Exclusive Psalmody in the ARP, Part V & VI

Series on EP in the ARP Cont…

V. The completeness, fulness and sufficiency of the Bible Psalter as a manual of praise gives to it a supremacy and permanency such as can be predicted only of that Word of God which liveth and abideth forever.

Containing an absolute purity of doctrine and freedom from words which engender division and foster sectarian strife because edited by God and therefore free from the transient and partial views of men; revealing so fully the character of God; describing so accurately the place and character of man; dealing so clearly with the method of salvation, and being so full of Christ, His face seen on every page, His voice heard in every tone and the pulsing of His heart felt in every strain; showing God’s relation to His Universe and furnishing man, as nature’s priest, with the incense of praise with which to bless God for His creating and sustaining power, abounding in songs that tell of universal dominion for the Gospel and anthems that shall serve as battle cries and shouts of victory for the church militant; Zion’s songs, like the mountains which first rang with their majestic strains, stand unmoved, and shall endure until the heavens be no more.

Volumes might be filled with the testimony drawn from every age, and from almost every conceivable source, showing the perfection of the Psalter. as a complete manual of praise. For three thousand years has it been tested, and never has it failed. These Spirit-indicted songs have sounded the depths of human sorrow, scaled the heights of human joy, run the gamut of human needs, and upborne the prayers and praises and adorations of the saints of the Most High in all ages and climes. But it is enough to say that because they are inspired of God they must he divinely complete, perfectly adapted and entirely sufficient to fulfill the design of the gracious Giver. They must be better—incomparably better—than the highest products of human wisdom or skill, and therefore ought to be the one medium of Christian praise.

VI. There are express commands in God’s Word to sing these songs.

(a.) “And he appointed certain of the Levites to minister before the ark of the Lord and to record, and to thank and praise the Lord God of Israel.”

“Then on that day David delivered first this psalm, to thank the Lord, into the hands of Asaph and his brethren.”

“Give thanks unto the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people.”

“Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him, talk ye of all his wondrous works.” (1 Chron. 16: vs. 4, 6-9.)

The song here referred to is also the one hundred and fifth number in the inspired Psalter.

(b.) “Moreover Hezekiah, the king and the princes commanded the Levites to sing praise unto the Lord, with the words of David and of Asaph the seer. And they sang praises with gladness, and they bowed their heads and worshipped.” (II Chron. 29:30.)

(c.) “O come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.”

“Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.” (Ps. 95:1-2.)

But why multiply texts, when these Divine songs abound with ascriptions of praise to God, and with urgent calls addressed not only to the church in her collective capacity, but to all classes of men, to engage in this delightful exercise: “Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem! Praise thy God, O Zion! Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord.”

But some, while admitting the positive command to sing the Psalms under the former or Mosaic dispensation, may claim that there was a limitation as to the time of their appointment to the Church’s Psalmody. But where is the suggestion of such a limitation? They were not written for the Mosiac dispensation alone, for but few of them were written until that dispensation was 400 years old. The book was not completed until it was 1,000 years old. Nearly two-thirds of that age had passed before this system of song had reached completion. Surely there is in this fact the suggestion, that these psalms were intended rather for the Christian than for the Jewish Church. In spirit and in matter they are immeasurably in advance of the times that produced them; aye, far beyond the times which we have reached, in some of their revelations. They, and they alone, are emphatically the songs of all ages. No one can find in them the mark of limitation.

Dr. Chalmers complete article here…


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