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ing assembly and congregation, Isa. xxxv. 1, 2, 6, 10. and liii. 7, 8, 9. and liv. I. Eph. v. 19. Col. iii. 16. Matth. xxvi. 30. 1. Cor. xiv. 26. Rov. v. 9. 10. xiv. 3. xv. 3.

This duty being of so much importance, we ought to perform it under the special influence of the Holy Ghost, I Cor. xiv. 15. John iv. 24. With understanding of the warrantableness, matier, manner, and end of our praise, Psalm xlvü. 6, 7. I Cor. xiv. 15. With an holy ardour of affection and vigour of mind, Psalm lvii. 10. and ciii. 1, 2. With grace in our heart, making melody therein to the Lord, Eph. v. 19. Col. iii. 16. In the name of Christ as Mediator between God and us, Col. iii. 16, 17. 1 Pet. ii. 5. and with an earnest aim to glorify God, Col. üi. 16. 1 Pet. iy. 11. 1 Cor. x. 31.—The mai. ter ought to be prudently suited to our occasions and conditions, Psalm cxi. 5. Eph. y. 15. Nor ought the melo. dy, or, in social worship, the harmony of voices to be overlooked, Psalm ci.

No doubt, one may compose spiritual hymns for his own and others' religious recreation : but to admit forms of human composure into the stated and public worship of God, appears to me very improper. (1) It is extreme. ly dangerous. Heresies and errors by this means, may, and often have been very insensibly introduced into churches, congregations or families. (2) There is no need of it. Tie Holy Ghost hath, in the Psalms of David, and other scriptural songs, furnished us with such a rich collection of gospel doctrines and precious promises an extensive fund of solid experiences an exhaustless mine of gospelgrace and trutlı-an endless variety to suit every state or condition, in which either our own soul, or the church of Christ, can be upon earth. These were framed by lim. who searcheth the hearts, and knows the deep things of God; and hence must be better adapted to the case of souls or societies, than any private composition whatever. (3) Though the Holy Ghost never saw meet to leave as a liturgy of prayers; yet from the poetical composition thereof, it is plain he intended these psalms and songs for a standing form of praise in the church. It is certain they were used in this manner under the Old Testament. The Holy Ghost hath, under the New, plainly directed us to the use hereof, Col. ii. 16. Eph. y. 19. The P$ALMS,

Hymns, and SPIRITUAL SONGS, there recommended, are plainly the same with the MIZMOREM, TEHILLIM, and Shirim, mentioned in the Hebrew tities of David's Psalms, iii. iv. v. &c. cxlv. 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 them, 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 passages in the book of Psalms, or of other scripture-songs, are expressive of the exercises of faith, repentance, love, or the like graces, which still remain of the same form as under the Old Testament. The predictions are either accomplished, and so may be sung to the honour 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 ser. vants and church, may 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 Christ and the gospel-church; and so ought to be sung with a special application thereto.

As for those psalms 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 irreconcilable 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 jus. tice of JEHOVAH. Though we ought, therefore, never to apply them to particular parties or persons who have injured us, yet to decline using them, out of a pretence of charity, is to suppose ourselves wiser than him whose understanding is infinite, and more merciful than the Father of mercies, who is full of compassion, and delighteth in mercy. Moreover, as these external .enemies,' devoted to destruction, were in some sense emblematical of our spiritual enemies, within or without us,

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ing assembly and congregation, Isa. xxxv. I, 9, 6, 10. and liii. 7, 8, 9. and liv. 1. Eph. y. 19. Col. iii. 16. Matth. xxvi. 30. 1. Cor. xiv. 26. Rev. v. 9. 10. xiv. 3. XV. 3.

This duty being of so much importance, we ought to perform it under the special influence of the Holy Ghost, I Cor. xiv. 15. John iv. 24. With understanding of the warrantableness, matter, manner, and end of our praise, Psalm slvü. 6, 7. 1 Cor. xiv. 15. With an holy ardour of affection and vigour of mind, Psalm lvii. 10. and ciii. 1, 2. With grace in our heart, making melody therein to the Lord, Eph. v. 19. Col. iii. 16. In the name of Christ as Mediator between God and us, Col. iii. 16, 17. 1 Pet. ii. 5. and with an earnest aim to glorify God, Col. ii. 16. 1 Pet. iv. 11. 1 Cor. x. 31.–The mat. ter ought to be prudently suited to our occasions and con. ditions, Psalm cxii. 5. Eph. v. 15. Nor ought the melody, or, in social worship, the harmony of voices to be overlooked, Psalm ci..

No doubt, one may compose spiritual hymns for his own and others' religious recreation : but to admit forms of human composure into the stated and public worship of God, appears to me very improper. (1) It is extreme. ly dangerous. Heresies and errors by this means, may, and often have been very insensibly introduced into churches, congregations or families. (2) There is no need of it. Tie Holy Ghost hath, in the Psalms of David, and other Scriptural songs, furnished us with such a rich collection of gospel doctrines and precious promises an extensive fund of solid experiences-an exhaustless mine of gospelgrace and truti-can endless variety to suit every siate or condition, in which either our own soul, or the church of Christ, can be upon earth. These were framed by lim. wto searchetli the hearts, and knows the deep things of God; and hence must be better adapted to the case of souls or societies, than any private composition whatever. (3) Though the Holy Ghost never saw meet to leave as a liturgy of prayers; yet from the poetical composition thereof, it is plain he intended these psalms and songs for a standing form of praise in the church. It is certain they were used in this manner under the Old Testament. The Holy Ghost hath, under the New, plainly directed us to the use hereof, Col. ii. 16. Eph. v. 19. The P$ALUS, Hruns, and SPIRITUAL Songs, there recommended, are plainly the same with the MIZMOREM, TEHILLIM, and SHIRIM, mentioned in the Hebrew tities of David's Psalms, iii. iv. v. &c. cxlv. 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 them, 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 passages in the book of Psalms, or of other scripture-songs, are expressive of the exercises of faith, repentance, love, or the like graces, which still remain of the same form as under the Old Testament. The predictions are either accomplished, and so may be sung to the honour 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 ser. vants and church, may 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 Christ and the gospel-church ; and so ought to be sung with a special application thereto.

As for those psalms 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 irreconcilable 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 apply them to particular parties or persons who have injured us, yet to decline using them, out of a pretence of charity, is to suppose ourselves wiser than him whose understanding is infinite, and more merciful than the Father of mercies, who is full of compassion, and delighteth in mercy. Moreover, as these external ene

mies,' devoted to destruction, were in some sense emble - matical of our spiritual enemies, within or without us

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the passages may be sung with application to ourselves, as directed against these principalities and powers, and spiritual wickedlesses, in high places, with whom we have to wrestle, while on earth, Eph. vi. 10-19. I Pet. v. 8, 9, Rom. viii. 13, Gal. v. 17-24.

The book of Psalms is one of the most extensive and useful in holy scripture, as it is every where suited to the case of the saints. It is, at first, much mixed with complaints and supplications, and at last issues in pure and lasting. praise. That Heman composed Psalm 1xxxviii. Ethan lxxxix. and Moses xc. is certain.--Whether those under the name of As::ph were mostly penned by him, or only assigned to be sung by him as a master of the temple music, as others were to Jedi: thun or to the sons of Korah, or other chief musicians, we cannot determine. Some, as Psalms lxxiv. Ixxix. cxxvi. and cxxxvii. appear to have been composed after the begun captivity to Babylon; but by whom we know not. The rest including those two marked with the name of Solomon, might be composed by David, the Sweet psalmist of Israel.*

Twenty-five of the Psalms have no title at all; and whether the titles of the rest are of divine authority is not altogether agreed. But when it is considered that these titles every where appear in the Hebrew originais, and how often they serve as a key to the psalm, and are sometimes connected therewith by the accentuating points, there is no real ground to suspect the authentici. ty thereof. Nor are interpreters agreed with respect

* That the Hebrew originals are composed in a metrical form, hath been almost universally agreed. But the laws and measures of the poetry have not yet been clearly ascertained. It is not even reasonable to insist, they should correspond with those of the Greeks or Romans and other nations of the west, whose idioms and manner of language are so remarkably different. It is certain, they as little agree with those of the dull and insipid rhymes composed by the Jewish Rabbins. Some of the psalms, no doubt, for the more easy retention thereof in the memory, are composed of verses or sentences beginning according to the order of the Hebrew alphabet. In this order every sentence of the 111th and 112th psalms begins with a new letter. Almost every verse of the 25th, 34th, and 145th begins in the same order, But in the 1191h, every eight yerses begin with the same Hebrer: letter in the like alphabetical order.

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