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hymn after the sacrament, although they knew their Lord was going to suffer, and they were greatly troubled. In that forrowful hour they fang. Singing is always seasonable, but especially when the heart is happy, “ Is any among you merry ? “ Let him sing psalms.” Is he in a good frame of mind, rejoicing in the bounty of God, either for temporal or fpiritual mercies ? Let him sing psalms to the praise and glory of his benefactor : This is a proper expression of gratitude for favors received, and will be the means of lecuring them : For since his happiness comes from a good God, and arises from communion with God in Christ, it is fit and meet, that he should ascribe it to the right object, and in a way of God's own appointing. A divine hymn upon the subject of praise (of which there are many) fung with heart-felt thankfulness is a grateful fervice. The Lord requires such an acknowlegement, and it becometh well the just to be thankful-yea he has vouchsafed to reveal the very words, in which he requires it to be paid him: And when all within us blesses his holy name, rejoicing in the Lord, he would have the outward man to join, and to declare with the melody of his lips, how happy he is in his heart. Thus in singing the praises of our God we shall find fresh reason to praise him. He will certainly meet us in his own means, and bless us in his own ways. We shall not wait upon him in vain. The means of his appointing cannot fail of answering the end. He has promised to put honor upon his own appointments, and his word cannot be broken. The joyful christian is commanded to fing the praises of his God, and his heart shali be thereby kept in holy joy, yea it shall be increased. His joy shall abound: And when believers fing, as they are commanded, with one another, it shall tend to their mutual edification. It shall stir them up to greater thankfulness, and excite warmer affection to the God of their salvation. Singing psalms is a church-ordinance, and as such it is blessed. The Lord will not forsake the assembly of his faints. When they are met together to praise him, he will be in the midst of them, and will manifest his acceptance, both of their perfons and fervices. This will make their attendance upon him delightful. When he lifts up the light of his countenance upon them, how can they help singing what they feel ? Now they experience he has bought them with his blood, and saved them from hell, has wrought out their righteousness, and will give them his
heaven, heaven, it becometh them well to praise him, and to rejoice in his holy name. He has made them blessed at present, and they shall be blessed for evermore. Their blessedness coines from a never failing spring. They are the one true church, of which it is said " Joy and gladness “ shall be found therein, thanksgiving and " the voice of melody.” Singing is their heaven in the church triumphant. They have the fulnefs of joy from God and the lamb, and they acknowlege it with humble adoration, and a grateful fong of never ending praise. The innumerable company of the redeemed will find their heaven of heavens in enjoying communion with the holy Trinity, and in singing the glories of that mercy, which is from everlasting to everlasting.
In this passage the apostle James supposes, that joy and singing agree well together. So they do. They depend on one another as the cause and the effect.
The melody of the heart breaks out, and expresses itself with the melody of the mouth. A heart made sensible of God's. love in Christ has the greatest reason to rejoice, and will be ready to shew it in every way of God's appointment, particularly in singing the praises of his wondrous love. Does the prophet happy in
the hearts and spend on
his foul declare? “ My mouth shall praise “ thee with joyful lips”-true christians can gladly join him. They have returned to God in faith, and have found redemption through the blood of the lamb. They know in whom they have believed, and are satisfied of the Father's love to them in his dear son. Now they can delight in God. It is their privilege to rejoice in him, as their God: Yea it is their bounden duty (he calls upon them) to express their sense of his goodness in fongs of praise. This joy in God is one of the chief ingredients in psalm singing. The heart cannot make pleasant melody, unless joy be there: For the Lord God has an unalienable right to the service of the whole man, but we never acknowlege it, until we become his children through faith in Christ Jesus ; in whom we have free access unto the Father. Then persuaded of his precious love to us, we love him again, and in thankfulness give up ourselves with all we have and are to his service and glory. From hence arises our joy in God, and every expression of it; which were required of all men by the holy law, but are only fulfilled by those, who have the faith of the gospel. An unpardoned sinner cannot possibly rejoice in God: Because this holy joy is a fruit
of of the Spirit, and is the consequence of bea lieving. Thus David—“ The Lord is “ my strength and my shield, my heart 6 trusted in him, and I am helped, THERE“ FORE my heart greatly rejoiceth, and « with my song will I praise him.” What the prophet had experienced himself, the fame he wishes for others~" Let all those 66 that put their trust in thee rejoice, let " them ever shout for joy, because thou " defendest them: Let them also that “ love thy name be joyful in thee.” And when a company of these happy people meet together, it is the delight of their hearts to join in praises to their God, and Saviour..“ O come let us sing unto the " Lord ; let us make a chearful noise to " the rock of our salvation : Let us come 6 before his presence with thanksgiving, 6 and make a joyful noise unto him with 56 psalms.” With these words we always begin the reading of the scriptures in our church service. And what could be more suitable? How proper is it in a congregation of believers to call upon one another to join in the praises of the common Saviour, that we may strengthen our mutual joy in him. All true joy comes from him, and every acknowlegement of it inward and outward is therefore required, in order to preferve and to increase our rejoicing