Baxter - BV4831 84 F3 1830

146 EXCITEMENT TO SEEK (Chap. 9; how near your children are to you : they are parts of your- selves. If they prosper when you are dead, you take it as ifyou lived and prospered in them; and should you not be of the same mind for their everlasting rest ? Otherwise you will be witnesses against your own souls. Your care, and pains, and cost for their bodies, will condemn you for. your neglect of their precious souls. Yea, all the brute creatures may condemn you. Which of them is not tender of their young ? Consider, God bath made your children your charge, and your servants too, Every one will confess they are the minister's charge. And have not you a greater charge of your own families than any minister can have of them ? Doubtless at your hands God will require the blood of their souls. It is the greatest charge you were ever in- trusted with, and wo to you, if you suffer them to be igno- rant or wicked for want of your instruction or correction. Consider what work there is for you in their dispositions and lives. Theirs is not one sin, but thousands. They have hereditary diseases, bred in their natures. The things you must teach them are contrary to the interests and desires of their flesh. May the Lord make you sensible what a work and charge lieth upon you! Consider what sorrows you prepare for yourselves by the neglect of your children. If they,prove thorns in your eyes, they are of your own planting. Ifyou should repent and be saved, is it nothing to think of their damnation ; and yourselves the occasion of it ? But if you die in your sins,-how will they cry out against you in hell ! " All this was wrong of you; you should have taught us better, and did not; you should have restrained us from sin and corrected us, but did not.'.' What an addition will such outcries be to your misery ! On the other side, think what a comfort you may have, if you be faithful in this duty ! Ifyou should not succeed, you have freed your own souls, and have peace in your own consciences. If you do,,the comfort is inexpressible, in their love and obedience, their supplying your wants, and delighting you in all your remaining path to glory. Yea, all your family may fare the better for one pious child or servant. But the greatest joy will be, when you shall say, " Lord, here am I, and the children thou hast given me;" and shall joyfully live with them for ever. Consider how much the welfare of church and state depends on this duty.