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In order to captivate our hearts, to elevate our affections, and to inspire our songs with facred fire, the Scriptures present us with a variety of subjects, which, sor their importance, dignity, beauty and worth, as much surpass every human composition, as thunder is louder than a whisper, or the heavens higher than the.earth.
There is one subject throughout the inspired writings, which hath in all things the pre-eminence, and claims our highest praises; because indeed it is the centre of all evangelical truth, and the glory of Revelation itself: and that is, the Finished Redemption of the SON of GOD. A subject, big with the most illustrious display of the divine attributes, and replete with inexpressible consolation to lost sinners.
To celebrate this most grand, most delightful, and most glorious subject, is principally the design of God in his word, and the chief business of the inspired Writers. The Prophets under the old, and the Apoflles under the New Testament dispensation, join in bearing their testimony to the " unsearchable riches of CHRIST." Yea, to praise Redeeming Love, is the ambition of Angels. The glorious topic animates their songs, gives music to their golden harps, spreads a facred emulation among Cherubim and Seraphim, and constitutes the grand harmony of heaven itself: whilst the Church militant and Church triumphant sorm one general
chorus, and fing " Worthy is the LAMB that was slain, to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength* and honor, and glory, and blessing." Rev. v. ia.
To recommend, celebrate, and enforce the same blessed theme, is the chief design of the following Collection; wherein, the various authors, from whence they are selected, concur In extolling the grace of our LORD JESUS CHRIST, the essential Divinity of his person, the glory of his redeeming work, the infinite merit of his great atonement, the perfection of his righteousness the virtue of his blood, and the power of his spirit. Topics these, of such importance, that without them, our most elaborate prayers or praises are flat, jejune, and insipid; while, with them, both ascend up before GOD% an acceptable lacrifice, a sweet persume.
I shall detain the pious reader no longer than to inform him that my heart's desire and prayer to GOD, is, that, while his voice is employed ia singing these blessed hymns, their important subjects may deeply affect his* heart, and influence his life and conversation, A tuneful voice is not essential to salvation; but a musical heart, is. I mean, a heart rendered melodious by the grace of GOD; as faith the Apostle, "Singing and making melody with grace in your hearts to the LORD." Eph. v. 19. Col, iii, 16. And as the crowning grace in
every every act of prayer.or praise, is faith, its influence is theresore of the utmost consequence. It is faith, that enables us to offer up all our sacrifices through CHRIST, the golden altar that sanclifies the gift. It is the fame powerful grace, that quickens our prayers, and enlivens our songs; that apprehends the Redeemer in every part of his mediatorial undertaking, and makes him unspeakably precious in the offices he bears, and the indearing characters he assumes; that realizes things invisible, and gives a soretaste of heaven itself. If faith increase; so will our love to CHRIST, in proportion. As love expands itself, we shall naturally delight in praise. As praise flows, so must consequently our happiness. Thus by believing in, loving, praising,' glorifying, and exalting CHRIST, we may in a degree anticipate the song ofMoses and the LAMB, and live a little heaven upon earth. That this may be the happy privilege of all, who love the LORD JESUS in sincerity, is the fervent desire of their affectionate servant in the gospel,
Psalms and Hymns, H Y M N i. r*
Extracted from the Ordination-Office.
GOME Holy Ghost, our Souls inspire,
Praise God, from whom all blessings flow,
The Happiness of God's Israel. Dcut.
O Israels blest beyond compare!