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ency, or to suit their own whim or caprice. The people obeyed "the commandment of the King and of the Princes,” yet it was all donc according to Divine appointment, or as it is expressed in verse 12, by the word of the Lord.
From what has been said above, we discover that God was very particular about every part of Divine worship, and every thing that pertained to the services of the Tabernacle or Temple. The cleansing of the Temple, the use of instrumental music, the time and manner of keeping the Passover; and in fact every thing about the Taber nacle---every knop, and flower, and fringe.--every bowl, and branch, and board---every skin, and curtain, and coupling-loop, had its place in the Tabernacle by Divine appointment. (Exodus xxv. xxvi. &c.) And the whole pattern of the temple, including the service thereof, was given to David by the Spirit. And yet, notwithstanding all this particularily about the very smallest matters.--about pins, and loops, and flowers---there was one thing, argues Mr. C., and that too a malter of great importance, which God left of old entirely to the management of Kings and Princes, and we might add, in our day, to "Committees," that is, the selection and collection of songs of praise adapted to magnify the mercy and justice, the power and glory of Almighty God!! Who can believe it? No one. And if the thing is incredible---if it is inconceivable that God should leave the selection of Hymns of praise to Kings and Courts, whether pious or impious, for if it was a matter committed to one of Judah's Sovereigns, it was to every one.--then it fol ws that the command of Hezekiah and his Princes to the Levites to "sing in the words of David and of Asaph," that is, David's Psalms, was the command of God, and consequently we have in this injunction a “plain precep!” for the exclusive use of David's Psalms under the Old Testament dispensation • With reference to other songs, it may be said, "he commanded them
From the foregoing train of argument I feel persuaded that every honest man,
and even those who are not disposed to reason fairly, must admit that this command of Hezekiah and his Princes, was the command and appointment of God; and where and when, I ask, has this appointment been annulled? When or where has God said that this collection of sacred songs, dictated by His Spirit, and appointed by His authority to be sung in His praise, might or ought to be laid aside, and an imitation of them, very badly executed, with a host of other songs of inan's composing, good, bad, and indifferent, should be introduced in their stead? Where? Let the chapter and verse, or
any thing in the neighborhood of Divine authority be produced for laying aside these heavenly songs of the "sweet Psalmist,” and for substituting in their stead human compositions, and I will drop my pen and abandon the contest, or strike my colors and call for quarters.--but I'll “never give up the shir," with the blessing of God, un. til such authority is produced.
6. We argue, in the fifth place, that the Psalms of David were us. ed exclusively by Divine appointment, under the Old Testament dispensation, from the fact that we often find thememployed in the wor. ship of God during that dispensation. Many of them are addressed to the schief musician," or to "the sons of Korah," to those very Le-vites whom David, by the Spirit, had set apart to the "service of song in the house of the Lord.” Of course all such were designed for per.. manent use in the worship of God. . There are a number of instanees recorded in which these Psalms were used in the regular instituted worship of God, and we have no evidence that those Scripture songs, which are not in this collection, were ever sung more than once, and then not in the regular service of the sanctuary.
Some time after the death of David, at the dedication of Solomon's : Temple, a Psalm of David was sung, 2 Chron. 5, 13. About one hundred years after the dedication of the Temple, when Jehoshaphat went forth to battle it with Moab and Ammon, a Psalm of Da.. vid was sung, 2 Chron. 20:-21. About one hundred and seventy or eighty years after Jehoshaphat's war with Moab, Hezekiah and his friends restored the pure worship of God, and commanded, with Divine approbation, the Psalms of David to be sung, Here let me remove a cavil. Mr. C. and others say, that ihe occasion on which Hezekiah gave this command was parlicular, Very true, but ihe peculiarity favors our views, and not those of our friends. Previous 10 the time of Hezekiah, the worship of God had been grievou-l or rupted, and, in fact, entirely interrupted; scarce a. vestige of mained. His wicked father Ahaz, had “cut in pieces the vesme sa of the house of God, and shut up the doors of the house of the Lord; and he made them altars in every corner of Jerusalem." Now what
after Hezekiah restored the worship of God, and after the people of Israel had returned from Babylon, they sung a Psalm of David, at the laying of the foundation of the second Temple. Ezra 3; 12. And it is evident, from Nehemiah 12, that the Psalms of David were sung at the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem, about ninety years after the foundation of the Temple was laid. But where, it will be asked, is the evidence that the Psalms of David were sung on these occasions? The people or Levites are said to have praised God on most of these occasions.--"for he is good, for his mercy endureth forever,”---and with these words, it is known, some of David's Psalms (Ps. 106, 107, 136,) are introduced, and no other Psalms but those of David's col. lection, were ever given into the hands of the Levites, beginning with such language; therefore, on these occasions, the Psaims of David were sung exclusively,
Thus, for more than five hundred years, from the time of David 10 that of Ezra, we find the Psalms of David, or his collection, used time after time in the worshịp of God, and during the whole of that period we have not one particle of evidence that any other songs, either divine or human, were employed in divine instituted worship. Does all this prove nothing respecting the exclusive use of David's Psalms under the old dispensation? For my part, I view it as indubitable evidence of the fact. If it is not "plain precept,” or “positive proof,” it is at least circumstantial evidence, accumulating and corroborating until it reaches demonstration.
Let me now call your attention for a moment to some of these songs, which brother C. says were sung in the Old Testament Church; and if it will appear that they are not songs at all, or were not used in Divine worship, it will, of course, strengthen my argument. I have already said enough in a former letter, respecting the songs of Moses, Deborah, and Hannah. My object, at present, in noticing some of the songs he enumerates, is to show how hard run he was to find certain songs which would authorize nim or excuse him in saying that David's Psalı:s were not to be used, exclusively, under the Old Testament dispensation. After specifying a number of songs, part of which we now notieé, he comes to this strong conclusion: “Nothing, therefore, can be more unfounded than the declaration that the Church of God, under the Old Testament economy, was evclusively confined to the Book of Psalms.” Let us see. There is what he calls (No. 8) “the Song of Samuel.” 1 Saml. 12: 6, 36. Part of this "song" is a narrative of what God had done for israel, and part a reproof of the people from Samuel for desiring a
King, closing with confortable words from the Seer. Look at it, my friends, and if you can discover any poetry about it, your discernment must be keen. It is more like a sermon than a song. Again, there is “the Song of David.” 2 Saml. 1: 19.-27. This is David's lamentation over Saul and Jonathan. Whoever supposed that David's sympathy for, and praise of a disobedient King and his worthy son, was ever sung by David himself, or by any one else, as praise to God. For the Psalmist to have sung praise to God over the disaster of Saul, his Father-in-law and Sovereign, and over Jonathan, his covenant friend, would be somewhat after the fashion of those who praise God for falling from grace.” This lamentation of David is highly poetical, but we must remember that all poetry is not song, nor is every song to be sung in Divine worship. I suppose that these pathetic strains of David over Saul and Jonathan were ultered and not sung, just as many other poetical parts of the Scriptures were.
Again, Mr. C. cites us to “the Song of Solomon," 1 Kings 5: 1-. 66, (a mistake I suppose, for 1 Kings 8: 1--66, as the latter chapter is the only one in Kings containing 66 verses.) The chapter records the transactions that took place at the dedication of Solomon's Temple. Let it be examined, and I will venture to say that neither Mr. C. nor any one else will maintain that there is a word of song in the whole chapter. Part of it is a narrative respecting the removal of the Ark into the Temple---part of it Solomon's dedicatory prayer, & part an account of the offerings presented, and the royal feast, prepared. Was all this, or any part of it sung at the dedication, or at any other time in the Temple service? Never, never. But enough of this. Did ever such songs take the place of the book of Psalnıs? Here let it be understood, we see the necessity of adhering rigidly to Mr. C's own principle, viz: that the matter of Psalmody should not be left 10 *random choice, or to mere private opinion and judgment;" for if a man ot so much taient and learning as niy worthy friend, did deliberately make such a poor selection as the above “songs,” what a miserable choice would many a poor ignorant Jew have made, had they been permitted to select for themselves, and not confined, as we contend, exclusively to the use of David's Psalms.
We have now closed our argument in favor of the exclusive use of David's Psalms, under the Old Testament dispensation---We naturally conclude that it is conclusive, and we trust that it will prove cono vincing. Read it again Christian friends.
W. R. H.
VOL. II:-SIG. 27
From our Philadelphia correspondent.
PAILADELPHIA, Jan. 14, 1345. . · Mr. Editor:-Your Periodical is well engaged in the cause of truiir.
and your efforts to make its pages give information concerning the movements of the tinies in religion, morals and literature will no, doubt increase its interest and usefulness. Perhaps- some communi--cations from this city occasionally might contribute to this object; and, with this hope, I would, at present, ocoupy a little of your space with a an account of the later history and condition of the Associate Reform- , ed Church in Philadelphia.
The unhappy attempt at a more unhappy union in 1822 resulted in the entire extinction of our name in the city. Two spacious edifices · for divine worship were indeed still treld'ñ our name; but the reality and the ecclesiastical connection were gone.
One of these was erected iu 1815 in 13th Street above Market, according to the last will and testament of Mrs. Margaret Duncan, and on the express condition that its peculiar faith and forms of worship should always be the same as those of the Church in Spruce Street under the pas- , toral care of Rev. Robt. Annan and in connection with the A. R. Synod: . On ascertaining this in 182€-beveral persons who had reinoved from Western Pennsylvania and Ohio, and from their early attachment to our Church longed for its privileges and institutions, again determined to reestablish it in this city; and being from the Synod of the West, they naturally, turned their eyes to that quarter for .aid. A correspondence was commenced, and the Rev. Messrs. Claybaugh and Sharp with others, supplied them with the means of grace for some time. Encouraged with the hope of obtaining the 13th Street Church and of being successful in rallying under a name they loved, the congregation in 1829 presented a petition signed by 23: male members to the Presbytery of Big Spring, to be received as a vacancy, and furnished with supplies. The petition was granted; and the congregation coniinued under the care of that Presbytery un. sil the next year when it was transferred in its unorganized form 10 the Presbytery of New York. During that year and a portion of the following, the Rev. H. Connelly, was the stated supply and in Oct. 1830 the congregation was organized into a Church by Rev. Dr. Mc. : Jimsey. Mr. James P. Ramsey, was ordained, and together willa Mr. Robt. Dunlop from the 1st A. R. Church in Pittsburgh, was inducted into the office of the Ruling Elder. Struggling with many difficulties, and compelled to be often destitute of the ordinances of grace, and even to be witnesses of growing departures from the