« PreviousContinue »
Q. 5. What are the services of public worship?
A. They are the reading of the Sacred Scriptures, the preaching of the gospel, prayer, psalmody, the administration of baptism, and of the Lord's supper. These services are always to be performed in a known language. The practice, therefore, of the Greek and Latin Churches, in this respect, cannot be justified.(d)
Q. 6. Are all people bound to support public worship?
A. They are, by the most indispensable obligations. Their happiness and prosperity in time, and their wellbeing in eternity, require it. No people were ever virtuous, happy, and successful, who did not maintain the worship of God. Besides, God has made it the duty of all men to support, by their contributions, the regular ministrations of the gospel.(e)
Q. 7. Can persons needlessly absent themselves from the house of God, or public religious services, without criminality?
(d) Acts xv. 21. For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogue every sabbath day.-Acts xviii. 4. And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.-1 Tim. ii. 8. I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands without wrath and doubting. Col. iii. 16. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.— Acts ii. 41, 42. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized; and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayer.
(e) 1 Cor. ix. 11, 14. If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing, if we shall reap your carnal things? Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.-Matt. x. 9, 10. Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass, in your purses, nor scrip for your journey; neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves; for the workman is worthy of his meat.-1 Tim. v. 18. For the Scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And the laborer is worthy of his reward.— Gal. vi. 6. Let him that is taught in the word, communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.-Rom. xv. 27. It hath pleased them verily; and their debtors they are. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister unto them in carnal things.-2 Cor. viii. 13, 14. For I mean not that other men be eased, and you burdened; but by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their wants, that their abundance also may be a supply for your wants, that there may be equality.
A. Certainly not; and they do it at their peril.(ƒ) Q. S. When is family worship to be observed?
A. Morning and evening. This reason and revelation teach. It is also a duty to acknowledge God in a short prayer at the table, before and after refreshments.(g)
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.(h)
Q. 10. When is secret worship to be observed?
A. Certainly, at least, daily. Perhaps the most suitable 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?
A. 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
(f) Heb. x. 25. Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is.-Ps. c. 4. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise; be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
(g) Ps. xcii. 1, 2. It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name, O Most High; to show forth thy loving-kindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night.— Ps. cxli. 2. Let my prayer be set before thee as incense, and the lifting up of my hands as the morning sacrifice.-1 Tim. iv. 3-5. Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them, which believe and know the truth. For 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.
(h) Acts xvii. 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. vi. 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.-Ps. xcii. 1, 2. It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name, O Most High; to show forth thy loving kindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night.— Phil. iv. 6. Be careful for nothing; but in everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God.
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. It is enjoined also in the Scriptures.(i)
Q. 12. What is prayer?
A. It is a suppliant religious address, and implies a feeling of indigence, desire, and expectation in the person offering it.(j)
Q. 13. What are the obligations to prayer?
A. They arise from the reasonableness of the duty; the personal good derived from the exercise; the efficacy of prayer in procuring the blessings desired; and the command of God. It is, therefore, great folly and sin to neglect this important and imperative duty.(k)
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.(1)
Q. 15. In whose name should prayer be offered?
(i) Matt. vi. 6. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret, and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
(j) Luke xviii. 13. 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.
(k) Luke xi. 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.James v. 16. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.--Luke xviii. 1. And he spake a parable unto them, to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint.
(2) Luke xi. 2. And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.-2 Cor. xiii. 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 vii. 59. And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. Col. ii. 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 fleshy mind.-Rev. xix. 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,
A. 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.(m)
Q. 16. In what manner should God be addressed in prayer?
A. With understanding, solemnity, and reverence, with a deep sense of sinfulness and unworthiness, with love, penitence, humility, faith, gratitude, perseverance, and submission to the will of God.(n)
Q. 17. For whom is prayer to be offered?
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, nor for sinners in hell, nor for saints in heaven, nor for those who have committed the unpardonable sin.(o)
Q. 18. For what are prayers to be offered?
(m) 1 Tim. ii. 5. For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus.-Eph. ii. 13. For through him we both have an access by one spirit unto the Father.
(n) Ps. xlvii. 7. For God is the King of all the earth; sing ye praises with understanding.-Heb. xii. 28. Wherefore, we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.-Luke xviii. 13. God be merciful to me a sinner.-John iv. 24. God is a spirit, and they that worship him, must worship him in spirit and in truth.-Heb. xi. 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. vi. 18. Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.-Luke xxii. 42. Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me; nevertheless, not my will, but thine, be done.
(0) 1 Tim. ii. 1, 2. I exhort, therefore, that, first of all, supplica. tions, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be 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. v. 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 cxxii. 6. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem; they shall prosper that love thee.-Rev. xxii. 11. He that is unjust, let him be unjust still; and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still; and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still; and he that is holy, let him be holy still.-1 John v. 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. 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?
A. They differ in these respects: the devotional services of heaven are perfectly pure and holy, and consist chiefly of praise and thanksgiving.
Q. 20. May the habitual neglect of prayer consist with the Christian character?
A. It is difficult to conceive that it may. Prayer is justly denominated the breath of the Christian.(p)
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)
Why should the Sabbath be observed as a holy
(p) Acts ix. 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.
(a) Exod. xx. 8-10. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, 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 maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates.