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POSTURES APPROPRIATE TO THE SEVERAL
THE postures prescribed by the rubric, the Christian gentleman will be scrupulous to maintain. He does not say, with the psalmist, "Oh come, let us worship, and fall down, and kneel before the Lord our Maker; let us fall down low on our knees before his footstool," without honestly intending to give to God the homage of his obedience. And yet how many act as if by "Let us pray," were meant only, as far as regards themselves, "Let us all sit at our ease." Like sacks of meal in a row, each drops into his place, with a look of indifference to the business. that should engage all the interest of his mind, and most actively stir his affections. No Christian gentleman, unless infirmity compel him, can maintain a sitting posture during the praying part of the church service. Can sinful man at such a moment sit unconcerned, or sit at all, in the courts of his palace, to whom sin is so hateful that he spared not to make his Son a sacrifice to his offended holiness for the sake of his guilty
Did Job abhor himself in dust and ashes in the presence of Him whom he had but little offended? Did Christ pray to his Father, with agony and bloody sweat? Do the angels fall down, and hide their faces before God, and tremble at his presence? And shall the son of pollution and the heir of vengeance sit at ease, and look carelessly about him, when the Church of his crucified Saviour is calling upon him to present himself as a suppliant sinner? Is it safe to sit in secular composure, neither hot nor cold, while God is expecting prayer, and proffering grace? Is it a time to sit in complacent security, while a double death and a single way of escape are before us? Can we be so insensible to the soul's jeopardy, and all the frightful possibilities of a dark futurity; can we be so untouched by the long-suffering of our compassionate Father, who still holds open the door to repentance, as to sit unmoved amidst all these challenges, vocations, and alarms, disdaining the attitude of subjection, and the homage of a humbled spirit?
THE DUTY OF JOINING IN THE PSALMODY.
THE general conduct of a Christian gentleman in respect to the church service is inexpressibly important in the way of edification. His early attendance; his composed demeanour ; his respectful observance of order and propriety; his devotional postures; his reverential fear; his religious abstraction; his solemn and distinct responses; his athletic prayers of faith; his pious breathings of confession; and the various indescribable indications which attest the sincerity of his worship, and give to his whole exterior the attraction of godliness-how gracefully do these lead and animate the feelings and deportment of all around him!
It may be, the Christian gentleman has not the faculty of singing; if so, it is his wisdom to forbear. If he cannot be an auxiliary, he had better withhold his interference; but if he is competent to join in this awakening and beautiful part of the church service, he dares not refuse his contribution; the whole sanctuary rings with invitations to sacred song; it is the exercise of
adoring angels, and the delight of saints; it has the warrant of divine authority; it has been consecrated by the example of the Redeemer; it is one of the greatest glories of evangelical worship. How much better is it than with the cloud of incense, or the smoke of sacrifice, to visit Heaven with the voice of melody, and send forth hallelujahs to the throne of Omnipotence ! It has been the proper employment of the societies of the blessed through all time-of the general assembly and church of the first-born. Songs of triumph celebrated the creation completed: songs of deliverance recorded the rescue of the chosen seed; hymns accompanied the work of salvation, and conveyed to Heaven the holy joy of the first Christians; throughout the records of inspiration, throughout the annals of the church, throughout the scene of the material world, innumerable calls of mercy, grace, and pardon, lay the voice and organs of man under contribution to his dying, redeeming, reconciling, life-giving God, the builder of the universe, the conqueror of death, the king of saints.
The Bible is full of poetry and the materials of music. Infidels have stolen largely from that treasury of song. And shall the service of the Christian church be tame and tuneless under so much holy provocation? or shall it leave the
singing to persons no otherwise qualified than by their alacrity to sing, or to vulgar combinations of rustic professors? The minstrelsy of the temple was David's supreme delight, who has bequeathed to that church, which the Holy Ghost presented to him in prospect, an exhaustless store of melodious worship. The psalms are full of encouragement to sing the praises of Jehovah, and they supply the sublimest subjects on which the faculty of singing can be employed. They were adapted by David to the music of the temple; and in a variety of versions they offer themselves to the pious Christian as the best medium through which his love can be declared of his dear Redeemer, so beautifully therein announced and prefigured in his sufferings and his glory. What is there of hope, peace, or consolation, which is not conveyed by these songs of Sion to the necessitous soul of man? Below the shining surface of their poetical beauties they hide the treasures of spiritual wisdom: beyond the scope of their tangible boundary they transport us to the border of the invisible world; by the instructive events of Jewish history they alarm the wicked, revive the penitent, console the afflicted, and confirm the faithful. They magnify the Lord in his doings, and lay open the spiritual history of the