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4-6.) all these things bestowed on Christians, through the inestimable love of God in Christ Jesus, require you to offer united sacrifices of thanksgiving.
GRACE BEFORE AND AFTER MEALS is another part of family prayer, 'which no Christian master can neg. lect. The Apostle, after reproving those who com. manded to abstain from meats, goes on to assert, 'which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving, of them which believe and know the truth. Por every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.' 1 Tim. iv, 3, 4, 5. In discharging this part of family worship, take heed of a few mere formal words. Be serious and devout in every. approach to the great God. ..
The manner of conducting family worship is of much importance. Be not on the one side needlessly tender about your own reputation, in mere outward things, por on the other careless and remiss. Let us have a greater awe of God's majesty than of man's presence. We will now notice some things to be avoided. •
Some, by a voice too loud, or too low, or from using a particular whine or tone-or by a repulsive manner by aiming at fine expressions, or by vulgar and coarse ones, or by excessive length, fatigue and perhaps disgust those whom they desire to edify. - Let all be natural and simple, short and devout, and your voice such as you use in conversing with your friends on serious subjects. · In the multiplied engagements of large towns, long prayers are not suited to the situations of most families; yet do not abridge the duty so as to make it a mere form, and as if you were glad to hurry through it, Seek, in short, to have your worship such that a
piously.disposed family may rejoice when the time of prayer is come : and amid the cares, distractions, and sorrows of life, may count it a relief and a privilege.
We have hitherto considered the duty of the Head of the Family. The duties of those who JOIN IN FAMILY WORSHIP, are, duly to prize the privilege, and to beware of a wandering, cold, and careless spirit, which will destroy all your benefit and comfort in it, whoever teaches, whoever prays. It is the joining of every heart in the requests offered up, which gives to family prayer its greatest efficacy. You should agree to - ask ; your spirit should join the spirit of him who prays; let there be a secret Amen in your hearts to every petition, (1 Cor. xiv, '16.) and thus you will obtain the promised blessing. And do not think it sufficient for you to
have joined in family worship, and that you may then · neglect secret prayer. Never forget to pray in secret also,
What a lovely sight it is to see a whole family thus uniting together morning and evening, preparing and being made meet, day by day, for the inheritance of the saints in light; obtaining on earth the humble, dependent, thankful, holy, and heavenly state of mind, which fits 'them for joining the family of their Lord in heaven. Whatever storms rage without, such a family obeying the direction, Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee; hide thyself as it were for a little moment, till the indignation be overpast,” (Isa. xxvi, 20.) are safe. They are able to say, • God is our refuge and strength.' Ps. xlvi, 1.
May what has been said induce THOSE WHO HAVE HITHERTO LIVED IN THE NEGLECT OF THIS DUTY, to take up at once David's firm resolution, •Surely I will not come into the tabernacle of my house, nor go up into
my bed; I will not give sleep to mine eyes, nor slumber to mine eyelids, until I find out a place for the Lord, an habitation for the mighty God of Jacob.' Ps. cxxxii. Let me beseech you-lose no time--not a single day Difficulties may be multiplied; but only set about it in faith and prayer, wisely.and vigorously, and they will all vanish. Say firmly, as, Jacob did to his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments, and let us arise and go up to Bethel, and I will make there an aitar unto God.' Gen. xxxv, 2, 3.. · And may THOSE WHO HAVE ATTENDED TO THIS DUTY, find the bints which bave been given, an addition al help to the performance of it; and also feel pledged; by their prayers and instructions, to bring into the fami ly in the day the character which they have manifested, and the graces which they requested in their united devotions.
But let them not think, as some have been ready to think, that a discharge of this duty will absolve them from the constant practice of daily morning and evening. devotions in secret. He who prays only before others, has much reason to suspect that he prays. to be seen of men, and has no real love to God, nor true knowledge of the nature of prayer.'
THE tern social may be applied to all kinds of prayer,
We have scriptural examples to encourage us to the
Mary, the mother of John, he found there many that were gathered together praying.' Acts xii, 12. When Paul and Silas were thrown into prison they comforted each other by sociał prayer. "Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners hearil them.' Acts xvi, 25. When · Moses' hands were heavy, Aaron and Hur stayed op his hands, the one on the one side and the other on the other side, and his hands were
steady until the going down of the sun.' Bishop Hall remarks on this, "Doubtless Aaron and Hur did not only raise their hands but their minds with his : the more cords the easier draught. Aaron was brother to Moses. There cannot be a more brotherly office than to help one another in our prayers, and to excite our mutual devotions. No Christian may think it enough to pray alone: he is no true Israelite that will not be ready to lift up the weary band of God's saints."* :
And as social prayer is a duty binding generally 'on all Christians, so there is a special reason for it in some particular relations. Husband and wife should pray to. gether, with and for each other; the Apostle appears to. suppose they do so, when he adds, as a reason for some directions given to them, that your prayers be not hinderer. 1 Pet. iii, 7.
There are some things which seem peculiarly to call for social prayer. Let me especially mention the state of the church of Christ in our own country, and through cut the world, as calling for our attention. The various precepts and examples in the word of God on this sub. ject, and the present remarkable signs of the times, evidently require the Christian's remembrance of this in all his social prayers. David gives us a solemn direc
tion, and a copy of his.prayer and determination on this · subject; (Ps. cxxii, 6-9.) 'pray for the peace of Jeru.
salem; they shall prosper that love thee. Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces. For my brethren and companion's sake, I will now say, Peace be within thee. Because of the house of the Lord our God,