Hopkins - HP BR75 .H65 1710

Fifth Command1Jlcnt. --------------------------------------- Nourifh our own Flclh, as the Apofl:le fpcaketh, Ephrf 5· 29. Nay, the Apoftle hath laid this Charge exceeding high; If ~tny M11n prQ1Jide 1101 for his oTPn, and efpe~ 1 Tifll, s. cial!y for thofo of his Houfe, he bath denied the F.:tith, and is nMrfc than lnftdd ; and that 8. becaufe even the Infidels and Heathens are taught by the Light and Law of Nature, to make Provifion for their O\·Vn; and this Provifion is not only for the prefcnr, but our Care is to extend farther; and according to our Ability (bating the Ex:.;. pences of Decency and Charity) we are to take care for their future Subfiftence; and if we cannot leave them a Patrimony, we arc to leave them an Art and Calling, whereby, through the Bleffing of God, they may procure their own Liveli.. hood. So the Apoftle, 2 Cor. 12. 14. The Chjldren oughr not to lay up for the Parents, bui the Parents for the Childrm. And if wemuftplace them out to a Vocation, we mull: endeavour with all our Prudence, to fit it to their Genius and Inclination: For otherwife, it will not be a Vocation, but a Vexation unto them all their Days: Still remembring, that if we. pioufiy delign any unto the W_ork of the _Lord, it ihould be thofe who are moft pregnant, and whom God bath 1ndowed with the greatCft Gifts for fo high a Miniftration. For it is a Sin very like to that of 'Jeroboam, who made lfratL to Sin, to confecrate Priefts unto the Lord of the refufe and vileft of the People,land to think thofe fit enough for the Temple, who through the Deformity of their Body, or the Defects of their Minds, are not fit for a Shop, or for any other Employment. And fo much for thofe Duties of Parents which concern the Temporal Good of their Children. But then they are obliged to others of an higher and nobler Nature, which concern their Spiritual Good, and have an Influence into their Eternal Happinefs. And here, their firft Duty is to incorporate them into the Church of Chrift, by the prefenting them to holy Baptifm, which is the Laver of Regeneration, and which Jefus Chrift hath inftituted for the Admiffion and Initiation of new Members into his Body the Church, and new Subjeas into his Kingdom. Nay, it is not an em pry ' bare Ceremony, but it is a Seal of the Promife of the Covenant, a Sign of the Grace of the Spirit, and a means appointed tQ convey it to the Soul. And therefore, t hofe Parents are highlY injurious to their Childreu, who either through Carelefnefs or Contempt, debar them from fo excellent and fpiritual an Ordinaocc and Privilege, yea indeed the only fpiritual Privilege which their Age makes them capable of. What do tbey elfe hereby, but put their Children into a worfe Condition than the Children of the Jews, who in their Infancy were admitted to the Sacrament of Circumcifion, which the Apoftle calls a Seal of the Righteoufnefs of Faith? Ram. +· I I. And certainly, if this Seal of Circumcilion were broken by the Coming of Chrift, and no other were inftituted, whereof the Children of Believers under the Gofpel might be made Partakers; our Infants then muft needs be in a worfe Condition than theirs; and Chrift's coming into the World hath in this refpett rather diminilhed the Privileges of the Church, than inlarged them. It ought therefore to be the firft and chiefeftCare of every Godly Parent, to offer his <;:hildren to this holy OrdinJncc; efpecially, confidering that they are Partakers of ·his ftnful and corrupt Nature, that he bath been an lnftrumcnt of conveying down along to them the Guilt of the firft Tranfgreffion, and that Defilement which bath infeCted the whole Soul; and therefore, it is the leaft that his Charity ' can do for them, to offer them unto that Remedy which our Saviour bath provided both to remove the Guilt, and cleanfe away the Filth of their Natures. For, be the Parents themfelves never fo holy and fantHfied, yet their Children arc born in their Filth, and in their Blood. And this .Auftin expre!Teth by a very apt Similitude; "The Chalf (faith he) iscarefuUy fe- " parated from the Wheat that we fow; and yet the Wheat :: ~hlch it produceth, grow~th up with Husks ~nd ChafF about Si_cur prdpuli.um quod per Circumdfiontm .:uftrlur, man et in iil quor gignunt circumcifi; fieut p.f!et qud opere hum«no ranrd t:~~:";~ ~?;~~~:;~ t~~i~: ,: Jcintr. L'ug. Ep. 222. 11. So thofe whom the Holy Ghoft bath fan<'hfied and cleanfed, yet.they produce Children naturally unclean, though federally holy. And therefore, being born within the Promifes of the Covenant, their Parents ought to fee that the Seal of the Covenant be applied unto them ; that is, as they derive Corruption from them; they may by them be brought to the means of cleanfing and wafhing. Secondly, When they are thus initiated and entredinto the Church of Chrifr, another Dmy that Parents owe them, is, to inftruct and admonilh them, . to educate 0 o them