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Thoughts on Public Prayer
Book may have numerous typos, missing text, images, or index. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. 1849. Not illustrated. Excerpt: ... CHAPTER II. HISTORY OF PUBLIC PRAYER. As Prayer is a dictate of nature, as well as a duty required by the express command of our Master in heaven, we may...
Book may have numerous typos, missing text, images, or index. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. 1849. Not illustrated. Excerpt: ... CHAPTER II. HISTORY OF PUBLIC PRAYER. As Prayer is a dictate of nature, as well as a duty required by the express command of our Master in heaven, we may take for granted that it has early and always made a part of the services of public as well as of private religion. Some, indeed, have supposed that social prayer was unknown until the time of Enos, as recorded in Gen. iv. 26. But this is by no means probable. As the visible Church was constituted in the family of Adam, we must suppose that social prayer in some form was habitually performed. That it entered into the worship of the ceremonial economy of the Old Testament, is abundantly evident, as well from the book of Psalms, as from the historical records of important events during that economy. In the temple service, indeed, there seems to have been no system of common prayer. There were, it is true, "hours of prayer," and many and "long prayers" were there offered up; but these seem to have been by individuals, each one praying for himself, and by himself, and in all manner of words and ways. Of two men who "went up to the temple to pray," each one by himself, we have a very graphic account in Luke xviii. 10. They had in the temple service, sacred music, and sacerdotal benedictions; but never any system of prescribed joint prayer. The ceremonial of the temple was made up of sacrifices, ablutions, burning incense, and minutely enjoined rites of various kinds; but there is not a shadow of evidence that it included a prescribed liturgy, or a system of prepared and commanded devotional exercises. There were, indeed, solemn prayers on special and extraordinary occasions in which multitudes joined; such as those uttered by Solomon;* by king Asa;f by Hezekiah;f by Ezra; and by Jehoshaphat. || But neither...
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