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they made the Holy Scriptures their study; they taught them diligently in their house.
Make the same inestimable volume your daily study with your families. Read it with the wish to learn your own duty, to teach them their's : read it with a prayer to Almighty God, that his blessing may be with them that teach, and them that learn, and that what you know not He wilt
Add to the daily study of the Scriptures,-family worship. Assemble your household every morning, and every night. Prayer is one of those appointed means of grace which you will find rich in present and in future blessing. “ Where two or three are gathered together in my name, (says our blessed Lord) there am I in the midst of them.”— Beginning the day thus in His more immediate service, you may hope that His “ presence will go ' with you” through all its remaining duties, its trials, and its temptation. Thus closing it in communion with Him, you may lie down in peace, and take your rest.
Do not say you have not time. You have time for the concerns of this perishing world, which must soon pass away—be not more negligent of the higher interest of eternity. That which you sow here you must reap hereafter—" he that soweth to the flesh, shall of the flesh reap corruption ; but he that soweth to the spirit, shall of the spirit reap life everlasting."-" The blessing of the Lord, too, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow, (no consuming care) to it;" his blessing is upon his servants, and upon them only.
Do not say you are ignorant how to set about this duty: there are many excellent and simple and spiritual forms of prayer to guide the devotions of those who are least accustoined to conduct family worship.-The Psalms of David are full of beautiful Supplications.-The General Confession,
Reflections on Joshua,
341 the Lord's Prayer, and the Third Collect (for Grace), in the Morning Service in our Common Prayer-book ; and that for aid against all perils, in the Evening Service, are a form of prayer within the reach of all. Others may be added to them. Consult your Minister, or å pious friend, who would be ready to assist you. Be but earnest in your wish, and you will find a way, or make one.
Endeavour thus, you and your house, to serve the Lord, and then, with His blessing on your labour of love, may you hereafter be enabled to say in the words of that blessed Saviour, who Himself prayed with and instructed His disciples, while He dwelt here on earth as man,
“ Those whom Thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost.”
K. B. June 13th, 1825.
MISTAKES RESPECTING PUBLIC WORSHIP.
WHOEVER is anxious to improve in the graces
of Christianity, and to become more prepared for that eternal state of happiness to which Christians are looking forward, will always gladly embrace the opportunities of public worship which are afforded him. Thus a devout Christian is always found to be a regular attendant on the appointed ordinances and services of his religion. But, though this is true, it is also true that a person may be found in his place every Sabbath day, at church, and yet there may not be in him that mind which ought to be in all those who profess the religion of Christ. This remark is not intended to discourage a regular attendance on public worship, but to lead us to consider the purposes of these sacred services, that we may meet together with the greatest advantage,
and that the worship of every Sabbath may be the means of producing in us a greater fitness for the everlasting Sabbath of heaven.
It will be profitable then for us often to ask ourselves whether we go to church with a right view of the reasons for which public worship was ordained.
From the manner in which our church service is often spoken of, we might be led to suppose that we went for nothing else but to hear the sermon ; quite forgetting that our Lord said, “ My house shall be called the house of prayer.” The most important part of our service is prayer,--and yet, when there is no sermon in a church, bow common it is for people to say—“I shall not go to church this morning, there is nothing but prayers.
Nothing but prayers !- What !-are prayers nothing? Is the business of opening our hearts to God, and making our desires known to him, and asking his protecting care and merciful guidance-are these nothing ?-Why without the supporting hand of God, we could not exist a single moment; and is the business of asking this support, nothing? And after our life here is at an end, -to his mercies we are to look, for our hopes of happiness our escape from misery-in the life to come. Is all this nothing? Let no Christian ever use such an expression as “ Nothing but prayers,
But, whilst we feel and acknowledge the value, and the privilege of prayer, let it not be supposed that the preaching of the Word" is to be despised.
" Preach the Word” is the command which is given, by the voice of inspiration, to the ministers of the Gospel; and experience shews us, that when a sinner is turned from the error of his
ways, generally by the means of the preaching of the word of God. We cannot then wonder that the anxiety of ministers for the good of their flock should lead them, at the conclusion of the prayers;
Mistakes respecting Public Worship. 343 to endeavour, by a discourse, to point out to the congregation the great doctrines of the Gospel, and to urge them to seek for the help of divine grace, that they may be enabled to adorn those doctrines by holy and Christian lives. The sermon often leads to the knowledge of what is right, teaches the doctrines of Scripture,-shews what are our privileges,—and what are our duties ;-lays before us the hopes which a Christian has, through Christ, and how he is to prepare to live with Christ for ever : and, when a person is brought, by means of preaching, to see what is required of him, he will then see the need of prayer; and, instead of despising such a privilege, he will see that there is nothing to be done without it. Thus, preaching leads to prayer, and thus opens a way to all the blessings which belong to Christians. It becomes us then to ask ourselves with what expectations, and in what state of mind we go to the house of God. It never sounds well when we hear a person say, * I shall go to day to hear Mr. Such-a-one.” This is as if we went only to hear, and forgot that we were to pray. But, even among those who do go principally to hear, there is often another great mistake which renders their hearing of very little use to them. They talk of the style of the preacher, and his manner,--sometimes even of his appearance, and the gracefulness of his attitudes, and the tone of his voice!—but all this time they forget the message that he brings, and they consequently go out of the church no better than they came in;perfectly indifferent to all that has been said to them. It requires no words to shew the miserable state of such hearers as these. Let them listen to the voice of Scripture-"Take heed how ye hear.”
It is the castom of most clergymen, after the sermon, to offer up a prayer that the doctrines which they have preached through divine grace may produce an effect on the lives of their bearers, and of themselves. We ought to come away from a sermon in the spirit which that prayer teaches us.
Grant, we beseech Thee, O Almighty God, that the words which we have heard this day with our outward ears, may, through Thy grace, be so grafted inwardly in our hearts that they may bring forth in us the fruit of good living, to the honour and praise of Thy name, through Jesus Christ, our Lord.”
When we offer this prayer, we should think of what has been the subject of the sermon,
and pray that it may produce its proper effect.—The late Mr. Rennell, of Kensington, when offering this prayer, was in the habit of introducing in it an allusion to the particular subject of his discourse. This seems an excellent method of bringing back the minds of the hearers to the subject before them, in case they are beginning to wander, -For instance, if the subject of the discourse had been “humility,"-or “ faith,"—or charity,”the petition would be, “grant that the words which we have heard this day. ....may bring forth in us the fruit of “ humility,”_or“ faith,” or “charity, to the honour and praise of Thy name, through Jesus Christ our Lord."
DOCTOR FRANKLIN. In turning over the leaves of my little “ Biographical Dictionary," I found a short account of the life of Dr. Benjamin Franklin, which I here copy, as I think it may be amusing to some of my readers.
“ Dr. Benjamin Franklin was born at Boston, in America, in the year 1706. His father was a soap: boiler and tallow-chandler in that town, and, being a man of good understanding, be educated his son himself. His elder brother was bred a printer, and Benjamin was placed under him; but, a difference