|Share page||Visit Us On FB|
48 The National Music of America.
now took place against the habit of "deaconing" or "lining-out" the psalms and hymns. Doctor Watts's Psalms ' were used in the colony from 1741, when the first New England edition was printed. In the preface of this work the author rebukes the custom of " lining-out " thus :
" It were to be wished that all congregations and private families would sing as they do in foreign Protestant countries, without reading line by line. Though the author has done what he could to make the sense complete in every line or two; yet many inconveniences will always attend this unhappy manner of singing."
In some churches the clergyman was able to put aside the custom without any ado, but in many cases the elders, deacons, and general congregation indulged in their customary squabble over the matter, and there were
1 An edition of Watts's Hymns was printed by Doctor Franklin in Philadelphia in the same year that the New England (Boston) edition of Watts's Psalms was issued, — 1741.