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of Evangelists. Think of these directions, and remember God's testimony concerning Hezekiah, and square your practice by it. "Thus did Hezekiah, it is written, throughout all Judah, and wrought that which was good and right and truth before the Lord his God. And in every "work"-the rule, you see, is of universal application-" that he did in the service of the house of God, and in the law, and in the commandment, to seek his God; he did it with all his heart, and prospered."* Two parties, however, are concerned in the special matter which I would press to-day; and in coming more to particulars, as I now intend, I must apply myself to them severally. To parents, and those who occupy the place of parents, first; and then to those who have it in their power to help parents where they need it, and on whom therefore, by the law of love, the obligation to help them lies.

And first, Parents. " Bring up your children," says the apostle," in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." You always can do something in this behalf, and nothing can discharge you from doing all you can.

God has made you watchmen. He instituted marriage that he might "seek a godly seed." That ordinarily, at least, every child born might have † Eph. vi. 4.

* 2 Chron. xxxii. 20, 21.

two guardians specially charged with it,* and specially bound to it-see that ye do the watchman's part, for their blood shall be required at the watchman's hand.

What will ye say we are not learned? I pray thee have us excused. I tell you nay. you nay. Yours it is, and yours it must be, to sow good seed in the Lord's field,-in that little plot of ground, at least, entrusted by God to your spiritual husbandry, to inculcate, I mean, right principles in your own children, each of you.

Why, ye know something surely; and is not the church door open? and are not the Scriptures read? and is not the Gospel preached? and might ye not therefore, if ye would, know more? Having these lights yourselves, surely you can tell your children that there is a God that made them, and sees them, and will call them to a reckoning; that his " eyes are in every place, beholding the evil and the good:" that, as every one hath done, so will the Lord requite him; that the wicked shall go into hell, and the righteous into life eternal; that such things are sin, and such things duty; that if they have sinned they must be sorry for it, because they have made the great and good God angry by it; and that if they have made the great God angry, there is, notwithstanding, One between † Prov. xv. 3.

* Malachi ii. 15.


him and them willing to take their part, and able to obtain them pardon, whose name is called Jesus," because "he shall save his people from their sins."* And this is not a little to begin with; and not a little to have to say to those who naturally look up to you, and are disposed to take every word you utter, without questioning, for truth. And if you cannot lead them much further by your personal instruction, you can quietly take them by the hand once a week— you and your wives together; and bring them to the house of the Lord, telling them, before you go, who is to meet you there, though you see him not, and whose messenger they are to listen to: and, on your return, you can make all kneel down with you whilst you ask a blessing on what you have heard. And, in your behaviour all the day through, you can put such a difference between that day and others as every child can see. And when, on the morrow, you “go forth to your work and to your labour until the evening," you can make it very plain that you go forth contentedly. You can let your children see that in everything you give thanks, and praise God for the bread you earn; and by God's and grace you can "do justly, and love mercy, walk humbly with your God:" and whether habitually you do so or not, cannot but be very

* Matt. i. 21.

manifest to those who see you daily, and observe you always and if it be, it cannot but tell. There is no instructor like example.

Neither is there any reason why, by the same grace of God, you might not have your children under discipline. There is an art, if I may so speak, in this. It is a thing to be studied; but so is it also with the methods by which you get your bread. But, as Eli's example may have taught you, "It is for your life," and for your children's; and you must learn it, lest it fare with you and yours as it did with him and his.

I cannot enter fully upon particulars, but a hint or two you shall have before I proceed. For there is little hope of good by calling upon others to do their duty by you, and to enable you to send your children to school, unless you will 'prepare the way of the Lord" yourselves in this respect, and "make his paths straight," as far as your own best endeavours may be available.


St. Paul then has said, "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.' Be assured, therefore, that it is right. To do what his parent bids him at once, and without answering again, is the first thing a child has to learn; and he may learn it before he can tell his letters. There may easily be, and there often is, as much * Eph. vi. 1.

difference between two children before either of them is five years old, as between a loyal subject of the state, and a rebel in arms against authority. Exact nothing unreasonable; do not multiply restraints without cause; do not erect your own humours and fancies into laws. But, with these cautions, you must be inflexible. Do not yield to a child's perverseness, or to his importunity. By perseverance, you will soon convince him that it is in vain to struggle; and then he will cease to do it. And these advantages will follow, he will learn quickly, because, having no hope that his task will be excused him, he will apply himself to it without delay. He will be a much happier child, because comfort comes much more from having got the mastery over our desires, than from having got possession of the objects of them. And, above all, the practice of all religious duties will be made much easier. When the constraining motives of the Gospel are laid before him, having been used to bend, he will surrender himself with less opposition to the will of God. Ye should deal, however, with your children as your heavenly Father deals by "I have drawn you," he says, "with cords of a man, with bands of love."* And," Fathers," says St. Paul, "provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged."† We + Coloss. iii. 21.


* See Hosea xi. 4.

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