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" one that thirstech come to the waters “ of life.” And a divine promise " In “ the last day, that great day of the feast, " Jesus stood and cried saying, if any “ man thirst, let him come unto me, and “ drink; but this fpake he of the Spirit, 66 which they that believe on him should .66 receive.” And when this promise is fulfilled, and the holy Spirit is received, we are still in faith to'ufe means for the increasing of his graces and gifts; among which means the apostle recommends“ Speaking to yourselves in psalms,” &c. He supposes their singing would tend to their mutual edification: For the words are in the plural number, and denote their joining together in this holy exercise. He also commands the Colossians to instruct and to admonish one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, herein using the grace given both for its exercise, . and also for its improvement. And this true manner of singing comes from the Spirit, and increases the fruits of the Spirit.
It comes from the Spirit ; because none can perform it, but the new creature in Christ Jesus. It is a spiritual service, in which only the spiritual man can join. No one can make any melody acceptable to God, who has not been firit a partaker
of the holy Ghost. He is the Lord and giver of life; without him all men are dead in trespafses and fins. He only can quicken and make the foul alive to God. It requires his almighty power, and it belongs to his covenant office. And when he the Spirit of life makes-any one free from the law of fin and death, then he is a child of God. He is made to know it, and to believe it: For he has received the Spirit of adoption, whereby he cries Abba, Father. In the sense of this love shed abroad in his heart by the holy Ghost, he begins to rejoice in God, as his God. Trusting to what Jesus is to him, that he has satisfied for his sins, has wrought out his righteousness, and is now standing in the prefence of God for him, he fees himfelf accepted in the beloved, an heir of God, and a joint heir with Christ. Hereby his heart becomes reconciled to God, and he finds the truth of what is written -" We love him, because he first loved “ us.” Now he has David's affection, and he can join heartily in singing with him-Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name: Blefs the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits : Who forgiveth all thine iniquities, who healeth all thy diso cases : Who redeemeth thy life from de
ce frames him happiail: he shall, Hicted?
struction, who crowneth thee with loving kindness and tender mercies.
Thus the right singing the praises of God comes from the Spirit, and it also increases the fruits of the Spirit. It is one of the appointed means of improving them. True grace is always operative, and grows by the fruit which it bears. If the believer be rejoicing, singing will add to his joy, as it is written “ Is any in a happy " frame? Let him sing psalms ;" and that will make him happier. It is the divine promise, and cannot fail : he shall increase his joy in the Lord. Is any afflicted ? Psalms will refresh and comfort him: Paul and Silas fore whipt and put into the stocks sung a psalm at midnight. The fulness of the Spirit in the sweet singer of Israel went out much this way. He sang - most, and praised best of all the saints of God. He sang in all frames and upon all occasions : Let us follow his example, and be speaking much and often to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, seeking thereby to be filled with a growing measure of the holy Spirit. :
If thou enquirest, how shall I obtain this inestimable blefling? The command is ask and it shall be given you, seek and ye fhall find-whoever is made sensible he Atands in need of the assistance of the holy
Spirit is only required to ask, and the promise is . Every one that asketh re“ ceiveth, and he that seeketh findeth : “ If a fon shall ask bread of any of you “ that is a father, will he give him a 6 stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a “ fish give him a serpeng? or if he ask an 6 egg will he give him a scorpion ? If ye " then, being evil, know how to give good " gifts unto your children, how much “ more shall your heavenly Father give 66 the HOLY SPIRIT to them that alk “ him?” How gracious are these words! How encouraging are they to every one, who has any concern about his salvation, to desire the holy Spirit may be given to him, to enable him to trust in Jesus, and to find the Father's love in him: And they leave every man without excuse, who lives and dies without those blessings, which God has promised to give to every one that asketh.
Whoever is a partaker of the Spirit has a new nature in Christ Jesus, and has a new understanding given him, whereby he is inabled to discern and to judge of spiritual things : For thus runs the pro· Inife " He shall lead you into all truth :" And the apostle prays for the fulfilling of it to the Ephesians --" May the God of " our Lord Jesus Christ the Father of
“ glory, “ glory, give unto you the spirit of wisdom " and revelation in the knowlege of him, " that the eyes of your understanding may “ be enlightened.” The holy Spirit acts upon men as rational creatures. He does not treat them, as if they were stones or brutes; but he makes the truths of the gofpel clear to the mind, and desireable to the will. He opens the eyes of the understanding to see the object, and then presents it in its glorious beauty and attracting loveliness. The renewed mind beholds, admires, and loves it; and then animated with this love can sing its praises. Holy men of God in the old testament sung with knowlege. Ignorance was not the mother of their psalinody. They were well acquainted with what they sung. The royal prophet says, he employed his understanding in this devout exercise, as well as his harp, and his voice, Hear him how earnestly he call upon others to extol his beloved Jesus is Sing praises to God, “ fing praises ; sing praises unto our king, “ fing praises : For God is the king of all .“ the earth, sing ye praises with under“ standing.” He would have them to mind what they were about, and to understand what they sung; least they should