Meaning of Words in Songs -- As a part of religious service, singing is as much an act of worship as is prayer. Indeed, many a song is prayer. If the child is taught to realise this, he will think more of the meaning of the words he sings and will be more susceptible to their power.-- Ed 168.
Preparation for the Church Above -- God is high and holy; and to the humble, believing soul, His house on earth, the place where His people meet for worship, is as the gate of heaven. The song of praise, the words spoken by Christ's ministers, are God's appointed agencies to prepare a people for the church above, for that loftier worship.-- YI Oct. 8, 1896.
Angels in Our Church Audience -- Let us all bear in mind that in every assembly of the saints below are angels of God, listening to the testimonies,
songs, and prayers. Let us remember that our praises are supplemented by the choirs of the angelic host above.-- 6T 367.
Theme of Every Song -- The science of salvation is to be the burden of every sermon, the theme of every song. Let it be poured forth in every supplication. -- Ev 502.
Sing With Spirit and Understanding -- The evil of formal worship cannot be too strongly depicted, but no words can properly set forth the deep blessedness of genuine worship. When human beings sing with the spirit and the understanding, heavenly musicians take up the strain and join in the song of thanksgiving. He who has bestowed upon us all the gifts that enable us to be workers together with God, expects His servants to cultivate their voices so that they can speak and sing in a way that all can understand. It is not loud singing that is needed, but clear intonation, correct pronunciation, and distinct utterance. Let all take time to cultivate the voice so that God's praise can be sung in clear, soft tones, not with harshness and shrillness that offend the ear. The ability to sing is the gift of God; let it be used to His glory.-- 9T 143, 144.
Beauty in Singing Not Everything -- Many are singing beautiful songs in the meetings, songs of what they will do, and what they mean to do; but some do not do these things; they do not sing with the spirit and the understanding also. So in the
reading of the Word of God, some are not benefited, because they do not take it into their very life; they do not practise it.-- Ev 508.
Hymns for the Occasion -- Those who make singing a part of divine worship should select hymns with music appropriate to the occasion, not funeral notes, but cheerful, yet solemn, melodies. The voice can and should be modulated, softened, and subdued.-- Ev 508.
Congregational Hymns -- Another matter which should receive attention, both at our camp meetings and elsewhere, is that of singing. A minister should not give out hymns to be sung, until it has first been ascertained that they are familiar to those who sing. A proper person should be appointed to take charge of this exercise, and it should be his duty to see that such hymns are selected as can be sung with the spirit and with the understanding also. Singing is a part of the worship of God, but in the bungling manner in which it is often conducted, it is no credit to the truth, and no honour to God. There should be system and order in this as well as every other part of the Lord's work. Organise a company of the best singers, whose voices can lead the congregation, and then let all who will, unite with them. Those who sing should make an effort to sing in harmony; they should devote some time to practise, that they may employ this talent to the glory of God.-- RH July 24, 1883.
Song Service for Everyone -- There should be in the meetings nothing of a theatrical nature. The singing should not be done by a few only. All present should be encouraged to join in the song service. There are those who have a special gift of song, and there are times when a special message is borne by one singing alone or by several uniting in song. But the singing is seldom to be done by a few. The ability to sing is a talent of influence, which God desires all to cultivate and use to His name's glory.-- 7T 115, 116.
Sweet, Simple Singing -- How can God be glorified when you depend for your singing on a worldly choir that sings for money? My brother, when you see these things in a right light, you will have in your meetings only sweet, simple singing, and you will ask the whole congregation to join in the song. What if among those present there are some whose voices are not so musical as the voices of others. When the singing is such that angels can unite with the singers, an impression is made on minds that singing from unsanctified lips cannot make.-- Ev 509.
Charm of Congregational Singing -- In the meetings held, the singing should not be neglected. God can be glorified by this part of the service. And when singers offer their services, they should be accepted. But money should not be used to hire singers. Often the singing of simple hymns by the congregation has a charm that is not possessed by
the singing of a choir, however skilled it may be.-- Ev 509.
God's Kingdom More Than Mere Form -- Form and ceremony do not constitute the kingdom of God. Ceremonies become multitudinous and extravagant as the vital principles of the kingdom of God are lost. But it is not form and ceremony that Christ requires. He hungers to receive from His vineyard fruit in holiness and unselfishness, deeds of goodness, mercy, and truth.
Gorgeous apparel, fine singing, and instrumental music in the church do not call forth the songs of the angel choir. In the sight of God these things are like the branches of the unfruitful fig tree which bore nothing but pretentious leaves. Christ looks for fruit, for principles of goodness and sympathy and love. These are the principles of heaven, and when they are revealed in the lives of human beings, we may know that Christ is formed within, the hope of glory. A congregation may be the poorest in the land, without music or outward show, but if it possesses these principles, the members can sing, for the joy of Christ is in their souls, and this they can offer as a sweet oblation to God.-- Ev 511, 512.
Song Service Not a Concert -- -The presentation before me was that if Elder would heed the counsel of his brethren, and not rush on in the way he does in making a great effort to secure large congregations, he would have more influence for good, and his work would have a more telling effect.
He should cut off from his meetings everything that has a semblance of theatrical display; for such outward appearances give no strength to the message that he bears. When the Lord can cooperate with him, his work will not need to be done in so expensive a manner. He will not need then to go to so much expense in advertising his meetings. He will not place so much dependence on the musical program. This part of his services is conducted more after the order of a concert in a theatre, than a song service in a religious meeting.-- Ev 501.
God's Preference in Music -- The superfluities which have been brought into the worship in must be strenuously avoided. . . . Music is acceptable to God only when the heart is sanctified and made soft and holy by its facilities. But many who delight in music know nothing of making melody in their hearts to the Lord. Their heart is gone "after their idols."-- Ev 512.
Rubbish in the Church -- When professing Christians reach the high standard which it is their privilege to reach, the simplicity of Christ will be maintained in all their worship. Forms and ceremonies and musical accomplishments are not the strength of the church. Yet these things have taken the place that God should have, even as they did in the worship of the Jews.
The Lord has revealed to me that when the heart is cleansed and sanctified, and the members of the church are partakers of the divine nature, a power
will go forth from the church, who believe the truth, that will cause melody in the heart. Men and women will not then depend upon their instrumental music but on the power and grace of God, which will give fullness of joy. There is a work to be done in clearing away the rubbish which has been brought into the church. . . . This message is not only for the church at , but for every other church that has followed her example.-- Ev 512.
Simplicity in Religious Services -- True ministers know the value of the inward working of the Holy Spirit upon human hearts. They are content with simplicity in religious services. Instead of making much of popular singing, they give their principal attention to the study of the Word, and render praise to God from the heart. Above the outward adorning they regard the inward adorning, the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit. In their mouths is found no guile.-- Ev 502.
Work of the Holy Spirit -- The hearts of many in the world as well as many church members are hungering for the Bread of Life and thirsting for the waters of salvation. They are interested in the service of song, but they are not longing for that or even prayer. They want to know the Scriptures. What saith the Word of God to me? The Holy Spirit is working on mind and heart, drawing them to the Bread of Life. They see everything round them changing. Human feelings, human ideas of what constitutes religion, change. They
come to hear the Word just as it reads.-- Ev 501.
Proper Balance in Camp Meetings -- Improvements can be made in our manner of conducting camp meetings, so that all who attend may receive more direct labour. There are some social meetings held in the large tent, where all assemble for worship; but these are so large that only a small number can take part, and many speak so low that but few can hear them. . . . In some instances much time was devoted to singing. There was a long hymn before prayer, a long hymn after prayer, and much singing interspersed all through the meeting. Thus golden moments were used unwisely, and not one-half the good was done that might have been realised had these precious seasons been properly managed.-- Ev 511.
Instrumental Accompaniment -- In our camp meeting services there should be singing and instrumental music. Musical instruments were used in religious services in ancient times. The worshippers praised God upon the harp and cymbal, and music should have its place in our services. It will add to the interest.-- 6T 62.
Care in the Conduct of Song Service -- In the meetings held, let a number be chosen to take part in the song service. And let the singing be accompanied with musical instruments skillfully handled. We are not to oppose the use of instruments of music in our work. This part of the
service is to be carefully conducted; for it is the praise of God in song.
The singing is not always to be done by a few. As often as possible, let the
entire congregation join.-- GW 357, 358.