Saturday, May 02, 2015

Singing by the whole worshipping assembly

"...the potent hindrance is that Christians do not regard it as a duty..."

"Do you not live in sin in living in the neglect of singing God's praises? If singing praise to God be an ordinance of God's public worship, as doubtless it is, then it ought to be performed by the whole worshipping assembly. If it be a command that we should worship God in this way, then all ought to obey the command, not only by joining with others in singing, but in singing themselves. For if we suppose it answers the command of God for us only to join in our hearts with others, it will run us into this absurdity, that all may do so; and then there would be none to sing, none for others to join with.

"If it be an appointment of God, that Christian congregations should sing praises to him, then, doubtless, it is the duty of all; if there be no exception to the rule, then all ought to comply with it. But if persons be not capable, because they know not how, to sing, that doth not excuse them, unless they have been incapable of learning. As it is the command of God that all should sing, so all should make conscience of learning to sing, as it is a thing which cannot be at all decently performed without. Those therefore who neglect to learn to sing live in sin, as they neglect what is necessary in order to their attending to one of the ordinances of God's worship."

From "Christian Choirs," in The Baptist Magazine, October 1857

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