William Perkins On The Rule Of Worship And 1 Corinthians 14 Contra Good Intentions

V. Will worship, when God is worshiped with a naked and bare good intention, not warranted by the word of God. (Colossians 2:23) “Which things have indeed a shew o wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.” (1 Samuel 13:9–10) “And Saul said, bring hither a burnt offering to me, and peace offerings. And he offered the burnt offering. And it came to pass, that as soon as he had made an end of offering the burnt offering, behold Samuel came.” and verse 13,”And Samuel said to Saul, Thou hast done foolishly: thou has not kept the commandment of the LORD thy God, which he commanded thee.” Hitherto we may add popish superstitions in sacrifices, meats, holydays, apparel, temporary and beadridden prayers, indulgences, austere life, whipping, ceremonies, gestures, gate, conversation, pilgrimage, building of altars, pictures, Churches, and all other of that rabble.

To these may be added consort in music in divine service, feeding the ears, not edifying the mind. (1 Corinthians 14:15) “What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit and I will sing with the understanding also..” Justin Martyr in his book of Christian Questions and Answers 107, It is not the custom of the Churches, to sing their meters with any such kind of instruments, etc. but their manner is to use plain song.

William Perkins, A Golden Chaine, or The Description of Theologie Containing the Order of the Causes of Salvation and Damnation…2nd edition (Cambridge, 1597; repr. Puritan Reprints, 2010), 69.

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  • R. Scott Clark
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    R.Scott Clark is the President of the Heidelberg Reformation Association, the author and editor of, and contributor to several books and the author of many articles. He has taught church history and historical theology since 1997 at Westminster Seminary California. He has also taught at Wheaton College, Reformed Theological Seminary, and Concordia University. He has hosted the Heidelblog since 2007.

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