Page images
PDF
EPUB

of our God we shall find fresh reason to praise him. He will certainly meet us in his own means, and bless us in his own ways. We shall not wait upon him in vain. The means of his appointing cannot fail of answering the end. He has promised to put honor upon his own appointments, and his word cannot be broken. The joyful christian is commanded to sing the praises of his God, and his heart shall be thereby kept in holy joy, yea it shall be increased. His joy shall abound: And when believers sing, as they are commanded, with one another, it shall tend to their mutual edification. It shall stir them up to greater thankfulness, and excite warmer affection to the God of their salvation. Singing pfalms is a church-ordinance, and as such it is bleffed. The Lord will not forsake the assembly of his saints. When they are met together to praise him, he will be in the 'midst of them, and will manifest his acceptance, both of their perfons and services. This will make their attendance upon him delightful. When he lifts up the light of his countenance upon them, how can they help singing what they feel? Now they experience he has bought them with his blood, and saved them from hell, has wrought out their righteousness, and will give them his

heaven,

[merged small][ocr errors]

heaven, it becometh them well to praife him, and to rejoice in his holy name. He has made them blessed at present, and they shall be blessed for evermore. Their blessedness comes from a never failing spring. They are the one true church, of which it is said Joy and gladness “ shall be found therein, thanksgiving and " the voice of melody.” Singing is their heaven in the church triumphant. They have the fulness of joy from God and the lamb, and they acknowlege it with humble adoration, and a grateful fong of never ending praile. The innumerable company of the redeemed will find their heaven of heavens in enjoying communion with the holy Trinity, and in singing the glories of that mercy, which is from everlasting to everlasting

In this passage the apostle James supposes, that joy and singing agree well together. So they do. They depend on one another as the cause and the effect. The melody of the heart breaks out, and expreffes itself with the melody of the mouth. A heart made sensible of God's love in Christ has the greatest reasorf to rejoice, and will be ready to shew it in every way of God's appointment, particularly in singing the praises of his wondrous love. Does the prophet happy in

his soul declare? “My mouth shall praise “ thee with joyful lips”--true christians can gladly join him. They have returned to God in faith, and have found redemption through the blood of the lamb. They know in whom they have believed, and are satisfied of the Father's love to them in his dear son. Now they can delight in God.

It is their privilege to rejoice in him, as their God : Yea it is their bounden duty (he calls upon them) to express their sense of his goodness in fongs of praise. This joy in God is one of the chief ingredients in psalm singing. The heart cannot make pleasant melody, unless joy be there : For the Lord God has an unalienable right to the service of the whole man, but we never acknowlege it, until we become his children through faith in Christ Jesus; in whom we have free access unto the Father. Then

: suaded of his precious love to us, we love him again, and in thankfulness give up. ourselves with all we have and are to his service and glory. From hence arises our joy in God, and every expreflion of it ; which were required of all men by the holy law, but are only fulfilled by those, who have the faith of the gospel. An unpardoned sinner cannot possibly rejoice in God; Because this holy joy is a fruit

of

Then per

[ocr errors]

of the Spirit, and is the consequence of believing. Thus David" The Lord is “ my strength and my shield, my heart “ trusted in him, and I am helped, THERE

FOR:e my heart greatly rejoiceth, and “ with my song will I praise him.” What che prophet had experienced himself, the fame he wishes for others-“Let all thofe " that put their trust in thee rejoice, let. “ them ever shout for joy, because thou u defendest them: Let them also that “ love thy name be joyful in thee.” And. when a company of these happy people. meet together, it is the delight of their hearts to join in praises to their God, and Saviour. “O come let us sing unto the " Lordlet us make a chearful noise to " the rock, of our salvation : Let us come “ before his presence with thanksgiving, “ and make a joyful noise unto him with “ psalms.” With these words we always begin the reading of the scriptures in our church service. And what could be more suitable? How proper is it in a congrega-tion of believers to call upon one another to join in the praises of the common Saviour, that we may strengthen our mutual joy in him. All true joy comes from him,, and every acknowlegement of it inward and outward is therefore required, in order to preserve and to increase our rejoicing

in the Lord Jesus Christ. He deserves
all our joy—the loveliness of Immanuel
his love to us—the blessings of his love-
how many—how great-how lasting !
these should encourage us to be glad in
him now with great joy. But the well-
grounded prospect, which hope has, of
finding in him infinite and everlasting
blessings, should lead us to rejoice in him
with joy unspeakable and full of glory.
This prospect has brightened the darkest
day: It has enabled sufferers greatly to
rejoice, when in heaviness through mani-
fold temptations : It has supported them
under every fiery trial. Nothing could
extinguish the joy. It has lived, and
triumphed in the martyr's breast, even in
the agonies of the most painful death.
Faith reads, and with hope looks out for
(and it is a hope that will never be ashamed)
the accomplishment of this faithful pro-
mise“ The ransomed of the Lord shall
“ return and come to Sion with songs,
« and everlasting joy upon their heads,
" they shall obtain joy and gladness, and
“ sorrow and fighing shall flee away.

Dost thou find, O my soul, any of this holy joy? Canst thou sing psalms with the understanding, with the heart, and with gladness in thy heart, rejoicing in the Lord? Canst thou give thanks always for

all

رو

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »