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Essential Elements of Public Worship: Praise

One day, most of what Ryle calls essential parts of public worship will finally have served its purpose. One will go on forever.


That this was the custom among the first Christians, is evident from St Paul’s words to the Ephesians and Colossians, in which he commended the use of ‘psalms and hymns and spiritual songs’ (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16). That it was a custom so widely prevalent as to be a mark of the earliest Christians, is simply matter of history. Pliny records that when they met they ‘used to sing a hymn to Christ as God’. No one indeed can read the Old Testament and not discover the extremely prominent place which praise occupied in the temple service. What man in his senses can doubt that the ‘service of song’ was meant to be highly esteemed under the New Testament? Praise has been truly called the flower of all devotion. It is the only part of our worship which will never die. Preaching and praying and reading shall one day be no longer needed. But praise shall go on for ever. A congregation which takes no part in praise, or leaves it all to be done by deputy through a choir, can be hardly thought in a satisfactory state.

—J. C. Ryle, Knots Untied (Banner of Truth, 2016), 323.

Posted 2017·06·26 by David Kjos
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