Hopkins - HP BR75 .H65 1710

.lln Expojition upon the "Thus God doth very frequently inflict Temporal Pun illunents upon the Children for the Father's Tranfgreffions: Nor is it at all h:~.rd to reconcile this with the mcafures of Juftice and Equity, becaufe of that near relation which they bear 1mto their Parents.; for certainly, it is juft with God to punilh a Sinner in all th:tt is related unto him: Now Children arc Parts of their Parents, yea, the ir Parents live a_nd fi1rvivc in them:; and therefore certa inly> God in punilbing them, may jnftPlut,,r. de ly ftnke what part of them he pleafeth. And th iS cv~n Plutarch, an Heathen, could ~;: puni- obfcrve, fi)eak ing how God did often inflict grievous Judgments on the Pofreriry of lewd and Wicked Men; he tells us, U'iv £~710Y £v£l'..,~VIi/Y o~7H i;:e/11 ~h~vr.>v, it is nothing itrange a1rd abfi1rd for t hofe who are theirs to fi1tfer what belongs to them. . And thus we have briefly vindicated the Jultice of God, in vifiting the Iniquity of the Fathers upon their Children. · But then, Secondly, another Queftioq is, \V'hether God cloth always obferve this Method of revenging the Offences of Fathers upon their Children in Temporal Punilhments? To which I anfwer: No, he doth not: Neither doth this Threatning in the Commandment oblige him to do it, but only fhews what their·fins do defervc, and what he might juftly do, if he pleafed to ufe his Power and Prerogative. And therefore we read of the Children of wicked Parent s, who yet were both pious and profperous; fnch were Hez..ekit~h, and 7ofiah, the one the Son of Ahnz.., the other of .Amon. But moit commonly we may obferve it in the courfe of Divine Providence, that the Pofterity of wicked Parents pay off ~heir Fathers fcores to Divine Juftice, in the Tempora l Evils and Ca lamit ies that are brought upon them: But yet if they themfelves be pious and holy, t his may be for the ir comfort, that whatfoevcr AffliCtions they lye under, lhall be for their benefit and advantage; and they arc not Punifhments to them, but only fatherly Corrections and Chaftifcments: for the very things which they fillfer, m:ty be intended by God as a punilhment to their Anceftors, but a fatherly corred:ion to themfclves j and wlllt to the one is threatned as a Curfc, to t he other may prove a Blcffing and an Advantage, as it gives them occafion of c:xcrcifing more Grace, and fo of receiving the greater Glory. Suffer me to clofe up this with one or two Practical Meditations. 1 • Firft, If it be the nfital Method of Divine Providence to vi fit the iniquity of the Father upon the Children, fee then what great reafon Parents have to beware they do not lay up a ftock of Plagues and Curfes for their Pofterity, nor clog the Efbte they leave them, with fo many Debts to be p:1id to the Juftice of God, as will certainly undo them : Thou who by Fra11d and Couzcnage heapeft together i!I~ gotten Wealth, thinkclt perhaps of leaving fo many hundreds, or thonfands to thy Children, but confidcrelt not withal, how many Cur fes thou puttefr into the Bag, Cm·fes that in time will rot and cat out the very bottom of i t: Thou who by this, or by any other way of Wickednefs, either Swea ri~g or J?rnnke~nefs, or . Uncleannefs, provokeft t he Holy a~d Jea lous God, doth ~ t notlung gncve thee to think, that thy fins Jha ll be pumlh'd upon thy poor Children's backs? Poffibly thou an fo fQnd ly tender of them, that thou ar t loth to chaftifc tf1em when they really defervc it for their own faults j yet art thou fo cruel to them, as to abandon them over· to the Juftice of God, to he feverely fcourgcd for faults which· are not their own, but thine? Whofe Heart wou ld not yearn, and whofe Bowels would not be turned within him, to go into an Hofpital, and there view over all thofe Scenes of Humane Mifery and Wretchednefs which arc prefented to us; the Blind, the Lame, the Deaf, the Dumb, the Maimed, the Dirtractcd, the ulcerated and loathfom Leper, and thofc feveral Maps of Man's Woes and Torments that arc there exhibited? Think then with thy felf, this is the Inheritance, this is the Portion bequeathed them by their accurfed Parenrs. And as thou ·wouldft have thine