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saints : and for me that utterance may be given mek." Many the like texts might be named, every one of which afford an argument for family praises most effectual.

1. If men must pray every where (that is convenient) then sure in their families. But, &c. Erg. 2. If men must pray without ceasing, then sure in their families. 3. If men must in every thing give thanks, then sure in family mercies, and then, according to the nature of them, together. 4. If men must continue in prayer and watch in it (for fit advantages and against impediments), and in thanksgiving, then doubtless they must not omit the singular advantages which are administered in families. 5. If we must continue instant in prayer and supplication, &c. then doubtless in family prayer, in our families, unless that be no place and no prayer. Object. But this binds us no more to prayer in our families than any where else. Answ. Yes, it binds us to take all fit opportunities; and we have more fit opportunities in our own families than in other men's, or than in occasional meetings, or than in any ordinary societies, except the church.

And here let me tell you, that it is ignorance to call for particular express Scripture, to require praying in families, as if we thought the general commands did not comprehend this particular, and were not sufficient. God doth in much wisdom leave out of his written law the express determination of some of those circumstantials, or the application of general precepts to some of those subjects to which common reason and the light of nature sufficeth to determine and apply them. The Scripture giveth us the general " Pray alway with all manner of prayer in all places,” that is, omit no fit advantages and opportunities for prayer: What if God had said no more than this about

prayer

in Scripture? It seems some men would have said God hath not required us to pray at all (when he requireth us to pray always), because he tells us not when and where, and how oft, and with whom, and in what words, &c. And so they would have concluded God no where bids us pray in secret, nor pray in families, nor pray in assemblies, nor pray with the godly, nor with the wicked, nor pray every day, nor once a week: 'nor with a book, nor without a book, and

* Eph. vi, 18,

therefore 'not at all. As if the general Pray on all fit occasions' were nothing.

But these men must know that nature also and reason are God's light, and Providence oft determineth of such subjects and adjuncts: and the general law, and these together, do put all out of doubt. What if God telleth you,

.He that provideth not for his own, especially those of his household, hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel,' and do not tell you either who are your families, and who not, nor what provision you shall make for them, what food, what clothes, or how oft they must feed, &c. Will you say God hath not bid you feed or clothe this child, or that servant? It is enough that God chargeth you to provide for your families, in the Scripture ; and that in nature he tell you which are your families, and what provision to make for them, and how oft, and in what quantity, &c. And so if God bid you pray in all places, and at all times, on all occasions (that are fit for prayer), and experience and common reason tell you that families afford most fit times, place, and occasions for prayer, is not this enough, that there are such seasons, and opportunities, and occasions for family prayer? I refer you to the particular discoveries of them in the beginning where I proved the dueness of worship in general to be there performed. And I refer you also to common reason itself, not fearing the contradiction of any man whose impiety hath not made him unreasonable, and prevailed against the coinmon light of nature. This first general argument were enough, if men were not so averse to their duty that they cannot know, because they will not : but let us therefore add some more.

Arg. 11. 'If there be many blessings which the family needeth, and which they do actually receive from God, then it is the will of God that the family pray for these blessings when they need them, and give thanks for them when they have received them: but there are many blessings which the family (as conjunct) needeth and receiveth of God. Therefore the family conjunct, and not only particular members secretly, should pray for them and give thanks for them.

The antecedent is past question; 1. The continuance of the family as such in being. 2. In well being. 3. And so the preservation and direction of the essential members.

4. And the prospering of all family affairs are evident instances: and to descend to more particulars would be needless tediousness. The consequence is proved from many Scriptures, which require those that want mercies to ask them, and those that have received them, to be thankful for them. Object. So they may do singly. Answ. It is not only as single persons but as a society that they receive the mercy: therefore not only as single persons, but as a society should they pray and give thanks : therefore should they do it in that manner, as may be most fit for a society to do it in, and that is, together conjunctly, that it may

be indeed a family sacrifice, and that each part may see that the rest join with them. And especially that the ruler may be satisfied in this, to whom the oversight of the rest is committed : to see that they all join in prayer, which in secret he cannot see, it being not fit that secret prayer should have spectators or witness; that is, should not be secret. But this I intended to make another argument by itself; which because we are fallen on it, I will add next,

Arg. 111. If God hath given charge to the ruler of a family to see that the rest do worship him in that family, then ought the ruler to cause them solemnly or openly to join in that worship. But God hath given charge to the ruler of a family, to see that the rest do worship him in that family: therefore, &c.

The reason of the consequence is, because otherwise he can with no convenience see that they do it. For, l. It is not fit that he should stand by while they pray secretly. 2. Nor are they able vocally to do it, in most families, but have need of a leader; it being not a thing to be expected of every woman, and child and servant (that had wanted good education), that they should be able to pray without a guide, so as is fit for others to hear. 3. It would take up almost all the time of the ruler of many families, to go to them one after another, and stand by them while they pray till all have done; what man in his wits can think this to be so fit a course, as for the family to join together, the ruler being the mouth?

The antecedent I prove thus, 1. The fourth commandment requireth the ruler of the family not only to see that himself sanctitieth the sabbath day, but also that his son and daugh

ter, and man-servant, and maid-servant, his cattle (that is so far as they are capable), yea, and the stranger that is within his gates should do it. 2. It was committed to Abraham's charge to see that all in his family were circumcised : so was it afterwards to every ruler of a family; insomuch as the angel threatened Moses, when his son was uncircumcised. 3. The ruler of the family was to see that the “passover” was kept by every one in his family', and so the “ feast of weeks m.All that is said before tendeth to prove this, and much more might be said, if I thought it would be denied.

Arg. iv. If God prefer, and would have us prefer, the prayers and praises of many conjunct, before the prayers and praises of those persons dividedly, then is it his will that the particular persons of Christian families should prefer conjunct prayer and praises before disjunct: but the antecedent is true, therefore so is the consequent. Or thus take it for the same argument or another. If it be the duty of neighbours, when they have occasion and opportunity, rather to join together, in praises of common concernment, than to do it dividedly, then much more is this the duty of families : but it is the duty of neighbours: therefore, &c.

In the former argument the reason of the consequence is, because that way is to be taken that God is best pleased with. The reason of the consequence in the latter is, because family members are more nearly related than neighbours, and have much more advantage and opportunity for conjunctions and more ordinary reasons to urge them to it, from the conjunction of their interest and affairs.

There is nothing needs proof but the antecedent, which I shall put past all doubt by these Arguments. 1. Col. iii. 16. “Teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns, and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts unto the Lord.” Here is one duty of praise required to be done together and not apart only. I shall yet make further use of this text anon. 2. Acts xii. 12. Many were gathered together praying in Mary's house, when Peter came to the door.” This was not an assembly of the whole church but a small part: they judged it better to pray together than | Exod. xü, 2, 3.

m Deut, xxvi. 11, 12.

each man

alone. 3. Acts xx. 36. Paul prayed together with all the elders of the church of Ephesus, when he had them with him; and did not choose rather to let them

pray alone. 4. James v. 15, 16. James commands the sick to “send for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, and the prayer of the faithful shall save the sick, &c.” He doth not bid send to them to pray for you; but he would have them join together in doing it. 5. Church prayers are preferred before private on this ground, and we commanded not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together, Heb. x. 25, 6. Striving together in prayer is desired, Rom. xv. 30. 7. Matt. xviii, 20. - For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” 8. Therefore Christ came among the disciples when they were gathered together, after his resurrection. And sent down the Holy Ghost when they were gathered together, Acts ii. “And they continued with one accord in prayer and supplication," Acts i. 14. 24. ii. 42. And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they had assembled together, and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, &c.” Acts iv. 31. 9. Is not this implied, in Christ's directing his disciples to pray in the plural number“ Our Father, &c. Give us this day, &c.” 10. The very necessity of the persons proves it, in that few societies are such but that most are unable to express their own wants so largely as to affect their hearts, so much as when others do it that are better stored with affection and expression. And this is one of God's ways for communion and communication of grace: that those that have much may help to warm and kindle those that have less. Experience telleth us the benefit of this. As all the body is not an eye or hand, so not a tongue, and therefore the tongue of the church, and of the family must speak for the whole body: not but that each one ought to pray in secret too : but, (1.) There the heart without the tongue may better serve turn. (2.) They still ought to prefer conjunct prayer. And (3.) The communion of saints is an article of our creed, which binds us to acknowledge it fit to do as much of God's work as we can in communion with the saints, not going beyond our callings, nor into confusion.

Arg. v. It is a duty to receive all the mercies that

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