Tag Archives: RPCNA

New meeting location for Dallas Reformed Presbyterian Church (RPCNA)

The Dallas Reformed Presbyterian Church (RPCNA) has moved to a new location in McKinney. As of March 4, the new address will be:

1008 West Erwin Avenue, McKinney, TX, 75069

Worship services are held in the back building (fellowship hall) of Victory Christian Church.

 

Who we are

We are a congregation of the Reformed Presbyterian Church in North America. In 1743 the first Reformed Presbyterian congregation was organized in North America. We have sister churches in Ireland, Scotland and Australia.

Our congregation’s story begins in 2012 when a group of families with a deep love of Christ and convinced of the distinctives of the Reformed Presbyterian Church reached out to the Midwest Presbytery of the RPCNA. The Lord was pleased to bless these families with wise, godly, and nurturing elders, who then oversaw the formation of this little church. Our congregation was organized as a mission church in 2014. With the election, ordination and installation of our own elders and deacon, we became a particular congregation of the RPCNA on March 6th, 2015.

Lord’s Day Schedule

10:30am Morning Worship
12:00pm Lunch (always plenty for guests)
1:00pm Sabbath School
2:00pm Afternoon Worship

Reformed Presbyterian Church in San Antonio (RPCNA) is now meeting for worship

A new EP congregation is now meeting in San Antonio, TX.  The Reformed Presbyterian Church in San Antonio is now meeting for worship. From their website:

“Welcome to the Reformed Presbyterian Church in San Antonio (RPCSA)!  We’re a new outreach of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America, an old branch of Reformed and Presbyterian Christianity.  We aspire to be a vital, growing community of Christian households who love our Lord Jesus Christ and covenant together to live in Biblical fellowship, so that in every relationship and endeavor, we honor him who loved us and gave himself for us.  Risen from the dead and ascended on high, he now reigns as mediatorial king over all things.  By the proclamation of the gospel he calls men and nations to repent of our lawlessness and trustingly obey him.  We live in joyful anticipation of His return in glory.

San Antonio Banner

“Behold, how good a thing it is, and how becoming well
When those that brethren are delight in unity to dwell.”

Psalm 133:1, The Book of Psalms for Singing

Meeting Information 

We meet at the Quality Inn, NW Loop 1604 and La Cantera Parkway, San Antonio, Texas 78209.

quality-inn-768x500

Link to Google Maps

Meeting Times

We meet each Lord’s Day (“Sunday”) according to the following schedule:

Time Description
9:30-10:30 a.m. Christian Education
10:45am-12:00pm Worship

Leadership

We’re under the regular pastoral care of organizing Pastor Jonathan B. Leach.  Jonathan received his BA in Biblical Studies from Geneva College in 1981 and his MDiv from the Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary in 1984.  He served as pastor of an RP Church in the Philadelphia area (1984-’88) before accepting a commission as chaplain in the US Army Reserve.  After 27 years in uniform he retired from the Army chaplaincy as a colonel in 2015.  He’s euphorically married to Mary Lou, his wife of over ten years.

As Presbyterians, our pastoral leadership isn’t singular but plural.  Until the congregation formally organizes and elects its own elders, two additional members of Midwest Presbytery join Jonathan on the presbytery’s San Antonio Committee.  Together the San Antonio Committee provides Presbyterian oversight to the new congregation:

Mark Koller, Pastor, Dallas RP Church
Andrew Silva, Ruling elder, Dallas RP Church
Jonathan B. Leach, Organizing pastor and chairman, San Antonio Committee

Contact us!

Email:  sanantoniorpc@gmail.com

Phone:  (210) 347-5116

….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…

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.

Exclusive Psalmody Debate, Gordon-Prutow

http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=329157532910

A cordial informative edifying discussion/debate on the Question: Should we sing psalms exclusively in worship?
Dr. T. David Gordon, Grove City College Prof, takes the negative.
Dr. Dennis Prutow, RPTS Emeritus Prof, takes the affirmative.
Opening Presentations (20 Minutes Each)
Rebuttals (10 Minutes Each)
Debaters Examine Each Other (10 Minutes Each)
Rebuttals/Closings (15 Minutes Each)
Audience Q&A Not Recorded

The Book of Psalms for Worship

http://charliewingard.com/2015/01/16/iphoneipad-app-the-book-of-psalms-for-worship/

Las Vegas Reformed Presbyterian Church (RPCNA)

From their website:

Las Vegas Reformed Presbyterian Church is a growing body of worshipers consisting of believers and their children officially taken under care of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America (RPCNA) in late 2012.

As part of the RPCNA, we enjoy the supervision and support of the Pacific Coast Presbytery, the regional body of churches to which we belong. We are directly overseen by the session at All Saints Reformed Presbyterian Church in Brea, CA.

At present we are a fellowship, or a church in the making.  We have not called a pastor as of yet,  faithful pastors and teachers of the Reformed Presbyterian Church visit from week to week to dispense the means of grace to us.

COME WORSHIP WITH US!

Location:
8237 Golf Club Ave.
Las Vegas, NV 89145Gate Code:
key key 0053

Service Times:
11:00am – Morning Service
12:30pm – Fellowship Lunch
2:00pm – Afternoon Service

 Contact Information:
Call us 702 606 9286

Pastor Jerry O’Neill of the RPCNA teaching (with Edgar Ibarra translating) on the subject of exclusive psalmody in Argentina

October 2013 meeting of the Midwest Presbytery of the RPCNA: Pictures

10 2013 Jonathan Leach elected

Jonathan Leach was elected as the Moderator for the meeting

10 2013 Daniel Hemken examined

Daniel Hemken is examined by the Presbytery

10 2013 Bob McFarland introducing the Dallas church plant

Bob McFarland introduces the Dallas Fellowship as a new church plant

10 2013 Joe Allyn examined

Joe Allyn is examined by the Presbytery

10 2013 Joe Allyn taking his vows

Joe Allyn takes his ministerial vows before the Presbytery

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Kyle Borg pronounces his first benediction after his ordination service.

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Daniel Hemken preaching

image (1)

Daniel Hemken taking his ministerial vows before the Presbytery

image (2)

Sunset descending into Dallas on Thursday evening

Enjoyed this post about Psalters from the Heidelblog

 

The Book of Psalms for Worship

The Book of Psalms for Worship

Psalters! from the Heidelblog.

Here are some selections:

“The Reformed and Presbyterian churches were Psalm singing churches from the beginning. We translated the Psalms into the language of the people and set them to tunes for use in public worship. For at least 150 years Psalms were virtually the only thing sung in public worship by the Reformed and Presbyterian churches.” here

“The bottom two Psalters are two of my favorites. Both are published by the RPCNA (Crown and Covenant). The red Psalter (The Book of Psalms for Singing) is the older and the blue (The Book of Psalms for Worship) is newer. We have the red Psalter in the chapel at WSC and I’ve used the blue Psalter worshipping with my RPCNA brothers and sisters with much joy and profit. Both are skillfully and carefully done. I commend them for your use.” here

“That we have this abundance of Psalters is a wonderful thing. My students were thrilled to see that they exist—that they aren’t just history or theory—and that they can be put to use in the corporate worship of God. I am encouraged and I hope you are also.” here

Church planting: The families of the Dallas RPCNA church plant

The families of the Dallas, TX RPCNA plant

The Dallas, TX RPCNA Plant

The Dallas, TX RPCNA Plant

The Pacific Coast Presbytery of the RPCNA has a new website

Pastors of the Pacific Coast Presbytery of the RPCNA

Men of the Pacific Coast Presbytery of the RPCNA

Here is the new website of the Pacific Coast Presbytery of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America (RPCNA)

Grace and Truth Reformed Presbyterian Church (RPCNA) is a new work in Harrisonburg, VA

Grace & Truth Reformed Presbyterian ChurchA new church plant has started in Harrisonburg, VA! Grace and Truth Reformed Presbyterian Church is a work of the RPCNA. From their website:

“Grace & Truth Reformed Presbyterian Church is a Mission Church established in the name and by the authority of Jesus Christ through thePresbytery of the Alleghenies, which is an organized group of congregations of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America (RPCNA). On June 25th, 2013, the Presbytery of the Alleghenies met during the 2013 RPCNA Synod Meeting and received the core group of families in Harrisonburg, VA as a mission work. This is an excerpt from the minutes:

“The Church Extension Committee recommended the group in Harrisonburg, VA be organized as a Mission Church with the Trinity RPC Session serving as the TGB (temporary governing body). The recommended was approved. Pastor Jerry O’Neill offered prayer establishing the Harrisonburg group as a Mission Church in the name and by the authority of Jesus Christ the King and Head of the Church.”

The temporary governing body, consisting of Pastor Steve Bradley, Elder David Merkel, Elder Tony Gazo, and Elder Brad Stewart, met as a Session on July 9th, 2013. They decided that Grace & Truth RPC will begin evening worship services at 6:00 pm on the first and third Lord’s Days beginning on August 4th, 2013, at Good Shepherd School, 342 Neff Avenue, Harrisonburg, VA. On the second, fourth, and fifth Lord’s Days, Grace & Truth will meet at 6:00 pm at Good Shepherd School for a time of fellowship and Bible Study.

The next step for the Mission Church is to become an independent, fully-organized congregation by God raising up a Session of elders in Harrisonburg, Virginia, for the oversight of the congregation. Also, there will need to be a Board of Deacons responsible chiefly for the ministry of mercy and stewardship.”

Grace & Truth Reformed Presbyterian Church will be meeting at the Good Shepherd School, 342 Neff Ave, Harrisonburg, VA 22801″

RPCNA: A New Church Planting effort in Dallas, TX

A new church plant is forming in the Dallas, TX area. Dallas Reformed Presbyterian Fellowship is a new work of the Midwest Presbytery of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America (RPCNA). This small group has been meeting since February and started worship services this past Lord’s Day.

Holiday Inn in PlanoMeeting Location:
The Holiday Inn Express
700 East Central Parkway
Plano, TX 75074

 

 

Schedule:
9:30 am – Bible Study (all ages)
10:45 am – Worship
12:00 pm – Lunch! (Bring your own sack lunch)
1:00 pm – Open ended fellowship, sermon reflection, and psalm singing until everyone decides to go home!

New Articles: The Martial Ethos of Historic Reformed Worship series by Rev. John Sawtelle

New articles added to the Articles Online page:

The Martial Ethos of Historic Reformed Worship: Psalm-singing for vigorous Kingdom service (part 1) by John Sawtelle

The Martial Ethos of Historic Reformed Worship: Psalm-singing for vigorous Kingdom service (part 2) by John Sawtelle

The Martial Ethos of Historic Reformed Worship: Psalm-singing for Vigorous Kingdom Service (part 3) by John Sawtelle

The Martial Ethos of Historic Reformed Worship: Psalm singing and persecution in France by John Sawtelle

The Martial Ethos of Historic Reformed Worship: Psalm singing and persecution in the Netherlands by John Sawtelle

The Martial Ethos of Historic Reformed Worship: Psalm singing, persecution, and public resistance in the 16th century British Isles by John Sawtelle

The Martial Ethos of Historic Reformed Worship: Psalm singing and civil defense in early 17th century Geneva by John Sawtelle

Thanks to Rev. John Sawtelle for putting these posts together. Rev. Sawtelle is the Pastor of the All Saints Reformed Presbyterian Church (RPCNA) in Brea, CA

The 1928 Edition of the Psalter

From the Covenanter Witness Magazine, July 25, 1928

Synod this year appointed a committee to arrange for the publishing of a new edition of the Psalter. This committee was asked to compile a more complete index of the psalms and to substitute tunes where the present music was judged unsuitable for congregational singing. The committee desires that the changes that are to be made in the music may represent as far as possible the will of the Church as a whole. In order to determine just what that will is the committee is asking all who are interested in “good congregational singing to go through the present Psalter and make a list of the tunes that are regarded as unsuitable. The committee would appreciate having these lists as soon as possible. After the committee has reviewed these lists and has decided upon the number of tunes to be changed, it will proceed to find other tunes for the tunes that are to be replaced. In this placing of tunes the committee desires the fullest possible cooperation of all the Church. In order that the coming edition of the Psalter be what we all want it to be, three matters must be kept in mind: (1) Regular and earnest prayer for wisdom and guidance that all may be done for the glory of God; (2) Regular work is necessary to produce anything worthwhile; (3) Promptness in getting all suggestions to the committee will greatly help in getting the book completed. For the present all suggestions should be sent to the chairman of the committee,

D.B. Martin, Morning Sun, Iowa

“Instruments are used for the express purpose of making the service attractive, and the praise offering is often rendered for the worshippers by those whose lips and hearts have never been touched by the love of God. When the worship is thus rendered by machinery, God is robbed of that heart service and spiritual communion which each worshipper should have with Him in the ordinances of grace.”

“Another peculiarity of the Reformed Presbyterian Church is that no instruments of music are used in divine worship. They believe that instruments were used in the tabernacle and temple worship by the Levites, and at the time of the offering up of sacrifices by the priests. As these services were wholly typical and were done away with at the coming of Christ, so also all the accompaniments and material supports of that service. At the advent of Christ the building was completed. and the scaffolding was taken down. Christ and the Apostles never used an instrument of music in the synagogue worship, although they used the Psalms. If instruments had been necessary to acceptable worship, the example or direction of Christ in this matter would have been given. Christ requires a spiritual service—the melody of the heart with the fruit of the lips. The leading writers and fathers of the Church give instruments no place in the worship. They were introduced by Pope Vitalian, in A. D., 660, to “augment the eclat of religious ceremonies.” Being of Romish origin, all true Protestants should look upon the innovation with suspicion.

The true principle of Christian worship is “What has the Lord required,” and not what He has not forbidden. All Presbyterians recognize the Westminister standards, and the Confession of Faith says we are to “sing Psalms with grace in the heart,” and “the acceptable way of worshipping the true God is instituted by Himself, and is so limited by His own revealed will that He may not be worshipped according to the imaginations and devices of men.” It is an admitted fact that instruments and operatic choirs destroy congregational singing, and substitute a meaningless service for that which every heart should render unto God. Instruments are used for the express purpose of making the service attractive, and the praise offering is often rendered for the worshippers by those whose lips and hearts have never been touched by the love of God. When the worship is thus rendered by machinery, God is robbed of that heart service and spiritual communion which each worshipper should have with Him in the ordinances of grace.”

From The History of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America by William Melancthon  Glasgow, p59.

“The New Covenant is like a marriage bond between God and His people. Their meeting each week properly brings joy and delight. So the saints sing Psalms to God.”

From the RPCNA Directory for the Worship of God:

“7. The New Covenant is like a marriage bond between God and His people. Their meeting each week properly brings joy and delight. So the saints sing Psalms to God.

8. The heartfelt singing of praise is an element of public worship. The Psalms of the Bible, because of positive biblical warrant, their inherent excellence, and their divine inspiration, are to be sung in the public worship of God, to the exclusion of all songs or hymns of human composition. They are to be sung without the accompaniment of instruments, since these are not authorized for New Testament worship. For the sake of unity, the Psalm versions used in the praise of God should ordinarily be those approved by the Synod of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America. Psalms, or portions of Psalms, should be chosen for the appropriateness of their content within a particular service of worship. If only a portion of a Psalm is sung, careful attention must be given to the larger context. Congregations should not fall into the habit of using only certain favorite Psalms, and sessions should consider a plan of singing systematically through the Book of Psalms.

9. The people of God are to sing thoughtfully, reverently, and enthusiastically, with grace in the heart. Careful attention should be paid to the music and to the leading of the precentor, that the praise might resound with a beauty reflective of the glory of God and His holiness. Those chosen to be precentors should have the marks of Christian maturity and the gifts to perform this function. They should lead the singing in a simple, orderly, and dignified manner. They should not interject interpretations or comments on the content of the Psalms sung. One of the fruits of the Reformation was the restoration of the biblical practice of congregational singing. A choir may be formed to help lead the praise, but singing must not be left to the choir. Congregational singing ought always to be the norm.

10. The Psalms have a depth of meaning and beauty that will repay the most careful study. It is vitally important that the congregation understand what is sung. Therefore, it is helpful for the elders to make brief comments on the Psalms sung. It is particularly helpful if one of the Psalms is selected for a more substantial, succinct explanation by an elder before it is sung. Attention should be given to how the Psalm reveals the work of Christ and the blessings of the New Covenant.

The RPCNA Directory for the Worship of God, F-4

The Tucson Reformed Presbyterian Fellowship is meeting in a new location

The new location for the Tucson Reformed Presbyterian Fellowship (RPCNA) is:

The Doubletree Hotel Tucson-Reid Park
445 S. Alvernon Way,
Tucson, AZ 85711-4198

From their website:

“Our morning worship begins at 9:50 AM & Evening Worship at 4:30PM

Today, our worship seems unique, even strange to some.  We sing only the 150 Psalms without the use of instruments.  Strange as it may seem, for thousands of years, this was the norm in the church.  (see Dr. W. Robert Godfrey, Ancient Praise for a brief history of Psalm singing)

We hold to what is called the ‘Regulative Principle of Worship’, which states that God is only to be worshiped as He has revealed in His Word (Deut. 12:32). What God commands is to be employed in worship; if God does not command something, then it is forbidden.

This means that a simplicity of worship will be obvious as Word-centered worship is offered to God. The Tucson Reformed Presbyterian Fellowship will have the following elements in her public worship:

  • Reading of the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament.
  • The Preaching of the Word of God in an expository manner.
  • The Prayers of the saints and on behalf of the saints.
  • The collecting of gifts and tithes to sustain the advancement of Christ’s Kingdom.
  • The singing of Psalms without instrumentation.
  • The New Testament Sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

The Tucson Reformed Presbyterian Fellowship (RPCNA) is committed to the full inspiration and authority of the Bible in all matters of faith and life. We believe that the truth of Scripture is knowable and necessary for salvation. Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the Word of Christ (Rom. 10:17). Since Christ commissioned the church to make disciples of all nations (Matt. 28:19), we believe it is part of our duty to, set forth the truth of Scripture clearly and publicly by way of preaching and teaching, and creeds and confessions, so that they may be to taught to observe all that Christ has commanded (Matt. 28:20).

In light of the above, we believe that the most comprehensive and accurate summary of what the Bible teaches is to be found in the Westminster Confession of Faith, together with the Westminster Larger and Shorter Catechisms. The Westminster Confession was completed in England in 1647 as a comprehensive statement of Christian belief and practice, with the desired intention of helping Christ’s church become unified in doctrine, government, and worship (John 17:11). In addition to the Westminster Standards, we also maintain the Testimony of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America, which is our continuing and contemporary application of the Word of God to our current culture and context.

Each of these documents is considered to be subordinate to, and correctable by, the Word of God. We hope that you will take some time to read our Confessional Standards and contact us if you have any questions or concerns.

For a theology of New Testament worship, please see “The Worship of the Church.”

The Tucson Reformed Presbyterian Fellowship (RPCNA) is a new work planted by the First Reformed Presbyterian Church of Phoenix AZ.

The “Reformed” in our name refers to our adherence to the biblical principles reasserted in the Protestant Reformation of the 16th and 17th centuries. The Reformers reasserted that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, for the glory of God alone. We stand with our forefathers in affirming the doctrine of “Sola Scriptura” – the conviction that the Scriptures are God-breathed and sufficient for all matters of life and godliness (2 Tim. 3:16).  Our spiritual heritage particularly comes from the Reformation in Scotland and the Scottish Covenanters.  “Presbyterian” refers to our form of church government. Each congregation is under the oversight of a plurality of elders, who are also part of broader courts known as Presbyteries and Synod.

Our heartfelt desire is to worship God according to His will, in spirit and in truth (John 4:24). We desire to glorify Him in our lives as individual Christians and as a body of believers united to Jesus Christ our Lord. If you live in the Tucson area, or are planning to move or visit here, we invite you to come and worship with us!”

Reports of the RPCNA Committee on Psalmody (1887-1892)

More wonderful additions from the Old Light Covenanter website. I hope there are more to come! Some biographies are also included of the ministers involved.

1887 (Isaiah Faris), The Reformed Presbyterian and Covenanter, 25:242-244
1888 (C.D. Trumbull), The Reformed Presbyterian and Covenanter, 26:231-233
1889 (T.C. Sproull), The Reformed Presbyterian and Covenanter, 27:286, 287
1890 (D.B. Willson), The Reformed Presbyterian and Covenanter, 28:232-234
1891 (J.C.K. Milligan), The Reformed Presbyterian and Covenanter, 29:267-270
1892 (R.M. Sommerville) — The Reformed Presbyterian and Covenanter, 30:231-235

“We need as a church to explain to our members from time to time, as well as to exhibit to the churches around us, why we adhere to the exclusive use of the Psalms in the worship of God. We need to do this because of the natural inclination of man to substitute the human for the divine, and to consult his own feelings, even in matters of worship, rather than the revealed will of God. The question in all such matters is not what is most pleasing to human sense, but what does God require.”

From the Old Light Covenanter and the American Covenanter websites, a Report on the Synod’s Committee on Psalmody (RPCNA):

“The question of the matter of praise is not now, and never has been, an open one in the Reformed Presbyterian Church, yet it is one upon which many church members need line upon line and precept upon precept. We are surrounded by those who are hostile to the exclusive use of the Book of Psalms as the praise book of the church; many temptations are thrown in the way of some members of our church to use hymns of human composition in divine service, and some say we are very narrow-minded and bigoted because we confine ourselves to the hundred and fifty Psalms of the Bible. We need as a church to explain to our members from time to time, as well as to exhibit to the churches around us, why we adhere to the exclusive use of the Psalms in the worship of God. We need to do this because of the natural inclination of man to substitute the human for the divine, and to consult his own feelings, even in matters of worship, rather than the revealed will of God. The question in all such matters is not what is most pleasing to human sense, but what does God require. Were we at liberty to consult our own inclinations no doubt many would substitute some other book in place of the Bible, to be read in family worship and in the house of God. Who among evangelical Christians will affirm that we ought to displace the Bible by any other book, because, forsooth, it would be more pleasing and attractive to the perverted taste of man? It is not denied that many hymns of human composition are beautiful in thought and expression, and instructive as well, yet that does not warrant us in using them in divine worship. The horse is a beautiful animal, and useful, too, more beautiful in many eyes than the ox; there are many who have a fancy for dogs and will not hesitate to say that they are more beautiful than goats, yet under the law the horse and the dog were unclean and to offer them in sacrifice would have exposed the offerer to the just displeasure of God, while bullocks and goats were appointed and acceptable offerings. We should beware of offering to God that which he has not prescribed, lest we provoke him to anger, and bring down upon us his righteous judgments.

No one will deny that there is warrant for the use of the inspired book of Psalms. It will not be denied that God gave these Psalms to the Jews as their book of praise. All scholars admit that the “hymn” which Jesus sang just after the institution of the sacrament of the supper was selected from this book; and it is capable of demonstration that when Paul, by the Spirit, enjoined on the Ephesian and Colossian Churches the singing of “psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,” he meant no other than the inspired songs of the Bible. We are frequently commanded to praise God, but never to make a hymn to be sung in his praise. To use hymns of human composition in religious worship without divine warrant is daring presumption; it is to say that “God’s Spirit acted niggardly in doling out an insufficient supply of praise songs;” and it is to profess that we are wiser than God. Let us beware of charging God foolishly.

Since we cannot consistently and conscientiously sing anything except the Psalms of the Bible in divine worship we ought not to seem to countenance the use of other songs in such service. It is damaging to the conscientious convictions of our members to frequent even houses of worship where such corruptions of worship prevail. To do so is to enter on a course which is almost certain to end in defection.

While contending for the exclusive use of the inspired psalter, it is the bounden duty of the church to provide for use in all her services a version of this book of praise as free as possible from blemishes, so as not unnecessarily to give occasion to others to scoff and deride. It is quite generally admitted among ourselves that the Scottish version of the book of Psalms with all its excellencies is far from perfect. The demand is growing louder and louder year by year for something more smooth and agreeable not only to poetic taste but to the original. Shall this demand be heard? If so, what shall be done? Shall we return to the ancient mode of praise and chant the Psalms or shall we have an amended version? Synod has already given its endorsement to the use of chants, yet few are ready to introduce them into the public worship of God. A revised version of the psalter seems to be necessary. The committee appointed by Synod one year ago to prepare such a version, is ready to report. Since the work of that committee will come before Synod for direct action, we refrain from expressing our judgment at this time. One thing we do desire to urge on Synod, to wit: The importance of seeking agreement and harmony on the part of all psalm-singing bodies in the use of the best version of the psalter, the combined scholarship and poetic talent of the churches can produce. When all the psalm-singing churches present a united and harmonious front in this matter, we can with better grace invite the other churches to unite with us in the use of the inspired Book of Psalms.

There are yet other matters of importance in the praise service of the church. The first that we will mention is that we sing with the spirit and with the understanding, also. The mere use of the Scripture Psalms in the service of praise is only solemn mockery unless the heart also be employed. That the heart may be employed we need to understand the sentiment of the psalms. The custom of expounding a portion of sacred song on the morning of each Lord’s day is well adapted to promote a better understanding of the psalms, and ought to be perpetuated. Along with this all should earnestly seek the enlightening influence of the Holy Spirit.

It is also of great importance that we sing skillfully. To this end the voice must necessarily be cultivated to sing in time and in tune. Too little attention is paid to this in many of our congregations, hence our congregational singing is in some cases a laughing-stock to those around us. Singing classes should be organized in all our congregations, and practice in the service of song should be kept up.

Your committee would recommend the adoption of the following resolutions:

1. That we enjoin upon all members of the Church to refrain from the use of hymns of human composition as a service of worship on week-day or on Sabbath, as being a violation of that command which forbids the worship of God “in any way not appointed in his word.”

2. That steps be taken at this Synod to secure the co-operation of all the psalm-singing churches in America in preparing a version of the Book of Psalms in harmony with the original and with poetic taste, upon which all may unite.

3. That we urge upon all the members of the church to use means to improve the congregational singing of the church.

4. That we renew the recommendation of the Psalm-Singer, edited by the Rev. George Warrington, of Birmingham, Iowa, as an able and faithful exponent of the teachings of God’s law as to the service of praise, and urge upon the members of the Church to give the paper a liberal patronage for the sake of their families and for the advancement of the cause.

Respectfully submitted,

J. C. McFEETERS,
J. F. CARSON,
JOHN AIKIN,
WM. LYNN,
Committee.

Report of the Synod’s Committee on Psalmody, 1888 found here and here