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day is regarded as sacred to religious improvement,

Nor is it on the Sabbath only that the religious householder engages in the immediate service of God; he has every day his stated seasons for devotion. He is regular in offering up the morning and evening sacrifice, both in his closet and in the presence of his assembled family. On these occasions no member is permitted to be absent without some just excuse. Their minds are improved in religious knowledge, and prepared for the more solemn exer cises of devotion, by the previous reading of some portion of scripture. In all the families where the resolution of Joshua is adopted, these services regu. larly performed, preserve order and decorum, cherish the principles of piety, and promote the practice of the social virtues, accompanied with harmony and love, joy and peace. Hence such houses become schools of virtue, temples of devotion, and nurseries for heaven.

Ye heads of families, thus to preside in your hou. ses, you are bound by all the regard which you owe to God. If you believe in him, you must be sensi. ble that all your social as well as personal comforts are derived from his munificence. His providence led

you into those tender connections which have issued in a hopeful offspring, like olive plants surround. ing your table.

Your table itself is daily spread by his bounty. He blesseth the works of your hands, and giveth you richly all things to enjoy. If you have comfortable accommodations for your families and the means of supporting them all are from him, and you are continued in the possession of them from day to day by his guardian care. Laban, with an air of ignorance, said to Jacob, These daughters are

· my daughters, these children are my children, these cattle are my cattle, and all that thou seest is mine.' But with what perfect propriety, ye householders, does the great God address you in this style, remind

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ing you that all you have, your families, your posses: sions, and even yourselves are his? Knowing then, your entire dependence upon him, must you not feel your obligations to love and serve him, to use all your influence and authority in your own house, that your families

may love and serve him too? How fit and reasonable, how well-founded are these his claims upon you ? Can you, dare you withhold from him

? the tribute which he demands for the blessings of which he has put you in trust, and the possessions which you hold of him? In the tabernacles which the Lord hath pitched for you, will you not erect alters to him, and daily render him the oblations of prayer and praise? Will you not give back to him by an carly and solemn dedication, the children you receive from him. On the birth of every child in

child in your fa. mily, the voice of his word and providence to you is,

take this child and nurse it for me.' Will you not accept the pleasing charge from your heavenly Father, and be faithful in training it up for him in the ways of virtue and holiness.

To this and the other branches of family religion. I would further urge you by all the regard which you feel for your families. Possessed of that affection which is natural to the conjugal and parental relations, you exercise a constant and a tender concern for the interest and comfort of your famalies. This concern influences you in the management of your temporal affairs, and puts you upon the exertion of all your skill and abilities in providing, each one, for his own house. You look upon your children, and seeing your own features in them, you consider them as parts of yourselves, and are tenderly solicitous for their welfare.' Helpless, they look up to you for support; defenceless, they fly to you for protection : they cling around you and think themselves safe un

. der your paternal care. You cannot disappoint their confidence. You cannot resist the feelings of mature

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towards them. The idea of their being exposed to danger, or of their falling into wretchedness, harrow's up your bosom. Whatever is within the compass of your abilities you will do, to procure their safety and their comfort.

Your care for them is not limited to the providing for them in their present state of minority ; It throws your thoughts forward, and leads you to consider how you shall introduce them into the world under such advantages, as may afford a prospect of their passing respectably through it; if not of their rising to wealth and honor, yet of their possesing situations which may be easy and comfortable. This care prompts you to give them such an education as may qualify them for the stations which it is expected, they may hereafter fill, or for the callings and employments for which they are intended.

But, my brethren, as christians, must not your natural affections, your reason and your piety, all conspire to produce in you a further and a more imporó tant care stilla care for their future and everlasting well being ? Looking upon your children as candidates for immortality, as having a part to act in the present world that will be followed with everlasting happiness or misery in the next; and knowing that unless they be interested in Christ and through the influence of a lively faith in him, approve themselves the sincere servants of God, there can be no hope ; and apprized of the danger they are in of neglecting Christ and salvation through the depravity of their nature, the lusts of the flesh, the snares of the world and thc temptations of satan ; sensible of all these things, must you not feel an anxiety for their souls incomparably greater than any concern you can have for their temporal welfare ! Overburdened with this anxiety, must you not wish to lighten its weight upon your own mind by devolving it upon One able to do for your children more than you can ask or think!


Must you not feel yourselves constrained to engage for them, if possible, the assisting grace of God, by an early dedication of them to him through Christ, by instructing them in his service, by watching over their morals, by praying with and for them, by set. ting holy examples before them, by doing every thing in your power to guide them into the way of salvation that their feet may take hold on eternal life? Do you not feel a horror at the idea of their missing of salvation through your neglect? can you be reconciled to the agonizing apprehension of seeing them lead an irriligious life in this world, and in the next, sinking under accumulated guilt into irrecoverable ruin? There have been instances, I admit, of children who, after the best religious education, have proved graceless; also of others who, after having been unnaturally neglected by their earthly parents, have yet, through the compassion of their heavenly Father, been plucked as brands out of the burning and made the trophies of victorious grace. These how. ever, seem to be deviations from the common methods of providence. In general, the saying of the wise man is verified, Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it. God having ordained means for transmitting religion to posterity and securing a godly seed, his blessing so generally attends his own instructions that there is abundant encouragement for our observance of them.

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1 would therefore further press you to an imitation of the example in the text by the regard which you owe to your own country. If our happiness, as a people, depend upon the continued favor of the Alinighty; in what way can we hope for the continuance of his favor, but by our being sincere in serving him and approving ourselves to him a peculiar people zealous of good works? But this cannot be the character of the people at large, unless it be first

the character of families; those smaller societies of which the greater community is composed. For the good of his country therefore it concerns every householder to resolve, that as for him and his house thy will serve the Lord.' In proportion as this resolution is carried into effect by heads of families, we shall become such a people as God will delight to bless. Besides its moral influence, it will have a na. tural tendency to render the state of the public, prosperous. Religion is one of the strongest bands to hold society together, and the main prop of civil government. When this fails, and profligacy and want of principle becomes general, the wheels of government are soon embarrassed, and sometimes break in anar. chy and confusion. 'It cannot be expected of a people who have cast off the fear of God, all regard for his authority and laws, that they will pay such re. spect to human laws, especially in republican gov. ernments where the law makers are the creatures of the people. Without religion, such governments cannot be long supported. Be entreated then, as you tender the liberties of your country and wish its pros. perity, to fear and serve God in your houses, instil. ling principles of virtue and piety into the minds of your children, and so training them up, that, as they come forward to act their parts on the great stage of life, they may have wisdom and integrity as legislators, fidelity and uncorruptness as magistrates, loyalty and obedience as subjects, charity and benevo. lence as neighbours, and all those virtues and amia. ble qualities which make good and useful members of society.

Lastly, to this let me urge you by all the concern which, as christians, you feel for the church of God and the continuance and success of religion among

It is from your families that the church expects the supply of its members and the repair of the waste made by death ; and, woe be to you! if through the


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