Music is undeniably an effective means of administering balm to the soul. When the Word of God is set to a beautiful melody, the music can stir within us a zeal and hope that nothing else can. Music is, as Abraham Kuyper wrote, a “means for bringing a worshiper’s soul out of the ordinary and the mechanical into passion and activity.” Additionally, praising the Lord in song displays and fortifies Christian unity, as members of one body unite with one voice.
It was 374, and the Roman city of Milan was riotous. The bishop had just died, and there was a deep divide between the Arians (who taught that Jesus is less than God) and the Trinitarians (who taught that Jesus is God). Which one would the next bishop be? Shouting and sparring in the cathedral, the people grew increasingly belligerent. Ambrose the governor walked in, and a peaceful silence immediately descended. Suddenly, a child yelled, “Ambrose for bishop!” Only days later, Ambrose commenced his pastoral duties as bishop of Milan. Much to the consternation of the Arians, Ambrose staunchly defended the Trinitarian orthodoxy set down in the Council of Nicaea fifty years before.