A Church in the House, written by Matthew Henry (1662–1714), is a plea for readers and leaders to prioritize family worship in their own homes. In this short work (73 pages), Henry first explains what he means by “a church in the house” (chapter 1), goes on to discuss the proper motivations behind such an endeavour (chapter 2), and finally lays out some practical instructions for families wondering where to start (chapter 3). A catechism for children is also provided in the appendix.
Below are 10 quotes:
1. “Churches are sacred societies, incorporated for the honour and service of God in Christ; devoted to God, and employed for him; so should our families be.”
2. “It is better to be without bread in your houses than without bibles, for the words of God’s mouth are and should be to you more than your necessary food.”
3. “How sad is the condition of those families who sin together, and never pray together.”
4. “Whatever is the matter of our care, let it be the matter of our prayer, and let us allow no care which we cannot in faith spread before God.”
5. “Let God by his Providence dispose the affairs with my family, and by his grace dispose the affections in all my family, according to his will, to his own praise.”
6. “Brothers, dedicate your houses to God, and beg him to come and take possession of them. If you never did it, do it tonight with all possible seriousness and sincerity.”
7. “Show yourselves more displeased at that which is an offence to God, than at that which is only an affront or damage to yourselves.”
8. “If every family were a praying family, public prayers would be the better joined in, more intelligently and more affectionately.”
9. “I beg of you for God’s sake, for Christ’s sake, for your own precious souls’ sake, and for the children’s sake of your own bodies, that you will live no longer in the neglect of so great, and necessary, and comfortable a duty as this of family-worship is.”
10. “Everyone must sweep before his own door, and then the street will be clean. If there were a church in every house, there would be such a church in our land as would make it a praise throughout the whole earth. We cannot better serve our country than by keeping up religion in our families.”
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