We thus defend the use of hymns, but we should remember the following:
1. In Holy Scripture we do not find a separate collection of prayers, but we do find a separate collection of psalms.
2. The spiritual depth of the psalms exceeds by far anything that afterward was composed as a church hymn and was sometimes claimed to be even more spiritual.
3. Whenever hymns came into the churches, they always seemed, first, to push back the psalms, and then to supplant them.
4. The psalms have always echoed the enduring, eternal keynote of the pious heart, while hymns usually had a temporary quality and were marked by what was popular at the moment.
5. Hymns in most cases led to the singing of choirs, with the congregation become listeners.
6. In the struggle between hymn and psalm, all nominal members favored the hymns over the psalms while the truly pious members were much more inclined to use the psalms rather than the hymns.
"When you compare the poetic and religious quality of the hymnal with our Psalter, the former looks like a child's play. Gilded tin and real gold have nothing in common.
And yet the inferior hymnal was quickly given such prominence by persons in leadership that for a long time most ministers chose one psalm to six or seven hymns. And the psalms used were usually a few that were generally well-known, sometimes no more than two dozen, and they were chosen over and over again. Hymns stole the scene and psalms were mainly forgotten. And if you ask now who preferred the hymns and who the psalms, history teaches that the majority of people in the church who held fast to the confession of the fathers preferred the psalms while those who had drifted away from the truth idolized the hymns.
Still ’tis His hand that leadeth me.