The Decline Of Psalmody In The Netherlands: Anabaptists, Remonstrants, And The State Church

In the Roman Catholic church the choir sings and the congregation was silent. Calvin also introduced singing by the congregation, and collected for it a bundle of Psalms of Clement Marot and Beza. He had the tunes composed by Louis Bourgois and Maitre Piere, and began teaching these tunes to some persons and school children. The example he set was followed by the Reformed churches generally. The most important versification of Old Testament Bible Psalms is the work of Petrus Datheen, which appeared in 1566 and soon became popular. The convention of Wezel made their use binding on all the Reformed churches of the Netherlands. However, in 1560 there appeared a new versification by Marnix of St. Aldegonde, but this versification was not able to force out of use that of Datheen. The latter continued popular and remained in use for two centuries thereafter; but in 1775 it was superseded by another versification, that imposed upon the Netherland Reformed Churches by the States General of the United Netherlands. In 1773 a committee of nine ministers, appointed by the Netherland government, collected a new bundle from three versifications—from that of Hendrick Ghijzen, silversmith in Amsterdam; from that of the society of Laus Deo (Praise To God), the majority of whose members, strange to say, were Anabaptists and Remonstrants; and from that of Johannes Voet, physician in ‘s-Gravenhage. This was the bundle introduced by the Netherland government.

—George M. Ophoff, Church Right quoted in G. Vanden Berg “The Hymn Matter,” The Standard Bearer 38.14 (1962).

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One comment

  1. “However, in 1560 there appeared a new versification by Marnix of St. Aldegonde”.

    In error has crept in somewhere along the way and continues to be reproduced. The first edition of Marnix’s psalms was actually in 1580. It did not anticipate Datheen.

    Marnix van Sint Aldegonde, Philips van

    Het boek der psalmen Davids. Uit de hebreische spraecke in nederduytschen dichte op de ghewoonlycke francoische wyse overghesett
    Antwerpen, Gillis van den Rade, 1580


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