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they might find proper matter and suitable words to raise their gratitude, as high as it can be on this side of heaven. We have also the apostle's practice and experience to recommend his use of the psalms. He sung them with delight, as well as quoted them with propriety. His love to Jesus run as high, as love ever will' upon earth. He speaks of him continually as the perfect delight of his foul, on whom he had placed all his affections, and whom he found every day worthy of more love, than his narrow heart could contain. O how precious was his Saviour, when he could say" What things were gain to me, those I " counted loss for Christ: Yea doubtless, " and I do count all things but loss for “ the excellency of the knowlege of “ Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I “ have suffered the loss of all things, « and I do count them but dung, that I “ may win Chrift." Happy Paul! what must he have seen in Jesus, who could account it an honor to suffer shame for his name, and an infinite gain to win Christ, though with the loss of all things? O happy, thrice happy man, who could carry the cross of Christ, and esteem it as his crown. God forbid, says he, that I should glory in any thing, except in
the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ: For I count not my life dear to myself, so as I may but live and die fulfilling his will. And this was not a flight of fancy, or a mere rant of enthusiasm, but it was cool sober love, and arose from real experience of the pretiousness of Jesus to his heart. . This heavenly lover was the subject of his fongs in the worst house of
his painful pilgrimage. He was so truly in body foul and spirit devoted to his Jesus, that how much foever he suffered, yet he could rejoice in the Lord. O what a proof did he give of it!--sufficient to shame our highest profesions of attachment to the dear Redeemer. When he had been beaten with many and cruel stripes, put into a dismal dungeon, and even there with his feet in the stocks, his heart was then full of gratitude, and in tune to make delightful melody unto the Lord, yea brake out into pfalms of praise—“ At midnight Paul and Silas "prayed, and fang praises unto God," with a loud voice : for the prisoners heard them. O for more faith in Jesus to fill us more with this thankful and praising fpirit. : Lord, pour it out abundantly for thy mercies fake upon all those, who believe in thy holy name :
Let us make our boast of thee all the day long, and praise thy name for ever.
From these instances it is evident, that the new testament church understood the psalms in the same light, as the old. Believers always sung them with the same view, with hearts and voices making melody unto the Lord Christ. He himself confirmed this use of them: For he joined in this part of religious worship. The apostles quoted the plalms, and directly applied them to their blessed Lord. Yea, when the church met together in one place, the psalms were not only read and sung, but some abuses in singing them are corrected, which will lead me to consider
CH A P. V.
Rules laid down in fcripture for singing
SINGING of psalms is a divine ordi
nance, and has an inward and an outward fervice. The inward confifts in the proper frame and affection of the renewed and spiritual mind : For no man can use the psalms as an ordinance of God, who has not received the Spirit of God.: Without him we can do nothing, being dead
in trespasses and fins. And after he is received, he is the continual breath of fpiritual life, yea as much as the air we breathe is of natural life. Every fpiritual sensation of peace, comfort, and joy in God the Father is from the divine agency of the Lord the Spirit. Every act of religious worship is performed acceptably by his strengthening us mightily in the inner man, and giving us the will and the power. If we pray aright, it is in the holy Ghost. If we hear aright, it is by his blessing on the word preached. If we fing aright, it is by the fame Spirit: And therefore we are not only commanded to seek his affiftance in all we do, but also a growing and increasing measure of his graces and gifts. Thus the apostle directs the Ephesians in their singing of psalms, “ Be ye filled with “ the Spirit, speaking to yourselves in “ psalms,” &c. This is not meant of receiving him at first: For it is spoken to believers, who had the Spirit, but it relates to their thirsting after more, how much foever they had attained, still more of the Spirit's fulness, it being in him infinite, and always in us finite. We never have fo much, but we may have more; and when we have the most, our thirft is then the greatest. This is an holy thirst, to which, there is a divine invitation - Ho, every
* one that thirsteth come to the waters % of life.” And a divine promife" In « the last day, that great day of the feaft, " Jesus stood and cried faying, If any " man thirst, let him come unto me, and “ drink; but this fpake he of the Spirit, " which they that believe on him should “ receive.”. And when this promise is fulfilled, and the holy Spirit is received, .we are still in faith to ute means for the increasing of his graces and gifts; among which means the apostle recommends" Speaking to yourselves in psalms,” &c. He supposes their finging would tend to their mutual edification: For the words are in the plural number, and denote their joining together in this holy exercise. He also commands the Colossians to instruct
and to admonifh one another in psalms and hymns and fpiritual songs, herein using the grace given both for its exercise, and also for its improvement. And this true manner of finging comes from the Spirit, and increafes the fruits of the Spirit.
It comes from the Spirit; because none can perform it, but the new creature in Christ Jefus. It is a spiritual service, in which only the spiritual man can join. No one can make any melody acceptable to God, who has not been first a partaker