-Rev. Alexander Blaikie-
Pastor of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, Boston
“Sing unto Jehovah; sing praises unto him”—1 Chron. 16:9.
“Behold, this is the law of the house”—Ezekiel 43:12.
“Is any merry? let him sing psalms”—James 5:13.
THE author of this Catechism does not publish it out of an unkind spirit towards those who differ from him about the matter which should be offered in praise to God, or the manner in which it ought to be celebrated; nor yet with the design of provoking controversy; but for the following reasons:—
1. Some portions of the Presbyterian denomination, both in Europe and America, use exclusively the Presbyterian metrical version of the Psalms; others add to these, what are called “paraphrases”, and five “hymns”; while others still, following the example of the modern Congregational order of churches, adopt “imitations” of the Psalter, and provide for themselves other human compositions;—
2. Believing to be false and unscriptural the opinion that this variety is sanctioned by God, and harmless, and that the matter of praise is not given to the Church by her living Head,—it is not enough for him simply to say so; but it becomes his duty to show to others, and especially to the rising generation, the “more excellent way” of divine appointment;—
3. And believing that the glory of God, the honour of Christ, the extension of his kingdom, and the edification of saints, are closely connected with obedience to the divine injunction, “Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him,” he asks for the following pages a candid and prayerful examination.
BOSTON, May 1, 1849.