From the Reformed Collective website:
EP Objections Answered: Brandon Craig
by Christian Herring | Jan 7, 2017 | Theologic Thoughts
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…
Found this today in Robert Lathan’s fine history of the ARP. This sermon is an excellent summary of our position. Lathan says this was preached in 1773, though the publication itself says April 13, 1774. See Robert Lathan, History of the Associate Reformed Synod of the South in which is prefixed a History of the ARP and RPC (Harrisburg, PA, 1882), 221.
A portion of the text:
“We must yield to the current of ancient history, that in the course of three centuries, human composures were sung in the worship of God, as well as David’s Psalms ; but these were concomitants, if not sources of that corruption, which did considerably accelerate that deformation in the church, which brought forth the whore of Babylon. To plead for human composures being admitted into the worship of Cod from their being used in the ancient ages of Christianity, will equally conclude in favor of instrumental music, which was admitted about the same period. A time of deadness in religion is the ordinary period of a church’s declension from the purity of her worship: Men then forgetting the command of God, think of gratifying their own fancies. “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” (2 Cor. xi. 3.) This is a favorable juncture for the devil to exert himself, when a church is in a slumbering condition. “But while men slept, his enemy came, and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.” (Mat. xiii. 25.)…
6. To alter the Psalms of David from their original sense; or to substitute human compositions in their room, in Christian worship, is productive of dangerous consequences. Allow me to point out a few of these, and leave your own minds to suggest many more:
1. This has a tendency to weaken the authority of David’s Psalms. It is natural for people to have a light opinion of the Psalms when thoy hear them branded with a number of contemptuous epithets. Will any be much awed by what is opposite to the spirit of the gospel? But objections of this sort equally strike against all the Old Testament, and have a native tendency to strengthen the cause of Deism. What is said against the Psalms of David is spoken against “the Holy Ghost who spake by the mouth of David.” (Acts i. 16.) Doubtless it would be employing time and talents to better purpose, in attempting a reformation of many things in the church rather than in the Psalms of the Spirit’s inditing. “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.” (Psal. xix. 7.)
2. If David’s Psalms are to be sung, only as mangled according to the pleasure of men; or if they are to be altogether excluded, and human composures put in their room; none can tell what will be at last sung in “worshipping assemblies.” I speak of those churches in which these things are looked on as matters of indifference; where people are allowed to use what psalms or hymns they please, and thus to act as the children of Israel in the days of the Judges, when “every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” (Judges xvii. 6.) After all the members are severed from the body of the Psalms, some new refiners may be for cutting away part of the remainder, under pretence of their being also unsuitable for gospel worship. Considering the many poets and poetasters in the world, we know what will be sung in place of David’s Psalms, if once excluded. The practice already introduced, of ministers’ composing hymns which comprise the heads of.their sermon will more generally spread: Many of us are but poor preachers, hut would make worse poets. Heads of families will make hymns and spiritual songs, which they may reckon suitable to the state of their families. In one church we shall have one set of such songs, a different one in another: Our Psalms and Anthems will at last become more voluminous than our Bible, and more frequently read, which is already become lamentably true, with respect to so:ns deluded Sectaries. Such disorders began even in the apostolic age and were corrected by the apostlo Paul. ”How is it then brethren? When you come together, every one of you hath a Psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation.”
3. This has a tendency to introduce error into the worship of God. The second commandment requireth us to keep the ordinances of God pure and entire: Wnile we abide by the Psalms of David we shall effectually secure purity of worship in respect of praising God: But if once we begin to use human composures in God’s worship, we are in imminent danger of being gradually led to sing mere jargon, or men’s opinions, instead of the sacred truths of the Spirit’s inditing. This is already verified in the case of some deluded enthusiasts, who, instead of reading the Scripture, or singing the Psalms of David with gravity, always sing such hymns and spiritual songs as breathe their own notions, and are inflamed with their own wild fire. “And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the Lord, which he commanded them not. And there went out a fire from the Lord and devoured them, and they died before the Lord.” (Lev. x. 1, 2.) Could it be made appear that David’s Psalms are not suitable for every person, we would not think it strange to see men so fond of other composures. But this is so far from being the case, that to use the warm expressions of Gerard concerning them, “They are a jewel made up of the gold of doctrine, of the pearls of comfort, of the gems of prayer. This book is a theatre of God’s works, a sweet field and rosary of promises, a paradise of sweet fruits, and heavenly delights: An ample sea, wherein tempesttoss’d souls find richest pearls of consolation: An heavenly school wherein God himself is chief instructor. The abridgement, flower and quintessence of scripture: A glass of divine grace representing to us the sweetest smiling countenance of God in Christ; and a most accurate anatomy of a Christian soul, delineating all its afflictions, motions, temptations and plunges, with their proper remedies.”
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 – email@example.com
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.
Do We Sing Jesus Christ’s Name in the Psalter? Rev. Travis Fentiman of the Free Church of Scotland (Continuing) has posted a very thorough article to answer the question.
I found a great review of this book from The Original Secession Magazine January 1873-1874, Vol XI, Publisher J. Maclaren, p 387-388 and there is historical context provided below as well. As you will see, the students in the church were gradually carried along to reject a cappella singing. “Most of the students sympathized with the party of liberty, which, year by year, grew stronger as these young men were licensed and ordained.” It was in this context that Glasgow wrote Heart and Voice.
“Heart and Voice: Instrumental Music in Christian Worship not Divinely Authorized” By James Glasgow, D.D., Irish General Assembly’s Professor of Oriental Languages. Belfast: C. Aitchison.
“This is a learned and laborious work. Indeed, from the amount of textual criticism it contains, we fear that superficial readers will be disposed to vote it dry. They may insinuate, too, as one critic of the book whose notice we have seen actually does, that so much digging about Hebrew and Greek roots is not productive enough to repay the labour. But the ready and sufficient answer to such shallow and flippant animadversions is, that the real teaching of Scripture on any subject can only be ascertained by a critical investigation of its meaning; and that, particularly, when the advocates of instrumental music betake themselves to the original text of Scripture, and profess to find an unanswerable argument for the organ in the meaning of this and that Hebrew and Greek word, it becomes absolutely necessary to follow them there, and to shew that their philological argument is as baseless as any and every other argument they employ.
The learned professor does all this, and more. Anxious to get to the very bottom of this important and recently much-debated question, he goes through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and subjects to a thorough critical examination every passage which bears, or may be supposed to bear, on the subject of instrumental music. Then, gathering up and summarizing the results, he makes it plain beyond all reasonable question that, while instrumental music was sanctioned under the Davidic dispensation, and in connection with the ritual and symbolic worship of the temple, the whole testimony of Scripture combines to shew that it is no part of moral-natural worship, that it passed away with the old ceremonial system of which (for a time) it formed a part, and that it is simple Judaism to attempt to re-introduce it into the spiritual worship of the gospel day. In the concluding chapters, he reviews and refutes the leading arguments for the use of instruments in public worship; states some subordinate objections to it; and gives a very valuable summary of opinions against it, from the testimonies of the early Fathers and of the Reformers down to those of recent writers on the subject.
On the whole, this is not a book to gallop through at a sitting. Nor is it a book which critics of the calibre who think it enough to ask you, “Does not David say, ‘Praise the Lord with a harp'”? are capable of judging. But all who are competent to follow the author through his inductive investigation of the teaching of Scripture on the subject, and who are prepared to accept of Scripture as the sole and sufficient rule of worship as well as of faith and morality, will rise from its perusal, feeling that he has proved the use of organs in the public praise of a Christian congregation to be as purely a piece of will-worship as the incense and the images of Romanism.”
The sad historical context of the book is found in A History of the Irish Presbyterians by William Thomas Latimer:
“The growth of an emotional form of worship in the Irish Presbyterian Church was now exhibited by the introduction of instrumental music to the public services of the sanctuary in some town congregations which boasted of their culture. This matter came before the Assembly in 1868, by a reference from the Synod of Armagh and Monaghan regarding the use of a harmonium in the congregation of Enniskillen.
Presbyterianism had, at one time, been strong in County Fermanagh. Under Captain M’Carmick and the Rev. Robert Kelso, a movement was originated by the leading Presbyterians which saved Enniskillen from King James, and rendered it possible to defend Londonderry. Burdy, in his life of Skelton, admits that in the middle of the next century Presbyterians were still a substantial body in County Fermanagh; but the Synod failed to establish a number of churches sufficient for their accommodation, and they were gradually absorbed by Episcopacy. Even when a revival came, it was Methodism which annexed that district. From 1837 the Rev. Alexander Cooper Maclatchy had been in charge of our Enniskillen congregation, and being somewhat Episcopal in his tendencies, he introduced a harmonium to improve the congregational psalmody. Mr. Maclatchy’s action was opposed in Presbytery, Synod and Assembly, by the Rev. James Gardner Robb, an exceedingly ready and logical debate. When this matter came before the Assembly in 1868, it was proposed to refer it to a commission, but an amendment of Dr. Cooke was carried to the effect, that ” the common law” of the Church excluded the use of instrumental music in the public worship of God, and that Presbyteries should be instructed to see that congregations conform to this ” law.”
The injunction was disobeyed, and, as an excuse for their disobedience, the “liberty” party asserted that no “law” had been passed by the Assembly, either then or previously, which prohibited an instrumental aid from being employed in the congregational psalmody. Thus the controversy was continued. Year by year resolutions were passed by the Assembly ordering disobedient congregations to abstain from using instruments in the service of the Sanctuary; but these resolutions were disregarded, and the “purity” party, although able to carry prohibitions, were unable to induce the Church to punish those who disobeyed her orders.
In these debates and in the war of pamphlets and newspaper articles, the Revs. Dr. William Dool Killers, John Macnaughtan, Henry Wallace, Dr. Robert Watts, Dr. H. B. Wilson, Dr. Thomas Y. Killen, and Dr. R. Workman, were among those who advocated the principle of permitting congregations to introduce an instrumental accompaniment in the service of praise; while the Revs. Dr. Nathaniel M. Brown, Dr. Corkey, Dr. Glasgow,* Dr. John Kinnear, George Magill, Dr. Petticrew, Dr. Robb, Dr. Robinson, and Dr. James Maxwell Rogers, advocated the principles of purity in the worship of God, and obedience to the injunctions of the Assembly. The great majority of elders were on the same side, but Mr. Thomas Sinclair lent his powerful aid to those who advocated what they termed “liberty.” Most of the students sympathized with the party of liberty, which, year by year, grew stronger as these young men were licensed and ordained.
When the purity party had a majority in the Assembly, they might have easily passed a law, with penalties annexed, prohibiting any congregation from employing an “instrument” except for the defined purpose of aiding the congregational psalmody, and only when sanctioned by a very large majority of voters. But the opportunity was neglected, and “instruments” are now introduced by “Sessions” when often there is a considerable proportion of the people against the innovation.
When Dr. Johnston was moderator, he carried a resolution pledging the Assembly, in 1873, to pass no law on the question, and binding the congregations which employed instrumental music to give up its use. But this resolution failed to settle the matter in dispute. Several of the offending ministers denied that they had entered into any agreement, and they continued to defy the authority of the Assembly.”
* Rev. James Glasgow, D.D., appointed Missionary to India in 1840, and Assembly’s Professor of Oriental languages in 1865, died in 1890. Dr. Glasgow was modest, kind-hearted, and possessed of great learning.
From Matthew Henry’s A Scripture Catechism in the Method of the Assembly’s
Q. 52. What are the reasons annexed to the second commandment?
A. The reasons annexed to the second commandment, are God’s sovereignty over us, his property in us, and the zeal he has to his own worship.
1. Is there good reason why we should take heed of idolatry? Yes: Turn ye not to idols, neither make to yourselves molten gods, I am the Lord your God, Lev. 19:4. Has God a sovereignty over us? Yes: for he is a great God, and a great King above all gods, Ps. 95:3. Ought we therefore to worship him, as he has appointed us? Yes: O come let us worship, and bow down, and kneel before the Lord our Maker, Ps. 95:6. And not to worship idols? Yes: for they can do neither good nor evil, Isa. 41:23.
2. Has God a property in us? Yes: for we are the people of his pasture, Ps. 95:7. Ought we therefore to worship him? Yes: He is thy Lord, and worship thou him, Ps. 45:11. And not to worship other gods? Yes: for hath a nation changed their gods? Jer. 2:11.
3. Is God jealous in the matters of his worship? Yes: The Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God, Exod. 34:14. Is he much displeased with those who corrupt it? Yes: They provoked the Lord God of Israel to anger with their vanities, 1 Kings 16:13. Do those who do so hate him? Yes: Idolaters are haters of God, Rom. 1:25, 30. Will he visit their iniquity? Yes: In the day m when I visit, I will visit their sin upon them, Exod. 32:34. Will he visit it upon the children? Yes: Our fathers sinned, and are not, and we have borne their iniquities, Lam. 5:7. And is it just with him to do so? Yes: for they are the children of whoredoms, Hos. 2:4. But will he visit it for ever? No: but to the third and fourth generation, Exod. 34:7.
4. Will those who love God keep his commandments? Yes: If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love, John 15:10. Will he show mercy to such? Yes: for he hath said, I love them that love me, Prov. 8:17. Will he show mercy to thousands of such ? Yes: for the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting, Ps. 103:17.
From John Flavel’s An Exposition of the Assembly’s Shorter Catechism:
Q. 6. What is the first reason annexed to the second commandment?
A. The first reason annexed is God’s sovereignty, I the Lord; which shews that it belongs to God only to institute his own worship, and make it effectual; and therefore to do that in his worship which he never commanded, is sinful and dangerous; Jeremiah 7:31. And they have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I commanded them not, neither came it into my heart.
Q. 7. What is the second reason annexed to the second commandment?
A. The second reason is God’s propriety in us: He is our God, and we belong to him; and therefore to corrupt his worship, greatly aggravates our sins; Hosea 9:1. Rejoice not, O Israel, for joy, as other people; for thou hast gone a whoring from thy God, &c.
Q. 8. What is the third reason annexed to the second commandment?
A. The jealousy of God over his worship and worshippers; so that this sin of corrupting his worship will dreadfully incense his wrath, as it did, Leviticus 10:1-2. And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire thereon, and offered strange fire, before the Lord, which he commanded them not. And there went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord.
Q. 9. What is the first instruction from the second commandment?
A. That it is an heinous sin to neglect the worship of God in that manner he hath appointed us to worship him, as in prayer; Jeremiah 10:25. Pour out thy fury upon the heathen that know thee not, and upon the families that call not on thy name. Hearing the word; Proverbs 28:9. He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.
Q. 10. What is the second instruction from the second commandment?
A. That those who suffer for endeavouring to preserve the purity of God’s ordinances, and nonconformity to the contrary injunctions of men, have a good warrant to bear them out in all such sufferings; Deuteronomy 4:2. Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall you diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you.
Q. 11. What is the third instruction from the second commandment?
A. That it is highly sinful and dangerous to innovate and prescribe by human authority such symbolical rites in the worship of God, as he never appointed or allowed in his word; Matthew 15:9. But in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
Q. 12. What is the fourth instruction hence?
A. Hence we learn how much parents and children are obliged to worship God constantly, spiritually, and agreeably to his will revealed in his word; otherwise the jealousy of God will visit them both in the way of judgment: For as obedience entails a blessing, so disobedience entails a curse on posterity; Exodus 34:14. For thou shalt worship no other god; for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.
Vancouver Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland
Burnaby Community Room
3605 Gilmore Way,
Canada V5C 4S8
We are a Reformed church in Vancouver, BC, Canada, adhering to the original Westminster Confession and Standards with its covenanted uniformity in doctrine, worship and government. Our church has joined the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland, a direct descendant of the historic Church of Scotland of the Reformation.
Worship regulated by the Word of God with a Capella singing and exclusive psalmody
Calvinistic doctrines of Grace
The Presbyterian form of governance
Service Times: Lord’s Day 9:30 a.m. & 6:30 p.m.
Location: We are currently reviewing public meeting places. In the meantime, are worshiping at different locations in Greater Vancouver.
Please contact us to find out our current meeting location.
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:
JETS 51/3 (September 2008) 591-613
Farley ends up rejecting a Puritan RPW (surprise!), but the article contains many resources for research if you’re interested.
A Book Review from The Reformed Presbyterian and Covenanter, 1870, Volume 8 Edited by John W. Sproull and Thomas Sproull, p 319
Prom the United Presbyterian Board of Publication, 93 Third avenue, Pittsburgh:
God’s Songs, And The Singer. Four Sermons. By Rev. John M. Bain, Pastor of the U. P. Church of New Castle, Pa. 40 cts.
In the first discourse, the author, after a few introductory remarks, states the question, Should we use the Scripture Psalms exclusively in the worship of God, and proceeds to give his reasons for taking the affirmative. The sum of the argument is—God has prepared these songs for use in his worship. This is equivalent to a command. “They have never,” either by an express repeal, by limitation in their appointment, or by a substitute “been abrogated, but are continued with authority, in the church.” In our using them, we but do as did Christ and the Apostles.
In the second discourse, he shows that the Psalms have been in uninterrupted use in the church for 2,800 years, and are most admirably adapted for matter of praise. Examples are adduced to show that in heavenly language are praised the divine attributes—majesty, sovereignty, wisdom, justice, holiness, mercy, grace—that the living God, subsisting in three persons, is worshipped—that fallen man’s natural state and character are exhibited in a manner fitted to awaken deep conviction of sin and deep humility—and that Christ is everywhere to be found—Christ as Prophet, Priest and King—’ Christ the ” man of sorrows,” the Saviour of his people, the enthroned Medi-, ator. The testimony of some of the most eminent Christians and Christian teachers, ancient and modern, is produced to show that in their opinion the Psalms contain the richest treasures of Christian experience ever given to the world.
In the third discourse, objections to the Psalms are answered—” they contain malevolent and vengeful imprecations,” “speak of a Saviour to come,” are “encumbered with Jewish images,” “not suited to days of revivals,” “hard to be understood,” and ” unsuitable for children.” The arguments offered for the use of hymns are next examined, and then are presented objections to the use of uninspired songs in divine worship.
The fourth discourse is founded on 1 Kings 15: 5, and is entitled “The Shame and Glory of David.”
From the above synopsis may be seen the course mapped out by the author. We most cheerfully recommend his work to our readers, as well calculated to increase their love and admiration for the “book of Psalms,” and to strengthen their resolution to use it, and it alone, in the worship of God.
Songs of the Spirit can be purchased from Peter and Rachel Reynolds Books. It is £5 and the proceeds go to hospices in Scotland. Estimated postage costs are: USA (0-7): £1.80; USA (8-9) & Rest of World including EU: £3.30
A sample chapter is here. View Sample
Songs of the Spirit is an important study on the subject of praise. We need sound teaching on biblical worship. The worship that God commands from us, rather than that which we choose to give to Him. A variety of authors from various Churches have contributed to this volume. They share a common conviction that we must worship God in the songs that He Himself has inspired. “It is the conviction of all who contribute to this book that the recovery of earnest, intelligent and spiritual unaccompanied singing of Psalms in the praise of the church is a major part of the repentance and renewal so badly needed in the church today.”
Reformed Worship is a vital guide to worship. Nothing is more sacred and more important than the worship of God. The Bible must have the pre-eminent place in our worship services. But how should a service of public worship feel and sound when the Word of God has central place and reverence for God governs everything? This booklet describes a service of reverent worship grounded upon Scripture principles. It will be helpful for those who conduct public worship as well as those seeking for worship that truly honours God. It will have a hearty reception where there is a sincere desire to know how to worship God in spirit and in truth. It is extracted and updated from an older publication called The Directory of Public Worship. This updated extract is in no way meant to replace the original authoritative document. Instead, it shows its abiding relevance and may encourage many to read the original for themselves.
Thanks to Matthew Vogan for sending this information along!
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
“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”
“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