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ing of them is now almoft as despicable among the modern religious, as it was some time ago among the prophane. .
I know this is a fore place, and I would touch it gently, as gently as I can with any hope of doing good. The value of poems, above pfalms is become so great, and the singing of mens words, so as quite to çast out the word of God, is become so univerfal(except in the church of England) that one scarce dare, speak upon the subject: Neither would I, having already met with contempt enough for preferring God's hymns to man's hymns; if a high regard for God's, most blessed word did not require me to bear my testimony, and if I did not verily believe, that many real: christians have taken up this practice without thinking of the tendency of it, and when they come to consider the matter carefully, they will rather thank me, than censure me for freedom of speech. Let me observe then, that I blame no body for singing human compositions. I do not think it sinful or unlawful, fo the matter be feripturah. My complaint is against pres. ferring mens poems to the good word of God, and preferring them to it in the church. I havę 'no: quarrel with Dr. Watts, or any living or dead versifier. I would not with all their poems burnt.
My concern is to fee christian congregat itions shut out divinely inspired pfalms, ; and take in Dr. Watrs's Aights of fancy; į as if the words of a poet were better than
the words of a prophet, or as if the wit E of a man was to be preferred to the wif
dom of God. When the church is met together in one place, the Lord God has made a provision for their songs of praise
a large collection, and great variety and why should not these be used in the church according to God's express appointment? I speak not of private people, or of private singing; but of the church in its public service. Why should the provision which God has made be so far despised, as to become, quite out of use? Why should Dr. Watts, or any hymnmaker not only take the precedence of the holy Ghost, but also thrust him entirely out of the church ? Insomuch that the rhymes of a man are now magnified above the word of God, even to the annihilating
of it in many congregations. If this be bank right; men and brethren, judge ye." Ex
amine with candor the evidence, which
with which no work of man's genius can l be compared. His attributes are manifest in every page, and prove the author to be divine. His infinite wisdom shines throughout his goodness appears to be matchless-his truth in every tittle infallible--his power almighty to bless the hearing, reading, and finging of his word. None that trusted in it was ever ashamed: For his faithfulness to it can never fail. The word of the Lord has been tried, and in very great difficulties, yea in seeming impossibilities, but it was always made good. In every trial he“ magnified his word above all his name," he made it the means of bringing glory to his name and nature, and every perfection in deity has been exalted by the faithfulness of God to his word. In this view of the pfalms, what is there to be put in competition with them? What man is like their authori? What poetry is to be compared with the psalms of God? Who can make the finging of any human verses an ordiBance, or give a blessing to them, such as is-promised and is given to the finging of psalms? For what reason then are they set aside in the church? Why are the words of man's genius preferred to the words of inspiration : Singing of pfalms is commanded by divine authority, and commanded as a part of divine worship; not left to man's wisdom, how to provide
' for it, but it is exprefly provided for in
the good word of God. And is not great contempt. put upon this infinitely wife provision, when it is quite disused in the church, and man's word is preferred to it? What would you think of them, who fhould throw aside all the scripture, and never read it at all in the congregation ? And is it not an offence of the like nature, totally to neglect a part, a chief part of it, which was recorded for the use of the church, and in which its members were to fing the high praises of their God? ft
is hereby treated as uselefs and good for - nothing. A very gross affront is put up
on the love and wisdom, which revealed
this divine collection of hymns, and the me church is deprived of the blessing pro
mised to the singing of them, whereby it * is robbed of one of its choiceft treasures. - If any thing be facrilege this is. The
psalms are stolen -Out of the church, and thereby the members are deprived of the blessings promifed to the singing of them: For God will not give you the end, if you neglect the means. Frequent are his commands in the old testament to sing psalms, and we have several in the new : For instance, “Let the word” (not somea thing besides it) but the word of Chrift itself dwell in you richly in all wisdom,.
teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs these are not different things, but different names for the fame collection of psalms, as they treat of different subjects. Psalms in praise of Immanuel, such especially as have Hallelujah at the beginning or end, are called hymns, and the psalms which relate to the spiritual things of Christ and his kingdom, have the title of song set before them by the holy Spirit, such as, 7, 18, 30, 45, 46, 48, 65, 66, 67, 68, 75, 76, 83, 87, 88, 92, 108, from 120 to 135. Thefe bymns and spiritual songs were part of the scripture, and part of the psalms, scripture hymns and scripture songs ; for the word of Christ in singing them was to dwell in them richly; not man's word, but Christ's, and when the apostle is speaking of them altogether, he calls both the hymn and spiritual fong a psalm. We render the word farrorles making melody, but it means linging the psalm, and is as if he had said when you use a hymn to the praise of God, or a spiritual fong to any spiritual purpose sing the pfalm so that one may teach and admonish the other. It was a service in which each is commanded to join, and each, was to endeavor in it to profit the other. They were to try so to sing with