ask you, and I ask my opponent here, why did he suppress Thayer's New Testament meaning of psallo? I ask you, is it fair, is it right? Does truth need that kind of work? Why did he not give you what Thayer had said as to its New Testament meaning. Our controversy is not as to the meaning of the Greek word psallo as found in classical Greek or in history, but as to the meaning of that word as found in the New Testament, and yet when my opponent comes h ere with Thayer as his autho rity to define to you the meaning of the word in the New Testament, he suppresses that definition and gives the definition of the word as found
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In classical Greek and in history. I leave that with you. Were I disposed, I could say more on it but I w ill not at presen t.
Now there are som e other ma tters that I wan t to attend to ne xt. You remember that he went to the 45TH psalm to prove by prophecy that instrume nts of music should be used in the worship now. Do we need to go to prophecy to prove a commandment under Jesus Christ? Is it possible that the commandments of Jesus are so indef inite and so obscure that we cannot learn what they are from th e law of Christ in the New Testament, but that we must prove them by prophecy? Does he n eed to go to prophecy to prove th e institution of the Lord's supper? Does he need to refer to prophecy to prove that we ought to sing? Does he need to go to prophecy to prove anything else that is plain and simple in the New Testament? No, he does not. But when he wants to prove that we should use instrumental music in the worship, that is not so much as mentioned in the New Testament, he goes to prophecy. Now, my friends, that is not the first time that has been done. My worthy opponent has held thirty debates before this one, and, I presume some of them with our good friends, the Presbyterians and the Methodists. Do you suppose that he would permit them to go to Isaiah 52: IS, where it Is said "I will sprinkle many nations," and prove what baptism is? Would he not rather demand that his opponent should come down to the New Testament, and find what the Lord commanded there? W ould he no t tell his opponents, my friends, that it was a poor practice that could not be sustained-by the Gospel in the New Testament, but that the form of the commandment under Christ must be sustained by prophecy? Now , I suggest to my good friends, the Methodists and Presbyterians; if you ever debate with him again, remember what he has don e here, and use it against h im, becaus e it is fair, it is logical from his stand
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point. You remember that he said instrumental music "aids the singing," and I said I would step over on his ground , and meet him on tha t point. I then asked how an d in what sense does it aid the singing? We saw that before we could decide this question we would first-have to know what God wants to accomplish by singing. W e learned that he wan ts us to "teach" and "admonish," to do it "with the spirit," "with the understanding ," and "to make melody in the heart to God." We then learned that all that instrum ental music can do was, not to help or aid in doing these five things that God wants done, but it aids in pleasing the "fleshly sense of hearing." Do you know what he said in reply to that, and how eloquent he became over it? You have not forgotten. What did he say? He spoke eloquently of David, and then said this: "That instruments of music would soothe and subdue the savage nature of wild beasts." That proved my statement exactly. Now I want to say to you that I appre ciate a favor from any man, and my good friend has given me the very illustration which proves just that for which I was contending, that is, mere sound can not build up the Christian spiritually, that mere sound cannot "edify," that mere sound of an instrument cannot "teach," there mere sound of an instrument cannot 'made melody tin the heart to God," but that the mere sound of an instrument does appeal to the "fleshly sense of hearing." He says my argument is true, for it "soothes the savage nature o f wild a nimals." Now, in our hom es, in public gatherings on certain occasions, I will say that it may be proper to have instruments of mu sic to do this, an d to satisfy this fleshly sense of hearing. But remember our w orship is not "fleshly" but "spiritual." Another thought comes to my mind. He says that this "teach ing" and "admonishing" was addressed one to another. But there was a part of it addressed to God. It has a two-fold bearing, the man-ward bearing and the God-ward bearing. It is to benefit our brethren, to strengthen ou rselves and to
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praise God. Why, then, should he ignore the two purposes God has in view, and play upon the other.
Now, I want to bring befo re you some sc riptures on th is subject of instruments of music "soothing the savage nature of wild beasts :" "But the Spirit of Jehovah dep arted from Saul." When Saul had back-slidden, the spirit of Jehovah departed from him, and lo, his spirituality was gone His spirit no longer hungered and thirsted to worship and praise God, but his "savage animal nature must be soothed." "And an evil spirit from Jehovah troubled h im."
16—Let our Lord now command thy servants, which are before thee, to seek out a man; who is a cunning player on a ha rp: and it shall come to pass, when the evil spirit from G od is upon thee, that he sh all play with his ha nd, and tho u shalt be w ell.
I7—And Saul said unto his servants, Provide me now a man that can pla y well, and bring him to m e." ( I Sam . 16:14-16; 18: 10-11.) Now, do you know the story? David was brought, and it made Saul feel better for a w hile, but did it make him better? It so othed his "savage animal nature" for a while, bu t did it make h im better morally and spiritually? If there is power in sound alone to make a man better, morally and spiritually, Saul ought to have been an excellent man, for David was a skillful player. But it was not long before he took hold of a javelin and tried to p in David to the wall. When people lose their spirituality they want to be entertained. They soon tire of old entertainme nts and want something new. When we are tru ly humble and devout, when we are sincerely worshiping the living God, do we need mere sound to "soothe the savage animal nature"? I am going to let the "baby preacher" answer that later. We will have some more from him after while. Do you recollect how he appealed to your sympathies because I said that instrumental music only aids in pleasing the
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fleshly sense of hearing? I am going to read from his own brethren on this point at issue between us. I will read as follows from Isaac Errett in the Harbinger, 1861:
"That melody in the heart is the g reat end to be sought, and that artistic excellence is only valuable as it may conduce to that end. That the highest artistic skill in sacred music has somehow been generally associated with the lowest spiritual culture, and has been far more promotiv e of sen suous than of spiritual a ttractions."
That is stronger than I could pu t it. (Otey.) "That the genius of this reformatory movement, like that of previous reformations, is not favorable to choir singing and instrumental music. Its sympathies are with the bewildered and sinoppressed masses, and it wants 'music for the million.' Its original power will be largely lost when the stirring melodies of its early days shall have been supplanted by stately artistic performances. "As the church of Christ is the common home of all his people—'Barbarian, Scythian , bond a nd free ,' who are 'All one in Christ Jesus'—and as singing is the only part of worship in which the great mass of Christians can personally participate, no choir singing or instrumental music should ever be allowed to interfere for a moment with this privileg e and rig ht of the saints."
Now I will read some statements made by Professor McGarvey, and President Loos, about four v ears ago in the Newbern trial in the State of Tennessee. It was in answer to this cross-question: "Have you not observed that the use of the organ is apt to make the musical part of the worship lose, to a marked degree, its simplicity of character and its spirituality, and dege nerate into mere art or skill by no means edifying in the sense of appealing to the Christian character." That was the question in the concrete. and here is the answer: "I am sure that is the ten92
dency and the usual effect—always the tendency and usually the effect."
That is stronger than I put it a while ago. I wanted to be cautious and temperate in all of my statements.
And to that same question President Loos answered: "I would say yes, I have noticed that, and have spoken about that myself, pub licly and privately; written about it."
Now, I am going to bring befo re you another argument on this, and then I shall proceed to other matters. The use of instrumental MUSIC in the worship is without faith, and therefore SINFUL. Now, the position I take here is th at we cannot use instrumental music in the worship by faith, that is, we cannot possibly believe that it is the will of God that we sh ould use it in the worship. A man may have an opinion, he may have an in ference and all that, but to believe that G od wants instrumental music in the worship under Jesus Christ, I emphatically affirm, is impossible. Why do I say this? In Romans, X: 17, Paul says: "So the n faith cometh by hearin g, and h earing b y the Word of G od." Now it is not necessary for me to go into de tail here at the present time to prove to my opponent that faith can only come by hearing, by hearing the Word of God. Now, if he can find in the New Testament where God has commanded instrumental music in the worsh ip, where God has taught that we shall u se it in connection w ith the Lord's Supper, then he can use it by faith. But in the absence of any plain declaration of Scripture that God demands it and commands it, I say it is an utter impossibility for him to use it by faith. Now, what if he does use it without faith? I turn to Romans XIV: 23 and read, "And he that doubteth is damned if he ear, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever it not of faith is sin." If you do not use it by faith, it is sinful, for "whatsoever is not of faith its sin." What is Paul talking about? About eating
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meat. Where? In a public assembly in connection with the Lord's Supper? No, but outside of the worship. Now, if it is sinful to eat meat outside of the worship doubting, without faith, how much w orse wou ld it be to do anything withou t faith in connection with the L ord's supper? I have anticipated my opponent on this point. I imagine I can hear him, with his stentorian voice, say that tha t was only eatin g meat. But I call your attention to the fact in advance, that if it is sinful to do a thing as a private act without faith, how much worse must it necessarily be to do anything without faith in connection with the Lord's Supper? Now, then, here is a clearly defined issue. Here is the Scripture that forbids the use of instrumental music in the worship and prov es it to be sinfu l. Now, if he can p rove that he uses it by faith, then , of course, th is argument of mine fails. But unless he can show that he uses it as a matter of faith, that he believes it is the will of God, that he believes God wants him to use it in the w orship, then h e does it w ithout faith, and if the individual who ate meat doubting, sinned, and was damned, how much worse is it to do this in the solemn assembly of the Lord without faith and doubting?
You have heard a good deal about the Apostles going to the Temple and worshiping. Now, he solemnly affirmed, IF my ears did not deceive me, that they used instruments of music in the worship in the Temple; he solemn ly affirmed that when the Apostles went there, they went to participate in that worship, and solemnly affirmed that they actually did participate in the use o f instrumental music, and sa ys that that authorizes u s to use it in the worship now. Now, I want to say that he has made three bold assumptions, that he cannot prove. He has assumed: I. That instrumental music was used in the Temple in those days. 2. That the A postles eng aged in the use of instrum ental music in the Temple. 3. That this authorizes us to use instrumental music in the worship now. Grant me
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the liberty of three such assumptions, and I can prove that the Pope of Rome is the head of the church by divine authority. I have only to assume that, when Je sus said to P eter, "I will give unto thee the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven," he intended that he should be the head of the church on earth . I will assume, in the second place, that he intended that Peter should have a successor. and in the third place, I will assume, that the present Pope is Peter's successor. My three assumptions have as much foundation in fact and in scripture as his three assumptions by which he seeks to prove that the New Testament authorizes the use of instrumental music in the worship. He says that the Apostles, after Pentecost, participated in the use of instrumental music in the Temple. Now, we demand the scripture that says they did. If I stand up and solemnly affirm that the inspired A postles did a thing, I must put my finger on the scripture that says they did it, or apologize to men and repent to God. He said that they participated in the worship with the use of instrumental music. Le t us see if they did. They certainly had the incense and ceremonial offering in the Temple. If the apostles participated in the worship, they certainly participated in the incense and the bloody sacrifice, and that according to my opponent's logic, binds it upon us to observe n ow. I will turn and rea d the statem ents in the New Testament concerning the Apostles in the Temple. Beginning with the second chapter of A cts, we find it says, "day by day continuing with one accord in the Temple." "Peter and John were going up into the Temple at the hour of prayer." W hat were th ey going for? What did they do when they got there? T hey were go ing to preach the Gospel. There is not a word sa id that they were going the re to worsh ip with these musical instruments or that an y musical instruments were used there, and there is n o statemen t that they did it while they were there. But we find that they were there to preach the Gospel. The Angel of the Lord said to them:
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"Go ye, and stand in the Temple and pa rticipate in the w orship with instrumental music?" I believe I misread that. Let us try it again. "Go ye and stand and speak in the Te mple to the people all the words o f this life." (See Acts 2:46; 3: I, IT, 5; 12: 19-20, 42.) That is why they were there. That is what God sent them for, to "speak a ll of the wo rds of this life" to the people. That is what they did in the Temple. My opponent says they "participated in the worship w ith instrumental music." Wh ere does he get authority for that statement? Bring us the Scripture that so says, or apologize to this audience, and repent to God.
J. B. Briney's Fourth Reply.
Gentlemen Moderators, Ladies and Gentlemen:—I am pretty sure that most of you have forgotten what w e are discussing . I do not think that there is a person in the audience who just came in about the time my brother beg an his speech, after the moderator read the proposition, who could tell what he is trying to prove. It is that the use of instrumental music in such a connection is contrary to Scriptural teaching and sinful. That is his propo sition and he undertake s to establish that proposition by inferences drawn from things that do not relate to instrumental music at all, that do not mention it, that make no allusion to it. What kind of a way is that to establish a proposition? Give me that liberty, and I hand him back what he s aid to me awhile ago. I can prove anything if you will allow me to go to a passage that doesn't say ONE thing about w hat is in d ispute, and form some inference in regard to it, and then base my argument on this inference, I can prove anything I undertake to prove. Now I will take up the matter and run through this speech that we have just listened to as rapidly as I can to be as careful as I ought. There are a couple of
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matters that I w ish to dispose of, that I have been defer" ring until my good brother should lay himself ou t fully upon them, and he has done this now, and I want to pay attention to them, and show if I can that his position by way of reply to me, failed wholly to meet the demands of the case. He says that the law has passed away and with it everything pertaining to the law. N ow, I gran t you that cerem onially that is true. The ceremonial law of Moses served its purpose and passed away, but that leaves the Prophets and the Psalms, and the Prophets and the Psalms justify the use of instrumental music in praising God. Now, I want to show you the distinction that the Savior himself makes along this line. My go od brother jumbles thin gs up, it seems to me— he will pardon me the expression—and makes no distinction where a distinction exists; and sometimes he makes distinctions wh ere there are none. I call his attention and yours to the 24th chapter of Luke and the 44th verse, to what Jesus said about his resurrection. He said: "These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of M oses and in the Prophets and in the Psalms, concerning me." Now there are three departments of Scripture. One department is the law of Moses. Well, so far as that was concerned, ceremonially it ended when the Savior cried, but it left the Prop hets and the Psalms. Is my good b rother going to contend that when the law of Moses disappeared, according to the divine arrangement of things, the Prophets and the Psalms disappeared? That is the position upon which his logic p laces him, b ut I find in the Psalms of David, long after the law of Moses was gone, the ceremonial law embracing incense and sacrifice and things of that kind . After this law had been given and completed, we find that David in the spirit of the Almighty lifted up his soul and sung. No w, I ask m y good friend to stand Up and say whether David was a sensuous man and an unspiritual man and a man who was
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simply playing his instrument while he lifted up his hea rt in prayer and thanksgiving to Almighty God simply to gratify his sensuous nature. That is his logic. That is the accusation that he brings against David, and against all those grand men and women of God, including Miriam, to whom we sha ll com e directly. They were doing it simply to gratify the flesh either of themselves or somebody else. He does not say that except in his logic. I want him to say directly whether he means that or not—whether Miriam and her sisters were doing this to gratify the sensations and passions of the flesh of those women when they lifted up their hearts to Almighty God, being led by this woman called a Prophetess, in their praise of Almigh ty God, with tim brels and dances, instruments of music. I will get to that a lso directly.
The ceremonial law of Moses went, but that left the Psalms and the Prophets, and that left instrumen ts of music used in connection w ith singing these Psalms and these Odes. A little more on that further along.
Well, then, in regard to eating meat. None of those passages mentioned instruments of music , not a one of them, and he is going to prove the use of an instrument of music to be sinful by a passage that makes no mentio n of it, no allusion to it. Brethren, is that the way you are going to divide the church of God? Is that the way that you are going to disfellowship your brethren? Are you going to erect your inferences and your opinions, which inferences and opinions are against the SCHOLARSHIP OF the world? Are you going to do that and rend the church of Jesus Christ asunder and disrupt it? I know where this will end when that has been done, and so do you.
Now there are two things that my brother will have to concede if he is going to claim these passages. Pau l taught that if one ate meat doubting whether he ought to do it or not, he would be condemned; that is, his attention is called to the fact that the meat he is eating is from the carcass
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Of an animal that had been off ered in sacrif ice to an idol. His question of doubt was whether he cou ld do that w ithout recog nizing the id ol. Paul said so long as that is a matter of d oubt you can not eat, or you will sin. Now that is my proposition. My good brother, if you are going to claim this passage and apply it to those who are opposed to instrumen ts of music, who are the weak brethren? Don't claim the passage, unless you are willing to conced e that. If you are w illing to conce de that, I am willing to meet you and say yes. if you consider yourself so weak, your conscience so weak that you are in doubt in regard to this matter, and want me to make concessions to you on account of weakness of your conscience, then here is my hand, and I don't think you will have any difficulty. But to come up and claim to be the strong brethren, and thus render the passage; to say that where the re is no opposition, whe re there is no weak conscience to offend, it is all right to us e the instrum ent, because where there was no weak conscience to be led into offense by eating meat, it was all right to eat meat— the passage overwhelms him from two points of view. So, admit that you are the weak brethren, and are claiming something on account of that fact, or surrender the passage, and then admit that where there is no weak conscience to offend and cond emn, it is all right, and I am willing to clo se the deba te right here and now on that basis.
He quotes me again. I don't know how my good Brother Otey would get along without m e in this deba te. What is h is proposition? The use of instrumental music is contrary to the teachings of the New Testament and sinful. Elder Briney has said so, and therefore my proposition is true! Is not that logic? Sir William Hamilton I know, and Levi Hedge I know, in logic, but who are you? 1 said I do not defend instruments of music. I say it now. I repeat, I do not care anything about it. I believe I am allowed by Scripture teaching to use it; but I am allowed n ot to use it, and I am wholly indifferent w ith regard to
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whether it is used or not; but my indifference departs when my brother comes up here and says, you will have to dism iss it, or if you do not I will disfellowship you and rend the church. Then it becomes a matter of interest. He claims that God has prescribed singing in His worship. Well, let him prove it. The fact that I deny it does not prove it. I ask for the passage where God in the Gospel and in the Kingdom of Jesus Church has prescribed any music in his wo rship. H e has allo wed it, I think, but whe re is the passage wh ere it is prescribed; where it says you must sing, and if you do not sing, you sin; because when God establishes an ordinan ce, and you do not com ply with that ordinance, you sin. Miriam danced, he says. My friend told you what is the status of modern scholarship on that, and then instead of reading from some great scholar he read from one of the se papers that were showered on him when he was making that speech, and I know he did not read from any recognized authority on the subject. Now let him prove that, if he will. He comes up here and says that tha t is true. Well, let him come up here and prove it. When and who are the modern scholars who unite in saying that dances referred to here in connection with Miriam means those bodily exercises that are called dancing? Who are they, and echo answers, "who?" Well, my brother did get very pathetic. I am glad he has that element in him, and he did seemingly out of the compassion of his heart admonish me to confess myself to be a great sinner before God in my use of Thayer; and I want to sa y to you, my good f riends, if I never have to answer for anything more serious than that, I think I can read my title clear to mansions in the sky. Did he read anything from Thayer in conflict with what I read from Th ayer? Thayer says that this word means to sing, and that the word psalmos means a song, but he does not say that it means to sing without an instrument, and he does not say it means a song sung without an instrum ent. He just sim ply says it
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means to sing, and-we turn to what I read, and he tells us how that was done. There is no conflict at all, nor was there any inconsistency in me nor any moral ob loquy in making the use I did of this celebrated author. Now I want to turn to that and re ad again. I h ave already given the page. "Humnos, psalmos, ode: Od e is the gene ric term; psalmos and humnos are specific, the former designating a song w hich takes its character from the O. T. Psalms." There he refers to the New Testament. Brother Otey, why didn 't you read that? "While the leading idea of psalmos is a musical accompaniment, and that of humnos praise to God, Ode is the general word for song, whether accompanied or unaccompanied. Thus it w as quite possible for the same song to be at once psalmos, humnos and ode."
Now he says that that d oes not apply to the New Testam ent, but here Bishop Lightfoot refers to that very thing, and makes an application o f this special p assage in the New Testament.
Now, didn't I comm it an egregious sin? I believe I might submit the question to you that was submitted to the Savior once when he was asked, "Master, who sinned?" Now, who was it? My friend has, twice I think, trenched upon all propriety; one in infant baptism heretofore, and tonight on the subject of sprinkling.
Now I want to say that these things do not belong in the same category at all, and it is not necessary for me to allude to them, and I will say furthermore that I am not going to violate all proprie ty and all courtesy by bringing these things into this discussion here in this house that we are occupying by the courtesy of people who practice those things. If he wants to do it, he Call do it. They don't below to the same category at all, and they have no place in this discussion, and the introduction of them almost forfeits the hospitality that we are enjoying in this house to
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night by the courtesy of the people that worship here. That is all I have to say about these matters.
This 45th Psalm. Now my friend says, Why go to prophecy? What is prophecy for, if it is not to go to? But, fortunately for me and unfortunately for m y brother, this Psalm is applied by the Spirit of inspiration to the Messiah's reign.
Now turn to the first chapter of the letter to the Hebrews and let us see what is there: "Of the Son he says, Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever, and the scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Thy kingdom. Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore, God, Thy God, bath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness above Thy fellow s." That is quoted from this very Psalm, and this inspired writer says that this psalm was spoken of the Son of God, and therefore the music spoken of in this psalm is spoken of with reference to Jesus and His kingdom. That is wh y I go to it. We have the prophecy inspired by God, and there is no mistake about it, because the Holy Spirit gave the prophecy, and then the Holy Spirit gave the application.
Now the wild beasts. Wha t is music for? To teac h, My brother, singing will do the same thing. I suppose singing just addresses itself to the beastly natur e! Singing will do the same th ing, and it do es it with the effect of making the beast tractable and teachable. The teachers of wild animals understand that under the spell of music they can teach them more readily and manage them more readily than othe rwise. If it does that with a b east, why not w ith man? W hy does it not bring man under its magic spe ll and make man more tractable a nd teachable? It does, as every careful observer is aware. He says, mere sound. Who said anything about mere sound but him? I am; claiming simply the right to use an instrument of music as a help and aid from the same standpoint that these gentlemen use the tuning fork or some other instrument to start
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them. I am not contending for mere sound, and that speech was large ly of that order. We might hav e an instrum ent of mu sic in our homes. My brother has introduced that. I would ask him if w e are permitted to assemble the family together, and read some chapter in the word of God and then sing "Jesus, lover of my soul, let me to Thy Bosom fly, While the billows near me roll, while the te mpest still is high," and have the fair daughter of the family sit down at the piano or organ and accompany that song? If so, is it worship? If yes, then you are worshiping with an instrument of music. Does my brother allow that? Do he and his associates in th is opinion that he is advocating, say yes. Is it allowable to sing these w orshipful so ngs aroun d the fam ily altar, being led by an instrument, and if so, what makes it sinful when we go to a church and sing the same song for the same purpose?
He refers to the case of Saul. Now there an instrument of music expelled the evil spirit. Th ese brethren seem to thin k that it inserts the evil spirit, and that it is of the very devil himself. There David, this man of God, that sang so many psalms in praise and thanksgiving and prayer to Almighty God, accompanying his productions with a harp or instrument of som e kind, th is spiritual man— this man , I believe I might say who occupied a sp iritual plane alm ost infinitely above that which I and my friend occupy tonight,—one of the most spiritual men who ever lived, one whose spiritual nature was all involved and stirred up in connectio n with his instrument, whose soul in adoration went out and up towards Almighty God, winged by those psalm s in conne ction with the harp that he played as he uttered his words. He says when people lose their spirituality. Well, I am just willing, my brother, to select any number of people, and you may select an equal number of your brethren, and just selec t an impartial jury, and have them decide how much more spiritual your crowd is than mine, and I have no f ears in regard to the verdict.
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W. W. Otey's Fifth Speech.
Gentlemen Moderators, Ladies and Gentlemen:—Mr. Moderator, will you please read in my time the proposition for discussion on the present occasion?
The Moderator read as follows: "The use of instrum ental music in connection with the songs sung by the church on the Lord's Day when assembled for edification and communion, is opposed to the New Testament teaching an d sinfu l."
Elder Otey—It does not say anything about singing in the home, then. That is not the question be fore us. I want to keep the issue before the people. Now, Elder Briney has said something about this matter of fellowship, and I am going to talk a little while on that. He tries to make it appear that my brethren are at fault; that we have erected our opinion into barriers of fellowship that keep us apart. Let us see who has done that. He may have an opinion that it is his liberty to use a n instrument; that he is at liberty to use instrumental music in the worship. I may have an opinion that we do not have such liberty. Let him hold his opinion and I hold mine , and we a re in full fellowship. But he h as erected h is opinion in the shape of an instrument in the worship. It is not between us at all till he puts it there. A ten-year-old child can see that he is the one who sets up his opinion as a barrier against fellowship.
Now, one word as to my reference to the prophecy of Isaiah and our Methodist friends. I have nothing but the kindest feelings for them, and my friend knows that I meant no reflection on them. He knew where the reflection was intended to fall. You know that he, for forty years, has been preaching and debating with them more or less. Now do you believe that he would permit them to go to Isaiah 52:15 to prove what baptism is? But he has tried that very plan of proof here, and I just simply called his
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attention and your attention to it, and I am sure that I have not transcended the bounds of courtesy, and that none of my Methodist Preshyterian friends w ill be offended at me for it. Now, you see where that matter stands. He says that I have forgotten what we were discussing. The main points we had under discussion this afternoon were these: He said the "Apostles went into the Temple and participated in instrumental music worship." He also said that dance meant an instrument. He said tha t psallo meant an instrument of music, or carried the idea of an in strument. What did I do? I sim ply referred to the authorities, and that settled the question.
Now, with refere nce to this matter of the lexicograph er, Thayer, I said this: That the p oint in controvers y was as to w hat the wo rd psallo means as used in the New Testament, and I will sa y again that fairness to us demanded that he should have read Thayer's New Testament definition. But you know he did not do it. You know that he suppressed Thayer's definition as applied to the New Testament, and read the definition of the word as used in history and classical Greek.
Now, he raised the question about the word dances. He asked who was my authority. I told you that the American revisers of the Bible had correctly translated the word dance. Did he say they had not done so? Let him turn and see how they translated that word, and that will settle the question.
We had also under consideration the statement that the Apostles went into the Temple and worshiped with instrumental music. He solemnly affirmed that they engag ed in instrum ental music worship. I said that he cou ld not prov e it, or at least, I did n't think h e could. We will put it in this lan guage: I demand that he prove that the Jews used instrumental music in the worship in the Temple at that time; and I demand that he prove that the Apostles participated in that worship. He has said that they used in
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strumental music in the Temple in that day, and he has said and REPEATED and REPEATED that the Apostles and the early Christians participated in the use of instrumental music in the Temple. I asked him to turn and read the word of the Lord that so states, and I ask it again, and, my friends, if he does not do it when you go aw ay you are going to wonder why he did not do it. Or will there be any wonder about it? Now, a word or two with reference to this sensuous less. What did I say? I said that the sound of an instrument cannot teach that the sound of an instrument cannot admonish, that the sound of an instrument cannot enlighten the understanding, that the sound of an instrument cannot aid you to be devout in spirit, that the sound of an instrument cannot make melody in your hearts. I said it appea ls to you and sa tisfies the flesh ly sense of hearing, and he has turned that to mean sensuousness. Listening to the strains of music is not immoral. There is nothing degrading about it. It is pleasant, but he has perverted that language and tried to make me say sensuo usness. I said no such a thing. I implied no such a thing in any statement that I made. Now, I ask my worthy opponent to say that I did g ive it such a tu rn, and then I will appea l to the stenographer's notes to prove it or else retract the statement. Now, that is a fair proposition. I don't want to be misrepresented in that way. I have said th at an instrum ent of mu sic ill itself is not wr ong, that it is permissible as a means of entertainment and all that. but I drew a distinction between entertainment and worship. I am going to read you some more from the "baby preacher." I am not at all surprised that the fully matured mall is troubled over the "baby preacher's'' arguments. He has not answered one argument yet that the "baby preacher" made. Last night I read something from him and I have got something more that I am going to read now. You remember that he said he was a "ba by preache r" the n. I don't
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know about th at; he w as thirty years old. I am taking the arguments of the "baby preacher," that have stood the test for nearly forty years, and making them my own, and I call upon my opponent, who now is a great logician, as all admit, to re fute them. If he refutes them, he refutes me. Surely that is fair; more than fair, that I should take the "baby preacher's" arguments, and then call upon my opponent to meet them. He ought to regard that as an easy task. I will read:
"THE DOCTRINE OF EXPEDIENCY."
"In the discussion of the question relating to the use of instrumental music in the w orship, some very obvio us fallacies hav e been used, a sample of which follows: 'Instruments were used in the Jewish kingdom; instruments will be used in the everlasting kingdom. Therefore, instruments may be used in the present kingdo m.' I will submit a parallel case, viz.: Infa nts were in the Jewish kingdom ; infants will be in the everlasting kingdom. Therefore, infants may be in the present kingdom. Whoever sees the falla cy in this will detec t it in that. That which proves too much proves nothing
"It is becoming quite apparent that certain persons are getting a little sore under these comparisons. (See Harbinger, current volume, page 266.) If people do not like to be pressed with the consequences of dangerous and unscriptural positions, they ought not to occupy them. Now I beg leave to state that if there is an offense in the consequences of the doctrine of expediency, we of the opposition are not responsible for it.
"The first object of these articles was introduced with an extract from Prof. Stewart, to show that the ablest defenders of infant baptism base their defense upon 'propriety and expediency'—the same ground upon which the attempt is made to defend the 'accompaniment,' and as they both relate to things about which the Holy Spirit has legislated,
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whatever argument supports the one, will, to the same extent, support the other.
"It is no uncommon thing for a man, when he sees no other w ay to evade the force of the arguments and comparisons of an opponent, to declare them to be inapposite. All that a pedobaptist ha s to do to convince a pedoba ptist audienc e that the sixth chapter of Romans does not teach IMMERSION, is to wave his hand majestically, assume a knowing look and pronounce it all figurative. The wo rk is then do ne to his own satisfaction and that of his auditory. But, thank the Lord, our brethren are a reading and thinking people, and will decide these matters for themselves.
"In the preceding article it was shown that the instrument in the worship is an addition to a divine. ordinance , and affec ts its character, and therefore must not be allowed.
"The Holy Spirit has provided for the singing in another ca pacity aside from the worship proper. 'Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, sing ing with grace (gratitud e) in your hearts to the Lord.' Col. 3 :16. Singing, then, may be used in teaching and admonishing. Can this be done w ith an instrum ent? Let th e Spirit answer. 'And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or h arped?' I. Cor. 15: 7. Ev idently, there is neither teaching nor admonition in inarticulate so unds. The instrument does not give the necessary distinction in the sound. This being the case, there is no place in the assembly of the saints for the organ, and they who introduce it d o so at their pe ril.
"We are gravely told that the instrument tranquilizes the troubled mind, soothes the disquieted s pirit, and fills the soul with solemnity. Grant it. Does it necessarily follow that this is worship? If this is devotion, then the lion may be as devotional as man. Why does the ferocious wild beast lose its ferocity for the moment under the soft strains of
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music? Is it because its soul is filled with devotion? True devotion consists in sentiments, not feelings nor sound. An instrument cannot beget sentiment, and therefore cannot aid us in our devotions. "Having seen that the 'Instrumental accompaniment' is sinful per se (in itself considered), I wish to put it upon another footing. In his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul teaches that when an enlightened Christian eats meat tha t has been s acrificed to an idol, his act is not sinful, per se. But as he clearly teaches that there may be circumstances under which such an act would be exceedingly sinful, if there w ere those who were not so fully enlightened upon this point, and whose conscienc e were, the refore, we ak, this weakness was to be the rule of action in this case. And of violating this rule the Apostle says, 'But when ye sin against
he brethren and w ound th eir wea k conscience, ye sin aga inst Christ.' Now, in this music affair I am willing to be called a weak brother, if thereby the cause of my Savior can be served. Indeed, 1 like that weakness which fe ars to leave the channels designated by the word of God, to try the trackless and shoreless sea of expediency. My conscience will not allow me to engage in singing as an act of worship where there is an 'Instrumental accompaniment.' A weak conscience, you say. Be it so. I demand that my weak conscience shall be respected. Remember, that when you introduce an organ into the worship and thus wound my conscience, however weak it may be, you sin a gainst Christ. and he w ill call you to an acco unt for it in the G reat D ay. "Let the plain truth be told. The introduction of the organ is no mere impropriety, it is a gross insult to the Lord Jesus Ch rist, and a sin against the god of Heaven. The observance of this Pauline principle will keep the instrument out while time lasts.
"I do not believe that the congregation can be found among us, which uses an orga n, that did no t introduce it
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over the consciences of some of the brethren. True, the Rector of the 'parish" of Syracuse says that it has caused no trouble in his 'parish,' but perhaps he has not investigated the m atter thoroughly. Let New Y ork City and St. Louis answer for themselves. The congregation that has introduced an organ into its worship over one protesting conscience, has sinned against Christ, and stands in need of repentance before God. "The same principle that prote cts the mino rity in a congregation, will protect the minority in all the kingdom. Are the brethren in Australia in the kingdom? So am I. If, therefore, they introduce anything into the kingdom that wounds my conscience, they sin against Christ. Thus has the Holy Spirit so hedged the kingdom of the Master about, that there is absolutely no door of entrance f or the instrum ent, and he who brings it in must break down barriers interposed by Infinite Wisdom.
"Thus have we viewed the 'Accom paniment' from two standpoints, and found it to b e sinful in bo th cases. It is sinful per se, and it is sinful per accidents. It is not said that instrumental music is sinful per se, for such is not the case. But it is contended, and as I believe, proved, that the 'accompaniment' in singing,- as an act of worship, is sinful per se (in itself considered). Sprinkling is not sinful per se. A lady very innocently sprinkles her clothes preparatory to ironing them. But when a priest sprinkles water upon a person and calls it b aptism, his ac t is sinful per se. So with the 'accompaniment.' Each interferes with a divine app ointment.
"But of what is instrumental music in the house of worship an accompaniment? Is it an 'accompaniment' of the worship of those who are poor in spirit? Never. But it is an 'accompaniment' of pride, and of fashion, and of vanity, and of dancing, and of theater going and the like. For the truth o f this statement, I appeal to its histo ry.
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"The field extends before me, but I must desist for th e present. Respectfully and fraternally, J. B. B ."
(Apostolic Times, June 17, 1869, page 73. Published in Lexington, Ky.)
That is the way Elder Briney wrote nearly forty years ago. I now endorse every word of that article and make it my own. I am willing to risk the whole question on the strength of what he then wrote. That which he would have you accept today as sound reasoning he once pronounced "fallacies." Does truth and logic ever change He formerly argued that if because instruments were in the Jewish kingdom, and instruments will be in the ev erlasting kingdo m, that, therefore, we may have instruments in the kingdom here on earth; that it also proves that infants may be in the kingdom. Can he now refute his former arguments? If he was wrong then, and reasoned illogically, and reached unscriptural conclusions, surely he is of all men the one who should be able to d etect those errors and ref ute them. C an he do it? Till he enters into those articles and refute s then., argum ent by argum ent, and shows wherein the reasoning is unsound and the conclusions unscriptural he does this they stand as a credit to the young man, and as a proof of the mature man.
I will take my time and look' over a few things here. I will come back to Romans 14: ~3. Paul says, "Whatsoever is not faith is sin." My opponent labored hard to apply that to the eating of meat only. Do you notice the broad term that Paul uses there? "W hatsoever is not faith is sin." Let that be meat or an instrument of music in the worship. Whatever you do, if you do not do it as a matter of faith, Paul sa ys "it is sin." Ah, that word is too broad and too co nclusive to m ean merely eating the flesh of an animal sacrificed to an idol. I know it applies there, but the of the weakness of the position
OTEY-BRINEY DEBATE. 111
argument I made was that what was eaten at a public temple was not eaten in connec tion with the Lord's Supper.. My argument was, that if the eating of flesh outside of the worship was sinful, if it was done without faith, how much more sinful would an act be, if done without faith, in connection with the sacred and solemn institution of the "loaf and the fruit of the vine" in commemoration of the death and suffering of our Lord and Sav ior Jesus C hrist? Tha t is the point I made. I applied it to instrumen tal music in the worship , and I say that unless he can prove conclusively that the use of in strumental m usic is authorized, and that it is a matter of faith with him, and show how that faith is produced—unless he can do this, does it not remain proved that the use of instrumental music in the worship is "without faith" and sinful? How can he use it without faith, without committing sin, w hen Paul says "Whatsoever"—it makes no differen ce what it is— "is not of fa ith, is sin." It stands there, and you cannot get rid of it, you cannot evade it. It must be met or it stands. Now let him-show that instrumental music in the worship is a matter of faith, and theref ore accep table in God's sight, or it stands proved to be used "without faith" and therefore sinful. Now, just one word about this fellowship between us. I want to say that the saddest thought to my heart for twenty years has been the division among the disciples of Christ. B ut where does the b lame lie? I will say to you that he draws the line. I want to ask him if he will permit me to preach in the meeting house where he holds membership, without a protest? If he will, then he is more liberal than I am in this matter of fellowship. If he will not, then we stand just alike. He would regard me as an unsafe preacher and so would I regard him. If he will say that he will permit me, without pro test, to preach th ere, I will go and preach. If he says he will not, and can find nothing against my Christian character, then I say he makes a line as deep and as broad as I do, and still tries to throw all the blame on me.
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He wanted to know where the passage was that described the worship. How many times have I read and quoted where the Holy Sp irit said, "Sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs." The Holy Spirit, through the Apostle Paul, says do this, and also tells us how to do it. He says God has prescribed no music for the church. Is not singing music, and is not vocal music prescribed? Is it not commanded? Is it not taught? The Holy Spirit says sing, and then prescribes what to sing, and what kind of music: vocal music. Bu t I cannot find where it says that playing an instrument of music in the worship is all right. If he can find such a scripture, that will settle it. The New Testament has been translated by people who used instruments of music in the worship and we presume they have translated psallo faithfully. But they have not translated that word to "play." Vocal music is prescrib ed for the f ollowers o f Christ, and that is the kind we must have. Therefore, we have no right to have any other kind.
J. B. Briney's Fifth Reply.
Gentlemen Moderators, Ladies and Gentlemen:—As I said this afternoon, if you will give me your careful attention, I will try to make this half hour as short as possible.
When time was called on me in my last speech, I had not reached some points made by my good brother in his preceding one, and I shall begin where I left off then. I left off with the implication made by my good brother that those who used instruments of music in the worship of God are lacking in spirituality. I offered a fair test of that and he did not accept it. Peo ple know w ho is spiritual and who is not. You can fool some people all the time. and you can fool all the people some of the time, but you can't fo ol all the peop le all the time. And he quotes from Isaac Errett
OTEY-BRINEY DEBATE. 113
and Prof. Loos and i 'resident McGarvey in regard to what they think is the tendency in the use of instrumental m usic in the worship of God. Now, I just simply want to say that there is the same tendency in singing, w hen you sing artistically. There is just the same tendency to make a display and appeal to the sensuous. And by the way, my good brother, I wish you would go to the dictionary and find out the difference betwe en the w ords "sensuous" and "sensual." So that if there is any argument in that against the instrument, it lies as heavily against singing itself, because everybody knows that singing can be abused and can be perverted and turned out of its proper channel and made to serve the sensuous in man, not the sensual. I didn't say that, but the sensuous. Everybody who knows a little of the dictionary knows the difference between those two words.
Now, I was commenting on his passage from Corinthians, where the matter of m eat is referred to and the weak brother caused to offend; not simply to have his feelings hurt, but caused to offend. I-l e says that faith comes by hearing. Haven't I repeated over and over again the passages of Scriptures in Ephesians and Colossians that authorize the singing of songs and psalms and shown by the scholarship of the world that those are songs and psalms sung in connection with instruments of music? Is not that proof enough? I believe with all my heart that God has expressly allowed me to make use of an instrum ent in singing His praise and in worshiping Him. If I did not believe that, I w ould not do it. Of course, I would not, and if I did I would sin. He may not believe it, I am sure he does not, and, therefore, he ought not to do it, but I am beyond that. Then the matter of the temple. Now, it is said that they were going up into the temple. It doesn't say they were going on a bridge, or some other place, bu t they were going up in the temple. That just happened as they were going up into the temple, and they were going up into the temp le
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at the hour of prayer. And what were they going up there at that hour for if it were not to engage in the devo tional exercises of that hour? And they went there from day to day. Well, my friend says I assume that they were usin g instruments of music in the temple at that time. When did they quit using them? I have shown they were made use of in connectio n with the dedication of the temple, and that they were part of the furnish ings of the temple, and were used in the temple service. Now, let him show when they ceased to be used. I find them there by the authority of Scripture. Let him take them out by authority of Scripture. He says, I erect an instrument of music into a test of fellowship. Oh, no. And' my good brother, I won't ask you to endorse my views about this, not at all. I don't want to enforce my views upon you. I would not, for my right arm, be trying to force my views on you, and divide a Church for anything under the sun. I am willing to meet you. You don't have to accept my views, but you won't let me come unless I will accept yours. Now, who makes the test of fellowship? Now family worship. He had the Moderator read the proposition and that is a very good thing, else you will forget it while he is arguing what we are not discussing. There is no question but what that is a good method. No, family worship is not there, but my point is that it is allowable to worship God in the family, and that worsh ip is acceptab le to God. Then by what law of morality or spirituality is it cut out from the worship in the meetin g house? If the family may use it about the family altar, and open the dear old blessed Bible which lies on the stand, and read some of those precious messages of divine truth and life, and then sing that soul uplifting song, those blessed words that establish a chain of communion and fellow ship with heaven and with Almighty God and the ange ls and the sp irits of the just m ade perfe ct, if that is acceptable to God, in the name of all reason, what is it that makes it
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sinful in a m eetin g house? My dear friends, can't you make your own house a meeting house? Can't we have communion there? Can't you call your neighbors together and engage in the worship of God there? Of course you can, and if it is legitimate there, what is it that illegitimatizes it in the meeting house? That is the point. If it is right here, I do not see how it is wrong there. And, my good friend doesn't tell us whether he does that or not. I would like for him to tell whether he has any instrument of music in his house.
Elder Otey: If you will permit me to answer that question, I will say to you that I have not so much as a Jew's harp in my home.
Elder Brin ey: Well, if you had one, would you use it? Elder Ote y: I could not.
Elder Briney: If you had a daughter who could, would you let her do it?
Elder Otey: I only promised to answer one question.
Elder Briney: I will give you a nickel to answer that question.
Elder Otey. I am not a pau per.
Elder Briney: He is not a pauper in his pocket, but he is in his argument.
Elder Otey: The audience can judge.
Elder Briney: There is the trouble; they do judge. Now, this question of prophecy. Did my friend make any attempt to meet my argument and make an answer on that. I find a prophecy here made by the Holy Spirit and then taken up by the same Holy Spirit and applie d to Christ and His kingdom, and I find therefore, the Holy Spirit in the prophecy and in the application approving the use of instrumental music. If he cannot see the point in that, he ought to study up logic just a little.
Now the matter of Thayer again. My friends, Thayer does not say that psalms are songs sung without instruments, and I quoted what Thayer says in regard to that
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matter. He does not say whether they are accompanied by instruments or not where he defines psallo, but when he comes to define humnos, he sums the w hole matter u p and give s his opinion, and refers to the very passages that we are discussing. My friend g ets up and tells you it refers to classical music or classical Greek, w hen Thayer himself says it refers to the New Testament. My friend ought to do some praying and repenting to night.
Now, in regard to this w ord "dances." I can't get his attention to the fact that it is "dances." I don't know how many kinds of dances they had. He says the revisers translated that, but do the revisers tell us what they meant by it? That is the question. They translated it that way and the scholarship of the wo rld tells us it refers to a musical instrument known by that name among the ancient Hebrews. That is the status of the case. The mere fact that those people translating the word "dances" left out the def inition and didn't tell us what it meant doesn't cut any figure. They simply translated it just as the y translated baptise. They didn't tell us what baptise meant. It was just left that way, and the scholars have to tell us what it means.
My friend is constantly referring to the "baby preacher." I think he ought to give that baby preacher something for affording him something to say during this debate. He goes back thirty-nine or forty years and finds an old shell that I outgrew and shed , and he crawls into that and masquerades before you, and that old shell fits him about as well as Saul s arm or fit David . The whole trend of my argument alla speeches during this debate has been to answer the fallacies that I perpetrated then, and if I am under obligation to do any praying or ask for forgiveness, it is for the folly I perpetrated back there. But I believed it at that time, and there is this to be said, his quotations from me and putting so much of what I have sa id in his boo k will give h is book a fairly good literary finish, and it may aid him in the sale of some copies from that point of
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view. Now, what is the proposition that is before us. Mr. Moderator, will you please read it.
The proposition was read, as follows:
"The use of instrumental music in connection with the songs sung by the Church o n the Lord's Day, when assembled for edification and communion, is opposed to New Testament teachin gs, and sinful."
Elder Briney: Now, do you recall the passage or the passages of the New Testament that the use of an instrum ent is contrary to? He has not pretended to find one and produce it he re, that forbids it. He goes to something else where another subject is treated of altogether, and he builds up some inferen ces that are contrary to the inferences of the best exegetes in the world, and arraigns those inferences against this language, and tries to substitute his inferences for the word of God. You will not permit that. You can discriminate between the word of God and the word o f my brother. It is the word of God that settles this thing, not the inferences of m y brother.
Now, I put my defense of the liberty of the people of God to use instruments when they are singing, on very different ground from that upon which I opposed it back yonde r. I thought then that there was no authority in the New Testament for it. I honestly thought that, and I believe that I have always been accredited with having the courage 'of my convictions; but I have learned better, and 1 hav e quoted h ere again and again the passages, which, according to the world's scholarship, allows the use of instruments in singing the songs there in indicated, and I base my defense n ow as to th e liberty of Go d's people to do that upon what the Spirit has said in regard to the matter. My good brother has had a good clear to say about fidd les an I horn s, and, by the w ay, this leads me to suggest that he h as proved his propo sition, - -"in a horn.' There was an old gentleman reared in a county where I was, who belonged to a church where they were talking about having an entertain118
ment and using a violin, and in discussing the question, some of the brethren used the term fiddle and some used the term violin, and this old brother arose and said, "I have no objection whatever to the use of the violin in this matter, but I don't think you ought to bring in the fiddle." My friend has brought in the fiddle. Is this feeling of melody in the lion or the wild beast, devotion? I say, No, it is not devotion. Is the same thing prod uced in a m an devotion? No. But it open s his heart for the reception of that which produces devotion. It quiets him and calms him in the sight of God. It melts and mellows him and renders him impression able to those things that are don e in worsh iping. That is all I claim. Now, he says on this question of fellowship, will I allow him to come and preach a week at the church where I belong? Well, my brother, I have not been m ade trustee o f that churc h. I have no right to give such permission.
Elder Otey: Let me explain. I said will you permit me without your protest to prea ch there, or w ould you pro test?
Elder Brin ey: No, sir; I wo uld not pro test if I were permitted to be there to set you right, as I am here.
Elder Otey: Of course, I would permit you to be there.
Elder Briney: But you had better be careful, my brother; those people up there know what good preaching is, and I don't know what they would s ay about it.
Sing; psalm; command; I have not claim ed any commmand. I have simply claim ed permission, and I ha ve the libe rty, and so have all of my brethren under this permission given by the Spirit of the living God to do this. I don't claim a command for it, and that is where I am left at liberty. Why, there is no liberty where there is a command. There is no liberty there at all. But where there is simply permission, I am left at liberty to avail myself of the commission or not, ac cording to my own thoughts. He says, "Let him pro duce a passage which means playing ." Well, I have done it according to the scholarship of
OTEY-BRINEY DEBATE. 119
the world. I ha ve read thre e or four standard books, books written by scholars, and they say that the words used in those verses mean playing. Singing and playing and mak ing melod y in your heart to the Lord. Did my brother pay any attention to the fact that this melody is in the heart and not in the throat? Not a w ord. He didn't allude to it. He turns his whole argument to the throat.
Now, I want to say to you, my friends, that a man can make melody in his heart w ithout open ing his lips. A man can make melody in his heart to God while he app lies his paint brush. A man can make melody in his heart to God to the song of his plow as it turns a furrow. The smith in his shop can make melody in h is heart to God while he makes the anvil ring in th e perform ance of h is duty there. Now, this singing of psalms and hymns, I call his attention to the fact, is to the brethren, and therefore, is not worship. I can exh ort my brother, and do it with m usic in my heart, making melody in my heart, but my exhortation addressed to him is not worship towards God. Singing and teaching and admonishing one another. This is singing or teaching or admonition, and not w orship. H e says a part of it relates to God. Yes, and a part of it is in the heart and does not have to have expression in words. It pertains to God, an d while you a re doing this your heart is attuned to Almighty God, but what you are doing by word of mouth has reference to the brethren and therefore, is not worship, unless we are worshiping one another. How can it be plainer than that, teaching and admonishing one another.
Now, my friends, we have consumed two-thirds of the time allotted to this proposition, and I ask you candidly to revolve this matter in your mind. Go over the matter and ask yourselves this question: "What Scripture did Brother Otey adduce whose teaching the use of an instrument in praising God violates?" I wan t you to search your heart with that question. I want you to look at it in your mind, where is it found in the New Testament? What passage
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condemns it? Where has anything been said in that B ook in reg ard to an instrument of music, attended with a censure or with an objection or with a condemnation? Where is it to be found?
Just as I was closing one of my speeches I said that God is called Love, and to that I a dded that, in m y judgment, it m ight be said of Him that He is Music. He ha s attuned na ture to his praises. The gentle zephyr that plays among the leaves of the fore st lifts up its voice in recognition of God, and the sighing of the waves of the ocean dec lare His praises. The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament showeth His handiwork. And in harmony with this deep-seated passion, shall I call it, in His Divine nature, he allowed Miriam to get timbrels and dances and lead her sisters in songs of praise to Almighty God on account of their deliverance, and so in regard to the tabernacle, and so in regard to the Ark, and so in regard to th e temple, an d so in rega rd to the world to come. Here is something that is continuous. You can no more stop it than you can dam the Mississippi and stop its onflow towards the mighty ocean. This music that lifts up its heart in praise to God came down from heaven, and it turns its eye upward and the aspirations of its heart are to get back to God, and all along from the time of its introduction it has been performing its functions, and on and on and on it go es until by land bye that wonderful volume, when the Almighty shall open th e diapason of the great organ of the universe, and the an gels and archa ngels and the sp irits of the just m ade perfe ct, the ransomed and the redeemed from all kindreds and tribes of the earth shall give praises to the Father in their heart and with instruments of music brought forward in that connection, and I wonder if my good brother will rise up an d say to those o f his thinking about him, "Come, brethren, this is no place for us; let us get out o f this." How much time have I, Mr. M oderator?
The Moderator: One minute.
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Elder Briney: Well, as he gave me a half a minute, I will give him a whole one, I w ill go him just that much better.
W. W. Otey's Sixth Speech.
Gentlemen' Moderators, Ladies and Gentlemen: We are now entering upon the last session of the first proposition, and there are so many things that need to be said that I shall not waste time in preliminaries. The first remark that I shall make, however, is that you will remember that on last evening you heard som e remarks made with reference to "good preaching" and "literary merit." I want to say frankly that I am unable to answer that for two reasons. First, I have not been taught in that school; and, secon d, loyalty to my Master forbids that I shall.
In the second place, I want to say this, that the strongest that has been said in favor of the psallo, is that it is a song that may be sung with instrumental musical accompaniment, but remember that no authority has said that it must be. I will say here that the good old song, "Jesus, Lover of My Soul," may be sung with an instrument, but no one can say that it must be, and therefore we can sing the psalms, whether they be the psalms of David, or psalms composed by any one else, without an instrument. Now, let us remember that.
Now, the next matter I want to take up is the matter of the dance. You will remember that my worthy opponent went back to Miriam and her timbrel and her dances, as his authority for the use of an instrument of music in the worship. You will remember that I went back to Ex. 15: 20, and called you r attention to the fact that he proved, not only the use of a timbre!, but that dances were there also. Then you will remember, my opponent said that I had been "caught in a trap" that he had set, and he took
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the position that dances meant other m usical instrum ents in addition to timbrels, and boldly declared that the scholarship of the world was against me on this subject. I reminded him of the fact that more than one hundred American revisers had unanimously translated the word DANCE, a motion of the body. I now read from Judges 21: ~I, and I find this language: "And see, and, Behold, if the dau ghters of Shiloh come out to dance in dances, then come ye out of the vineyard, and catch you every man his wife of the daughters of Shiloh, and go to the land of Benjamin." The Hebrew word translated "dance" here is the same word that is used in Exodus 15: 20, where Miriam had the "timbrels and dances." Furthermore, this same word is translated some eight or ten times to mean "dance" and "dances" every time. More than that, William Jesennius, in his Hebrew Lexicon, defines it. to mean "dance," and the recent Hebrew L exicon, by Brown, B riggs and Driner, also define it to m ean to dan ce, a bodily mo tion. If this is called in question, I will produce the authority. But I presume it will not be called in question. So much for that. Now the next point I wish to take up is the 45th Psalm. You will remember how of ten he has re ferred to this Psalm, and how hard he has labored to prove the use of instrumental music by the 45th Psalm. I will turn now and read to you from the 45th Psalm, w here it speak s of a stringe d instrument. He says that this is a prophecy referring to the Messiah's Kingdom, and that the stringed instrument here must be a literal instrument in the kingdom of Christ. You will remember that I said that this was the f irst time that a Disciple of Christ, so far as I know, has ever app ealed to pro phecy to prove a commandment in the church of Christ. Now I am going to read you a few verses from this Psalm. Here is the passage w ith reference to stringed instruments: "Out of ivory palaces stringed instruments have made you glad." Now, just a word here. My opponent said that instrumental music
OTEY-BRINEY DEBATE. 123
seemed to make me mad. Oh no, it does not. Then he said, "I imagine when brother Otey gets to heaven, he will do thus and so." Now, my friends, I want to say this to you, that while I am in the temporal kingdom of my Master here and serving Him here below, I try to be abundantly satisfied with the provisions He has made for me, and unless I change in heart and sp irit, and this I shall not do, when I enter the pearly gate into the eternal kingdom of my Master, I shall still be abundantly satisfied with the provisions he has made for me there. If He puts a harp in my hand there, I shall loyally and joyfully play it, but inasmuch as he has not put a harp in my hand here below in the church, I refuse to dishonor Him by playing one in the worship. My worthy opponent is abundantly dissatisfied with the provisions that the common Master has made for the regulation of H is kingdom here below, and wishes to change the order of the church, regardless of the divided condition of the body of Christ, regardless of the tears and entreaties and prayers of the pure of earth and regardless of the prayers of the dying Son of God. When he gets to heaven will he wish to change the order there?
Now, I will read some other statements of the 45th Psalm in connection with this: "My tongue is the pen of a ready writer." If he makes instruments literal, he must make this literal, too. "Gird thy sword upon thy thigh." No w, if because David is prophesying here and uses the term "stringed instruments," therefore, we must have an instrument of music in the worship, equally it is true that we must have a literal sword in the worship. What proves too much, proves nothing. He has proved too much.
Again: "Thine arrows are sharp in the heart of the king's enemies; whereby the people fall und er thee." The "arrows are in the heart of the king's enemies." W e must hav e literal arrows, then. I claim this is prophetic and symbolic, but if he use s the instrum ent anti claims it is literal, he must use the other literally also. I am now going
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to bring before you m y answer to h is most formidable arguments, that I will read to you: My opponent boasts of three things which he seems to think are strong in his favor.
I. He claims that the scholarship of the world is on his side, in regard to the meaning of psallo and the use of instruments of music in the worship.
2. The character of David who used instruments of music.
3. He says that everything not expressly forbidden is allowed. These are his three Gibralters.
I now propose to show that he is wrong on all of these three points, and my hearers are to be the judges of my success.
1. I emphatic ally deny that the sch olarship of the wo rld is in favor of instrumental music, or that it sustains his construction on psallo. The Greek Church numbers many millions, and the Greeks understan d their own language better than any other people, and they have never found that psallo means to use instruments, but they say it means to sing. The Greek Church has never used instrum ental music in the worship. Thus the scholarship of all the native Greeks of the world sustains my position and is against my opponent. His assertion that the scho larship of the world is with him is untrue. But what is worse for his cause is the fact that the scholarship of his own brethren who use instruments of music in the worship is against him and w ith me. As p roof of this statement I now read to you as follows:
ST. LO UIS, M o., December 24, 1907.
MR. W. G. ROBERTS, Rippey, Ia.
Dear Sir.—Replying to your question, "Is there any authority in the Greek for the use of instrume ntal music in the worsh ip?" or "Is there a command in the Greek commanding its use?" or "Is it used as an aid, under the law of Christian libe rty?' I reply as follow s: (I) It is held by some that the Greek word psallo carries with it the use
OTEY-BRINEY DEBATE. 125
of an instrumental accompaniment. We should not regard it, how ever, as "authority" for an instrument in w orship, if such authority were needed.
2. There is no command in the New Testament, Greek or English, commanding the use of the instrument. Such a command would be entirely out of harmo ny with the spirit of the New T estament.
(3) Instruments are used under the law of Christian liberty, just exactly as hymn books, notes and different parts of music, and as a hundred other expedients are used.
Very sincerely yours, J. H. GARRISON.
CARBON, CAL., January 4, 1908.
A. S. BURKE, Rippey, Ia.
Dear Sir.—It is claimed by some that as the primitive meaning of psallo (Eph. 5: 19 ) was "to touch, twang , play on a musica l instrum ent," that the language is a command to play on musical instruments. I regard it as far-fetched. Hardly a plausible inference.
Brotherly, CLARK BRADEN.
EUREKA, ILL., Ja nuary 8, 1 908.
W. G. ROBERTS, Rippey, Ia.
My Dear Brother:—President Hieronymus has asked me to answer your questions in your letter of December 23, 1907. Thayer's Greek- English Lexicon of the New Testam ent defines psallo thus: (a) to pluck off, pull out; (b) to cause to vibrate by touching, to twang, to touch or strike the cord, to twang the strings of a musical instrument so that they will vibrate gently; and absolutely, to play on an instrument, to play the harp.—In the New Testament—TO SING A HYMN, TO CELEBRATE THE PRAISES OF GOD IN SONG. There is no command in the New Testament to use instruments of m usic in worship, and there is no command not to use them. Very truly yours, SILAS JONES.
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DES MOINES, IA., December 25, 1907.
MR. W. G. ROBERTS, Rippey, Ia.
My Dear Sir:—Your letter to the president of the university was handed to me to answer. The word psallo means, prim arily, to cause to vibrate by touching; to twang; to touch or strike the cord; and in the New Testament it means to sing a hymn, to celebrate the praises of God in song (Jas. 5: 13). This is taken from Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament. I think the New Testament does not "authorize" instrumental music by the word psallo or psalmois, or any other word. Very sincerely, SHERMAN KIRK
Now, you see that the scholarship of his own brethren, the scholarship of his own church, is overwhelmingly against him , and, to tell you the truth, he is the only man of any note o r reputation th at I have ever heard of in the Christian Church that has dared to take so absurd a position. What becomes of his boast that the "scholarship of the world" is with him and against me, when the scholarship of his own brethren are against him and with me? Some men are strong in assertion and very weak in proof.
2. I now come to speak of the character of David. I do not w ish to speak against David, and shall not do so except as Scripture authorizes, and what does it authorize? I read Gal. 4:1-7. "Now I say, That the heir, as long as h e is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be Iord of all; But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father. Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that they might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent
OTEY-BRINEY DEBATE. 127
forth the spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father." Th is shows that David belonged to the childhood age of God's people, also to the age of servantship, and not of sonship. But this is not all. Dav id was a man of blood —a man who was not fit to build the temple because he had shed much blood. Then in the case of Uriah, the Hittite, he was guilty of one of the worst of crimes. He was an adulterer and a murderer. I read II. Sam. 12:7-12. "Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the Lord, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah, the Hittite, with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon. Now therefore the sword shall never depart from shine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah, the Hittite, to be thy wife." This show s that Dav id despised the commandment of the Lord, and despised even the Lord himself.
Finally, in I. Chron., 21st chapter, we read that he yielded to the devil and numbered Israel, and as a resu lt God slew of Israel seventy thousand men. My opponent said last evening that, in spirituality, David was "infinitely above" himself or myself. He is at liberty to p lace his spirituality just as high or as low as he wish es. If he says that h e is "infinitely below" in spirituality the one who was an adulterer and a murderer, he can do so, but as for myself, I say that I am above that plane. David lived under the shadowy dispensation. He lived in an age that is called the age of "bondage." I am not saying anything about David's spirituality except what I have read from the w ord of God. I have read that to show you exactly what the word of God says about him. Yet my opponent says that David's spiritu ality was "infinitely above" his spirituality. He can say what he wishes for himse lf on this question.
In regard to David an d instrumental music, I will remind my opponent of the fact that Am os said, "W oe to them that are at ease in Zion—that chant to the sound of the viol, and
128 OTEY-BRINEY DEBATE.
invent unto themselves instruments of music like David." (Amos 6: 1-
5.) Here we learn that God pronounces a "woe" upon all who follow David's example in using instrumental music in the worship, even under the Jewish dispensation. How much worse, shell, to follow David's example and introduce instrume ntal music into the worship under Christ!
3. My opponent has several times said that whatever was commanded in the Old Testament, and not expressly forbidden in the New, is allowable to Christians, and he has even gone so far as to say that anything not forbidden is allowable to Christians . I now pro pose to test his claims and logic, and see if he will stand by his own rule of reasoning.
1. There was a priesthood over the masses of God's people, under the Old Testament, and thus there may be such a priesthood now, for it is not expressly forbidden . Does he accept this? No. He repudiates it.
2. The priests under the law wore special robes, and thus there may be special robes now used because not expressly forbidden. Is he ready for this? N o. He would repudiate it.
3. There was literal, material incense used in connection with the worship under the Old Testament, and, therefore, such incense may be used in the worship now because it is not. expressly forbidden. Will he accept this? Certainly not. B ut he will rejec t it
4. The bodies of animals were offered in connection with the worship under the Old Testament, and they are not expressly forbidden, and therefore they may be offered now. Is my opponent ready for this? No. He opposes it.
5. He cannot find any New Testament Scripture th at expressly forbids praying to the mother of our Saviour, nor to any other dead saint. Nor can he find any Scripture that expressly forbids the Romish doctrine of the Confessional, nor the non-marriage of the clergy, nor the convent
OTEY-BRINEY DEBATE. 129
doctrine, nor the doctrine of purgatory. Neither can he find any Scripture that expressly forbids the social dance, card-playing, theatergoing, festivals to raise money, nor many, many other soul-destroying practices of the Christian Church. Y et, according to my opponent's logic, he may engage in all these unauthorized and ungodly practices, and still be acceptable to God. This is the position into which he-is irresistibly forced by his logic.
Still he argues that the "scholarship of the world" says that psallo in Ephesians 5:19, and Colossians 3: 15, means "songs and psalm s in connection with instrum ents of mu sic." But hav en't I just show n that his affirmation is not true? Ha ven't I just show n that the sch olarship of his own brethren declare that it is not true? Garrison, Braden, the authorities of Eureka College, in Illinois, and the authorities in Drake University, in Des Moines, Iowa, are all with me and against him? Have I not shown that he brou ght Thayer, a G reek lexico grapher, into this discussion presumably to prove what psallo means as used in the New Testam ent, but in stead of permitting his w itness, T hayer, to say what that word means as used in the New Testament, he suppresse d his witness on the very point at issue, and gave what that witness quoted from Liddell and Scott as to the meaning of psallo as used in history and classical Greek? What shall we think of a man who deliberately suppresses the testimon y of a witness on the very point at issue, and, instead, substitutes what that witness says on another point? How are we to trust him on any other question?
He says with reference to eating meat, that it does not mean "simply to have his feelings hurt," but caused to offend. But does not Paul say that "If thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably." (Rom. 14: IS.) And again: "If ye wound their weak conscience ye sin against Christ." (I. Co r. 8: 12.) Is this not a clear case of perverting the plain teachings of the
130 OTEY-BRINEY DEBATE.
word of God? But the use of instrumental music in the worship does more than "grieve" the brethren and "wound their weak conscien ce." It divides the body of Christ, and forces followers of Jesus Ch rist to sin either by staying away fro m the communion or by worshiping with instrumental music
The disciples in the temple again. He knows that th ere is not one syllable of Scripture proof that the Jews used instrumental music in the temple at thattime. Nor is it even intimated that the Apostles participated in any of the temple worship, notwithstanding his solemn affirmation that they did. He has simp ly declared that G od's w ord says that which it does not say. But if he could show that the Apostles used instrumental music in the temple, and that this gives us th e liberty to use it in the worship, he would at the same time prove that we may burn incense and offer bloody sacrifices in the worship now. We know these were observed in the temp le in the days of the Apostles. God sent the Apostles to the temple to "speak all the words of this lif e." (Acts 5: 20.) Of course, he can find instrumental music under the law, in the Church of Rome, and that it is said it will be in heaven. But he does not find it in the Church described in the New Testament. He can also find infants under the law, infants in the Church of Rome, and infants w ill be in heaven. But he cannot find infants in the New Testament Church. The same is true of incense and many tether unauthorized things. He has been driven to admit my argument against the use of instrumental music in the worship o n the grou nd that it app eals only to the fleshly sense of hearing. He said himself that it cannot produce devotion in the heart, bu t that all he claim s for it is that it "soothes the animal nature of man." The very thought of a child of God having to resort to mere sound to "soothe his savage animal nature"
OTEY-BRINEY DEBATE. 131
when he surrounds the Lord's table in order to be in a proper mood-to worship G od! Just think of it!
I called attention to the fact that the melody (Eph. 5: 19) is made in the heart, and not on a musical instrument. How does he answer this?
He says, "Neither is it made in the throat." Who has said that it was made in the throat? What w as my argument that he tries by this turn to dispose of?
In the Leader-Way, July 7, 1908, speaking of Ephesians 5: 19, he says that "singing and making melody in the heart" is "singing and psalloing."
Now he says that this psalloing is correctly translated "making melody."
All this I heartily endorsed, and said that all we need to do, then, in order to know what kind of an instrument to use in making this melody is to find out where the melody is to be made. When we learn where the melody is to be made, we will learn what instrument this psalloing is to be made with.
Paul says, "making melody (psalloing)
My good friend refers to burning incense, and offering sacrifices.
Now, I wonder if he does not know that these things belonged to that arrangement that passed away? Can he find where any Apostle ever sanctioned any of these things? I find where the Holy Spirit, through an Apostle, authorized the singing of songs that were accompanied by instruments of music. And what did he do with the scholarship of the world that I read here against him? Nothing under the heavens, but to wave his hand, and imply, "Avaunt ye, I am here." The scholarship of the World says that these words mean songs that may be sung with an instrument, and if they do the Spirit of the Lo rd is there, because those words were spoken by the inspiration of the Spirit of the Lord.
My good brother said that psalloing was something in addition to singing, but he said, where was it? "In the heart." Well, that is not in the throat. Have you any vocal cords in your heart? What is the idea? The idea is you are not to d o these things simply from a worldly point of view. My friends, a musician c an come just as nea r putting his heart into his instrument as my good brother ca n come to putting his heart into his throat. "Obey from the heart." That is, your heart must be in it. I had the good fortune once to hear that marvelou s violinist, Remenyi, and you could just see that his heart was in his instrument, his soul was wrapped up in it, and it in his soul. That is the idea here, and we are to do it heartily, as unto the Lord. You are to do it with the idea of praising the Lord. My good brother says the only purpose it can serve is to please the fleshly ear. What a reflection tha t is upon D avid! Did David sing his psalm in co nnection w ith his harp, or whatever musical instrument it was, to plea se the sensu ous ear. W ho in this house will claim to occupy a higher plane of spirituality than David did? Who here will pretend to have more heart in doing things to praise God than that man who was after the Lord's own heart. You could do
Therefore, according to Elder Briney's own reasoning, the heart is the instrument that Paul says must be used. Again he asks, "What Scripture does the use of in strumental music in the worship violate?" Did I not show conclusively that instrumental music in the worship is a "tradition of men" "a doctrine and commandment of men"? Did not Jesus lay down a principle as enduring as time itself when, he declared that anything done as a religious observan ce that Go d has not commanded is (I) "a tradition of men;" (2) that the "traditions of men transgress the commandments of God;" (3) that this makes the worship o f such pe rson "vain worship"? Has my opponent made any attempt to refute this argument? He said it was not a "question of domestic economy"!! Is not that a formidable refutation?
Have I not shown that the use of instrumental music in the worship violates the law of expediency on four points?