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The natural man may be captivated and charmed with soft, melodious sounds, with finoothly flowing numbers, and elegant expresfions; but, as it is only a spiritual man who can pray with the spirit and understanding, so it is only the fpiritual man who can fing with the spirit and understanding : for, as all men cannot receive. our Lord's sayings, and none but those to whom it is given; so no man can sing the songs of Zion but the citizens of Zion;"nor can the Lord's song be fung in a strange land.

If finging in the church of Christ be a part of public worship, how inconsistent must it be with true devotion, and the folemn service of our God, to endeavour, by musical sounds, a welltoned organ, flighty, fashy, airy, or (as they are called) lively tunes, to amuse and entertain the carnal mind? How offenfiye must it be, to those who are' seriouly difposed (deeply impressed perhaps with the truths which they have heard, and withing to go home with the sweet favour of those truths upon their minds), to hear a tune adapted to a fong or a dance? By this their meditations are interrupted, and they

are ready to say with Paul, “ Despise ye the « church of Christ?" This cannot be considered as teaching and admonishing one another; but this is doing the devil's work to purpose, whose business it is, when the seed is fown, to try to pick it up, that it may not fink into the heart, and strike root there.

No less inconsistent with the solemnity of public worship, and the importance of gospel truths, are all poetic fictions, flights of fancy, and pindaric strains, which must be infinitely below a subject, of itself so fublime, that every attempt to set it off must be a disparagement to it. Nothing becomes the worship of God like plainness and simplicity, All the fhews, parade, pomp, and pageantry of worship are only anti-christian inventions, intended to deceive by working upon the passions. In these things there is no manifestation of the truth as in the fight and fear of God; no glory to Chrift; no spiritual consolation or edification to the souls of men; but a poor attempt to please the flesh and gratify the carnal mind.

By many singing is practised, professodly, with a design to draw 4 congregațion ; of, as it

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is pretended, to get people under the word. How awful'is'tlris ! Are these preachers of the gospel? Do these profess to have been awakente ed and enlightened by the Spirit of God? Is this depending upon the Lord to bless their la bours, and give Yuccess to their ministry? I should as foon fuppofe that there could be coinmunion betwixt light and darkness, and concord' betwixt Christ and Belial, as that the truth, power, and purity of the gospel could consist with such time-serving, man-pleasing, self-seeking, contrivances and compliances. “ He, who foweth to the flesh, shall of the “ flesh reap corruption." According to this scripture 'we may easily and infallibly deter-mine, upon the divine veracity, what will be the end of this carnal policy. Whoever adopts this method of drawing a congregation must have recourse to similar expedients to keep it. If such pains' are taken to gratify the ear with musical sounds, the greatest pains, doubtless, will be taken not to bffend with the unpleasing sounds of a free, full, and finished falvation, man's total depravity by nature, and the necessity of being born again.

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However there may be some faint resemblance of the gospel for a little time in such a congregation, it is impoffible, it should continue; nay, the very

outward form or appearance of god., liness must soon be loft.

In making the following Collection of Hymns, my aim has been to make choice of thofe which are agreeable to the feelings of my own heart, and contain those doctrines for which I wish earnestly to contend, according to the ability which God hath given me; ever sensible that, as my fufficiency, so my fuccess, must be of him, If any expressions in the hymns which I had chosen appeared in any measure doubtful, so as not to express my meaning so fully and plainly as I could wish, I have taken the liberty of making such alterations as I concejved would best express my own real sentiments,

Some of these hymns are my own, written, from my own feelings and experience, from truths opened and applied to my own heart, or. from hints borrowed from other hymns. I had intended at first to have marked these; but, as, my name will, I know, be no recommenda

tion to the profeffing world, I shall leave it to others to find them out, and pass whatever cenfure upon them they please. If the Lord Thould bless them to the hearts of his own dear children, and make them profitable and acceptable to those for whose use they are intend. ed, it is indifferent to me what cur may

fnari. i. Since the Lord tuleth in Jacob, and unto " the ends of the earth, let them make a noise is like a dog, and go round about the city, “ and grudge, if they be not satisfied."

I have prefixed two or three short texts before most of the hymns, at leaft fo much of the fcripture as will be fufficient to make any reader, who is acquainted with the Bible, sensible of the passage to which I refer.' To have added more would have made the book too large. These, I hope, will have a two-fold use to confirm and establish the doctrines contained in the hymn, and to lead the serious and attentive reader to compare scripture with seripture: I do not mean by taking detached sentences and single verses, but by considering the true meaning and import of each paffage, independent of the various opinions of great doctors

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