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thy mind is affected-least thou shouldt present unto the Lord the song of fools.
But chiefly keep thy heart diligently : Because out of it are the issues of life. The man is what his heart is. If this be dead to God, nothing in him is alive : If this be right with God, all will be right. If he has a clean heart, and a right fpirit renewed within him, the holy Ghost has made him a new creature in Christ Jesus, and has won the will and the affections over to God. This is his principal office in the conversion of finners. He therefore discovers truth to the understanding, in order that it may become desireable, and that the heart may be properly influenced by it. The heart is the commanding faculty. When this has once tasted the sweetness of the Father's love in Jesus, it will engage the whole man to seek for more. Love is very active, and will do or suffer much to obtain and to preserve the beloved object. Set this spring a going, it will move all the wheels. The hands will work for God. The feet will run the way of his commandments. Love will make heavy burdens not grievous to be borne: Love will carry them a long time, and faint not. Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed unto him but a few days
for the love which he had unto her. The labor of love is always delightful. When we know God to be our Father in Jesus, and have his love shed abroad in our hearts by the holy Ghost, then his service becomes perfect freedom: Then duty is ennobled into privilege: Then obedience becomes willing, and filial : The beloved child finds free access to the Father's throne, and receives blessed communications of his grace: For which his thankful heart offers the facrifice of praise, and it comes up with a sweet favor acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. This is the melody of the heart. While it feels its infinite debt to free grace, is deeply convinced of its utter unworthiness, and is kept humble by the abiding sense of its imperfections, and of its indwelling corruptions, it is in a right frame to exalt the exceeding riches of divine mercy. Then it is disposed to give God all his glory. This he requires, as his due, and it be· cometh well the righteous to pay it. When the heart is made willing to afcribe every good to his holy name, then it is right with God. All within is now in túne to join every golden harp, and every joyful tongue in heaven, which are ascribing blessing and honor, and glory and power
to him that fitteth upon the throne, and to the lamb for ever.
This is the chief requisite in singing psalms. The heart makes the beft music. The finest compofitions, ever so well executed with inttruments and voices are not a divine concert, unless the heart accompany them. David knew this well, and therefore he fet his affections to the highest pitch of praise, and he brought all of them to join. His whole heart entered into the performance, and rendered the concert full." I will praise thee, O Lord
my God, with all my heart, and I will “ glorify thy name for evermore: For
great is thy mercy towards me.” Thy special covenant mercy is fuch towards me, that my very thoughts cannot rise up to its greatness : How then can I utter forth all its praife? I cannot; no, not even half of it. But though the debt be so great, that I cannot count it up, yet I will the more extoll thee for it from day to day: I would engage my affections, and give them all up to this heavenly employment. I would have my whole foul in it. And yet the debt remains, rather increases. O for a more enlarged heart! My praises continued are only acknowlegements, and I want them continued with growing humilicy-more in earth and more in heaven.
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There I shall praise better, when my
heart will have nothing in it, but humble gratitude. Yet here I will not give over ; but will carry on my joyful fong, till I can fing in a higher strain. “ Praise the Lord,
my soul, and all within me bless his " holy name: O give thanks unto him C for he is good, and his mercy endureth "" for ever, Hallelujah.”
The apostle Paul had his portion in the same mercy, and had the same grateful fense of it: He sang the psalms of David with the spirit of David. What he practiced himself he has recommended to others. He has given us some rules about singing in the congregation, and he chiefly confines them to the heart accompanying the voice. Thus hé directs the Ephesians « Be not drunk with wine wherein is ex“ cess, but be ye filled with the spirit, " speaking to yourselves in pfalms and
hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and
making melody In yoUR HEARTS unto “the Lord, giving thanks always for all " things unto God and the Father in the « name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”. He would not have them meet together, as they formerly had done, to fealt without fear, and to drink unto drunkenness, inciting one another to greater riot and excess by wanton and profane fongs : Which
was the custom at most of the heathen banquets. They used to try to fill one another with wickedness. But ye have not so learned Christ. Seek ye to be filled with his spirit, and use the means appointed for that purpose : Among which singing of psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs is one of the chief. These several names are expressive of the different subjects treated of in the sacred poetry ; hymns are in praise of Immanuel, Spiritual songs are in praise of his fpiritual kingdom, according to the sense of the words in the Hebrew, and according to the translation of them in the Septuagint, as was before shewn. The manner of singing them it is here faid was by joining together with their voices, but especially with their hearts. From thence comes the best melody. Harmony in sound is pleasant in our ears; but harmony in affection is the music, which enters into the ears of the Lord of hosts. “ My son, give me thy heart:”. He will have no service without it. Prayer, obedience, praise,' every offering must come from the heart. He looks at this, and this in all, and above all. This he accepts, and testifies his delight in: For it is the same sacrifice of praise, which will for ever delight him. The church triumphant has begun the long, which will