“What poetry is to be compared with the Psalms of God? … Singing of psalms is commanded by divine authority, and commanded as a part of divine worship; not left to man’s wisdom how to provide for it, but is expressly provided for in the good word of God … The Psalms are stolen out of the church, and thereby the members are deprived of the blessings promised to the singing of them; for God will not give you the end if you neglect the means.”

Alexander Blaikie quotes William Romaine:

“What poetry is to be compared with the Psalms of God? Who can make the singing of any human verses an ordinance, or give a blessing to them, such as is  promised, and is given to the singing of Psalms? For what reason, then, are they set aside in the church? Why are the words of man’s genius preferred to the words of inspiration? Singing of psalms is commanded by divine authority, and commanded as a part of divine worship; not left to man’s wisdom how to provide for it, but is expressly provided for in the good word of God. And is not great contempt put upon this infinitely wise provision, when it is quite disused in the church, and man’s word is preferred to it?

What would you think of them who should throw aside all the Scripture, and never read it all in the congregation? And is it not an offense of the like nature, totally to neglect a part, a chief part of it, which was recorded for the use of the church, and in which its members were to sing the high praises of their God? It is hereby treated as useless and good for nothing. A very gross affront is put upon the love and wisdom which revealed this divine collection of hymns, and the church is deprived of the blessing promised to the singing of them, whereby it is robbed of one of its choicest treasures. If any thing be sacrilege, this is. The Psalms are stolen out of the church, and thereby the members are deprived of the blessings promised to the singing of them; for God will not give you the end if you neglect the means. Frequent are his commands in the Old Testament to sing psalms, and we have several in the New. for instance, let the word (not something beside it, but the word) of Christ itself dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs. These are not different things, but different names for the same collection of Psalms, as they treat of different subjects.”

Alexander Blaikie, Catechism of Praise, 1849

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2 responses to ““What poetry is to be compared with the Psalms of God? … Singing of psalms is commanded by divine authority, and commanded as a part of divine worship; not left to man’s wisdom how to provide for it, but is expressly provided for in the good word of God … The Psalms are stolen out of the church, and thereby the members are deprived of the blessings promised to the singing of them; for God will not give you the end if you neglect the means.”

  1. The quote is actually from William Romaine’s “Essay on Psalmody;” the first paragraph of the Appendix of Blaikie’s “Catechism” identifies Romaine as the original author.

  2. Sean, Yes, thank you for seeing that. I didn’t notice the Appendix heading when posting from my phone. Correction made…

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