2 Chronicles 5:12-13
Also the Levites which were the singers, all of them of Asaph, of Heman, of Jeduthun, with their sons and their brothers…
I. WHY OR FOR WHAT END MUSIC IS USED IN RELIGIOUS WORSHIP. By the constitution of our nature music, by a mysterious and potent agency, awakens the heart, concentrates the thoughts, and elevates the soul, and the end of music in religious worship is to assist our devotions, by an application to our affections of that which has upon them a powerful action to excite and direct them; by engaging us in an exercise in which sympathy has large scope, and every one acts upon the rest, to enable us to animate each other; to pour forth our praises and adorations in a way that is significant and edifying, delightsome and impressive. Hence —
1. The absurdity of making music in our religious services a mere matter of entertainment.
2. All kinds of music which have no tendency to aid and gratify devotion ought to be banished from the house of God.
II. SOME OF THE EXAMPLES AND AUTHORITIES FOR MAKING MUSIC A HANDMAID TO RELIGION (Job 38:7; Genesis 4:21; Exodus 15:20; Psalm 47:6; Psalm 98:7; Ephesians 5:19; Matthew 26:30).
III. AFTER WHAT MANNER THE FIRST CHRISTIANS PERFORMED THIS SERVICE. The nearer we come to the model of the primitive Church in this, the nearer we shall approach to perfection. The psalmody of the first Christians was plain, simple, and solemn. Their tunes were, probably, easy and few, and the character of them such as expressed humility and love, and was calculated rather to melt than to capture the heart. Afterwards, as piety declined, it became necessary to re-excite and re-animate it by more striking music; and the whole congregation was divided into two parts, which sang responsive to each other.
IV. SOME BRIEF SUGGESTIONS HOW WE MAY USE THIS PART OF DIVINE SERVICE TO OUR OWN BENEFIT AND THE GLORY OF GOD.
Parallel VersesKJV: Also the Levites which were the singers, all of them of Asaph, of Heman, of 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:)
WEB: also the Levites who were the singers, all of them, even Asaph, Heman, Jeduthun, and their sons and their brothers, arrayed in fine linen, with cymbals and stringed instruments and harps, stood at the east end of the altar, and with them one hundred twenty priests sounding with trumpets;)