Hopkins - HP BR75 .H65 1710

1 36 An Expojition upon the Suffer me only in a word, to fer home this upon the Confciences of ftubborn and difobedient Children. Confider what your Demeanour hath been towards your Parents, to whom you O\VC yonr Selves, your Lives, your Education. Bc.Jefits that c1n never be repaid them, although you lhould undergo all the Hardfhips ima•rinable to make an acknowledgment of them. Can you imagine the Cares, the p~1 citing Thou&hts, the perplexin9 Fears w~ich your tende_r Pare1_1ts are continua'ly diftracted wath, for your good. And Will you fo requtte their Love, as to clefpifc their Perfons, of whom you your felves are a part, and make their very Bowds rebel againft them? Certainly were ther~ny Ingenuity of Nature, or the Priut.ip les of Reafon and Equity not quite fpent and extinguilhed in you, the Love a,1d Solicitude they have expre{t for you, would again return unto them, if not in equ.1l Meafures, yet in the mollampleand acceptable that is poffiblc for you to render. And if there be any of you, who by your Stubbornnefs and Difobcdience, h.tvc brought down the gray Hairs of your Parents with Sorrow to the Grave; confider fcrioufly what an unnatural Sin you have been guilty of: And becaufe you cannot now beg Pardon of them, beg Pardon of God, the great and univerfal Father of all ; beg that he would not revenge your Difobedience to your Parents, by the Difobedience of your Childfen towards you. Thus you have fecn what Duties Children owe unto their Parents~ Let us now H:e what arc the reciprocal Duties of Parents towards their Children. For in all unequal Relations, the Superiority re!ts only in one part, yet the Duty is divided between both. The Duty therefore of Parents refpeds either the Temporal or Spiritual Good of their Children, for both are given them in Gharge. As for their Temporal Good, two Duties <1re incumbent upon them, ProteCtion and Prcvifion; and both of thefe the Law of Nature teacheth them. Do we not fee even in brute Creatures themfelves, that a il:rong Parental AffeCtion makes them dare un~qual Dangers, and expofc their own Lives to the greateft hazard, only to defend their young? We fee with. what indefatigable lnduftry they either lead thl!m unto, or bring them in their Food and Nourifhment, till they have taught them the Art and Method of providing for themfelves, and living at their own finding~ And if the inll:inct and impulfe of Nature be fo powerful in Irrational Creatures, how much more fuould it prevail in us, in whom Reafon fhould perfed Nature? and We be the more careful, in as much as the Ch:.uge committed to us is more ~oa ble? And that it is not a Sparrow nor a Chicken that we are to look after, bur a Man, a King of the Univerfe, defigned for great lmployments, and to great Ends, an Heir of the World; and if we fail not in educating him, may be an Heir of Eternal Glory ? 1 • Firft1 We owe them ProteCt ion, and this their Weaknefs and Helplefnefsoften calls for at our Hands. How many Difeafes and Dangers is their feeble Infancy expofed unto? And in their g rowing Childhood, want of Care and Experience runs them daily into more. Now Parents are to be their Guards, and by their Skill and Strength fence otr thofe Wrongs and Injuries that threaten them. And in fo trlauh. doing, they perform not only a Parental, but an Angelical Work. Take hud that :::.S.c 10. ye de[pifo uot one of theft little ones ; for I fay unto you, that in Heaven their Angeli do ~tlway behold the Face of my Father which is iu Heaven. And if God, the gre:at Father of the whole Family both in Heaven and Earth, bath outof his infinite Tendernefs and Compafnon, appointed. his holy Angels to be their Guardians, that they who attend the Throne of his Glorious Majefty, fuould Iikewife attend the Cradles and Beds, and wandring Steps of little Ones; it is not only inhumane for Parents to negleCt the Care of their Children, but devilifh to do them hurt, or deftroy them themfelves; the too common PraCl:i.ce Gf many Wretches, who, to hide and cover their Shame, either abandon or murther the Fruit of their Bowels. Secondly, As Parents owe their Children Protetlion from incident Evils, fo likewife Provilion of Necefl3.ries and Conveniences according to the Rank and Dev::-ee in which the Divine Providence bath fet them. And this the Scripture otlet~inculcates, Matth.7.9, 10. WhatManisthereamongyou, whom.ifhis Son ask Bread, ..,;JJ gwe him a Stone ? Or if he ask a Fijh, wiU give him a Scorpton? Intimating unto us, that we arc bound to give our Children what is fit for the Su!tentation of that Life which they have received from us. And indeed, they are our Flefh and our Bone; they arc our felve,s multiplied. Now Nature teacheth us to Cheri!h and Nourilh