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Travis Fentiman

Puritan Board Freshman
Most presbyterian, congregationalist and baptist churches from the Reformation till around the late-1800's did not use musical instruments in worship, on principle.

Wonder why? It was due to a close application of the Regulative Principle of Worship, that we are only to worship in the way that God prescribes in Scripture. While God, through prophets, prescribed certain instruments to be played by male Levites, 30-50 years old (only) in very specifically regulated parts of the regular worship in the Temple services, those carnal rites have ceased, according to Hebrews, for the N.T. era.

In addition to this, the word for 'to sing psalms' in the N.T. (psallo), does not inherently mean to do so with instruments, and quite often does not.

Thus we are left singing with 'the fruit of our lips'.

If you are interested further in the majority, reformed viewpoint of the Reformation, here is quite a collection of resources on the subject to explore:

There are also subsections on the page regarding the Westminster Divines on the question, and why musical instruments are not indifferent 'circumstances' of worship.

Hope this may be helpful to you.

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