Ecumenicity and the Psalms

“The psalms are at once catholic as well as the distinctive form of church song for Presbyterian and Reformed Protestants.”[1]

“Not only for its contents but its form, is the use of the book of Psalms a benefit to the spirit of man. In no lyric poet of Greece or Rome can we find so much instruction or comfort, and in none such a variety and rich change of the poetic mood. These flowers can be carried to every time and every soil, and they bloom in fresh youth. The book contains the simplest lyric notes for the expression of the most manifold feelings, and so it is a book of song for all ages.”[2]

“Psalmody is the Church’s voice. From hence not everything be acquired?… Is there a blessing to be named which here resides not? The splendors of theology beam refulgent; Jesus is predicted; the resurrection is announced; judgment is proclaimed; the sword of vengeance is unsheathed; crowns of glory glitter; speakless mysteries astonish. All these are treasured up in the Book of Psalms as a common treasury.”[3]

“The Psalter is the first Hymn-Book of the Church, and will outlive all other hymn-books. Its treasury of pious experience and spiritual comfort will never be exhausted.”[4]

1. Johnson, Terry. “The History of Psalm Singing in the Christian Church.” Sing a New Song: Recovering Psalm Singing for the Twenty-First Century. Edited by Joel R. Beeke and Anthony T. Selvaggio. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Reformation Heritage Books, 2010, page 59.
2. Kee, John. The Psalms in History and Biography. Edinburgh: Andrew Elliot, 1886, page 85. (Quoting John Herder, Spirit of Hebrew Poetry)
3. Moorhead, W.G. “The Psalms in the New Testament Church” in The Psalms in Worship, page 106. (Quoting Basil the Great)
4. Schaff, Philip. Preface to “The Psalms” by Carl Bernhard Moll in Volume IX of Lange’s Commentary on the Holy Scriptures. Bible Hub. Online Parallel Bible Project. Web. 16, January, 2016.