« PreviousContinue »
convince thee thoroughly, that the Saviour in his several offices and works is the person treated of in the book of psalms ? The different names are only to describe him in different views as the giver of every blessing in earth and heaven, hymns to celebrate his praises, spiritual fongs to set forth the glory of his kingdom, and the happiness of his fubjects, pfalms and hymns and spiritual songs al. together intended to raise the affections of the soul to as high a pitch of love to Im. manuel, as we are capable of, while in the body.
3. When thou art reading the old teftament or the new, and observing the pafsages, in which the psalms are mentioned, do they farther confirm thee in the belief of their being written concerning Chrift: And mixing faith with them do they warm thy heart with gratitude to Jesus, and stir thee up to sing his praises with increasing delight? But above all, confider
4. How thou fingest the psalms. Examine. Art thou ‘made a new creature in Christ Jesus, and a partaker of his Spirit? Dost thou then sing with thine understanding, and with thy heart, singing psalms as an ordinance of God to ex
ercife grace, and to increase the grace, which he has given? And dost thou indeed find it profitable to thyself, and edifying to others?
5. Doft thou keep up the harmony in thy life? Is thy walk in concord with thy psalms ? Art thou fhewing forth the praises of Jesus in thy conversation? What! is all confiftent and of a piece? Are thy heart and voice and life in tune to thank the Lord for his goodness, and to declare the wonders which he hath done for thy foul ? O this is heavenly mufic. Happy man, to whom it is given thus to live the chriftian. May there be no discord in thy tempers and walk, but may all within and without thee confpire in sweet concert to bless thy Lord and thy God.
6. If the Lord has thus enabled thee to fing, and to love his praises, then art thou humble enough to ftudy to please others as well as thyfelf in singing, that they may be edified? If there has been any abuse in this ordinance, doft thou stand corrected, and art willing to reform? Is it thy desire in public finging to give no offence to outward people, but above all to give none to the church of God? This is the chriftian temper. Shew it. Let it appear that the mind is in thee,
which was also in Christ Jesus. Aim in singing at the profit of others. Look not to thyself alone, that thou bearest chy part, with thine understanding, heart and voice, but endeavor also to edify the church. See thy neighbor be benefited according to the command " Teach “ and admonish one another in psalms," &c. Let this, and all other things in the congregation be done to edifying.
If upon careful enquiry thou doft understand those truths, dost thou experience the power and comfort of them? Art thou indeed a living christian, capable of singing them with melody in thy heart unto the Lord ? If this be thy happy case, then accept this collection of psalms, which I here present to thee, not in preference to any of those here omitted, or to exclude any of them, but only as a sufficient number for our regular service. Go, and make use of them, and the Lord be with thee. May he render them profitable to thine own soul, and edifying to his body the church. Pray for grace to glorify him more in this ordinance. It will soon be thy whole employment. “Yet a very little while, and thou wilt have nothing to do, but to enjoy and to praise Immanuel for evermore.
May thy heart now feel fomething of this heaven: And if it please him may chy happiness daily increase, in the enjoyment of, and thankfulness for, all covenant mercies, till thou art admitted to the general assembly and church of the first-born, to join with them in afcribing all the glory of thy salvation to Father, Son and holy Spirit, three persons in one Godhead, to whom be equal and eyerlasting praises. Amen.