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part thereof, and give it unto him against
whom lie hath trepalled Exod. 22.2. If a thief be found breaking up, and
be (mitten that he die, there shall no blood be shed for him. V.3. If the Sun be rijen upon him, there shall be blood shed for him; for he should make full restitution : If he have nothing, then he shall be fold for his theft.
Concerning the duties of Governours of
Overnours of Families ought to be
very that not only themselves, but the rest of their Family also do faithfully serve the Lid.
In creating of this,
2. Some Directions for the right performing of it.
3. Shery, whence the neglect of it proceeds.
1. There is great reason for it, in respect of God, whose Honour (above all things) we should endeavour to advance: And what better cour fe can be taken for it, than to set up his Worship in our bonses and families.
II. In respect of our Families. The greatest good we can possibly do them, is, to instruct them in the principles of true Piety. To provide an estate or inheritance for children, meat and drink and wages for servants, is no more than fober Heathens do: What fingular thing is this? To leave them rightly principld, and instructed, interested in the Covenant of Grace, under the fa vour, bleffing, and protection of God: This is a high and a singular good indeed. For this they may have cause to bleß God for ever. Is ic enough for Christian Parents to breed up their children so as they may live in this world, and take no care what shall become of them hereafter ? Can chey be. content to train them up for the Devil, co be for ever tormented with him in Hell? (And yet so they must be, if they live and die in ignorance, impenitencie and unbelief) Where are their bowels?
III. In respect of Church and common-wealth. A Family is the first society, and a seminary of the rest. 'Tis made up of fingle persons in several relations: And Towns, Congregations, Cities, Countries, all are made up of several Families. Particular Families are (as it were) the hives out of which (warms go forch into the world. To make Families good and religions, is the way to make good Magistrates, good Husbands, good Wives, good Masters, good Servants, good Neigh. bours. Families are che Nurseries of Chirch and
State. Now if the Canker take the young trees in the Nursery, they are never like to be good when they are transplanted. The want of Family reformation, is the cause of most of the miscarriages in Church and Corsmom-wealth. If there be ignorance, propbanenesse, errour, angodlinese in particular Families, we shall soon hear of it in Church and State. -As therefore Elisha heal’d the naughty waters, by casting in salt at the spring head,2 King. 2,21. So let us labour co seafon our Families with true Piety, if we would keep disorders OUÇ Church and State,
Tis true, when all care is ufed, there may be fome bad in the best Families. In the first Family, there was a Cain, in che beft Family, a Fiudas, in Noahs Family (the only Family thenon earth) a Cham; yet ordinarily God is pleased so co bless che care and endeavours of religious Governours, thac their Families are Schools of Piety and Vertue, and both Church and Common-wealth rcap che fruit of it.
IV. In respect of our selves. 1. The benefit is great that will come to us thereby. There is no such way to bring children and fervants to be obedient and faithful, as to infuse principles of true Piety into them, and to planc the fear of God in their hearts. Then they will do í heir duties for Conscience fake: And besides, such persons in a Family are a great bleffing co ic. Potiphar's Family was blessed for fosephs, & LAbans for Facobs sake,
2. ’T is a great honour to a Family, to be truly religious. Lec prophane scoffers talk what they will ; "Is it not a greater honour for any Christian to have his house to be a Bethel, a house of God, than a Beth.aven, an house of iniquity? Religious Families are dignified by the Apostle with the tiile of churches, Rom. 16.3.Greet Priscilla de Aqui
la my helpers in Chrift Fesus, v.5. Likewise greet i the Church that is in their house. Col.4.15. Salute
the brethren which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the Church which is in his house.
3. It will bring much comfort tous, both here and hereafter. What a joy must ic needs be to so.
ny serious Christian, to see his Family (through * the blessing of God on his care and labour) to thrive
in Piety, and to walk in the way leading to Hea
ven? And with how much comfort may he 1. leave them, when he comes to die, having this
teftimony in his own bolome, that he hath been faithfull this way? We know Eli was charged with, and feverely punished for the fins of his children, i Sam.2.29. Because he had been coo remisse in reproving of them. I shall conclude this, with the words of Mr. Rogers, a learned Divine of our own. "Believe it, laies
( he) Every Governour of a Family is as deeply “ charged with the souls of chose under his Go"vernment, as any Pastour is, with the souls % of that Flock which is commitced to his Scharge : Nor will the publick Ministry be.
“come fruitful, if that which is sowo in pub"lick, be not watered in private, by confe“rence, exanination and good inftruction.
. “ What can we more impute the unprofitable“nesse of our Ministry to, than to Masters and “Parents neglect of their duties? You call our “Congregations our charge; and so they are; " “so are your Families also your charge:Thus he.
So much of the first Particular, the Reasons why Governours of Families should be careful thác those under their Government do faithfully serve che Lord.
I come to the second, to give some Directie ons for the right performance of this Duty.
I. Let Governours of Families begin at them. selves, laboaring to reform whac és amisse in themselves; chac so they may be exemplary in wisdom and Holineß to those under their care Let them humbly beg of God those Graces and abilities that may fit them for the discharging of their places. Inferiours mind more what superiours do, than what i bey say. He chat walks disorderly himself, cannot expect to reform his children, or servants, or keep his Family in order.
11. Lec chem be careful about the constitution of their Families, Let them look well to it, that those they admit into their house, . ( as neer as they can guelle) be hopeful and tractable, as to Religion, Pfal.101.v.6. Mine eies shall be upon the faithful, that they may dwell with me; be that walkethin a