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Q. 9. What are the services proper to be performed at the time of family worship, morning and evening?
A. Reading the Scriptures, religious instruction, psalmody, and prayer.(5)
When is secret worship to be observed? X. Certainly, at least, daily. Perhaps the best
A. time is immediately after rising in the morning, and just before retiring in the evening. Uniformity in this religious exercise is very desirable.
Q. 11. What are the reasons for secret worship?
X. In secret worship, persons can approach God with more freedom, and unbosom themselves to Him more fully, than in any other way. Besides, there are private personal interests between them and God, sins to confess, woes to bewail, and wants to be supplied, which it would be improper to disclose to the world around them. This service is greatly conducive to a devotional state of mind, and to growth in grace.
Q. 12. What is prayer?
À. It is a suppliant religious address, and implies indigence, desire, and expectation in the person offering it.(0)
Q. 13. What are the obligations to prayer?
À. The reasonableness of the duty, the personal good derived from the exercise, the efficacy of
(h) Acts 17 11. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Deut. 6. 6, 7. And these words which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart. And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. See Ps. 92. 1,2, in note (g.) Philip. 4.6. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God.
(i) Luke 18. 1.3. And the Publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
prayer in procuring the blessings desired, and the command of God. It is, therefore, great folly and sin, to neglect this important and imperious duty.(j) Q. 14.
To whom should prayer be offered? A. To God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Prayer may not be offered to the Virgin Mary, nor to any of the canonized saints, nor to angels, nor to any created being whatever, for this would be idolatry; nor may prayer be offered to God, through them as mediators.(5)
Q. 15. In whose name should prayer be offered?
À. In the name of Christ. He alone is the medium of intercourse with Heaven. Since the fall, there is no way of access to the throne of mercy, but by a Mediator.(')
Q. 16. In what manner should God be addressed in prayer?
A. With understanding, solemnity, and reverence, with deep sense of sinfulness and unworthiness, with love, penitence, humility, faith, gratitude, perseverance, and submission to the will of God.(m)
(j) Luke 11. 9. And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
(k) Luke 11. 2. And he said unto them, when ye pray, say, Our Father
which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 2 Cor. 13. 14. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Acts 7. 59. And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. Col. 2. 18. Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind. Rev. 19. 10. And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not. I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus; worship God; for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
(1) 1 Tim.2. 5. For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. Eph. 2. 18. For through him we both have an access by one spirit unto the Father,
(m) Ps. 47.7. For God is the King of all the earth; sing ye praises with understanding. Heb. 12. 28. Wherefore,
R. 17. For whom is prayer to be offered?
A. For ourselves, our friends and enemies, for rulers and ruled, ministers and people, Zion and the world, for all who now live, and shall hereafter live, but not for the dead, neither for sinners in hell, nor for saints in heaven, nor for those who have committed the unpardonable sin.(").
Q. 18. For what are prayers to be offered?
A. For those things, which are lawful in themselves, and which tend to advance the glory of God, the welfare of the Church and the world, our own good and the good of others.
Q. 19. In what do the devotional services of heaven differ from those of earth?
we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. Luke 18. 13. God be merciful to me a sinner. John 4. 24. God is a spirit, and they that worship him, must worship him in spirit and in truth. Heb. 11. 6. But without faith it is impossible to please him; for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Eph. 6. 18. Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints. Luke 22. 42. Saying, Father if thou be willing, remove this cup from me; nevertheless, not my will but thine, be done.
(n) 1 Tim. 2. 1, 2. I exhort therefore, that first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, bé made for all men; for kings and for all that are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. Matt. 5. 44. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them
which despitefully use you, and persecute you. Ps. 122. 6. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem; they shall prosper that love thee. Rev. 22. 11. He that is unjust, let him be unjust still; and he which is filthy, let him be filthy stilí; and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still; and he that is holy, let him be holy still. 1 John 5.16. If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death, I do not say that he shall pray for it.
A. They differ in these respects, the devotional services of heaven are perfectly pure and holy, and consist of praise and thanksgiving.
Q. 20. May the habitual neglect of prayer consist with the Christian character2
A. It is difficult to conceive, that it may. Prayer has been justly denominated the breath of the Christian.(0)
(0) Acts 9. 11. And the Lord said unto him, Arise and go into the street, which is called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus; for behold he prayeth.
Q. 1. What is meant by the Sabbath?
A. A day of rest from secular pursuits and worldly pleasures, in devotement to holy services.
Q. 2. Is the Sabbath a moral or positive institution?
A. In a sense it is both. The separation of a portion of time to the worship of God is dictated by the light of nature, and therefore of moral obligation. But the quantity of time, as well as the particular time to be separated to the worship of God,' is known only by Divine revelation, and is therefore of positive obligation.
Q. 3. What portion of time has God consecrated to be kept holy?
A. A seventh part one day in seven.(a)
Q. 4. Why should the Sabbath be observed as a holy day?
A. Because it furnishes an opportunity for rest, serious reading and meditation, the religious education of children, Christian intercourse, and publick social worship;--because the reason and fitness of things require it;—and because God has established
(a) Ex. 20. 8-10. Remember the sabbath day to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work; but the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God; in it thou shalt not do any work, thou nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy man-servant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thy catile, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates.