Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BX5200 .B352 1835 v2

BAXTER'S DYING THOUGHTS. 169 interest, how full' even of the sins of Sodom, pride, fullness of bread, and abundance of idleness, ifnot also unmercifulness to the poor ! And how are they tempted to plead for their sins and snares, and account it rustic ignorance which contradicteth them ! And how few pious families are there of the greater sort, that do not quickly degenerate ; and posterity, by false religion, error or sensuality, grow most contrary to the minds of their pious progeni- tors. There are many that educate their children wisely in the fear of God, and have, accordingly, comfort in them; but how many are there, that, havingdevoted them in baptism to God, do train them up in the service of the flesh, the world and the devil, which they renounced, and never understood, or at least intended, for themselves or children, what they did profess! How many parents'think that when they offer their 'children to God in bap- tism, without a sober and due consideration of the nature and meaning of that great covenant with God, that God must accept and certainly regenerate and save them ! Yea, too many religious parents forget that they themselves are sponsors in that covenant, and undertake to use the means, on their part, to make their chil- dren fit for the grace of the Son, and the communion ofthe Spirit, as they grow up, and think that God should absolutely sanctify, keep, and save them at age, because . they are theirs, and were baptized, though they keep them not from great and unnecessary temptations, nor teach them plainly and seriously the meaningof the covenant which was made for them with God, as to the nature, benefits or conditions of it. How many send them to others to be taught in grammar, logic, philosophy, or arts, yea, and divinity, before their own parents ever taught themwhat they did withGod in baptism, what they received, and what they promised and vowed to do ! They send them to trades, or secular callings, or to travel in foreign lands, among a multitude of snares, among tempting company, and tempting baits, before ever at home they were instructed, armed, and settled against those temptations which they must needs encounter, and which, if they overcome them, they are undone. How ordinarily, when they have first neglected this great duty of their own, for their fortification, do they plead a necessity of thrusting them out on'these temptations, though utterly unarmed, from some punctilio of honor, or conformity to the world, to avoid the contempt of worldly men, or to adorn their (yet naked) souls with some of the plumes or painted trifles, ceremo- nies, oroinpliments, which will never serve instead of heavenly wisdom, mortification, and the love of God and man ! As if they were like to learn that fear of God in a crowd of diverting and tempting company, baits, and business, which they never learned under the, teaching, nurture, and daily oversight, of their religious. VOL. n. 22