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I had liberty to give mine opinion, espea cially in a matter, wherein the honor of God and of his word required me to speak openly. Let this be mine apology. If you are not convinced, if you will still sing human compositions in preference to divine ; pray do not quarrel with me. I am a man of peace. Go on your way, and let me go on mine. Let me fing God's psalms, and you may sing any body's. hymns. I have borne my testimony. Forgive me this once, and do not fail to exercise that charity towards me which notwithstanding all that I have said, I do ftill gladly exercise towards you. · There are several abuses among us relative to the music, which I wish to see reformed, and fome of which I would point out. We have many good psalm tunes, excellently composed and fitted for public worship. These should be ftudied, in order that they may be well fung, and properly applied Sung well to avoid the tedious drawling manner in use in most of our churches, which gives of fence to worldly people, and makes the ordinance dull and heavy to believers Properly applied, and suited to the subject, that the found may as near as possible express the sense : For want of underftanding or attending to this, we very Wie :
avoid the properly apo they may bed be
often hear a light tune to a mournful prayer, and heavy music set to a joyful psalm, which are grievous discords. In the service of God every thing should be solemn. Our own minds require it, as well as his greatness; but especially in praising him, we should try to shut out whatever would distract us, or dishonor him. When the heart is affected, or defires to be duly affected with a sense of the exceeding riches of his mercy in Jesus, the psalm and the tune should help to excite, and to keep up the heavenly flame. If the psalm be proper for this purpose, the tune should not defeat it. This was much studied in the primitive church. They had great simplicity in their psalm-finging, which we are told was corrupted by the heretics. Complaint is made particularly of Arius, that he perverted singing into an entertainment. He had a taste for music, and he composed several light frothy tunes, by which he fought to please triling people, who with him neither loved the God, nor the praises of the God of the christians. Herein he succeeded. His music was admired, and did a great deal of hurt. Let us take warning from hence. As far as we can, leț our praifes of God be sung with such music as will solemnize our
yourself in the script nothing at all
: hearts, and keep them in tune to make, melody unto the Lord.. .:::. , in
. I will only mention one thing more; which is a great impropriety, and to me very offensive, and that is the posture generally used among us in singing. Suppose there had been nothing at all said about it in the scripture, judge ye . with, yourselves, men and brethren, whether it be respectful and becoming to sit down to fing. When subjects, go upon any joyful occasion to addrefs their sovereign, is it a custom in any nation of the world to do it sitting? Does the person who pays homage fit, or he who receives it? But, it is not left to ourselves, or to what we may think right or wrong. The case is determined in fcripture, and there are precedents to go upon. The fingers and musicians ftood, when they performed in the temple service: So did all the people, 1 Chron. xxiii. 28, 30. “ The office of
the Levites was to wait on the fons of “ Aaron for the service of the house of “ the Lord in the courts and in the « chambers, and in the púrifying of all “ holy things, and the work of the fer“;vice of the house of God: And to
stand every morning to thank and praise “the Lord, and likewise, at evening." This was their appointment; and we read of their fulfilling it,' 2. Chron. v. 12.
prayer, i psalm, v the servi solemn. well as praising whatever him. W fires to ! the excee the psaln excite, a flame. I purpose, This was church. their pf was cor plaint is he per ment. compo which who w the pr
za ot Jezizs -the 2hrom: te his lovelineis .
..n), which remained it be
The compilets frem te happy
fo much as to nean come by
si no mending; nay it
pagination, but to convert i d to comfort and to edify
jerefore the inspired writers reat plainness of speech. They ll painted language and oratoriiring. One of them speaking for ys- We have received not the f the world, but the Spirit which God, that we might know the ; which are freely given to us of .