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« joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth, « make a loud noise, and rejoice, and

give praise : Sing unto the Lord with

the harp, with the harp, and the voice “ of a psalm. O clap your hands, all " ye people, shout unto God with the « voice of triumph: For the Lord -most “ high is to be feared: He is the great “ king over all the earth: Sing forth the " honour of his name, make his praise

glorious : Sing pfalms unto God, sing “ psalms : Sing psalms to our king, fing " psalms, for it is good to sing psalms to so our God : for it is pleasant and praise « is comely: Sing ye praifes with the * understanding : Sing ye praises with " the whole heart: Let every thing that “ hath breath praise the Lord. . Amen. “ Hallelujah.”

In obedience to those commands believers exhort one another to this delightful exercise : “ O come let us sing unto “ the Lord, let us make a joyful noise to “ the rock of our salvation, (Heb. our " Jesus). Let us come before his pre« sence with thanksgiving, and make a “ joyful noise unto him with psalms.” And what was thus expreffed in the congregation, every believer in private applies to himself and practices. " Bless the

Lord, O my soul, and all that is with

« in me, bless his holy name : While I “ live will I praise the Lord, I will sing " praises unto my God while I have my

being: I will extol thee my God, o " king, and I will bless thy name for ever « and ever.”

We have abundant authorities in the lives of believers to prove, that singing of psalms was very early in the church. Moses composed a psalm, which he and the whole congregation sang to the glory of their almighty deliverer from Egyptian bondage. On the victory obtained over Sisera the captain of Jabin's hoft, Deborah and Barak sang a hymn of thanksgiving recorded in the book of the wars of the Lord. David was the fweet singer of Israel raised up of God to indite the praises of the glorious Immanuel: The book of psalms, which he spake by the holy Ghost, has been in use in the church ever since his time. They made part of every days service in the temple. They were sung by Christ, and by his apoftles. Paul and Silas in prison, with their feet in the stocks, and at midnight, had liberty in their hearts to sing a psalm unto the Lord. We know for certain from sacred history, confirmed by profane authors, that when the whole church was come together into one place it was part of the public service to sing

B 5

psalms :

psalms : for which there were rules laid down both in the old testament and in the new. • The principal rule was about the end proposed in singing. Why did God enjoin it in his service? And with what view did he require it to be performed by his people? He has herein clearly revealed his will. He intended to teach them to acknowlege his infinite love in Jesus, through whom all their blessings flow, and to praise him and to thank him with joyful hearts and lips. Singing was the outward expression of their inward joy, and therefore it was accompanied with instruments of all kinds to proclaim in the grandest manner their joy in the Lord. While the daily sacrifices were burning on the altar, they celebrated with believing hearts the atonement of the lamb of God, and expressed their triumphing in it with all the powers of vocal and instrumental music. Thus they were commanded, Num. X, 10. “ In the day of your glad“ ness, and in your folemn days, and in “ the beginning of your months, ye shall " blow with the trumpets over your burnt « offerings, and over the sacrifices of your « peace offerings, that they may be to k you for, a memorial before the Lord " your God: I am the Lord your God.”

This commandment Hezekiah observed. After he had cleansed the temple from the pollutions of his profane predeceffor, “ He set the Levites in the house of the " Lord with cymbals, with psalteries, and « with harps, according to the command“ ment of David, and of Gad the king's “ seer, and Nathan the prophet: For so “ was the commandment of the Lord by “ his prophets : And the Levites stood “ with the instruments of David, and the “ priests with the trumpers : And Heze“ kiah commanded to offer the burnt « offering upon the altar, and when the “ burnt offering began, THE SONG OF THE « LORD BEGAN also with the trumpets, and 56 with the instruments ordained by David “ king of Israel: And all the congrega“tion worshipped, and the singers sang, 6 and the trumpeters founded, and all this “ continued until the burnt offering was

finished.” 2 Chron. xxix. 25, &c. Their music was not merely to please ; it was expressive. For it was a memorial. Ii was to call to mind the sacrifice of Immanuel, and the joy fowing from it, the greatest joy that possibly can be : For all the facrifices pointed to him, and were instituted to keep up faith and hope in him. He was the lamb who verily was fore-ordained before the foundation of the

world, world, who was nain in type from the foundation of the world, and who in the fulness of time appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. The apostle has proved at large in the epistle to the Hebrews, that all the sacrifices under the law were types and figures of the sacrifice of Christ, and that the benefits ascribed to them were to signify the graces which flow to his redeemed from his facrifice : For through this alone justice was fatisfied, wrath appeased, atonement made, the conscience purged from guilt, the sinner freely pardoned, fully justified, yea fanctified and perfected for ever: So that by his one offering he saves believers from all fins and all miseries, and gives them enjoyment now of all blessings, and will secure to them eternal enjoyment. Here is the fountain of all joy. From hence Aows peace with God, and love to God with every blessing of his love. All comes through the bleeding lamb, and is the fruit of his cross and passion. This is the glorious subject treated of in the psalms, and the singing and the music of the old testament were entirely in praise of this. While the burnt offering was consuming on the fire of the altar, all that found could pof. sibly do with voices and instruments was exerted to rouse the attention, and to in

fame

.

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