Benjamin Morgan Palmer on Family Worship

Benjamin Morgan Palmer (1818-1902) published an essay on The Family in two parts, concluding with a section on the importance of family worship. Lloyd Sprinkle of Sprinkle Publications, who published a modern reprint of this work, conjoined with J.W. Alexander's Thoughts on Family Worship, wrote this about Palmer's study: "To this pastor's mind, this work, 'The Family,' presents the best teaching on the family that I have had the pleasure to read." 

Palmer reminds us that God will pour out his fury on families that do not call upon his name, and that Scripture emphasizes that "the household [is] an altar upon which the fire of pure religious worship should ever burn." Although the time spent on family worship specifically in his treatise is limited, it beautifully highlights not only the necessity and value of morning and evening worship, but also the devotions of a family as expressed by giving thanks at meals, at anniversaries of births and deaths, at family reunions, when families are in mourning, and at all such occasions in the life of family. Palmer has already established that marriage and the family are instituted by God, and his conclusion that daily family worship is to be rendered to God flows of necessity. According to Palmer, the family is of God and all of its acts, relations and expressions of devotions are necessarily regulated and required of God. Family Bible study and family worship are simply the oxygen that families need to breathe and by which they live to God's glory. Having laid the groundwork that families are instituted and regulated by God, Palmer's conclusion that family worship is necessary and needed caps a beautiful treatise by a 19th century pastor that is needed very much today.