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mediately bow your hearts to the order of heaven. "Fear Here it 66 every man his father, and every man his mother." will be enquired, muft children obey their parents when they are come to full maturity of age? The answer here is plain. God hath placed parents over you, and without an exempted cafe, enjoined your obedience; and are you wiser than Jehovah? Some will be ready to rife on tip-toe to ask, how long are children under the command and government of parents? The answer here cannot be reduced to perfed definition, more than the colours of the rainbow can be exactly discriminated. Let it be obferved, they are never free. from love, honor and reverence till death diffolves the relation, but there are various degrees of parental overfight, which prudence muft adjust to the varying circumftances of children, Some are to teach them to go and speak; fome to teach them to read, labour and good manners; fome to teach them the fear of God, and the principles of religion; fome to fettle them in the world, and to put them into a state of making a livelihood for themselves. When things are thus far advanced, parer.tal duty appears to be clofing, their obligations of strict obedience ceafing, and they take the place of an independent reference to God. Only let children, who have rifen into honor, wifdom, learning and power above their parents, recollect the conduct of the greateft mere man that ever appeared in our world. With all the favours of heaven and wonders he wrought, he did not feel himself exalted above the voice of reafon, the counsel and advice of a father. "Mofes hearkened to his father-in-law, " and did all that he said."
Fourthly, another branch of filial dutifulness, is a willing nefs and pleasure to receive inftruction from parents. Bleffed are the parents difpofed to give religious inftruction to their offspring, and blessed are the children who are ready to receive it. These are matters of the highest command to parents, and of the last importance to children. Let every child hearken to the voice of heaven in the advice of Solomon, which is
a counsel to all children, "My fon hear the instruction of thy father, and forfake not the law of thy mother, for they shall *be an ornament of grace unto thine head and chains about "thy neck." What an encouragement to parents, to feel their children willing to learn how they fhould acquire knowledge common, civil and divine. If they depart before them, how cheerfully should they with sweet refignation commit them to the arms of Jefus. If parents fhould die first, with what hopes may they leave them behind, in the comfortable expectation, that after they have ferved their generation according to the will of God they will meet with them in glory. But whe ther they live or die, or their parents live or die, how pleasing the thought, that all are and will be with God. Wherefore, my dearly beloved children and youth, the hope of the church and the hope of the world, allow me to entreat you by the love of your parents and by the mercies of God, that you listen “to the inftruction of your father, and give heed to the law "of thy mother."
Fifthly, another part of dutifulnefs is, patiently to fubmit to the correction of your parents. This is one of the most reluctant and painful duties of children. But, my dear little ones, it is necessary for your comfort, usefulness and happiness. The directions of heaven are wisdom. God enjoins the mea fure, and often the recipient of the fcourge is lefs afficted than the adminiftrator. O that it could be impreffed upon your infant minds, that the parents muft hate you who correct you not for your faults. This is nature, reafon and feripture, and riper years will blefs God for the feverity. Can there be a child fo loft in unnatural affection as to wish his parents fhould bate and abhor him. But the father who correcteth not his child is confidered by infinite wisdom as a hater of him. Hearken to the heavenly adjudication." He that fpareth the rod "hateth his fon, but he that loveth him chafteneth him by"times. Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child, but
"the rod of correction will drive it far from him. Withhold "not correction from the child, for if thou beateft him with a "rod, he fhall not die; thou fhalt beat him with a rod and "deliver his foul from hell. Chaften thy fon while there is « hope, and let not thy foul fpare for his crying." O that children could be induced to confider, that correction appointed by God, however painful to themselves and parents, is for their highest use and benefit.
Sixthly, another branch of this dutifulness is, that children fhould only affociate, and make intimates and companions of thofe, who are agreeable to their parents choice. Bad company to youth is the greatest evil in fociety. All the confeffions of criminals brought to a shameful end, principally consist of three articles, difobedience to parents, wicked company, and fabbath breaking. Evil company is the deftruction of youth. Other things flay their thoufands, but this its ten thousands. Ruft corrodes the most polished fteel, fo evil communication Let not children enter into the corrupts good manners. fecrets of the wicked, and let not their honor be united with them. It is impoffible to detail all the duties of the filial relation; let this close the collection. Imitate your parents in all that is good, avoid every thing in them wrong, pray for them, pray for yourselves, dedicate yourselves to God in Christ, renounce fin, and engage to walk in faith and holiness, then you will be useful in the world and happy forever.
The fubject clofes with the laft advice of ministerial and the whole foul of parental counfel. "Be ye followers of God as "dear children, and walk in love, as Chrift hath alfo loved "you." Remember and imitate the character of the child Samuel, who grew up in favor with God and man.
Some Duties Incumbent upon Youth.
Ecclefi. xii. 1. 2. Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy Youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt fay, I have no pleasure in them; while the fun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain.
NO addrefs in facred writ is more directly pointed, or more folemnly made to the rifing generation, than the words before us. It was the laft counfel of an old man, and this, and a few following difcourfes, are the laft perhaps, you will ever hear from your aged paftor. Allow me to take for my copy at prefent, the last addrefs of one of the oldest and wifest preachers. This counfel is directed to thofe in the morning and bloom of life, whofe active and volitile fpirits bear them on to the gratification of every defire.
This address in our text, bursts forth in a very abrupt form, delivers a strong interference with the views and pleafures of
youth. In this fudden impulse, confists much of its ftrength, beauty, and vigor. It feems intended to form the attention, and command the most thoughtless to take notice. Young people must furely feel the spirit and power of this addrefs. It is pointed like a dagger to the finful pleasures of the hearts of youth. It strikes death into their carnal delights, and raises their hearts, contrary to their native bent, from earth to heaven, sheds darkness on terrestrial things, and elevates their fouls to God.
Solomon had defcribed every worldly wifh and carnal defire of his, as fully gratified. He had enjoyed the full round of riches, pleasures and honors, as far as this narrow life could afford indulgence. He was the perfon fingled out and defignated by God, for this wonderful scene. No ma nmarked out for the full extenfion of earthly pleasures, but himself; none in this line ever preceded him, nor will there be fuch another instance to the end of time. Every thing that can be comprehended in the term pleasure, Solomon enjoyed in the utmost extent. Peace, health, riches, honors, and the utmost gratification of human defires were all his own. No carnal man can poffibly with for more than Solomon poffeffed. When he became old, and was glutted with enjoyment, what was his account of the whole? A fum which he might have caft up long before. Hearken to the footing of his account. "Vanity of vanities
all is vanity and vexation of fpirit." Vanity and vexation, what can form a more bitter and detefta ble compofition for life than this? This was Solomon's portion, when he drunk in pleasure in all its fulness, what then must be the mifery of those who only fip at the rills, and never had a fingle draft of his delight. And all the pleasurable taking world may be affured they never will. A fermon could not develope the pleasures of Solomon in childhood, youth and riper age, and the miferies and torment of his Jaft days. If I fhould live, my young friends, I would with to lead you through this cx.