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couraged to keep this sacred day in a proper
If this is not done, no holy reverance of it will possess their minds; the most blessed opportunities of acquiring spiritual instruction will be neglected or abused; their undertakings will consequently remain in ignorance; they will be awfully exposed to the temptations of the dissolute and profane; and in all probability they will soon be led to cast in their lot amongst them. Indeed, since what a person wishes, he easily believes, it is almost certain, that, in the result, they will become the dupes of infidelity, and in just judgment be given up to strong delusions. Be persuaded then, ye parents, as you would not have your children incur the wrath of God, nor yourselves be accessary to their guilt and condemnation; be persuaded, I say, to use all the means in your power to induce them to remember the sabbath-day to keep it holy."
Finally, be it seriously remembered, that it is the duty of every parent, daily to bow the knee before God with his family in prayer, to assemble them together around the throne of grace, and to plead earnestly with the Almightyin their behalf. Itbecomes him in short, to hold out to them every encouragement to the practice of that which is good, and dissuade them by suitable advice, faithful warnings, and loving correction, from the indulgence of evil. Such a
conduct will doubtless be adopted by every parent, whose affection for his children is regulated by right principles, and whose anxiety for their eternal welfare is seated in the heart.
Having discussed the duty of a husband and a father, the next particular to be considered is the duty of a master. Those words of the text, “ruling their own houses well,” comprise this duty. The time, however, is too far elapsed for a proper enlargement upon this branch of the subject. This must therefore be deferred, to another opportunity. Hence we shall now conclude with a shortimprovementof what has been advanced.
In attempting this, I shall be naturally led to enforce self-examination. Many of you, my brethren, are both husbands and fathers. You have heard that, as such, you have many important duties to fulfil. Now, these duties strictly and conscientiously observed by you? Many families live almost in a constant state of uneasiness. Their houses, instead of being ruled well, are full of disorder, dissatisfaction, and contention. What is the cause of all this? It requires no great degree of penetration to find it. Evils so fatal to domestic peace, evidently originate in a neglect of the duties which the scriptures enjoin. Have any of you, my brethren, disorderly families? Are your chil
dren insubordinate and unruly? And is this a source of disappointment and vexation to you? Do you reply that this is the case ? I need not then ask you to what it is owing. Your own consciences remind you of that. Your children and houses are not ruled well. Is not religion neglected? Are not the duties of a husband and a father, as they have been described in this discourse, awfully overlooked by you? Do you not live without family prayer? Are not your children and wife strangers to a truly religious example in your conduct? And do you not neglect to exercise that holy authority over them which the scriptures enjoin? Wonder not then, if the members of your domestic circle are frequently a source of disappointment and vexation. But what is still more awful to consider, such a conduct is the forerunner of confusion, and misery, for ever and ever, in the world to come. And can you bear the thought of this, ye husbands and parents? Can you endure the idea of having brought immortal beings intoexistence, who, through your neglect of duty, may be lost eternally? What ! shall your own children have to attribute their ruin to your neglect of them? Ah, should this be the case, what will you do in the solemn day?-How will you bear the torturing anguish, which the reflection of their lost condition will create in your breasts? O, brethren, that awful period will be an insupportable time, indeed, to all un. godly husbands and careless parents Blessed be God, however, that period is not yet arrived ! and the storm of wrath may be averted. The blackening cloud may be dispelled—the vengeance for ever removed. The dying groans of an Almighty Saviour sound from Calvary. His piercing cries seem to say, “vile sinner ! on me thy weight of wrath was laid.” Yes, the Saviour's blood, and tears, and death, present a hope to every returning and penitent sinner. Encouraging thought! Boundless love indeed! Come then to Jesus, ye guilty sinners-Come, believe, and live. Give up your hearts to him. Invite him to take possession of all the powers of your souls. Thus will you be changed into his image, live peaceably, die joyfully, and be eternally happy.
The Duties of Masters.
I TIMOTHY, CHAPTER III, VERSE 12.
Ruling—their own Houses well.
THE Great Disposer of events has, in infinite wisdom, separated mankind into various classes, or placed them in different situations in the present life. The scriptures inform us, that it is “the Lord that maketh poor, and maketh rich, and that the bounds of our habitation are determined by him." These various situations have se. veral weighty and important duties attached to them. Through every gradation of circumstances, from a state of the meanest servitude to the summit of affluence and authority, every individual has a part assigned him, which he is required conscientiously to fulfil. Is he a husband ?-whether he be poor or rich, he is responsible for several important branches of duty towards his wife. Is he a father ?-various parental duties are
I Samuel, ch. ii. ver 7; and Acts, ch. xvii. ver. 26.