From Topical Sermon: "The Instrument of Music In Worship"
THE USE OF INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC IN WORSHIP
(QUOTATIONS FROM HISTORY)
EARLY CHURCH HISTORY:
-Professor Edwin Dickinson, Oberlin College, History of Music in the Western Church, p. 54:
"In view of the controversies over the use of instrumental music in worship which have been so violent in the British and American Protestant churches, it is an interesting question whether instruments were employed by the primitive Christians. We know that instruments performed an important function in the Hebrew temple service and in the ceremonies of the Greeks. At this point, however, a break was made with all previous practice, and although the lyre and flute were sometimes employed by the Greek converts, as a general rule, the use of instruments in worship was condemned."
-Catholic Encyclopedia X:652:
"Although Josephus tells of the wonderful effects produced in the Temple by the use of instruments, the first Christians were of too spiritual a fibre to substitute lifeless instruments for or to use them to accompany the human voice. Clement of Alexandria (165-215 AD, jrp) severely condemns the use of instruments even at Christian banquets. St. Chrysostom (344?-407 AD, jrp) sharply contrasts the customs of the Christians when they had full freedom with those of the Jews of the Old Testament."
-American Encyclopedia XII:688:
"Pope Vitalian is related to have first introduced organs into some of the churches of western Europe about 670; but the earliest trustworthy account is that of the one sent as a present by the Greek Emperor Constantine Copronymos, to Pepin, king of the Franks, in 775."
-Catholic Encyclopedia X:657:
"For almost a thousand years Gregorian chant, without any instrumental or harmonic addition was the only music used in connection with the liturgy. The organ, in its primitive and rude form, was the first, and for a long time the sole, instrument used to accompany the chant."
-McClintock and Strongs Cyclopedia, VIII:739
"Sir John Hawkins, following the Romish writers in his erudite work on the History of Music, makes Pope Vatalian, in A.D. 660, the first who introduced organs into churches. But students of ecclesiastical archaeology are generally agreed that instrumental music was not used in churches till a much later date; for Thomas Aquinas, A.D. 1250, has these remarkable words: Our church does not use musical instruments, as harps and psalteries to praise God withal, that she may not seem to Judaize. From this passage we are surely warranted in concluding that there was no ecclesiastical use of organs in the time of Aquinas. It is alleged that Marinus Sanutus, who lived about A.D. 1290, was the first that brought the use of wind organs into churches....but never has either the organ or any other instruments been employed in public worship in Eastern churches; nor is mention of instrumental music found in all their liturgies, ancient or modern."
MIDDLE AGES / PROTESTANT REFORMATION
-Girardeau, Instrumental Music, p. 179:
"It has thus been proved, by an appeal to historical facts, that the church, although lapsing more and more into defection from the truth and into a corruption of apostolic practice, had no instrumental music for twelve hundred years; and that the Calvinistic Reformed Church ejected it from its services as an element of Popery, even the Church of England having come very nigh to its extrusion from her worship. The historical argument, therefore, combines with the Scriptural and the confessional to raise a solemn and powerful protest against its employment by the Presbyterian Church. It is heresy in the sphere of worship."
-John Calvin (Presbyterian founder), Commentary on Psalms 33 and on I Samuel 18: 1-9:
"Musical instruments in celebrating the praises of God would be no more suitable than the burning of incense, the lighting up of lamps, and the restoration of the other shadows of the law. The papists, therefore, have foolishly borrowed this, as well as many other things, from the Jews. Men who are fond of outward pomp may delight in that noise; but the simplicity which God recommends to us by the apostle is far more pleasing to Him."
-John Wesley (Methodist founder), Cited by Adam Clarke in his Commentary, IV:684:
"I have no objection to instruments of music in our chapels, provided they are neither heard nor seen."
-Charles Spurgeon (Considered one of the greatest Baptist preacher to have ever lived), Commentary on Psalms 42:
"Praise the Lord with harp. Israel was at school, and used childish things to help her to learn; but in these days when Jesus gives us spiritual food, one can make melody without strings and pipes .We do not need them. That would hinder rather than help our praise. Sing unto him. This is the sweetest and best music. No instrument like the human voice."