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is thought by learned men (Lightfoot, vol. ii. p. 206,) to be the hymn sung by our Lord at the institution of his last supper. I might mention the penitential psalms (Ps. li. &c.) that describe his mercy to humble penitents, and abound in expressions of the tenderest kindness, as well as the lowest abasement. (8
The Song of Solomon is a divine, as well as a lofty piece of poetry; describing at once the beauty and excellency of the Redeemer's person, and the tenderness of his affection and care; the intercourses of divine love in all the various tokens of kindness and respect between Christ and his church. dslso of (dal And if you look into the New Testament, you have the song of Mary upon the message of the angels, and the salutation of Elizabeth; (Luke i. 46;) where she celebrates the condescending favour of the Almighty to her low and humble state, when he "abased the mighty and the proud," and his "faithfulness and mercy" to his people of Israel. There is the song of Zacharias; (Luke i. 67;) where he recounts at large his faithfulness to his promise in sending the Messiah, and the mighty benefits to the world by his appearance; and the rapturous song of good old Simeon (Luke ii. 24,) at the sight of the Infant Jesus. phy
Again, we sing the praises of providential care, his regular government and particular notice of all his creatures. He daily supports the being, and supplies the wants of innumerable creatures, and exercises a wise and equal care of everyone. He directs the Curse of public affairs by a sure and unerring hand, overrules the disorders of them by seasonable inpositions and powerful influences. Many of the alms of David are dedicated to the praise of his probut his omnipresence and particu
Spirit? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there; if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there; if I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me." (Ps. cxxxix. 7, 8, 9.) He describes his general goodness, and his tender mercy over all his works: "The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord." (Ps. xxxiii. 5.) "The eyes of all wait upon thee, and thou givest them their food in due season. Thou openest thine hand, and satisfiest the desires of every living thing." (Ps. cxlv. 15, 16.) He celebrates his own "deliverance out of the hands of all his enemies, and out of the hands of Saul." (Ps. xviii.)
Particularly, the extraordinary appearances of God in the world, both of judgment and mercy; in the unusual displays of himself, as well as in the more stated and ordinary course of things. This has been always matter of praise to the people of God, and the subject of some of their noblest songs. Such was the song of Moses; (Exod. xv. ;) where he magnifies the "arm of the Lord" in such a miraculous appearance, that at once carried with it sudden deliverance to his people, surprise and ruin to their enemies, and terror and amazement to all the world. Such was his dying song; (Deut. xxxii. 1-46;) where he gives a lively and affecting description of the distinguishing favours of God to his people, and of all the terrors of vengeance and wrath that would come upon Israel for their rebellion and abuse of them. And so the song of Deborah and Barak, (Judg. v.,) who judged Israel when God subdued the Canaanites before them, is full of beautiful figures and noble flights of poetry; and is as remarkable for its artful contrivance, as its admirable
I shall close with this one reflection: That as the
sacred poesy is one of the noblest parts of all the divine writings, so it greatly exceeds, in sublimity of subject and majesty of expression, the finest compositions of human wit and genius. And it is greatly to be lamented that so noble an art, which sprung from God, and was devoted to his praise, should be so sadly degenerated from its original design and proper use. The celebrated poets of the present age have debased the majesty of verse, and prostituted the muses to the service of their lusts; and so the loftiest numbers and the sweetest verse, have been employed in describing the fanciful achievements and fulsome praises of some little hero or lewd amour. The impure mixtures of the finest poems offend and shock a pious and virtuous mind, and render them full of snares and danger to others; like luscious poison, that pleases while it corrupts, easily insinuates itself into the mind; and the higher relish it gives, the more surely destroys. Eastcheap Lectures.
READING THE SCRIPTURES.
IN reading the Scriptures we shall find the most lively representations of the vanity of the world, that grand rival with God for our hearts: "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world; for if any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him." How lively a picture have we of this enchantress in the book of Ecclesiastes, over which we have this just inscription,-"vanity of vanities, all is vanity." Here also we have a bright display of the perfections of God, whereby it appears how infinitely fit he is to be chosen as our portion for ever; and to beloved with all our heart, and mind, and soul, and
strength." Here we have a most engaging description of Jesus, who is the "brightness of his Father's glory, and the express image of his person; "in whom dwells all the fulness of the Godhead bodily:" who is "of God made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption, who is the chief of ten thousand, and altogether lovely; " by whose "cross we are crucified to the world, and the world to us;" and for "the excellency of the knowledge" of whom, we must "count all things but loss." How precious is a God in Christ to a believing soul, who reads the Scriptures diligently, and in whom "the word of Christ dwells richly !
In these sacred writings we shall see how amiable that holiness is, which is the image of God in the soul; and how great that happiness to which it leads us, fully to be enjoyed in that other and better world, when we shall be "with Christ where he is, and behold his glory." All these discoveries tend to take off our hearts from a false and imaginary happiness, and to engage us in pursuits suitable to the nature, and worthy the ambition of an immortal soul; teaching us to "set our affections on things above, and not on things below; " that so, "when Christ, who is our life, shall appear, we also may appear with him in glory." Eastcheap Lectures.
COMMUNION WITH GOD.
COMMUNION with God will, even in this life, greatly increase our conformity to him; the truth of this is confirmed by common observation. Assimilation is always a consequence of association with others. There is in man a natural aptness and tendency to imitate
those who are his most constant companions. persons, very dissimilar in disposition, habits, and manner of expression, were for a few days only to associate together, they would visibly approximate each other. Just so, the praying soul, by conversing with God, is, in some measure assimilated to his likeness. The object of worship will always be in some degree the object of imitation. God is the standard of moral excellence, and, by contemplating his perfections, our corruptions are counteracted, his image is instamped upon us, and our minds are raised above their natural level. Thus the exercise of fervent prayer elevates, strengthens, purifies, comforts, and enriches the believing soul. They who would be rich in grace, must be much in prayer to God: he will beautify them with the beams of his holiness, as Moses's face shone when he returned from the mount; "beholding in the exercise of faith and prayer, the glory of the Lord, they are changed into the same image from glory to glory." And herein the work of prayer on earth, resembles that of praise in heaven; for which more exalted worship it is, no doubt, intended ultimately to prepare us.
H. L. Poppewell's Christian Family's Assistant.*
PUBLIC Worship is the principal pillar, which supports and keeps up religion and piety among mankind; and, consequently, it is highly conducive to the interests of society. The libertine and the profligate may talk what they will, in their language of ridicule and sneer, but it is a truth demonstrably certain, and con
*The Christian Family's Assistant, is a work of considerable merit, and is calculated to be highly useful in every pious family.