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Still Waters Revival Books
Puritans, Covenanters, et al.  |  Edmonton, Alberta
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WESTMINSTER ASSEMBLY & INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC IN PUBLIC WORSHIP, DIRECTORY FOR THE PUBLIC WORSHIP OF GOD
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2012
Posted by: Still Waters Revival Books | more..
BLOG ON: SERMON Instrumental Music in the NT
Still Waters Revival Books
Greg Price

Before the Westminster Assembly of Divines undertook the office of preparing a Directory of Worship, the Parliament had authoritatively adopted measures looking to the removal of organs, along with other remains of Popery, from the churches of England.

On the 20th of May, 1644, the commissioners from Scotland wrote to the General Assembly of their church and made the following statement among others,
We cannot but admire the good hand of God in the great things done here already, particularly that the covenant (the Solemn League and Covenant - RB), the foundation of the whole work, is taken, Prelacy and the whole train thereof extirpated, the service-book in many places forsaken, plain and powerful preaching set up, many colleges in Cambridge provided with such ministers as are most zealous of the best reformation, altars removed, the communion in some places given at the table with sitting, THE GREAT ORGANS AT PAUL'S AND PETER'S IN WESTMINSTER TAKEN DOWN, images and many other monuments of idolatry defaced and abolished, the Chapel Royal at Whitehall purged and reformed; and all by authority, in a quiet manner, at noon-day, without tumult."1
So thorough was the work of removing organs that the "Encyclopaedia Britannica" says that "at the Revolution most of the organs in England had been destroyed."2

When, therefore, the Assembly addressed itself to the task of framing a Directory for Worship, it found itself confronted by a condition of the churches of Great Britain in which the singing of psalms without instrumental accompaniment almost universally prevailed.

In prescribing, consequently, the singing of psalms without making any allusion to the restoration of instrumental music, it must, in all fairness, be construed to specify the simple singing of praise as a part of public worship.

The question, moreover, is settled by the consideration that had any debate occurred as to the propriety of allowing the use of instrumental music, the Scottish commissioners would have vehemently and uncompromisingly opposed that measure.

But Lightfoot, who was a member of the Assembly, in his "Journal of its Proceedings"3 tells us: "This morning we fell upon the Directory for singing of psalms; and, in a short time, we finished it." He says that the only point upon which the Scottish commissioners had some discussion was the reading of the Psalms line by line (emphases added).

ENDNOTES:
1. Girardeau cites this quotation from the Acts of Assembly of the Church of Scotland, 1644.
2. Girardeau cites Art., Organ.
3. Girardeau cites Works, Vol. xiii., pp. 343, 344; London, 1825.

- From: Instrumental Music In The Public Worship Of The Church by John L. Girardeau
(Still Waters Revival Books, [1888] 2000), pp. 132, 133.

Originally written in 1888, Instrumental Music In The Public Worship Of The Church was highly praised by R.L. Dabney in a book review of this book by Girardeau, which is available on SWRB's new PURITAN HARD DRIVE). In this review Dabney writes,

Dr. Girardeau has defended the old usage of our church with a moral courage, loyalty to truth, clearness of reasoning and wealth of learning which should make every true Presbyterian proud of him, whether he adopts his conclusions or not. The framework of his argument is this: it begins with that vital truth which no Presbyterian can discard without a square desertion of our principles.

The man who contests this first premise had better set out at once for Rome: God is to be worshipped only in the ways appointed in His Word. Every act of public cultus not positively enjoined by Him is thereby forbidden.

Christ and His apostles ordained the musical worship of the New Dispensation without any sort of musical instrument, enjoining only the singing of psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Hence such instruments are excluded from Christian worship. Such has been the creed of all churches, and in all ages, except for the Popish communion after it had reached the nadir of its corruption at the end of the thirteenth century, and of its prelatic imitators (emphases added).

Listen to the free MP3 series which begins with "Instrumental Music 1 of 3 by John Calvin," for more of the classic Puritan and Reformed view of instrumental music in the public worship of the church. This MP3 series includes quotes from Charles Spurgeon, Jonathan Edwards, John Calvin, John Knox, John Owen, the Westminster Assembly, the Synod of Dort, et al., on why Reformed Christians have considered instrumental music in the public worship of the church the very "badge of Popery" -- as instruments in public worship are a denial of the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ!

Instrumental music in public worship also brings the shadows of abrogated Old Testament ceremonial laws back into the church -- which marks the Romish Antichrist's defection from truth as few other things do. These abrogated Old Testament ceremonial laws pointed to Christ to come and his finished work, and were terminated by God (see the book Hebrews) after the light of Christ's completed work on earth shone forth.

This is exactly what John Calvin was driving at when he wrote, "it were only to bury the light of the gospel should we introduce the shadows of a departed dispensation."

Moreover, it is this very error (i.e., introducing terminated ceremonial shadows into the New Testament administration of the one covenant of grace), which has given rise to many of the heresies of the Popish Antichrist related to worship (really "will-worship," or Arminianism in worship) and works salvation. Or as Calvin has also written,

Here indeed is pure and real religion: faith so joined with an earnest fear of God that this fear also embraces willing reverence, and carries with it such legitimate worship as is prescribed in the law. And we ought to note this fact even more diligently: all men have a vague general veneration for God, but very few really reverence Him; and wherever there is great ostentation in ceremonies, sincerity of heart is rare indeed (Institutes of the Christian Religion, Book One, Chapter II, Sec. 2, page 43 in the Battles' translation, emphases added).

In short, Protestants should no more use musical instruments in public worship than they should bring a sacrificial lamb to the front of their church, during public worship, and slay the lamb as a part of worship (during the New Testament administration of the one covenant of grace), as such acts "cannot be said so much to imitate the practice of God's ancient people as to ape it in a senseless and absurd manner, exhibiting a silly delight in that worship of the Old Testament which was figurative and terminated with the gospel" (John Calvin). Moreover, such false worship God abominates (as it is a direct violation of the second commandment)!

NEW SWRB PURITAN HARD DRIVE

"But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men" (Matthew 15:9).

THE WESTMINSTER ASSEMBLY AND INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC IN PUBLIC WORSHIP, THE DIRECTORY FOR THE PUBLIC WORSHIP OF GOD, THE COVENANTED GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE CHURCH OF SCOTLAND AND THE COVENANTED ENGLISH PARLIAMENT TOO!

George Gillespie George Gillespie

George Gillespie was one of the Scottish commissioners to the Westminster Assembly. He was one of the greatest theologians of all time -- almost singlehandedly...

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Category:  Instrumental Music

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     PAST BLOG ENTRIES     

JOHN CALVIN ON MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS IN CHURCH PUBLIC WORSHIP, EDWARDS, SPURGEON, KNOX, OWEN, et al.
MONDAY, AUGUST 15, 2011
Posted by: Still Waters Revival Books | more..
Instrumental Music in Public Worship: The Views of John Calvin To sing the praises of God upon the harp and psaltery," says Calvin, "unquestionably formed a part of the training of the law and of the service of God under that dispensation of...
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John Calvin John Calvin

This man, undoubtedly the greatest of Protestant divines, and perhaps, after St. Augustine, the most perseveringly followed by his disciples of any Western...

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MUSIC: SPURGEON, CALVIN, PURITANS, COVENANTERS, DORT, ZWINGLI, AMERICAN INDEPENDENTS/PRESBYTERIANS
WEDNESDAY, JULY 27, 2011
Posted by: Still Waters Revival Books | more..
CHARLES SPURGEON, JOHN CALVIN, ENGLISH PURITANS, SCOTTISH COVENANTERS, SYNOD OF DORT, ULRICH ZWINGLI, AND AMERICAN INDEPENDENT AND PRESBYTERIAN CHURCHES ON INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC IN THE PUBLIC WORSHIP OF GOD With reference to the time when organs were...
[ abbreviated | read entire ]

C. H. Spurgeon C. H. Spurgeon

Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-92) was England's best-known preacher for most of the second half of the nineteenth century. In 1854, just four years after his...

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