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faith, they do rejoice the heart. The holy Spirit blesses the singing, and causes mutual joy to abound, which is
Sixthly, Another reason for preferring' divine psalms to man's poems. The psalms were for church service. When the members met, we read of their finging together both in the old testament and in the new. It was their joint offering of praise. The psalms were appointed to be sung in the congregation, that one might admonish another, which we do, by joining with them, by making the word of Christ dwell more richly in them, and by exercising their graces with ours. Thus we shew our fellowship in the gospel. When we all sing the same psalm, it is as if the church had but one mouth to glorify God. And we never enjoy more of the presence of God, than while we are thus praising him together with thankful hearts." The Lord, who instituted the ordinance, promised this blessing to it: But when his psalms are thrust out, and human compositions fung in their room, what reason have the fingers to expect, that he will give his good Spirit to quicken their hearts, and to inflame their devotion ? He did not promise mutual edification, but to the use of his own means. He would have believers to teach and to exhort one another, but it
was in singing his own psalms: And when they do, he has met them and blessed them, and always will : But he has given no promise to be present, whenever the church meet together in public to sing their own compositions, or to make them full of joy with the light of his countenance, when they have been doing despite to his Spirit, and putting dishonor upon his word.
Perhaps these sentiments may arise from my great attachment to the word of God, with which others may not be affected as I am: For I am persuaded it is not possible for me to set too high a value upon the holy scriptures—as the revelation of the will of God, I want words to express my respect for them as the revelation of his good will in Jesus, I reverence them next to himself.
What more precious ! What more delightful! They are indeed more precious than gold, yea than much fine gold: And the psalms are sweeter than honey, yea than the honey dropping from the comb. I find them fo. They are my daily study and daily delight. I do not boast, but praife. The more I read, the more I admire them. The description of Jesus in them is sweet: The meditation of him is sweeter than all other sweets. It often tafts so much of heaven, that it seems to me I cannot possibly be
ftow so much admiration
upon as they deserve. This is my settled judgment, confirmed by experience. I cannot help taking particular notice of this, because it fully confirms the arguments which have been before used.
Experience demonstrates, that God does bless the singing of psalmıs in the church, and does not bless the singing of mens hymns. It is a melancholy matter of fact, that in many congregations there is no reading of God's word, no singing of God's word. It is almost laid aside, even the great ordinance of God for all saving purposes. And what has followed ? Truly, what might be expected; yea what could not but follow. The holy Spirit has been grieved, and has withdrawn his powerful presence. For want of which a deadness that may be felt is in such places. Of this good men have complained to one another, and are humbled for it before God. They find public worship without power. Prayer is lifeless. Preaching is voice and nothing more.
It may be the truth, but the hearers are apt to fall asleep over it, and the preacher is no more animated, than if he was telling an old story The channel of divine communication is quite stopt up: Hence Ichabod may be feen and felt too upon such congrega
tions. Reader, if thou art alive to God in thine own heart, thou knowest this to be true.
And how does it affect thee? Certainly thou wilt join with me in begging of God to revive his work among us, and to put glory upon his ordinances. o that the Lord would return with his gracious presence to his worshipping people. May the holy Spirit lead them to see their error in neglecting his established means of grace, especially his word read and sung. And whenever he does this, and wherever they put honor upon his word, there will he certainly put life and power into the ordinances, and the congregations shall again experience, that God is among them of a truth.
And as God does not bless the singing of human compositions in his church, fo it is a certain matter of fact, that he does bless the singing of his own psalms. If the eyes of your understanding be opened, look around; where is the power of God most to be found ? Among whom is he chiefly carrying on his work? And where are the liveliest congregations ? If you know the present state of religion in this land, you can easily find them. God has made them very conspicuous. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. The builder of it did not intend it should.
His gifts and graces are therefore con-