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stle, Rom. viii. 24.25. We are faved by hope: But hope that is feen, is not hope for what a man feeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we Lee not, then do we with patience wait for it. There is much got out of the promife, for the prefent, in hand; but ftill there is more in hope, to be got on the other fide of death. The natural cry is, Who will fhew us any good? It is hard to make children wait even for temporal good things; they would ay have all prefently, whenever they take it in their head but it is harder to get them to wait in the matter of a portion for their hearts. Są they greedily embrace the prefent world. But we fhould labour to get them off that, and wait for happiness in another world.
II. The means to be ufed with them for that end. That is, to make God known to them. He is to many of the aged among men an unknown God, ‘as to any faving aquaintance with him: but to young ones, be is an unknown God, fo much as by report or hearfay, till the aged do tell them of him. The faving knowledge of himself God only can give : but there is a doctrinal making of him known to the rifing generation: and that is our duty, Pfal. xxii. ult. They fhall come, and fhall declare his righteoufnefs unto a people that shall be born, that be hath done this.
Now, ye are to make him known to the rifing generation, as a God in Chrift, John xiv. 9.: for as fuch only he is the object of a guilty creature's truft for falvation, 2 Cor. v. 19. The blind world pretend to trust in God as an abfolute God, not eying him as in Chrift: but fo he is a confuming fire, Heb. xii. ült. And he is not honoured, but dishonoured
difhonoured by fuch a truft, John v. 23. In Chrift
1. As a God of majesty and glory, 2 Cor. iv. 6. There is no glafs in which ye can reprefent to the rifing generation the glory and majesty of God fo lively as in Chrift. The creating a world of nothing, the deluge, deftruction of Sodom, are but dim glaffes, in comparison of the mystery of Christ. Here the glory of his infinite holiness, and infinite hatred of fin, his exact juftice, his precife and unalterable truth, his unsearchable wisdom, most fully appear.
2. As the God of grace, 1 Pet. v. 10. The former view of God is apt to fill the foul with the honour, awe, and reverence of him, fit ballaft for the vain heart: this view of God is apt to fill the foul with faith and love, whereby the heart may be difengaged from the vain world, and knit to him as the alone upmaking portion of the foul. In Chrift ye can let them fee majefty vailed with mercy, righteoufnefs and peace kiffing mutually, a cryftal wall to go between them and the consuming fire.
III. The third thing is, to give the reafons why this is the true way of propagating religion, the Standing to the rifing generation."
1. Because all true religion begins with the knowledge of God in Chrift. Hence our Lord fays, John xvii. 3. This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jefus Chrift whom thou haft fent. As long as ignorance of God continues in the foul, the prince of darkness rules there, the works of darkness go on there, and the party is on the way to everlasting darkness, Hof. iv. 6. .xxvii. 1. Therefore cruel are they that bring up
young ones, whether children or fervants, in ignorance; efpecially confidering, that it is the learnning age, which season miffed, the lofs is feldom retrieved.
2. Because vain is that religion and knowledge that brings not the foul to betake itself to God's truth for a portion, and to renounce the world and its way, I Cor. viii. 1. Our aim in all our teaching should be to affect the heart, to bring finners to God, to be his only, wholly, and for ever. To fatisfy ourselves with filling their heads with notions of religion, while we are careless of getting their hearts to Chrift, is forry fervice.
3. Because the right difcerning of the glory of God in Chrift, is the true way to bring a finner to faith in him: Pfal. ix. 10. They that know thy name will put their trust in thee. John iv. 10. Jefus an/wered and faid unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that faith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldst have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. All who are brought acquainted with him, cannot chufe but take up their fouls reft in him and whoever do not betake themselves to him, it is because they know him not. For his glorious excellency truly difcerned, cannot miss to captivate the heart.
USE. Make God known to the rifing generation, fo as they may be stirred up to give up with the vain and falfe world, and to betake themselves to the promise of the gofpel, therein to take God for their portion. I have given motives already, I will now give directions how to manage the work. 1. A general direction. Aim at that particular
ly, and keep it always in your view, to teach them to know God in Chrift. Never fatisfy yourselves with letting them know, what God is in himself out of Chrift; for that may ftrike them with terror, but it will never bring them to him in faith and love. But labour to discover to them the glory of God in the face of Jefus. Shew them Chrift, and ye fhew them the Father: for in him the fulness of the Godhead dwells. In his perfon, you may let them fee God's willingness to take mankind into union and communion with himfelf; in his offices, how willing he is to teach them, juftify them, and fanctify them; in his holy birth, what a nature is pleafing to him; in his righteous life, what a converfation he requires; in his fatisfactory death, how dreadful his wrath is against fin; and in a word, how they may be made holy and happy for ever. Therefore inculcate on them the knowledge of Chrift. I urge this for three reasons.
ift, Do this, and ye do all to them. Hence fays the Apostle, 1 Cor. ii. 2. I determined not to know any thing among you, fave Jefus Chrift, and bim crucified. When the darkness of the night fits down on the face of the earth, as many candles as are burning abroad, so many spots of the earth will be enlightened: but let the fun arife, and there will be light over all; for the one fun will do more than millions of lighted candles. So, whenever Chrift the Sun of righteoufnefs arifeth, that grofs darknefs which covers the mind, will fudden ly be difpeiled. There is more of the glory of God to be feen in the face of Jefus, than throughout the whole compafs of the heavens and the earth, which yet were made to declare the glory
of God. Life, eternal life, is in the knowledge of him, John xvii. 3.`
2dly, Neglect this, and ye do nothing to them to purpose. Hence fays Chrift, John viii. 24.-If ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your fins. That light that is without him is but darkness, and the fparks of knowledge and religion that is without illumination in the knowledge of Chrift, will leave those that walk in the light of them, to lie down in forrow at length, John i. 9. Not one truth is rightly learned, that is not learned as it centers in Jefus, Eph. iv. 20. 21.
3dly, Because the rifing generation is in extreme hazard in this point at this time, beyond what they have been for many years. A religion is like to come in among them, that has no relation to Chrift and his Spirit, which is in effect but res fined Paganifm. With fome Christ is almost dropt out of their practical divinity, and morality in doctrine is juftling out the gofpel of the grace of God; and hence immorality in practice comes in like a flood. And principles are vented highly injurious to his glorious Godhead.
2. Particular directions are these.
ft, Acquaint them with God's word. Let your children be learned to read; and your servants that cannot read, be fo charitable as to teach them. And ye fuch fervants fecure that in your hiring of yourfelves. And prefs them, and stir them up to read the fcriptures ordinarily when they can do it. It is recorded of Timothy, to his ho nour, that from a child he had known the holy fcriptures, which are able to make men wife unto Salvation, through faith which is in Chrift Jefus, 2 Tim. iii. 15.