« AnteriorContinuar »
real cause of indifference upon such subjects as these. We do not feel our perilous condition as sinners exposed to the just wrath of God; we do not love or value the sacrifice of Jesus Christ; our minds and thoughts are tied down to this lower world; the desire of heaven and foretaste of glory do not animate and inspire us; we are hard hearted upon such subjects and therefore our lips move slowly in speaking the praises of the Lord. While we are insensible of the mercies which we have received, we cannot be expected to celebrate them in cheerful hymns, but when a deep sense of the goodness of God in Christ Jesus has taken hold of our minds, there are then few who do not find that they have some voice to lend to the praises of God. We shall find a moral and spiritual defect to be the true cause of silence much oftener than a natural and physical one. O my brethren, seek to know for yourselves the love of Christ, and the peace of God in your conscience, and
then you will soon exclaim with the Psalmist, “ My mouth shall praise him with joyful lips !”
Having thus endeavoured to consider rather fully that interesting part of our church service which has come in order before us, I would observe, that this series of sermons will be completed in two more discourses. In the next, we shall bring before you the subject of preaching, and point out the suitableness of our excellent liturgy as a preparation for listening to the gospel of Christ, and we shall conclude the series by showing that the church and her services are built upon the founda- ' tion of scripture, and that all her excellencies and beauties are reflected from the word of God. It is my simple desire and earnest prayer that these subjects may not have been discussed wholly in vain, and I trust that the increased decorum of our public worship, and the manifest earnestness and solemnity with which we shall all in future
join in every part of the service, will show that we feel the importance of honouring God, not with our lips only, but with our understanding and with our hearts.
And with respect to the present subject of discussion, the union of all our voices in public acts of praise, while I would affectionately urge the duty upon every one, and while I would indulge the hope that in future we may feel more satisfaction in complying with these suggestions, I would also press upon every individual the more important consideration of the state of his heart before God. “Sing with the spirit, and sing with the understanding also ;" however sweet the melody may be, it is discord to the ear of God if it speak not the language of the soul! It is the melody of the heart which he regards. Let but the spirit of earnest devotion ascend to the throne of grace through the merits of Jesus Christ, and however humble the voice, or feeble the
psalmody, the Lord will regard that worshipper with affection, and receive the homage “ that goeth not forth of feigned lips.”
1 CORINTHIANS I. 21.
« For after that, in the wisdom of God, the world
by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that lelieve.”
St. PAUL, in addressing an epistle to the Christians of the rich and refined city of Corinth, pointedly endeavours at its very opening, to prove the inadequacy of human wisdom, learning, and eloquence, either to find out God, or to prevail on mankind to love and practise morality. He exalts the preaching of the gospel as the efficacious means of turning sinners to righteousness. He shows, that while to some it is “ foolishness,” and to others “ a stumbling block,” it is to them that believe, “ the power and wisdom of God.” How low