“A number of godly men have composed spiritual songs for this purpose with a variety of melodies. It appears that Luther has been the first one to do so during the Reformation. His songs are still sung today with edification by the Lutherans in their churches, as well as privately by us. In our days the unforgettable Justus Van Lodesteyn has composed a songbook which is second to none as far as spirituality is concerned. Cl. Marot has put the first fifty of David’s psalms to rhyme in the French language, and Theodore Beza the other one hundred. Subsequent to this, Claud. Gaudemelius, a famous musician in Paris (who perished as a martyr in the massacre of Paris), composed the melodies, which could not have been improved upon in the judgment of musicians. Petrus Dathenus has translated them in poetic form from the French, preserving the identical tunes. It would be desirable if an artistic and godly poet were to take upon himself the task to improve them by putting them to poetry in an identical fashion, and in better harmony with the original text, so that they could be accepted for public use in the churches. The decision of the Dutch Synods has been very correct indeed, namely, that none other but the Psalms of David are to be used in the churches.”[1]

“With one word, we judge this and other novelties in these carefree days a useless hindrance. This we also say of the introduction of new hymn-books, and present day ditties, which we do not find in God’s Word; as also the playing and peeping of organs in the Worship service. The former are all against the decrees of our Synods. See about singing in the Church, the National Synod of Dordt held in 1578, art. 76; the National Synod held in Middelburg, 1581, art. 51; the National Synod held in the Hague, 1586, art. 62; at which gatherings hymns not found in Scripture are expressly forbidden.”[2]

“The National Synod of Dort 1578, Art. 76: “The Psalms of David in the edition of Petrus Dathenus, shall be in the Christian meetings of the Netherlands Churches (as has been done until now) shall be sung, abandoning the hymns which are not found in Holy Scripture.” The National Synod of Middelburg, 1581, art. 51: “Only the Psalms of David shall be sung in the church, omitting the hymns which one cannot find in Holy Scripture.” The National Synod of Gravenhage, 1586, art. 62: “The Psalms of David shall be sung in the churches, omitting the hymns which one does not find in Holy Scripture.”[3]

 “in 1574 the Synod of the reformed churches of the lowlands (Holland, Belgium, and parts of Germany) ordered that all the churches sing only from the Psalm book of Datheen, which contained just the Psalms.”[4]

1A Brakel, Wilhelmus. The Christian’s Reasonable Service, Volume IV. Grand Rapids: Inheritance Publications, 1992, pages 34-35.
2Van de Velde, Abraham. The Wonders of the Most High. Newcastle, ON: Semper Reformanda Publishing, 1997, page 151.
3De Cock, Rev. H. “Case Against Hymns.” Translated, edited and annotated by J.A. Wanliss & W.L. Bredenhof. The Blue Banner. Faith Presbyterian Church Reformed, January 10, 2008. January 22, 2016.
4Williamson G.I., “The Regulative Principle of Worship.” Ordained Servant, Vol. 10, No. 4., page 71. Quoting The Content of Songs Used in Public Worship, by Archibald A. Allison, p.1.