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6230Re: Psalm singing

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  • Jason Robert Schuiling
    Nov 1, 2002
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      This is the background I come from. DeCock formed the Christelijke
      Gereformerde Kerk in the Netherlands around 1834-35 as BD pointed
      out, which came to America in 1857 to form the Christian Reformed
      Church in North America. I don't have access to the historical
      documents I got this from but if I remember correctly this is sort
      of how in went. In 1914 the CRC adopted the 1912 New metrical
      Psalter of the United Presbyterian Church of NA (a much lesser
      quality psalter than previous ones). In the CRC edition this
      included with it the Songs of Mary, Zacharias, and Simeon together
      with 52 hymns from the classis of Hackensack which corresponded to
      the 52 Lord's Days of the Heidelberg catechism. The bible songs (non-
      psalms) were under the section titled Spiritual Songs and the
      catechitical songs under the section Hymns behind these were eight
      doxologies and "My country tis of thee". If I remember rightly the
      classis of Hackensak was group of churches that had come out of the
      DRCA (now the RCA) sometime later than the original churches in
      relation to Kuyper's Doliente movement. These were not in full
      agreement with the EP position of the CRC at that time and they
      tended to stir up some trouble. From what I have read I have the
      impression that these 'extra' songs were not first intended to be
      sung in worship but were rather for private instruction and
      enjoyment. It was several years later (I don't have the date in
      front of me) when the Hackensak churches began having sway and
      the 'extra' songs were made obligatory, many pastors would not
      comply and refused to use the songs in public worship though
      threatened to be deposed. Other pastors went along though not
      willingly. Soon Hackensack had its way and in 1934 the first Psalter
      Hymnal was published in the CRC which had a large number of hymns.
      Whats interesting is that it wasn't until acouple years later (I
      think 1938?) that the official on the books EP position was changed.
      Even the 1959 Palter Hymnal I have in front of me has 187 hymns
      compared and 310 psalm renditions. Not that this was at all a good
      thing, just to contrast that with the current Grey Hymnal that has
      only 150 (short and poor)psalms (which are rarely if ever sung)
      renditions out of about 600 songs. What is also interesting is that
      4 years befroe the adopting of the 1912 psalter, in 1910, the CRC
      revised the Belgic confession on the magistracy, by adding a
      footnote that rejected the Establishment clause, mimicing the 1905
      General Synod of the Gereformerde Kerken in Nederland, the same
      church they had seceded from. In 1938 the clause was removed
      altogether. :( Today the CRC faces many many troubles, abominable
      worhip, gross and beastly polity, apathy and much more, please pray
      for her chastisement, repentance and return to faithfullness the
      LORD willing.

      Jason


      > In 1834 (or 35?) DeCock
      > had led the secession from the state church, making psalmody one
      of
      > the formal issues of secession. The churches under representation
      of
      > the secession clearly would have been opposed to the hymns when
      they
      > came to America, but as for the remainder of the Dutch in America,
      > that was not the case, at least by the mid-1800s (I can not speak
      for
      > before that time). In 1840, the overseers of Graafschap publically
      > objected to the DRCA for the incorporation of uninspired hymns.
      There
      > was eventually an 1857 secession over the issue (but I forget who
      > they seceeded from), and the issue was brought up again I believe
      in
      > the 1870s, though I do not recall my source for that recollection.
      > However, it does show that the Dutch Reformed also were certainly
      > singing uninspired hymnody prior to 1930 in America.
      > -thebishopsdoom
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