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CONFESSION OF FAITH ;
(CONTAINED IN THE HOLY scripTURES, AND HELD FoRTH IN THE SAD
confession AND CATEchisms,) AND PRACTICAL USE THEREOF; |
NATIONAL AND SOLEMN LEAGUE ;
AcKNow LEDGMENT OF SINS, AND
DIRECTORIES FOR PUBLICK AND FAMILY WORSHIP;
Drut. vi. 6,7. And these word, which I command thee this day shall be in thine
Pinters to the King's most Excellent Majesty.
THE GENERAL CONTENTs. #" * I. THE Preface, by sundry | VIII. The Solemn League and o English Divines. Covenant. II. Mr. Manton's Epistle to the IX. The Acknowledgment of o Reader. Sins, &c. III. The Confession of Faith. X. The Directory for Publick IV. The Larger Catechism. Worship.
W. The Shorter Catechism,
| VI. The Sum of Saving Knowledge.
VII. The National Covenant.
XI. The Form of Presbyterial
XII. The Directory for Family
A. we cannot but with grief of soul lament those multitudes of errors, blasphemies, and all kinds of profaneness, which have in this last age, like a mighty deluge, overflows: this nation; so, among several other sins which have helped "Open the flood-gates of all these impieties, we cannot but on the disuse of family instruction one of the greatest. The two great pillars upon which the kingdom of Satan is / od, and by which it is upheld, are ignorance and error; *first step of our manumission from this spiritual thraldon, onsists inhaving our eyes opened, and being turnedfrom dark"olight, Acts xxvi.18. How much the serious endeavours "godly parents and masters might contribute to an early *soning the tender years of such as are under their inspec*isabundantly evident, not only from their specialism- *Won them, in respect of their authority over them, inon them, continual presence with them, and frequent "Portunities of being helpful to them; but also from the sad tools which, by woeful experience, we find to be the fruit oth omission of this duty. It were easy to set before you a out of witnesses, the language of whose practice hath been ** an eminent commendation of this duty, but also,
*exhortation to it. As Abel, though dead, yet speaks by
... his example to us for imitation of his faith, &c. Heb. xi. 4: so do the examples of Abraham, of Joshua, of the parents of Solomon, of the grandmother and mother of Timothy, the mother of Augustine, whose care was as well to nurse up the souls as the bodies of their little ones; and as their pains herein was great, so was their success no way unanswerable. We should scarce imagine it any better than an impertimency, in this moon-day of the gospel, either to inform or persuade in a duty so expressly commanded, so frequently urged, so highly encouraged, and so eminently owned by the Lord in all ages with his blessing, but that our sad experience tells us, this duty is not more needful, than it is of late neglected. For the restoring of this duty to its due observance, give us leave to suggest this double advice. The first concerns heads of families in respect of theidselves; That as the Lord hath set them in place above the rest of their family, they would labour in all wisdom and spiritual understanding to be above them also. It is an uncomely sight to behold men in years babes in knowledge; and how unmeet are they to instruct others, who need themselves to be taught which be the first principles of the oracles of God? Heb. v. 12. , Knowledge is an accomplishment so desirable, that the devils themselves knew not a more taking bait by which to tempt our first parents, than by the fruit of the tree of knowledge; So shall you be as gods, knowing good and evil. When Solomon had that favour shewed him of the Hord, that he was made his own chuser what to ask; he knew no greater mercy to beg than wisdom, 1 Kings iii. 5, 9. The understanding is the guide and pilot of the whole man, that factâty which sits at the stern of the soul: but as the most expert-guide may mistake in the dark, so may the understanding, when it wants the light of knowledge: Without knowledge the mind cannot be good, Prov. xix. 2.; nor the life good, nor the eternal eondition safe, Eph. iv. 18. My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge, Hos. iv. 6. It is ordinary in scripture to set profaneness, and all kind of miscarriages, upon the score of ignorance. Diseases in the body have many times their rise from distempers in the head, and exorbitancies in practice from errors in judgment: and indeed in every sin there is something -> both 26