Hopkins - HP BR75 .H65 1710

1 38 A11 Expojitioll upon the them in the Fear and I< nowledge of God, and t his t he ApoftJ e cxprdly e11 joins Epht[. 6. 4· Ye F.tthus, bring up your Ch"/drm in t iJe Nurt ure and A dmonit ion of the Lo rd~ And [o Deut . +· 9. Forget not the thing.~ whic~ thine l:)ts h.tve f un, but reach them zhy Sons, and thy Scm Som. We find that God gtves an honourable Teftimony concerning .Abraham, and confides in him upon this account, Gm. 18. 19. I know Abraham, that he will Comm~tnd lm Chi.ldren1 and his Holl/hold after him, and they jhall Imp rhe way of the L ord, to do 'jufti ce and 'Judgment. A od Solomon extols his Father David for his Care in inftrutting him, Prov. 4· 3, 4· I was my FAther's Son and he taught me al[o, and [aid unto me, Let thy Heart retain my words; keep myComma;dments and live. Now this InftruCl:ion muft no! be nice and critical, but familiar and ob~ vious, teaching them fuch Fundamental Truths and Principles of Chrifiian DoChine as arc of abfolutc nc::ceffity to be known, and in fuch a manner as may be fuita~ ble to their Capacity and Difcrerion. And if Parents would be but careful and confcientious in the pe~formance o,f this Duty, infufing into their Minds ) before they arc filled wid1 VanHy, the Knowledge of God and of Chrift, and of Religion ; and forming their 'A' ills, whilft they are flexible, to the IO\'C of Piety and Vertue; the next Generation would not generally fee fa much Debauchery in Yoll[h, nor fo much Obduracy in old Age, as is now every where too vifible and apparent By this means the Mini ft er's VJork would be half done to his Hands. It would be needful only to feed his Flock with ftrong Meat, and .to prefs them only to a Vigo~ rous and chearful ,performance of thofe Duties of Holinefs, to which their pious Education made them before inclinable. Now this way of Inftruaion is eithe.r, Firjf, By readi J,g to them, or caufing them to read the .Holy Scriptures, and p9inting out to them thofe Obfervables which are -rnoft agreeable to their Age 2. Tim-. 3 . and Apprehcnlions. Thus it is faid of Timothy, that from a Child he h11d knoron the 15, Holy Sr:ripturtJ, And doubtlcfs, he was trained up in that Knowlede;e by the Care of his Mother and Grand-Mother1 whom the Apoftlehonourably commends, Chap. 1. )· And, Secondly, By catechHing and infiructing them in the Grounds and principal DoCtrines -of Religion. Indeed, a continued Difcourfe is not fa informing,. nor doth it -falten and rivet lnftruaion into young Minds, fa weB as where it is diverfified bv Quefiions and Anfwcrs. This makes them Maftcrs of their own Notions, and able to wield and manage them afterwards to their better ~dvantage . And truly, this I rake to be the very Reafon why fa many fit grofly Ignorant under many Years Preaching of the Word unr.o them, fcarce able to give any tolerable account of the very firfi Principles of the Oracles of God, becaufe they were never educated in this way of Catcchiling, they never tried, nor fearched, nor had the fl:rength of their Memories and Capacities exercifed by Q_ueftions . For running and continued Difcourfes, are like the falling of Rain upon a fmooth Rock, where it trickles off as itdefcends: But Queftions and Examinations are like digging of it, and _making it fit to retain what is poured upon it. But whatfoever Method you may judge moft profitable, yet certainly InftruCHon in their tender Years, is abfolutely neceffary to feafon them betimes with the Knowledge of the Grounds of Religion, and a Love and Veneration of Piety, which will afterwards Pr~rv. :z.2. have a mighty Influence to keep them from being led away either with the Errours, 6. or ungodly Practices of lewd and ungodly ~en; TYifin up a Child in the way he /hould go: And wlmJ he isold1 hcwi/J. r~~t d_:part fromu. Fo~- when ~he ReluC\ance of corrupted Nature is thus early mafter d, and Vertue habituated 1n them, (:~s there muft be ftrong ConviCtions, and Almighty Grace, to break offtHe long ~ccuitomed Ha.bits of Sin: So) there muft be very powerful and prevalent Temptauons that Jhall tnduce fuch 2none, whofeKnowledgeof God, and Lov~ of Vertue have grown up with him from his Childhood to turn a Recreant to his former Profeffion and Practice and to forget that, bcfo;·e 'Yhichhe can hardly re~em~er any thingj or if through the Violence of Tcmptanon he ihould be burned mto any Extravagancy and Excefs his Confcience hath a greater advantage to reduce him again, than it hath upon o'thers, ~b~ are. tra_ioed up i~norantly an_d barbar?ufiy. It W:il! ftill .pu~fue him difturb h1m m h1s Sms, and his early Nonons of Pie~y and Rehgton wlil Jmbitt;r the Sweets which hefanlied, ai:tdothers perhaps find in them; and hisConfd~ ence will never leave crying, and clamouring, and threltning, till it bring him back with Tears i.nhisEyes, and Sorrow in his Hear~ and Shame in his Face, to his former regular and unblamable Converfation. Thirdly,