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80th Q.-Though worship is not limited to time or place, is it not our duty to meet together at certain times publicly, to worship God?

A. It is incumbent on us to meet together for public worship, as a testimony of our duty to God, and of our dependance on him for a renewal of our spiritual strength, as also to hold forth the nature of the true worship to others.

Psalm xcvi. 7. Give unto the Lord, O ye kindreds of the people, 8. The glory due unto his name: bring au offering and come into his courts. 9. O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness: fear before him all the earth.

Psalm 1xxxvi. 9. All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Lord: and shall glorify thy name.

Rom. xii. 1. I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your

reasonable service.

Heb. x. 24. And let us consider one another, to provoke unto love, and to good works: 25. Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is.

Rev. xv. 4. Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee.

81st Q.-What is our duty when thus assembled together?

A. To wait upon the Lord in silence, and endeavour to preserve the mind from dwell

ing on thoughts which arise from the activity of the imagination; that the life and power of Christ may be felt to calm the soul, to bring every thought into subjection, to produce a real inward silence, and afford a true sense of its state; when even a single sigh, arising from such a sense, will be acceptable to God, because of his own begetting; for it is only his own works that can praise him.

Psal. xxvii. 14. Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.

Psal. lxii. 5. My soul, wait thou only upon God: for my expectation is from him. 6. He only is my rock and my salvation.

Psal. xlvi. 10. Be still, and know that I am God. Zech. ii. 13. Be silent, O all flesh, before the Lord. Isaiah xli. 1. Keep silence before me, O islands, and let the people renew their strength.

Isaiah xl. 28. Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the creator of the ends of the earth fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. 29. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. 30. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men utterly fall. 31. But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, and they shall walk and not faint.

Isaiah li. 5. The isles shall wait upon me, and on my arm shall they trust.

Rom. viii. 26. Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities; for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.


Psalm cxlv. 10. All thy works shall praise thee, O Lord.

82d Q.-What are the advantages derived by Christians from thus meeting together for the exercise of public worship?

A.-Those who, by a travail of spirit, are inwardly gathered to the one source of light and life for a renewal of their spiritual strength, become helpful to each other: the life flowing from Christ the head, (who is spiritually present according to his promise,) to his members, the circulation of it among them, as from vessel to vessel, produces the communion and fellowship of the saints, by which, one member feeling for and sympathizing with another, all are edified.

Matt. xviii. 20. Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

1 Cor. xii. 12. As the body is one, and hath many, members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body; so also is Christ. 13. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.. 14. For the body is not one member, but many. 21. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again, the head to the feet, I have no need of you. 22. Nay much more, those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble are necessary. 25. That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. 26. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it: or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.

1 Peter ii. 5. Ye also as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

83d Q.-Are not prayer and praise a part of divine worship?

A.-Doubtless, and may be either mental or vocal. Mental prayer is the turning of the mind to God, when the soul awakened by the Spirit of Christ, and bowed under a sense of its wants and unworthiness, looks up to God, and breathes forth its desires without words. Vocal prayer is, when it feels an influence of the Spirit to express audible words, either in public assemblies or in private. In like manner praise and thanksgiving may be either mental or vocal.

Matt. vi. 6. 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.

Matt. xxvi. 41. Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

Eph. v. 18. Be filled with the Spirit. 19. Speaking to yourselves in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord. 20. Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Eph. vi. 18. Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance, and supplication for all saints.

Col. iv. 2. Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving.

1 Thess. v. 17. Pray without ceasing. 18. In every thing give thanks.

1 Tim. ii. 8. I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.

Heb. xiii. 15. By him [Jesus] therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to his name.

See also the Proofs to the 59th and 81st Answers.

84th Q.-Did not our Saviour teach his dis ciples how to express themselves in prayer?

A. He did, and cautioned them not to use vain repetitions, but to pray after this manner; "Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread.* And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil." (Matt. vi. 9-13.)

Matt. vi. 7. But when ye pray, use not vain re petitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. 8. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye stand in need of, before ye ask him. 9. After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father, &c. as above. See also Luke xi. 2-4.

*The context requires us to consider this petition as referring principally, if not wholly, to that spiritual bread which nourisheth up the soul unto eternal life, for as doth the body, so doth the spiritual life need daily food to sustain it.

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