1640 – The Whole Booke of Psalmes Faithfully Translated into English Metre: Whereunto is Prefixed a Discourse Declaring not Only the Lawfullness, but Also the Necessity of the Heavenly Ordinance of Singing Scripture Psalmes in the Churches of God by Richard Mather

New addition to the “Books Online” page…

1640 The Whole Booke of Psalmes Faithfully Translated into English Metre: Whereunto is Prefixed a Discourse Declaring not Only the Lawfullness, but Also the Necessity of the Heavenly Ordinance of Singing Scripture Psalmes in the Churches of God by Richard Mather

Nearly 800 times in the Psalter we praise our sovereign, covenantal Lord Jesus Christ…

From Brad Johnston’s website

“Over the years, I’ve been mystified as the number one reason people cite for not singing the Psalter is that they don’t get to sing the name of Jesus. I have repeatedly pointed out that they do get to sing Jesus’ divine, covenantal title confessed by all true Christians. The fundamental conviction of the universal Christian faith is that “Jesus is Lord” (Rom. 10:9; 1 Cor. 12:3), and the apostle assures us that those who make such a confession will be saved. Nearly 800 times in the Psalter we praise our sovereign, covenantal Lord Jesus Christ (actually the number is 795 times in 141 different psalms).

That’s why the second section of my recent book 150 Questions about the Psalter is entitled “Christ In The Psalter.” I’ve tried to boil down the Christological insights of my favorite writers into just twenty carefully written question and answers unpacking a Jesus-centered understanding of the Psalter. Here are a few examples (you can find the first twenty questions here)”

Brad Johnston is the Pastor of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Topeka, KS and the author of the new book “150 Questions about the Psalter”

“…we mourn over their indifference to and disregard of many important and precious truths of God’s word, and the substituting of human inventions for divine institutions in the worship of God.”

“And while we cheerfully admit there are very many of the Lord’s people in all the evangelical churches, and rejoice in all they have done and are doing for the salvation of sinners, and the extension of the kingdom of Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours, we mourn over their indifference to and disregard of many important and precious truths of God’s word, and the substituting of human inventions for divine institutions in the worship of God. Especially is the praise of God corrupted by human hymns, which in the matter of many of them, as well as in the want of divine appointment for all, are unfit for the worship of God—and also choirs and instrumental music in the place of congregational singing. The whole service of praise seems to be arranged as a mere theatrical performance, and intended to please man, not God. By ignoring scriptural and important doctrines, and by not exercising discipline for popular sins, and arranging the worship of God to gratify the carnal mind, the church has been brought down almost to the level with the world, or changed into a worldly sanctuary. And the popular way for the union of all the churches in one organic body, proceeding, as it does, upon the false assumption that the great principles which have heretofore divided, and still divide, the several churches, are of no value, and unworthy of any regard, is a lamentable evidence of the general decline of the life and power of true religion in these times.”

“A Good Conscience”, The Reformed Presbyterian and Covenanter, Vol 8, January 1870, p21-22

Heidelblog: Considering context leads to singing Psalms…

http://heidelblog.net/2015/05/considering-context-leads-to-singing-psalms-in-new-testament-praise-and-worship/

“Considering the Anglo-Scots thought that Christians should continually praise God with these two psalms (107 and 119), the compilers may have been seeking to highlight their didactic function by applying the same tune to both.”

Thanks to Brad Johnston for this helpful quote from Tim Duguid’s  new book on Metrical Psalmody. Brad is the Pastor of the Topeka Reformed Presbyterian (RPCNA) Church in Topeka, KS.

From Timothy Duguid, Metrical Psalms In Print And Practice: English ‘Singing Psalms’ and Scottish ‘Psalm Buiks’, c. 1547-1640, p. 46-47.

“The pairing of Psalms 107 and 119 is classified as a Category 2 conflation. Psalm 107 praises God for his deeds throughout history, and his works for the children of men, especially in the way that he gathered the Israelites from distant lands and preserved them through distress, drought, and slavery. Psalm 119, however, is a series of 22 meditations on the blessings of the Law, acrostically based on the 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet, with all the letter in each successive meditations beginning with the same letter. Considering the differing content of these two psalms, it is not immediately obvious why they share the same tune. Proverbs 22:6 may be the key, asserting that parents should train their children according to God’s Law, and additionally, teach their children about the Lord’s works throughout history and especially the Passover (Exodus 12). While the Anglo-Scots community understood these as commands from the Old Covenant, the exiles maintained that they still applied to Christians under the New Covenant. In the Order of Baptism, [Knox’s 1560] Forme of Prayers had the pastor recite the following to parents:

Moreouer, ye that be fathers and mothers may take hereby moste singular comfort, to se your children thus receyued in to the bosom of Christes congregation, whereby you are daily admonished that ye nourishe and bring vp the children of God’s fauor and mercye, ouer whom his fatherly prouidence watcheth continually … So oght it to make you diligent, and carefull, to nurture and instruct them in the true knowledge and feare of God … Therefore, it is your duety, withal diligence to puide that your children in tyme conuinient, be instructed in all doctrine necessarie for a true Christian: chiefly that they be taught to rest vpon the iustice of Christ Jesus alone, and to abhorre and flee all superstition, papistrie, and idolatrie.”

… Considering the Anglo-Scots thought that Christians should continually praise God with these two psalms, the compilers may have been seeking to highlight their didactic function by applying the same tune to both.

MY OWN MODERN ENGLISH TRANSLATION of The Forme of Prayers Statement (1560-1561)

Moreover, ye that be fathers and mothers may take [in this baptism] most singular comfort, to see your children thus rescued into the bosom of Christ’s congregation, whereby you are daily admonished that ye nourish and bring up the children in God’s favor and mercy, over whom his fatherly providence watcheth continually … So ought [this baptism] make you diligent and careful to nurture and instruct [this child] in the true knowledge and fear of God … Therefore, it is your duty with all diligence to provide that your children in time convenient, be instructed in all doctrine necessary for a true Christian – chiefly, that they be taught to rest upon the justice of Christ Jesus alone, and to abhor and flee all speculation, false doctrine, and idolatry.”

 

Exclusive Psalmody Debate, Gordon-Prutow

http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=329157532910

A cordial informative edifying discussion/debate on the Question: Should we sing psalms exclusively in worship?
Dr. T. David Gordon, Grove City College Prof, takes the negative.
Dr. Dennis Prutow, RPTS Emeritus Prof, takes the affirmative.
Opening Presentations (20 Minutes Each)
Rebuttals (10 Minutes Each)
Debaters Examine Each Other (10 Minutes Each)
Rebuttals/Closings (15 Minutes Each)
Audience Q&A Not Recorded

“The sound of their voices employed in prayer, or in the singing of psalms, probably attracted the notice of the soldiers, and drew them to the spot. “

“The dragoons pursued their way over the hills towards the farm of Cairn, beautifully situated on the slope of the range of mountains that line the sweet vale of the Nith on the south. At this place they came upon two men in a hollow among the green and flowery braes, engaged, it is supposed, in devotional exercises. The sound of their voices employed in prayer, or in the singing of psalms, probably attracted the notice of the soldiers, and drew them to the spot. The names of the individuals were Hair and Corson. The circumstances in which they were found were enough to insure their death, and therefore, according to the custom of the times, and the license of the troopers, they were without ceremony shot on the spot. They lie interred on the south side of the great road between Sanquhar and New Cumnock, where a rude stone pillar points out their resting-place.”

Traditions of the Covenanters by Robert Simpson, p 134.

‘IN MEMORY OF
GEORGE CORSON
AND
JOHN HAIR
WHO WERE SHOT NEAR THIS PLACE
IN 1685, FOR THEIR ADHERENCE TO
DIVINE TRUTH,
AND ATTACHMENTS TO THE
COVENANTED REFORMATION
OF 1638–50.
“They lived unknown,
Till persecution dragged them into fame,
And chased them up to heaven.”
1845’
(Campbell, SW, 181-2; Thomson, Martyr Graves, 339-40.)