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Br GILBERT Mc MASTER, A. M. -
Hear the word of the LORD, ye that tremble at his word.
PRINTED BY U. F. DOUBLEDAY.
SUBJect requested. .
EVERY subject which relates to the peace of the church, the institutions of God, or the exercise of the saint, must be interesting to you. Psalmody, in its matter and forms, has always claimed, and deservedly obtained, no small share of christian attention.
Every faculty of man should be consecrated into the service of his Creator, In the promo.
tion of the divine glory, and in the advance. ment of personal holiness, all the principles of . our nature, by a mutual influence, ought to co. operate. Man's powers of intellect, the sensibilities of his heart, and the capacity of ex. pressing these sensibilities in appropriate strains of melody, are laid in requisition by our hoiy religion. Psalmody, employed in the
spirit of its institution, is peculiarly calculated to engage the heart, and to call forth an elevated devotion. In no other act of social reli. gion, is an opportunity afforded for so much unanimity, in actual and congregated expres·sion of devout sentiment; and, it is more than
probable, no other part of instituted worship is so well adapted to interweave sentiment with every fibre of the heart of man.
" There is in souls a sympathy with sounds;
Is touch'd within us, and the heart replies,"* Who has not felt the melting influence of the soft strains of well conducted music? And how powerfully the martial band operates, by inspiring with courage, is well known to the war. rior in the day of battle. When sentiment is accompanied with the fascination of music, it requires no common effort, even when the principle is disavowed, to break the charm.t
This suggests to us the importance of proper matter for the psalmody of the church of God; it urges the necessity of circumspection, to guard against the introduction of incorrect
* Cowper. † Let me, said Judge Hale, ba ballad maker for a nation, and I care not who are legislators,
sentiment, or of crude and superficial opinions, in the sacred songs we employ.. How often error is thus introduced into the mind of man, and blasphemy shed before the throne of the Eternal, need not now be told... • The celebration of God's praise, in suitable songs, is one of his own institutions. It is his appointment that his people come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. Hear a new testament injunction: Is any merry ? let him sing psalms. The practice was exemplified by two illustrious heralds of the cross, Paul and Silas; and that in circumstances very unfavorable to the exercise : it was at midnight, and when confined in the dungeon, at Philippi. In his own practice, our Redeeiner himself gave his sanction to the social singing of praise, as an ordinance divinely appoin
ted. After the institution of the eucharistic - feast, he and his disciples sung an hymn : one of those comprised in the hillel, that is, those psalms from the hundred and thirteenth to the hundred and eighteenth inclusive.
This part of our worship is confessedly important. Its importance is manifested by the