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finner from the error of his way, fhall fave a foul from death, and shall hide a multitude of fins. To fave a foul from perifhing, is fuch noble work, that it is an honourable working to be aiming at it, and ufing means to compass it.

Mot. 5. laftly, The doom of unprofitable fervants is dreadrul: Matth. xxv. 30. Caft ye the unprofitable fervant into outer darkness: there fhall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. No man can profit God, but every man may and ought to pro fit others, ob xxxv. 7. 8. laying out their talents for the good of others: and if they do it not, they will be caft into outer darkness, as those who would not work when they had the light.


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Object. But they are froward, and will not receive inftruction, nor take advice. Anf. That is a part of their natural disease, Job. xi. 12. Men take pains to break young beafts, till they make them tractable and fhall they not be at pains with thole of their own kind? The waters wear the ftones; and what has often flipped off, may at length come to stick. And a word spoken to them for their good, may lie long under the clod, but fpring up at length. But our fuccefs is not the rule of our duty; we must do our part.

But more particularly, let heads of families be exhorted to propagate, religion to their children and families.

Mot. . Confider ye have a charge of their fouls, from God who has committed them to you. Hence the fourth commandment, the bond of all religion, is directed to heads of families. And in Abraham's example their duty is laid before them: Gen. xviii. 19. I know him, (fays the Lord), that he will command his children, and his household after him,



and they fhall keep the way of the Lord, to do juftice and judgment.

Mot. 2. They are born like wild affes colts, and have a natural bent to the way of fin and destruction : Pfal. Iviii. 3. The wicked are eftranged from the womb, they go aftray as foon as they be born, Speaking lyes. It is too fond and blind a love to your children, that makes you take no notice of the corruption of their nature. And if they are naturally corrupt, what can ye expect but that they will run to their own ruin, if ye are not at pains with them for their fouls good? Hence fays Solomon, Prov. xxix. 15. The rod and reproof give wisdom : but a child left to himself, bringeth his mother to Shame.

Mot. 3. Parents propagate that corruption of nature to them, by natural generation. The finful na ture of children is a glafs wherein the parents may get a humbling view of their own: Gen. v. 3. Adam begat a fon in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth. Compared with Job xiv. 4. Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one. Have ye been inftrumental in conveying the poison to them, and will ye not be thereby ftirred up to minifter the antidote to them?

Mot. 4. They are in the midst of many fnares, entered into a world wherein offences abound, Matth. xviii. 7. Their youth makes them raw and unexperienced, and difpofes them to be rafh and heedlefs. They have need of a monitor, and instructor and guide. How fhall they learn, if they are not taught?

Mot. 5. Ye muft die; and it is like will die before them, and leave them in this evil world. Will ye not be concerned for them, that it may be well

with them when ye are away? Your concern for their temporal provifion will not make it well with them, while ye are not concerned to fow the feeds of religion in their hearts. That will be but to give much fail to an empty fhip without ballaft, that may fink her in the deep fea, as is feen in the fad experience of many.

Mot. 6. They muft die; and it may be they may die before you, and leave you; and then they will have no ufe for all the temporal provision ye. have laboured for, for them. But religion propagated by you to them, will then appear a precious treasure. But if ye have neglected that duty to them, that will then appear a criminal neglect which ye will never more be capable to mend; and it will leave a galling fting in your conscience, if ye be not quite stupid.

Mot. 7. lastly, What comfort can ye have in their cafe, while ye can have no comfortable profpect of their eternal happiness? If they were to be lords and ladies in this world, but to perish eternally in another world, what comfort can be there? The barren womb and dry breafts are preferable to the bringing forth children to the murderers; much more to the bringing forth children for hell-fire.

Let these things work upon your confciences, and on your natural affection, to beftir yourselves towards the propagating of religion to the rifing generation. If ye have any confcience of duty towards God, any humanity towards your fellowcreatures, neglect it no more. For particular directions, I propose


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DOCT. III. ult. The true way of propagating religion, the standing to the rifing generation, is, that the former make God known to the latter, fo as they may betake themselves unto him, his truth and faithfulness, by faith and trust. This is the fenfe of the words of the text, and agreeable to the matter, Hezekiah's life being prolonged in virtue of that promise, 1 Kings viii. 25.-There shall not fail thee a man in my fight to fit on the throne of Ifrael; fo that thy children take heed to their way, that they walk before me as thou haft walked before me. So this notification is not of the matter as a fpeculation, but as a practical thing, that the rifing generation may be brought to God.

In difcourfing this doctrine, we fhall confider, I. The end to be aimed at in our teaching the riling generation.

II. The means to be used with them for that ⚫end.

III. Give the reafons why this is the true way of propagating religion, the standing to the ri fing generation.

IV. lastly, Apply.

I. We fhall consider the end to be aimed at in our teaching the rifing generation. And that is, that they may be brought to betake themfelves unto the truth of God by faith and hope. This is expressly taught, Pfal. lxxviii. 6. 7. That the generation to come might know them, even the children which Should be born who should arife, and declare them to their children: that they might fet their hope in God, and not forget the works of God; but keep

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his commandments.


Now, here we are to confi

1. What is this truth of God we are to endeavour to bring the rifing generation to. 2. How one betakes himself unto God's truth, which is that we should aim to bring the rifing generation


First, What is this truth of God we are to endeavour to bring the rifing generation to? The truth of God may be considered three ways.

1. In the divine doctrine in general. And thus whatever the Lord teaches in his word, is true to a tittle. Hence fays David, Pfal. cxix. 160. Thy word is true. All the difcoveries made to us therein, are to be relied on as most firm truth. But that truth of doctrine is not here meant ; for it belongs to the means, the object to be made


2. In the divine threatenings. They are not merc fcarecrows, as the wicked world looks on them, and difregards them, Deut. xxix. 19.; but shall have a certain accomplishment in their true meaning and intention for which caufe believers of God's word tremble at them, . lxvi. 2. But neither is this here meant; fince it is not the object of hope, but of fear.

3. In the divine promises. These are of two forts. (1.) Law-promifes; as, He that doth them; fall live in them. This cannot be here meant neither; for no man can be happy that way, Rom. viii. 3. (2.) The gospel-promises; fuch as, John iii. 16. God fo loved the world, that he gave his anly begotten Son, that whofoever believeth in him, fhould not perish, but have everlasting life. Heb. viii. 10. This is the covenant that I will make with


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