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Re: Psalm singing

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  • thebishopsdoom
    ... Would that there were the case, but that is in fact inaccurate. I can only speak for a few reformed traditions in America - Scottish / Irish Presbyterian,
    Message 1 of 6 , Nov 1, 2002
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      --- In covenantedreformationclub@y..., Fredrick Fleming
      <followerofhim2001@y...> wrote:
      > What gets me is that the reform church in this
      > country, were all Psalm singing until about 1930.

      Would that there were the case, but that is in fact inaccurate. I can
      only speak for a few reformed traditions in America - Scottish /
      Irish Presbyterian, Huegenot (French reformed), Hungarian Reformed,
      German Reformed, and Dutch Reformed. As for any others that may have
      been around here before 1930, I can't say what they were doing. But
      as to those that I do have some information on...

      Presbyterian:
      The psalmody debate hit the mainline presbyterians at least by 1763,
      and by 1764, allowance had been made to use "imitations of the
      psalms" - referring to Watts. The issue continued in 1773, where the
      decision was made to allow versions other than the old one approved
      for use by the Scottish General Assembly but recommending Watts be
      allowed until such time as could be reviewed. 1785 objections were
      again raised, but more to the use of a multitude of versions than
      necesarily to Watts' imitations per se. The decline in psalmody went
      from there.

      The French Reformed to my knowledge first adopted hymns of an
      uninspired nature in 1706 under the direction of Benedict Pictet in
      Geneva. Perhaps some of the other French churches adopted a few
      sooner, but it is unclear. My first definite reference is 1706 in
      Geneva. I am uncertain that there was any difference in the Huegenot
      practice in America.

      I am not sure when the Hungarian Reformed first came to America, but
      I do know that like most Eastern European reformed churches, they
      used uninspired hymnody at the beginning of their own history. This
      began to wane after the whole Psalter was translated into Magyar by
      Szenczi Molnar in 1607. I am not certain how prominent Psalmody
      remained in the Hungarian Reformed churches, but I had been under the
      impression that Transylvania was pretty much the main area of
      exclusive psalmody after this point in the Hungarian reformed
      churches, and I am not aware that all the churches there were (only
      that there was supposed to have been such a movement there, however,
      as with the German Reformed, it was done without constitutional
      pronouncements). I pretty much prsume they were practicing uninspired
      hymnody from the time they reached the American shores.

      Most of the German Reformed churches were exclusive Psalmodist from
      sometime in the early to mid 1600s until 1738, though there was a
      move under the direction of the Pietist movement that began prior to
      1738 to incorporate uninspired hymns in private worship meetings
      meeting in people's homes and agitating their entrance into the
      churches. The representatives of the German Reformed churches
      in America would (like their homeland churches) have had no
      constitutional prohibitions, but probably would have followed mostly
      in the psalmody route until about the same time. Exceptions would
      have most likely been churches from: Mark, Bremen, Brandenberg, and
      the Palatinate (though only after elector Lewis replaced Frederick to
      the seat of magistratical authority - Frederick had passed a civil
      statute making the singing of uninspired hymnody in the churches
      illegal). But even in those cases, the exceptions in the homeland
      were only singing uninspired songs about 4 times a year, despite the
      multitudes of hymns that were in the hymnals in their use in those
      regions, so the practice in America might have been predominantly
      Psalm singing, but not exclusively so, among churches in America that
      were representative of those 4 regions.

      The Dutch Reformed churches had made some pronouncements outlawing
      uninspired hymnody prior to the 1618/19 Synod of Dordt (National
      Synod of Dordt, 1578, art. 76; National Synod of Middelburg, 1581,
      art. 51; the National Synod of Hague or Gravenhage, 1586, art. 62)
      but to my recollection, the 1618/19 Synod represented a larger group
      of churches, some of whom had not had such pronouncements nor
      practice prior to that time. A concession was thus forged. The 1612
      hymnal, Hymnische Lofsangen, already under use in some Dutch churches
      was outlawed by the ecclesiastical court, but in session 162, it was
      compromised that "The 10 Commandments, the Lord's Prayer, the
      Articles of Faith, the Songs of Mary, Zechariah, and Simeon, the
      hymn 'O God who is our Father,' and so on, shall be left in the
      freedom of the Churches, whether they want to use them or not, as
      they see fit." There is apparently a discrepancy in various editions
      of the church order of Dordt, because the same section in most modern
      versions puts the material before "the hymn 'O God who is our
      Father'" under the section "shall be sung" which in this version
      places only "the 150 Psalms of David" before "shall be sung" -
      whatever the original, both Mastricht and a Brakel refer to the
      church as not having authority to mandate the singing of uninspired
      materials, and a Brakel places it as an apparently standing decision
      of "the Dutch synods," which could hardly be the case if "shall be
      sung" referred to everything before "the hymn 'O God who is our
      Father'". Further, the hymnody controversy over the principled issue
      of hymnody altogether at least would not seem as likely to have been
      an issue in 19th century Holland, America, or South Africa if these
      songs had been required in the churches under the church order of
      Dordt. (The version I am drawing from is an 1834 article written by
      deCock in Holland.) Regardless the case, it is true that many of the
      churches, however, at least did not use the additional uninspired
      songs. It was not until 1789 that a hymnal was finally published in
      Dutch for use among the reformed, and it remains unclear to me how
      widespread its popularity was (in fact I am not entirely certain
      whether it was actually in use among any of the churches). It
      was in 1807 that a hymnal was formally adopted, and it was pushed in
      1816, which sparked controversy that led eventually to the deposition
      of several Dutch ministers who refused to use it because they were
      opposed in principle to uninspired hymnody. At least one minister I
      believe was arrested when caught burying his hymnal in his frontyard.
      And the churches had problems with people marching in a procession
      outside of the church during the singing and returning only after the
      singing had finished. By by 1847, the church had so accepted them
      that the Psalms were disappearing from the worship services, much to
      the disdain and condemnation of not a few. 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
    • Jason Robert Schuiling
      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
      Message 2 of 6 , 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
      • Fredrick Fleming
        Those wanting to sing the Psalms here is a place to download 1-50 of them. Praise your Lord most high. __________________________________________________ Do
        Message 3 of 6 , Nov 23, 2002
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          Those wanting to sing the Psalms here is a place to
          download 1-50 of them.

          Praise your Lord most high.

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        • Fredrick Fleming
          Forgot the site. hehehehe http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?currSection=&sermonID=11801194222 ... covenantedreformationclub-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
          Message 4 of 6 , Nov 23, 2002
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            Forgot the site. hehehehe

            http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?currSection=&sermonID=11801194222

            --- Fredrick Fleming <followerofhim2001@...>
            wrote:
            > Those wanting to sing the Psalms here is a place to
            > download 1-50 of them.
            >
            > Praise your Lord most high.
            >
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