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PARENTAL RESOLUTIONS. God would give them grace, and give COMPOSED FOR HIS OWN USE, BY A them glory,and withhold no good thing VERY PIOUS MAN.
from them; that God would smile on L At the birth of my children, 1 their education, and give his good anwould use all due solemnity in the gels charge over them, and keep them baptismal dedication and consecration from evil, that it may not grieve them; of them to the Lord. I would pre- that when their father and mother sent them to the baptism of the Lord, shall foresake them, the Lord may not as a mere formality ; but, won-take them up. Most earnestly would dering at the grace of the infinite God, I plead that promise in their behalf; who will accept my children as his, i The heavenly Father will give his Howould resolve to do all that I can that|ly Spirit to them that ask him." 0 they may be his. I would now actu-happy children if by asking, I may obally give them up to God, entreating tain the Holy Spirit for them! that the child may be a child of God IV. I would early entertain the the father, a subject of God the Son, children with delightful stories out of and a temple of God the Spirit; that the Bible. In familiar conversation I it may be rescued from the con- would go through the Bible, when the dition of a child of wrath, and be pos.
"olive plants about my table” are ca. sessed and employed by the Lord, as pable of being so watered. But I an everlasting instrument of his glory. would always conclude the history by
II. As soon as my children become some lessons of piety, to be inferred capable of attending to my instructions from them. I would frequently admonish them to V. I would single out some seripbe sensible of their baptismal engage tural sentences of the greatest import ments to the Lord: often remind them ance; and some also that contain spe. of their baptism and of the duties to cial antidotes to the common errors and which it binds them.
vices of children. They shall quickI would often say to each of them, ly get these golden sayings by heart, Child, you have been haptised ; you and be rewarded with silver or gold, were washed in the name of the great or some good thing, when they do so. God ; now you must not sin against Such sentences as the following. him ; to sin is to do a very vile thing.
Psalm cxi. 10. You must every day cry to God that The fear of the Lord is the begin. he would be your Father, your Saviourning of wisdom. your Leader; in your baptism he prom
Matthew xvi. 26. ised that be would be so, if you pray.
What is a man profited, if he gain ed to him. Child, you must renounce the whole world, and loose his own the service of Satan; you must not soul ? follow the vanities of this world ; you
1 Timothy i. 15. must lead a life of serious religion ; Jesus Christ came into the world to in your baptism you were bound to save sinners, of whom I am chief. the service of your only Saviour.--
Matthew vi. 6. What is your name? You must soon- Enter into thy closet, and when er forget this name that was given you thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy at your baptism, than forget that you Father, which is in secret. ere a servant of Jesus Christ, whose
Eccles. xii. 14. name was then put upon you.
God shall bring every work into III. Let me daily pray for my children judgment, with every secret thing. with the greatest constancy and fer
Ephesians v. 25. vency ; yea, let me daily mention each Put away lying, speak every one of them before the Lord. I would the truth. importunately beg for all suitable bles
Psalm cxxxviii. 6. sings to be bestowed upon them ; that The Lord bath respect unto the
to lowly, but the proud he knoweth afar)|heard a sermon, I will repeat to them off.
the main subject of it, and ask them Romans xii. 17, 19. thereupon, what they are now to pray di Recompence to no man evil forevil.for. I will charge them, with all posthe Dearly beloved avenge Dot your-sible cogency, to pray in secret, and het selves.
often say to each of them, Child, I ot Nehemiah xiii. 18.
hope you do not forget my charge to They bring wrath upon Israel, by you about secret prayer; your crime profaning the Sabbath.
is very great if A Jewish treatise tells us, that among
VIII. I would betimes do what I the Jews,when a child began to speak, can to produce a temper of benignity the father was bound to teach him in my children, both towards one ant." that verse, Deut. xxxij. 4. “ Moses other and towards all other persons.-commanded us a law, even the inher. I will instruct them how ready they itance of the congregation of Jacob." should be to communicate to others a 0, let me betimes make my children part of what they have; and they shall acquainted with the law which our not want for encouragement when blessed Jesus has commanded us! It they discover a loving, courteous, and is the best inheritance I can give benevolent disposition. I will give them.
them now and then a piece of money -- VI. I would cause my children to that with their own little hands, they learn the catechism. In catechising may dispense something to the poor. them, I would break the answer in to Yea if any one has hurt or vexed them, many smaller and appropriate ques- I will not only forbid all revenge, but tions; and by their answer to them will also oblige them to do a kindness observe and quicken their understand-|| as soon as possible, to the vexatious ings. I would connect with every person. All coarseness of language or truih, some duty and practice; and behaviour in them, I will discounte. expect them to confess it, consent tonance. it, and resolve upon it. As we go on
IX. I would be solicitous to have in our catechising, they shall, when my children expert, not only at readthey are able, turn to the proofs, reading with propriety, but also at writing them, and inform me what they prove, a fair hand. I will then assign them and in what manner. Then I will such books to read, as I may judge watch an opportunity to put more nice most agreeable and profitable : obligand difficult questions to them anding them to give me some account improve the times of conversation with of what they read; but will keep a my family, for conferences on reli- | strict eye on what they read, lest they gious subjects.
should stumble on the devil's library, VII. I would be anxious, till I may and poison themselves with foolish ro. be able to say of my children, Behold| mances, novels, plays, songs, or jests, they pray! I would therefore teach" that are not convenient." I wili them to pray. But after they have particularly require them now and learned a form of prayer, I will press then to compose a Prayer, and bring it them to proceed to points which are to me, that so I may discern what not in their form. I will shew them sense they have of their own everlastthe state of their own souls ; and on ing interests. every discovery will inquire of them, X. I wish that my children may, at what they think ought now to be their a very early period, feel the principrayer. I will direct them every ples of REASON and Honor working in morning to take one or two texts out them; and that I may proceed in their of the sacred scriptures, and thence to education, chiefly on those principles. form a desire, which they shall add to Therefore I will wholly avoid that their usual prayer. When they have fierce, harsh, crabbed usage of
children, that would make them dis- || advance to still higher principles. like and tremble to come into my will often tell the children what cause presence. I would treat them so, that they have to love a glorious Christ they shall fear to offend ine, and yet who has died for them ; how much beartily love to see me, and be glad he will be pleased with their well-doof my returning home when I haveing ! and what a noble thing it is to been abroad. I would have it consid- | follow his example, which example I ered as a severe and awful punishment will discribe to them. I will often for a crime in the family, to be forbid- tell them that the eye of God is upon den for a while to come into my pres- them; that he knows all they co, and ence. I would excite in them a high hears all they speak. I will frequentopinion of their father's love to them, ly remind them that there will be a and of his being better able to judge time, when they must appear before what is good for them, than they are the holy Lord ; and that they must for themselves. I would bring them now do nothing which may then be to believe that it is best for them to be source of grief and shame to them. and to do as I would have them.- I will set before them the delights of Hence I would continually insist upon that heaven which is prepared for piit, what a charming thing it is, to KNOW ous children: and the torments of the things that are excellent, and how that hell which is prepared for wicked much better still to do the things that ones. I will inform them of the kind are virtuous. I wish them to propose offices which the good angels perform it to themselves as a reward of good for children who fear God, and are abehavior; “ I will now go to my father, fraid of sin; how the devils tempt and he will teach me something that I them to do bad things; how they hearnever knew before." I would have ken to the devils, and are like them them afraid of doing any base thing, when they do sueh things; what misfrom a horror of the baseness there is chiefs these evil spirits may obtain in it. My first animadversion on a permission to do in the world, and smaller fault shall be, an exclamation how awful it would be to dwell among of surprise and wonder, vehemently the devils, in the place of dragons." expressed before them, that ever they I will cry to God, that he may make should be guilty of doing so foolishly, them feel the power of these princiwith an earnest expectation that they ples. will never do the like again. I will en- XII. When the children are of deavor also to excite in them a weep- proper age for it, I will sometimes. ing resolution to this effect. I will have them with me alone, and connever use corporeal punishment, ex- verse with them about the state of their cept it be for an atrocious crime, or souls; their experiences, their profifor a smaller fault obstinately persis- ciency, their temptations ; obtain their ted in. I would ever proportion chas-declared consent to every article in tisements to faults ; not punish severe- the covenant of grace; and then pray ly for a very small instance of childish with them, earnestly entreating, that ness; and only frown a little for some the Lord would bestow his grace upon real wickedness. Nor shall my chas- | them, and thus make them witnesses tisements ever be dispensed in passion of the agony with which I ain travailand fury; but I will first shew theming to see the image of Christ formed the command of God, by transgress- in them. Certainly they will never for: ing which, they have displeased me. get such'exercises as these ! The slavish, boisterous manner of ed- XIII. I would be very watchful and ucation too commonly used, I consid- cautious about the companions of my er as no small article in the wrath and children. I would be very inquisitive curse of God upon a miserable world. to learn what company they keep
XI. As soon as we can, we will || If they are in danger of being epsnar:
ed by vicious company, I will earnest- y which God sent them into the world ly pull them out of it, as “ brands out to perform; what attempts they have of the burning ;" and will try to pro- made towards it; and how they design cure for them fit and useful associates. to spend the rest of their time, if God
XIV. As in catechising the children, continues them in the world. go in the repetition of the public ser. XVI. When the children are in any mons, I would use this method: Iwould trouble,whether sickness or otherwise, put every truth into the form of a ques. I will take advantage of the occasion, tion, to be answered with yes, or no. to set before them the evil of sin, the By this method I hope to awaken their cause of all our trouble : and will repattention, as well as enlighten their un- resent to them, how fearful a thing it derstandings. And thus I shall have will be, to be cast among the damned an opportunity to ask, Do you desire who are in unceasing and endless such and such a grace? with other sim- trouble. I will set before them the ilar questions. Yea, I may by this benefit of an interest in Christ, by means have an opportunity to demand which their trouble will be sanctified and perhaps to obtain, their early, fre- to them, and they will be prepared for quent, and, I would hope, sincere con- death, and for fullness of joy in a hapsent to the glorious articles of the ne py eternity after death covenant. The Spirit of grace may XVII. I wish, that even if God
fall upon them in this action, and they should give me wealth, all my chilmay be seized by himand possessed by dren, the daughters as well as the him as his temples thro' enternal ages. sons, may have so much acquaintance
XV. When a day of humiliation with some profitable avocation, that arrives, I will make them know the they may be able to obtain for themmeaning of the day : and after some selves a comfortable subsistence, if by time given them to consider of it, I the providence of God, they should will require them to tell me, what spe ever be brought into destitute circon. cial afflictions they have met with, and stances. Why should not they be what good they hope to get by those thus instructed as well as Paul, the afflictions. On a day of thanksgiving, tent-maker! Children of the highest they shall also be made to know the rank may have occasion to bless their intent of the day; and after considera- parents who made such a provision tion, they shall inform me, what mer- for them. The Jews have a saying cies of God to them they take special on this subject, wbich is worthy to be notice of, and what duties to God they mentioned: Whoever teaches pot his confess and resolve to perform under son some trade or business does in resuch obligations. Indeed, for some-ality teach him to be a thief.” thing of this importance, to be pursued XVIII. As early as possible, I in my conversation with them, I would would make my children acquainted not confine myself to the solemn days, with the chief end for which they which may occur too seldom for it;- are to live : that so their youth may but, particularly when the birth-days not be altogether vanity. I would of iny children arrive, I would take shew them that their chief end must them aside, and remind them of the be to acknowledge the great God, and age, which, having obtained help of to bring others to acknowledge him; God, they have attained ; and tell them and that they are nerer acting wisely how thankful they should be for the Bor well, but when they are so doing, mercies of God, upon which they have I would shew them, what these achitherto lived; and how fruitful they knowledgements are, and how they should be in all goodness, that so they are to be made. I would make them may still enjoy their mercies. And I | able to answer the grand questionwould inquire of them, whether they " For what purpose do
live : and have ever get begun to mind the work, what is the end of the actions that em
ploy your lives ?"
I would teach married state, aim at the espousal of them how their Creator and Redeem- their souls to their only Saviour. . I er is to be obeyed in every thing, and would, as 'plainly and as fully as I can, how every thing is to be done in obe- || propose to them the terms on which dience to him ; I would instruct them the glorious Redeemer will espouse in what manner even their diversions, them to himself, in righteousness and their ordaments, and the tasks of their judgment, favor and mercies forever; educations, must all be managed to and solicit their consent to his proposal fit them for the further service of Him and overtures : then I would proceed to whom I have devoted them, and to do what may be expected from a how, in these also, his commandments tender parent for them, in their teme must be the rule of all they do. Iporal circumstances. would therefore sometimes surprise them with an enquiry, “Child, what is this for? Give me a good account TAE MINISTRY OF JOHN THE BAPTIST. why you do it." How comfortably JEHOVAA is a God of order. All shall I see them" walking in the light," the affairs of his kingdom are conducte if I may bring them wisely to answered according to the counsel of eternal this question ; and what " children of wisdom. If the world is to be destroythe light" they will be !
ed by a deluge of waters, he will raise XIX. I would sometimes oblige up Noah, a preacher of righteousness, the children to retire, and ponder on to give warning of the approaching câe that question ; " What should I wish tastrophe. If his people are to be de to have done, if I were now dying ?'livered from Egyptian bondage, he After they shall have reported to ine will raise up Moses and Aaron, and their own answer to the question, I will give them commissions and instruo take occasion from it, to inculcate up-tions for the important purpose. If his on them the lessons of godliness.- Son is to be sent into the world, to I would also direct and oblige them,make reconciliation for iniquity, and at a proper time, seriously to realize to bring in everlasting righteousness, their own appearance before the aw- and a great and permanent change is ful judgment-seat of the Lord Jesus to take place in the outward adminis. Christ, and to consider, whatthey havetration of his kingdom on earth, he will to plead that they may not be sent a-raise up John, and send him forth, in way into everlasting punishment : the spirit and power of Elijah, to pres what they have to plead, that they spare the way for these great and notamay be admitted into the holy city. ble events. I would instruct them what plea to As John, the harbinger of the Messiprepare : first, shew them how to get || ah, made a distinguished figure in the a part in the righteousness of him who perspective of ancient prophecy : as is to be their Judge, by receiving it his office, his ministry and baptism with a thankful faith, as the gift of in- constituted an important part of the finite grace to the distressed and un-outward administration of the church worthy sinner: then shew them how of God; and, as a right understanding to prove that their faith is genuine by of them is of very considerable importheir continual endeavour in all things | tance, under the present economy of to please bim who is to be their Judge, the covenant of grace, it may be usca and to serve his kingdom and interest ful to collect the scattered rays of in the world. And I would charge Scripture upon them, and shew them, them to make this preparation. as clearly as we can, in their true light.
XX. If I live to see the children ar- To his ancient people, by the mouth rive at a marriageable age, I would, of his prophet Malachi, the Lord said, before I consult with heaven or earth BEHOLD, I WILL SEND MY MESSENfor their best accommodation in thell GER, AND HE SHALL PREPARE THE WAY