Hopkins - HP BR75 .H65 1710

Fifth Comma11dmellt. 139 71JirJiy, Another Duty w~ich Parents are obliged unto, is no~ only· the £;iving 3· their Children good lnftru~lOns, but. good Examples, to fc~ b~tore th~m the Copi~s and Pattern of thofe VIrtues wh1ch they teach. An_d thts mdced, Is t~c moft lively and the moO; effeCtual way to profit them. Thou who bdore thy Child blafphemcft the Name of God by fwearing or curfing, thou who abufcft thy felf and others hv Riot and Intemperance, daft thou expect that ever he lhould reverence that holY and dreadful Name which thou prophaneft; or love that SobriCty and Temperance, which thou poflibly. mayft commend to him in Words, hut daft much more forbid it him by thy Deeds? For it is the Glory and Boaft of Children to be, and to do like their Parents. And although there be few fa forlornly wicked and utterly abandoned over unto Vice, but that _they would have their Children love and prat\:ife Vert ne, and may perhaps fomeumes exhort the~ thereunto; yet alas! what Effett can empty Words have, when they are contradtded and over born by Deeds? When the corrupt Nature thou haft given them, fhaU be improved by the ill Examples t~ou d:1ily giVe~ them; what avail all thy Ex~ortations and ~clmonitions unlefs tt be to npbratd and reproach thy felf, and wcrcafe both thu1e own Condemnath)l] , and theirs too? Even the Heathen S~tyrift co~l~ay, Mttxima !fuvenal. debttur puero rr.~ermtta; We ought to reverence and ftand m awe at Children, that they fee nothing vicious or dilhoneft by us, not fo much for the Shame of it as the Example : For there is no Pcft fo contagious as Vice; the lcaft Converfe will ferve to rnb it upon others, efpecially your Parents Vice upon their Children, who if they think it not Obedience, and a part of Duty to imitate them, yet cannot but conclude themfdves fecurc both from Reproofs and CorreCtions. The Pra· et ice ofSuperiours.hath certainly a mighty Influence in forming the Manners ofthofc who are fubje8: to them; for let them prefcribe what Rules, and enaCt what Laws they plcafe, let their Authority be as great as can be, yet their Example will be far greater than their Authority, and _Inferiours wil! be incou raged by it boldly to tranfgrefs1 when Shame and Confc10ufnefs fuaJ.l tlc up the Hands of thofc who fhould punilh them. But now when a Godly Parent fhall not only with the moft tender and affectionate Words that Love can dictate, inftrua his Children in tbc Ways of Holinefs, but walk before them in thofc Ways; not only by Admonitions fuew it to be moll: nttional, but by conftant Pra8:ice ibew it to be moft plcafant and delightful; certainly, that Nature muft needs be moft deplorably vicious, which can in this cafe be refraCtary, and will not go whither both Wind and Tide lead him; whereas others poffibly who have only the Breath of good InftruCTions, are carried away headlong, and drowned in Perdition by the ftronger Current of evil Examples. Fourthly, lf neither InftruCHons nor good Examples will prevail, then CorreCl:i· 4 • on and Difcipline is neccifary, and becomes a Duty, though perhaps it may be as grievous to the Parent to infliCt it, as it is to the Child to fuff~::r it. I know there may be, and often is Exccfs in this kind, when Choler and Paffion prefcribe the meafures of Punifhment. This is fierce and inhumane Tyranny, and are:ues fuch Parents to be devoid of natural Afii:t\:ion. And this immoderate ungove~ned CorreCtion, is fa far from profitine Children, that it often times exafperates them, and makes them the more ftubborn and untrad:able; or elfe it only difpirits and ft~pifies the~. And ther_ef<?re. the Ap6ftle hath twice cautioned Parents againft this provoktng way of J?Ifctpltne, Ephef. 6. +· Ye Fathers, provoke not your Chil· dren to ~Vrath: And agam, Cot. 3· 21. FAthers; prfYVoke not your Children to anger, left they be difcouraged. Yet notwithftanding, where Age and Decency will allow it, and Prudence doth require it, it is fometimes neceffary to ufe the Sever ity of Difcipline; and let not a foolilh Fondncf~ here intcrpofe; For certainly GQd loves his Children with a much more parental AffeCtion, than you can love yours; and yet he tells us, Rev. 3· 19. As many m llO'Ve, I rebuke and ch.!ften. And the Apoftle tells us, Heb. 12. 6. Whom the Lord loverh he chaftncth, and fcourgeth every Son whom he receivuh. Jf there be not a due Exercife of Difcipline and CorreCtion, nothing elfe can be expected, but that our Children will wax· wanton with us; and next, rebellious againft us. Now this Severity muft be nfed betimes, before Age and Spirit have hardncd them againft the Fear or Smart of CorreCtion. The wife Man bath told us, Prov. 13. 24. H' thllt fpnreth his Rod, haw I, his Son: but he that IO'Veth him, chAjtnuh him betimes. This is the way; Firft,