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thereto, by consideration of the honour of God, and their eternal welfare, that depend on it.
II. The second general head was to shew, Who are the standing and rising generation, the father's and the children, among whom this propagation of religion is to pass. And this must be stated according to the language of the Holy Ghost, and the analogy of other parts of scripture, if we would rightly see whose is this duty. In general I shall premise,
1. All superiors and inferiors are in scripture. style comprehended under fathers and children, This is plain from the fifth commandment, which under the name of father and mother, whose relatives children are, prescribes the mutual duties of superiors and inferiors. Therefore every one is to propagate religion to his inferiors.
2. Forasmuch as there is no perfect and absolute equality among men, but some who are inferior in one respect to others, may be superior to them in another respect; it is the duty of equals and inferiors to propagate religion among themselves, and to their superiors, mutually communicatiog their light and warmth.
3. Some may belong to the standing generation in one respect, who belong to che rising one in another; as a person who is inferior to some, and su. perior to others. So they are to have it propagated to them, and they are to propagate it to others again.
4. lastly, The same command of God that binds the standing generation and fathers to propagate religion, binds the rising generation and children to receive it. God by binding parents to instruct,
- binds binds the children to receive instruction. And they that are the rising generation now, will be the standing in a little. But more particularly,
1. Fathers of the state, magistrates supreme or subordinate, are to propagate religion to their po. litical children, their subjects. They are God's vicegerents on carth, clothed with dominion and authority over others, to be employed for God 'in whose name they act. Hence is that promise,
IS.xlix. 23. Kings Mall be thy nursing-fathers, and their queens thy, nursing-mothers. And it is one of the blackest symptoms of the corruption of the world, that oft-times they are found fet to extirpate religion. .
2. Fathers in the church, ministers and other ruling church-officers, to their ecclesiastical chila dren, the people whom they are set over, 2 Kings ji. 12. It is for this very end they are put in of. fice. Hence fays the Apostle, Heb. xiii. 17. O. bey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves : for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account : that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you. Jesus Christ brought this religion from heaven, employed his apostles to propagate it: toi them they succeed in the office of propagating religion ; and must see to make it their business, as they will be answerable.
3. Fathers of families to their children. For every family ought to be a church, wherein holy worship, doctrine, discipline, and governnienti ought to be maintained, by the heads thereof. Andi particularly,
ift, Fathers and mothers to the children procreated of their bodies. This is the chicf thing in the
text, The father to the children Mall make known thy truth. Compared with Gen. xviii. 19. I know him, that he will command his children, and his household af. ter him, and they Mall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment. It is but an inferior part of your charge, to provide meat and cloaths for your chil. dren, and to put them in a way of living : the chief part is to see to their fouls, that they may be re. covered out of the lost state they are in by nature. It will be but a sorry kindness, to be concerned for their provision in time, if ye neglect them as to their eternal concerns. It is by them your name is to be propagated, and you are to propagate God's name to them, in point of gratitude to God, justice and natural affection to them.
2dly, They are to do it also to all others in their family, whether they be servants, or what. ever they be, if they be members of the family for shorter or longer time. Being in your family, ye are instead of fathers and mothers to them, and owe them that benefit. Hence masters are called fathers, 2 Kings v. 13.; and the duty of propagating religion is expressly extended to one's household, Gen. xviii. 19. forecited. And whosoever have the chief authority in a family, though they be servants themselves, are the fathers of it in this sense.
4. Fathers in gifts or grace, to those who are children in these respects in comparison of them, i John ii. 12. 13. So Jofeph was a father to Pharaoh, Gen. xlv. 8. If God has bestowed on you more gifts or grace than on others; mind ye are thereby made fathers to those that are weaker than you, and are obliged to communicate your light to them, 1 Cor. xii. 7. So teachers are called fathers, Geis.