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He begins with Hallelujah, and intending to have a full chorus to join him in afcribing all glory to God in the highest, he calls upon the holy angels and the heavenly hosts to assist; then he addresses himself to the active powers in nature, which praise God by doing his will and obeying his decree; afterwards he calls upon the earth with every thing in it, and on it, animate, and inanimate : For these fulfill his commandments, and keep his laws, and so praise him: At last he comes to mankind, and requires high and low, kings and all people, princes and all judges of the earth, both young men, and maidens, old men and children, to join with him in praising the name of the Lord: For his name alone is excellent, his glory is above the earth and heaven: He also exalteth the power of his people, the praise of all his saints, even of the children of Israel, a people near unto him. Hallelujah.
This was the state of the case in the old testament: And in the new we read of the very children among the Jews, who could with their understanding sing, “ Hosanna to the son of David, blessed “ is he that comech in the name of the “ Lord, Hofanna in the highest.” They could apply to Christ the 118th psalni. And we know from prophane history, that the first Christians in all their meetings used to sing the praises of Jesus. their God. They would not fit down to meat, or rise up without a psalm. Jerom says, you might have heard the ploughmen and reapers in the fields Ginging pfalms: Yea, leveral of them could repeat the whole book in Hebrew. Church hiftory relates many particulars upon this. subject. But the divine record is decisive. It contains commands to sing, directions how. to sing, and promises to them who do fing aright, in the congregation. ,
1. As to the commands, one instance may suffice, because they are so frequently repeated in the 95th psalm ; the subject of which is so plain, as not to need any title prefixed.to it. It treats of the praises of God the Saviour. The church being met together in one place, the members of it call upon one another to join in. public singing of psalms: They propose to celebrate the greatness of the power and love of their Jesus. They know their own backwardness to this high duty; they find how unequal their best praises are to the infinite glory of his person, and how far these are below the vast debt, which they owe him, therefore they ex-'
hort one another again and again to en· deavor to give him higher, still higher
thanks; but as they cannot few forth all o his praise, they would therefore lengthen
out the fong, and be continually glorifying him for the wonders, which he has done for their falvation. For this purpose the holy Ghost has put thofe words into their mouths. .
1. O come ye, and we will with loud voices praise Jehovah, we will make the air ring with singing to the strength of
our Jefus : í 2. We will enter into his presence to
pay him our homage, and we will make the air ring with psalms unto his praise :
3. For Jehovah is the great God, and the great king above all (that is called) gods :
4. Because under his power are the - deepest parts of the earth, and to him be: long the highest parts of the mountains :
5. Because to him belongech the sea, dit and he made it, and his hands have formed the dry land:
6. O come then, we will prostrate our.' felves, we will bow down, we will bend B our knees before Jehovah our maker :
7. For he is our God, and we are the people under his pastoral care, and the flock under his protection. ..
Then the holy Ghoft encourages them to hold fast this their confidence in Christ,
and the rejoicing of their hope firm unto the end, as Heb. iii. 7, &c.
8. This day, when ye shall hear his voice, harden not your hearts as in the provocation (of your fathers) when they · tempted me in the wilderness, ...
9. For your fathers tempted me, they tried me, (through their unbelief) altho’ they saw my miraculous works :. · 10. Forty years long was I grieved with that generation, (they grieved the holy Spirit), and I said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not acknowleged my way (Christ)
11. Wherefore I sware in my wrath, that they should not enter into my reft.
How clear and full is this authority! Here is an hymn given by the inspiration of the almighty, in which believers encourage and admonish one another to fing pfalıns, and to sing them whenever they come with the great congregation into the presence of their Jesus, joining hearts and voices in his worship and praise : They sing earnestly, aloud, with thankfgiving, they repeat the song, they bow down and bend the knee, to the creator of the world and the supporter of it, who is also their maker in an especial fense, as he had made them new creatures by his regenerating Spirit, and thereby taken
them into a covenant relation, he their God, and they his people; he their shepherd, and they his flock; he making ample provision for them, and they receiving it thankfully at his hands; he speaking to them, and his sheep hear his voice and follow him, not tempting Christ as the Jews tempted him in the wilderness and entered not into his rest, but they by believing enter now into his rest, and by and by into that rest, which remaineth for the people of God.
From this single passage without mentioning others it is very evident, that singing psalms in public worship is commanded of God, but this will be clearer still if we weigh thes , i
2. Directions given in fcripture concerning the singing of them. These have been mentioned before in the fifth chapter. We read in the book of psalms, that singing in the worship of God is the service of the renewed mind, and of the rejoicing heart. - The man, who is enabled by believing to see his oneness with Jesus, and to enjoy the Father's love in him, will fing, as the sweet pfalmift of Israel did, with his understanding and with all his heart: He will rejoice in the Lord: and be glad in the God of his falvation': In every way, that he can, and with every .E3