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because says he, psalms with organs and cymbals are fitter to please children, than to instruct the church. In the third century we read much of psalm singing. Arius was complained of as a perverter of this - ordinance. St. Augustine makes it an high crime in certain heretics, that they sung hymns composed by human wit. The sense, in which the church of Christ understood this subject, has been, till of late years, always one and uniform. Now we leave the antient beaten path. But why? Have we found a better? How came we to be wiser, than the prophets, than Christ, than his apoftles, and the primitive christians, yea than the whole church of God? They with one consent have sung psalms in every age. Here I leave the reader to his own reflections. There is one plain inference to be made from hence, none can easily mistake it : May he see it in his judgment, and follow it in his practice.
Fourthly, Singing of psalms in the church is an ordinance, commanded of God, prophecied of in the old teftament, and hitherto fulfilled in the new. That psalm singing is one of the means of grace has been shewn before. It is part of public worship, enjoined of God, and to which he has promised his blefling. Now
when you lay aside psalms in the church, you at the same time cast out the ordinance: For they are inseparably one. The psalm is the ordinance. Your practice Ipeaks, as if you said“ We will neglect 66 the means of increasing our joy in God: « For we want no growing love to him, 66 nor fresh communications of his love as to us." Surely this is the language of those persons, who live in the constant neglect of one of the divine ordinances. God appointed it in vain as to them. They make no more use of the psalms, than if there were no such hymns in being. And is not this opposing his authority ? Is it not ungrateful to throw away his appointed means, and to think you can please him better, with singing your own poetry, than his ? Is it not hurtful to yourselves? For in seeking the promised blessing in the way of will-worship, you certainly cannot find it. Because
Fifthly, The blessing is promised to the ordinance. You cannot have the end without the means. The psalms were revealed, that we might in singing them express our joy in God, and thereby improve it. They were for the exercise of grace, and for the increase of grace; that we might sing with grace in our hearts, and make one anothers hearts warmer by
singing. The word is one of the means of grace : By hearing it faith cometh ; by constant hearing faith is established. If the word was never heard, how could faith come? If the word be entirely neglected, how can faith grow? Prayer is one of the means of grace : It is appointed in order to keep up communion with God, and to bring down daily supplies of mercies from him: Could these be had without asking ? Certainly they could not. Singing of psalms is also one of the means of grace, how can the blesling promised to the means be received, if no psalms be sung? What sort of a church would it be, in which the word was never read, nor prayers, nor singing of psalms, nor any means of grace used? It could not be a church of Chrift: Because his presence with, and his blessings to his people are promised to them in the use of the means. : The blessing accompanies the ordinance, and is promised unto it; God has joined them together, and they must not be put alunder. He will give honor, he does give honor to his own means. He makes them answer the end of their institution. When the psalms are sung in faith, they do rejoice the heart. The holy Spirit blesses the singing, and causes mutual joy to abound, which is
Sixthly, Another reason for preferring divine psalms to man's poems. The psalms were for church service. When the members met, we read of their singing together both in the old testament and in the new. It was their joint offering of praise, The psalms were appointed to be sung in the congregation, that one might admonish another, which we do, by joining with them, by making the word of Christ dwell more richly in them, and by exercising their: graces with ours. Thus we shew our fellowship in the gospel. When we all sing the same psalm, it is as if the church had but one mouth to glorify God. And we never enjoy more of the presence of God, than while we are thus praising him together with thankful hearts) The Lord, who instituted the ordinance, promised this blessing to it: He would have believers to teach and to exhort one another, but it was in singing his own psalms: And when they do, he has met them and blessed them, and always will : He has lifted up the light of his loving countenance upon them, and has refreshed their hearts with the joy of his salvation. ,
- Perhaps these sentiments may arise from: my great attachment to the word of God, with which others may not be affected as I am : For I am perfuaded it is not pofli.
y respect god, I wana the revela; upon
ble for me to set too high a value upon the holy scriptures as the revelation of the will of God, I want words to express my respect for them as the revelation of his good will in Jesus, I reverence them next to himself. What more precious ! What more delightful! They are indeed more precious than gold, yea than much fine gold: And the psalms are sweeter than honey, yea than the honey dropping from the comb. I find them fo. They are my daily study and daily delight. I do not boast, but praise. The more I read, the more I admire them. The defcription of Jesus in them is sweet: The meditation of him is sweeter than all other sweets. It often tastes so much of heaven, that it seems to me I cannot possibly bestow so much admiration upon the plalms, as they deserve. If you have not fuch exalted sentiments of the psalms, I heartily wish you may: For the glory of God in the person of Jesus Christ Thines no where brighter than in them. The Lord the Spirit enable you to see it, that you may sing the high praises of Jesus with grow. ing affection, and may become every day more enamored with his infinite loveliness.
If any one be offended at my freedom of speech, I am sorry for it. I thought