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Singing of Psalms.
"sweet savour of the knowledge of God; "2 Cor. ii. 14; that, certainly, whoever disparages it, rejects against himself the counsel "of God, and neglects the only appointed "means for the production of faith, and so "for the obtaining of eternal salvation; for "faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the "word of God: Rom. x. 17.
"3dly, Another public duty pertaining to "the sanctifying of the Lord's day, is Singing "of psalms.
"For this day being a festival to God, a day of spiritual joy and gladness, how can "we better testify our joy, than by our melody? Is any man merry? says St. James, "chap. v. 13; let him sing psalms. And, "therefore, let profane spirits deride this how they please, yet, certainly, it is a most hea
venly and spiritual duty. The holy angels, "and the spirits of just men in heaven, are "said to sing eternal hallelujahs to the great
King: and if our Sabbath be typical of "heaven, and the work of the Sabbath repre"sents to us the everlasting work of these "blessed spirits, how can it be better done, "than when we are singing forth the praises "of Him that sits upon the throne, and of the "Lamb our Redeemer: This is to join with "the heavenly choir in their heavenly work; "and to observe a Sabbath here, as like that
"eternal Sabbath there, as the imperfection "of earth can resemble the glory and perfec"tion of heaven *.
* I have been unwilling to omit this beautiful passage upon PSALM-SINGING, although aware that the very phrase which describes that part of divine worship has passed into a proverb among the irreligious and unthinking. In cases where either prejudice has closed the mind, or licentiousness has corrupted it, we cannot wonder that any modification of public or domestic worship should excite opposition and ridicule; but others who are not of such a school, and who may yet honestly entertain some scruples respecting the observance of this practice-though of the earliest antiquity in the Christian Church-will not regret to see the opinion of such à man as Bishop Hopkins in its favour.
MILTON draws a fine picture of the praises of the first Sabbath, which may not be thought entirely inapplicable to the case in hand
"Now resting, bless'd and hallow'd the seventh day,
"But not in silence holy kept; the harp
"So sung they, and the empyrean rung
"With hallelujahs: thus was Sabbath kept."
Paradise Lost, Book VII.
Addison observes upon a similar occasion-" Invoca❝tions of this nature fill the mind with glorious ideas, and "awaken that divine enthusiasm, which is so natural to de
The Sacrament of the Lord's Supper. 11
4thly, Another public duty belonging to "the sanctifying of the Lord's day, is the ad"ministration of the Sacraments, especially "that of the Lord's Supper.
"And therefore it is mentioned, Acts, xx. "7: Upon the first day of the week, when the "disciples came together to break bread, that "is, to partake of the Holy Communion of "the body and blood of Christ, Paul preached "unto them; which intimates, that the pri
mary intent of their assemblies was to re"ceive the Lord's Supper; and that, upon oc"casion of this, the Apostle instructed them "by preaching. It is most evident, by all the "records of the Church, that it was the apo"stolic and primitive custom to partake of this "most holy ordinance every Lord's day *, and "that their meetings were chiefly designed for "this, to which were annexed prayer and "preaching. I am afraid, that one of the
great sins of our age is not only the neglect "and contempt of this ordinance by some, but "the seldom celebrating it by all. The Apo"stle, where he speaks of this holy institution, "intimates, that it should be frequently dis
"votion."-Spect. No. 327. Surely no sober Christian suspects Addison of such an enthusiasm as he would not gladly possess.
*"Jerome [ad Lucinum], and Augustine [Serm. in "Monte 12], say every day.”
12 Domestic Duties of the Sabbath.
"pensed and participated: 1 Cor. xi. 26; As "often as ye eat this bread, and drink this
cup, ye do show forth the Lord's death till "he come."-"Let us consider, then, what dis"honour they reflect upon Christ, who, although this ordinance be too seldom administered, yet either totally withdraw them"selves from it, or very rarely partake of it. "I shall no longer insist upon this, but leave it "to God and your own consciences.
"But have you no Sabbath-work to do "after you return from the congregation and "public assemblies? Yes, certainly, the day " is not done when the Church dissolves; the "whole of it is holy to the Lord. And, there"fore, when you return every one to your "families, there are private and family duties "to be performed.
"Walks and visits are not to be the evening"work of the Sabbath: but holy and spiritual "conferences are then proper; either to bring "to your remembrance the truths you before "have heard, or to engage your own hearts, or the hearts of others, to admire and mag
nify God for all his great wonders of provi"dence and redemption. Indeed, if a walk "be thus improved, it may be a walk to "heaven. So we find the two disciples, who "on this day were walking to Emmaus, how "they entertained themselves, and shortened
Private Duties of the Sabbath...
"their way with spiritual and holy discourses. "-Luke, xxiv. 13-15. But those, who have "families to look after, will be best employed, "in seeing that those who are under their "charge spend their vacant time of the Sab"bath in holy exercises; either reading the 'Scripture, or giving an account of what "truths they have been taught, or joining with "them in praises and prayer to God; or, in"deed, in all of these, in their several courses " and order, till night calls for repose, and de"livers them over, with a sweet seasoning and blessing, to the labours and employments of "the ensuing day and week. And,
"If there be any spare time from these public and private duties, then sanctify it by "entering into your closet; and there unbo"som your soul before God in secret prayer, "spread your requests before him, lay open
your wants and desires. Here, likewise, in "secret, meditate on what you have heard; "admire the glory of God in his works, the "goodness of God in his providences, the in"finite mercy of God in his promises. Cer"tainly, meditation is one great duty of a "Sabbath; without which, to hear the word "of God only, is but to eat our meat with"out, masticating it. It is meditation that "makes it fit for nourishment; this sucks the