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finner from the error of his way, shall favela foul from death, and Mall hide a multitude of sins. To save a loul from perishing, is such noble work, that it is an honourable working to be aiming at it, and using means to compass it.
Mot. 5. laftly, The doom of unprofitable fervants is dreadtul: Matth. xxv. 30. Caft ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness : there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. No man can profit God, but every man may and ought to profit others, job xxxv. 7. 8. laying out their talents for the good of others : and if they do it not, they will be cast into outer darkness, as those who would not work when they had the light.
Object. But they are froward, and will not receive instruction, nor take advice. Ans. That is a part of their natural discare, Job. xi. 12. Men take pains to break young beasts, till they make them tractable : and shall they not be at pains with thole of their own kind? The water's wear the Itones; and what has often slipped off, may at length come to stick. And a word spoken to them for their good, may lie long under the clod, but spring up at length. But our success is not the rule of our duty; we must do our parç.
But more particularly, let heads of families be exhorted to propagate religion to their children and families
Mot. 1. Consider ye have a charge of their souls, from God who has committed them to you. Hence the fourth commandment, the bond of all religion, is directed to heads of families. And in Abruham's example their duty is laid before them: Gen. xviii. 19. I know him, (says the Lord), that he will command his children, and his household after him,
and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do juftice and judgment.
Mot. 2. They are born like wild affes colts, and have a natural bent to the way of sin and destruction: Psal. Iviii. 3. The wicked ure estranged from the womb, they go astray as soon as they be born, Speaking lyes. It is too fond and blind a love to your children, that makes you take no notice of the corruption of their nature. And if they are naturally corrupt; what can ye expect but that they will run to their own ruin, if ye are not at pains with them for their souls good? Hence says Solomon, Prov. xxix. 15. The rod and reproof give wisdom but a child left to himself, bringeth his mother to Shame.
Mot. 3. Parents propagate that corruption of nature to them, by natural generation. The finful nature of children is a glass wherein the parents may get a humbling view of their own : Gen. v. 3. Adam begat a son in his own likeness, after his image ; and called his name Seth. Compared with Job xiv. 4. Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean ? not one. Have ye been instrumental in conveying the poison to them, and will ye not be thereby stirred up to minister the antidote to them?
Mot. 4. They are in the midst of many snares, entered into a world wherein offences abound, Matth. xviii. 7. Their youth makes them raw and unex. perienced, and disposes them to be rash and heed. less. They have need of a monitor, and instructor and guide. How shall they learn, if they are not taught?
Mot. 5. Ye must die ; and it is like will die before them, and Icave them in this evil world. Will ye not be concerned for them, that it may be well
with them when ye are away? Your concern for their temporal provision will not make it well with them, while ye are not concerned to low the seeds of religion in their hearts. That will be but to give much fail to an empty ship without ballaft, that may link her in the deep sea, as is seen in the fad experience of many.
Mot. 6. They must die; and it may be they may die before you, and leave you ; and then they will have no ule for all the temporal provision ye. have laboured for, for them. But religion propagated by you to them, will then appear a precious treasure. But if ye have neglected that duty to them, that will then appear a criminal neglect which ye will never more be capable to mend; and it will leave a galling sting in your conscience, if ye
be not quite stupid.
Mot. 7. lastly, What comfort can ye have in their case, while ye can have no comfortable prospect of their eternal happiness? If they were to be lords and ladies in this world, but to perish eternally in another world, what comfort can be there? The barren womb and dry breasts are preferable to the bringing forth children to the murderers ; much more to the bringing forth children for hell-fire.
Let these things work upon your consciences, and on your natural affection, to bestir yourselves towards the propagating of religion to the rising generation. If ye have any conscience of duty towards God, any humanity towards your fellowgeatures, neglect it no more. For particular di
rections, I propose
Doct. III. ult. The true way of propagating religion, the standing to the rising generation, is, that the former make God known to the latter, so as they may betake themselves unto him, his truth and faithfulness, by faith and trust. This is the sense of the words of the text, and agreeable to the matter, Hezekiah's life being prolonged in virtue of that promise, 1 Kings viii. 25.-There mall nat fail thee a man in my light to sit on the throne of Israel ; so that thy children take heed to their way, that they walk before me as thou hast walked before
So this notification is not of the matter as a speculation, but as a practical thing, that the rifing generation may be brought to God.
In discoursing this doctrine, we shall consider,
end. III. Give the reasons why this is the true way
of propagating religion, the ftanding to the ri
sing generation. IV, lastly, Apply.
1. We shall consider the end to be aimed at in our teaching the rising generation. And that is, that they may be brought to betake themselves unto the truth of God by faith and hope. This is expressly taught, Pfal. Ixxviii. 6. 7. That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born : who should arise, und declare them to their children: that they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God; but keep
his commandments. Now, here we are to confider,
1. What is this truth of God we are to endeavour to bring the rising generation to. 2. How one betakes himself unto God's truth, which is that we should aim to bring the rising generation to.
First, What is this truth of God we are to endeavour to bring the rising generation to ? The truth of God may be considered three ways.
1. In the divine doctrine in general. And thus whatever the Lord teaches in his word, is true to a titele. Hence says David, Pfal. cxix. 160. Thy word is true. All the discoveries made to us therein, are to be relied on as most firm truth. But that truth of doctrine is not here meant ; for it belongs to the means, the object to be made known.
2. In the divine threatenings. They are not merc scarecrows, as the wicked world looks on them, and disregards them, Deut. xxix. 19. ; but shall have a certain accomplishment in their true meaning and intention : for which caufe believers of God's word tremble at them, 1. lxvi. 2. But neither is this here meant ; since it is not the object of hope, but of fear.
3 In the divine promises. These are of two forts. (1.) Law-promises; as, He that deth them, shall live in them. This cannot be here meant neither; for po man can be happy that way, Rom. viii. 3. (2.) The gospel-promises ; such as, John iii. 16. God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life. Heb. viii. 10. This is the covenant that I will make with