Verse 42. "Musical instruments of God." - Ad canendum Deo, "to sing to God." -Vulgate. twn wdwn tou qeou, "of the sons of God." -Septuagint.
The Syriac is remarkable: "These were upright men who did not sing unto God with instruments of music, nor with drums, nor with listra, nor with straight nor crooked pipes, nor with cymbals; but they sang before the Lord Almighty with a joyous mouth, and with a pure and holy prayer, and with innocence and integrity." The Arabic is nearly the same. None of the versions understand the words µyhlah ryŤ ylk keley shir haelohim as implying instruments of music of God, but instruments employed in the song of God, or to praise God; as also the Targum. Query, Did God ever ordain instruments of music to be used in his worship? Can they be used in Christian assemblies according to the spirit of Christianity? Has Jesus Christ, or his apostles, ever commanded or sanctioned the use of them? Were they ever used any where in the apostolic Church? Does the use of them at present, in Christian congregations, ever increase the spirit of devotion? Does it ever appear that bands of musicians, either in their collective or individual capacity, are more spiritual, or as spiritual, as the other parts of the Church of Christ? Is there less pride, self-will, stubbornness, insubordination, lightness, and frivolity, among such persons, than among the other professors of Christianity found in the same religious society? Is it ever remarked or known that musicians in the house of God have attained to any depth of piety, or superior soundness of understanding, in the things of God? Is it ever found that those Churches and Christian societies which have and use instruments of music in Divine worship are more holy, or as holy, as those societies which do not use them? And is it always found that the ministers which affect and recommend them to be used in the worship of Almighty God, are the most spiritual men, and the most spiritual and useful preachers? Can mere sounds, no matter how melodious, where no word nor sentiment is or can be uttered, be considered as giving praise to God? Is it possible that pipes or strings of any kind can give God praise? Can God be pleased with sounds which are emitted by no sentient being, and have in themselves no meaning? If these questions cannot be answered in the affirmative: then, query, Is not the introduction of such instruments into the worship of God antichristian, and calculated to debase and ultimately ruin the spirit and influence of the Gospel of Jesus Christ? And should not all who wish well to the spread and establishment of pure and undefiled religion, lift up their hand, their influence, and their voice against them? The argument from their use in the Jewish service is futile in the extreme when applied to Christianity.