Psalm Singing on the Lord’s Day – Meditation

Thomas Gouge, “Directions for Sanctifying the Lord’s Day,” Christian Directions, shewing How to Walk With God all Day Long, in The Works of the Late, Reverend and Pious Mr. Thomas Gouge, pp. 196-197:

II. ‘Another private duty, is singing of Psalms;’ for this may and ought to be performed in your families, as well as in the congregation. This David commended for one duty of the Sabbath: as Psalm xcii.1. The title of the Psalm is, ‘A psalm or song for the Sabbath day.’ And thus it begins; ‘It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, to sing praises unto thy name, O most High.’

For the manner of performing this duty, the apostle, (Col. iii.16.) giveth us these directions, in these words, ‘Singing with grace in your hearts, to the Lord.’

1. ‘First, Therefore, it must be in the heart, or with the heart;’ that is our hearts must go with our voices, the one must we lift up as well as the other: for, God is a Spirit, and therefore, will be worshipped with our hearts and spirits, as well as with our bodies. And truly, singing with the voice, without the concurrence of the heart and spirit, is no more pleasing unto God, than a sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal.

2. ‘As we must sing with the heart, so, with grace in the heart;’ that is, we must exercise the graces of God’s holy Spirit in singing, as well as in praying; laboring to express the same affection in singing the psalm, as David did in penning it. As, if it be a psalm of confession, then to express some humility, and brokenness of heart and spirit in singing. If it be a psalm of prayers and petitions, then must our affections be fervent. If a psalm of praises and thanksgiving, then must our heart be cheerful. And thus must the affection of the heart be ever suitable to the quality of the psalm.


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