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and hence they go so soon astray from the ways of virtue and religion, even during the earliest days in which they become capable of exercising reason. If, happily, all children do not thus early turn aside into the ways of sin, they owe much of their preservation from open vice, during childhood, to the care which the ministers of religion have taken to provide instruction for their fathers and mothers; and the opportunities they afford them to learn to read the Bible, and to gain a knowledge of the law of God, and of the gospel of our Saviour Jesus Christ. David declared that of himself, which is equally true of each one of us, "Behold I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me." (Psalm li. 6.) And again, “I have gone astray like a sheep that is lost." This is the case with every one of us; yet we are mercifully invited by God to return to the Shepherd and Bishop of our souls. Though such be our corrupt nature, and such the early tendency of

our hearts, Jesus and his Apostles invite us to repent and believe the gospel.

We are again entered upon the season of Lent, which is a time set apart by a large portion of the universal church of Christ, for fasting, repentance, and prayer. The season of Lent calls upon the members of our church to consider the doctrine of repentance. It is, therefore, my intention, by the help of God, to employ the Sundays in Lent, to set forth the necessity of repentance toward God, its advantages, and the means of promoting it in persons of different ages and conditions in life.

The present sermon will have reference to children. To you, my dear children, I now address myself. This discourse is intended for your special benefit. The prophet David declares of children, who are not carefully watched, diligently taught, and earnestly prayed for, that


they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies." This awful declaration

is, I fear, too true of you; and it is still more fearfully true of those who do not receive christian instruction; "for a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame." You need early education, for "foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of correction shall Idrive it far from him." However much you may dislike the labour of learning, the Scripture tells you, "that the soul be without knowledge it is not good."

In this Lecture we shall notice

I. The necessity of repentance before God, and of faith in Christ, to children. II. The benefits which children obtain by them.

III. Some means of promoting these graces in children.

I. The necessity of repentance before God, and of faith in Christ, to children. When the innocency of children is noted in the Bible, it is to be understood

as something comparative, and not abso lute. Children are sinners not only by the imputation of Adam's transgression, but they are partakers of original sin, and hence they have dispositions and lustings towards evil, which early show themselves, by anger, jealousy, deceit, covetousness, and selfishness.

1. The Bible history shows this to be the case.

Not long after Adam and Eve sinned in paradise by eating of the forbidden. fruit, and thus fell from their original righteousness, Eve bare Cain, who became the murderer of his brother Abel, and though such a crime had not before been known in the earth. "And wherefore slew he him ?" "Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous." You see Cain became wicked, not by bad example, but by following the devices and desires of his own heart.

In Gen. v. 3, we read, that when "Adam was one hundred and thirty years old, he

begat a son in his own likeness, after his image, and called his name Seth." When Adam was made at the first, he possessed the image and likeness of God; these he lost by his sin in the garden of Eden, and no image and likeness remained to him but those defaced by sin. Seth, therefore, was born in sin, and was subject to death. But Seth was made good by the Lord. You also, my dear children, are born evil, but you may be made good, by being born again: and indeed "you must be born again before you can enter into the kingdom of heaven." You have received the outward and visible sign, in baptism, of the washing of regeneration, but you must have the renewing of the Holy Ghost, the "inward and spiritual grace; a death unto sin, and a new birth unto righteousness."

You must not think that those children only who were born before the world was drowned by the waters of a flood, were born in sin. See again what God says

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