No Christ in the Psalms?

Rev. Henry Cooke of Ireland in the first preface to The True Psalmody:

“Now, while I set not up my own convictions as a rule or measure of the consciences of others, I cannot fail to pity those who can find, as they assert, so little of Christ in the inspired psalmody of the Bible, that they must seek and employ an uninspired psalmody as exhibiting Him more fully. Our Lord Himself found Himself in the psalms—(Luke 24:44, 45)—and thereby “opened His disciples’ understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures.” Surely what was the clearest light to their eyes, should be light to ours. And, truly, I believe, there is one view of Christ—and that not the least important to the tired and troubled believer—that can be discovered only in the Book of Psalms—I mean His inward life. No eye-witness of the outward man—though an inspired evangelist—could penetrate the heart. But the Spirit who “searcheth the deep things of God,” has, in the psalms, laid open the inmost thoughts, sorrows, and conflicts of our Lord. The Evangelists faithfully and intelligently depict the sinless Man; the psalms alone lay open the heart of “the Man of sorrows.” The most pious productions of uninspired men are a shallow stream—the Psalms an unfathomable and shoreless ocean.”

Source:, Comment 72

See also Comment 85 of the same thread


As if the Devil had Defaced the Son of God


Behold, they paint and portray Jesus Christ, who (as we know) is not only man, but also God manifested in the flesh: and what a representation is that? He is God’s eternal Son in whom dwells the fullness of the God head, yea even substantially. Seeing it is said, substantially, should we have portraitures and images whereby only the flesh may be represented? Is it not a wiping away of that which is chiefest in our Lord Jesus Christ, that is to wit, of his divine Majesty? Yes: and therefore whensoever a Crucifix stands mopping & mowing in the Church, it is all one as if the Devil had defaced the son of God. (Sermon on Deuteronomy, 23 May, 1555)

Source:, Comment 42

It is Not Lawful to Have Picture of Jesus Christ

“It is not lawful to have pictures of Jesus Christ, because his divine nature cannot be pictured at all, and because his body, as it is now glorified, cannot be pictured as it is, and because, if it do not stir up devotion, it is in vain; if it do stir up devotion, it is a worshipping by an image or picture, and so a palpable breach of the second commandment.”

(Vincent, Exposition of the Westminster Assembly’s Shorter Catechism.)

Source:, Comment 16

Worship Must Be Trinitarian

In the spiritual worship of the gospel the whole blessed Trinity, and each person therein distinctly, do in that economy and dispensation wherein they act severally and peculiarly in the work of our redemption, afford distinct communion with themselves unto the souls of the worshippers…There is no act, part, or duty of gospel worship, wherein the worshippers have not the distinct communion with each person in the blessed Trinity…

This is the general order of gospel worship the great rubric of our service. Here in general lieth its decency, that it respects the mediation of the Son, through whom we have access, and the supplies and assistance of the Spirit, and a regard unto God as a Father. He that fails in any one of these, he breaks all order in gospel worship. If either we come not unto it by Jesus Christ, or perform it not in the strength of the Holy Ghost, or in it not unto God as a Father, we transgress all the rules of this worship. This is the great canon, which if it be neglected, there is no decency in whatever else is done in this way. And this, in general, is the glory of it.

(from “The Nature and Beauty of Gospel Worship,” in The Works of John Owen, volume 9, pp. 56-7). ​

Source:, Comment 1

In the Context of Worship, He Has Appointed the Psalms

“When all this is said and done, it may be useful to highlight that none of this is mean to discourage the writing or singing of songs which are in praise of God. Many such songs — for example, ‘When I Survey the Wondrous Cross’ — have found their way into the affections of many of the Lord’s people and, providing the content is honouring to God, the writing of such songs and their performance can be seen as the valid exercise of a valid gift. However, the questions at issue concern when, where and how such songs are to be used.

After all, it is the Reformed understanding of worship that worship takes place when we draw near to God by calling upon his name. This worship consists of an act, or a series of acts, in which God speaks to us (in reading, preaching, and sacraments) and in which we present our offerings to God (in song and prayer – sometimes accompanied with vows and fasting). It is also the historic Reformed understanding that nothing is to be offered to God as worship without his explicit appointment – and that the songs which he has appointed which he has appointed to be offered in the context of worship are the Psalms!”

– Kenneth Stewart

Source:, Comment 3

For His Own Private Comfort

“We grant also, that any private Christian, who hath a gift to frame a spiritual Song, may both frame it privately, for his own private comfort, and remembrance of some special benefit, or deliverance. Nor do we forbid the private use of an Instrument of Musick therewithall: So that attention to the Instrument, does not divert the heart from attention to the matter of the Song.”

– John Cotton

Source:, Comment 3

Not in the Public Assemblies of the Church

“We do not deny that a private individual, filled with the spirit, is able to compose new hymns, for his own edification and that of others; but it does not follow that a song of this sort ought to be sung in the public assemblies of the Church.”

– John Brown of Wamphray

Source:, Comment 3

David’s Psalms Seem Plainly Intended

Now though spiritual songs of mere humane composure may have their use, yet our devotion is best secured, where the matter and words are of immediately divine inspiration; and to us David’s Psalms seem plainly intended by those terms of “psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,” which the apostle useth (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16).”

– Preface to the 1650 Psalter

Source:, Comment 3

None but the Psalms of David to be Used in the Churches

“A number of godly men have composed spiritual songs for this purpose with a variety of melodies. It appears that Luther has been the first one to do so during the Reformation. His songs are still sung today with edification by the Lutherans in their churches, as well as privately by us . . . The decision of the Dutch Synods has been very correct indeed, namely, that none other but the Psalms of David are to be used in the churches.”

– Wilhelmus a Brakel

Source:, Comment 3

Head Covering is about Glorifying God

The Sound of an Alarm on 1 Corinthians 11 and the symbolism in Christian worship:

“It is the glory of God which must be seen in the house of God. The house of God is not place for giving glory to anyone or anything else. The man is deemed to be the image and glory of God, v7. He is not therefore to cover his head. But the woman who is described as the glory of the man is to cover her head so that in God’s house, in public worship, God may have all the glory.”

Source and read more about the theology of head covering in public worship:

Note: It should not have to be spelled out here but because there is so much misinformation out there today, the idea that women represent the glory of man in public worship is not to be taken as implying that women have lesser worth or value than men (cf. 1 Corinthians 11: 11,12 and commentary on those verses).