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10. Is great attention necessary in improving the means of grace?
We ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. (2 Heb. 1.)
11. Is praise one peculiar duty of the public assembly?
Praise ye the Lord: I will praise the Lord with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation. (111 P. 1.)
Therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy: I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the Lord. (27 P. 6.) Serve the Lord with gladness; come before his presence with singing. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name, (100 P. 2. 4.)
12. Did the Psalmist express his gratitude to God in public worship?
What shall I render unto the Lord for all his benefits toward me? I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord I will pay my vows unto the Lord, now in the presence of all his people. (116 P. 12, 13, 14.) 13. Are the people of God desirous of inviting others to join with them in worship?
Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! Let them exalt him also in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders. (107 P. 31, 32.)
14. Does the saint ardently long to unite in the service of God?
How amiable are thy tabernacles, O Lord of hosts! My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God. Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God. Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee. (84 P. 1 to 4.)
15. How does he esteem one day spent in the house of God?
A day in thy courts is better than a thousand: I had rather be a door-keeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness. (84 P. 10.)
16. Is continued attendance on the means of grace a chief object of the Saint's desire?
One thing have I desired of the Lord; that will I seek after, that may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple. (27 P. 4.)
17. When prevented from enjoying his privileges does he long for their return?
As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? (42 P. 1, 2.)
18. Is this love for public worship connected with the honor of his God?
Lord, I have loved the habitation of thy house, and the place where thine honor dwelleth. (26 P. 8.)
19. Does the true Christian esteem the preachers of the gospel?
How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! (10 Rom. 15.) (52 Is. 7.)
20. What hearers of the gospel are truly blessed?
Blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it. (11 Lk. 28.)
21. Is he truly blessed and benefited who improves the privileges of public worship?
Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple. (65 P. 4.)
Those that be planted in the house of the Lord, shall flourish in the courts of our God. (92 P. 13.)
22. What gracious promise has our divine Saviour given to encourage social worship?
Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. (18 Mt. 20.)
23. Does the Saint hope to dwell in God's house for ever?
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. (23 P. 6.)
24. Is reverence required in God's house?
God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him, (89 P. 7.)
Holiness becometh thine house, O Lord, for ever. (93 P. 5.)
25. Must we take great care what and how we hear?
Take heed what ye hear. (4 Mr. 24.)
Take heed, therefore, how ye hear, (8 Luke 18.)
26. Should faith be connected with hearing?
Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (10 Ro. 17.)
The word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. (4 Heb. 2.)
27. Must we practise and persevere in the good instructions we receive?
Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves; for if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass; for he beholdeth himself and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. (1 Jas. 22 to 25.)
28. Will God punish those who refuse to hear his word, or who abuse their privileges?
They refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they should not hear; yea, they made their hearts as an adamant-stone, lest they should hear the law, and the words which the Lord of hosts hath sent in his spirit by the former prophets: therefore came a great wrath from the Lord of hosts. (7 Zech. il, 12.)
29. Shall we be accountable to God in proportion to our superior privileges?
Unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required. (12 Lk. 48.)
XII. AFFLICTION. PERSECUTION.
Causes of affliction and persecution-Benefits of, when sanctified-God's promises-Kindness of God-Compassion of Christ.
1. Are we born to trouble?
Although affliction cometh not forth of the dust, neither doth trouble spring out of the ground; yet man is born unto trouble as the sparks fly upward. (5 Job. 6, 7.)
2. Is affliction caused by sin?
Wherefore doth a living man complain; a man for the punishment of his sins? (3 Lam. 39.)
3. Should a sense of our sinfulness render us humble and resigned under affliction?
Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me. I will bear the indignation of the Lord, because I have sinned against him, until he plead my cause, and execute judgment for me: he will bring me forth to the light, and I shall behold his righteousness. (7 Micah, 8, 9.)
4. Does Christ tell his disciples to expect persecution?
If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you. (15 Jn. 20.)
5. Did St. Paul state the same truth?
All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. (II. Tim. 3. 12.)