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writing of David king of Ifrael, and sdccording to the writing of Solomon his fon, and ftand in the holy place, according to the divifions of the families of the fathers of your brethren the people, and after the divifion of the families of the Levites; fo kill the paffover, &c.
And, by what follows, we find, that, upon fuch occafions, the Duty of the Le vites, among other Things, was to skin the facrifices. So the fervice was prepared, and the Priests flood in their place, and the Levites in their courfes, according to the king's commandment. And they killed the paffover; and the Priests Sprinkled the blood from their hands, and the Levites flayed themad: Yo
And, by what Ezekiel (whom we must allow to have been well vers'd in these Matters, being one of the Tribe of Levi) fays, in relation to the Service of his vifionary Temple, thefe laborious and fordid Offices were perform'd by fuch of the Priests, whose Behaviour requir'd that they should be degraded or punish'd. Thus, fpeaking of those that had apoftatiz'd to Idolatry, and afterward defir'd to be read U
mitted to the Worship of the true God Thus faith the LORD God, the Levites (in xliv. 10, a large acceptation) that are gone away far from me, when Ifrael went aftray, which went aftray from me, after their idols, they fhall ever bear their iniquity. Yet fhall they be minifters in my fanctuary, having charge at the gates of the house, and miniftring to the house they shall flay the burnt-offering and the facrifice, for the people; and they Shall ftand before them to minifter、unto\ them. And they fhall not come near unto me, to do the office of a Prieft unto me, nor to come near to any of my holy Things, in the moft holy place: But they shall bear their Shame, and their abominations, which they have committed.
SE CT. XIII.
The Order of Singers was inftituted by... David, to perform Services of Thankigiving, and to fing Praises unto the LORD, in the highest Perfection that human skill, either by Voice or Inftrument, was capable of. The whole Book of C Pfalms
Palms appears to have been compos'd for this kind of Devotion. And David himfelf, who had the greateft Hand in them, and was moreover a Skilful Player upon the Harp, without Doubt, compos'd them for Services in the Houfe of God. As the Titles of many of them, directed to fome one of the Chief Muficians, do fufficiently declare. And we have an Inftance; where it is faid; David delivered this Pfalm, to Chron. thank the LORD, into the hand of Asaph and his brethren.
1 The Principal Perfons of this Order, and who had the Superintendency over all the Reft, were Heman and Asaph of the 1 Chron. Line of Gershon; and Ethan or Jedu- 44. XXV. thun, of the Line of Merari. Thefe, with 1, &c. their Sons, made Four and Twenty Courses, Twelve in a Courfe; who were all under the hands of their fathers, for Jong, in the houfe of the LORD, with cymbals, pfalteries, and harps, for the fervice of 1 the house of God, according to the king's or1 der, to Afaph, Jeduthun, and Heman.
For thefe Courfes they caft lots over
lech, and the chief of the fathers of the Priefts and Levites.
We find the Performances of this kind mention'd in feveral Places. At the Dedication of the Temple by Solomon, among other pompous Preparations, we are told; 2 Chron. The Levites which were fingers, all them of Afaph, of Heman, of Jeduthun, with their fons and their brethren, being arrayed in white linen, having cymbals, and pfalteries, and harps, stood at the east end of the altar; and with them, an hundred and twenty Priefts, founding with trumpets, were as one; to make one found to be heard,in praising and thanking the LORD; and they lift up their voice, with the trumpets, and cymbals, and inftruments of mufic, and praised the LORD, faying, For he is good, for bis mercy endureth for ever.
And when Jehoshaphat King of Judab went out to Battle against the Children of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir, he
2 Chron. confulted with the people, and appointed fingers unto the LORD, that should praife the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and fay, Praise the LORD, for his mercy endureth for ever. And when
they began to fing, and to praife, the LORD fet ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, and they were Smitten
So at the Building of the fecond Temple. When the builders laid the foundation Ezra. iii, of the temple of the LORD, they fet the - Priefs, in their apparel, with trumpets, and the Levites, the fons of Afaph, with cymbals, to praise the LORD, after the ordinance of David king of Ifrael. And they fung together, by course, in praîfing and giving thanks unto the LORD; becaufe he is good, for his mercy endureth for ever, &c. Again, it is faid; In the days of David and Neh. xii. Afaph, of old, there were chief of the 46. fingers, and fongs of praife and thanksgiving
Encourag'd by these Examples, therefore, and because the Worship of God ought to be folemniz'd, in the beft manner we are able to devife, (not becaufe God wants any of our Services, but because it behoves us to exert our felves upon all fuch Occasions, to the utmost and best of our Skill; however when we have done our best, we may be but unprofitable Servants) The