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284
CURIOSITIES OF MUSIC
church. It is also probable that much of the music was borrowed from that of the Hebrews. This is more natural when we reflect that Christ­ianity was at first a continuation (or reorganiza­tion) of Hebrew rites and the apostles were all well acquainted with the ceremonies of the Jewish church.
The chanting of the scriptures which took place in the latter worship, was undoubtedly transplanted into the Christian service.* Many of the early psalms and canticles were sung in caves and subterranean retreats in which places the proscribed and persecuted worshippers were obliged to seek refuge, and where they still kept up with undeviating regularity the practice of their ceremonies.
Pliny the younger on being made pro-consul of Bithynia was especially charged by the emperor Trajan, to find accusations against the Christians there, the number of whom was augmenting daily. A letter of his, supposed to have been written in the third year of the second century of our era,f contains the following regarding the new religion.
" They affirm that their fault, and errors have only consisted of this;—they convene at stated days, before sunrise, and sing, each in turn, verses in praise of Christ, as of a God; they engage themselves, by oath, not to do any crime, but never to commit theft, robbery, or adultery, never to break faith, or betray a trust. After this they
•Marcillac, Histoire de la Mus. Modem, p. 26. t Fetis UUtoire Gea. de la mus, v. 4, p. 6.






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