Page images

ed unto the Lord, and it will be presented unto him so long as there is a true church upon earth. What then shall we think of those pretended reformers, who have turned the psalms out of the church, and who are acting as if they would try to defeat these prophecies? I wish they may not be found fighting against God: For they cannot stop their accomplishment. His word cannot be broken. As long as the earth shall continue, psalms shall be sung in the church of Christ: In it there will always be found thanksgiving and the voice of melody, and there will be expressed in God's own way, in the matter and words and form of God's own appointment.

Consider this, ye who believe the scriptures to be the word of God: If from the heart the form of doctrine therein delivered, you will begin to reason thus, yea methinks I hear one of you say

Since God by his sovereign grace has put a new song in my mouth, it adds to my joy, that he has revealed the very words in which he would have me to praise him. He has foretold that the gofpel should be received among the heathen, and that it should produce such effects as . I now experience. Glory be to him, he has made me happy in Jelus, and my happiness is not only kept up, but I find it


you obey

increases by singing the inspired psalms of the holy Ghost. Whoever leaves off the singing of psalms, God forbid I should be of that number. I hope never to act fo contrary to the honor of God and to the profit of mine own soul.

Thirdly, Of the fame sentiments has been the church of Christ in all ages : Which is a strong argument in favor of pfalm singing. We know from very clear testimony, that the psalms were sung in the temple until its final destruction. We are certain, that Christ made use of the pfalms. His apostles followed his example. The churches of Corinth, and Ephefus, and Coloss, made the singing of pfalms part of their public worship. Such of the twelve tribes as were scattered anbroad being persecuted for Christ's fake did sing psalms when they were in an happy frame: For they were commanded. to do it by the apostle James. The church history affords abundant evidence of the use of the psalms in every country converted to the faith, and of their being sung in the church, as a part of public worship. This has been the case in every age without interruption. The primitive christians sung in all their church meetings. Eusebius says, in the second century, they fung psalms in praise of Christ and his


[ocr errors]

deity. In the time of Justin Martyr inftrumental music was abolished, and he highly commends singing with the voice, because says he, psalms with organs and cymbals are fitter to please children, than to instruct the church. In the third century we read much of psalm finging. Arius. was complained of as a perverter of this ordinance. St. Augustine makes it an high crime in certain heretics, that they fung hymns composed by human wit. The sense, in which the church of Chrift understood this subject, has been, till of late years, always one and uniform. Now we leave the antient beaten path. But why? Have we found a better? How came we to be wiser, than the prophets, than Christ, than his apostles, and the primitive christians, yea than the whole church of God? They with one consent have sung psalms in every age. Here I leave the reader to his own reflections. There is one plain inference to be made 'from hence, none can easily mistake it : May he fee it in his judgment, and follow it in his practice.

Fourthly, Singing of pfalms in the church is an ordinance, commanded of God, prophecied of in the old testament, and hitherto fulfilled in the new.. That psalm singing is one of the means of grace


has been shewn before. It is part of public worship, enjoined of God, and to which he has promised his blessing. Now when you lay aside psalms in the church, you at the same time cast out the ordinance : For they are inseparably one. The psalm is the ordinance. Your practice speaks, as if


faid—“ We will neglect “the means of increasing our joy in God: « For we want no growing love to him, « nor fresh communications of his love “ to us.” Surely this is the language of

” those persons, who live in the constant neglect of one of the divine ordinances. God appointed it in vain as to them. They make no more use of the psalms, than if there were no such hymns in being, And is not this opposing his authority? Is it not ungrateful to throw away his appointed means, and to think you can please him better, with singing your own poetry, than his? Is it not hurtful to yourselves? For in seeking the promised blessing in the way of will-worship, you certainly cannot find it. Because

Fifthly, The blessing is promised to the ordinance. You cannot have the end without the means. The psalms were revealed, that we might in singing them express our joy in God, and thereby imThey were for the exercise of


prove it.

[ocr errors]

grace, and for the increase of grace; that
we might fing with grace in our hearts,
and make one anothers hearts warmer by
singing The word is one of the means
of grace: By hearing it faith cometh ; by
constant hearing faith is established. If
the word was never heard, how could
faith come? If the word be entirely neg-
lected, how can faith grow? Prayer is
one of the means of grace: It is appoint-
ed in order to keep up communion with
God, and to bring down daily supplies of
mercies from him: Could these be had
without asking ? Certainly they could not.
Singing of plalms is also one of the means

how can the blessing promifed to the means be received, if no psalms be sung? What sort of a church would it be, in which the word was never read, nor prayers, nor singing of psalms, nor any means of


used? It could not be a church of Christ: Because his presence with, and his blessings to his people are promised to them in the use of the means. The blessing accompanies the ordinance, and is promised unto it; God has joined them together, and they must not be

put asunder. He will give honor, he does give honor to his own means. He makes them answer the end of their institution. When the psalms are sung, in

« PreviousContinue »