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mouse he roof that an excelleof all fecur your enjuagh up
is not fimply anger that is threatened, but fury, wrath in the greatest height and rage. O let prayerless families through the land tremble at this threatening! I fear, if it were presently executed, it would make thin cities and parishes fomewhere : But though God be patient and long suffering, yet, believe it, there are secret and invifible curses which light and lię upon prayerless families, and the works of their hands. Neglect of prayer, doth uncover the roof to let God's curses drop through upon your persons, children, tables, and all your enjoyments ; for you denude yourselves of all security and protection, Family-prayer is an excellent roof to your houses; it is like the roof that is made of Irish oak, which no venemous spider will touch, nor lodge in. Family-worship, duly performed, dislodges (in and vice; nay, it dislodges the devil also: And for these houses that are haunted with evil spirits, whatever other reason may be given for it, no doubt this is one; God's worship hath not been duly performed therein. And though the devil doth not appear in a visible or audible manner, yet he certainly haunts prayerless houses, for he hopes for large draughts out of them. Why? Gn and wickednefs are fair to reigni there; malice, pride, deceit and intempe. rance will bear fway; swearing, curfing, and lying, will be the language of the house, and the children will learn
it betimes. But, when prayer is introduced into a fa'mily, these vices are banished, and fatan removes : For
either prayer will make you give over linning, or linning · will make you give over praying; they cannot dwell well together. But the house which the unclean fpirit
finds empty of prayer, is a house swept and garnilhed · for him and a black train of vices to enter and dwell in.
If God's worship be not in the house, you may write, "Lord, have mercy upon us,” upon the door, as they use to do when a house is shut up with the plague. What can we expect in a prayerless house, but the plagues and curses of God ?: Ahraham expected no goot in a prayerless place » therefore says he of Gerar, Gen. xx, 11. “ Surely the fear of God is not in this place; they will Day me, &c. What a miserable place or house must that be, where God's fear is not ? Surely it must be a fink of · Yol. IV.
and haunts in a vierein God's won may beaunted Coreigne pour cheerless boor audi
fin, a butt of wrath, a eage of unclean birds, and a habitation of devils. dorso le risin gos da ---O masters of families, will you pity the souls of your families ? Tremble left their blood be found in your fkirts - When a child or servant-dies out of your family, it will be fad if conscience have it to tell you,
Here one has died out of your house, with whom you never prayed; you dwelt together, cat together, wrought together many years, but you never prayed to gether. And what if his foul be gone to hell through your neglect ! What if his blood be charged on you.? How will you answer for it? Who knows but if he had feen and heard you pray, your words and example might have moved him to go into a secret corner and pray for his own soul, and so he might have been fing. ing with the saints in heaven, instead of howling with the danined in hell ?” ini .. to ons in Y.,
But if the case be fo melancholy when they die from you, surely it will be far worfe when you come to dic yourselves. You have all your days kept your families godless and prayerless ; well, what accounts will you give of your stewardships, when you may be no longer ftewards'? and what anguilh do you think will feize on you, when, with Dives, you shall feel your felves in hell, and then begin (not before) to lift up your eyes to heaven, and see the godly praying ones, whom you despised, afar off, and a great gulf fixed betwixt you and them, and also, when you thall fee those of your prayerless families whom you ruined by your example and influence, brought down to the fame place of tor. ment, to increase your mifery, and add fuck to your flames? O masters of prayerless families think on these things in time. In Sbo wanaiho base delle : ** Oh! will neither the fear of hell, nor hopes of 3 heaven perfuade you to family-prayer? L'am fære far Jess would do it, could I assure you that the daily pero formance of it would gain you an estate of ten thos. fand merks a year. You would try it as you can, and be punctual in ft 100; you would no more pretend mul titude of business, want of time, gifts or confidence. And are you fo atheistical, as to prefer a little of the
world to heaven- Or fuppose there were ftri& laws
2. Congder the great fin of neglecting family-inftruc-
young ones," and leave them to be destroyed after they bring them forth? Will you, in, like manner, bring forth your young ones, and then carelessly, leave them to be a prey to the devil, and eternally to be torn to pieces by him? Are you indifferent about those that came forth of your loins, and whom you profess to love fo dearly, whether they live with the blessed Jesus in heaven, or with the curled devils in hell? Remember, O parents, who neglect the education of your children, God may punish you for it, even in this world, by their unnatural and undutiful, carriage to you in old age, whereby they may bring down your gray hairs with sorrow to the grave; and no wonder though they make no conscience of their duty to you, who made no CONscience to teach them their duty to God. Remember also, how many children have been brought to a miferable end in this world by the negligence and unfaithfulness of their parents this way ; some going to the gibs bet have bitterly reflected on their parents as the cause of their yuin, for giving them such a bad example, and not instructing them in the time of their youth. But, above all, consider how your children and servants may rise up and accuse you at the bar of God at the great day, and say, “ Lord, there stands my father, there stands my master, he never taught us, prayed with us, or for us; he neglected prayer, he cursed, he lied, he brake the Sabbath, and so did we after his example. It is true, we are justly condemned, but yet we perish through their neglect, our blood is upon their heads." O parents, will it not make you speechless, and iting you to the heart, to hear your poor children crying out against you in that day, saying, “ Had you noticed our fouls as well as our bodies, had you been as careful to teach us the knowledge of God as of such a trade, it had not been with us as it is this day; we had not now stood trembling in expectation of that dreadful doom, which is just ready to be part, upon us, Cursed be the man that begat us, and the paps that
gave us suck; it is to you we owe our eternal ruin and · mifery."
O negligent parents, what horror and confugon will then seize you in that great and terrible day of the Lord, to heat such a charge from your children! but much more to heat God charge you with their blood, and lay,
/0 unnatural wretches, behold how many precious fvals you neglected and ruined, whose happiness you were bound to procure by fó many ties of duty and af fection. They were ignorant, and you instructed them not; they were prayertess, and you taught theiñ nor ; they were Christless, and you pitied' them not: Yea, you not only neglected to give them good initruction, but you gave them bad example; you (wore, lyed, spoke obfeénély, broke the Sabbath, mocked religion, &c. and lo, in these very practices they have followed you to hell, to be an addition to your torments there for ever." - Would you then prevent this sad reckoning, and be found with your children upon the judge's right hand? fee that you inftru&t'them and 'pray for them. O fathers, would you wilh to have your children well provided, then lay up a stock of prayers for them, both family and secret prayer: This is a stock that would not be foon fpent, nay, it will be bringing them in something when you are dead and rotten. O mothers, your bo. dies travaised in pain at their first birth, let your souls travail in pain for their second birth : Where is your motherly tenderness toward the fruit of your womb? Would you not be sorry to hear them screeching, or see, them frying in hell's flames, without remedy? Then do what lies in your power, to prevent it, by instructa ing them, praying for them, and praying with them
Thirdly, Beware of neglecting secret duties this day, such as were afore mentioned, and particularly prayer, v If thou be one, O finner, that restrainest prayer before God this day, it is a black mark of a graceless heart i. for a spirit of grace' and supplication go ftill together. As difficulty of breathing, and painfulness in speaking, are symptoms of a sick body fo averfion to prayer is a sad sign of a 'fick Tout: For prayer is the soul's breath and fpeech to God, Lam. iii. 16. Again, consider the danger of living in the neglect of this duty. “ If liada tan might have his with against thee, (faith one)