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which is in heaven.” (Matt. v. 16.) “Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.” (1 Peter ii. 12.) “Ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they may without the word be won by the conversation of their wives; while they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.” (1 Peter iii. 1.) Living models of excellence, daily set before our eyes, can scarcely fail to win attention, and excite emulation; and if ever good example shines with superior lustre, and commands a more than ordinary sway, it is in the seclusion of domestic life. In the walks of commerce, the marts of merchandise, or even the bustle of business, the Christian may and must be seen; for he has “to provide things honest in the sight of all men; ” but here his stay is comparatively transient, and his conversation, and whole demeanour, cautious and circumspect. Often with the illustrious subject of our text, he “keeps his mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before him.” But in the bosom of his family, his character is fairly developed: here his example meets every eye, and attracts the attention of every spectator; children, servants, domestics, and all who come within the sphere of the family circle, see in him “an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile.” “A man on earth devoted to the skies.” And is not the presence and influence of such an individual beneficial to his family 2 Does not his example cast a lustre on all the inmates of his dwelling? Will they not see his good works, and see them to advantage; and be led to glorify God in the day of visitation? Was it not thus, that David returned to bless his family? Hear what he saith: “I will walk within my house with a perfect heart. I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.” (Ps. ci. 3.) You who wish to bless your households, be emulous to become their exemplars. Let your characters be models for theirs. Curb the levity of your children's dispositions, by the habitual seriousness of your own: and conduct yourselves towards all your domestics so consistently, that, with the Apostle, you may individually say, “Those things which ye have both learned, and received, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.” 2. A man may instrumentally bless his household by his instructions. Example, it must be allowed, possesses an instructive influence; it silently and unobtrusively courts the attention of thoughtful minds: but the purest and most untarnished example, cannot always command success. Children and young people are often thoughtless, unaccustomed to reflection; their minds are easily dissipated, and frequently flattered by an imposing exterior; and, what is worse, foolishness is bound up in their hearts; religion is disliked, and accused of insufferable severity; pleasure is courted, and embraced; evil is called good, and good'evil;

darkness put for light, and light for darkness: hence where family instruction is forborne, family religion will be deprived of one of its most powerful props, and most successful auxiliaries. Ignorance is the negation of all moral excellence; a soul without knowledge is devoid of good; and like a wild and desolate wilderness, where the hand of cultivation has never broken the stubborn soil, noxious weeds, or useless shrubs, grow in rank luxuriance: but instruction does that for the mind, which industry does for the soil: he, therefore, who would bless his household, must become their teacher. Let him not think that this is usurping the ministerial office: pious parents are the ablest coadjutors, and the most efficient fellow-helpers of whom Ministers can boast. Nor let him deem himself incompetent to the task of teaching his domestics: he may not have all the talent which he covets, but let him use that of which he is possessed, and it will improve. To acquire facility in teaching, without practice, is impossible; even if his ability should fail, and his personal attempts prove unsuccessful, still there is no ground for discouragement: helps for instruction, and things made ready to hand, adapted to all capacities, abound almost every where. Of these the chlistian householder should avail himself, and put his children and domestics under a course of catechetical instruction. Ours is an age of Catechisms; they meet us at every turn; not a subject can be named, but invention has tortured and compressed it into a Catechism. To illustrate all the truths that Christian parents should teach their children, within the limits of a single sermon is impossible; nor is it necessary: but we may be allowed to suggest, that they should begin the work of instruction betimes. The mind of an infant is a perfect blank, without intelligence, or even conscious existence; but it cannot long remain in that state. Very early in life, ideas begin to shoot; habits begin to form, and propensities to prevail; as soon as there is a capacity for the reception of instruction, then, it should be communicated. “In the morning sow the seed.” “Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? Them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.” (Is. xxviii. 9.) And children should be taught repeatedly. A solitary sentence, or a lesson casually or hastily administered, cannot accomplish any valuable purpose. “For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little.” And thus God said to Israel, “These words which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thy house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” (Deut. vi. 7, 8.) And they should be instructed seriously. The truths to be brought before them, and impressed upon their hearts, are truths of a tremendously awful character; and an etermity of bliss or woe depends upon their reception or rejection of these truths: every Christian parent should therefore possess a deep death-like seriousness, while instructing his rising charge on subjects so deeply momentous. How far David blessed his household by the communication of instruction, we have no certain means of knowing. But it never can be supposed, that he who understood more than the ancients, and who had his eyes upon the faithful of the land, that they might dwell with him, would neglect to teach them. Would he who preached righteousness in the great congregation, refrain from preaching it in his family? Would he who rose at midnight to give thanks unto God because of his righteous judgments, never talk of those judgments among his domestics? 3. A man may instrumentally bless his household by his government. All government originated in patriarchal or parental authority ; and families contain the rudiments of empires: and as the happiness of a nation may be promoted by the wisdom, benevolence, and justice of the legislature, so the welfare of a family depends most essentially on its government. He who is at the head of a family is bound to govern it. God has invested him with authority for this special purpose. “There is no power in nature that is frustraneous, and never to be reduced into act." But of all human acts, that of government is the most seriously responsible. How difficult is it to shun the opposite extremes of remissness and severity | What wisdom, and patience, and firmness, are required to govern a family in the fear of the Lord Children love dominion; this is their earliest and most predominant propensity: their will is their only law; and long before they can speak, they grow peevish, fretful, sullen, and out of humour, if their wills happen to be crossed. What perversity is displayed in all their conduct: “I will have this,” or “I won't have that, " or “I will, because I will,” are sentences reiterated in every nursery, and found in every child's vocabulary. But children must be governed. Subordination, and not sovereignty, is their province. Their wills must be subdued: what they cry for must be denied them; and they must be made to do, what in a thousand instances they dislike. Where children can be governed by love alone, chastisement must be forborne: but this can rarely be done. A parent must be rewerenced; feared, as well as loved; and there are children so intolerably insolent, and obstinately perverse, that nothing short of correction will conquer them. They must be punished to be governed. But punishment, should be judiciously inflicted; moral delinquencies, and not accidental errors, should be the grounds of punishment. To chastise a child indiscriminately for every mistake, savours more of savage barbarity, than salutary discipline; and it totally defeats the design for which chastisement should be inflicted. The statements of Revelation upon this subject cannot fail to remind us, that there are great practical and moral purposes to be accomplished by the judicious correction of children. “He

that spareth the rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.” (Prov. xiii. 24.) “Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.” (Prov. xix. 18.) “Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.” (Prov. xxiii. 13, 14.) “The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.” (Prov. xxix. 15.) “We have had fathers of our flesh, which corrected us, and we gave them reverence.” (Heb. xii. 9.) “A prudent and kind mother,” says Locke, in his “Thoughts on Education,” “ of my acquaintance, was forced to whip her little daughter, at her first coming home from nurse, eight times successively the same morning, before she could master her stubbornness, and obtain a compliance in a very easy and indifferent matter. If she had left off sooner, and stopped at the seventh whipping, she had spoiled the child for ever, and, by her unprevailing blows, only confirmed her refractoriness, very hardly afterwards to be cured; but wisely persisting till she had bent her mind, and suppled her will, the only end of correction and chastisement, she established her authority thoroughly in the very first occasion, and had ever after a very ready compliance and obedience in all things from her daughter; for as this was the first time, so I think it was the last she ever struck her.” The government of a householder over his domestics should be exercised for moral and saving purposes. By virtue of his authority, he should restrain them from all public acts of vice. To accomplish this, he must as much as possible inspect all their conduct, and watch over all their movements with sacred jealousy. Young people who are suffered to deck themselves out, in all the flimsy finery of fashion, to have a wide range of acquaintance, to receive and pay indiscriminate visits, to mingle with promiscuous society, and frequent places of public amusement, can scarcely fail to become proficients in the school of iniquity. And it should be recollected, that what is technically termed innocent amusement, is often pregnant with moral results of tremendous import. Dinah “went out to see the daughters of the land.” (Gen. xxxiv. 1.) Her personal attractions won the heart of Shechem; this led to an illicit connexion; thence came a deep, designing, and dissembled act of villany; and, lastly, a general and horrid massacre of all the male inhabitants of the city. The wicked and scandalous conduct of Eli's sons, was imputed to their father's criminal indulgence: “His sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not.” Restraint was practicable; and he who possesses the power of preventing crimes, and yet withholds its exercise, becomes a partaker of other men's sins, and will be dealt with accordingly. Nor does the government which a householder is called to exercise in his family end with restraint; duty binds him to make his domestics sanctify the Sabbath, frequent the public ordinances of religion, and practise the virtues of justice, temperance, and sobriety. That David blessed his household by the exercise of all that authority which his exalted sphere in society gave him, we dare not affirm. His children cost him many a bitter sigh, which might have been spared, had he held the reins of government in his family with a tighter hand. Over his servants, indeed, he watched with godly jealousy. “Mine eyes,” saith he, “shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me: he that walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve me; he that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house; he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight.” (Ps. ci. 6,7.) 4. A man may instrumentally bless his household by his prayers. Prayer, above every other thing, contributes to the establishment and furtherance of family religion; and no man can bless his household so effectually as by praying with and for the members of which that household is composed. There are few persons such novices in religion as not to know that prayer is personally beneficial to us. It averts from us many evils; it procures for us many blessings. By it we draw nigh unto God, pour out our hearts before him, and secure his approbation; for “the prayer of the upright is his delight.” Where prayer is restrained, duties remain unfulfilled, privileges unenjoyed, happiness unfelt, and heaven, with all its glories, is eternally forfeited. But is it for ourselves alone, that God heareth prayer? Has he made it imperative upon us, to offer up prayers, supplications, and intercessions for all men, and has he no disposition to answer us? Must our sympathies for the immortal interests of our fellow-creatures be awakened in vain? And shall our prayers on their behalf, return into our bosom 7 No: on a subject in which our dearest interests are so deeply involved, we are not left to the dubiousness of conjecture. The Bible abounds with facts and promises of a most encouraging charactor. “Confess your faults,” saith St. James, “one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” And to satisfy us that prayer is no less available for the salvation of the soul, than the health of the body, St. John saith, “If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for him that sinneth not unto death.” How powerful were the pleadings of the father of the faithful, on behalf of the impious sons of Sodom and Gomorrah! And how inexpressibly gracious and condescending were the answers of God to him, in reference to those awfully depraved, and deeply devoted cities. When a son was promised to Abraham in his old age, he, fearing that his former son would be overlooked amidst the profusion of benefits prepared for the latter, said unto God, “O that Ishmael might live before thee!” And the divine answer was, “I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him.” (Gen. xvii. 20.) When the reiterated murmurings of Israel had so far provoked God, as to lead him to threaten to exterminate their whole race

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