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punished; for no unkindness nor fault of a parent can dilcharge the child of this duty, which God has commanded.
VII. Hence it cannot be very difficult to collect that there is a duty also incumbent upon the parent to the of the duro child: a duty that is taught by nature, and inforced of parents žo by the strongest terms in the gospel; which begins children. the moment we are born, and never can be dispensed with so long as the child liveth, and is not wanting in his duty to his parents. For, did we only view the natural care of the very brutes for their young, it must be granted that the sothful, over-nice, or unnatural mother must read her They mult: own conviction, and neglecting or disdaining to nurse them. nurse her own child, when able, must confess that the God of nature ordained that creature, who is blessed with a living offspring, to give the same its first nourishment. Thusmuch nature demands on the very firstappearance of the child. And,
When we consider that the new-born babe is full of the stain and pollution of fin, which it inherits from our first parents through our loins (for all men are them to conceived and born in sin, and before his age is a baptism. day long he is full of corruption) how diligent should the parent be in bringing the child to that baptism, which was ordained by Christ to wash away our original corruption, to make us members of the church of Christ; and to give us a right to the adoption of the children of God, and to the reversion of the kingdom of heaven? and whoever neglects this part of their duty, though we hope Godismore merciful than to lay it to the child's charge, is surely guilty of a great misdemeanor, and contempt of Christ's holy institution. Again,
As soon as the child can begin to learn, the parent must also begin to train him up in the way he should Educate walk through every stage of his succeeding life : them. For children have fouls as well as men: they soon discover their capacity of reasoning, and make it appear that they can learn the things of God and religion. The great God therefore expects that little children should be taught to knowand love and worship him; for he hath not bestowed their early powers in vain. And as the child has promised to renounce the devil and all his works, to believe in God, and to ferve
him; him; so it is the parents duty to teach him, so soon as he shall be able to learn, what he has promifed in that sacrament by his sureties; to carry them to hear fermons, to furnish him with an early knowledge of the christian belief, Lord's prayer, and ten commandments, and all other things which à christian ought to know and believe to his soul's health ; and that he be christianly and virtuously brought up to lead a godly and christian life. For all those, whom God shall efteem capable of duty and finning, must be answerable for their own personal conduct; and how early he will begin to require this account, he only knows. And the very light of nature teaches us, that parents are intrusted with the care of their children in their younger years, to furnish their minds with the seeds of virtue and happiness, as well as to provide for their bodies food and raiment. Must the parent give him the best instructions he can in the affairs of this perishing life, and refuse and neglect it in things of everlasting moment and divine importance? Is it not infinitely better that children should know and serve God, because their parents teach them to do it, than that they should be utterly ignorant of God, and live in a stupid neglect of hion and his service; can a religious parent satisfy himself with this philosophical pretence of not byassing the judgment of his children, and let them go on, and die, before they arrive at manhood, in a state of shame
ellion against their Maker? Are chil. dren intrusted to the affection and care of parents by the God of nature, for so deplorable an end as this? And will the life and soul of the child never be required at the parent's hand?
- And surely, if parents had but that just share of tenderness and affection for their young fons and their daughters that nature requires, or the scripture injoins; if they did but look upon them as little parts of themselves, they could not forbear to acquaint them with the things that belong to their everlasting welfare. Many other arguments may accrue from experience and obfervation, to convince parents that it is their duty to bring their children up in the christian religion; to teach them what they are to believe and practise; to instruct them in the knowledge of God, and of Jesus Christ; to shew them in what condition they are by nature, and to
what they are advanced by grace ; to how much misery their being descended from so corrupt an original had reduced them, and how their actual sins indangered them byexposing them to God's wrath, and what deliverance from them was wrought by Christ our Lord. For where this is wanting, neither wisdom, riches, nor honours, can make thein happy; without this they will, with all the rest, be miserable. Therefore, if parents would have children honour them, and behave obediently, they must thus bring them up in the fear and nurture of the Lord; they must furnish them and tech with arguments both against error and vice, and them their teach them the christian law, where they will see duty. their duty, and find such leffons of instructions, such encouragements and promises of rewards, as will secure their honour and respect, their service and obedience. The only way to educate children rightly is to teach them early to deny themselves the gratification of those irregular appetites which nature has implanted. Self-will, and an inclination to things forbidden, merely because they are forbidden, discover themfelves even in our infancy: vice is the natural product of the foil; the more uncultivated the mind is, the more it is overrun with it: but virtue is the flow laborious result of repeated self-denials, hardships, and difficulties. I might add this also, as a sinall consideration, that, if parents take no care to inform their children of the duty they owe to God, they will quickly find that children will pay very little duty to their parents; and they will read their own crime of shamefulnegligence towards God, in the rebellion of their offspring againit themselves. But, if care be taken to catechise them, they will, in all probability, prove the good ground that is spoken of by our Saviour; and when they come to years to chuse for themselves, there is little doubt to be made but they will voluntarily and heartily espouse the religion of Jesus Christ, and will find all the reason in the world to do so. Therefore, if it pleases God to bless you with children, begin very early to inftil into their tender minds the principles of virtue and religion; teach them to remember their Creator in the days of their youth, and bring them up in the fear and admonition of the Lord. Set before them the example of a holy and religious life; and endeavour to wean them
from the pride and vanity of the world, and from those hurtful lufts and passions, which tend only to make them miserable both hereand hereafter. Instruct them in that knowledge which is useful and profitable, which will give them a right understanding of themselves and of their duty, and make them wise unto salvation. But if no care be taken of them, but the weeds of vice (which are natural enough) be suffered first to possess the soil, that is, if their passions, and lust, and pride, and sensuality, and love of the world, have once taken up their hearts, it is very doubtful whether ever they will afterwards be fit for the kingdom of God; whether ever they will be prepared and disposed for eternal life. It inust be an extraordinary providence of God that must make them fo.
Parents must take special care never, as the manner of too Mulle give many is, to set their child a bad example; for while rken goed a child fees his parents give themselves up to drunkexample, enness, or swearing, or any other notorious breach of God's commands, it can scarce be thought but that the child will too nearly copy after the parents example, and think himself ill-used if the parent shall curb or correct him for his misdemeanors. And
It is no less the parents duty, when they see their children falling into evil courses, to reclaim them, and prevent their mifery; and tho’it anger them, they must not let their duty give place to the child's passion, but only regard what in likeMeans to
lihood will follow, and that is amendment; and not wards the how it will be relished by their children. It is true education of parents are forbid to provoke their children to children.
tel. wrath; yet to use restraint, reproof, and correction in reason, tho' it provoke them to anger and impatience, is not to be forborne by parents. The laws of Godand man have left the children to the parents, and will not punish them for doing that to them, which would be punishable if done to Ntrangers: yet parents may not do any thing truly injurious to children; for nature gives them power to do them all the good they can, and only allows them the liberty of afflicting them for a time, in order to their amendment. Where the parent's conscience tells him, that the affliction he is laying upon his child is not likely to do him good, it tells him he hasnoautho
rity to do it, but that he is without natural affection. It should be the parent's care therefore, that he mistake not the silence of God's word, and the liberty that human laws leave to parents in the managementof thechildren; that he mistake not these for the power and authority that nature gives him: for he may be unnatural to his children, though God's word prefcribes him no rule how far he may proceed, and though human laws will allow what he does, and though his own temper incline him to inhuman courses; a parent may be unnatural for all these, and will be punished by our common parent for cruel usage, which breaks the spirits, so that they have no heart to set about any thing: when they perceive that all they say and do is ill-taken, they have no courage to go on; when they perceive their endeavours fruitless, when children do all they can to win the affections of parents, and find them still morose and untractable, it is natural to think they should be disconfolate, and give up all endeavours for the time to come. Such is the consequence of a severe and rugged treatment. Butit seldom stops here, it produces a slavish and disingenuous fear of their parents, and such a fear puts children upon mean shifts to make their peace, or to avoid their sight; they are never easy but at a distance; they cannot please with truth, and therefore try how they can succeed with falshoods. And as it is a common observation, that love and kindness beget love: so nothing is more likely to beget hatred than constant ill-usage ; because that looks like the real fruit of hatred and ill-will. We can easily discern adifference betwixt a sudden transient anger, and a settled disposition to severity: when anger becomes habitual, and parents are not provoked, but always upbraid, and punish; then it is natural for the children to despair of pleasing them, and to conclude they are the objects of their hatred and aversion; and this will naturally beget a coldness, mean thoughts, evil suspicions, disregard to their commands, and such an aversion as will quickly end in downright hatred and contempt. Children mot Moreover, it is a point of thegreatest folly for either to side with father or mother, as it too often is the case, to sup- againt anport the children in contempt and disrespect to the other. other; this must never be attempted; it is indiscreet and un