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should love them too much, or too little, SERM. be too indulgent, or too severe, and then III. it is much better for us to be without them: So little Reason was there for that impatient Exclamation of Rachel, Give me Children, or else I die. How Gen.xxx. often doth God in his Mercy deny our l.. Prayers, when to give us the Desire of our Hearts would be to ruin and undo us ?
2. Let those, who have a numerous Family of Children, be thankful to God for bestowing these Blessings on them, and use their utmost Endeavour to make them Blessings indeed ; by grounding them in the Principles of Religion, and bringing them up foberly and virtuously, in some lawful Calling; by advising, reproving, and correcting them as Occasion requires ; always laying down this as a sure and certain Maxim, That those Impresfions, which are made upon them in their green and tender Years, will continue as long as they live ; and though some, who have had a sober and religious Education, should miscarry, yet generally it is not so ; for the most Part, like new Vessels, they will retain the Scent of that Liquor which was first poured into them. Much less Thould that Man, who is the Parent of a
SERM. numerous Of-fpring, repine. or be discona
III. tented, because his Eftate doth not answer in his Demands, but he labours under the
Burthen of Need and Poverty ; for that God who takes Care of the young Eagles, when left and forsaken by the old Ones, and numbers the very Hairs of our Heads, will much more provide for all his Children and Servants, if they have but Faith sufficient to put their Trust in him; and I verily believe, that though such Persons, when pressed by Want, and under very uneasy Circumstances, may wish that they had fewer Children, yet, generally, a poor Man could hardly tell which of his Children to part with, if he was to be deprived of any one of them.
3. Those who have had Children, and are deprived of them, either by a natural Death, or which is worse by any unfortunate Accident; may hence learn to resign themselves up to the Will of God, and intirely to depend on his good Providence.
If excessive Grief is allowable in any Cafe, it must be in that of a tender Mother for the Death of her only Child, or of a Father for the Heir of his Inheritance ; because Nature urges Men to thefe
Passions, and; whilst we are. Men, it is SERMİ impossible, to be without them; they are III. Part of our very Beings, and are, indeed, empat our own selves. And yet; if we consider Things calmly and deliberately, we shall find, that to grieve and mourn, as Men without Hope, is not only unchristian, but unreasonable ; and that whatsoever Sorrow exceeds the Bounds of a decent and becoming Paffion, is not only our Sin, but our Folly. For what is it we grieve and mourn for? Is it, because God has taken our dear Relation out of this troublesome and miserable World, in which; at the best, we are but Strangers and Pilgrims, and placed him in a State of endless Happiness and Felicity ? Is it so terrible a Thing to be delivered from the Prison of our Bodies, to be freed from those Storms and Tempests, which shipwreck the Quiet and Content of our Minds, and to arrive at the Haven of lafting Rest and
Tranquillity? Is it a reasonable Thing that we should mourn and lament, because our Relations are got safe to their Journey's End before us, and are in a far better Condition, than this World could bestow upon us or them? This certainly should be rather the Subject of our Joy and Sa
Serm. tisfaction, than of our Trouble and Dif
III. content. . wimp For who is there that would not re
joice and be exceeding glad, when he heard that his Son was made a mighty Prince in a foreign country; and that he should shortly fee him in all his Splendor and Glory, and partake with him in this prosperous Condition ? And, is it not much greater Cause of Joy, that we are assured our Friends are in Possession of an immortal Crown, which fadeth not away, eternal in the Heavens? If therefore we inquire into the Cause of our immo derate Grief, for the Loss of Children and Relations, we shall find it proceeds 'either from - Infidelity, or because we entertain an excessive Love to the good Things of this World , either we do not believe that there is a Life to come after this short Life is ended, we do not expect the Joys and Happiness of another World, or else we prefer the good Things of this before them. For, suppose it was put into our Power to raise our deceased Relations from the Dead, and to redeem them from the Power of the Grave, and to give them a longer Continuance amongst us; would it not be a very unreasonable Thing to desire, that they should quit the Society of Saints
and Angels in Heaven, to bez as CIE 1 pany upon Earth; and leave tipit and blessed Abodes, to modern s of a finful Life? Let u R bemoan- our own Lot 29: DIE E theirs, and pray, that GDZI E Time would accomp? Elect, deliver us frio Kitz Bodies, and doch which is from above; 2 ton with them, we met
: Glory. In the sea Endeavours be, the SITE Election sure, to its psim Lives, and to be CITIIV of Piety, Justice, a Var to abound Contribution to the aire i Brethren ; vii larly inaurbet எ t v. 12 :Children of a DFI I T O : and there are 2 * 1 : for the lon acz: Family