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be perfectly and for ever pleasing to the Lord: And when we meet below with one faith to glorify our one Lord, then we enjoy the communion of saints. We have one heart with them-join in the same subject of praise to their Lord and our Lordour harmony is theirs-our happiness is theirs-it is one and the same communion with the Father and the Son by the Spirit. And though we cannot raise our song to fo high a pitch, or continue it without ceasing, as the saints above do; yet we entirely agree with them, and are trying to make better music in our hearts every day, until we see, their Jesus and our Jesús face to face. He loves us, as well as them: For he is our Inmanuel: And our fouls rejoice in him together with them: We love him, we serve him, we bless him, as humbly, and as thankfully, as we can; yea in all things we would be giving of thanks to his holy name.
O for more love, more thankfulness, more devotedness to our precious Lord Jesus Christ. This is our daily prayer, and our constant purfuit. Blessed and eternal Spirit purify our hearts by faith, and increase in them a sense of his wondrous love to us, that we may be growing in love to him, until he vouchsafe to admit-'us into his pre
sence, and give us to thank him with never ceasing songs of praise.
In another place the apostle treats of the same subject, only varies the expreffion a little. He recommends singing of psalms to the Colossians, as an ordidinance of God for increasing the graces of his people—" Let the word of Christ “ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, “ teaching and admonishing one another “ in psalms and hymns and spiritual “ fongs, singing with grace in your " hearts to the Lord: And whatsoever
ye do in word or deed, do all in the " name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks “ to God and the Father by him." The Colossians had put on the new man, and the apostle exhorts them to put on the ornaments and endowments peculiar to their new nature, and he mentions several of them : In which he would have them to be growing daily: And he proposes to them the word of God, as the best means for this purpose. He would have it treasured up in their hearts, and inwardly digested—“ dwelling richly in them in all “ wisdom” for knowlege and practice.. He includes both: Because this wisdom was for edification--they were to teach and to admonish one another. What each had learnt out of the scriptures was to be
of public benefit to the church. And the way of doing this is particularly mentioned—They were to sing together with grace
in their hearts. All is discord within, until we are taught by grace; free effectual grace. But when we believe the doctrines of grace, then harmony comes in, and we learn to afcribe every good to the mere mercy of God. We receive his blessings, and he receives all the praise of them. Then grace is in the heart: It is there not only to reconcile the sinner to the way of salvation by faith alone, but also to make him in love with it, and to keep hina willing to praise God for it with his lips and life. O how good a thing is it, that the heart be thus eitablished with grace! For then the affections will be fixt upon the right object, and the whole foul will be in harmony with the truth as it is in Jesus. Free grace doctrines felt in their power in the heart make heavenly melody, Every faculty is in tune, and inclined to bear its part in blessing the name of the Lord. The understanding sees it right, the will chooses, the heart loves to give him all the praise, and the mouth joins to glorify him with joyful lips, singing unto the Lord- The God-man-Immanuel is the subject of this happy song. He is the God of all grace. It is a joyful and plea-, D2
fant thing to be thanking him for it: Yea, it is a foretast of the saints fulness of joy. The truly humble believer, feeing the exceeding riches of grace, gladly joins his elder brethren round the throne in praising the Lord Jesus Christ. And when the temple of God shall be complete, and the last believer joined to the spiritual building, then the topstone fhall be brought forth with shouting - grace grace unto it-glory be to free grace for ever and ever.
To the same purpose the apostle James, ch. v. 13. teaching believers how to behave in every state directs them, “ Is any " among you afflicted ? let him pray. Is
any merry ? let him sing psalms." AfAiction should fend him to prayer, for grace to bear it and to improve it: Joy to finging of psalms to express thankfulness to God.
Is any merry ? that is a proper season, though not the only season. Prayer is necessary at all times, though it be most needful in amiction: And so singing; it is not only needful when we are rejoicing, in order that our joy may center in the Lord, but sometimes singing will beget spiritual joy, and will awaken it in the afficted heart. Paul and Silas were in great outward distress, yet they fang a psalm in prison. The apostles fang an
Hymn after the facrament, although thcy knew their Lord was going to suffer, and they were greatly troubled. In that forrowful hour they sang. Singing is always seasonable, but especially when the heart is happy, “ Is any among you merry ? " Let him sing psalms.” Is he in a good frame of mind, rejoicing in the bounty of God, either for temporal or spiritual mercies ? Let him sing psalms to the praise and glory of his benefactor: This is a proper expression of gratitude for favors. received, and will be the means of securing them: For since his happiness comes from a good God, and arises from communion with God in Christ, it is fit and meet, that he should ascribe it to the right object, and in a way of God's own appointing. A divine hymn upon the subject of praise (of which there are many) fung with heart-felt thankfulness is a grateful fervice. The Lord requires such an acknowlegement, and it becometh well the just to be thankful-yea he has vouchsafed to reveal the very words, in which he requires it to be paid him : And when all within us blefes his holy name, rejoicing in the Lord, he would have the outward man to join, and to declare with the melody of his lips, how happy he is in. hịs heart. Thus in singing the praises