Conclusion

Conclusion

This review may now draw to a close by contrasting the inadequacy of uninspired hymns with the sufficiency of the Old Testament Psalms to express the praise of the New Testament saint.

The faith and experience which is expressed in uninspired hymns is both limited and fallible. Because of this they are seen by the exclusive psalm-singer as a great imposition and an impediment to Christian growth. Songs of uninspired men are restrictive. They were not written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of their writings might have hope. The Old Testament psalms, on the other hand, were inspired for this purpose, Rom. 15:4. Moreover, uninspired compositions, besides being restrictive, can be harmful. Not only do they impede Christian growth, they are prone to propagate error; what is worse, they do this in a devotional strain which leaves a deep impression on the heart and mind.

An inspired hymnody does not present these disadvantages and hindrances. The New Testament worshipper may take up the words of the Old Testament psalms in the assurance that David's faith and experience was providentially guided so as to provide instruction and warning to the Christian. Then, that this revelatory experience is infallibly recorded, because the Spirit of the Lord spoke by the psalmists, and His words were in their tongues, 2 Sam. 23:2. What Paul says regarding the Israelites in the wilderness applies as equally to David in the wilderness: "all these things happened unto them for ensamples; and they are written for our admonition," 1 Cor. 10:11. It is not just the words, but the events that the words describe, which are given by God for the instruction and advisement of those "upon whom the ends of the world are come."

A Presbyterian stalwart by the name of Henry Cooke once wrote a defence of uninspired hymns; but upon discovering the way in which they propagated error he completely changed his view. He wrote: "If a doctrinal error be, at all times, dangerous, how much more when it is stereotyped in the devotions of the sanctuary."80 The reviewer hopes that Mr. Murray will come to the same conviction!