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should love them too much, or too little, SERM. be too indulgent, or too severe, and then III. it is much better for us to be without them: So little Reason was there for that impatient Exclamation of Rachel, Give me Children, or else I die. How Gen.xxx. often doth God in his Mercy deny our l.. Prayers, when to give us the Desire of our Hearts would be to ruin and undo us ?
2. Let those, who have a numerous Family of Children, be thankful to God for bestowing these Blessings on them, and use their utmoft Endeavour to make them Blessings indeed ; by grounding them in the Principles of Religion, and bringing them up soberly and virtuously, in some lawful Calling; by advising, reproving, and correcting them as Occasion requires ; always laying down this as a sure and certain Maxim, That those Impresfions, which are made upon them in their green and tender Years, will continue as long as they live ; and though some, who have had a sober and religious Education, should miscarry, yet generally it is not so for the most Part, like new Vefsels, they will retain the Scent of that Liquor which was first poured into them. Much less should that Man, who is the Parent of a
SERM. numerous Of-spring, repine or be discona III. tented, because his Estate doth not answer
his Demands, but he labours under the Burthen of Need and Poverty ; for that God who takes Care of the
young Eagles, when left and forsaken by the old Ones, and numbers the very Hairs of our Heads, will much more provide for all his Children and Servants, if they have but Faith sufficient to put their Trust in him ; and I verily believe, that though such Persons, when pressed by Want, and under very uneasy Circumstances, may wish that they had fewer Children, yet, generally, a poor Man could hardly tell which of his Children to part with, if he was to be deprived of any one of them.
3. Those who have had Children, and are deprived of them, either by a natural Death, or which is worse by any unfortunate Accident; may hence learn to resign themselves up to the Will of God, and intirely to depend on his good Providence.
If excessive Grief is allowable in any Cafe, it must be in that of a tender Mother for the Death of her only Child, or of a Father for the Heir of his Inheritance ; because Nature urges Men to thefe
Passions, and; whilst we are Men, it is Sermi impossible, to be without them; they are III. Part of our very Beings; and are, indeed, our own selves.' And yet, if we consider Things calmly and deliberately, we shall find, that to grieve and mourn, as Men without Hope, is not only unchristian, but unreasonable, and that whatsoever Sorrow exceeds the Bounds of a decent and becoming Paffion, is not only our Sin, but our Folly. For what is it we grieve and mourn for? Is it, because God has taken our dear Relation out of this troublesome and miserable World, in which, at the best, we ate but Strangers and Pilgrims, and placed him in a State of endless Happiness/and Felicity ? Is it so terrible a Thing to be delivered from the Prison of our Bodies, to be freed from those Storms and Tempests, which shipwreck the Quiet and Content of our Minds, and to arrive at the Haven of lasting Rest and Tranquillity? Is it a reasonable Thing that we should mourn and lament, because our Relations are got safe to their journey's End before us, and are in a far better Condition, than this World could bestow upon us or them? This certainly should be rather the Subject of our Joy and Sa
.., than of our Trouble and Dif
who is there that would not re... be exceeding glad, when he o Nt his Son was made a mighty
a foreign Country; and that he
kortly fee him in all his Splendor .La very, and partake with him in this
Yevus Condition ? And, is it not ... greater Cause of Joy, that we are
our Friends are in Poffefsion of an portal Crown, which fadeth not away, senal in the Heavens ? If therefore we inquire into the Cause of our immo... derate Grief, for the Loss of Children and Relators, we shall find it proceeds 'either from Intidelity, or because we entertain crx.iive Love to the good Things of the 3; either we do not believe that thos Lite to come after this short Life
redu not expect the Joys and set another World, or else we
and Things of this before * zir, toppose it was put into our
our deceafed Relations from
to redeem them from the e Grave, and to give them a
Pesce amongst us; would it Sipingereafonahle Thing to desire, w quit t
iety of Saints
and Angels in Heaven, to bez as CEO