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It is also an evident certainty, that if you would enjoy any benefit from psalmody in the worship of God, you must frequently revive it. There will soon be need of similar exertions, to those which 'now have been made. When you look round on the young people who now compose this choir, you must expect soon to see many of their seats empty. I mean not through neglect of duty, I hope better things of them, but from their being in some instances providentially incapacitated to attend; and in others removed, some into other congregations, and some to the congregation of the dead. It will, therefore, soon be incumbent upon those of you, who may survive, to bring forward others who may supply their places. All among you, who have a true regard to the honor of God's worship and the good of posterity, will desire that there may be a long succession of those, whose hearts and voices shall be tuned to the praise of God in this house. Their prayer to God, is
Here may our unborn sons
I add, that as we ought to see that the psalmody of the church be well performed; so, when we enjoy the favor, as we now do, we ought to be careful that we do not pervert and abuse it. We ought to be careful when we come into the house of God, to use this help aright, and so as to assist our devotion ; and not attend upon it as a mere exhibition of skill. The perfection of external performance should not take
singing schools, and conducting the worship by psalmody, prevails and is practised in almost every town through tlie New England states.
up our whole attention, and call off our thoughts from the important sentiments expressed. It is possible this may. sometimes be the case, in a degree ; though it is not the fault of the music, as having a tendency, in proportion to its perfection, to draw off the mind from the subject; but if the music be well chosen, and proper for social worship, the fault must be in us.
But, in such a case, how great is the loss! Those who suffer their minds to be wholly taken up with the order, the time, and the perfection of the sound and the harmony, without attending to the sentiment expressed, or the Being to whom the praise is addressed, not only lose the best part of the entertainment, but are guilty of mocking God. How much such lose, many can testify from their own experience, having received, in addition to a taste for music, a love of divine truth. Not, but that merely the music the sound of voices sweetly harinonizing in solemn and pathetic airs, where no sentiment is expressed, might have a good effect on: the mind, in respect to devotion ; yet it is the divine truth expressed, which has the principal effect in exciting gracious affections. It is by the truth, which through the medium of music melts into the heart, that the most sublime joy and exquisite delight of the soul are excited. In respect to this, hear the experience of Austin, an early Christian father. It has doubtless been often the experience of all who delight in the truth, and in the worship of God. “How much," said he addressing himself to God) “how much have I wept at thy hymns and songs, being exceedingly moved at the voices of the ·church sweetly sounding. Their voices pierced into my ears; the truth (which they expressed) melted into my heart from thence, pious affections were raised, and it was well with me."
I only add, that if psalmody be so important and useful in the public worship of God, it must also be useful in the devotion of the family. It was used by
the primitive Christians in their families. They used, frequently after a meal, to sing a psalm, before rising from the table, to give thanks. This was instead of the vain songs, which the heathen used to sing at their feasts. But especially in the stated worship of the family on the Lord's day, psalmody was practised, and ought now to be practised in Christian families. But
2. The subject applies particularly to the choir of singers.
My friends, God has given you natural powers and faculties to worship and praise hinı ; and you are now qualified, at least in respect to the external part, to join in the psalmody of God's house. Consider the importance of performing it with a right heart-of being enabled sincerely to say, "My heart is fixed-awake up, my glory-I myself will awake to praise the Lord.” Endeavor to perform the duty to the edification of others, by a suitable deportment. Perform it with reverence and solemnity. Remember that God is fearful in praises that you are in his presence, and must give account. Feel the importance of care to retain your qualifications, and of your persevering in the performance of this duty in the house of God, being always found in your places. Let not the predictions of some, that you will soon grow remiss and leave your seats, after all the pains which have been taken, be verified. Let it not appear by your conduct, in this respect, that you have had no serious motives, in preparing yourselves to join in this part of worship; but on the contrary, manifest that you delight in the duty. This will be the best expression of respect and gratitude you can make to your worthy instructor, for all his exertions and faithful care. I mention this because I presume it will not be a small motive with you. But I will mention an infinitely higher motive. You owe it to God, and the honor of his wor
ship. Be exhorted to consider these things scriously. Consider, especially, the necessity of your hearts being prepared, not only for this duty, but for all other's, by the renewing and sanctifying influences of the Spirit of God. Remember you must soon appear at the judgment seat of Christ. Soon will you cease to hear the gospel ; and soon your tongues will cease to chant the songs of Zion. Oh, let the thought solemnize your minds-quicken you to seriousness, and a choice of God for your portion. Look forward to the momentous scenes of futurity, and seasonably reflect, bow awful the state, after having been active in externally praising God, in his public worship, here on earth, to be confined, at last, to the society of hypocrites, unbelievers, and infernal spirits, where horrid discord, enmity, and anguish of soul will for ever reign! May God, of his grace, deliver us all from such a portion, attune our hearts to his worship here, and prepare us to join the blessed choir of the heavenly world, in singing the glories of God and the Redeemer, to eternat ages! Amen.
DUTY OF PRAYING FOR MINISTERS OF THE GOSPEL.
1 THESSALONIANS V. 25.
Brethren, pray for us.
In these words, we notice, in the first place, the endearing appeilation, with which the apostle address, ed the Christians to whom he wrote. He stiles them, brethren. Though an apostle, yet considering them as children of the same heavenly Father, and as holding different stations in the same family, with liimself, be delighted to address them as brethren.
We notice, secondly, the subject of the apostle's request ; “ Brethren, pray for us." We have, therefore, this doctrine.
It is our duty to pray for the ministers of the gos. pel, and particularly for those with whom we are connected, and who watch for our souls. I would shew,
I. What should be the subject of our prayers for the ministers of the gospel.
And * Preached on a day of fasting, preparatory to an ordipation.