The 1650 Psalter

How the Church has Worshipped Christ by Singing the Psalms

The Psalter for Worship

The use of the Psalms in worship is the divine text, the God-appointed song book, that God gave His church to worship Him for all time. This was the view of the Reformers and Puritans. The 1647 Westminster Confession is an exclusive psalmody document, which holds unswervingly to the regulative principle of worship. It was a cornerstone of the early church, the Reformation, and the Puritans.

“Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;” (Eph. 5:19).

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” (Col. 3:16).


Links to the full Psalter

The Psalter is often referred to as “The Scottish Psalter of 1650” since the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland approved the text of this Psalter for use by the church in 1650. This “songbook of God’s word” for church worship has been in continuous use since its initial publication, and has remained unaltered, from its original wording. See resources here on psalmody.

The text was originally the work of Westminster Divine Francis Rous (1579-1659), who completed his text in 1644. But before the text was approved for use in the Scottish church, it was subjected to six years of scrutiny and revision by two different groups of highly learned elders of the church. Every word and phrase was carefully weighed for faithfulness to the original Hebrew texts. The entire psalter is linked below at our sister church’s site.

The Psalms of David in Metre