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quaint all in their family with the God of their fathers; and no way fo effectual for this end, as to bring them all and frequently to the Lord in the duties of his own appointment, in which his power and glory are to be seen. .
4. Al who have families (hould, before the ; world, own the selves every way dependent on
the Lord, and acknowlege him in all their ways. - And this is the true way to answer their duty in this matter.
- Thirdly, There is full as good reason for family government, as for any of the rest. For, : 1. To glorify God, and to enjoy him, is the chief end of man, and that which he ought to aim at; as in all other things that he doth, so particularly in entering into family society. Our families surely, and all our concerns should be so ordered as to contribute some way toward the furtherance of our eternal advantage.
2. This end can never be obtained, unless all in the family be tied to walk according to that rule, which the Lord has given us, as the way toward the enjoyment of himself. .
3. Any in the family who walk not according to the Lord's will in this matter, they do counteract that which all the family should design ; and therefore if they will perfist in that course, they ought to be expelled the family. In a word, to be somewhat more plain, what can be more rea. fonable, than that all who live in your family, Mould be obliged to look to the advantage of the family; and that such as will not do so, hould be turned out of it? And surely every sin allowed,'has a visible tendency to bring down ruin on the fainily. Now, this much for the fecond mo. tive; we proceed to a
III. As III.- As the Lord's command, and the reasonableness of the thing should have weight, so I would have you considér next, that this is a path the Lord's people have in all generaticns trode. If thou expect to have their end, thou must walk in their way, and go by the footsteps of the flock, and surely they will all lead you to a careful at
tendance upon the Lord in the whole of this du. ty. To which of the saints will ye turn, if ye mean to countenance yourself in a neglect of this? Sure none of them. You will find godly Abraham, we have frequently cited, Jacob and Joshua, Job and David we have alieady mentioned also, and they are followed by the faints in all generations.
IV. Consider that a due care for the maintenance of family religion is necessary. For evincing your sincerity, would ye be satisfied that the world look on you as either void of all religion, or not found in it? And what peace do ye, can ye promise yourselves, while conscience has this to throw in your teeth, that ye live either in the neglect, or superficial performance of a known duty ? How can ye satisfy any other, or yourselves, that ye have any regard at all to that sum of the second table of the law, that requires you to love your neighbour as yourself: I'lay, who will believe that the man will love his neighbour as himfelf, who loves not his child, his servant? And who will, or can justly believe, that thou lovelt child or servant, while thou takes no care of their fouls? It is impoffible that thou canst fatisfy'either others, or yourselves, that ye are in earnest about religion, while ye fail here. ., V. For thy further excitement, know, that the vows of God are upon you to this matters
Ye Ye are folemnly sworn, not only when ye yourselves were offered to the Lord, but when ye of fered your children ; and when ye were married also, then ye entered the relation, and then ye', engaged to all the duties that it doth draw after it. Now, can ye bear the reproach of perjury, of breach of solemn vows to the Lord ? Now, here there is a signal defect, and here I would put a question to you all who have thus engaged to a performance of all duties. When ye did vow, were ye really resolved to do what ye promised? If not, ye have mocked God after the boldest manner. If ye were then, what has altered your
refolution ? Mind, God has no pleasure in fools; , and the man who shall ascend to the hill of God, is be that sweareth and changeth not..
VI. Consider the great advantages which at tend conscientious diligence in' performing this duty, and that to yourselves, your children, your servants, and the public.
First, I say, Ye shall be gainers. Every part of religion has its own reward. Godliness is profitable for all things ; and every piece of it is profitable for fome valuable end and purpose. Now, this remarkable part of religion is profitable for thyself many ways : for,
1. In all the duties of family religion, thou mayst have communion wins the Lord, who said not to the feed of Jacob, Seek ye me in vain. He never bid his people fet about any duty, but that wherein he was to be enjoyed. And there are this day on God's earth some who can say, as in the light of God, Thàt some of the sweetest opportunities they ever had on earth, were family occasions; and that never did they more remarkably enjoy the Lord's presence, than in family
worship. worship. Some of considerable quality we have known go into eternity, blessing God for family religion, and others will do so. cause he was one that would, he knew, make conscience in particular of this duty. : Finally, The true method !o inake dutiful children and servants, is to engage them to God's way. If once they come to have a due regard for the Lord, they will learn soon to pay a due respect to parents and masters...
2. It is the way for thee to win souls, and this is of great advantage to thee. He that winneth souls, is wise ; and they who turn many to righe teousness, Mall Shine as the stars in the firmament for ever and ever. And surely, if thou win a foul of a son or fervant, thou shalt have the advantage and comfort of it doubly. To have contribute toward the salvation of any, gives much pleasure; much more to have done so toward the advantage of a child or fervant. Again, i
3. If thou art succesful, and doft gain them, surely it redounds to thy advantage ; for 'it will conciliate and engage their affection much to thee, lay a powerful enforcement to obedience on them, and engage them to improve their interest at the throne of grace on your behalf, and procure a blessing from the Lord to thy family.
4. If they be not engaged, yet thy respect to → God, in witnessing for him, and cleaving to him,
when tempted by so strong a discouragement as the universal backwardness of thy family is, Mall not go without a reward."
5. Surely, since the Lord, we find, would bless a family for the sake of a religious servant, 'as we find the Lord ble led Potiphar's house for Joseph's fake, Gen. xxxix. s. and Laban's house for Jacob's fake, he will no less, if not more, bless a house on accountof a religious master of a family.
6. It is the true way to obtain honour and re. fpect from the Lord, and even intimacy with him. This put Abraham on God's secrets, Gen. xviii. 18. When God was to do a great work of ju. stice, he would not conceal it from Abraham, be
Secondly, This family religion will be no less profitable to thy children ; and, ye know, their gain should be accounted gain by you. Every parent should be of John's mind, third epistle, ver. 4. I have no greater joy, than to hear that, my children walk in the truth; and that particuJarly, because' it contributes to their advantage, and that inany ways..
1. It is God's way, the means of his appointment toward their engagement in the Lord's way.
Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old he will not depart from it, Prov. xxii. 6. The way to engage them to the Lord, is, to bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, Eph. vi. 4. And what can be so much to their advantage, as peace and acquaintance with God, whereby good shall coine to them, in time, and to eternity?..
2. If this be not reached, yet it is a way that will not readily fair of keeping them from running to the same excess of riot pith others, whereby they make theinselves a disgrace to their parents, and all concerned in them. It would be a check to them, wliereby they might be kept from adventuring upon these bold heights that some run 10. I remember the noble lord Rullel, fon to the marquis of Bedford, in iis speech on the scaffold, July 21. 1683. blesses God for religious educati. on. “For, says he, even when I ininded it least,