Page images
PDF
EPUB

of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. .

Of him also sang Nehemiah, as mentioned in Chap. xii. He repaired the wall of Jerusalem, and ended it with praising, and giving thanks to the Lord God of Israel, singing psalms unto him with voices and instruments of music, according to the commandment of David the man of God. From these instances it is plain that the general subject of the plalms was to ascribe to the incarnate Jehovah all the honor of saving finners. The sweet psalmist of Israel frequently calls upon the church to fing psalons to the Saviour's praise, particularly in psalm xcii. which was constantly sung on the fabbath, the day of praise, in psalms xcv, xcvi, xcviii, &c. And he does this very remarkably in pfalmc, wherein he calls upon believers to join in this delightful work, and assigns several reafons for their encouragement to do it with the warmest gratitude of their hearts. The title is

A psalm of confeßiosi, viz. to God for his goodness, and for the wonders which he hath done for the children of men...

1. O all the earth, make the air ring with the praises of Jehovah.

2. Serve

3

2. Serve ye Jehovah with heart-felt joy-Come ye into his presence with the highest praises you can give.

3. Be ye certain, that Jehovah is the very Alehim, he hath made us, and not we ourselves, we are his people, and the Aock under his pastoral care:

4. Enter ye into his gates with confeffion, into his courts with ascribing to him the praise of giving you everything useful, -pay ye homage to him, bless ye his name : 5. For Jehovah is good, his mercy

is for ever, and his faithfulness is from generation to generation.

When believers in their church service used to sing this psalm, they acknowleged in it the goodness of God to them, and had in their hearts sentiments of his loving kindness, such as there

1. O all ye inhabitants of the world, who have found redemption through faith in the blood of the lamb, join together to make his praise to be heard : Sing unto Jehovah a new song, sing praises unto him luftily with a good courage :

2. Serve ye Jehovah with a free spirit, singing and making melody in your hearts unto him: Come ye into his prefence,

C

having

having now access with confidence, and let the high praises of God be in your mouth, ascribing to him all the glory of your salvation :

3. Be ye certain, that Jehovah is the very Alehim, the three in covenant to fave finners : For he has made us, and not we ourselves, we neither made ourfelves creatures, nor new creatures in Christ Jesus—he gave us our being, and our well being we have nothing of our own, but fin: And he has made us his free subjects by redeeming us from the bondage of sin, yea we are his beloved flock, and he is our good shepherd, who will give grace and glory to his people, and to the sheep of his pasture:

4. O come ye then into his gates with thankful acknowlegenient of his infinite goodness to your souls-meet him in the great congregation, and join all the redeemed, who in earth and heaven are with one heart giving blessing and honor, and glory and power to God and the lamb,

5. For Jehovaht is good and doeth good, his mercy is to be celebrated in his church militant from age to age, and his never failing faithfulness is to be your subject of never ending praise in the church triumphant.

O

it treats.

O for such holy affections as this psalm requires. Reader, art thou acquainted with the subject, and art -thou indeed a partaker of that thankfulness, of which

Obeg of him then to give thee a growing rense of thine utter unworthiness of the least mercy. This is gospel-poverty of spirit, and this will lead thee to pray for a more thankful acknowlegement of the goodness of God, flowing from the happy experience of its blessings, and influencing the whole man to praise him for them. To this grateful temper the very reading of the psalm will be as an ordinance, and the finging of it with the melody of the heart will be a feast.

From these authorities of the old teftament it is plain, that the subject of the book of psalms, and the singing them were intended to excite in believers the warmest sentiments of gratitude. The love of God manifested in faving finners through Jesus Christ is herein described with the true sublime both of style and sentiment; and when any psalm was fung, if the heart felt the subject, and made harmony there, then it became a delightful, as well as an acceptable service. But we shall see clearer evidence of this matter, if we attend to

C 2

C H A P.

CHAP. IV.

TH

Some paljages in the new testament concern

ing the book of psalms. HE quotations are very numerous.

Christ and his apostles often refer to the psalms, and make a direct application of them : For they all treat of him, as indeed the whole volume of revelation does. He is the spirit and life of all the bible: But there is no part fo particulare ly, and so frequently applied to him, as the book of psalms. We know the subjećt of the cxth from infallible authority -it is the heavenly government of kingmediator, who is David's son, and yet David calleth him his Lord: For he was God and man in one Chrift. His own use of the psalms is very remarkable: He sung them, and quoted them. At his last pafsover he joined with his apostles in the psalms commonly used upon that occasion. St. Matthew says,

is When they had sung an hymn,” which is supposed to be part of the grand hallelujah, beginning at the cxiiith, and ending with the cxviiith psalm. Hereby our Lord not only made use of, but also ap

plied

« PreviousContinue »