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ought to enlarge our ordinary devotions, and to make the subject of them chiefly to consist in thanksgivings for the works of creation and redemption; recollecting also all those particular mercies which we have received from the -bounty of Heaven, through the whole course of our lives. We should devote a portion of the day to reading and meditating upon divine subjects; and we should make it our business to instruct our children and families; to visit the sick and the poor, comforting them by seasonable counsel and charity.

Q. What seems to be the principal duty on this day?

A. The principal duty on this day is the being present at the assemblies at public worship, from which nothing but sickness or absolute necessity should detain us. For the day being dedicated to the honour and worship of Gol, and also appointed for the purpose of openly professing ourselves Christians, it will be an evidence that we are insensible both to the honocr of God and to our Christian profession and privileges, if we neglect the duty of public worship. Nothing troublod the primitive Christians more, when sick and in prison, or under banishment, than that they could not come to the public worship of the Church.

Q. What are the great-advantages of the religious obserTation of the Lord's day?

A. The religious observation of the Lord's day keeps up the solemn and public worship of God, and thus preserves the knowledge and visible profession of the Christian religion in the world. Considering how much time is taken up; by the greatest part of mankind, in providing for the necessaries of life; and how negligent and careless, in the concerns of their souls, they are who enjoy plenty and abundance; this stated season is highly useful to instruct the ignorant, by preaching and catechising, and to put those in mind of their duty, who, in their prosperity, are apt to forget God. Moreover, by spending this day in religious exercises, sve acquire new strength and resolution to perform God's will in our several stations, the week following.

Q. Where are the acts of public worship to be performed?

4. In the Church, the house of God, so called, because solemnly dedicated and set apart for his public worship and service, and because it may be considered as the place of hić speculiar presence.

e Exod. xx. 24; Hab ii. 20); Mart, wiii. 26.

Q. Did the Apostles and primitive Christians set apart particular places for public worship?

A. Even in the times of the Apostles, there were places set apart for the performance of divine worship. Though these places for public worship were concealed from the Jews and Heathens, being either part of the houses of Christians, or within the compass of them, yet they were sufficiently known to the faithful.

Q. How ought we to show our reverence for holy places ?

A. By building and erecting such places where they are wanting, and furnishing them decently for the worship of God; by repairing and adorning them, when time, or the iniquity of an age, has made them ruinous; by keeping them from all profane and common uses, and applying them wholly to the business of religion; by offering up our pray. ers in them with fervour and frequency; by hearing God's word with attention and resolutions of obeying it, and by celebrating the holy mysteries with humiliation and devotion; by using all those outward testimonies of respect which the Church enjoins, or which may be established by the custom of the age in which we live, as marks of honour and reverence; and, above all, by governing our whole behaviour in such places, with a due regard to those ends and purposes for which they were dedicated and set apart; abstaining from conversation, and from all negligent and light behaviour, when assembled in them.

Q. What preparation of mind is necessary for our joining in the public prayers ?

A. We should endeavour to ostract our thoughts as much as we can from our worldly business and concerns, that we may call upon God with attention and application of soul; to keep our passions in order and subjection, that none of them may interrupt us when we approach the throne of grace; to possess our minds with such an awful sense of God's presence, as may lead us to behave with gravity and reverence; to work in ourselves such a sense of our own weakness and insufficiency, as may make us earnest for the supplies of supernatural grace; such a sorrow for our sins, such humiliation for them, and such a readiness to forgive others, as may prevail upon God, for the sake of Christ's sufferings, to forgive us : and, lastly, we should endeavour to récollect those many blessings which we have received,

f 1 Cor. xiv. 34, 35; 1 Cor. xi. 22; Rom. xvi. 5; 1 Cor. xvi. 19; Col. iv. 15 ; Philem. i, 2; Rom. xvi, 10, 11,


that we may show forth the praise of God, not only with our lips, but in our lives, by giving up ourselves to his service.

Q. Since prayer is one of the great duties of public worship, state wherein the nature of

prayer consists. A. Prayer is the address of the soul to God, and the ascent of the mind towards heaven ; and it receives different names, according to the various subjects upon which it is employed. When we bewail our particular sins with sorrow, and full purposes of amendment, it is called confession; when we implore God's mercy, and desire any favour from him, petition; when we beseech him to avert from us any evil, supplication ; when we express a grateful sense of benefits received, thanksgiving ; when we acknowledge and adore the divine perfections, praise ; when we beg any thing for others, it is styled intercession.

Q. But since God knows all things, and, being infinitely good, is always ready to supply us, how doth it appear necessary to make such addresses to him ?

A. Prayer is necessary, as it is one of the highest acts of religious worship, whereby we acknowledge God's infinite perfections, and own our entire dependence upon him; that he is the fountain of all goodness, and that we are weak and imperfect. Besides, God hath established it as a means whereby we are to obtain the blessings which we need : we are to ask before it will be given, we must seek before we shall find, we must knock before it will be opened unto us.s And God hath promised the assistance of his Holy Spirit,h to help us in the performance of our prayers; and bath appointed his Son to intercede, by virtue of his merits, for their acceptance.

Q. What has been the practice of the world in regard to the duty of prayer ?

A. The most barbarous nations, as they have owned the being of a God, so have they always expressed their respect and reverence of a Deity, by making addresses to him. By their offering sacrifices, they acknowledge that God was the great Sovereign of the universe, that all good things came from him, and that from his bounty alone they could expect a supply of their wants. In all ages, good men have, in this manner, constantly exercised their devotion, and have exposed themselves to the utmost dangers and hazards, rather than neglect this duty. The blessed Jesus thus testified

& Matt. vii. 7.

h Rom, viii. 26.

i Heb. vii. 25.

his obedience and submission, his love and humility: he often went into the places of public worship, and frequently retired all alone, and spent whole nights in the exercise of prayer.

Q. What ought we to pray for ?

Å. In the first place, we ought to seek the kingdom of God and his righteousness,j all those things that are necessary to our salvation : to pray that God would be pleased to illuminate our understandings with the knowledge of divine truths; that he would pardon our sins, strengthen our resoJutions of better obedience, assist us to overcome temptations, and, by the help of his Spirit, enable us to walk in his ways all the days of our lives. In regard to this world, we should beseech God, that he would be pleased to supply us with such a share of the good things of it, as may be most agreeable to his will, and answer the ends of his universal providence, and may most conduce to our eternal welfare.

Q. What encouragement have we to beg the supply of our spiritual and temporal wants ?

A. The infinite goodness of the divine nature, and that universal providence whereby God governs the world, are sufficient motives to induce us to approach the throne of his majesty. But, lest his greatness, and the sense of our own unworthiness, should make us afraid, and keep us at a distance, God hath been graciously pleased to excite us to the performance of this duty, by promises of the success of our petition ; that he will be nigh to all those that call upon him ;k that he is ready to forgive, and plenteous in mercy to all that call upon him ;' that whatever we shall ask in prayer, believing, we shall receive.m

Q. Upon what conditions hath God promised to hear our


Å. The great confidence of our being heard, must be laid in asking according to his will," and in soliciting his favour upon those terms upon which he hath promised to grant it. When we beg pardon for our sins, we must resolve to forsake them; for the prayer of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord :o and we must be ready to forgive those that trespass against us, because it is the merciful man who shall obtain mercy.P

When we ask for any virtue, we must be sure diligently to endeavour after it. When we supplicate.

j Matt. vi. 33.
m Matt. xxi. 22.
p Matt, v. 7.

k Psalm cxlv. 18.
n 1 John v. 14.

i Psalm 1xxxvi. 5.
o Prov, xxviii. 9.

the help of divine grace, we must be ready to co-operate and concur with it; for to him that hath shall be given, and from him that hath not, shall be taken away even that' which he hath. When we pray for any temporal blessings, we must take all prudent and lawful means to acquire them, and resign ourselves entirely to the wisdom of God, to give such success to our endeavours as he shall think most conducive to our salvation and the good of others. And all these petitions for spiritual and temporal wants, must be offered to God through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ only.

Q. In what manner ought we to pray?

A. We ought to pray with such lowliness of mind, such reverent and serious deportment, as will plainly testify the respect and veneration we have for God's infinite majesty : with such intenseness and application of thought, as will en. gage our hearts as well as our lips in his service : with such fervency of affection, and such a measure of importunity, as will show how desirous we are of the mercy we request, and how highly we value and esteem what we ask for : with such a faith as consists in firmly believing we shall receive the good things we desire, when we have performed those conditions upon which God hath promised to bestow them. To all which we must add constancy and perseverance ; embracing all opportunities for prayer, and spending much time in this duty.

Q. What prayers are most acceptable to God, and most necessary for us?

A. Those prayers are most acceptable to God, and most necessary for us, that are offered in public assemblies. By public prayers, God is most honoured and glorified. A sense of his majesty is maintained in the world, somewhat suitable to his most excellent greatness and goodness, when, by outward signs and tokens, we publish and declare the inward regard and esteem we have for his divine perfections. By maintaining fellowship with God and one another in the duties of prayer and praise, we keep up our communion with the Church, which is the body of Christ. To the public assemblies of Christians our Saviour promises his special presence, and he has appointed a particular order of men to minister in them, and to offer up our prayers. We may expect greater success, when our petitions are made with the joint and unanimous consent of our fellow Christians, and.

9 Mark iv, 23.

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