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“ For thy mercy is great unto the heavens, and th “ truth unto the clouds. Set up thyself, O God

above the heavens, and thy glory above all the " eartho.”

Have we a turn to ingratitude? Are we disposed to forget the mercies we have received ?" I am “ well pleased that the Lord hath heard the voice of

my prayer; that he hath inclined his ear unto me; “therefore will I call upon him as long as I live P.

Is the strong man tempted to glory in his strength, the great man in bis power, the rich man in his possessions, or the fair woman in the beauty and gracefulness of her person ?-—" As for man, his days are

as grass : as a flower of the field so he flourisheth. " For the wind passeth over it—it is gone and the

place thereof shall know it no more 9."

Are we captivated by any thing we see or hear below, and induced to esteem it GREAT?" I was “ 'in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and I heard a

great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Hal“ lelujah! Salvation, and glory, and honour, and

power, unto the Lord our God; for true and righteous are his judgements. And again they said,

Hallelujah. And the four-and-twenty elders, and “ the four living creatures fell down, and worshipped « God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen, Halle

lujah. And a voice came out of the throne, say. “ing, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and

• Psal. lvji. 8, &c. Set by Wise.
P Psal. cxvi. 1. Set by Dean Aldrich, from Carissimi,
9 Psal. ciii. 15. Set by Clark.

" that fear him both small and great. And I heard " as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as " the voice of many waters, and as the voice of

mighty thunderings, saying, Hallelujah, for the !! Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad, " and rejoice, and give honour to him; for the mar

riage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made " herself ready"."

Before such a scene and such a band, every buman performance must shrink and fade away in the comparison. A performance, however, has lately been exbibited, and, to our honour, has been exhibited in Britain-its sound still vibrates in the ears of many who hear me) which furnished the best idea we shall ever obtain on earth of what is passing in heaven. It did justice (and that is saying very much indeed) to a composition of the great master, to which may be applied the observation of a learned writer upon a chorus in an anthem penned by the same hand, that “nothing less is suggested by it to " the imagination, than all the powers of the universe associated in the worship of its Creator.”

Music, then, has always been used in the church, and with good reason. May it always continue to be so used, and to produce its proper effects! In England, choral service was first introduced in this

Rev. xix. 1, &c. Set by Blow, in a strain of sublimity truly wonderful. • Commemoration of Handel in Westminster Abbey,

Sir John Hawkins, v. 416.

cathedral', and the practice of it long confined to the churches of Kent, from whence it became gradually diffused over the whole kingdom. Here may it breathe its last-but not till time shall expire with the world! Violated no more by sacrilegious hands, may this august and magnificent fabric remain, in perfect beauty, through all the generations of mankind that are yet to come, a monument of the piety of our an. cestors, and a witness to that of our posterity! May thanksgiving and the voice of melody, like that of this day, be evermore heard in it, till the veil being done away which parts the visible from the invisible world, the choirs of heaven and earth shall unite before the throne.

• Sir John Hawkins, i. 404,371.-We are informed by Strype, in his Annals of the Reformation, vol. ii. p. 314, that when queen Elizabeth was entertained at Canterbury by archbishop Parker, the French ambassador, who was in her suite, hearing the excellent music in the cathedral church, extolled it to the sky, and brake out into these words : “ O God, I think no prince be“ side in all Europe ever heard the like, no, not our holy father " the Pope himself.”—May we not say, that to cathedrals, and the persons teaching and taught in them, has been owing the presérvation of music among us from age to age?

27

DISCOURSE III.

THE CHARACTER OF TRUE WISDOM, AND THE

MEANS OF OBTAINING IT.

PROVERBS, IV. 7.

Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom:

cet

The sage instructor of the world, from the emi- . nence on which Providence had placed him, surveys mankind. Discontented with themselves and their present condition, he beholds them engaged in the pursuit of something that still flies before them. Pleasure, wealth, and power appear in their view, and solicit their attention. Grieved to see time misspent in quest of things perishable, and labour lost on that which either may not be obtained, or, when obtained, may disappoint in enjoyment all the hopes excited by expectation, he raises his voice, and wishes it to be heard to the ends of the earth. He calls men off from a fruitless chase after objects attained with difficulty, and possessed without satisfaction; he points out one adequate to all their efforts; one in the pursuit of which no time can be misspent, no labour can be lost; one which presents itself a fair mark, to be always hit by the quick eye and the steady hand; one that may be surely gained by genius and diligence, and, when gained, is prodoctive of pleasure, riches, and honour; pleasure which fadeth not away, riches which none can take from the happy possessor, and the honour which cometh from God only. Solomon found, if men were disposed to be contented with any thing, it was that with which they never should be contentedtheir ignorance.

Ile exhorts them to LEARN. “ Wisdoin is the principal thing; therefore get wis“ dom : and, with all thy getting, get understand

ing.

The subject will best be laid before you, in its several branches, by considering what it is we are enjoined to acquire, how we are to acquire it, and Why we are to acquire it.

First, then, we will consider the nature of that which we are so earnestly enjoined to acquire.

It would be tedious, and it is needless, critically to discuss the signification, and nicely to trace the shades, which discriminate the meaning of the different words employed in the book of Proverbs; such as, “ wisdom, understanding, knowledge, prudence, “ discretion," and the rest. They seem often to be used promiscuously. So far, at least, as relates to our present purpose, and the institution which is the occasion of our assembling at this time, they may certainly be regarded as terms nearly synonymous, and intended to convey the idea now generally expressed by the word LEARNING. The wisdoin of Solomon, we know, extended itself on every side; it was conversant in matters physical and theological, natural

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