Saturday, March 31, 2012

"Prize our mercies by affliction and to use them in moderation."

I was going through some old Notes that I put up on Facebook since I got off it. (I downloaded all my information from Facebook, so I could take things from it when I got off if I so desired.--Now I am so glad I did!) 

So, I found a Note (titled: "A little of what I read on the Lord's Day: "When Christians Suffer" by Thomas Case") that I put up on April 22, 2011, that was so worth reposting! Since I don't have Facebook anymore I will "repost" it on this blog. Yay!  

 The first lesson God teaches us by affliction is to have compassion for those who are in a suffering condition. Through sufferings God teaches us to prize our outward mercies and comforts more, and yet to dote upon them less. We need to be more thankful for them. We can undervalue our mercies even while we glut ourselves with them! Behold, while men fill themselves with the mercies of God, they can neglect the God of their mercies. So God teaches us to prize our mercies by affliction and to use them in moderation.

"O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in Him."-- Psalm 34:8.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Thyme for Tales: MJ's new game

Thyme for Tales: MJ's new game: Erik and MJ play a game that has quickly become the favorite game of all (at this time). You can see by the videos that it is a simple and ...

 (This is soo funny! xD)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A look into my week

Last week I had a very blessed time at three different friends' homes. I helped take care of the children, helped mothers, had children recite some of the Shorter Catechism to me (their mother's orders), copied out a pattern for making a dress, cleaned, organised, went shopping, held lots of children, changed diapers, and even cleaned some cloth diapers out (yeah, that was educational. :P ). It was such a blessed time with everyone.
Me reading to one of the children :)

Here is me with a baby I helped take care of. <3

On Saturday night I got a throbbing headache and then on the Lord's Day I got a cold; it hit me hard!
The mother from one of the families made me some homemade tea; that was so kind of her!

My family had to pick me up that day (Lord's Day) anyway, so they did. It was so nice to be back home with my family, although I spent most of the rest of the day sleeping because I felt exhausted and weak (because of the cold).

On Monday, I was going to do school (I'm home schooled), but ended up taking a nap for like 4 hours, but I did end up getting 3 subjects done that day.

Then today (Tuesday) I did a subject in school (Science), helped in our garden a little, but then "had" to take a nap. I was hoping to only take a nap for an hour or so...well, it ended up being more than that!
I have a coughing cold and now can't really talk; I just croak all up and cough.

Thankfully, I still am drinking my friend's tea!

Every time I get a cold I thank the Lord that I am not sick all the time, that He keeps us safe, and that I have loving family and brethren in Christ. Both for their encouragement and prayers! Thank you guys!!

If I could go back in time and not have gone to my friends' homes so I wouldn't have gotten the cold? Oh no! Absolutely not!  It was a very blessed time with brothers and sisters in the Lord! =D

In my personal Bible reading I am going through the Psalms. They are such an encouragement or to quote my one friend, "I am in the Psalms daily. Good for the soul." :) 

Oh, and for all those people waiting for me to put up some new Psalm videos up on my Youtube site...
I was planning on do them this week, but now that I am all croaky and can't sing, so I obviously can't do it right now. :(
 Lord willing, when I get better from this cold I will put up new ones! :)  

Goodnight everyone and God bless!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Men's Views on Modesty

I was looking around on Youtube about modesty and found this video! Wow, this was great! Nice to hear it from guys. :)

Click here to watch!


Here are two videos that I highly recommend all women listen to.
 It is very very strong words--but all true!! 



Bibical Womanhood~Voddie Baucham

I found Voddie Baucham on "Biblical Womanhood" and it was GREAT! Every woman who is reading my blog should listen to this!!! (Video Below)

(For all you men out there, He also did some on "Biblical Manhood", so that would likely be good as well. I did not listen to those on Manhood.)


Thursday, March 15, 2012

'Long Black Train' by Josh Turner

Click here to listen to the song!

Let me know what you think of the song in a below comment; thanks! :)


There's a long black train comin' down the line,
Feeding off the souls that are lost and cryin'.
Rails of sin, only evil remains.
Watch out, brother, for that long black train.
Look to the heaven's, you can look to the sky.
You can find redemption staring back into your eyes.
There is protection and there's peace the same:
Burnin' your ticket for that long black train.

'Cause there's victory in the Lord, I say.
Victory in the Lord.
Cling to the Father and his Holy name,
And don't go ridin' on that long black train.

There's an engineer on that long black train,
Makin' you wonder if the ride is worth the pain.
He's just a-waitin' on your heart to say:
"Let me ride on that long black train."

But you know there's victory in the Lord, I say.
Victory in the Lord.
Cling to the Father and his Holy name,
And don't go ridin' on that long black train.

Well, I can hear the whistle from a mile away.
It sounds so good but I must stay away.
That train is a beauty makin' everybody stare,
But its only destination is the middle of nowhere.

But you know there's victory in the Lord, I say.
Victory in the Lord.
Cling to the Father and his Holy name,
And don't go ridin' on that long black train.

I said cling to the Father and his Holy name,
And don't go ridin' on that long black train.

Yeah, watch out brother for that long black train.
That devil's drivin' that long black train.

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Sabbath [By David Steele.]

Sabbath signifies rest, or rather a season of rest.  It is a periodical portion of time set apart by the Creator, during which mankind are required to cease from secular labour, and to exercise themselves in religious employments. The morality of this precept, though questioned by heretics and denied by libertines successively, since the resurrection of the Lord of the Sabbath; is nevertheless abundantly sustained by arguments both from reason and revelation.  We need not be surprised that perverse disputers resist the morality and perpetual obligation of the fourth commandment: since some even go so far as to deny the obligation of the whole moral law!  And indeed this extravagant impiety was anticipated by an inspired apostle; for he supposes some, called christians, would be ready to imagine that the law is made void through faith. Rom. 3.31.  This class of nominal christians, {335} known in history by the name of Antinomians; are to be found in our own time among some sections of the Anabaptists.  Their hostility to the ten commandments is peculiarly fierce against the fourth. Some even carry their impiety so far as to declare,—"Were an angel from heaven to tell them there is a sabbath, under the present dispensation of the gospel; they could not believe."  Truly if they believe not Moses, the prophets, and apostles,—one rising from the dead, or an angel, can bring no better testimony.  Although our object in this article is not so much to argue the morality, as to notice some of the duties of the Sabbath; yet since antinomianism still finds advocates in some corners of the land, it may not be amiss to touch a little the divine institution and moral nature of the christian sabbath.   And
1. The sabbath was instituted by God, Creator, immediately after creation work was finished. Gen. 2.2, &c.  Some may imagine or insinuate, and Paley may adopt the insinuation;—That Moses speaks in Genesis, proleptically or by anticipation: but without the least shadow of even plausibility. It is wholly an imagination of those whose system of religion is too nearly allied to the beggarly elements of the Mosaic ritual; and whose lax morality is impatient of the restraint imposed by the Author of the sabbath.  Adam in a state of innocence, needed a law as a directory, and a sabbath in particular as subservient to devotion; much more do his posterity in a state of sin—wholly averse from communion with God.
2. The sabbath is an integral part of the decalogue, as revealed to Moses at Sinai, engraven on stone and laid up in the ark.  No laws of a typical or ceremonial nature were thus dignified.
3. Reason would say, some portion of time ought to be employed in the worship of God,— not only by man individually, but also by man socially.  Thus far the sabbath is natural; but to determine what proportion of time, is the prerogative of God,—and so far as the fourth commandment settles the seventh part of time, it is positive: that is, resolvable into the mere will of the Creator.
All objections to the moral nature and perpetual obligation of the holy sabbath, are resolvable into the allegation: "That it is peculiar to the Jews,—typical, ceremonial, and consequently cannot survive the abolition of the Mosaic economy.—Answer,—
(To be continued.)


APRIL, 1845.
No. 3.
(Continued from page 335.)
1. What the Lawgiver himself said to carnal Jews, relative to the ordinance of circumcision, may be repeated and applied in the present case:—Not because it [circumcision] is of Moses, but of the fathers. John 7.22;—so of the sabbath.  It was not made for the Jews,—the sabbath was made for MAN. Mark 2.27.
2. The Jews were familiar with the sabbath, before the law was given at Sinai. Exod. 16.23.
3. Our Lord Jesus, who is Lord also of the sabbath, speaks of it, as being still obligatory, long after the legal abolition of the ceremonial law. Matt. 24.20.
4. All men, of all nations need a sabbath, as well as the {357} Jews.  Social worship orderly conducted, requires mutual consent. One objection which is very popular, and in its nature different from the preceding, we briefly notice. It it usually phrased in some such language as:—"Every day should be a sabbath with the christian;" from which position the inference is,—There is no necessity for the sabbatical institution. The answers given to the foregoing objections, will furnish an answer to this also: but we offer the following practical question for the consideration of those who are not accessible by abstract arguments.— Was it ever known that one who insists that every day of the week ought to be a sabbath to the christian, did himself regard any day of the week as a sabbath? No, it will be observed universally that such selfstyled christians live and act as if there were no day holy to the Lord.—They profess to know God, but in works they deny him,—They are heathens. [Titus 1.16.]
But it is not with heathens we propose to treat in this article.  We are concerned with those whose profession and practice entitle them, in the judgment of charity, to be considered on Christ's side.  And among these we select first, ministers of the gospel, whose official responsibility demands of them to instruct, by precept and example, their follow sinners in the nature and duties of the Lord's day. There are too many even of this class in society, who practically counteract this object of their commission in a great variety of ways.  If a gospel minister be found engaged in worldly conversation on the sabbath,—such as the gain or loss in secular transactions,—the prospects of a political candidate, &c. &c. his efforts in the pulpit, or even as a member of a "Sabbath Sanctification Society," will certainly prove abortive.  If he is known to shave, black his boots, &c. on the morning of the Lord's day; every christian—every individual, of whatever class, will be ready to say,—Such an example will defeat all his oratory in the pulpit or popular assembly.  But there are two ways especially, in which ministers, even settled pastors, greatly retard the progress of reformation in sabbath sanctification. One is, by unnecessary journeying on that sacred day. True their avowed object is to effect moral reform—by attending such and such a society, to deliver or hear a lecture on temperance, abolition, colinization, &c.  To effect these objects, railroad, steamboat and other companies, must be patronized in the practical desecration of the holy sabbath. The profane multitude, {358} managers, attendants, and fellow-travellers, do not inquire into the object of the pastor's journey, but they feel much strengthened and encouraged in their sinful course by his presence and example.  Surely this is not the import of the scripture phrase—"a sabbath day's journey!"  The other way in which the sabbath is profaned by too many gospel ministers, is by dishonesty! We do not intend to charge them with burglary, swindling, or even failing in their contracts and promises in secular dealings; though it were to be wished that some would be more exemplary in the last:—we refer to their public, solemn ministrations in the sanctuary. Will a man—a minister rob God? Yes, he will, and if challenged, will defend the practice—attempt to justify the outrage!  The great Lord of the harvest has employed him as a reaper; but he is unwilling to "bear the burden and heat of the day." The preacher entertains, or perhaps detains his audience from fifty to sixty minutes with what is called a sermon.—pronounces a benediction and dismisses the congregation. This constitutes his day's work. "One whole day in seven" he professes to regard to the Lord, and solemnly engages to enforce the like observance upon his pastoral charge; but in the face of his published profession and ordination vow, he labours scarcely one hour on that whole day!  Is this honest dealing?  "Offer it now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person?" [Mal. 1.8.] No,—no man will accept an hour's labour for a day's work.—No honest man will offer such "eye-service" to his fellow man.  "God will not be mocked." [Gal. 6.7.]
(To be continued.)


June, 1845.
No. 4.
(Concluded from page 358.)
But it may be alleged, that public worship does not consist altogether in preaching and hearing the word; and that besides prayer, singing occupies a portion of time; so that all the exercises in the aggregate, cover a period of perhaps two, or it may be, three hours of the sabbath.  All this may be true, and still the inquiry be urged—Is this an honest day's service? Would it be satisfactory from man to man? If not, shall it be so from man to God?  This indolence in ministers, whereby they are guilty of habitually robbing God, must have a ruinous effect upon their people.  This is lamentably evident in observation.  Those professors who are thus trained from generation to generation, having abundance of idle time on the sabbath, find it necessary to gratify the cravings of unsanctified nature by worldly conversation, reading the news of the day, or visiting—not the afflicted, the fatherless, and the widow, but their heathenized christian neighbors that they may strengthen and harden each other in their iniquity.  If by accident, such christians are found in a congregation of worshipers, whose pastor will not do the work of the Lord deceitfully, but "continue his speech" like the apostle {366} of the gentiles beyond the customary thirty minutes; how uncomfortable they feel, how listless they appear,—often bewraying in the anxiety of the countenance, and the shiftings of position, that the language of the heart is;—"When will the sabbath be gone?" [Amos 8.5.] These and such like results are fairly chargeable to the account of such pastors, as through indolence diminish the tale of brick, when there is no want of straw.—The leaders of the people cause them to err. [Exod. 5; Isa. 9.16.]  Hymn singing is generally practised by this class of christians; and a large proportion of the brief services of the sanctuary, consists in recreating themselves with what they term spiritual songs.[1]  This is perfectly natural.  Those who have little or no relish for the things of the Spirit; usually delight in any substitute which will exhilerate animal nature.  Those who ordain many holy-days, without divine warrant, regard not the one holy day of the Lord.  So, those who loathe instructive preaching, and honest sabbath services, are in their element only while offering will-worship.  See Isa. 50.11.
The sabbath is profaned also by idleness.  Those christians who regard the Lord's day only as a season of rest to the body after the labors of the week, are not in this respect above the beasts that perish.  Such a man has no preeminence over the beast, with which he labors through the week. As the one rests, so rests the other.
The sabbath is also too often profaned by professing christians, as a season for medical treatment of the body. There are not wanting individuals who seize upon the Lord's day and appropriate the "whole time," to the treatment of a disease which does not interfere with their activity in the secular business of the by-gone week.  Indeed it is presumable that often the avaricious heart prompts to unnatural exertion, to such degree that the lassitude [fatigue] of the frail tabernacle calls for restoratives.  Are such persons doing justly to God, to themselves, or to their fellow creatures?  Are they "seeking first the kingdom of heaven?"—preferring the interests of the immortal soul to those of the mortal body?  No, "they profess that they know God, but in works they deny him." It is very obvious that the indisposition, real or imaginary, which hinders the individual from "going up to the house of the Lord" on the sabbath; retards him not in seeking his gain from his quarter, on the other days of the week. But his disease is a reality;—it is one that is fatal in its tendency; and without repentance by interposing mercy, it will eventuate in the death of soul and body.  The sabbath {367} is the special season of divine appointment, for applying "the benefits of Christ's redemption" to those who "have need of a physician." [Luke 5.31.]
The disease of which we speak, called spiritual sloth, demands a speedy remedy; and yet in its own nature resists the only prescription.  When once seated in the moral constitution by lapse of time, it becomes ultimately desperate.—"The whole have no need of a physician, but they that are sick."
Nor is it to be thought strange if the men of the world profane the sabbath by secular business and recreation; when the public teachers of religion often practically give the lie to their profession.
The great national iniquity and fruit of infidelity—carrying the mail, and so employing many hands in the post-office department on the Lord's day, is calculated to heathenize the whole community.  The displeasure of heaven has been displayed against this nation in variety of successive judgments; yet "the people turn not to him that smiteth them," but persist in "bringing more wrath upon the land, by profaning the sabbath." [Isa. 9.13; Neh. 13.18.]  The only means of averting judgments is, by confessing and forsaking sin.  The national legislature have turned a deaf ear to Jehovah speaking in the fourth commandment; and also to the petitions of the Lord's people urging the righteous claims of the God of the whole earth. Well may the Ruler of the universe bring against us the charge—Ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.  Mal. 3.9.
In bringing this article to a close, we suggest the necessity among all ranks, of "doing justly"—first in relation to God. The sabbath is his by special and positive claim, let us beware of "doing our own works or finding our own pleasures" on the Lord's day.  It is vain to expect reformation in this respect among the men of the world, until christians give evidence that they are "in the spirit on the Lord's day," [Rev. 1.10,] by "spending the whole time in the public and private exercises of God's worship and in works of necessity and mercy."  It is to be feared that too many parents habitually neglect the instruction of their children, by catechising them on the sabbath evenings, since sabbath-schools have gained popularity in the christian community.  While it is vain to expect that any invention of man will accomplish the immediate ends of a divine ordinance; a heavy woe is impending over such as neglect to cultivate the immortal spirits of their own offspring. {368}
The father to the children shall make known thy truth. Isa. 38.19.  Not only the doctrines of God's word, but the doings of God's hand; are to be taught by parents to their children. Psalm 78.5,7.
Happy are they who experience that it is good for them that they draw nigh to God; who have a foretaste of the joys of heaven in the sanctuary on the sabbath—the two special emblems of future glory.  How can the christian professor expect to reach heaven, who, so far from making the sabbath day's journey thitherward; with reluctance spends an hour in the house of God once a week, who will hardly defile his foot or cool his fingers, in reaching the place of public worship?  No, no, unless the sabbath be our delight, and our delights be with the excellent ones of the earth; we shall in no wise enter the holy city.  Let us ever remember that heaven is a sanctuary, a holy place, where the redeemed will be forever praising God,—in the spending and enjoying of an everlasting sabbath.  In this world, "they that are after the flesh, do mind the things of the flesh; and they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit:" and so will it be in the world to come,—only the former class shall be forever deprived of the objects which unrenewed nature craves, subjected to the infliction of avenging wrath,—remorse, the never dying worm increasing and perpetuating pain, in view of misspent and especially desecrated sabbaths.  Of this state of things we have sometimes a specimen from the malefactor at the gibbet, who traces all his enormities to breach of the sabbath.
Finally,—where there is no sabbath, there is no true religion.  He that offendeth in this one point, is guilty of transgressing the whole law.  For as there is one Lawgiver, so the law is one: now if thou commit no adultery, theft, &c. yet if thou profane the sabbath, thou art become a transgressor—not of the fourth commandment only, but of the law. James 2.11.
We only add our regret, that many, yea the great body of professing christians, have so much respect for paganism, and inherit so much popery, as to substitute the name sunday for sabbath, or the Lord's day.  For the other days of the week, we have no special designations by inspiration; and it is surely enough that we have these distinguished by designations borrowed from heathen mythology, without thus desecrating the christian sabbath.
1. For the sake of modern readers, not acquainted with the purity of worship once observed & cherished in the Presbyterian Church, it should be noted that "Hymn singing" is mentioned here as contrasted with the singing of Scripture Psalms. So also, when the author mentions "what they term spiritual songs," his intention is to express the lamentable fact that in so many churches unauthorized hymns are regarded as "spiritual songs" merely because they are songs on spiritual subjects; whereas the Psalms of Holy Scripture alone are the spiritual songs and hymns which Christians are commanded to sing in Eph. 5.19, and Col. 3.16, these alone being inspired by the Spirit of God for this very purpose.—JTKer.

FAMILY WORSHIP (Published by order of the GENERAL MEETING OF THE REFORMED PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, Meeting at the House of William Edgar, North Union, Butler County, PA., June 8, 1914.)

"As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."—Josh. 24:15.

The household or family is the centre where all human affections meet and entwine. No other earthly circle can be compared to it. It comprises all that the human heart most values and delights in on earth. That which is beautiful in human relationship, tender in human affection, and gentle in human intercourse:—that which is lovable and precious in the movements of the human heart are all bound up in the one name—family.

These postulates are true of the family when established and ordered according to God’s law. And the holy resolution of good old Joshua is recorded for a pattern to every governor or head of a household. Although the word, house, is sometimes used in a larger sense, the evident meaning is, household or family. Joshua spoke only of those for whom he would answer, at least as to their outward practice, and whom he had a power over. He esteemed the inestimable privileges of God’s service, and acknowledged the obligation put upon him by God’s law. "These words which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: and {16} 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." Deut. 6.6,7.

Joshua knew, that as head of a household, he had duties to perform toward those under him, which he could not shift upon others nor neglect except at the peril of his own soul and the souls of those under his care. And family religion is no less vital to their interests now than in the days of the conqueror of Canaan. God established the family as the primal unit of society, and according as it is, so will be the church and the state; and their present condition is extremely woeful: error, crime, and brigandage [theft, robbery, plundering] of every sort are shaking society from centre to circumference. Many see a vision of impending ruin, but few or none trace it to the fountain head—lack of family training.

One of the prime wants [lacks] of the family today is, family worship. The family altar is almost universally thrown down or neglected as not needful to the present generation. And where it is not wholly abandoned it is performed only when convenient; often the hurry and bustle of the world crowd it out in the mornings and many times at evening also. In the morning they do not have time for it, in the evening are too tired and sleepy. While such worse than useless excuses may serve to satisfy their fellow mortals and to sear their own consciences, will they have any effect to justify their omission before God? Assuredly not! Nor is family worship ordinarily to be performed by merely reading a few verses of scripture and a prayer; but the proper order of "the church in the house" is that set down and followed by our ancestors of the Covenanted Church of Scotland. The first step in family worship is to see that the whole family is present; neither children nor servants should be allowed to absent themselves from God’s service.

Then a short prayer is offered invoking God’s presence and blessing, next a portion of psalm is sung, followed by reading a portion of scripture, and the whole concluded by {17} humble and fervent prayer and supplication at "the throne of grace." As the singing of the psalm is a part of the worship in which the whole family are to join with the voice as well as the heart, it should ordinarily be lined out before being sung, and especially if there are children or others unable to read. And we believe that the reading of the lines before singing rather promotes the devotion and spirituality of the worship. Under no circumstances should continuous singing be practiced in families where there are small children; for by hearing the lines read they may be able to follow in the singing, or get part of a line, or at least a word or two. We should endeavour to impress on the little ones the primal importance of God’s service. God delights in and requires the praise of the young as well as the old. "Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength." Psalm 8.2. "Both young men, and maidens; old men and children: let them praise the name of the Lord." Psalm 148:12,13.

The scripture reading should be in order from Genesis to Revelation, that no part of God’s Holy Word be slighted. And when reading or hearing the words of inspiration, the attention should be unfaltering and faith in constant exercise to believe and hearken to what God speaks. In the prayer all should unite as one, in confession of sin, in earnest supplication for the tokens of the Lord’s favor and goodness, and thanksgiving for the mercies bestowed.

Some who would seek to justify their neglect of this duty and inestimable privilege may say, where is the command for it? But were they as diligent in searching to know duty as in excuses for their wicked course, they might discern the proof plain both from reason and scripture.

The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in addressing the people under their charge on the subject of Family Worship, say: "In calling your attention to this momentous topic, we think it superfluous to enlarge on the high obligations by which this duty is enforced,—obligations {18} which are involved in the very constitution of our frail and dependent being, and impressed on the understanding and heart by the persuasive voice of scriptural authority, opening the ears of man and sealing the instructions; by which God speaketh not once or twice, but at sundry times and in divers manners, adding line upon line, precept upon precept, promise upon promise, threatening upon threatening, so as to bring perpetually to remembrance both the blessings which are multiplied to them that fear God, and the fury that is poured out upon the families that call not upon His name." [Jer. 10.25.]

Reason teaches that family worship is a debt which rational creatures ought to pay to Deity:

1. As he is the most excellent of beings there is an obligation to worship him; and it is plain that my obligation is measured by my capacity, for I can never go beyond what I owe him in point of homage. And if this is true of each one for himself, it is equally so for those under his care and authority.

2. The obligation arises also from our dependence on the Divine Being as our Creator and preserver, and consequently our owner. And who will dare say, though I am under obligation to worship God, my family is not?

3. It is further evidenced from the very nature of man as he is a sociable creature, so he is under obligation to render social worship or worship in society; and in that society wherein he is first capable of rendering it, that is, in the family.

4. The constitution of the family. God in His wise ordering of things, brings so many single persons into such relations as to constitute a family: "God setteth the solitary in families." Psalm 68.6. And why in families? but that they may be nurseries of religion. The false worship of heathen families plainly confirms this: Besides their temple worship the heathen had their lares and penates—their household gods which they worshipped. {19}

Family religion is also to be considered as an advantage to men. True religion is plainly the greatest advantage to man that he is capable of. Lost, undone creatures under a sense of the divine wrath and seeking some way to appease offended Deity, have cried out in anguish of soul: "Shall I give my first-born for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul," Micah 6.7. The answer shows the way of acceptable service: "To do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God," verse 8.

To those who follow this prescribed course, God has graciously promised his favor and all blessings, "all things are yours," 1 Cor. 3.21. "In all places where I record my name, I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee," Exod. 20.24. At every domestic altar where the family homage is performed in spirit and in truth we may look for God’s presence and blessing.

Then paternal love doth oblige every governor of a family to take care that the fire on the family altar be kept burning; for to allow it to go out speaks the greatest cruelty any could be guilty of. It is, in effect, saying, I care not what becomes of the souls of those under my charge.

2. Paternal fidelity doth oblige to family worship. The Lord has committed to every head of a family a trust concerning those under his charge. He is their guardian to provide for them, and to see they each one receive their portion.

Of the unfaithful trustee it is said: "If any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house (family) he hath denied the faith and is worse than an infidel," 1 Tim. 5.8. The verb here translated "provide" denotes, to take thought or care for beforehand, and shows that masters of families must give good heed to the care lying upon them. But to what should this provision extend? Is it only to the wants of the body? Plainly the souls of those in their household should be their first concern. "Take no thought saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?…. {20} But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." Matt. 6.31,33.

2. We will cite some little of the scripture proof for family worship. First, In general there is a charge lying on the heads of families to establish and keep up the worship of God in their households.

1st. The power wherewith God has invested superiors declares it: "Honour thy father and thy mother." Exod. 20.17. In reference to the inferior relatives of the family they have a governing power. And Paul tell us how that power is to be exercised: Ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord," Eph. 6.4. This necessitates a diligent and constant attendance to family religion.
2nd. The fourth commandment is addressed directly and particularly to heads of families; which clearly implies a power given them and consequently a care answerable thereto.

3rd. How else could Joshua engage for his household as well as for himself? He well knew that as God had placed him in a station of superiority; so duty required that he religiously observe the worship of God with all his family: "As for me and my house we will serve the Lord." And the commended example of Abraham (Gen. 18.19) is of the same import.

Secondly, it has well been observed, that in those places of scripture where the domestic relations are largely spoken of, there is subjoined some charge concerning prayer. Thus, after Peter gives directions concerning the duties of domestic relatives he adds: "For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and His ears are open unto their prayers," 1 Pet. 3.12. As much as to say, be careful to keep up a stated course of family worship, for the eye of Jehovah is upon you, and he is ready to answer your requests. And, after the apostle Paul, in the 5th and 6th chapters of Ephesians, gives commands for the various members of families, he says: {21} "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the spirit," Eph. 6.18. Also after speaking of the things required of those in the family relation he directs: "Continue in prayer," Col. 4.4. A continued course of family worship sanctifies the domestical relations, and without it all else is in vain and to no purpose.
If to pray with other Christians as opportunity offers has a promise of blessing by our Savior, (Matt. 18.19,20;) then it is especially commendable to do so with those of our own family.

It is doubtless family religion, and especially the regular and stated exercises of family worship, to which the Psalmist refers when he says, "The voice of rejoicing and salvation is in the tabernacles of the righteous," Psalm 118.15. Service acceptable to God, and of infinite advantage to those who "pour out their hearts before God," Psalm 62.8.

Besides that of Joshua and his house we have a number of scripture examples for family worship. From righteous Abel down through the ages, the offering of sacrifices must be accompanied with invocation and prayer. Wherever Abraham pitched his tent, there he set up a family altar (see Gen. 12.7,8,) and the same course was pursued by Isaac and Jacob.

When David had "set the ark of the Lord in his place" he "returned to bless his household" (2 Sam. 6.20); very probably his regular family devotions. He so timed God’s public worship as not to interfere with that of the family. And right here, we think, is sufficient objection to night meetings for worship; they seriously interfere with or lead to the omission of family devotions. God has given sufficient time for both the public and private exercises of his worship without infringing upon, or crowding out, either one: for he has established a comely and beautiful order in all his service.

And it was most likely family worship for which Daniel was accused and cast into the lions den. See Dan. 6.10. Cornelius kneeling before God with his family (Acts 10.30,) {22} as was no doubt his usual course; had a signal stamp of the Divine approval, God sending His angel to speak to him.

As to the stated times of family worship it is plain from God’s Word that it is to be daily.

In asking God for the acceptance of his homage the Psalmist says: "Let my prayer be set before thee as incense; and the uplifting of my hands as the evening sacrifice," Psalm 141.2. And in Psalm 145.2, "Every day will I bless thee." And this service is required both morning and evening. "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 lovingkindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night," Psalm 92.1,2. "The Lord will command his lovingkindness in the day time, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life," Psalm 42.8. Sometimes we read of thrice a day: "Evening and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice," Psalm 55.17. But the noon services are perhaps the blessing and thanksgiving at the midday meal.

Do but consider what an inestimable privilege it is to be permitted to draw near to God with all your household. As Joseph presented his sons before his father Jacob to receive his blessing; so let us bring our children to the family altar and present them before our "Father which is in heaven," (Matt. 6.1,) that He may bless them. "He will bless them that fear the Lord both small and great." Psalm 115.13.

And as Israel of old, however widely they were separated in their several families, had fellowship one with another at the hours of offering the morning and evening sacrifice; so now have the families of the saints, as morning by morning, and evening by evening, they meet together at Jehovah’s mercy-seat. From this consideration all may derive mutual aid, encouragement, and comfort.

When the prophet Elijah, on Mount Carmel, confronted the multitude of devotees of Baal worship; to show the {23} help which God’s people derive from one another’s prayers, and to honor family worship; that zealous servant of the Lord waited until the hour of evening prayer, and gained a notable victory over priestly and princely votaries of idolatry. As one says: "Where was ever an ordinance of God more signally honoured than Family Worship in that miraculous interposition of Jehovah for his people."

And as this duty is enjoined of God, and has been blessed of him in all ages; and as it is a part of our covenant engagements, we must diligently take heed to observe it. Satan, the world, and the flesh are ever ready to draw us aside from this hallowed duty; but any relaxation or omission here is like the "letting out of water."

We see by God’s Holy Word that he adjudges the omitters of it heathen, and threatens them with destruction: "Pour out thy fury on the heathen that know thee not, and upon the families that call not upon thy name." Jer. 10.25.

"The appointment of the reasonable service of bowing down at the domestic altar before the Lord our Maker, that in waiting for the promised effusion of the spirit of grace and supplication, we may be filled with the fruits of righteousness, has ever been regarded by all men of sound mind and Christian experience not as an irksome task, but as an inestimable privilege; for as often as we mark the tokens of God’s power and presence in making the outgoings of the morning and evening to rejoice, must every enlightened and purified heart, lifting up its affections to the Father of spirits, acknowledge with triumphant satisfaction that it is a good thing to draw near to God, and to show forth his lovingkindness in the morning and His faithfulness every night." It is said, that during the Reformation in Scotland, in many of the parishes hardly a family could be found who did not offer the morning and evening sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving. {24}

As sure as the rising of tomorrow’s sun, is the fact that there will never be any revival of religion until it begins in the family, and the thrown-down family altars are built again, and the worship performed according to God’s laws; and the hearts as well the voices of the worshippers proclaim His praise.

Westminster Confession of Faith: The Directory for Public Worship on the 'Solemnization of Marriage'

 ALTHOUGH marriage be no sacrament, nor peculiar to the church of God, but common to mankind, and of publick interest in every commonwealth; yet, because such as marry are to marry in the Lord, and have special need of instruction, direction, and exhortation, from the word of God, at their entering into such a new condition, and of the blessing of God upon them therein, we judge it expedient that marriage be solemnized by a lawful minister of the word, that he may accordingly counsel them, and pray for a blessing upon them.
Marriage is to be betwixt one man and one woman only; and they such as are not within the degrees of consanguinity or affinity prohibited by the word of God; and the parties are to be of years of discretion, fit to make their own choice, or, upon good grounds, to give their mutual consent.
Before the solemnizing of marriage between any persons, the purpose of marriage shall be published by the minister three several sabbath-days, in the congregation, at the place or places of their most usual and constant abode, respectively. And of this publication the minister who is to join them in marriage shall have sufficient testimony, before he proceed to solemnize the marriage.
Before that publication of such their purpose, (if the parties be under age,) the consent of the parents, or others under whose power they are, (in case the parents be dead,) is to be made known to the church officers of that congregation, to be recorded.
The like is to be observed in the proceedings of all others, although of age, whose parents are living, for their first marriage.
And, in after marriages of either of those parties, they shall be exhorted not to contract marriage without first acquainting their parents with it, (if with conveniency it may be done,) endeavouring to obtain their consent.
Parents ought not to force their children to marry without their free consent, nor deny their own consent without just cause.
After the purpose or contract of marriage hath been thus published, the marriage is not to be long deferred. Therefore the minister, having had convenient warning, and nothing being objected to hinder it, is publickly to solemnize it in the place appointed by authority for publick worship, before a competent number of credible witnesses, at some convenient hour of the day, at any time of the year, except on a day of publick humiliation. And we advise that it be not on the Lord's day.
And because all relations are sanctified by the word and prayer, the minister is to pray for a blessing upon them, to this effect:
"Acknowledging our sins, whereby we have made ourselves less than the least of all the mercies of God, and provoked him to embitter all our comforts; earnestly, in the name of Christ, to entreat the Lord (whose presence and favour is the happiness of every condition, and sweetens every relation) to be their portion, and to own and accept them in Christ, who are now to be joined in the honourable estate of marriage, the covenant of their God: and that, as he hath brought them together by his providence, he would sanctify them by his Spirit, giving them a new frame of heart fit for their new estate; enriching them with all graces whereby they may perform the duties, enjoy the comforts, undergo the cares, and resist the temptations which accompany that condition, as becometh Christians."
The prayer being ended, it is convenient that the minister do briefly declare unto them, out of the scripture,
"The institution, use, and ends of marriage, with the conjugal duties, which, in all faithfulness, they are to perform each to other; exhorting them to study the holy word of God, that they may learn to live by faith, and to be content in the midst of all marriage cares and troubles, sanctifying God's name, in a thankful, sober, and holy use of all conjugal comforts; praying much with and for one another; watching over and provoking each other to love and good works; and to live together as the heirs of the grace of life."
After solemn charging of the persons to be married, before the great God, who searcheth all hearts, and to whom they must give a strict account at the last day, that if either of them know any cause, by precontract or otherwise, why they may not lawfully proceed to marriage, that they now discover it; the minister (if no impediment be acknowledged) shall cause first the man to take the woman by the right hand, saying these words:
I N. do take thee N. to be my married wife, and do, in the presence of God, and before this congregation, promise and covenant to be a loving and faithful husband unto thee, until God shall separate us by death.
Then the woman shall take the man by the right hand, and say these words:
I N. do take thee N. to be my married husband, and I do, in the presence of God, and before this congregation, promise and covenant to be a loving, faithful, and obedient wife unto thee, until God shall separate us by death.
Then, without any further ceremony, the minister shall, in the face of the congregation, pronounce them to be husband and wife, according to God's ordinance; and so conclude the action with prayer to this effect:
"That the Lord would be pleased to accompany his own ordinance with his blessing, beseeching him to enrich the persons now married, as with other pledges of his love, so particularly with the comforts and fruits of marriage, to the praise of his abundant mercy, in and through Christ Jesus."
A register is to be carefully kept, wherein the names of the parties so married, with the time of their marriage, are forthwith to be fairly recorded in a book provided for that purpose, for the perusal of all whom it may concern.