By N. B. Hardeman
One Dozen Sermons, 1956, pages 21-22

N. B. Hardeman on Mechanical Instruments of Music

     God through Paul gave exactly that with which and by which we should worship the Lord. He said in Ephesians 5:19, "Speak to yourselves in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making melody," where? Now, if he had not said where, it would have been left up to us, but God said, "making melody in your heart unto the Lord". Hence, the heart is represented as a musical instrument with which we must accompany singing...What is the instrument? God says it is the human heart, and for that reason every child of God on earth can worship acceptably. But if it has to be a man-made device that would let me out. I would have to worship God by proxy. If I could do that, I could stay at home and read Maggie and Jiggs, Dagwood and Blondie, and worship God through one of the brethren. Don't you see that such won't do?

     "But David had mechanical instruments." Yes, I know he did, and he also burned incense, and had a number of wives. He kept the passover and did many things that you would not. But I am told again that such instruments were back there and that there will be instruments in Heaven. Yes, and thank God, there will be babies in Heaven, and therefore to be consistent we ought to have them in the church.

     I read the almanac. It is a good book. Studebaker Brothers used to put out an almanac, and down under the calendar there were fine statements, practical suggestions and good stories. I remember one. A man came up into the Blue Grass region of Kentucky and wanted to buy a horse. He went to an owner who said, "I am glad to see you." So he told his servant to bring out "old John". He led out an old horse, fox-eared, grey-haired, ewe-necked, and so poor you could decipher his anatomy a city block away. He then made a speech about "old John." He said, "I want to tell you, sir, that has been the best horse this country has ever had. My entire family has been reared on him. You can't hook him up wrong. He is absolutely safe for Sally and the babies. He is all right in every respect."

     The fellow that wanted to buy looked at him and said, "I guess that is all so." Now, the owner said to his servant, "Bring out that yearling." He brought out a year-old colt and said, "Now, sir, look him over; commence at his muzzle, look at that long neck, sloping shoulders, short back and long belly." He said, "I want to tell you, there is going to be the best horse Kentucky ever bred. He has every mark of a fine animal. He is going to be a wonderful horse." The man who wanted to buy said, "That may be so, but I'll tell you, you have shown me a has been and you have shown me a going-to-be, now bring out your is-er." The fellow said, "I am not back in old John's day and this colt is not ready yet. I want one now."

     To apply that, I can say, "I am not living back in the days of David; I haven't yet laid aside this mortal coil and plumed my pinions for the heavenly region, but I live in the church of the Lord. Where is the authority now?" And the answer is absolutely wanting. Now, what is all the trouble that hinders our getting together? Simply this: we need to accept God's word, to recognize that the Patriarchal and the Jewish ages are gone and that in the Christian age God is speaking to us by his Son. When we do that, the prayer of Christ and the pleading of the apostles will bring us together into a solid phalanx.