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the most approved translation, in the vulgar tongue, that all may hear and understand.
Sect. III. How large a portion shall be read at once, is left to the discretion of
every minister: however, in each service, he ought to read, at least one chapter ; and more, when the chapters are short, or the connection requires it. He may, when he thinks it expedient, expound any part of what is read; always having regard to the time, that neither reading, finging, praying, preaching, or any other ordinance, be disproportionate the one to the other ; nor the wliole rendered too fhort, tedious.
Sect. I. Tis the duty of Christians to praise
God, by singing . psalms, or hymns, publicly in the church, as alfo privately in the family.
Sect. II. In singing the praises of God, we are to fing with the spirit, and with the understanding also ; making melody in our hearts unto the Lord. It is also proper, that we cultivate some knowledge of the rules of music; that we may praise God in a becoming manner with our voices, as well as with our hearts.
Sect. III. The whole congregation should be furnished with books, and ought to join in this part of worfhip. It is proper to fing without parcelling out the pfalm, line by line. The practice of reading the psalm, line by line, was introduced in times of ignorance, when many in the congregation could not read : therefore, it is recommended, that it be laid afide, as far as convenient.
Sect. IV. The proportion of the time of public worship to be spent in finging, is left to the prudence of every minister : but it is recommended, that more time be allowed for this excellent part of divire service, than has been usual. in most of our churches.
CH AP. V.
Of public Prayer.
Sect. I. T seems very proper to begin the
public worship of the fanctuary by a short prayer; humbly adoring the infinite majesty of the living God: exprefsing a sense of our distance from him as creatures, and unwor. thiness as finners : and humbly imploring his gracious presence, the affistance of his holy spi rit in the duties of his worship, and his accep: : tance of us through the merits of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Chrift,
Sect. II. Then, after finging a psalm, or hymn, it is proper that, before fermon, there should be a full, and comprehensive prayer. First, Adoring the glory and perfections of God, as they are made known to us in the works of creation; in the condu& of providence; and in the clear, and full revelation he hath made of himself in his written word. Second, Giving thanks to him for all his mercies of every kind, general and par. ticular, spiritual and temporal, common and special; above all for Christ Jesus his unspeak. able gift ; and the hope of eternal life through him. Third, Making humble confeflion of ling both original and actual ; acknowledging, and endeavouring to impress the mind of every wor. shipper with a deep sense of the evil of all sin, as such; as being a departure from the living God; and also taking a particular and affecting view of the various fruits which proceed from this root of bitterness :---as, fins against God, our neighbour, and ourselves; fins in thought, in word, and in deed; fins secret and presumptuous ; fins accidental and habitual. Also, the aggravations of Gn; arising from knowledge, or the means of it; from diftinguishing mercies'; from valuable privileges; from breach of vows, &c. Fourth, Making earnest fupplication for the pardon of liņ, and peace with God, through the blood of the atonement, with all its important and happy fruits ; for the spirit of fanctification,
and abundant fapplies of the grace that is necefsary to the discharge of our duty; for support and comfort, under all the trials to which we are liable, as we are finful and mortal; and for all temporal mercies, that may be necessary in our passage through this valley of tears. Always remembering to view them as flowing in the channel of covenant love, and intended to be fubfervient to the preservation and progress of the spiritual life. Fifth, Pleading from every principle warranted in fcripture ; from our own necessity; the all-sufficiency of God; the merit ard intercession of cur Saviour, and the glory of God in the comfort and happiness of his people. Sixth, Interceflion for others, including the whole world of mankind; the kingdom of Chrift; or his church universal; the church or churches with which we are more particularly connected; the interest of human society in general, and in that community, to which we immediately be. long ; all that are invested with civil authority ; the ministers of the everlasting gospel ; and the rising generation : with whatever else, more particular, may seem necessary, or suitable, to the interest of that congregation where divine worfhip is celebrated.
Sect. III. Prayer after sermon ought general. ly to have a relation to the subject that has been treated of in the discourse; and all other publie
prayers, to the circumstances that gave occasion for them.
Se&t. IV. It is easy to perceive, that in all the preceding directions there is a very great compass and variety; and it is committed to the judgment and fidelity of the officiating pastor to infift chief. ly on such parts, or to take in more or less of the several parts, as he shall be led to by the af. pect of providence; the particular state of the congregation in which he officiates; or the dir. position and exercise of his own heart at the time.
-But we think it necessary to observe, that although we do not approve, as is well known, of confining ministers to set, or fixed forms of prayer for public worship; yet it is the indispensible duty of every minister, previously to his entering on his office, to prepare and qualify himself for this part of his duty, as well as for preaching. He ought, by a thorough acquaintance with the holy scriptures; by reading the best writers on the subject; by meditation; and by a life of communion with God in secret; to endeavour to ac. quire both the spirit and the gift of prayer:
Not only fo, but when he is to enter on particular acts of worship, he should endeavour to compose his fpirit, and to digeft his thoughts for prayer, that it may be performed with dignity and proprietŷ, as well as to the profit of those who join in it; and that he may not disgrace that important service by mean, irregular, or extravagant effuüons.