WORSHIP REGULATED BY THE WORD OF GOD.
"If it be inquired, then, by what things chiefly the Christian religion has a standing existence among us and maintains its truth, it will be found that the following two not only occupy the principal place, but comprehend under them all the other parts, and consequently the whole substance of Christianity, viz. a knowledge, first, of the mode in which God is duly worshipped; and, secondly, of the source from which salvation is to be obtained."—John Calvin, The Necessity of Reforming the Church. (1544)
WORKS ON WORSHIP:
1848-John T. Pressly.-This is Pressly's spirited response to Ralston's attack on those who only sing Psalms in the worship of God. Pressly examines his claims to a divine warrant for making and using hymns of human composure in worship.
1896-J. M'N.-An article from the Free Presbyterian Magazine that explains why Protestants, especially Presbyterians, should eschew the use of choirs in the worship of God.
1859-Anonymous.-This article discusses many of the practices that have crept into Presbyterian churches regarding the burial of the dead. The anonymous author writes in support of the provisions of the Westminster Directory and against these evils.
1851-Isaac Todd (1787-1886).-Todd, who pastored the Presbyterian churches in Troy, PA, and Hollmanville, NJ, discusses the proper posture to be assumed in the public prayer of the church and why together with notes on various postures that may be used by the people of God.
1720-John Owen (1616-1683).-This is a devastating attack on conformity to any worship that involves a violation of the Regulative Principle (e.g., hymn singing, instrumental music, holy days, etc.). To know better and to participate is far worse than violating the law in ignorance.
1852-Anonymous.-An article which appeared in the Covenanter Magazine, edited by J.M. Willson, which explains why confessional communicant members of the RP church should not attend the ministry of the Word by sectarian ministers outside of the church.
1852-Anonymous.-An article which appeared in the Covenanter Magazine, edited by J.M. Willson, which defends the practice of confessional communion against the lax and latitudinarian practices creeping into the church.
1875-John L. Girardeau (1825-1898).-This sermon expounds upon the Regulative principle and its necessity in the life of the church especially in the exercise of ecclesiastical power.
1794-John Anderson (1748-1830).-A sermon which explains what happens when men are given over to hearing the ministrations of erroneous teachers. Anderson discusses the doctrines and practical reasons for maintaining confessional integrity by avoiding sectarian ministers or ministers not of one's own communion.
1713-James Fraser [of Brae] (1639-1699).-A devastating critique of prelacy and all of its attendant evils and corruptions.
1696-David Clarkson (1622-1686).-Clarkson explains why public worship is more important than private worship without dismissing the need for the latter.
1900-John T. Chalmers (1860-1902).-Mr. Chalmers explains the principles, merit and authority behind the exclusive use of the Psalms in the public worship of the people of God in easy to understand language and drawing clear conclusions.
1862-Anonymous.-An article from The Associate Presbyterian, an North American Anti-burgher Seceder magazine, which canvasses the history of psalm singing in an effort to determine the mode in which the church has always sung Psalms.
1859-Hugh Brown (1810-1888).-Two discourse on purity of worship. The first examines and defends the exclusive use of the inspired Psalms in the praise of the church; the second explains why the use of instrumental music in the worship of God is not warranted under the New Testament.
1852-Gilbert McMaster.-A comprehensive view of the benefits of the use of the Psalms in the worship of God together with the importance of retaining them in order to bring genuine ecclesiastical union and communion.
1851-Robert J. Dodds (1824-1870).-This is the last salvo in a series of 19th century books on the war over exclusive psalmody amongst various groups of Presbyterians. Dodds takes up the cause of God and truth against hymn singer George Morton and examines the merits of his criticisms on John T. Pressly's work on behalf of Psalmody.
1838-Anonymous.-An article from The Reformed Presbyterian Magazine defending the practice of lining of the Psalms when they are sung in congregational settings as the most ancient usage of the church.
1640-Richard Mather (1596-1669).-An essay affixed as a preface to the Bay Psalm Book (1640), almost certainly the work of Richard Mather (one of the translators), explaining the philosophy of translation employed together with reason why literalism is to be preferred over smoothness in metrical psalmody.
1644-The Parliament.-This is the official Act for removing the Book of Common Prayer and establishing the use of the Westminster Directory for Public Worhsip throughout England and Wales.
1644-The Parliament.-An Act authorizing the removal of all things which violate the Scriptural, or Regulative, principle of worship from all houses of worship throughout England. This included all the liturgical garb, furniture pictures of Jesus or the Trinity together with the removal of all musical instruments.
1895-James Kerr.-An address given in 1894, at the National Protestant Congress, warning that ritualism in worship is contrary to the Regulative principle and subversive of Protestant doctrine.
1888-Robert L. Dabney (1820-1898).-A review wherein Dabney not only praises Girardeau's book but he adds a number of keen observations and insights into why instrumental music should be kept out of the public worship of God.
1888-John L. Girardeau (1825-1898)-This is one of the more thorough discussions of the question of the use of musical instruments in the worship of God.
1871-Robert Johnson (1810-1879).-A extremely well reasoned defense of the anti-instrumentalist position in which he engages several well known objections and examines the plausibility of the arguments of those who would introduce these instruments into the worship of God.
1868-W. Robertson.-This pamphlet is the substance of two lectures given in connection with the agitation by some in order to introduce an organ into the worship of God. In 1873, five years after these lectures, the pro-organ party carried the day and an organ was introduced into the worship of Coupland Street United Presbyterian Church, Manchester, England. Mr. Robertson's work is a testimony against this outrage.
1851-Robert J. Breckinridge (1800-1871).-A Southern Presbyterian decries the use of organs in Presbyterian churches and vows never to speak in a church that has one. He discusses the theological reasons for holding to a strict non-instrumentalist position.
1849-Alexander Blaikie (1804-1885).-An Associate Reformed Presbyterian minister defends the practice of a cappella psalmody by way of catechetical exercises.