“From the 1871 Associate Reformed Presbyterian Synod’s “Summary of Doctrines”:
“It is the will of God, that the sacred songs contained in the Book of Psalms be sung in His worship, both public and private, to the end of the world; and the rich variety and perfect purity of their matter, the blessing of God upon them in every age and the edification of the church thence arising, set the propriety of singing them in a convincing light ; nor shall any human composures be sung in any of the Associate Reformed churches.” This regulation not only asserts the propriety of singing the Psalms in Christian worship, but forbids the use of human composures, and is supported by the following, among other considerations:
1. The Book of Psalms is a portion of the “Word of God and is, therefore, the truth most pure; human productions may, and often do contain error.
2. The true idea of praise is the celebration of God’s perfections and work; this the Infinite God, who only knows Himself can express inconceivably better than man, and we should reverently leave the expression of it to Him.
3. God has appointed the Book of Psalms to be used in His praise; human composures are unauthorized.
4. When we lay aside God’s own inspired Psalter in order to use man’s in the place of it, we seem to dishonor God and give man the preference.
5. The hymn books prepared by churches are sectarian, give prominence to their peculiar dogmas, and thereby perpetuate the divisions of the church; the Book of Psalms, like the Bible of which it is a part, is common ground on which the whole visible church may stand.”