The Delightful Exercise of Private Praise

My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise. Awake up, my glory; awake, psaltery and harp: I myself will awake early. – Psalm 57:7,8

I am afraid there is very little private singing nowadays. We often hear discourse concerning private prayer, but very seldom of private praise: and yet ought there not to be as much private praise as private prayer? I fear from the seldomness of its being mentioned, that private thanksgiving has grown to be a sleepy affair. Then as to public worship, how earnest ought it to be! Yet how seldom is it hearty and real! How often do we hear half-awake singing? Sometimes a sort of musical box, consisting of pipes, keys, and bellows, is set to do all the adoration. The heathens of Tibet turn the wind to account religiously, by making it turn their windmills and pray for them; and our brethren in England, by an ingenious adjustment of pipes, make the same motive power perform their praise. Where this machinery is not adopted, still the Lord is robbed of His praise by other methods, sometimes half a dozen skilled voices of persons who would be equally as much at home at the opera or the theater as in the house of God, are formed into a choir to perform the psalmody; and it is supposed that God accepts their formal notes as the praise of the entire assembly. How far different is the genuine song of gracious men who lift up their voices to the Lord because their hearts adore Him! Oh, I love to hear every voice pouring out its note, especially if I can but hope that with every voice there is going forth a fervent heart. This warm hearted, joyful singing-why, it makes the congregation on earth to be like the assembly of the skies; and causes the meeting-place of the saints to be a faint type of the gathering of the angels and glorified spirits before the throne of God. To drone or to whisper in such a delightful exercise is criminal. If ever we should exhibit the angels’ wakefulness, it should be when we are emulating their employment. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

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