Hopkins - HP BR75 .H65 1710

q.o An Expojitton upon the --------------~------ 2. Firft, Tddeliver him from greater Sufferings and Mif~h~cfs that elfe wm follow: Better the Rod than the Tree. Thou mayfr, for ought thou knoweft, redeem his Life by it, and deliver him from the hand of Juftice, and eternal Wrath of God and.fave his Soul froril everlafting Smart and Torment. So Prov. 23 . 13, 14. ~Vt th~ hold not Correaion from the Child ; for if them beateft him with the Rod, he }hall 11ot die: Thou /halt beat him with the Rod, and deliver his Soul from Hell. And, Secondly, By this cout·fe thou fu<tlt bring thy felf much Comfort, moft likely in his Reformation; or if not in that, yet at leaft in the ConfcieilCe of having per· formed thy Duty, and done all that lay in thy Power for his good. But what Support and Comfort can that Parent have, whO when his Children f!,rDW lewd and debauch'd, fuall fadly refleCt upon it, that it'was only his Fondnefs and foolifh Pity which ruined them? Take this for certain, that as many deferved Stripes as you fpare from the Child, you do but lay upon your own Backs; and thofe whom you have refufed to Chaftifc, God will make them fevere Scourges to Affiid and Chaltife you. And thefe are the Duties which you owe to your Children, immediately refpeding their Spirin1al Good: Initiating them by Bapt~fm, giving them good lnJtruGions, good Examples, and nccclfary Corre6:ion1 There is one Duty more, and it is a very principal one, which refpects both their Temporal and Spiritual Gocxl; and that is, fervent and earneft Prayer to God ft>r them, without which all the reft will be inetfedual. Whene:ver therefore thou comeft unto the Throne of Grace, bring thefe thy dear Pledges upon thy Heart with thee; earneftly implore of God, that he would own them, and provide for them as his own Children, that he would adopt them inro the F~mily of Heaven, make them Heirs of Glory, and Co-heirs with Jefus Chrift; that he would give them a convenient Portion of good things for this Life, that they may ferve him with the more Chearfulnefs and Alacrity, and a large Portion of fpiritual Bleffin~s in Heavenly things inChrift Jefus, and at length bring them to the Heavenly Inheritance. And know affuredly, that the Prayers of Parents are very effeCtual, and have a kind of Authority in them to impetrate and obtain what they fue for. This is the Benediction or Blefllng which Holy Fathers in Scripture have beftowed upon their Children; and we find, that their Bleffing was thdr Deftiny. Thus 'Jacob bleffed his Sons the Patriarchs, and1 as it were, divided among them the Treafures of God's Bleffings; and God the great Father would J).Ot have the Bleffing of a Fa; ther pronounced in vain, but ratifi(d and fulfilled them in the Succefs. And as Parents Blcfiinp;s have great Influence upon their Children, fo likewife have their Curfes: And therefore they lhould beware what they Wifh of Pray aga infr them. A rafh aRd paflionate Curfe is oftentimes direfully fulfilled, not only ro the Ruin of the Children, but the too Late Sorrow and Repentance of the Parents. We know how deep the Curfe of Nonh ftuck in Chl!m, and all his Pofterity. For the Words of a Father are weighty and authoritative even with God himfelf,and he will not lightly fulfer them to fall to the ground, when they are fpoken either for, or a• gainft thofe over whom he himfclf bath given them Power and Authority. 1 iliall clofe up this with one Word to thofe who are Parents.· Confider what a great Charge God hath intrufted you wi!h. In your Hands is depofited the Hope and Bleffing, or elfc the Curfe and Plague of the. next Age; you~ Families are the Nurferies both of Church and State; and accord10g to the manunng of them now, fuch will their Fruits be hereafter. Confider, I befeech you, how you have managed this great Truft : Are your Children like Olive-branches round ahout your Table, each promifing to bring forth good Fruit in their due Seafon? Have you tak~ care, by your good lnftrutl:ions, and good Examples, to form the Lord Jcfus in them? Have you taken care, by Corretl:ion and Difcipline, to cut off all Excrefcencies apd Superftuities of Nau&htinefs from them? Or, do they remain frill Sons of Belial, wild, rude, unnurtur d, and difobedient? Certainly, God will require an account of them at your Hands; for they are his) and only left in your keeping, and your Education. But, alas! the lewd PraCUces, and the too ripe Sins of young ones, do clearly convince Parents rather to have infufed Wickednefs into them than curbed it. And the Wit and Forwardnefs of their Wickedncfs beyond thei; Years, make it evident, that they have but burrowed it from your Examples. Be~ ware left God punifh you in them; and punifh them for what they have learn'd of j'Qu, _and you in Hell for not better inftruthng and admonilhing of them. Acd