Do the Westminster Stds teach Exclusive Psalmody?

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Arch2k

Puritan Board Graduate
I wish, Jeff! I cited the same thing on page 1 of this thread and here we are on page 2.

BTW, for those who may be interested, I have provided a brief biographical sketch for most of the signers of the Puritan Preface which can be found in the church history forum.
Well it seems to me that the quote proves what the Westminster Assembly intended by the term "Psalms" in the confession. The burden of proof to repudiate that the Westminster Divines meant something else than the Psalms of David by "Psalms" would now seem to be so large that it would take a mountain of evidence to overturn what one short paragraph so elequently conveys by their own mouths.
 

jaybird0827

PuritanBoard Honor Roll
I wish, Jeff! I cited the same thing on page 1 of this thread and here we are on page 2.

BTW, for those who may be interested, I have provided a brief biographical sketch for most of the signers of the Puritan Preface which can be found in the church history forum.
:ditto:
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
Well it seems to me that the quote proves what the Westminster Assembly intended by the term "Psalms" in the confession. The burden of proof to repudiate that the Westminster Divines meant something else than the Psalms of David by "Psalms" would now seem to be so large that it would take a mountain of evidence to overturn what one short paragraph so elequently conveys by their own mouths.
I agree it is crystal clear that when the Westminster Assembly referred to "singing of psalms" as an element of worship they meant nothing more or less than the Book of Psalms, which led them to produce a metrical psalter.

The Puritan Preface to me is a powerful argument that contemporaries of the Divines understood Eph. 5.19 and Col. 3.16 (ie., "psalms, hymns and spiritual songs") to refer to the Psalter as well. I noted that Thomas Manton wrote the Epistle which commends the Westminster Standards (1658) and that Edmund Calamy's father was one of the Divines. This is, in my opinion, strong corroborating evidence of the understanding of the Divines, but I acknowledge that the Puritan Preface is not the direct product of the Westminster Divines.

The primary documents authored by the Assembly, the writing of Thomas Ford on the subject, the practice of the Church of Scotland, and other such things to me constitute the most direct evidence in support of the proposition that the Westminster Standards teach exclusive psalmody. The term itself 'exclusive psalmody' was not in use at the time, but the concept was. The regulative principle enunciated a few paragraph before listing the elements of worship, including singing of psalms (the Divines certainly knew how to be precise and could have referenced other types of songs if they wished, as was done by the Synod of Dordt and other similar councils), makes it clear that psalms = Psalter.

It is no doubt clear to you and me, brother. :handshake: As an historical matter, it is cut and dry what the Westminster Assembly taught. As a theological principle, as you and I can testify, this truth will prevail as God gives the light (Ps. 119.105).
 

JohnV

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
I see the P, but not the E.

Allow me to be more specific:

The Sufficiency of the Holy Scriptures to Be the Only Rule of Faith

We believe that those Holy Scriptures fully contain the will of God, and that whatsoever man ought to believe unto salvation is sufficiently taught therein. For since the whole manner of worship which God requires of us is written in them at large, it is unlawful for any one, though an apostle, to teach otherwise than we are now taught in the Holy Scriptures: nay, though it were an angel from heaven, as the apostle Paul says. For since it is forbidden to add unto or take away anything from the Word of God, it does thereby evidently appear that the doctrine thereof is most perfect and complete in all respects.
With such polemics going on, before, during, and after the WCF was written, how can they miss the E in EP? May I offer the suggestion that these men did so deliberately? That they knew what they were doing? That they were following the RPW properly?
Let me go on quoting the BC,
Neither may we consider any writings of men, however holy these men may have been, of equal value with those divine Scriptures, nor ought we to consider custom, or the great multitude, or antiquity, or succession of times and persons, or councils, decrees or statutes, as of equal value with the truth of God, since the truth is above all; for all men are of themselves liars, and more vain than vanity itself. Therefore we reject with all our hearts whatsoever does not agree with this infallible rule, as the apostles have taught us, saying, Prove the spirits, whether they are of God. Likewise: If any one cometh unto you, and bringeth not this teaching, receive him not into your house.
No matter what the men themselves believed, what does the official Church teaching say? No more, no less. It is completely subordinate to the Word of God, and therefore the BC is an equal document, also accepted by the Church as a summary of the doctrine of the Bible. They compliment each other. Are we citing men, or the Spirit? Are we regarding the writings of men as authoritative instead of the accepted statement of faith of the Church by imposing the beliefs of these men overtop of their official and final document?

Brothers, I am very, very thankful that we are again raising the issue of the Biblical guideline for worship. It has been neglected for too long. But let us not get it wrong. Let us not go back to the understanding of it which the Reformers rejected so long ago. Let us not add commandments that are not there, but rather seek to understand better what is in the Bible.

Matt's post makes it abundantly clear that the WA did not say what it was not authorized by the Word to say, for they were fully aware of the case, as Matt has shown but did not include it. It was an issue before, during, and after the WA. The P is there, but not the E. That means, without doubt, that the WCF is not EP. No doubt about it anymore.
 

R. Scott Clark

Puritan Board Senior
Matt,

This is very helpful.

Can you or someone else supply a printed, hard copy reference?

I've downloaded William Barton, The Book of Psalms in Metre. Close and Proper to the Hebrew: Smooth and Pleasant for the Metre. Plain and Easie for the Tunes. With Muscall Notes. Arguments, Annotations, and Index. Fitted for the ready use, and understanding of all good Christians.... (London, 1644)

but the only preface is by Barton and it is an apology for his translation.

Thanks,

rsc

The Puritan Preface to the Psalms in Metre

"Good Reader,

‘TIS evident by the common experience of mankind, that love cannot lie idle in the Soul; For every one hath his oblectation (way of enjoyment) and delight, his tastes and relishes are suitable to his constitution, and a man's temper is more discovered by his solaces than by any thing else: Carnal men delight in what is suited to the gust (taste) of the flesh, and Spiritual Men in the things of the Spirit; The promises of God's holy Covenant, which are to others as stale news or withered flowers, feed the pleasure of their minds; and the Mysteries of our Redemption by Christ are their hearts' delight and comfort: But as joy must have a proper object so also a vent: for this is an affection that cannot be penned up: the usual issue and out-going of it is by singing: Profane spirits must have Songs suitable to their mirth; as their mirth is Carnal so their Songs are vain and frothy, if not filthy and obscene; but they that rejoice in the Lord, their mirth runneth in a spiritual channel: Is any merry let him sing Psalms, saith the Apostle, James 5.13. And, Thy statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage, saith holy David, Psa. 119.54. Surely singing, 'tis a delectable way of instruction, as common prudence will teach us. Aelian (Nat. Hist., book 2, ch.39) telleth us that the Cretians enjoined their Children, To learn their Laws by singing them in verse. And surely singing of Psalms is a duty of such comfort and profit, that it needeth not our recommendation: The new nature is instead of all arguments, which cannot be without thy spiritual solace. Now though spiritual songs of mere human composure may have their use, yet our devotion is best secured, where the matter and words are of immediately Divine inspiration; and to us David's Psalms seem plainly intended by those terms of Psalms and Hymns and Spiritual Songs, which the Apostle useth, Ephes. 5.19, Col. 3.16. But then 'tis meet that these Divine composures should be represented to us in a fit translation, lest we want David, in David; while his holy ecstasies are delivered in a flat and bald expression. The translation which is now put into thy hands cometh nearest to the Original of any that we have seen, and runneth with such a fluent sweetness, that we thought fit to recommend it to thy Christian acceptance; Some of us having used it already, with great comfort and satisfaction."
Thomas Manton, D.D.​

Henry Langley, D.D.​

John Owen, D.D.​

William Jenkyn.​

James Innes.​

Thomas Watson.​

Thomas Lye.​

Matthew Poole.​

John Milward.​

John Chester.​

George Cokayn.​

Matthew Meade.​

Robert Francklin.​

Thomas Dooelittle.​

Thomas Vincent.​

Nathanael Vincent.​

John Ryther.​

William Tomson.​

Nicolas Blakie.​

Charles Morton.​

Edmund Calamy.​

William Carslake.​

James Janeway.​

John Hickes.​

John Baker.​

Richard Mayo.​
 

Founded on the Rock

Puritan Board Freshman
I am very uneducated on this issue and I enjoy reading the threads on EP. The one thing that I do see happening by supporters of EP is that they cannot demonstrate the "Exclusive" part of their argument. Maybe my understanding is not where it should be but I do not see in Scripture or in the Confession or Catechisms the teaching of Psalms ALONE. I can certainly see their emphasis on it and many great men of the faith have held to EP, but I do not find this to be conclusive... :2cents:

This thread looks like it has been much better in it's Christian attitude than previous threads, which I would like to commend all the participants. As one who is still researching the subject, it is much easier to digest arguments when they are presented in a loving, humble attitude.
 

JohnV

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
When I was in grade school, which was called a Calvinistic Christian School, we heard about Calvin, Luther, Zwingli, Knox, and so on, and we heard quite a bit about what they had to say about things. But so very rarely was Calvin's name used in church. My parents and our church were thoroughly Calvinists, adamantly Calvinists. But they knew how to draw the line between, "the Bible says" and "Calvin says". They truly honoured Calvin, but he was not the authority. He had his views on things, and they were important to us because he was a well-educated and well-respected leader in the Church. But he was not the Church, and he himself was sure to make that point. His authority could not be pasted overtop of the Church's documents and statements of faith. The BC reflects that same devotion to the Word. I am going to assume (though I know it to be true) that the WA had that same devotion. They would shiver, I suspect, at the way their views are imposed to create doctrine where there is no doctrine.

So it has been proven to me without a doubt that the WA commissioners were decidedly EP in their thinking. That, then, is proof enough for me that, in their great care, they did not impose what the Bible does not impose. They were careful about the Bible as the only rule of faith and life. That is why the E is not there, but the P is.

So how are hymns P? Well, what is it in "How Vast the Benefits Divine" that is not already in the Psalms, made more explicit in the NT, and advocated by Eph and Col. to sing about? What does "Amazing Grace" contain that is not in the Psalms, that is not made more clear to us in the NT, that the Bible commands us to sing about for teaching and admonishing? What is not Psalmist about them? It is the E that is the question. And it is decidedly not there, nor in the Bible, and now we know that it is emphatically not in the WCF. We know this because the commissioners were one and all EP, but omitted the E from the WCF.
 

C. Matthew McMahon

Christian Preacher
Matt,

This is very helpful.

Can you or someone else supply a printed, hard copy reference?

I've downloaded William Barton, The Book of Psalms in Metre. Close and Proper to the Hebrew: Smooth and Pleasant for the Metre. Plain and Easie for the Tunes. With Muscall Notes. Arguments, Annotations, and Index. Fitted for the ready use, and understanding of all good Christians.... (London, 1644)

but the only preface is by Barton and it is an apology for his translation.

Thanks,

rsc
Godd stuff eh? :amen:

Here is some of the information I have on this, some from the web, some from CDs and the original book itself (at home):

It came from the text of a letter to the reader affixed to an edition of the 1650 Scottish Metrical Psalter printed for the Company of Stationers at London in 1673. The title page bears the words: "THE PSALMS OF DAVID In Meeter. Newly Translated and diligently compared with the Original Text, and former Translations: More plain, smooth and agreeable to the Text, than any heretofore."

The article with this expanded in it was published in the Presbyterian Standard, Issue No. 9, January-March 1998.

Several points ought to be noted.
(1) The twenty-six signatories make up a small galaxy of English Puritan divines, including John Owen (Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University, author of a 7-volume commentary on Hebrews and The Death of Death in the Death of Christ, and possibly Britain’s greatest theologian), Thomas Manton (author of some 20 volumes and “Mr. Thomas Manton’s Epistle to the Reader” prefixed to many editions of the Westminster Standards), Matthew Poole (famous Bible commentator), Thomas Watson (noted especially for his oft republished sermons on the Westminster Shorter Catechism), Thomas Vincent (author of The Shorter Catechism Explained from Scripture), William Jenkyn (author of a fine commentary on Jude) and Charles Morton (head of a Puritan academy and teacher of Daniel Defoe, author of Robinson Crusoe).

(2) The names indicate that Psalm singing is by no means an exclusively Presbyterian heritage, for Episcopalians (Calamy) and Congregationalists (Owen and Meade) are represented here.

(3) The Scottish Metrical Psalter is not a mere paraphrase of the Word of God. It is a translation from the Hebrew, as the 1673 edition declares on its title page: “Newly Translated and diligently compared with the Original Text, and former Translations.” The title page also declares its faithfulness to the inspired Hebrew, for it is “More plain, smooth and agreeable to the Text, than any heretofore.” To this the signatories agree: “these divine composures [are] represented to us in a fit translation … The translation which is now put into thy hands cometh nearest to the original of any that we have seen ... that we thought fit to recommend it to thy Christian acceptance.”

(4) Owen, Poole, Vincent etc. have no truck with the notion that the Psalms speak insufficiently of Christ and so are deficient for the church’s sung praise. “The promises of God's holy covenant, which are to others as stale news or withered flowers, feed the pleasure of [godly] minds; and the mysteries of our redemption by Christ are their hearts’ delight and comfort,” they write. “Joy,” they continue, “must have a proper object so also a vent: for this is an affection that cannot be penned up: the usual issue and out-going of it is by singing.” Singing what? “They that rejoice in the Lord, their mirth runneth in a spiritual channel: 'Is any merry? let him sing psalms,' saith the apostle (James 5:13).” Clearly singing the Psalms is the vent for the Christian’s joy in Christ’s redemption, which it could not be if it spoke insufficiently of Him.

(5) The Puritan signatories make a striking argument for Psalm singing from the new nature of the elect, regenerate child of God. The new nature delights in Psalm singing as a means of comfort, profit and spiritual solace. As the Puritans declare, “surely singing of Psalms is a duty of such comfort and profit, that it needeth not our recommendation: The new nature is instead of all arguments, which cannot be without thy spiritual solace.”

(6) A common criticism of Psalm singing—that it is boring—is plain contrary to our Puritan forefathers. Note the words they associate with singing the Scottish Metrical Psalms: love, relishes, pleasure, hearts’ delight, joy, affection, merry, profit, spiritual solace, devotion, fluent sweetness, great comfort and satisfaction. As they say, "spiritual men [delight] in the things of the Spirit."

(7) The decided opinion of these Puritan worthies is that the “psalms and hymns and spiritual songs” which we are commanded to sing (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16) refer to the scriptural Psalter.

(8) Since, as Owen, Manton, Watson, etc., argue, “our devotion is best secured, where the matter and words are of immediately divine inspiration,” they “recommend [the Psalter] to [our] Christian acceptance,” quoting James 5:13: “Is any merry? let him sing psalms.”
 

Kevin

Puritan Board Doctor
When I was in grade school, which was called a Calvinistic Christian School, we heard about Calvin, Luther, Zwingli, Knox, and so on, and we heard quite a bit about what they had to say about things. But so very rarely was Calvin's name used in church. My parents and our church were thoroughly Calvinists, adamantly Calvinists. But they knew how to draw the line between, "the Bible says" and "Calvin says". They truly honoured Calvin, but he was not the authority. He had his views on things, and they were important to us because he was a well-educated and well-respected leader in the Church. But he was not the Church, and he himself was sure to make that point. His authority could not be pasted overtop of the Church's documents and statements of faith. The BC reflects that same devotion to the Word. I am going to assume (though I know it to be true) that the WA had that same devotion. They would shiver, I suspect, at the way their views are imposed to create doctrine where there is no doctrine.

So it has been proven to me without a doubt that the WA commissioners were decidedly EP in their thinking. That, then, is proof enough for me that, in their great care, they did not impose what the Bible does not impose. They were careful about the Bible as the only rule of faith and life. That is why the E is not there, but the P is.

So how are hymns P? Well, what is it in "How Vast the Benefits Divine" that is not already in the Psalms, made more explicit in the NT, and advocated by Eph and Col. to sing about? What does "Amazing Grace" contain that is not in the Psalms, that is not made more clear to us in the NT, that the Bible commands us to sing about for teaching and admonishing? What is not Psalmist about them? It is the E that is the question. And it is decidedly not there, nor in the Bible, and now we know that it is emphatically not in the WCF. We know this because the commissioners were one and all EP, but omitted the E from the WCF.
Well said John.:amen:
 

PresReformed

Puritan Board Freshman
So it has been proven to me without a doubt that the WA commissioners were decidedly EP in their thinking. That, then, is proof enough for me that, in their great care, they did not impose what the Bible does not impose. They were careful about the Bible as the only rule of faith and life. That is why the E is not there, but the P is.

So how are hymns P? Well, what is it in "How Vast the Benefits Divine" that is not already in the Psalms, made more explicit in the NT, and advocated by Eph and Col. to sing about? What does "Amazing Grace" contain that is not in the Psalms, that is not made more clear to us in the NT, that the Bible commands us to sing about for teaching and admonishing? What is not Psalmist about them? It is the E that is the question. And it is decidedly not there, nor in the Bible, and now we know that it is emphatically not in the WCF. We know this because the commissioners were one and all EP, but omitted the E from the WCF.
John....the RPW, when properly understood, is that it isn't necessary to add an E to everything that is commanded. The Divines didn't make an exhaustive list of everything that was forbidden, they just listed that which Scripture command (to sing Psalms), therefore anything else is excluded which is the E that you're looking for and saying is not there. It's funny how you keep arguing against yourself when you keep saying that commands not found in Scripture are an invention of man and therefore forbidden, the same is true of anything man adds to worship. "How Vast the Benefits Divine" and "Amazing Grace" are not found in Scripture, but every single Psalm in the Psalter is.
 

jaybird0827

PuritanBoard Honor Roll
I am very uneducated on this issue and I enjoy reading the threads on EP. The one thing that I do see happening by supporters of EP is that they cannot demonstrate the "Exclusive" part of their argument. Maybe my understanding is not where it should be but I do not see in Scripture or in the Confession or Catechisms the teaching of Psalms ALONE. I can certainly see their emphasis on it and many great men of the faith have held to EP, but I do not find this to be conclusive... :2cents:

This thread looks like it has been much better in it's Christian attitude than previous threads, which I would like to commend all the participants. As one who is still researching the subject, it is much easier to digest arguments when they are presented in a loving, humble attitude.
Note that the divines said "the singing of Psalms with grace in the heart". Had Scripture commanded, for example, the creating and singing of extra-canonical compositions, they would have worded it that way and they would have practiced it. What is not conclusive that these extra-canonical songs are required.
 

jaybird0827

PuritanBoard Honor Roll
..."How Vast the Benefits Divine" and "Amazing Grace" are not found in Scripture, but every single Psalm in the Psalter is.
Neither is "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing." I find it so ironic that the composer of this work included the line "Teach me some melodious sonnet, sung by flaming tongues above." I'm like, the Lord has already done this. There's 150 of them right in the pages of Scripture."
 

Founded on the Rock

Puritan Board Freshman
I can see your position Jay (if I may call you that). It just does not bind my conscience that EP is the obvious logical conclusion when using the RPW... I think you have to assume it to get it out...

I am still learning though :) I know there are great people on both sides of the subject. The one problem I have is the way that some (NOT ALL) seem to demonize anyone that disagrees.
 

JohnV

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
John....the RPW, when properly understood, is that it isn't necessary to add an E to everything that is commanded. The Divines didn't make an exhaustive list of everything that was forbidden, they just listed that which Scripture command (to sing Psalms), therefore anything else is excluded which is the E that you're looking for and saying is not there. It's funny how you keep arguing against yourself when you keep saying that commands not found in Scripture are an invention of man and therefore forbidden, the same is true of anything man adds to worship. "How Vast the Benefits Divine" and "Amazing Grace" are not found in Scripture, but every single Psalm in the Psalter is.
The RPW, when properly understood contains no self-contradictions. It does not break its own principle in the effecting of itself. To say that the E is not needed, when this whole discussion is about the need for the E, is arguing against yourself.

I have stood on the RPW for years. Its my defence against men who add the E to Presuppositionalism, to Postmillennialism, to other non-doctrines, and on that basis include them as doctrine. This goes directly against the RPW. So adding the E when it is decidedly and emphatically not there goes against the RPW.

I'm sorry, but EP is not the question here then, but it is the watering down of the RPW so that the writings of men may be determinitive for doctrine as well as the Confessions and Scripture. Don't get me wrong. I support this tensioned discussion, because we need to work through it. People are not going to give up their beliefs easily, and they shouldn't. But I don't want us to end up back in the RCC with a regulation that allows men's writings and tradition to also be the rule of faith. We may not add doctrines, especially not on our own, nor without the authority of the Church. The WCF, the official statement of the Church, does not say E, but only P, though everyone knew about the E proposition.

They knew it, had the polemics in place, the need and importance of stating it clearly was present, and yet they omitted it. I just can't get around that. Not with the understanding of the RPW that is in the BC, which I believe the WCF to also hold to. I believe that the RPW means that you may also not use the RPW to create a doctrine that is not explicitly, clearly, and sufficiently stated at large in Scripture. It also forbids adding or depending upon men's writings to make doctrine. That's all that has been done so far, cite men's writings. But Scripture and the WCF themselves do not say so.

Its a question of: does the Bible determine the RPW? Or does the RPW determine what the Bible teaches? If the latter, who determines what the RPW commands that it may be imposed upon the Bible and the Confessions? Men? Tradition? Where then is the Bible as the only rule for faith, worship, and life?

If all I've done is caused any of you to stop and rethink your positions, to work out your arguments more carefully, then that is enough for now. We can go at it again some other time, when its worked out a bit better. But try to find a way around this thorny issue of the RPW having to go against itself to implement itself. Try to show me why the commissioners had every reason to add the "only", but didn't, but that they still meant it, and we can still assume its in there even though it isn't. The EP-ers all agree that its not in there; they say its not needed, and that is an admission that it is not in there. Why not? Work on these things, and please be open to a possible solution that is better, that does not have any friction with the Word of God and its rule for life, worship, and faith.

I'm going to let this rest for now. I've said enough.
 

Casey

Puritan Board Junior
Neither is "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing." I find it so ironic that the composer of this work included the line "Teach me some melodious sonnet, sung by flaming tongues above." I'm like, the Lord has already done this. There's 150 of them right in the pages of Scripture."
Apparently you've missed the poetic point of the song. Can you show proof in the pages of Scripture that "flaming tongues above" are singing only and exclusively the 150 Psalms? Oh, wait, we already have proof in Revelation to the contrary.
 

Croghanite

Puritan Board Sophomore
But Scripture and the WCF themselves do not say so.
Is it safe to say that we all agree the Church, before Christ sacrifice on the cross, DEFINITELY sang the Psalms exclusively in Public Worship?
Where in Scripture does it show that has changed? I dont know of anywhere that it does. I think you must conclude that we are only permitted to continue to sing EP. That conclusion lines up with RPW and the WCF.

I come to that conclusion because I dont know of anywhere in Scripture that shows we can sing uninspired songs in Public Worship. This study is relatively new to me and I humbly ask for anyone to show, in Scripture , where EP singing in Public Worship has changed.
If there is no example of or command to sing uninspired songs in Public Worship then we must conclude that EP remains to be the God ordained mode of Worship.
 

jaybird0827

PuritanBoard Honor Roll
Apparently you've missed the poetic point of the song. Can you show proof in the pages of Scripture that "flaming tongues above" are singing only and exclusively the 150 Psalms? Oh, wait, we already have proof in Revelation to the contrary.
Well, maybe catching poetic points isn't my forte'. But we're off topic, as usual, and that's partly my fault. Back to the question, my original response stands.
 

Peter

Puritan Board Junior
To begin with, I tend to see the current EP belief as something that was not fully developed until after the Westminster Assembly, which is to echo what Chris Coldwell previously said. I think even some of the 19th century arguments I've read on the internet lack the precision of modern day EPs. This is not to say the divines were not EP just that I don't think they were consciously EP because Scripture Psalmody hadn't been seriously challenged yet. I think this would explain the way as a whole they inconsistently say somethings positive about EP and somethings negative.

Second, someone just told me about an Act of the Scottish General Assembly, August 28, 1647, assigned to a man named Zacharias Boyd, to make metrical versions of other songs in scripture for public use. Can anyone confirm / comment on this.
 

R. Scott Clark

Puritan Board Senior
Matt,

Many thanks for this. I've found the copy of the Rous' Psalter with the preface. This will be useful as will be your summary.

Blessings,

rsc

Good stuff eh? :amen:

Here is some of the information I have on this, some from the web, some from CDs and the original book itself (at home):

It came from the text of a letter to the reader affixed to an edition of the 1650 Scottish Metrical Psalter printed for the Company of Stationers at London in 1673. The title page bears the words: "THE PSALMS OF DAVID In Meeter. Newly Translated and diligently compared with the Original Text, and former Translations: More plain, smooth and agreeable to the Text, than any heretofore."
 

satz

Puritan Board Senior
Is it safe to say that we all agree the Church, before Christ sacrifice on the cross, DEFINITELY sang the Psalms exclusively in Public Worship?
Where in Scripture does it show that has changed? I dont know of anywhere that it does. I think you must conclude that we are only permitted to continue to sing EP. That conclusion lines up with RPW and the WCF.

I come to that conclusion because I dont know of anywhere in Scripture that shows we can sing uninspired songs in Public Worship. This study is relatively new to me and I humbly ask for anyone to show, in Scripture , where EP singing in Public Worship has changed.
If there is no example of or command to sing uninspired songs in Public Worship then we must conclude that EP remains to be the God ordained mode of Worship.
Why wouldn't Eph 5:19 and Col 3:16 be seen as expanding the list of avaliable songs for NT worship as opposed to simply reiterating what was the OT practice?
 

Croghanite

Puritan Board Sophomore
Why wouldn't Eph 5:19 and Col 3:16 be seen as expanding the list of avaliable songs for NT worship as opposed to simply reiterating what was the OT practice?
Check out Brian Schwertley's paper on "A Brief Examination of
Exclusive Psalmody".
http://www.reformed.com/pub/psalms.htm

This is one of the best papers I have read on the subject and its not brief.
Scroll down to the section about Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16. It will be in bold. Better than that, just read the whole thing.:D
 

NaphtaliPress

Administrator
Staff member
There was indeed a project approved by the Scottish GA at the same time as the refinement of the Psalter was going on. The GA was apparently mostly or completely made up of those holding to an Inspired Praise postion.
Second, someone just told me about an Act of the Scottish General Assembly, August 28, 1647, assigned to a man named Zacharias Boyd, to make metrical versions of other songs in scripture for public use. Can anyone confirm / comment on this.
 

Bladestunner316

Puritan Board Doctor
What I dont understand and Im not settle yet on EP. Is why one would want to adimantly argue for the use of non-inspired hymns in worship. If one is EP why argue against it. EP is not bad or unbiblical. So I dont see why people get so upset about it. I can see though getting upset with the fact that some churchs refuse to sing psalms alltogether with non-inspired hymns in its place.

In Christ,
Blade
 

NaphtaliPress

Administrator
Staff member
To that extremely important bit of information provided by Matthew Winzer I might add, that when I looked into this subject of the Scottish 'other Scripture Song' project a few years ago, I got the impression of several things. It did not seem the project had the same prominence as the huge endeavor to correct the psalter. This is clear even though the Minutes of the Scotish GA no longer exist for the important period of the mid to late 1640s. There are Presbytery and Synod minutes that have some scant notices and other sources preserve some data. Some (namely Baillie) did not think Boyd had as much talent as perhaps he himself or others thought he had. I have speculated whether this was some bone thrown to Boyd. I have never quite gotten it clear in my mind if uniformity was so important how this project should have even been undertaken. There is no hint anywhere as far as I've found that the Westminster Assembly ever addressed this subject or had any view that a second book of praise was warranted or needed. Also, Scottish churches only used the psalter prior to this so this was not a new version of things they had song before. If the minutes had survived perhaps we'd understand more what was going on; but I concluded that the project was not viewed as important, that it was perhaps something to please a minority, and that if it had ever got to the point of being considered, then perhaps we would have seen some serious deliberation over the merit of having such a book. All speculation.
 

Casey

Puritan Board Junior
What I dont understand and Im not settle yet on EP. Is why one would want to adimantly argue for the use of non-inspired hymns in worship. If one is EP why argue against it. EP is not bad or unbiblical. So I dont see why people get so upset about it. I can see though getting upset with the fact that some churchs refuse to sing psalms alltogether with non-inspired hymns in its place.

In Christ,
Blade
Are you asking why EPers argue their point? Or those against EP?
 
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