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SINGING is represented, in the emblematical vision of the Apocalypse, as constituting in part the employment of Angels and glorified Saints around the throne of heaven. “ They sang a new song. “ Worthy is the Lamb that was slain.” In accordance with the employment of the heavenly hosts, singing has been adopted by the Church of God in all ages of the world. Thus the Israelites celebrated their deliverance from the hands of Pharaoh by singingt to the timbrel of Miriam, on the shore of the Red Sea. The Temple of the Jews continually resounded with the strains of “ The sweet singer of Israel.' Our blessed Lord, as though He would consecrate the practice, by adopting it himself on one of the most solemn occasions of his life, even in the very night in which He was betrayed for the sins of men, and immediately after his distribution of the symbols of his body and his blood, sang a hymn with his disciples. In the New Testament there are repeated admonitions to the performance of this duty; " and from the Apostolic age singing was always a part of divine service."S

It is a frequent subject of complaint, that this part of public worship, though forming a prominent feature of the Reformation, and sanctioned by the Church of England, has not, of late years, received that attention in the congregations of the Establishment, to which,

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* Rev. 5, 9. + Ex. 15, 20. # Ma. 26. 30. Eph. 5, 19. Jas, 5. 31. Bing. Antiquities, B. 3, ch.6.

from its nature and excellency, it is most fully entitled. “ Of all the services of our Church," observes Dr. Porteus, late Bishop of London, “* none appears to me to have sunk to so low an ebb, or so evidently to need reform, as our parochial Psalmody.” The harp has too long hung upon the willows, as though the songs of Zion were required to be sung in a strange land. To the Editor of the following selection, as to many others, it appears, that so long as the version of Sternhold and Hopkins, or of Tate and Brady, is generally adopted, the evil will not meet with an adequate remedy. With respect to the former version Dr. Vincent remarks, that “there are few Stanzas which do not give offence, or excite ridicule.”+ “ The dictates of reason, and the service of religion require that it should now be discarded.” And with respect to the latter, it is equally obvious, that, as a devotional work, it is very cold and unimpressive, and ill accords with the spirituality, sublimity, and Christian pathos of the Liturgy of the church. Indeed, it may be doubted, whether the most unexceptionable version of the Psalms is alone sufficient for all the purposes of Christian worship.-Let not the Editor be suspected of undervaluing those sacred oracles. Who that remembers that most of them were the inspired effusions of the man after God's own heart; that many of them were constantly used in the Jewish Temple ; und, above all, that they appear to have been the “manual of the Son of God himself in the days of hist flesh,” can think or speak of them but with the most reverent admiration ? But is not their reference to the person, character, and offices of the Redeemer too remote for the sole contemplation of those “ before whose eyes He hath been evidently set forth, crucified among them? Though the harp of the Son of Jesse vibrates in perfect unison with the heart of the most advanced Christian, yet, will its tones be sufficiently deep and powerful to swell the full chorus of Redeeming Love, unless it be strung afresh by the hand of the Messiah, the Antitype of David, or at least be accompanied with the exalted strains of that “ new Song" which has been put into the mouth of the people of the

* Hodson's life of Porteus.
# Horne's Preface to the Psalms.

+ Essays on Psalmody.

Lord? Will the altar, raised in the temple of the Jews, surrounded as it is with shadowy rites and typical representations, be able, when most brightly illumined with the Sun of righteousness, to reflect his beams with sufficient strength to warm the hearts of those who are expecting Him to rise upon them in all his splendour? But St. Paul's admonition precludes all further reasoning on the subject. Would he have exhorted the Ephesians and Colossians to use “ hymns and spiritual songs" as well as “psalms,"* if the latter had been, in_bis apprehension, sufficient for all Christian purposes ? Besides, the regular reading of the Psalms makes the exclusive adoption of them in singing (and it is their exclusive adoption only that is opposed) of less importance. --As, however, other objections seem to prevail in the minds of some persons against the use of hymns, conjointly with Psalms, it may be necessary to examine the foundation on which those objections rest.

It is alleged, that the Psalms only are authorized, and that the introduction of hymns is Innovation and Irregularity. “It is more consonant to the principles of a Reformed Church to confine ourselves wholly to the Psalms of David.” "In regard to hymns and all compositions not authorized by the Church," &c. “ Nothing here said is meant to argue against the use of private hymns by private persons.”+ " The two authorized metrical versions of the Psalms."I From these quotations it is fair to infer, that an authority for the use of Psalms is supposed to exist, which does not exist for the use of Hymns. The following statement is intended to shew that such a supposition is a gratuitous assumption, altogether unsupported by matter of fact. The old version of Psalms was “ attached to the Book of Common Prayer in 1562, and afterwards was revised and completed 1594, and printed by T. Est." What authority was these for its original introduction, or for its subsequent readmission ? Some have { stated that authority to be a clause in the first act of uniformity, which makes it “ lawful for all men in Churches and Chapels openly to use a

* Ephes. 5. 19. Coloss. 13. 16.
+ Vincent's Essay on Psalmody.

Shepherd on Common Prayer, p. 48. Introduction.
I Mason's Essays on Church Music,
[See Shepherd as above,

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