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THANKSGIVING WORSHIP.

THANKSGIVING WORSHIP.

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Published by glennpease
BROOKE FOSS WESTCOTT, D.D., D.C.L.


give thanks unto the Lord, and call ztpon His name : tell the people
what things He hath done. O let your songs be of Him, and praise Him :
and let your talking be of nil His wondrous works. PSALM cv. I, 2.
BROOKE FOSS WESTCOTT, D.D., D.C.L.


give thanks unto the Lord, and call ztpon His name : tell the people
what things He hath done. O let your songs be of Him, and praise Him :
and let your talking be of nil His wondrous works. PSALM cv. I, 2.

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Published by: glennpease on Jul 05, 2013
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THAKSGIVIG WORSHIPBROOKE FOSS WESTCOTT, D.D., D.C.L.give thanks unto the Lord, and call ztpon His name : tell the peoplewhat things He hath done. O let your songs be of Him, and praise Him :and let your talking be of nil His wondrous works. PSALM cv. I, 2.SUCH a festival as that for which we are here mettogether is fitted to bring out some aspects of worship and life, of Christian worship and Christianlife, which we are apt to forget. The great Psalmof which we have just read the opening words willillustrate my meaning. It was probably written foruse in the Temple service, and it is, as we must allhave felt, a stirring call to entire thankfulness onthe part of God s people in acknowledgment of Hisunfailing faithfulness. Elsewhere, as in the nextPsalm, we find the history of Israel so treated asto show in dark colours the wilful and rebelliousspirit in which they misinterpreted and misused thedivine gifts, but here there is no thought but of theworks, the wonders, the judgments of the Lord,who through every vicissitude of strange yetsalutary discipline remained always mindful of Hiscovenant, and remembered His holy promise in thehouse of bondage and in the desolate wilderness.Through sorrow and joy, through want and wealth,333334 VILLAGE SERMOSthrough slavery and freedom, He trained and blesseda nation, trained and blessed them for this end, thatthey might keep His statutes and observe His laws.
 
Looking, then, to the chequered course of thatmarvellous history of five hundred years, the JewishPsalmist could well call the heirs of the ancientcovenant, the seed of Abraham, gathered in theHouse of their God, to read the lesson of the pastand make the scene of worship a scene of thanksgiving. He could say with the persuasive authoritywon from long experience : O give thanks unto theLord, and call upon His name : tell the people whatthings He hath done. let your songs be of Him,and praise Him : and let your talking be of all Hiswondrous works.So the Psalmist could say to Israel in old time,and his call, my brethren, is made upon us tooto-day. Five-and-twenty centuries have added toits power. Calvary and Olivet have fulfilled whatMoriah and Zion foreshadowed. And we on our partanswer it now more or less consciously by ourpresence here. We take to ourselves the lessons of the Psalm. We witness, if we pause to interpret themeaning of our assembly, that thanksgiving is anessential element of worship ; we witness also thatlife is a divine service answering to a divine guidance.t> oThese, then, are the two thoughts which I desire toconnect with our meeting, and I ask you to considerwhether in doing this I am not putting into wordsdeep feelings of your own hearts, which give dignityto your work as choirs in the House of God andennoble the very weariness of duty.We witness, I say, by our meeting here, thatxxxvin VILLAGE SERMOS 335
 
thanksgiving is an essential element of worship. Itmust be so. We have only to look to our Prayer-Books to learn how small a place is occupied by therecital of our own needs when we come before God.What we ask for ourselves may be briefly summed upin the petition, that we may be enabled, in whateverway, to serve Him better as a nation, as a church,as individual believers ; and for this end we endeavourto move our souls to livelier devotion by dwelling withwords of praise on His majesty and love, by confessingone to another what He is and what He has done, bylistening to the records of His will, by taking uponour lips the hymns of saints. Our highest act of worship is called a Eucharist, a Communion ; athanksgiving that is, and a fellowship ; a thanksgivingto God, a fellowship with God and man. And weshall all remember how the ascription of glory tothe Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, one God,ever recurring as a solemn refrain, binds our wholeservice together as a song of triumph, one great TeDeum. ow if this be so, if praise occupies thisforemost position in Christian worship, then \ve shallsee why music has there also an equal place. Musicis the proper language of praise. Music is to feelingwhat language is to thought. And as we rememberthat in the imagery of heaven the occupation of thehosts before the throne is shown to us under thefigure of endless praise, so music alone of all thedelights of our present life is connected with the lifeof the future. or is it hard to read the parable.Praise represents the only offering which man canmake to his Creator, and music is the one art whichis the peculiar expression of his own nature. The336 VILLAGE SERMOSsculptor tries to reproduce in their most perfectbeauty the forms which he sees, but the impulse

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