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rents, who conduct with propriety towards their children, may fafely show their authority when they commit faults worthy of correction. They will feel the conviction, that it is the fault which caufes difpleasure, and that the parents treatment of them is defigned for their amendment, improvement and good.
Sixthly, parents ought to endeavour to bring up their off. fpring in obedience to themselves, to bow their wills by times, to reclaim their deviations from propriety, and implant in their little fouls the feeds of every virtus. Parents fhould ftudy to know the will of God, and be confcienciously perfua ded, that they urge nothing upon them, but what is agreeable, thereto, and warranted by the dictates of reafon. Alas! many children are allowed fo long their own head, and to have-, their own will, that when it becomes abfolutely neceffary that authority fhould be exerted, it is an arduous task either to restrain or fubdue them. Yea, at length, fome wax fo refrac tory and ungovernable, that they efcape beyond the power of difcipline, and had they have been duly managed in feafon, might have been formed to be useful members of fociety; but Wherean over and too long indulgence has been their ruin. fore parents should early begin in tender affection, and in thewifest manner, to fhow them the excellencies of obedience, how pleafing to God, and their parents, and how comfortable and happy it will be to themselves, as alfo the great evil of ftubbornnefs, wilfulness and difobedience.
Seventhly, parents fhould as much as poffible feparate their children from bad company. Evil communication corrupts good manners. Young perfons infenfibly flide into an imitation of those they make their companions. Hence it is of great confequence in the education of children that they fhould be preferved from hearing profanity, and have no opportunitie
of beholding the external copies of vice. But as a defire of fellowship and fociety is connatural to us from our cradles, it is incumbent upon parents, to have an eye upon the company of their children, and fee that it be fuch, from which they learn not evil, but rather that they may imbibe from it the principles of decency and virtue, and which may be likely to recommend to them the pleafure, beauty and advantages of piety.
Eighthly, parents ought frequently to inculcate upon the minds of their children the examples of early religion recorded in the fcriptures, such as the hiftories of young Samuel, Jofiah, Obadiah, Timothy, and others. This would have an excellent effect in restraining from vice, rendering their confcience tender, and inducing them to feek after piety in their youth. Children fhould have their hearts deeply impreffed with a great reverence for the holy fcriptures; and when the doctrines, truths and duties of religion are spoken of, it ought always to be with folemnity, gravity and feriousness ; fo that even before children can understand holy things, they may have a reverence of them upon their minds.
Laftly, parents ought to pray with and for their children, to teach them to pray, and as soon as expedient cause them to
end public worship, to refpect God's fanctuaries and fabbaths. They fhould hear their parents recommending fre quently good people and perfons eminent for piety and Godlinefs of their acquaintance. These recommendations they will easily receive. Before they can understand doctrines, they can learn in general what kind of perfons are moft happy or most miserable. If you poffefs them of good and honorable thoughts of fuch as fear God, they will be ufually afterwards. difpofed to think refpectfully of them. They will wish to hear pious ministers and to be fuch christians.
It afflicts me, my brethren, that time commands me abrupt ly to break off this important fubject, and leave it with scarcely the outlines of it drawn. May the few obfervations which have been now made, fink deep into the hearts and influence the practice of all. We should hereby distinguishingly serve our country and our God, we should have orderly families and pious congregations. It would exceedingly tend to promote morality, and virtue, and practical religion. "Ye fathers "provoke not your children to wrath, but bring them up in "the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”
The Duty of Children to Parents.
Col. iii. 20.
Children obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleafing to the Lord.
AMONG all the branches which fpring from religions root, none produces flowers more amiable and beautiful than docile and obedient children. The effects of religion wherefoever they appear, are always charming in the view of the pious mind, but in youth they fhine with a peculiar luftre. The fruits moft lovely to the fight frequently grow upon fmall trees; fo piety affords a most pleasing aspect, when it appears in tender years. How melancholy the thought to behold multitudes of amiable youth adorned with every agreeable qualification of mind and body, fo that did Jefus look upon them as he did upon the young man in the gofpel, he would love them, yet in them. there is one thing lacking? A well proportioned body and a beautiful fet of features, what are they? Like the flowers of the field they foon vanifh away. A well accomplished mind, what is it without religion? The former will quickly be too
loathfome for the fight, and the prey of worms, and the latter must be thrust down into eternal burnings, and be united with the accurfed company of devils and damned fpirits, where the fmoke of their torment fhall afcend forever and ever. In few congregations can there be obferved a more lovely and beautiful clafs of youth than in this, but alas! how many are deftitute. of the one thing needful? O! why, my precious children, will you act fuch a part against yourselves, and caft a gloomy cloud over all your excellencies, by neglecting to put on the attire of pure and undefiled religion, which would be the richest ornament of the whole? As the head is the ornament of the body, fo religion would be a crown more excellent than gold to all your other qualities, of which you are the fubjects. O! that many could be perfuaded to give up their names to Christ, to join themselves unto the Lord, and bring forth the fruits of piety in their hearts and lives. Could you be prevai led upon from the principles of love to God and faith in Jesus, to perform all the focial duties incumbent upon you, especially the exalted duty of obedience to parents, for this will be truly well pleafing to God.
The duty enjoined in our text is one of the first perhaps, of which human nature is capable. "Children obey your parents "in all things, for this is well pleafing to the Lord." Parents are among the earlieft objects of a child's knowledge and attention; he becomes fooneft acquainted with them, looks to them with a fond affection, and feems to expect fupport and protection from them, leans upon and repofes confidence in them. Thus nature dictates the first lines of filial duty, even before a due fenfe of the connection is formed. When a child is fomewhat grown, acquired a few ideas, and arrived at fome measure of understanding, he must begin to be fenfible of the obligations. he is under to his parents. When he can confider their tender and difinterested affection, their inceffant care and labour, in