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making melody in your heart to the Lord. Col.3.16. Let the Word of Christ dwell in you
richly, in all wisdome, teaching and admonish. ing one another in Psalms, and Hymns, and | Spirituall
. Songs, singing with Grace in your hearts to the Lord. Jan.5.13. Is any among you afficted? let him pray,
any merry? let him fing Psalms. 'is spoken generally : 18 any merry ? let him fang, Sc. not that it is unlawful to sing at other times (for then it might be argued as well, thac 'tis not lawful to pray, but when sud) but as prayer is che best remedie for forrowes, so thanksgiving or singing to Gods praise, is the proper dyty in the cime of Mercies and comforts. In misery, the proper duty is prayer; In Prosperity, giving thanks.
4. We have Directions and Rules given us how to sing in a righi manner. Namely, with Grace in our hearts unto the Lord: Which directions were needlele, if singing of Psalms were not a duly under the Gospel.
5. We find it practised by our blessed Saviorr and his Difciples, Mat.26.30. And when they had fung an Hynin, they went out into the Mount of olives. And by Paul and Silas, Acts 16.25. And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and fang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. 6. In the primitive times it was frequently
practised; insomuch that the Heathens cook noi tice of this use and custome among the Christi* ans. Pliny writing to Trajan the Emperor, cels , him of the Christians morning Hymns or Psalms ! 10 Christ and God; as an usual practise in their Colemn Worship
I come now to the Second thing ; That 'tis lawful and warrantable to sing Davids Psalıms.
i. Because no composures can be equal co i those of God's Spirit. If any Psalmis cherefore are i to be fung, then surely such as are given by Dia .: vine inspiration, as Davids were. Those excel7. lent composures being part of the Word of God, and full of Heavenly matter cending to instruction and confolation; and being consigned to the use of the Church, onghe to be preferr’d before the composures of private persons, ordinarily gifted, and not infallibly afsifted: Observe that, 2 Chron. 29.30. Moreover Hezekiah the King, and the Princes commanded the Levites to sing praise unto the Lord with the words of David, and Asaph the Seer, and they sang praises with gladneß. As for that extraordinary gift of composing Píalms by the Sudden suggestion of the holy Ghost (which was given to some of the members of the Church of Corinth, 1 Cor.14.)ic is now ceased, with other exIr aordipary gifts, as that of Tongues, and Healing, ec.
2. The Apostle in those two places before nientioned, Eph.5.19. & col.3.16. by uling chose
three words, Psalms , Hymns, and spiritual Songs, does seem plainly to point at Davids Psalms , for they answer exactly to those three Hebrew words, Shirim, Tehillim, Mizmorim, whereby Davids Psalms were called, divided, and distinguished.
2. ''Twas the custome of the Fewes to sing Some of Davids Psalms in the night of the Palleover (as Scalliger, Buxiorfius, and others, skills in their customes, inform us) Those Plalmes were chose six from the rIzth to the 119th. which were callid the great Hallelujah. And’cis more than probable, Christ with his Disciples followed their custome herein, because in oiber things he observed their usual Passeover Rites.
I come now to che Third thing ; to answer the objections issually made against this duty.
obj.1. Some fcruple to sing in a mixt Congregation, where wicked men jogn, that praise noc God in a right manner.
Anj. To render praises is a duty all men owe to God. David cais on all creatures to sing praises to God. I'fal.145. And all the King. domes of the Earen are bidden to praise the Lord, Pfal.68.32. Though therefore wicked men do not praise God as they should, yet they sin more in not doing it at all, then in not doing it in a right manner.
2. In Exod. 15. We find Moses and the Children of Israel sang praises co God cogether.
And yet surely chere were some wicked persons among
them. Paul in che ship, Acts 27.35. gave thanks to God before Infidels, and professed Heathens. If the presence of wicked men should hinder the acceptation of those chat are fincere, the people of God were in a most fad condition,
being never certain but some secret Hypocrite may }
be in the most pick'd Asembly. But the best is, j God will accept us according to our integrity, noe
our company. God will hear the bleating of one : sheep, though in the midst of a thousand wolves.
If the wicked take the Name of God in vain, fin lies at their own doors. We warn them against it: If they do not their duties as they should, must we therefore neglect ours ?
obj.2. Why should we fing Psalms 3 Can. not we read them for our instruction?
Ans. Singing will affect, and raise, and quicken the heart to praise God, more than reading. The voice is a great matter to quicken our hearts both in prayer and singing. The people of God formerly did not chink it enough to say what God
had done for them, but they did fing it, thac cheir :hearts might be more affected, po armed, raised, enlivened, and lifted up in the praises of God,
obj. 3. Some are oftended we sing on daies of fafting and humiliation.
Anf. All Pfalms are not fit for all occasions. There ought to be a wife choice made: Miny of the Psalmes David pean’d, and lung, when his
mind was full of anguish and grief, and so he eafed his heart, by lamenting his sad condition before the Lord. Observe the Title of Psalın 102: 4 prayer of the aflicted, when he is overwhelmed and poureth out his complaint before the Lord. Therefore our singing on faflinz daies, is not to make us merry; but to affect and melt our hearts with a deep sense of our fins. Penitential Psalms provoke to sadnelle, as Eucharistical, to joy and rejoycing. obj
. 4. Davids Plalms do not suit our conditions. Is it not abfurd to give people Davids Conditions co fing, and for them to tell God it is so with them, as it was with David, when possibly 'cis nothing so ?
Anf.1. All Scripture is profitable for do&rine, reproof, correction, instruction, &c. 2 Tim.3.16. And written for our learning and comfort, Rom. 13.4. And therefore the Pfalms also.
2. The Pfams seem principally writcen for a threefold use.
1. For Instruction and admonition,
Now what paßage' is there in Davids Psalms, but thou maist accomodate to thy self one of these waies? Suppose David said, I am not puft in mind, Pial.131. And thou findest thy heart prone to pride; here is a word of admonition to chee. So th20 whilst thou art reciting and declaring