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'Writing of David king of Israel, and according to the writing of Solomon bis Jon, and stand in the holy place, according to the divisions of the families of the fathers of your brethren the people, and after the division of the families of the Levites; so kill the paffover, &c. *
A«^ by what follows, we find, that, upon such occasions, the Duty of the Levitesi among other Things^ was to skin she sacrifices. So the service was prepared, and the Prieflsstood in their-place', and the Levites in their courses, according to the kings commandment/ And they killed the paffover', and the Priests-sprinkled the blood front their hands, and the Levites stayed them. W\\*V>
And* by what Ezekiel (whom we must allow to have been well vers'd in these Matters, being one of the Tribe of Levi) fays, in relation to the Service of his visionary Temple, these laborious and sordid Offices were performed by such of the~ Priestsy whose Behaviour requir'd that they should be degraded or punifh'd. Thus, speaking of those that had apostatiz'd to Idolatry j and afterward desir'd to be read* U mitted
mitted to the Worship of the true God« Ezek ^usfaith the Lord God, the Lcifjgeg (19 xliv. 10, a large acceptation) that are gone a-i^gr far &c* from me, when Israel went astray^ i*g&if& went ajlray from me, after their idols, they pall ever bear their iniquity. Tet _/%aM they he ministers in my fancJuary, having charge at the gates of the house, and mini/2 ring ta the house: they shall flay the burnt-offering and the sacrifice, for the people; and they shall stand before them to minister- unto them. And they shall not come near unto me, to do the office of a Priest unto me, nor to come near to any of my holy Things, in the most holy place: But they shall bear tkeirr shame, and their abominations, which, they have committed. ,u •
The Order of Singers was instituted by David, to perform Services of Thanklgiving, and to ling Praises unto the Lord, in the highest Perfection that ho? man skill, either by Voice or Instrument, was capable of. The whole Book of
'Psaltos appears to have been compos'd for this kind of Devotion. And David himself, who had the greatest Hand in them, arid was moreover a Skilful Player upon the Harp, without Doubt, compos'd them for Services in the House of God. As the Titles of many of them, directed to some one of the Chief Musicians, do sufficiently declare. And we have an Instance; where it is said; David delivered this Psalm, to 1 Chron.
• • XVI 7
thank the Lord, into the band of Asaph and his brethren.
The Principal Persons of this Order, and who had the Superintendency over all the Rest, were Heman and Asaph of the », Chron. Line of Gerjhon; and Ethan or J edit- ^'.^y.9' thun, of the Line of Merari. These, with their Sons, made Four and Twenty Courses, Twelve in a Course; who were all under the hands of their fathers, for Jong, in the house of the Lo R|d, with cymbals, psalteries, and harps, for the service of the house [of God, according to the kings order, to Asaph, Jeduthun, and Heman. For these Courses they cast lots over against their brethren; in the presence of David the king, and Zadok and AhimeU 2 ( lechj
lech, and the chief of the fatkez^ aft the
Priefts and Levites. ■ .'■•.;<V^'"-- ~>*
We find the Performances of this kind mention'd in several Places. At the Dedication of the Temple by Solomon, aqapng other pompous Preparations, we are told; Chron. fjffjg Levites which were singers, all them of Asaph, of Heman, o/*Jeduthun, with their sons and their brethren, Being arrayed in white linen, having cymbals, and psalteries, and harps, stood at the east end of the altar; and with them, an hundred and twenty Priests, sounding with trumpets, were as one; to make one found to be heard,in praistng and thanking the Lord; and they lift up their voice, with the trumpets, and cymbals, and instruments of mustc, and praised the Lord, saying, For he is good, for bis mercy endurethfor ever.
And when Jehojhaphat King of Judab went out to Battle against the Children of Ahihon and Moab and Mount Seir, he Chron. consulted with the people, and appointed singers unto the Lor D, that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and fay, Praise theLoKt), for his mercy endurethfor ever. And when
they began toJing, and td praise, the Lord
set ambushments against the children of Am
rrion, Moab, and mount Seir, and theywere
So at the Building of the second Temple; When the builders laid the foundation Ezra. iU, of the temple of the Lord, they set the Priests, in their apparel, with trumpets^ and the Levites, the fins of Asaph, with cymbals, to praise the Lord, after the ordinance o/'David king of Israel. And they sufig together, by course, in praifing and giving thanks unto /^lord; because he is good, for his mercy endureth for ever, &c. Again, it is said; In the days of David and Neh. xji. Asaph, of old, there were chief of the +6, fingers, and songs of praise and thanksgiving unto God.
Encourag'd by these Examples,therefore, and because the Worship of God ought to be solemniz'd, in the best manner we are able to devise, (not because God wants any of our Services, but because it behoves us to exert our selves upon all such, Occasions, to the utmost and best of our Skill; however when: we have done our best, We majr be but unprofitable Servants) The U 3 Church,