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: https://puritanboard.com/threads/ep-only-in-corporate-public-worship.93273/, Comment 3

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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: https://puritanboard.com/threads/ep-only-in-corporate-public-worship.93273/, 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: https://puritanboard.com/threads/ep-only-in-corporate-public-worship.93273/, Comment 3

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/

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 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/

Singing the Lord’s Song in a Strange Land

Rev. Matthew Winzer’s critique of Iain Murray’s “The Psalter-The Only Hymnal?”:

http://www.puritanboard.com/showthread.php/24063-Singing-the-Lord-s-Song-in-a-Strange-Land

God Doesn’t Need Us To Worship Him As We Want To

“God knows what balance we need in our theology and instruction, and has provided that balance in the Psalter. The Psalms contain a much greater variety of theological material than all the merely human compositions. God gave to the entire Church throughout much of its history what it needs to sing. We must remember that God doesn’t need us to worship him as we want to. He wants us to worship him as we need to. We want to worship him with our own offerings. We need to worship him with the compositions that he has given us.”

~James R. Hughes, In Spirit and Truth: Worship as God Requires

Source: http://www.puritanboard.com/showthread.php/86683-Psalmody-and-Other-Songs-in-Scripture, Comment #1