Psalms and Hymns

There are things I like about the stubborn Scottish Continuers.  They will not modernise to accommodate the evangelical agenda.  I like their insistence on singing Psalms, and while I do not agree with their reading of the Bible that only Psalms may be sung, I prefer it to the Exclusive Hymnody that is everywhere else.   I would rather sing Psalms only than hymns only in a service, which is what you get these days.

I am sure that no-one takes the position that Psalms are out, but that is what happens Sunday after Sunday in non-liturgucal churches, and now, in too many once liturgical services.

At Farnham we are singing more and more Psalms, both chanted and paraphrased, not forgetting the singing of scripture , such as Magnificat.  I reckon that there are probably not more than twenty hymns that are worth singing.  I bought up a pile of hymn books a while ago, some from the nineteenth century, and was struck by their sentimentality, and the removal of all references to God’s fury at sinners.  They are song books for theological liberals, not believing Christians.

On that subject, the inventor and populariser of modern hymns was Isaac Watts, and he was personally offended by Psalms that spoke of retribution and wrath, thinking them un-Christian!  I have gone off him.


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