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our own walk before them, that they may be brought to copy after us. Those precepts that are illuminated with example, are most ready to take. Beware of cafting an ill example before their eyes; for the corruption of nature lies that way; and he that fins before a child, fins twice; for his fin lies fair to be repeated by the young fpectator.

(3.) By dependence on the Lord for a bleffing on the means used for their good. Hence fays the Apostle, 2 Cor. x. 4. The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of ftrong holds. Whoever he be

that plants, if God give not the increase there will be none, 1 Cor. iii. 6. That is a great truth in all cafes, in fpiritual as well as worldly things, 1 Sam. ii. 9.By ftrength shall no man prevail. If a man fhould ufe the beft arguments, the fstrongest motives, the moft feasible meafures, for bringing others into the way of religion; and upon the fuitableness of the means promife himself fuccefs, he takes the way moft likely to render them ineffectual. The word spoken needs to be mixed with faith in the Ipeaker. And he is most likely to fucceed that ufes the means of God's appointment for doing good, with entire dependence on the Lord for fuccefs.

(4.) laftly, By prayer for them. Thus it is promifed concerning Chrift, Pfal. lxxii. 15. that prayer fhall be made for him continually, viz. that his kingdom may come, by the daily coming in of new subjects to him. Since the fuccefs of all that we can do for the good of the rifing generation depends on the Lord's bleffing, it is neceffary that we plead for them at the throne of grace, quickening ourselves


thereto, by confideration of the honour of God, and their eternal welfare, that depend on it..


II. The fecond general head was to fhew, are the ftanding and rifing generation, the fathers and the children, among whom this propagation of religion is to pafs. And this must be ftated ac cording to the language of the Holy Ghost, and the analogy of other parts of fcripture, if we would rightly fee whofe is this duty. In general I fhall premife,

1. All fuperiors and inferiors are in fcripturestyle comprehended under fathers and children. This is plain from the fifth commandment, which under the name of father and mother, whofe relatives children are, prescribes the mutual duties of fuperiors and inferiors. Therefore every one is to propagate religion to his inferiors.

2. Forafmuch as there is no perfect and abfolute equality among men, but fome who are inferior in one refpect to others, may be fuperior to them in another refpect; it is the duty of equals and inferiors to propagate religion among themselves, and to their fuperiors, mutually communicating their light and warmth.

3. Some may belong to the ftanding generation in one refpect, who belong to the rifing one in another; as a perfon who is inferior to fome, and fuperior to others. So they are to have it propagated to them, and they are to propagate it to others again.


4. laftly, The fame command of God that binds the ftanding generation and fathers to propagate religion, binds the rifing generation and children to receive it. God by binding parents to inftruct,


binds the children to receive inftruction. they that are the rifing generation now, will be the ftanding in a little. But more particularly,

1. Fathers of the ftate, magiftrates fupreme or fubordinate, are to propagate religion to their po litical children, their fubjects. They are God's vicegerents on earth, clothed with dominion and authority over others, to be employed for God in whose name they act. Hence is that promife, If. xlix. 23. Kings shall be thy nurfing fathers, and their queens thy nurfing-mothers.And it is one of the blackeft fymptoms of the corruption of the world, that oft-times they are found fet to extirpate religion img

2. Fathers in the church, minifters and other ruling church-officers, to their ecclefiaftical children, the people whom they are fet over, 2 King's ii. 12. It is for this very end they are put in of fice. Hence fays the Apostle, Heb. xiii. 17. 0bey them that have the rule over you, and Submit yourselves for they watch for your fouls, as they that must give account that they may do it with joy, and not with grief for that is unprofitable for you Jefus Chrift brought this religion from heaven, employed his apoftles to propagate it: to them they fucceed in the office of propagating religion; and must see to make it their bufinefs, as they will be answerable. Non



3. Fathers of families to their children every family ought to be a church, wherein holy worship, doctrine, difcipline, and government ought to be maintained, by the heads thereof. And particularly, DOS

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ift, Fathers and mothers to the children procreated of their bodies. This is the chief thing in the

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text, The father to the children shall make known thy truth. Compared with Gen. xviii. 19. I know him, that he will command his children, and his household after him, and they all keep the way of the Lord, to do juftice and judgment. It is but an inferior part of your charge, to provide meat and cloaths for your children, and to put them in a way of living: the chief part is to fee to their fouls, that they may be recovered out of the loft ftate they are in by nature. It will be but a forry kindness, to be concerned for their provifion 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, juftice and natural affection to them.

2dly, They are to do it alfo to all others in their family, whether they be fervants, or whatever they be, if they be members of the family for shorter or longer time. Being in your family, ye are inftead 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 exprefsly extended to one's houfehold, Gen. xviii. 19. forecited. And whosoever have the chief authority in a family, though they be fervants themselves, are the fathers of it in this fense.

4. Fathers in gifts or grace, to those who are children in thefe refpects in comparison of them, 1 John ii. 12. 13. So Jofeph was a father to Pharaoh, Gen. xlv. 8. If God has beftowed 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, Gen.


iv. 20.; and the Spirit of God the common father, 1 Sam. x. 12. It will then make a dreadful reckoning, for men to have gifts, and not lay them out for the benefit of others; to use their gifts juft for oftentation, and instead of helping, to brangle, and confound, and perplex the weaker

with them.

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5. Fathers in years, to those who are children in refpect of age to them, 1 Tim. v. 1. 2. It is Elihu's obferve, Job xxxii. 7. that days Should Speak, and multitude of year's fhould teach wifdom. The more days the more experience, the more access to improve in knowledge; and fo to be the more useful to the younger. Mind then, that your fuperiority in years conftitutes you fathers to thofe younger than you. Ye will not forget it in point of the regard ye expect from them, and God allows you it, 1 Pet. v. 5.; but then ye fhould make confcience of the duty too, propagating religion to them.

Thus ye fee the standing and rifing generation. And if these fathers would fet themselves to the propagating of religion to their respective children, the work would go on.

III. The third general head was to fhew, In what refpects it is the fpecial bufinefs of life. The bufinefs of life appointed by the great Mafter is manifold; but the fum of it is to honour God, Rom. xi. ult.; and the chief branch thereof, the fpecial bufinefs of life, is to propagate religion, the ftanding to the rifing generation. This will appear in the following particulars.

1. It is the bufinefs of life, that would have been the business of it though fin had never enterS


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