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saying, “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” “I will praise the Lord with my whole heart," says David, “in the congregation of the faithful.”Earth affords not a more impressive, affecting, and solemn sight, than that of a whole congregation uniting in acts of prayer and praise to the great Lord of all. In such a scene, also, the Christian peculiarly enjoys the privilege of the communion of saints.

5. But public worship is a privilege as well as a duty. To the Christian it is not a burdensome task, but a delightful employment, under the influences of the Holy Spirit, to join his fellow Christians in prayer and praise. Observe how David speaks “ One thing have I desired of the Lord, and that will I seek after, that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple.” “How amiable are thy tabernacles, O Lord of hosts; my soul longeth, yea, even fainteth, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.” Hence the Sabbath is to the Christian a happy day. He looks forward to it with pleasure. He regrets its departure.

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THERE are some very important means of grace, and outward observances, which are plainly implied in the word of God, for the performance of


which we have few, if any, positive, plain, and express precepts. We are left to gather them from the examples of holy men, and from various incidental circumstances. Such, in some degree, is the duty of family worship.

It will not, however, be difficult to prove the obligation to family worship in various ways.

1. We are taught this duty by scriptural examples. Consider the example of Abraham, the father of the faithful, and the friend of God. His family piety is that for which he is blessed by Jehovah himself: "I know Abraham, that he will command his children, and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord to do justice and judgment, that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him."

Consider the holy determination of Joshua, who declared to all Israel, “Choose ye this day whom ye will serve; as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

When David had brought the ark of God into Jerusalem with gladness, sacrifices, and thanksgivings, after discharging all his public duties, and blessing the people in the name of the Lord of hosts," he returned to bless his household."

Observe the praise given to Cornelius; he was " a devout man, and one that feared God, with all his house ; which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God always.The early Christians practised this duty. St. Paul greets the church in the house of Priscilla and Aquila, when they were


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at Rome, and sends the salutation of the Church that was in their house when they were in Asia.

2. Threatenings are pronounced against those who disregard this duty. Those who neglect the worship of God in their families, lie, (awful thought!) under the displeasure of the Almighty, under the frown of the Most High. Observe (what is said, “ Pour out thy fury upon the heathen that know thee not, and upon the families that call not upon thy name.”

3. Family prayer has also some peculiar advantages. It is a most important means of propagating piety to posterity. Children are creatures of imitation. They love to copy all that they see in others. The characters of unborn generations may depend on your conduct in this matter.

4. Family worship when duly conducted is attended with many happy effects on your whole family. No wonder that those who neglect this, are continually troubled with the misconduct and perverseness of those under them and about them; no wonder that jarrings, dissensions, and other disagreeable circumstances, are continually disquieting them. It is just what might be expected. How can they who neglect the worship of God in their families look for peace or comfort in them? We may confidently appeal to thosewho have regular and daily family prayer, that, when conducted in a simple and devout spirit, it has a tendency to remove, or allay, all those unhappy passions to which our common nature is subject, and which, more or less, appear in every family.

5. Family prayer gains for us the presence and blessing of our Lord. There is a promise of his presence, which appears peculiarly applicable to this duty. Many have found in family worship, that help and that communion with God, which they had sought for with less effect in private prayer.

Dr. Buchanan strikingly contrasts a family which worships God and a family which worships him not ; and the excellence of the remarks will justify the length of the quotation. “How painful it is to reflect,' he says, “that there should be in this kingdom, many domestic societies among whom the worship of the Deity is not known, in whose houses no grateful accents are ever heard, no exultation of heart for the divine goodness. There are, indeed, accents of exultation and mirth; "and the harp, and the viol, and the tabret, and the pipe, are in their feasts;' but there is no remembrance of God: “they regard not the operation of his hands.' While even inanimate nature, in a certain sense offereth praise to the great Creator, and fulfilleth his will; these men pass through life in silence ! Insensible to the mercies, or judgments, or power, or providence, of the unseen God; yes, more insensible than the inhabitants of heathen lands, upon whom the light of truth has never shined.

“How different is the scene which is presented in those happy families where the voice of prayer and thanksgiving consecrates every day! where the word of God is devoutly read, and the infants are taught to lisp their Creator's praise. There, from day to day, domestic peace, and love, and harmony,

are cherished by the sublimest motives, and strengthened by the tenderest and most powerful sanctions. On the hallowed day they repair, with gladness of heart, to their respective places of worship, and mingle with assemblies which meet with much more delight for praise and prayer, than other assemblies for worldly mirth. And let not the world contemn, or disturb their holy exercise : for we learn from scripture, that it is from such families and assemblies, who are the salt of the earth,' worshipping in the midst of us, that the incense of prayer ascends in behalf of the country, and is accepted in heavenly places through the intercession of the Mediator."



The term “social” may be applied to all kinds of prayer in which we join with others, but it is here restricted to the united prayer of Christian friends, distinct from public and family worship. It would be well if Christians were more accustomed than they are to sanctify their occasional meetings by prayer, and to meet also for the purpose of uniting in prayer to obtain those blessings which they need. The particular promise given to united prayer has led many to practise this both as a privilege and as a duty. “If two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven."

We have scriptural examples to encourage us to the performance of this. When Peter was in

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