« PreviousContinue »
« thou art exalted as head above all : 6 Both riches and honor come of thee, “ and thou' reignelt over all, and in thy “ hand is power and might, and in thy “ hand it is to make great, and to give
strength unto all: Now therefore our “ God we thank thee, and praise thy “ glorious name.” How delightfully does he here describe one great end of singing psalms. It was to afcribe to the Lord all the glory of his word and works and ways-with voices and instruments, but chiefly with the music of the heart to praise him for his goodness, and to bless him, because his mercy endureth for
There is another word used, i Chron. xvi. 4. The psalms were to record, and to thank, and to PRAISE (Heb. Hellel) · the Lord God of Israel. But this has been treated of in the beginning of the second chapter. It is the running title of the psalms, and fignifies the action of light in the material world, and from thence'is applied to the action of the sun of righteoufness in the spiritual world. Singing pfalms was not only to remind us of him, but also to lead us to ascribe to him all the blessings of nature and grace, of earth and heaven. All are from him the gifts of his free unmerited love,
and call for the tribute of constant thankfulness. He created the fun, and ordained it to dispense every earthly blessing, that it might be a lively picture of the true light, who communicates spiritual life, with all its comforts. While the believer looks upon the most glorious Immanuel in this view, and has a warm sense of his obligations to him, how sweet is the exercife of faith! He finds the courts of the Lord to have some of the blessedness of the palace itself. Such they were to him, who said, “ Blessed “ are they that dwell in thy courts, they « will be still praising thee. They will be still acknowleging their debt in pfalms and hymns and spiritual fongs: Which is the very employment of the saints round the throne, and which is the divine ordinance to express our communion with them, and to bring us a forecast of their happiness.
From this paffage in Chronicles we fee the use of the pfalms in the old teftament, and for what end they were then sung in the church. It was to remind believers of the wonderful person and of the divine works of the incarnate Jehovah, that they might admire his matchless beauty, and adore him for his most precious love. With happy and thankful hearts they
used daily to sing of him in the temple service. The concert will never be excelled upon this earth, and the effect which accompanied it will only be equalled in heaven. The subject--the number of voices and instruments the excellence of the music and of the performance and the divine approbation which crowned the whole, by a miracle confirming the faith and strengthening the hopes of the congregation, these are most nobly defcribed in 2 Chron. v. 11, 12, &c. Solomon had finished the temple, and had brought the ark of the covenant into the holy of holies: “ And it came to pass, “ when the priests were come out of the “ holy place: For all the priests that “ were present were fanctified, and did • not then wait by course : Also the Le« vites who were the singers, all of them “ of Asaph, of Heman, of jeduthun, " with their sons and their brethren, be
ing arayed in white linnen, having
cymbals, and pfalteries, and harps, “ stood at the east end of the altar, and u with them an hundred and twenty
priests founding with trumpets: It “ came even to pass, as the trumpeters " and fingers were as one, to make one « found to be heard in praising and " thanking the Lord.
And when they
« lift, up their voice with the trumpets “ and 'cymbals, and instruments of mu“ fic, and praised the Lord, saying, For “ he is good, for his mercy endureth for
ever: That then the house was filled
with a cloud, even the house of the “ Lord : So that the priests could not “ stand to minister by reason of the cloud: “For the glory of the Lord had filled " the house of God." All Israel met upon this occasion, a very great congregation, from the entering in of Hamath, unto the river of Egypt. They came to the dedication of the temple, knowing that it was a type of the body of Christ, and prefigured his coming from heaven to dwell with men on the earth. The filling the temple with glory was to teach them that a person in Jehovah was to tabernacle in the manhood of Christ. In him the fulness of the Godhead was to dwell bodily, and out of his fulness they should receive grace for grace. While they were looking forward with joyful hope, and singing the praises of this most blessed event, the Lord gave them a sensible proof, that he would come and inhabit the temple of his body; and would also come and dwell in their hearts by faith. Once in the end of the world God was manifest in the Aesh, but in every age he has visited his people with his presence, and blessed them with his love, while they have been with thankful hearts ascribing to him all the glory of their salvation. When he has thus difposed them to give him the honor due unto his name, then he has brought them into a proper temper to receive the greatest communications of his grace. For the most high and holy one that inhabiteth eternity vouchsafes to dwell in the humble and contrite heart. The King of Kings admits the meek and lowly to the nearest approach, yea to the most intimate familiarity with him. The highest resides with the lowest. With them the almighty sovereign keeps his court, according to his promise" I will dwell “ with you, and will walk among you, “ and I will be your God, and ye shall “ be my people.” When he smiles upon them with his reconciled countenance, and excites in them holy love and humble.. adoration : 0 what an happiness is it to behold the king in his beauty, even here by faith. The soul thus enamoured with him will find it a most delightful employment to sing his praises, and cannot help breaking out into pfalms and hymns of thankfulness. These are the appointed means of testifying its sacred joy. In