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O part of the Christian Worship is more, plainly
warranted by the Oracles of God, than the Ordinance of Singing of Pfalms. The ancient Hebrews practised it, at the Red Sea, before their fyftem of ceremonia] worship was prescribed them by God, Exod. xv. It was preferred to the most pompous facrifices, even while the ceremonial observances remained in their vigour, Palm Ixix. 30, 31. The divine obligation to it, remained in full force, when the cerenionial law, with all its sites, was abolished, Pfalins xlvii, 1. 5, 6, 7. lxvii. 4. c. 1. 4. Eph. v. 196 with ii. 14, 15. Col. iii. 16. with Ä 16, 17. James v. 13. We have, it enforced with the most engaging example of the Angels who kept their first estate, Job xxxviii. 6, 7.
Luke ii. 13, 14.
Rev. V. il, 12. Of Apostles and Saints, Acts xvi. 25. 1 Cor. xiv. 15. Exod. xv. Judg. v. Luke i. i Sam. ii. Ifai xxxv. 10. Jer. xxxi. 1 2. Rev, iv. 8, 9 and v. 9, 1o. vii. 10. 12. xiv. 3. xv. 3. xix. 1,-). Nay, of our Redeemer himself; Matth. xxvi. 30. This Exercise, performed in a manner suited to the dignity of the glorified State, will be the everlasting employ of established angels and ranfomed men, Ifa. xxvi. 19. li. Ti. Rev. v. 9-13
Nor is this exercise of inconsiderable usefulness. The whole glories of JEHOVAH, às made known to creatures,
and all the wonders of his creating power, his redeeming love, and providential care, Belonging to its extensive theme, it is an excellent means of conveying hely in
structions, Col. iii. 16. of inspiring heavenly affections, Psalm. lvii. 7, 8. of recreating holy, souls, James v. 13.
and, in fine, of hearing up and comforting amidst grief and trouble, Acts xvi. 25. Pfalm cxix. 54.; and hence it is seasonable, not only in this valley of tears, but even in the most distressful condition, Pfalm ci. l. Hab. ül. 17, 18.
It is a duty, which ought to be practised by every person in secret by himself, James v. 13. Psalm cxix. 62. 164.-By every, Christian family and society, Pfalm cxviii. 15. Ads xvi. 25.--And in every public worshippi
and ciii. 1,
assembly and congregation, Ifa. xxxv. 1, 2. 6. 10. and lii. 7, 8, 9. and liv. i. Eph. v. 19. Col. iii. 16. Mat. Xxvi. 30. 1 Cor. xiv. 26. Rev, v. 9, 10. xiv. 3. XV. 3.
This duty being of so much importance, we ought to perforin it. Under the special intiuenee of the Holy Ghoft, i Cor. xiv. 15. John ir. 24.-With ynderstanding of the warrantableness, matter, manner, and end of our praise, Psalm xlvii. 6, 70 i Gr. xiv. 15.- With an holy ardour of affection and vigour of miod, Psalm lvii. 10.
With grace in our heart, making moody therein, to the Lord, Eph. v, 19. Col. iii, 16. - In the naine of Christ as Mediator between God and us, Colo jj. 16, 17. 1 Pet. ii. 5o-and, With an earnest aim to glorify God, Col. ii. 16. 1 Peter iv. 11. 1 Cor. X. 31. The matter ought to be prudently suited to our occasions and conditions, Psalm ex ii. 5- Eph. v. 15. Nor ought the melody, or, in social worship, the barmony, of voices to be overlooked, Psalm cl.
No doubt, one may compofe fpiritual hymns for his own and others religious recreation: But, to admit Forms of human composure into the fated and public woi ship of God, appears to me very improper. (1) It is extremely dangerous. Here fies and errors, by this means, may, and often bave been very insensibly introduced into churches, congregations, or families. (2) There is no need of it. Tlie Holy Gholt hath in the Plalms of David, and other Scriptural songs, furnished us with such a rich, collection of gospel doctrines and precious promises;an extensive fund of folid experiences;-an exhaustless mine of Gospel-Grace and Truth;- an endless variety to suit every
state or condition, in which, either our own foul, or the Church of Chrift, can be, upon earth. 'These were framed by hiin, who searcheth the hearts, and knows the deep things of God; and hence must be hetter adapted to the case of souls or focieties, than any private composition whatever. (3) Though the Holy Ghost never saw meet to leave us a Liturgy of prayers; yet, from the poetical composition thereof, it is plain, he intended these Psalms and Songs for a fianding form of Praise in the Church. It is certain, they were used in this manner under the Old Testainent. The.
Holy Ghost hath under the New plainly directed us to the use hereof, Col. iii. 16. Eph. V. 19. The Psalmig HYMNs, and spiritual Songs, there recommended, are plainly the same with the MIZMORIM, TEHILLIM and SHIRIM, mentioned in the Hebrew titles of David's Plalnis, iii, iv. v, 36. cxly, cxx,-cxxxiv.
It hath been pretended, the language and manner of these Psalms are not suited to the spiritual nature of our Gospel-Worship. That, however, may as well be urged against the reading of thein, as against the singing of them : Nay, against the reading of a great part of the Old Testament in our Christian-Worship. It is certain, many pallages in the Book of Psalms, or of other Scripture-Songs, are expressive of the exercises of faith, re. pentance, love, or the like graces, which still remain of the same forın, as under the Old Testament. dictions are either accomplished, and so may be sung to the hovour of God's mercy and faithfulness; or, if not accomplished, may be sung in the hopes, that God will accomplish them in his time. The history, of what God did for his Jewish Servants and Church, inay be sung with admiration of his love, 'wisdom, power and grace therein manifested. It is further to be considered, that much of what related to David, or the Jewish Church, was typical of the Character and Concerns of Jesus Chrift and the Gospel-Church; and so ought to be sung with a special application thereto,
As for these Psalıns, which contain DENUNCIATIONS of Divine vengeance upon the enemies of God and his Church, we are to consider, that these expressions were dictated by the infallible Spirit of God; -that the objects of them were foreseen to be irreconcileable enemies of Christ and his Church; that those who sing them, only applaud the equity of the doom, which God hath justly pronounced upon-such offenders; and that they are to be sung with a full persuasion of the event, as a certain, awful and just display of the glory and tremendous justice of JEHOVAH. Though we ought, therefore, never to apo ply them to particular parties or persons who have injured us; yet to decline using them, out of a pretence of chasity, is to suppose ourselves wiser than Him, whose under