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the game of God may live and be glorified in the world, when we are dead. It is a black mark for persons not to care what come of the world if they were out of it. A child of God will be concerned, that religion may be kept up and propogate in it ; and while he is living, he has access to contribute to it. And here consider,
ift, What he has access to do for. that end ;' namely, to praise God to the younger fort, that are likely to live after he is gone ; especially to his own family, and particularly his own children. Heb. The father to the children; q: d. The father [fall praise thee] to the children. They may shew to them how lovely God is, and how desirable his way: and when they have children, they may do the same to them; and so on, God's praise will be kept up in the world.
Now observe, he is still speaking of the living, for these are the subject expressly proposed to be spoken of. l. d. As for the living, the living fa-, ther may praise thee in the living fons. It im ; ports,
(1.) If the father die, though the children live, he can do God no more honour, and them no more service, that way. If he has neglected his duty to his family in his life, he cannot come back again to mend the matter. If he left them ignorant of God, and strangers to him, though one word from him again could save their souls from the pit, he has no more access to give them it. :
(2.) If the children die, though the father live, . he can do God no more honour, and them na .. more service, that way. He may take care of their duft, to bury it'; but he can do no more
for their souls : As the tree falls it must-lie. While they are both standing and living together, he has access to serve their souls: but when one of them falls, that work is at an end.
2dly, How he may do it, how he may commend him to them ; namely, by making him known to them, as an object worthy of their faith, trust, and confidence : Shall make known thy truth. The expression in the Hebrew is concise, He may make known, unto thy truth. The word rendered to hope, vers. 18. properly signifying intensely to look, Neh. ii. 13. 15. is understood. Q. d. That they may look unto thy truth or faithfulness. So in it are two things to be considered,
. (1.) The proper method of praising or commending God to the rising generation, and that is, by making him known. The more he is known, the more lovely will he appear. God is light. The best way to commend the sun to one sitting in a dark room, is to open the windows, and let in its light, and bid him look to it with his eyes : The best way to commend God and religion to the generation riGng, is to labour that they may know and underítand them, by teaching.
(2.) The great thing we are to have in view in this work. It is, that they may look intensely unto his truth; that they may look away from the lyes and vanities the world is holding out to them, to be embraced as their portion : and that they may look unto the truth of God in Christ, in the promise of the gospel, by an eye of faith, trust, and confidence, fixed on it, and hold by that as their portion, their sure portion.
This is what men'may do for the rising gene- ' ration, and the view they should do it on : but
God only can give it efficacy. No doubt Hezekiah did as he faid, commended God, and made him known to Manasseh his son : bur how unsuccessful all he did that way was, is notour from the wicked life his son led. Yet Hezekiah's work was. accepted, and his prayers heard in the end; and per. haps his words were minded too, in Manaseh's: conversion at long-run.
Three doctrines are deducible from the words. DOCT. I. It is the peculiar mercy of life, that the living only are, and all along will be, those that have access to praise and glorify God in the world,
Doct. II. It is the special bu finess and privi. lege of life, to propagate religion, God's name and praise, the ftanding generation to the rising generation, the fathers to the children, all along.
DOCT. II. The true way of propagating religion, the standing to the rising generation, is, That the former make God known to the latter, lo as they may betake themselves unto him, his truth and faithfulness, by faith and trust.
We shall handle each of these doctrines in order.
Doct. I. It is the peculiar mercy of life, that the living only are, and all along will be,' there that have access tó praise and glorify God in the world.