By Amos Binney and Daniel Steele
These duties are both internal and external; that is, there are those which relate to our inward principles and disposition, and those (146. What quotation from Immanuel Kant? Where was this law given, and how, to Moses? Where else does it appear in the Old Testament? In the New? What further is said of it? By the poet?) which relate to our outward actions, whether public or private.
1. The Internal duties are, (1.) Submission to God. I Sam. 3:18; Job 1:21, 22; Ps. 9; Isa. 45:9, 23; James 4:7,15. (2.) Love to God. Deut. 6:5; Josh. 22:5; Prov. 8:17; John 14:21; Rom. 8:28; Eph. 1: 4; Jude 21. (3.) Trust in God. Ps. 4:5; 37:3; 55:22; 62:8; Prov. 3:5; 16:3; 29:25; Isa. 26:4; I Pet. 4:19. (4.) Fear of God. Deut. 6:24; 10:12; Josh. 24:14; Ps. 33:8; 89:7; 96:4, 9; Prov. 23:17; Eccl. 12:13; Matt. 10:28.
2. The External duties include all the appointed means of promoting his religion. Such as the public and social worship of God, including the reading and preaching of his word, exhortation, mutual converse, the sacrament, singing, and prayer. Neh . 8:1-12 , Ps. 100:1-4 , 150:3-6; Mal. 3:16 Matt 18:20, 28:19-20; Luke 4:15-21; Acts 16:13; 17:1-3, I Cor. 11:23-27 , Col. 3:16 , Heb. 10:25 , I Tim. 4:11-16. (147. How are our duties to God expressed? What are these? What is the first of the internal class? Second? Third? Fourth? What are the external duties?)
These means of grace are all indispensable; more especially prayer, by which is meant the offering up of our desires to God for things agreeable to his will. Ezek. 36:37; Jer. 29:12-13; I John 5:14, 15.
The importance of this duty is manifest from the express commands and promises of God. Isa. 62:6-7; 65:24; Jer. 33:3; Ezek. 36:37; Joel 2:32; Matt. 6:9-13; 7:7-11; Luke 18:1-8; Rom. 10:12-13; Phil. 4:6 , Col. 4:2-3; James 1:5; 5:13-16.
The general duty of prayer includes four kinds, or classes:
(a.) Mental prayer, called the prayer of the soul and of the heart, as distinguished from that which is vocal. I Sam. 1:12-13, 15; Ps. 62:8.
The chief importance of this kind of prayer is that it can be performed at all times, in all places, and by all persons. It is especially referred to in Luke 18:1, 7; Acts 10:2; Rom 12:12; Eph. 7:18; I Thess. 5:17.
No particular posture of body is enjoined as essential to acceptable prayer. Both sitting and standing were practiced by the Jews. (148. Are they all useful? Which is the most important? How many particular kinds of prayer? What of mental prayer? Its chief importance? What postures are mentioned?) II Sam. 7:18; Judg. 20:28; Matt. 6:5; Luke 18:11; except on occasions of deep concern, when kneeling or prostration was common. Job 1:20; II Chron. 6:13; Ezra 9:5; Ps. 95:6; Dan. 7:10. This was also the usage of Christ and the early Christians. Matt. 26:39; Luke 22:41; Acts 7:60; 20:36; 21:5; Eph. 3:14.
(b.) Private prayer; the particular value of which consists in being able to approach God with more freedom, and unbosom ourselves more fully, than in any other way. Between us and God there are private, personal interests; sins to confess, and wants to be supplied, which it would be improper to disclose to the world. This duty is enforced by the example of good men in all ages. Gen. 32:25, etc.; II Kings 4:33; Acts 10:2, 9, 30; and especially by the teaching and example of Jesus. Matt. 6:6; 14:23; 26:36, etc.; Mark 1:35; Luke 5:16.
(c.) Family prayer. The absence of an express precept for family worship has been urged against our obligations to perform it. But for such a precept there is no necessity, since the duty is clearly included in the general (149. What is most common? What of private prayer? Its chief importance? Family prayer; what has been urged against it?) command to inculcate household religion, which has been the practice of the Church in all ages. Gen. 18:19; Deut. 6:6-7; Acts 10:2; 16:31-33; Eph. 6:4.
(d.) Public and social prayer; an important part of public worship. See on External duties to God The prayers of impenitent sinners are contemned of God. Ps. l:16-17; Prov. 1:28-29; 28:9; Isa. 1:15; John 9:31; James 4:3. He hears the penitent. Luke 15:17, etc.; 18: 9-14.