Reblogging some worship posts

My friend Daniel R. has some excellent sources on worship.  (Go to his site and read the rest of them.  I couldn’t quote all for space reasons) Particularly important is the idea that only God has the right to decide how he wants to be worshiped.  Remember Nadab and Abihu and fear.

Richard Cameron on instrumental music and the ceremonial law

Richard CameronThe Jewish way under the law of praising the Lord was upon the timbrel, the harp, psaltery, and ten-stringed instruments, and other instruments of music that belonged to the ceremonial worship that is now abolished.  Christ, who is the end of the law, has torn or taken away the ceremonies of the law, and there is no warrant now to make use of the organs, as they do in the Popish Church, and the Prelatic Church of England, and even among them that are more reformed, those over in Holland.  Oh, but we have a great advantage in being free of these!

Richard Cameron, ‘Sermon on Psalm 92 (undated)’ in Sermons in times of persecution in Scotland, by sufferers for the royal prerogatives of Jesus Christ, ed. James Kerr (Edinburgh, 1880), p. 421.

John Calvin: is worship a secondary issue?

April 28, 2013

John CalvinJohn Calvin answers the above question in the negative when he says, “[F]or nothing is more wicked than to contrive various modes of worship without the authority of the word of God.”

John Calvin, Commentary on the gospel according to John, trans. William Pringle (Geneva, 1553) in Calvin’s commentaries (22 vols, Grand Rapids, 1993), xvii, 154.

John Brown of Haddington on the imprecatory psalms

April 14, 2013

RevJohnBrownAs for those psalms which contain DENUNCIATIONS of divine vengeance upon the enemies of God and his church, we are to consider, that these expressions were dictated by the infallible Spirit of God; that the objects of them were foreseen to be irreconcilable enemies of Christ and his church; that those who sing them, only applaud the equity of the doom which God hath justly pronounced upon such offenders; and that they are to be sung with a full persuasion of the event, as a certain, awful and just display of the glory and tremendous justice of JEHOVAH.  Though we ought, therefore, never to apply them to particular parties or persons who have injured us, yet to decline using them, out of a pretence of charity, is to suppose ourselves wiser than him whose understanding is infinite, and more merciful than the Father of mercies, who is full of compassion, and delighteth in mercy.  Moreover, as these external enemies, devoted to destruction, were in some sense emblematic of our spiritual enemies, within or without the passages may be sung with application to ourselves, as directed against these principalities and powers, and spiritual wickedness, in high places, with whom we have to wrestle, while on earth, Eph. vi. 10-19. I Pet. v. 8, 9, Rom. viii. 13, Gal. v. 17-24.

John Brown of Haddington, The Psalms of David, in metre: allowed by the authority of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, and of the Presbyterian Churches in America.  With notes exhibiting the connexion, explaining the sense, and for directing and animating devotion (Pittsburgh, 1812), v-vi.

Johannes Wollebius on the regulative principle

February 3, 2013

True Religion is, whereby God is worshipped by Rites and Ceremonies prescribed by himself; and his Name truly sanctified both through the whole course of our life, and chiefly at the times by himself appointed.

Johannes Wollebius, The abridgment of Christian divinity, trans. Alexander Ross (3rd edn, London, 1660), pp 329-30.

George Gillespie on the regulative principle of worship and the kingship of Christ

June 27, 2012

But how much more will the King of kings condemn me if I practice the ceremonies which I judge in my conscience to be contrary to the will of God, and to rob him of his royal prerogative?

George Gillespie, A dispute against the English Popish ceremonies obtruded on the Church of Scotland (1637; Edinburgh, 1844), p. 12.

George Gillespie on Christian liberty in worship

May 11, 2012

Either, then, let it be shown out of God’s word that non-conformity, and the refusing of the English popish ceremonies, is a fault, or else let us not be thought bound by men’s laws where God’s law hath left us free.

George Gillespie, A dispute against the English Popish ceremonies obtruded on the Church of Scotland (1637; Edinburgh, 1844), p. 90.