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Davids humble frame and condition, thou ougheeft to lift up thy heart to God, that he would work the like frame in chee. Lord, thy Servant David could truly say, I am not puft in mind: Good Lord grant me this Grace alfo. Sup. pose thou canst not find in thy self
such a love to Gods Law, as was in David, Psal.119. Then chere is a word of Instruction to thee, teaching chee what thou shouldīt do. Thou oughtest to pray, to have such a Divine Affection to the Law of God kindled in thee. So chat we fing Psalms as we read them, for the benefit and good use we may make of them. 'Tis therefore no more a lie co fong them, than to read them. By singing, as by reading them, we recite and repeat what God has revealed in his Word for our admonition and instruction. And though we cannot make some pasages our own, by using them for our felves, and in our own nam: (as David did) yec we may make them our own by a sweet meditati. or on ihem, for our benefit and edification,
I come co the Fourth ching, to give fome Rules and Directions how Christians should practise this duty aright.
1. Sing with understanding and attention of mind to the matter sung. Lavour to understand the mind and meaning of the holy Ghost, in the Psalm you sing, Pfal.47.7. Sing ye praises with understanding. II. Labour to sing with Grace in the heart, i.e.
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with a gracious frame of spirit. Our finging must nóc be a lip labour, an outward bodily exercise only, pleasing our selves or others with the tune of a Pralm: But we should look to it that our hearts be well tuned, as Maries was, Luke 1.46. My fout doth magnifie the Lord, &c.
III. Labour to exercise and act those peculiar Graces, which the matter Song requires and gives occasion to. God looks at the heart, and how a man is affected within.
1. Some psalms are laudatory, and set forth the high praises of God, from the confideration of his glorious Nature, Attributes, and Works. In singing these, we fould ftir up our hearts to love God, to fear him, to trust in him, and our heart s fhosild prompt our tongues cofound forth his praises.
2. Some are petitionary, containing fupplica. tions for spirituall bleffings, such as pardon, Grace, the favour of God; or temporall, such as direction, protection, provision, &c. Here we should look up to God, as the only author of these macrcies, and humbly pray to him for them.
3. Some are Euchariftical, concaining thankfgivings to God for mercies received, private or publick, spiritual or temporal,
4. Some contain precepts and instructions, co fear God, to love him, to walk in his waies, being backed with promises to encourage vs chereunto, Some declare the evil maies of finners,
and the judgments of God chac aetend them, co deter us chere-from.
5. Some contain imprecations and prayers for judgments on enemies. Here we are not to pray for, or wish the fame judgments on our private enemies. But,
1. We may meditate on the fearful judgments of God that hang over the heads of all wicked and impemitent transgressours ; chat so we may fear to be like them.
2. We may pray for the like judgments on all the implacable and incurable enemies of Christ, and his Kingdome.
6. Some contain the sad complaints of the Church, under afflictions. Here chou maist mcdicace on the sufferings of the Saints, and life up thy heart to God co give thee also suffering Graces.
IV. Let there be a wife choice made of Psalms to be sung according as our present neceffities and occasions do require.
V. Let chy endin singing be, that God may be honoured, thy self and others edified; that the Graces of Gods Spirit may be excited and exercised inchy self and others.
4. Religious Conference.
'Tis the duty of all true and fincere Christians to labour co further one another Heaven.ward,
And surely religious conference rightly mannaged is a great means of increasing knowledge and Grace among Christians. Communion of Saints is an Article of our Faith, The Apostle tels us, Rom. 12.5. We being many, are o se body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Such a body true believers are by their union with Christ, and ought to be by communion and fellowship one with another, for their mutual edification. There ought to be a mutual serviceableneffe among Christians, and helping one another on in graci. ous courses.
I fhill cherefore,
1. We have many exhortations to it in the Scriptures, i Thef.5.11. Wherefore comfort your selves together, and edific one another, even as also ye do, Heb.10.24. And let us consider one anor her, 10 provoke unto love, and to good works.v.25. Not forsaking the assembling of our felves together, as the manner of some is, but exhorting one anoi her, and so much the more, As ye see the day approaching. Heb, 3. !3. But exhori one anotber daily, while it is called to day, left any of you be hardened zhrough the deceitfulnesse of sin.
2. We find this practised by the primitive Saints, Acts 2.42. And they continued fedfaftly in the Apostles doctrine and fellow bip, and break. šng bread, arid in prayers.
i fi withal.
To this end God hach given several Gifts and Graces to his people, i Pet.4.10. As every
man hath received the gift, even fo minister the :: Same one to anot ber, as good stewards of the mani
fold Grace of God. 1 Cor.12. 7. But the mani. feftation of the Spirit is given to every man to pro
4. Where Christians are most frequent, and most faithful in this daty, there wsually they are in a most thriving condition, both as to knowledge and holineffe : As Conntreys that maintain a trade and commerce together, do inrich each other.
5. ’ris a good way to prevent seduction into errour. Christians are better able to resist errours by their united forces, and mutual counsels, than fingly and alone. The Church is said, Cant 6.10. to be terrible as an Army with banners. Bue straga lers, and such as go alone are often snatcht up. How easie is it to pervert and draw one single perfor inco anry dangerous errour, who negle&ts the benefit of other Christians advice and counsel?
6. It will be a good means to increase love in che hearts of Christians one towards another; And Love is Christ's Livery, John 13.35. By this jhall all men know that we are my Disciples, if je have love one to another,
Thus much of the Arguments to perswde to chis duty : The Directions follow.
I. Let Christians in their Religious Conferences have this principally in their aim, to edific