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“ in' me, bless his holy name: While I “ live will I praise the Lord, I will fing

praises unto my God while I have my

being : I will extol thee my God, O “ king, and I will bless thy name for ever " and ever.”

We have abundant authorities in the lives of believers to prove, that singing of psalms was very early in the church. Mofes composed a psalm, which he and the whole congregation sang to the glory of their almighty deliverer from Egyptian bondage. On the victory obtained over Sisera the captain of Jabin's hoft, Deborah and Barak lang a hymn of thanksgiving recorded in the book of the wars of the Lord. David was the sweet singer of Israel raised up of God to indite the praises of the glorious Immanuel: The book of psalms, which he spake by the holy Ghoit, has been in use in the church ever since his time. They made part of every days service in the temple. They were sung by Christ, and by his apostles. Paul and Silas in prison, with their feet in the stocks, and at midnight, had liberty in their hearts to sing a psalm unto the Lord. We know for certain from sacred history, confirmed by profane authors, that when the whole church was come together into one place it was part of the public service to fing B 5

psalms ::

psalms : for which there were rules laid down both in the old teftament and in the new.

The principal rule was about the end proposed in singing. Why did God enjoin it in his service? And with what view did he require it to be performed by his people ? He has herein clearly revealed his will. He intended to teach them to acknowlege his infinite love in Jesus, through whom all their bleffings flow, and to praise him and to thank him with joy. ful hearts and lips. Singing was the outward expression of their inward joy, and therefore it was accompanied with instruments of all kinds to proclaim in the grandeft manner their joy in the Lord. While the daily facrifices were burning on the altar, they celebrated with believing hearts the atonement of the lamb of God, and expressed their triumphing in it with all the powers of vocal and instrumental music. Thus they were commanded, Num. X. 10. “ In the day of

your glad“ ness, and in your solemn days, and in " the beginning of

your months, ye shall “ blow with the trumpets over your

burnt “ offerings, and over the facrifices of your

peace offerings, that they may be to you for a memorial before the Lord your God: I am the Lord

your

God."

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This commandment Hezekiah observed. After he had cleansed the temple from the pollutions of his profane predecessor, 56 He fet the Levites in the house of the " Lord with cymbals, with psalteries, and “ with harps, according to the command“ment of David, and of Gad the king's “ seer, and Nathan the prophet: For so fs was the commandment of the Lord by “his prophets : And the Levites stood

with the instruments of David, and the

priests with the trumpecs : And Heze« kiah commanded to offer the burnt “ offering upon the altar, and when the “ burnt offering began, THE SONG OF THE " LORD BEGAN also with the trumpets, and 56 with the instruments ordained by David “ king of Israel : And all the congrega“ tion worshipped, and the singers fang, “ and the trumpeters founded, and all this “ continued until the burnt offering was « finished.” 2 Chron. xxix. 25, &c. Their music was not merely to please ; it was expressive. For it was a memorial. It was to call to mind the sacrifice of Immanuel, and the joy flowing from it, the greatest joy that possibly can be : For all the facrifices pointed to him, and were instituted to keep up faith and hope in him. He was the lamb who verily was fore-ordained before the foundation of the

- world,

world, who was Nain in type from the
foundation of the world, and who in the
fulness of time appeared to put away fin
by the sacrifice of himself. The apostle
has proved at large in the epistle to the
Hebrews, that all the sacrifices under the
law were types and figures of the facrifice
of Christ, and that the benefits afcribed to
them were to signify the graces which flow
to his redeemed from his facrifice > For
through this alone justice was satisfied,
wrath appeased, atonement made, the con-
science purged from guilt, the finner freely
pardoned, fully justified, yea fanctified and
perfected for ever: So that by his one
offering he faves believers from all fins and
all miseries, and gives them enjoyment
now of all blessings, and will fecure to
them eternal enjoyment. Here is the
fountain of all joy. From hence flows
peace with God, and love to God with
every blessing of his love. All conies
through the bleeding lamb, and is the fruit
of his cross and passion. This is the glo-
rious subject treated of in the pfalms, and
the singing and the music of the old tefta-
* ment were entirely in praise of this. While
the burnt offering was consuming on the
fire of the altar, all that found could pof-
fibly do with voices and instruments was
exerted to rouse the attention, and to in-

fame

3

1

] flame the "affections. The full concert was to excite the highest fentiments of thankfulness in the view of that one of fering, which was to bear the fire of the Father's wrath, and thereby was to become an odor of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, well pleasing to God. No blefling is beyond this. No joy is to be compared with the joy of this. If any one had been present who did not know the occasion of this wonderful rejoicing, and had asked good Hezekiah what they meant by this music, which made the very earth ring again, he would have graciously informed the enquirer

We are now triumphing in ftedfast faith of the fulfilling of the promise, that God will be incarnate, and will come to take away sin by his sacrifice : Therefore we enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise." We rejoice in our hearts in the future offering of the lamb of God. Although we have divine words, in which to express our joy, yet our present sense of it is only according to our faith. When this is lively our joy is unspeakable and full of glory: For it brings a forecast of that fulness of joy, which we shall have, when we shall receive the end of our faith, even the eternal falvation of our souls. Then

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