Suppose a Viol, Cittern, Lute, or Harp/Committed unto him that wanteth Skill;/Can he by strokes, suppose them flat or sharp,/The ear of him that hears with Musick fill?
No, no, he can do little else than scrape/Or put all out of tune, or break a string:/Or make thereon a muttering like an Ape,/Or like one which can neither say nor sing.
The unlearned Novices in Things Divine/With this unskilled Musician I compare,/For such, instead of making Truth to shine,/Abuse the Bible and unsavoury are.
He that can play well on an Instrument/Will take the ear and captivate the Mind,/With Mirth or Sadness: For that it is bent/Thereto as Musick, in it, place doth find.
But if one hears therein that hath no skill,/(As often Musick lights of such a chance)/Of its brave Notes, they soon be weary will;/And there are some can neither sing nor dance.
Unto him that thus skilfully doth play,/God doth compare a Gospel-Minister,/That rightly preacheth (and doth Godly pray)/Applying truth what doth thence infer.
This man whether of Wrath or Grace he preach/So skilfully doth handle every word;/And by his saying, doth the Heart so reach,/That it doth joy or sigh before the Lord.
But some there be, which, as the Bruit, doth lie,/Under the Word, without the least advance,/God-ward: Such do despise the Ministry,/They weep not at it, neither to it dance. – John Bunyan (1628-1688)
From: The Puritans and Music in England and New England: A Contribution to the Cultural History of Two Nations by Percy A. Scholes (Oxford: At the Clarendon Press, 1934), p. 155.