Unscriptural Devices to Advance the Movement

Dr, Kennedy on the innovations Arminians brought into worship to advance their gospel:

In connection with unscriptural devices resorted to in order to advance the movement, Dr. Kennedy mentions first excessive hymn-singing as one of these. “The singing of uninspired hymns even in moderation, as part of public worship, no one can prove to be scriptural; but the excess and the misdirection of the singing in this movement were irrational as well. Singing ought to be to the Lord; for singing is worship. But singing the gospel to men has taken the place of singing praise to God…. Many professed to have been converted by the hymns.

“The use of instrumental music was an additional novelty, pleasing to the kind of feeling that finds pleasure in a concert. To introduce what is so gratifying there, into the service of the house of God, is to make the latter palatable to those to whom spiritual worship is an offence. The organ-sounds effectively touch chords which nothing else would thrill….

“And yet it is not difficult to prove that the use of instrumental music, in the worship of God, is unscriptural, and that therefore all, who have subscribed to the [Westminster] Confession of Faith, are under solemn vow against it. There was a thorough change, in the mode of worship, effected by the revolution, which introduced the New Testament dispensation. So thorough is this change, that no part of the old ritual can be a precedent to us. For all parts of the service of the house of God there must be New Testament precept or example. No one will pretend that for instrumental music, in the worship of God, there is any authority in New Testament Scripture. ‘The fruit of the lips’ issuing from hearts that make ‘melody to the Lord,’ is the only form of praise it sanctions….

“But we use the organ only as an aid, it is said. ‘It is right that we should do our best in serving the Lord; and if the vocal music is improved by the instrumental accompaniment, then surely the organ may be used.’ On the same ground you might argue for the use of crucifixes and pictures, and for all the paraphernalia of the Popish ritual. ‘These,’ you might say, ‘make an impression on minds that would not otherwise be at all affected. They vividly present before worshippers the scenes described in Scripture, and if, as aids, they serve to do so, they surely cannot be wrong.’ To this, there are three replies, equally good against the argument for instrumental music. (1) they are not prescribed in New Testament Scripture, and therefore they must not be introduced into New Testament worship. (2) They are incongruous with the spirituality of the New Testament dispensation. (3) These additions but help to excite a state of feeling which militates against, instead of aiding, that which is produced by the Word. An organ may make an impression, but what is it but such as may be made more thoroughly at the opera? It may help to regulate the singing, but does God require this improvement? And whence arises the taste for it? It cannot be from the desire to make the praise more fervent and spiritual, for it only tends to take attention away from the heart, whose melody the Lord requires. It is the craving for pleasurable aesthetics, for the gratification of mere carnal feeling, that desires the thrill of organ sounds, to touch pleasingly the heart, that yields no response to what is spiritual. If the argument, against the use of the organ, in the service of praise, is good, it is, at least equally so against its use in the service of preaching. If anything did ‘vanish away,’ it is surely the use of all such accessories in connection with the exhibition of Christ to men. [Hebrews 8.]

~Rev. William MacLean, M.A., “Arminiamism: Another Gospel”

Source: http://www.truecovenanter.com/gospel/arminianism_another_gospel.html

Instrumental Music in the Public Worship of the Church

John L. Girardeau:

“In the discussion of the question, Whether the use of instrumental music in the worship of the church is permissible or not, it must be premised:

First, that the question is not in regard to private or family worship, or to that of social gatherings which are not ecclesiastical in their nature, nor with reference to the utility or tastefulness of instrumental music, nor in relation to the abuse to which it may be liable; but,

Secondly, the question is precisely, Is the use of instrumental music in the public worship of the church justifiable? The design of this discussion is, with the help of the divine Spirit, to prove the negative.”

Read more: http://www.rpcottawa.org/uploads/articles/Instrumental_Music_in_the_Public_Worship_of_the_Church–Girardeau.pdf

Review: Exclusive Psalmody or New Covenant Hymnody? By Lee Irons

Reno Presbyterian:

“The beginning of the article starts with the definition of the regulative principle: “One of the most important aspects of Reformed worship is its insistence that whatever God has not commanded to be done in worship is forbidden. This is known as the regulative principle of worship, a principle that is warranted by the second commandment” (Irons).  Here we should commend Irons for getting most of this right. The regulative principle, to an extent, is “whatever is not commanded is forbidden” (Irons). In other words, there must be warrant for anything we do in worship. This does not just include what we do and use but how we do these acts…

Read more: https://renopres.com/2016/04/10/review-exclusive-psalmody-or-new-covenant-hymnody-by-lee-irons/

The Levites Played the Instruments in Scripture

I Chronicles 23:3-6:

Now the Levites were numbered from the age of thirty years and upward: and their number by their polls, man by man, was thirty and eight thousand. Of which, twenty and four thousand were to set forward the work of the house of the LORD; and six thousand were officers and judges: Moreover four thousand were porters; and four thousand praised the LORD with the instruments which I made, said David, to praise therewith. And David divided them into courses among the sons of Levi, namely, Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.

II Chronicles 7:5-6:

And king Solomon offered a sacrifice of twenty and two thousand oxen, and an hundred and twenty thousand sheep: so the king and all the people dedicated the house of God. And the priests waited on their offices: the Levites also with instruments of musick of the LORD, which David the king had made to praise the LORD, because his mercy endureth for ever, when David praised by their ministry; and the priests sounded trumpets before them, and all Israel stood.

II Chronicles 29:25-26:

And he set the Levites in the house of the LORD with cymbals, with psalteries, and with harps, according to the commandment of David, and of Gad the king’s seer, and Nathan the prophet: for so was the commandment of the LORD by his prophets. And the Levites stood with the instruments of David, and the priests with the trumpets.

Badges of Idolaters

John Knox to the English Bishops in 1565:

“If surplesse, cornett-cap and tippet and I would include here the hymns, HDC, have been badges of idolaters in the very act of their idolatry, what has the preacher of Christian liberty and open rebuker of all superstition to do with the dregs of that Romish beast; yea, what is he that ought not to feare either to take in his hand or forehead, the print and mark of that odious Beast? … If the commandment of the Authority urge the conscience of you and of our brethren farther than they can bear, we unfeignedly crave of you that ye remember ye are called the ‘light of the world,’ and ‘the salt of the earth.’ All those called to authority have not the light of God always shining before the eyes in their statutes and commandments; but their affections savour over much of the earth and of worldly wisdom, and therefore we think ye should boldly oppose yourselves to all that power that will or dare burden the consciences of the faithful, farther than God has burdened them in his own word.`17

Source: http://www.fpcr.org/blue_banner_articles/DeCockonHymns.htm [footnote link broken and a Google search turned up no further sources]

Completely Done Away With

“Hymns were never introduced into the church, except to cause degeneration and contempt for the welfare of the church, or perhaps in cases of incomplete Reformation”

“…where Reformation has broken out in its purest form, the hymns are completely done away with.”

~Rev. Hendrick DeCock’s Case Against Hymns, http://www.fpcr.org/blue_banner_articles/DeCockonHymns.htm

We Shall Not Find Better Or More Appropriate Songs

“We know from experience that singing has great strength and power to move and to set on fire the hearts of men in order that they may call upon God and praise Him with a more vehement and more ardent zeal. It is to be remembered always that this singing should not be light or frivolous, but that it ought to have weight and majesty … Now, what Augustine says is true, namely that no one can sing anything worthy of God which he has not received from Him. Therefore, even after we have carefully searched everywhere, we shall not find better or more appropriate songs to this end than the Psalms of David, inspired by the Holy Spirit. And for this reason, when we sing them, we are assured that God puts the words in our mouth, as if He Himself were singing through us to exalt His glory… ”

~John Calvin (1543)

Source: http://www.fpcr.org/blue_banner_articles/DeCockonHymns.htm

Banished out of this Place

“Praise the Lord with Harp; sing unto Him with the Psaltery of ten strings, … the name of Christ brought it to pass that harps should be banished out of this place. … Let none turn his heart to instruments …”

-Augustine of Hippo

Source and read more: https://mintdill.wordpress.com/2015/08/27/medieval-scholastics-on-exclusive-psalmody-and-no-musical-instruments-in-worship/

We DO Sing Jesus’ Name In The Psalms

Reformed Books Online:

“We often sing of ‘salvation’ in the psalms.  The Hebrew word for salvation is ישועח  yeshua, which, transliterated into Greek, is Ιησους, or ‘Jesus’.

(Yeshua, or ‘Joshua’, see Heb. 4:8, is the shortened form of Yehoshua, or ‘Jehoshua’, which is an abbreviated form of ‘YHWH is Salvation’, or ‘YHWH saves’.  See Thayer, Greek Lexicon, p. 300, et al.)

Thus, ‘his name [is] Jesus: for He shall save his people from their sins.’ (Mt. 1:21)

Yeshua (Jesus) can also be translated as ‘deliverance’, ‘rescue’, ‘safety’, ‘welfare’ and ‘victory’ (c.f. B.D.B., Hebrew Lexicon, p. 447).  Hence we sing Jesus’ name translated into English under these terms 43 times in the Psalms.  For all of the instances, see Wigram, Hebrew Concordance, pp. 575 (the English is the K.J.V.)…

…This interestingly, is more than in most hymn-books.  In the first 100 hymns of the Trinity Hymnal (ed. 1990), ‘Jesus’ is only mentioned 8 times, and that in only 4 of the hymns (4%).  ‘Christ’ is elocuted 10 times in 8 hymns (8%), and ‘Jesus’ and ‘Christ’ are only used in the same hymn (though not together) in 1 hymn (1%).”

Read more: https://reformedbooksonline.com/do-we-sing-jesus-name-in-the-psalms/

Against the Eternal Rubric

“Every time any form of worship by procession, celebration, or ceremonial of man’s invention is offered to God, it is offered in defiance of this word of Christ, and cannot and will not be received; however earnest people may be they have violated the imperative canon of God’s Word; and in fighting for rubrics they have gone against the eternal rubric that God as a Spirit must be worshipped in spirit and in truth.”

~ C.H. Spurgeon

Source: quoted in the sidebar of https://xmassh8trsblog.wordpress.com/