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Thomas Dickson Baird.

An inquiry into the privilege and duty of the Christian church, in the exercise of sacred praise: a chronology and history of Scripture songs .. online

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Online LibraryThomas Dickson BairdAn inquiry into the privilege and duty of the Christian church, in the exercise of sacred praise: a chronology and history of Scripture songs .. → online text (page 4 of 16)
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doctrines of grace, the practices of the believer and the
exercises of his mind, will answer every age of the churchy
I readily, and cheerfully concede; but we shall presently
see, that, even in these, the Jewish worshippers had some
scruple of singing a joyful song, on a mournful occasion, or
the contrary. If so, much stronger would be the objection,
to singing a song under one dispensation, that was exclu-
sively adapted to another, as those respecting sacrifices and
instruments were.



40 ON iPSALMODT.

Secondly. This leads me to observe, that the Jews them-
selves would not sing a song, unless it expressed the cir-
cumstances of the occasion. Witness their making some
— altering others, as any one may see by comparing some
©f the psahns with others, and with other places in the^
Bible where they are recorded — and compiling others, from
parts of former ones. But, what is yet stronger, they re^
fused to use such as were unsuited to their conditiony or
the state of their minds.

When the Jews were led captives to Babylon^they were
required to sing one of the songs of Zions Their reply
was, '* How shall we sing the Lord's- song in a strange
land?''^ The refusal did not arise from the impropriety of
singing, for they composed several songSy and particularly
the one in which the fact is recorded; but from the unfit-
ness of the Lord's songs, which were songs of joy a^d
gladness, to express the sorrow that £lled their hearts 5^
and, from the unfitness of singing, "Prai«e the Lord for
he is good, for his mercy endureth for ever," when they
were so signally suffering the divine rebukes. That this
may not appear a creature of the imagination, see £d Chro.
V. 13, vii. 3, and xx. 21, with Psalm cvi. 1, cvii. 1, cxviii.
1, and cxxxvi. throughout, which will show what is intended
by the Lord's song. The prayer of the captives may be
seen, 1st Chro. xvi. 35, and Psalm cvi. 47, to be gathered
from among the heathen, for the purpose of engaging once
more in exulting praises. The promise of God, by his
prophet, which doubtless encouraged the prayers of the
captives, is recorded in Jeremiah xxxiii. 10,. 11, *' Thus
saith the JiOrd; Again there shall be heard in this place>
(which }'€ say shall be desoiate without man and without
beast, even in the cities of Judah, and iti the streets of Je-
rusalem, that are desolate, without man,, and without in-
habitant, and without beast,) the voice of joy, and the voice
of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of
the bride, the voice of them that shall say. Praise the Lord
of Hosts : for the Lord is good; for his mercy endureth
for ever; and of them that shall bring the sacrifice of praise
into the house of the Lord. For I will cause to return the
captivity of the land, as at the first, saith the Lord*"

Here it is taken for granted, that they do not sing the
Lord's song, but the hopes of the singing it again with con-



UNDER THE LAW. 41

sistency and propriety are predicated on the promise of
cattsitig their captivity to return; which expectation is an-
swered in the transaction which took place under Ezra, chap,
iii. 11,


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Online LibraryThomas Dickson BairdAn inquiry into the privilege and duty of the Christian church, in the exercise of sacred praise: a chronology and history of Scripture songs .. → online text (page 4 of 16)