Greetings from the Belle Center, Ohio, Reformed Presbyterian Church (RPCNA)

Greetings from the Belle Center, Ohio, Reformed Presbyterian Church (RPCNA). We invite you to worship with us this coming Lord’s Day as we gather together to worship our merciful and loving God.

Visit the home page for Service times and location.

THE PSALMES OF DAVID IN English Meeter, set forth by FRANCIS Rous, 1643

THE PSALMES OF DAVID IN English Meeter, set forth by FRANCIS Rous

He excellent uses of the Psalmes are manifold, yea universall; for they are good for all spirituall uses and advantages. They have in them Instruction, to increase our knowledge; Spirituall Fervour, to inflame our zeale; Consolation, to refresh and revive our fainting soules; Praiers, to fetch blessings from God; and Praises, to returne to God for his blessings. Yea, the very afflictions of the Saints therein expressed (even their outward sufferings, and inward dejections and desertions) are no small consolations to us. For, by them wee see that fiery Tryalls are no strange matters to Saints, and Saints wee may bee amid all these fiery Tryalls. But [Page] withall, if wee marke the issue of th […]se Tryalls (often set forth in these Psalmes) then wee cannot but see strong and vehement incouragements of Faith, and of that praier of Faith, which saveth the sick, even those that are sick at h […]art: yea, sick at the very soule. For how often doe wee see a sick soule to begin a Psalme, even in the belly of Hell, and yet end it in Heaven? So that a Saints soul being as it were in Hell, yet is neare unto Heaven, if it can be earnest with God in these melo­dious Praiers of Faith. For God, being thus called on, turnes in to the soule; and when God comes into a soule, hee makes a Heaven there, though a Hell were there before. And then naturally (I speak of a godly nature) do arise in the soule high Jubilations and Extasies, and not these onely, but glorious Thanksgivings to God; to whom alone must be ascribed the bringing of light out of darknesse: [Page] and that voice of joy and gladnesse, which the Saints doe heare even at the same time, when their bones are broken with humiliation.

Briefly, the Psalmes are characters and representations of the thoughts, meditations, and affections of a sanctified soule, throughout all the changes of her pilgrimage; so that a good man can be in no kind of estate, but he shall find his owne estate in a Psalme: and in a Psalme, he may find thoughts and expressions which doe well agree with that estate, and make it good unto him.

“One of the major issues between Rankin and the Transylvania Presbytery was his conviction that the Psalms of David alone were to be sung in public worship, to the exclusion of Isaac Watts’ imitations.”

A new article on Adam Rankin by R. Andrew Myers is at the Log College Press. Rankin’s book A Process of the Transilvania Presbytery has recently been added to the Log College Press website.

[On Col. 3:16 and Eph. 5:19] “in these verses the direction given is not to prepare or provide songs of praise, but only to sing them.”

“To begin with, it should be realized that present usage as regards the debated terms plays no part in fixing their sense. One can be misled by the seemingly familiar phraseology, and think forthwith of the hard and fast distinction now made between Psalms and hymns. But we are deciphering what was penned in AD 61 or 62, long centuries before any of the uninspired productions in the hymnals of today were extant. In order, therefore, to make these lines intelligible, we must transport ourselves back into that past to which Paul and his readers belong, and there undertake our exposition with open-mindedness and cautious discrimination.

As an approach toward identifying the poems intended by these designations, there is clear evidence at hand that all of them were divinely inspired, indited under the extraordinary influence of the Holy Spirit. Preliminary to what is deemed decisive proof, certain considerations which go to make this important claim a strong probability may be adduced.

1. First, in these verses the direction given is not to prepare or provide songs of praise, but only to sing them. On this we must be permitted to insist. But in the absence of an express warrant for so doing, would not these Asia Minor Christians have been chary about writing original hymns for rendition in worship, when the Psalter, written on the mountain-tops of inspiration, and full of the things of God, was everywhere, as is allowed, a congregational handbook? Is it likely that any, selfadvised and unaided, would have had the temerity or the desire to attempt such an innovation?”

From The Psalms in Worship, p129-130. by John Mcnaugher.

A SPECIAL EXEGESIS OF COL. III. 16 AND EPH. V.19, by John Mcnaugher, D. D., LL. D., Allegheny, PA

Is it a pleasure to thee to sing Psalms?

“Reader, dost thou find it so? Is it a pleasure to thee to sing Psalms? Dost thou sing them as an ordinance? Dost thou in faith expect a blessing upon thy singing? And is it indeed to thee the means of grace? If it be, use them more, and thou wilt find an increasing blessing; if it be not, consider well what has been said— repent of thine abuse of this precious ordinance—and pray for grace to observe it to the honour of God, to the edification of others, and to the profit of thine own soul; the Lord give thee a right understanding in this matter.

The neglect of it as an ordinance has led many people entirely to neglect it. I have scarce ever seen a congregation, in which every one joined in singing. This is a very great abuse, because it is defeating the end of God’s institution. He commanded Psalms to be sung for mutual edification. It was to be the service of the whole church. All were to join; whereas among us it is performed by some few, and they are sometimes set by themselves in a singing gallery, or in a corner of the church, where they sing to be admired for their fine voices, and others hear them for their entertainment. This is a vile prostitution of church music, and contrary to the letter and spirit both of the Old Testament and also of the New.”

William Romaine, An Essay on Psalmody (1775)

Solomon Stoddard on the singing of Psalms…

Ran across some interesting thoughts by Stoddard on Psalm singing in doing some research on Jonathan Edwards. He approves of uninspired hymns in worship.

The second part of worship to be performed in the church, is singing of Psalms; this is a moral duty not belonging peculiarly to the time of the Old Testament, as Christ with his disciples did practice it. So afterwards Paul and Silas, Acts 17. And we have positive commands for it, Eph. 5:16, Col. 3:16, James 5:13. In the primitive times when God gave to all extraordinary gifts of his Spirit. It was the manner sometimes for one man to sing a Psalm, and the congregation to say Amen, 1 Cor. 14:15-16. But now it is most proper for us to join together in singing of Psalms, as Christ and his disciples did, and as Moses and the children of Israel did, Exod. 15:1. As the church of Israel were wont to sing the Psalms of David, so (though we are not forbidden to sing Psalms of a private composure) it is lawful for us to sing the Psalms of David and other Scripture Psalms, the Apostle when he directs us to sing Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs, Eph. Col. 3. hath a manifest respect to the division of David’s Psalms, some things in those Psalms are not so suitable to our present case, so it is in what we read, yet those Psalms are very suitable for us to meditate upon; and contained in them much introduction and encouragement, and because they were indicted by the Spirit of God, are more proper to affect our hearts and excited the workings of Grace, then such as are of private composure.

Solomon Stoddard, The Doctrine of Instituted Churches (London, 1700), 16.

Titles on Exclusive Psalmody from Puritan Publications:

Here are some recent publications offered by Puritan Publications:

1) The Puritans on Exclusive Psalmody – Edited by C. Matthew McMahon

2) Singing of Psalms a Gospel Ordinance – by John Cotton (1585-1662)

3) Singing of Psalms the Duty of Christians – by Thomas Ford (1598–1674)

4) Gospel Music: or the Singing of David’s Psalms by Nathaniel Holmes (or Homes) D.D. (1599–1678)

5) A Gospel-Ordinance Concerning the Singing of Scripture Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs – by Cuthbert Sydenham (1622–1654)

6) Gospel Worship, or, The Right Manner of Sanctifying the name of God in General, in Hearing the Word, Receiving the Lord’s Supper, and Prayer by Jeremiah Burroughs (1599-1646)

7) A Christian’s True Spiritual Worship to Jesus Christ – by Stephen Charnock (1628-1680), including Charnock’s view of Christ in the Psalms by Matthew McMahon. Annexed to Charnock’s work is Jonathan Clapham’s treatise on psalmody.

They can all be found here: http://www.puritanpublications.com/store/products/category/worship/

Later this month, 3 more books on worship will be released.

1) John Owen’s The Glory of Evangelical Worship, with a paper on Owen’s view of Psalm Singing by Matthew McMahon. Annexed is Edward Hutchins’ “masterpiece” on exclusive psalmody called, Scripture Proof for Singing Hymns and Spiritual Songs. Clapham and Hutchins have never previously been published by anyone and not available anywhere on the net.

2) John Wilson’s The Simplicity of New Testament Worship, which he references psalmody.

3) A compilation of works by Samuel Willard, Jonathan Dickinson, Joshua Moodey, Nathan Stone and Jonathan Edwards called Vain Imaginations in the Worship of God.

New Articles at APM: www.apuritansmind.com

Our New Reformed and Puritan Books are available at Puritan Publications!

A series on WORSHIP – New Releases:

        

New Books on Worship COMING SOON: