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milies. Whatover hath been faid already, tho' iv Concerns every private Christian that hath a foul to look after, get upon a double account, it conceros parents and masters, as having themselves and others to look after : Some there are, who because of their ignorance, cannot ; others because of their fuggithness, will not mind this duty. To the former we propound the method of Joshua, who firft began with himself, and then is careful of his family. To the latter we shall only hint, wbat dreadful meeting those parents and masters must have at that great day, with their children and fervants, when all that were under their inspection thall got only accuse them, but charge their eteroal miscarrying upon their fcore. Never did any age of the church enjoy such choice helps, as this ofours. Every age of the gospel hath bad its creeds, confeffions, Catechisms, and fuch breviaries and models of divinity as have been fingulary useful
. Such forms of sound words (however in these days decayed) have been in use in the chorch, ever Gnce God himfelf wrote the decalogue, as a summary of things to be done, and Christ taught us that prayer of his, as a directory wbat to ask. Concerning the usefulness of such compendiary fyftems, fo much hath been said already by a learned dirine of this age, as is sufficient to satisfy all who are not resolved to remaja uofatisfied.
Concerning the peculiar excellency of these ensuing treatises, we judge it needful to mention those eminent testimonies which hath been given them, from persons of known worth in the respect of their judgment, learniag. and integrity, both at home and abroad, because themselves speak to much their own praise : gold stands not in need of varpih, oor diamonds of painting: give us leave only to tell you, that we cannot but account it an eminent mercy to enjoy such helps as these are. 'Tis ordinary in those days, for men to speak evil of things they koow not; but, if any are posseffed with mean thoughts of these treatises, we shall odly give the fame couplel to them, that Philip gives Nathaniel, Come and fee,' John i. 46, 'Tis no small advana tage the reader now hath, by the addition of fcriptures at large, whereby with little pains he may more profit, because with every truth he may behold its scripture foundation. And indeed, confideriog what a Babel of opinions, what a strange confusion of tongues there is this day, amoag them who profess they speak the language of Canaan.; there is no intelligent person but will conclude that advice of the prophet especially suited to such an age as this, Isa. vii. 30. 'To the • law. and to the testimony, if they speak not according to this word, • it is because there is no light in them." If the reverend and learned composers of these ensuing treatises were willing to take the paios of aonexiog fcripture proofs to every truth, that the faith of people might not be built upon the dictates of men, but the authority of God; fo fome considerable pains hath now been further taken in traafcribing thole fcriptures, partly to prevent that grand jaconvenience,
+ Doctor Tuckoey, in his Sermon on 2 Tim. i. 13,
(which all former impreffions, except the Latin, have abounded with, to the great perplexing and disheartning of the reader) the misquotation of scripture; the meadeft reader being able, by having the words at large, to rectify whatever mistake may be in the printer in citing the particular place; partly to prevent the trouble of turning to cvery proof, which could not but be very gerat; party to help the memories of such who are willing to take the
pains of torpiog to every proof, but are unable to retain what they read; and partly that this may ferve as a bible common-place, the several passages of scriptore which are scattered up and down in the word, being in this book reduced to their proper heade, and thereby giving light each to other. The advantages, you fee, in this design, are many and great: The way to spiritual knowledge is hereby made more easy, and the igaorance of this age, more inexcusable.
If therefore there be any spark in you of love to God, be not content that any of yours should be ignorant of him whom you so much admire, or any haters of him whom you fo much love. If there be aDý compaffion to the souls of them who are under your care, if any refpect to future generations; Jabonr to saw the feeds of knowledge, which may grow up in after-times. That you may be faithful here- . in, is the earneft prayer of,
Henry Wilkinson, D.
MR. THOMAS MANToN's Epistle to the Rcader.
Cannot suppose thee to be such a stranger in England, as to be ig
Dorant of the general complaiot conceroing the decay of the power of godliness, and more especially of the great corruption of youth; wherever thou goelt, thou wilt hear men crying out of bad children and bad servants : Whereas indeed the source of the milenief must be fought a little higher ; 'tis bad pareots and bad matters that make bad children, and bad fervants ; aod we cannot blame so much their unto. wardness, as our own Degligence in their education,
The devil hath a great ipite at the kingdom of Christ, and he kooweth no such compendious way to crush it in the egg, as by the perversion of youth, and supplanting family duties. He striketh at all duties, thase which are public in the assemblies of the saints; but these are too well guarded by the folemn injuoctions and dying charge of Jesus Christ, as that he should ever hope totally to lubvert and undermine them ; but at family duties he striketh with the more fuccefs, because the institution is not so solemn, and the practice not fo feria oully, and conscientiously regarded as it thould be, and the omillion is not so liable to notice and public censure. Religion was first hatched in families, and there the devil seeketh to crush it; the families of the patriarchs were all the churches God had in the world for the time, and therefore (I suppose) when Cain went out from Adam's family, he is said to go out from the face of the Lord, Gen. iv. 16. Now the devil knoweth that it is is a blow at the root, and a ready way to prevent the fucceflion of churches : If he can fubvert families, other societies and communities will not long flourish and sub. sist with any power and vigour; for there is the llock from whence they are supplied both for the present and the future, For the present, a family is the senioary of church and Nate ; and,
а if children be not well principled, there all miscarricth: A fault in the first concoction is not mended in the secoud; if youth be bred ill in the family, they prove ill in church and cominon-wealth; there is the first making or marring, and the presage of their future lives to be thence taken, Prov. xx. i1. By family discipline, officers are raised up for the church, 1 Tim. ii. 4.. One that ruleib well bis owo house, &c. and there arc men bred up in subjection and obedience, 'tis doted, Ads
xxi. 5. that the disciples brought Paul on his way with their wives and childien; their children probably are mentioned, to jatimate that their parents would, by their own example and affectionate farewel 10 Paul, breed them up in a way of reverence and refpect to the paltors of the church.
For the future, 'is comfortable certainly to see a thriving nursery of young plans, and to have hopes that God thall have a people to ferve bim when we are dead and gone ; the people of God comforted themselves in that, Pfal. cii. 28. The children of thy fervants fall • continue,' &c.
Upon all these confiderations how careful should ministers and parents be to train op young ones, while they are yet piiable, and, like · Wax, capable of any form and imprellion in the knowledge and fear
of God; and betimes to ioftil the principles of our most holy faith, as they are drawn into a short fum io catechisms, and fo altogether laid in the view of conscience? Sarely thefe fceds of truth planted in the field of memory, if they work nothing elfe, will at least be a great check and bridle to them, and, as the casting in of cold water doth 1, the boiling of the pot, somewhat allay the fervors of youthful lults aad paifions.
I had upon intreaty resolved to recommend to thee with the greatest eurbeltoets the work of catechifing, and, as a meet help, the usefaltieis of this book as thus printed with the scriptures at large: But meeting with a private letter of a very learned and godly divine, wberein that work is excellently done to my hand, I Mall make bold 10 trapscribe a part of it, and offer it to public view.
The author having bewailed the great distractions, corruptions and divisions that are in the church, he thus represents the cause and cure: Among others, a principal cause of these mitchiefs is the great and common neglect of the governors of families, in the discharge of that duty which they owe to God for the souls that are under their charge, efpecially in teaching them the doctrine of christianity Families are foci: cies that must be fanctified to God, as well as churches : And the govertors of them have as truly a charge of the fouls that are therein, as pastors have of the churches. But, alas, how little is this confidered or regarded ! But, while negligent ministers are (detervedly) cast out of their places, the negligent malters of families take themselves to be almost blamelefs. ' They offer their children to God in baptism, and there thy promise to teach them the doctriac.of the gospel, and bring them up in the nurture of the Lord; but they Easily promise, and easily break it; and educate their children for the world and the flesh; altho' they have renounced these, and dedicated them to God. This covenani-breaking with God, aod betraying the fouls of their children to the devil, muft lie heavy on them here or hereafter. They beger children, and keep families, merely for the World and the field: but little confider what a charge is committed to
them, and what it is to bring up a child for God, and govern a family as a fanctified fociety. O how sweetly and successfully would the work of God go on, if we would but all join together in our feveral places to promote it! Men need not theo run without fending to be preachers: But they might find that part of the work that belongeth to them to be enough for them, and to be the beft chat they can be imployed in. Especially women should be careful of this duty, because as they are most about their children, and have early and frequent opportunities to inftrust them, so this is the principal fervice they can do to God in this world, being restrained from more publick work. And doubtless many an excellent magistrate have been fent into the common wealth, and many an excellent pastor into the church, and many a precious faint to heaven, through the happy preparations of a holy cducation, perhaps by a woman that thought herself ufeless and unferviceable to the church. Would parents, but begin betimes, and labour to affect the hearts of their children with the great matters of everlasting life, and to acquaint them with the fubftance of the doctriac of Christ, and when they find in them the knowledge and love of Christ, would bring them then to the pallors of the church to be tted, confirmed and admitted to the further privileges of the church, what happy, well ordered churches might we have! Then one pastor need not be put to do the work of two or three hvodred or thoufand goverpors of families; even to teach their children those principles which they fhould have taught them long before; nor should we be put to preach to so many milerable ignorant fouls, that be not prepared by.co ducation to understand us; nor should we have need to fhut out for many from holy communion upon the account of ignorance, that yet! have not the grace to feel it and lament it, nor the wit and patience to wait in a learning State, till they are ready to be fellow citizens with the saints, and the houshold of God. But now they come to us with aged felf.conceitedness, being past children; and yet worfe than children still; having the ignorance of children, but being overgrown the teachableness of children, and think themselves wife, yea, wise enough to quarrel with the wiselt of their teachers, because they have lived long enough to have been wise, and the evidence of their kpowledge is their aged igaoradce; and they are readier to flee in our faces for church-privileges, than to learn of us, and obey our instructious, till they are prepared for them that they may do them good ; like fnappish currs, that will soap us by the fingers for their meat, and soatch it out of our hands; and not like children, that stay till we give it them. Parents have so used them to be unruly, that minilers have to deal but, with too few but the unruly. And it is for want of this laying the foundation well at first, that professors themselves are fo ignorant as most are, and that so many, especially of the younger fort,
do swallow down almost any error that is offered them, and follow aby feet of dividers that will cotice them, so it be