Great article on the Keys Psalter over at the Log College Press.
Thanks to R. Andrew Myers for the notice.
Great article on the Keys Psalter over at the Log College Press.
Thanks to R. Andrew Myers for the notice.
To render thanks unto the Lord
it is a comely thing,
And to thy name, O thou most High,
due praise aloud to sing.
Thy loving-kindness to show forth
when shines the morning light;
And to declare thy faithfulness
with pleasure ev’ry night.
On a ten-stringed instrument,
upon the psaltery,
And on the harp with solemn sound,
and grave sweet melody.
May our hearts be forever full of praise and thanksgiving to the Lord, who is ever kind and faithful to his people.
“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
“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)
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:
Here are some online pamphlets related to EP posted at the RP Archive. Many helpful articles!
Christian Worship by Gene Spear
The Excellence of the Psalms by D. B. Willson
Instrumental Music a Corruption of New Testament Worship by R. J. George
Is Christ in the Psalms? By William J. Coleman
Musical Instruments in Divine Worship by W. J. McKnight
Psalm Singing Revisited by Bruce C. Stewart
Psalmody by Roy C. Fullerton
Psalmody by R. J. George
The Psalms, God’s Authorized Manual of Praise by A. J. McFarland
Why no Instruments? By Robert B. McCracken
Why Psalms? By G. I. Williamson
RPCNA Committee on the Signs of the Times (1869): 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.
Portion from the Reformed Presbyterian and Covenanter Magazine of 1870, page 22.
Who We Are
We are a Reformed and Presbyterian Church in West Bend, Wisconsin, adhering to the original Westminster Confession of Faith and Standards with its uniformity in doctrine, worship and government. Although not yet an official congregation of the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland, we are members of other Free Presbyterian congregations, and gather on the Lord’s Day for Public worship in the same way that other Free Presbyterian Congregations do.
The Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland is a mainline descendant of the historic Church of Scotland of the Reformation formed in 1893. Our church has congregations on 5 continents.
We believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God and that we have a faithful translation in the Authorized (King James) Version. We believe that the Westminster Confession of Faith is an accurate statement of the main doctrines of the Bible.
Services and Location
Service Times: Lord’s Day 10:30 a.m. & 6:30 p.m.
1204 State Highway 33
West Bend, WI
Please Note: Some online map services are inaccurate. Our congregation is located directly across the street from the West Bend Golf Club on the NE side of West Bend, Wisconsin
Here is what you can expect when you come to one of our services:
We aim for reverence in our worship.
The preaching of God’s Word and prayer are central components of our worship.
We use the Scottish Metrical Psalter for our singing (without instrumental accompaniment).
Our standard order of service is as follows:
To contact by phone: Joseph Smith, (281) 757-6160
To send a message, please use the form here to contact Wisconsin Free Presbyterian Meeting. You may alternatively contact us at email@example.com
As of last week, the Dallas RP Church (RPCNA) has a new meeting location. The group is meeting at the school facility at 2525 East Trinity Mills Road, Carrollton, TX. Morning Worship is at 10:30 am and afternoon worship is at 2:00 pm. Visit the church website for more details: www.dallasrpc.org
A new website defending the singing of Psalms. King and Kirk is the work of RPCNA pastor Daniel Kok. Here is a selection from the site:
“This project reflects the many months I studied the subject of psalmody in the church, particularly with respect to its application in worship. In the end I concluded that the songs that Jesus wants his church to sing in worship are the biblical Psalms and that no other songs are warranted.
I have compiled quotations from the major works I read with attribution given. The reader may consult the bibliography for a full list of the books, essays and articles that are cited, including the webpages of those resources found online.
Use the menu above to navigate to the main sections. Subsections are included as links on every page (where applicable).
My prayer is that through such projects as these the church will once again regain her voice in the prophetic songs that so intimately and reverently reflect the person and work of her King.
In Christ’s service,
Daniel Kok (2017)”
From the Reformed Collective website:
EP Objections Answered: Brandon Craig
by Christian Herring | Jan 7, 2017 | Theologic Thoughts
Christ Presbyterian Church (PCA) has been added to the list of EP churches. They are located at 1016 Main St Grandview, MO 64030. From their website:
“Christ Presbyterian Church is a congregation of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) and as such we are committed to the Bible, God’s Word, as the supreme rule of faith and life. Because of this, we take public worship very seriously. The Word of God clearly shows that worship is to be ordered according to God’s instructions, and not according to our imaginations, traditions, or in any way God has not commanded. Therefore, the goal of our worship is to be entirely regulated and ruled by the teaching of Scripture. This means our worship is neither “contemporary” nor “traditional” but simple and biblical.
We view the faithful preaching (and hearing) of His Word, right administration (and partaking) of the sacraments (baptism and the Lord’s supper), and prayer as essential to growth and sanctification in the Christian life. While other churches question the Bible’s authority, look to another source of truth for guidance, or downplay the ministry of the Word to become centers of entertainment, we remain deliberately committed to expository preaching and teaching of the Word of God. And while some churches are abandoning or “updating” the gospel, we are purposely proclaiming “the faith once-delivered” that we are great sinners in need of saving and “God saves sinners” through our Lord Jesus Christ.
We are committed to biblical Christianity, as set forth in the historic Westminster Confession of Faith, Larger Catechism, and Shorter Catechism. This is the best known of the seventeenth-century Protestant statements of faith and has been heralded as the finest Christian confession of faith ever composed by uninspired men.
We aim to be what God calls His people to be: a family – naturally and practically caring for one another and discipling one another in the good times and the bad. Our aim, then, is to be a loving community of believers in Christ, truly committed to one another, who live out an unforced and unprogramed discipleship and witness.
Finally, like our forbears, we know that the problems of today admit of no human solution. We believe that the only hope for the world is in the Spiritual regeneration of souls worked by God through Jesus Christ, and so we fervently pray for God-sent revival in our lives, our church, our city and our land. We invite all to come and worship with us.”
Recent sermons on the subject of exclusive Psalmody…
From a recent communication to update the EP site:
Last summer at the Presbyterian Reformed Church (PRC) presbytery meeting it was decided to relocate the PRC from Matthews North Carolina and rename the local congregation “The Presbyterian Reformed Church of North Carolina.”
Here is new information from the PRC website:
Morning Worship: 10:00a
Evening Worship: 6:00p
2188 Chestnut Grove Road
King, NC 27021
Phone: (336) 710-0219
Jeff George, Deacon
Jeff – firstname.lastname@example.org
The Presbyterian Reformed Church of North Carolina (formerly PRC of Charlotte) was formed in 1998. Timothy J. Worrell, a graduate of Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, was inducted as our first pastor. Rev. David Douglas Gebbie is currently serving as Moderator. The pulpit is open presently.
Please consider giving your support to the Sunrise Christian School in Glasgow, Scotland. Here is a recent communication from Stephen McCollum, a teacher at Sunrise and a licentiate of the RP Church of Scotland and an elder in Airdrie RPC.
“Our school began in August 2014 and I was the first and only teacher. The school is overseen by a Board with representation from the Reformed
Presbyterian Church, Free Church (Continuing), and Reformed Baptists. All teachers must subscribe to a Reformed confession of faith, such as the Westminster Standards or Three Forms. During our assembly when we worship, we exclusively sing from the Psalter, although we obviously sing other songs at other times in the day. This practice of singing from the Psalter is protected in our constitution. At present, we sing from the Scottish Psalter to promote unity. We now have three teachers, two from the Reformed Presbyterian Church and one from the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland. The children learn the Westminster Shorter Catechism as well as learning all subjects from the Reformed worldview.
“Although Scotland has a heritage of Reformed worship, this has died away largely. We also had a heritage of Reformed schools, but this is long gone. Scotland is a secular country with an aggressively liberal Government. Sunrise Christian School is one of only a handful of Christian schools in Scotland, but there is only one other Reformed school besides us. Since the Reformed church is so small in Scotland we have had to struggle financially, receiving no support from the Government. We began not thinking we could pay salaries. That being said, our school has developed tremendously in the past two and half years. We see this as a sign of the Lord’s blessing. My first day in August 2014 had only three pupils, but we now have 26 pupils!
“Although we are a Reformed school that sings the psalms in assembly, most of our families do not come from a Reformed background and very few of the children sing the psalms in their churches or families. Some of our children even come from non-Christian backgrounds. We are so excited that we can train up the next generation in the ways of the Lord, and especially that we can instil in them a love for the Psalter at this young age. We memorise a metrical verse each week and the children are always so excited when I tell them that they have memorised another chapter of the Bible!
“Even yesterday some older pupils asked if they could sing some psalms during break and it wasn’t long before others came and joined them. You can check out a video of it here:
https://www.facebook.com/SunriseChristianSchoolGlasgow/videos/ and you can listen to some of our psalm singing on soundcloud:
Further information can be found on our webpage
“Should any be willing to donate to our school, this can easily be done online at here. We have been able to increase our income in various ways so that we are financially stable. But due to our quick growth we must soon employ a part-time administrative assistant and we have also outgrown our current building which we rent. We hope to be able to buy our own building as soon as possible and look for all the help from those who are supportive of the Reformed faith. These factors mean that we will have to stretch a little bit more financially. However, we are so pleased to have come to this extent.
“If you would be interested in more information, please feel free to get in touch with me.”
Teacher, Sunrise Christian School
Registered Scottish Charity: Charity Number SC045287
From the church website:
Who we are
Immanuel Chapel is a ministry of the Reformed Presbyterian Church in North America – a Bible-believing, Christ-centered Reformed and Presbyterian denomination with a heritage that goes back to 1798 in America and even further back in Scotland, with roots in the Scottish Reformation (John Knox) and later the “Covenanter” (a term used to identify the Scottish Presbyterians) era, in the latter 1600s, the Protestant church of Geneva Switzerland of the 1500s, and ultimately from the apostles of Jesus Christ as ordained and set forth in the New Testament. See the website reformedpresbyterian.org for more information. As a group, we have been meeting together since 2011.
We are under the oversight of the Southern Church Extension Committee of the Presbytery of the Great Lakes-Gulf of the RPCNA.
Rev. HP McCracken, Chair.
Dr. Kevin L. Clauson
Phone: (423) 775-8852 or (434) 444-0344
We meet at the Dayton Community Chapel, 184 Mulberry Ave, Dayton, TN 37321. This is on Hwy 30 east of Hwy 27, second road on the right after the old entrance to Bryan College.
184 Mulberry Ave, Dayton, TN 37321
Adding Reformation Church of Blue Bell, PA to the directory. The church is a member of the Reformed Church in the United States (RCUS) and it sings predominantly Psalms. This church would be a good one to add to your contacts if you are traveling in the area.
From their website:
We cordially invite you to join us for worship or at our regular mid-week meeting
1215 Union Meeting Rd
Blue Bell, PA 19422
Morning worship begins at 10:00am
Evening worship begins at 4:00pm
7:00 p.m. Wednesdays at the church
Worship of the Triune God is central to the practice of a true, living faith. Serving God in worship is so serious that the Christian may not exempt himself from meeting with the God of his deliverance together with the congregation once called through the officers of the church. The operations of the church are all to be done decently and in good order and, much more, the elements and ordering of corporate worship (liturgy) are to be done in accordance with God’s Word, the Bible. The elements of worship include the reading and preaching of the Word, confession of sins, prayers of adoration and supplication, Psalm singing, baptism and the Lord’s Supper and various acts of covenant renewal (as defined by Scripture). Worship is covenantal dialogue between God and the congregation; that is, God speaks and His people respond accordingly. It is both a joyful privilege and a solemn obligation to come before our loving Father and Almighty God. It is not an interaction between equals and the congregation must give vigorous attention to the acts of liturgy. Any concession to novelty—no matter how sincere — or being entertained or being merely a spectator has no place in Christian worship.
Reformation church sings out of the “Book of Praise,” an Anglo-Genevan Psalter. This Psalter contains all 150 Psalms set to music, as well as 65 Hymns. Visitors may find extra copies of these Psalters in the cupboard immediately to the right when entering through the main front door.
To assist in following along with the liturgy of the worship service, “bulletins” for both Lord’s Day services can be found immediately to the left when entering through the front door of the auditorium. These bulletins include the prayers that the congregation reads out loud and indicate when the congregation stands and sits at various points throughout the worship service.
Reformation church celebrates communion once each month in the afternoon service. Visitors from sister congregations, if desiring to participate in the celebration, must provide a written attestation of being a member in good standing from the officers of their home congregations to an officer of Reformation church prior to the worship service (preferably, prior to the Sunday they visit).
I received a copy this week for review. This work is a good reminder of the role of Scripture in worship. Murphy structures this pamphlet around his central text, 2 Timothy 3:16-17,
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17
Murphy begins by discussing two reformations that are recorded in God’s Word, that of King Hezekiah (2 Chronicles 29:30) and King Josiah (2 Kings 22-23). These reformations are of worship and the things pertaining to worship, and so they are rightly compared to the presumptuous worship of Nadab and Abihu (Leviticus 10:1-2). Murphy says, “this passage should cause us all to examine our doctrines and practices, and in particular, our offerings of worship. Is every single element of your offerings of worship definitively and specifically commanded in Scripture? Is it fire from heaven? Is it directly according to His commands, and of His wisdom, and so defined by Him as to contain only what He has specifically called for?” I appreciate this direct challenge to me and to all who worship God. May we issue this same challenge to our dear friends and loved ones who have been distracted by modern theories of worship. May we call them back to a worship that is regulated by God’s Word.
Amazingly, the modern church rarely even acknowledges this clear Biblical warning that reveals just how much God cares about the way we worship Him. But the problem extends beyond worship, as Murphy notes, because 2 Timothy 3:16-17 also applies to “every good work”. The Bible is then sufficient to direct our preaching, our marriages, our families, and to show us how to love our neighbor. Worship, though severely neglected, is but a part of the eternal wisdom that is given to us in the Word of God.
On a personal level, this particular line of reasoning, that the Scriptures are sufficient for worship, was the final convincing argument that won me over to Exclusive Psalmody. I am reminded here of the central place that this “most important text” should have, to show us in part that the Psalms are sufficient for our worship. This argument is presented as a pamphlet, so the only negative is that it’s very brief. Readers may be left with additional questions about the details of how to structure worship with only the Bible as a source or perhaps some counterarguments might be left unanswered. The particulars, of course, can be found in an abundance of resources that are available in defense of EP, but perhaps the author will expand in future editions.
Though short, this work provides us with a direct reminder that we need not look beyond the Word of God for direction in worship. Certainly the inspired Psalms are superior in every possible way to the uninspired poems of mere men, and of this wonderful truth we can’t be reminded often enough.
Rowan Murphy is a member of Arann Reformed Baptist Church, which is an exclusive psalmody church in Dublin pastored by Mark Fitzpatrick. More information can be found on their Youtube page and on Sermonaudio.