Exclusive Psalmody in the ARP, Part II

For those who are unaware until 1946 (for reasons immediately unknown to this writer) the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Synod (of which I am a member), the ARP was one of the few remaining Presbyterian denominations (do not forget that EP was the understanding for 95% of Presbyterian churches prior to the 19th century) that held to Exclusive Psalmody. The following excerpts from the article/paper I am posting was written at the turn of the 20th Century by an ARP minister by the name of the Rev. John T. Chalmers, D.D. of the First ARP church of Charlotte, NC. I post this first to present the historical argument from an ARP perspective, second to stimulate responses on the individual points presented by Rev. Chalmers.

Part Two from Rev. Chalmers Paper:

II. This reasonable expectation has been entirely realized in the fact that we have a Book of Praise, written, named and appointed by the Holy Spirit to be used in the church’s service of song. Why were the Psalms collected into a book by themselves?

They were written by various authors and at different times; some of them are to be found in other portions of the Old Testament; but they have all been arranged in one book, and that book is called the Book of Psalms, or Divine praises. Here we find selection and arrangement. There must have been some purpose in this. What was that purpose? What could it have been, except that these Psalms were adapted to the worship of the church, and that they were designed and collected to be used in the worship of the church?

Moreover, it is a fact, which deserves particular notice, that some of the songs, contained in the Book of Psalms, are likewise found in other parts of the Bible. The eighteenth Psalm is found in the Second Book of Samuel, and the ninety-sixth, and the parts of some other Psalms, are found in the Second Book of Chronicles. Other songs, such as the song of Moses at the Red Sea, the song of Deborah and Barak and others, found in different parts of the Bible, are not transferred to the Book of Psalms. And the question naturally arises: Why is this distinction made? Why are some of these songs, which are found in other parts of the Bible, introduced likewise into the Book of Psalms, while others have no place in that collection? The answer is, that the book of Psalms being designed for permanent use in the worship of God, those songs have a place in this book, which, in the estimation of Infinite Wisdom, were best adapted to the edification of the church in all ages.

For the whole of Rev. Chalmers Article see here.


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