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deemer, and that holy Comforter, whom they have sent.

But of all the claims which the Psalms of David possess to a high rank in our esteem, and a frequent place both in our devotions and our studies, none can more deeply interest us, as Christians, than those which arise from that prophetical character, which, in various instances, they so plainly assume. In them are foretoldand, occasionally, with a minute circumstantiality, which even the prophecies of Isaiah rarely exhibit—the incarnation of the Messiah, his sufferings, his death, his resurrection and ascension into heaven. It cannot be doubted, then, that such of the Psalms, as contain passages of this nature, must not only be entitled to an extraordinary degree of our attention, when they recur in the public service of the Church; but should become so fixed and familiar in our minds, as to present themselves instantly to our recollection, whenever we contemplate, in the Gospels, the history of those awful events, which David, in the Spirit, foresaw and foretold.!

'For a reference to some of the most remark able Psalms in each of the six classes above described, see Appendix (B)

The Psalms of the day are succeeded by the LesSONS from the Old and New Testament; which occupy, with great propriety, a place between the offerings of thanks and praise, and the petitional parts of the service : for both the original gift of God's holy word, its preservation uncorrupted to the present hour, and the free access, which we all now enjoy, to that divine treasure of comfort and instruction, form so many distinct claims upon our gratitude, each of them affording a fresh motive for earnest prayer, that our heavenly Father, by his grace, may enable us to make the best use of that inestimable blessing.

The recitation of the Scriptures in the ears of the whole assembly, was certainly of still more importance, than even at the present day, in times of greater ignorance ; when few persons possessed the power of reading for themselves, and still fewer were masters of a Bible: but it is, even now, and ever must be, an institution of the highest utility; of which the disuse, should it ever take place, must be deeply regretted on various accounts. There will always be a class of persons to whom the private perusal of the Scriptures cannot be a matter of such ease, as to make it a ready source of improvement; not a few, it is to be feared, who will never be inclined to make that use of their leisure: and there may be many, whom nothing, but the public recital of the sacred Books, would remind of their value, and of the duty of studying them in private.

To enter largely into the nature and design of the Holy Scriptures, would be foreign to our present purpose.

It may suffice to remark, that, , since the religion of Christ is founded upon “ Moses and the Prophets,” it is highly expedient that every Christian, as far as may be in his power, should become acquainted not only with the New Testament, in which the means and terms of his salvation are described, but with the writings of those inspired men, who, so long before, announced the appointment of God for that purpose in the coming of the MESSIAH;-with those forms of the first covenant, which were the manifest types of the new dispensation ; and with those Commandments of perpetual obligation, which our Lord himself acknowledged and confirmed.

It therefore behoves the members of a Christian congregation to listen to the portions of both Scriptures, which form the lessons for the day, with undivided and reverent attention.

The public reading of the Scriptures is a custom of the highest antiquity; and, in some of the early Christian Churches (as the only method of making them universally familiar, where copies were unavoidably scarce) very considerable portions of them were recited at every Lecture. Under the different circumstances of modern times, the selection of a single chapter, by the practice of our Church, has been deemed sufficient to constitute a Lesson ; which occupies so little time, that the congregation may universally “give heed to the Word of God,” without the least pretence for distraction or weariness.

Between the two Lessons is placed the TE DEUM; a very sublime as well as ancient Hymn, read, or sung, like the Psalms, in alternate verses: of which the subjects are so various, and, at the


same time, so important, that I feel it most proper to defer the consideration of them to a future occasion, when that proportion of time and attention may be devoted to them, of which they are so highly deserving.

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