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for being so profuse of her ointment, in anointing our blessed LORD, and asked why it might not be sold for two hundred pence, and given to the poor. For has God given us fo much time to work for ourselves, and shall we not allow fome fmall pittance of it, morning and evening, to be devoted to his more immediate worship and service ? Have not people read, that it is God who gives men power to get wealth, and therefore that the best way to prosper in the world, is to secure his favour? And has not our blessed Lord himself promised, that if we seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, all outward necessaries shall be added unto us? ai Abrahan, no doubt, was a man of as great business as such obje&tors may bę; but yet he would find time to command his hou hold to serve the LORD. Nay, David was a king, and consequently had a great deal of business upon his hands; yet notwithstanding, he professes that he would walk in his house with a perfect heart. And, to instance but one more, þoly Jofua was a person certainly engaged very much in temporal affairs ; and yet he solemnly declares, before all Ifrael, that as for him and his houshold, they would serve the Lord. Andodid persons but redeem their time, as Abraham, David, orloeshua did, they would no longer complaing that, family duties kept them too long from the business of the world.
niinth nowolol,srbsite III. But my Third and Last general head, under which I was to offer some motives, in order to excite all governors, with their respective housholds, to serve the Lord' in the manner before recommended, I hope, will serve instead of a thous' per before recommensity 2194 29.30?and policy of any fuch fand arguments, to prove the wea
"es T 8 10 1091 bis 99b9lWon) 318 il qu'mori. objection... Se 92707 mublot 21119189 129biu un 211 17 15 And the first motive I fall mention is the duty of gratitada, which you that are igoyernors of families, owe to Gop. Yêur botg every one must confessy is cast in a fair ground: providence hath given you a goodlysheritage, above, many of your-fellow-creatures 139 and therefore, out, of a principle of gratitudez you ‘oughmia endeavour, as much as in you lies, to make overyl person of your respective housholds to call upon him as long as ithey livelshnot to mention, that the authority, with which God has invested youlas parents and governors of
families, iscal talent committed to your trufig and which you 48 E
are bound to improve to your Master's honour. In other things we find governors and parents can exercise lordfhip over their children and servants readily, and frequently enough can say to one, Go, and he goeth ; and to another, Come, and he cometh ; to a third, Dó this, and he doeth it. And shall this power be so often employed in your own af. fairs, and never exerted in the things of God? Be astonished, O heavens, at ihis !
is do sbt 9101are Thus did not faithful Abraham ; no, God says, that he knew Abraham would command his fervants and childrent after hiin." Thus did not Foua: no, he was resolved not only to walk with God himself, but to improve his authority in making all about him do fo too : 166 As for me and my hqufhold, we will serve the LORD!"? Let us go and do likewifesi
2. But Secondly, If gratitude to God will not mechinkas love and bity to your children Thould move you, with your refpe&tive families, to serve the LORD.. t?!.Siw 17! Most people express a great fondness for their children':y hay To great, that very often their own lives are wrapped up in thöfe of their offspring. 66.Canla woman forgether fucking child, that the fhould not have compassion on the son of her womb ps" says GOD by his Prophet Isaiah.' He speaks of it as a monstrous thing, and scarce credible ; but the words immediately following, affirm it to be poflible, “ Yea, they may *forget :' and experience also assurés us they may. Father and 'mother may both forsake their children: for what greater degree of forgetfulness can they express towards them, than to neglect the improvement of their better part, and not bring them up in the knowledge and fear of God? *hool
It is true indeed, parents seldom forget to provide for their Childrens bodies, (though, it is to be feared, some men are so • fár funk beneath the beasts that perish, as to neglect even that) but then how often do they forget, or rather, when do they
remember, to secure they salvation of their immortal fouls ? (But is this their way of expressing their fondness for the fruit of their bodies? Is this the best testimony they can give of their affection to the darling of their hearts? Then was Dam "lilah 'fond of Samson, when the delivered him up into the hands of the Philiflines: thenywere those ruffians well affected to Daniel, when they threw him intora den of lions, vincent
3. But Thirdly, If neither gratitude to GOD, nor love and pity to your children, will prevail on you; yet let a principle of common honesty and justice move you to set up the holy refolution in the text. '
This is a principle which all men would be thought to‘act upon. · But certainly, if any'may be truly cenfured for their injustice, none can be more liable to such cenfure, than those who think themselves injured if their servants withdraw themfelves from their bodily work, and yet they in return take ho care of their inestimable fouls. For is it just that servants should fpend their time and strength in their master's service, and masters 'not at the same time give them what is just and equal for their service ? - .
Lisettes en It is true, some men may think they have done enough when they give unto their servants food and raiment, and say, “ Did not I bargain with thee for fo 'much 'a' year ?" But if they give them no other reward than this, what do they less for their very beasts? But are not servants better than they? Doubtless they are : and however masters may put off their convictions for the present; they will find a time will come, when they fhall know they ought to have given them fome Spiritual as well as temporal wages ; and the cry of thofe that have mowed down their fields, will enter into the ears of the the LORD of Sabaoth. 1.40 But Fourthly, If neither gratitude to God, pity to chil: dren, nor a principle of common justice to servants, are fufficient to balance alt objections ; yet let that darling, that prevailing motive of self-intereft turn the scale, and engage you with your respective houfholds to serve the LORD.:: dmThis weighs greatly with you in other matters : be then persuaded to let it have a due and full influence on you in thisi: and if it has, if you have but faith as a grain of mur tard seed, how can you' avoid believing, that promoting Fas mily-religion, will be the best means to promote your own temporal, as well as eternal welfare! For ec Godliness has the promise of the life that now is, as well as that which is to come."yotiwa ke this .
.. des de les Besides, you all, doubtless, with for honest servants,' ani pious children: and to have them prove otherwise, would be as great a grief to you, as it was to Elisha to have a treacherous
Gehazi, or David to be troubled with a rebellious Abfalom: But how can it be expected they should learn their duty, except those fet over them, take care to teach it to them? Is it not as reasonable to expect you should reap where you had not fown, or gather where you had not strawed ? .
Did christianity, indeed, give any countenance to children and servants to disregard their parents and masters according to the Aeth, or represent their duty to them, as inconsistent with their entire obedience to their father and master who is in heaven, there might then be some pretence to neglect instructing them in the principles of such a religion. But since the precepts of this pure and undefiled religion, are all of them holy, just, and good ; and the more they are taught their duty to God, the better they will perform their duties to you; methinks, to negle&t the improvement of their souls, out of a dread of spending too much time in religious duties, is acting quite contrary to your own interest as well as daty.
5. Fiftbly and Lastly, If neither gratitude to God, love to your children, common justice to your servants, nor even that most prevailing motive self-intereft, will excite;tyeti let a confideration of the terrors of the LORD persuade you to put in practice the pious resolution in the text. Remember, the time will come, and that perhaps, very fhortly, when we must all appear before the judgment-seat of CHRIST ; where we 'must give a solemn and strict account how we have had our
conversation, in our respective families in this world. How will you endure to see your children and servants (who ought to be your joy and crown of rejoicing in the day of our LORD JESUS CHRIST) coming out as so many fwift witnesses against you; curfing the father that bégor them, the womb that bare them, the paps which they have sucked, and the day they ever entered into your houses? Think you not, the damnation which men must endure for their own fins, will be sufficient, that they need load themselves with the additional guilt of being accessary to the damnation of others also ? Q consider this, all ye chat forget to serve the LORD with your respective housholds, “ left he pluck you away, and there be none to deliver you llavou lis!): 35s
But God forbid, brethrençithat any fach evil should befal you. ng, rathers will I hope that you have been in some on 5
measure convinced by what has been said of the great importance of family-religion; and therefore are ready to cry out in the words immediately following the text, “ God forbid that we Thould Tørsake the LORD ;” and again, ver. 21, s. Nay, but we will (with our several housholds) serve the Lord.".
And that there may be always such a heart in you, let me exhort all governors of families, in the name of our LORD JESUS CHRIST, often to reflect on the inestimable worth of their own souls, and the infinite 'ransom, even the precious blood of JESUS CHRIST, which has been paid down for them. Remember, I beseech you to remember, that you are fallen creatures; that you are by hature loft and estranged from God; and that you can never be restored to your primitive happiness, till by being born again of the Holy Ghost, you arrive at your primitive state of purity, have the image of God reftamped upon your souls, and are thereby made meet to be partakers of the inheritance with the saints in light. Do, I fay, but seriously and frequently reflect on, and act as persons i that believe such important truths, and you will no more neglect your family's spiritual welfare than your own. No, the love of God, which will then be shed abroad in your heartş, will constrain you to do your utmost to preserve them : and the deep sense of God's free grace in CHRIST JESUS, (which you will then have) in calling you, will excite you to da your utmost to save others, especially those of your own hour hoid. And though, after all your pious endeavours, some may continue unreformed; yet you will have this comfortable reflection to make, that you did what you could to make your families religious : and therefore may rest assured of fitting down in the kingdom of heaven, with Abraham, Joshua, and Cornelius, and all the godly hou holders, who in their several generations shone forth as so many lights in their respective housholds upon earth. Amen.