THE PSALMS IN THE OLD TESTAMENT CHURCH
By Professor D. A. McClenahan, D. D., Allegheny, Pa.
“Then the fact that from all the songs prepared by inspired men in Old Testament times one hundred and fifty were selected to form a manual of praise is indicative of the fact that divine wisdom has been exercised in the selection. This is significant. The Psalms were gathered into a book for the express purpose of making a manual of praise for use in the public and private worship of God. Everyone, so far as I have ever heard, who believes in an inspired Psalmody is perfectly satisfied with the selection that has been made by divine wisdom. Moses, Hannah, Habakkuk, Jonah, Hezekiah, and others wrote songs, which for historical reasons were retained in their historical place in the Canon, but which were omitted from the permanent praise book of the Church for reasons which seemed good to the divine mind. Doubtless other inspired songs were written and, possibly, for a time sung by the Old Testament Church. For reasons which seemed good to divine wisdom these songs, if there were any, were omitted from both the Psalter and the Canon. Paul wrote epistles to the churches. All of these were inspired. Many of them have been included in the New Testament for permanent use. Others were not included, and are lost, this for reasons which seemed good to a superintending Providence. There are twenty-seven lost books quoted in one or other of the thirty-nine Old Testament books. Doubtless some of these were inspired, but none of these twenty-seven books were included in the Bible, for reasons which seemed good to the Holy Ghost. Habakkuk, doubtless, uttered other prophecies than those contained in his three chapters, and Obadiah others than those contained in the twenty-one verses in his one-chaptered book; but they are not bound up in the Bible. The fact that other Old Testament books and other of Paul's inspired epistles were once used by the Church, but are not now in the Bible, gives the Church no sanction for making new books of Scripture. The fact that other inspired songs were once made, and possibly sung, gives the Church no authority to make other songs as substitutes for the Psalms of the Psalter.”