The Westminster Divines’ Psalters and Work on Psalm Singing


Book on Psalm Singing

Ford, Thomas – Singing of Psalms the Duty of Christians under the New Testament, or, a Vindication of that Gospel Ordinance in 5 Sermons upon Eph. 5:19 Buy 1653




Rouse, Francis – The Psalms of David set forth in English Meter by Francis Rouse, 1643

White, John – David’s Psalms in meter. Agreeable to the Hebrew, to be sung in usual tunes. To the benefit of the churches of Christ, 1655

Background to White’s psalter by Andrew Myers:

“In 1643, White was chosen to serve among the Westminster Assembly of Divines.  When the Assembly swore to uphold the Solemn League and Covenant on September 25, 1643, John Lightfoot recorded in his Journal that “Mr. White prayed near upon an hour.”  White attended faithfully and contributed diligently to the work of the Assembly, and was in fact married to the sister of Cornelius Burgess, his co-assessor at the Assembly.  While the Assembly was engaged in a battle over whose metrical Psalter would be chosen to serve as the instrument of uniformity and “get the civil sanction,” the leading candidates being Francis Rous and William Barton. White, who had prepared his own version of the metrical Psalms, preferred not to publish it while the debate was going on, in the interests of harmony.  It was published posthumously with the permission of his son under the title David’s Psalms in Metre, agreeable to the Hebrew.  To be sung in usual Tunes To the benefit of the Churches of Christ (1655) and shows his poetic skills.”

For the history of the psalter that the Westminster Assembly was commissioned to produce (but was not able to), which was taken over by the Church of Scotland and turned into the 1650 Scottish Metrical Psalter, see pp. 257-60 of Rev. Winzer’s article.

Winzer, Matthew – Westminster and Worship Examined: a Review of Nick Needham’s Essay on the Westminster Confession of Faith’s Teaching Concerning the Regulative Principle, the Singing of Psalms, and the Use of Musical Instruments in the Public Worship of God, from the Confessional Presbyterian #4 (2008)  Buy  13 pages, p. 253-266



That the Westminster Standards are Exclusive Psalmody Documents 

The Westminster Assembly and Psalm Singing

Rev. Matthew Winzer, among much other documentation, overwhelmingly demonstrates that the Westminster Standards are Exclusive Psalmody documents.  Until someone replies to Winzer’s academic article, claims to the contrary are not historically accurate. 




Related Pages

The Puritans and Psalm Singing 

The History of Psalm Singing

Psalm Singing