Obviously we should not not consult the individual writings of Westminster Divines to expand the meaning or application of the Westminster Standards beyond the Assembly's meaning and original intent. We consult them in due order when after centuries the original meaning (original intent) has been misconstrued or confused or decontextualized by some and controversies arise over meaning. The primary tools for this are the work and productions of the Assembly, but these private/individual writings are useful in their place. We cannot allow historic documents that serve as denominational doctrinal statements to which office bearers subscribe to become a wax nose, which is what happens when original intent is ignored.
I think the Westminster Asssembly was clear on creation (literal 144 hour) and clearer still on singing of psalms (nothing but the psalms).* No, they do not address musical instruments directly in any of their productions. It was a non issue; there were only a few organs and the Parliament had already "de-organized" the disestablished church of England in May 1644, in their order for the demolishing of the cathedral organs, long before the divines produced any documents.[/FONT][FONT="]However, I"m fairly persuaded, if they were not just faced by a few organs in cathedrals but by musical bands getting up front of the congregations throughout the country during public worship, that we’d have a statement if not a paragraph in the Confession of Faith addressing it! Maybe a chapter!
[/FONT][FONT="]*[/FONT][FONT="]On original intent and [/FONT][FONT="]animus imponentis[/FONT][FONT="] (adopting intent) see Alan Strange’s article, “The Affirmation of the Imputation of the Active Obedience of Christ at the Westminster Assembly of Divines,” The Confessional Presbyterian 4 (2008) forthcoming. On my take on what the Assembly meant by psalms see The Meaning of "Psalm" in the Westminster Standards - The PuritanBoard. See also Mathew Winzer's demolishing of Nick Needham's argument that the Divines meant more than Psalms by Singing of Psalms in [/FONT][FONT="]Review: [/FONT][FONT="]Nick Needham, ‘Westminster and worship: psalms, hymns, and musical instruments,’ In The Westminster Confession into the 21st century, 2, ed. J. Ligon Duncan (Ross-shire, Scotland: Christian Focus Publications, 2005). 540 pages. ISBN 978-1-857-92878-5. $37.99. Reviewed by Matthew Winzer, Grace Presbyterian Church (Australian Free Church), Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia. "Westminster and Worship Examined: A Review of Nick Needham’s essay on the Westminster Confession of Faith’s teaching concerning the regulative principle, the singing of psalms, and the use of musical instruments in the public worship of God," The Confessional Presbyterian 4 (2008) 253-266 (forthcoming). The ordinance by the English Parliament ordering the demolishing of the organs in May 1644 can be found here: [/FONT][FONT="]House of Lords Journal Volume 6 - 9 May 1644 | British History Online[/FONT]