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milies. Whatever hath been faid already, tho' it concerns every privare Christian that hath a foul to look after, yet upon a double account it concerns parents and masters, as having themselves and others to look after: Some there are, who because of their ignorance, cannot ; others because of their fuggishness, will not mind this duty. To the farmer we propound the method of Joshua, who first begao with himself, and then is careful of his family. To the latter we shall only hint, what 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 not only accuse them, but charge their eteroal miscarrying upon their score. Never did any age of the church enjoy such choice helps, as this ofours. Every age of the gospel hath had its creeds, confessions, catechisms, and fuch breviaries and models of divinity as have been fingulary ufeful. Such forms of sound words (however in these days decayed) have been in use in the church, ever Since God himself wrote the decalogue, as a summary of things to be done, and Christ taught us that prayer of his, as a directory what to ask. Concerning the usefulness of such compendiary syftems, so much hath been said already by a learned divine * of this age, as is sufficiene to satisfy all who are not refolved to remain uofatisfied.
Concerning the peculiar excellency of these ensuing treatises, we judge it needful to mention those emjoent testimonies which hath been given them, from persons of koown worth in the respect of their judgment, learning, and integrity, both at home and abroad, because themselves speak fo much their own praise : gold stands not in beed of varnish, por diamonds of painting: give us leave only to tell you, that we cannot but account it an eminent mercy to enjoy such helps as thefe are. 'Tis ordinary in those days, for men to speak evil of things they koow aot; but, if any are poffeffed with mean thoughts of these treatises, we hall odly give the same couolel to them, that Philip gives Nathaniel, Come and fee,' John i. 46, 'Tis no small. advans tage the reader now hath, by the addition of scriptures at large, whereby.with little pains he may more profit, because with every truth he may behold its fcripture foundation. And indeed, considering what a Babel of opinions, what a strange confufion of tongues there is this day, among them who profess they speak the language of Canaan.; there is no intelligent perfoo byt will conclude that advice of the prophet especially suited to such an age as this, lla, 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 learoed composers of these ensuing treatises were willing to take the paios of aonexiog scripture proofs to every truth, that the faith of people. might not be built upon the dictates of mea, but the authority of God; so some considerable pains hath pow been further taken in trane fcribing those fcriptures, partly to prevent that grand jaconvenience,
Doctor Tuckney, in his scrmon on 2 Tim. i. 13,
(which all former impreffions, except the Latio, 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; partly to help the memories of such who are willing to take the pains of turning to every proof, but are unable to retain what they read; and partly that this may serve as a bible common-place, the several passages of fcriptore which are scattered up and down in the word, being in this book reduced to their proper heads, and thereby giving light each to other. The advantages, you fec, in this desiga, 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 lovc. If there be any compaffion to the fouls of them who are under your care, if any respect to future generations; labour to saw the feeds of knowledge, which may grow up in after-times. That you may be faithful herein, is the earneft prayer of,
MR. THOMAS MANton's Epistle to the Rcader.
Cannot suppose thee to be such a stranger in Eogland, as to be ig
porant of the general complaint 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 mischief must be sought a little higher; 'tis bad pareots and bad matters that make bad children, and bad servants; apd we cannot blame so much their untowardness, as our own degligence in their education,
The devil hath a great Tpite 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, those which are public in the allemblies of the saints ; but these are too well guarded by the folemn injunctions 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 folemn, and the practice not fo feriously, and conscientiously regarded as it should be, and the omission is not so liable to notice and public censure. Religion was first hatched in families, and there the devil seeketh to cruit; 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 kaoweih that itis is a blow at the root, and a ready way to prevent the fucceflion of churches : If he can fubvert families, other societies and communitics will not long Bourish and subsist 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 feminary of church and Nate; and, if children be not well principled, there all miscarricth: A fault in the first concoction is not mended in the secood; if youth be bred ill in the family, they prove ill in church and cominon-wealtha; there is the first making or marring, and the presage of their future lives to be thence taken, Prov. xx. it. By family discipline, officers are trained up for the church, 1 Tim. ïi. 4.. One that ruleth well bis owo house, &c. and there are men bred up in subjection and obedicacę uis 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 to · Paul, breed them up in a way of reverence and refpect to the pastors of the church. For the future, 'tis comfortable certainly to see a thriving nursery
young plants, and to have hopes that God hall have a people to serve bim when we are dead and gone ; the people of God comforted themselves in that, Pfal. cü. 28. The children of thy iervants fall
Upon all these confiderations how careful Mould ministers and pa'rents be to train up young ones, while they are yet priable, and, like Wax, capable of any form and impreslion 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 tum in catechisms, and fo altogether laid in the view of conscience? Surely these fceds of truth planted in the field of memory, if they work dotbing elfe, will at least be a great check and bridle to them, and, as the casting in of cold water doch 1, the boiling of the pot, somewhat allay the fervors of youthful lufts and pathons.
I had upon in treaty resolved to recommend to thee with the greatest earresteeis the work of catechifing, and, as a meet help, the ulefalbéis of this book as thus printed with the scriptures at large : But meeting with a private letter of a very loarned and godly divine, wherein that work is excellently done to my hand, 1 mall make bold 10 traescribe 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 thele miichiefs is the great and common neglect of the governor's of families, in the discharge of that duty which they owe to God for the souls that are under their charge, especially 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 afe 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 masters of families take themselves to be almost blamělefs. They offer their children to God in baptism, and there thy promise to teach them the doctride.of the gospel, and bring them up in the nurture of the Lord; but they tasily promise, and easily break it; and educate their children for the world and the flesh; altho' they have renounced chefe, and dedicated them to God. This covenant-breaking with God, and betraying the fouls of their children to the devil, must lie heavy on them here or hereafter. They beger children, and keep families, mercly for the * World and the Acth : Bur little coulder 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 society. O how sweety and fuccefsfully would the work of God go on, if we would but all join together in our fevera! places to promote it! Meo nced not theo run without fending to be preachers: But they might fiod that part of the work that belongeth to them to be enough for them, and to be the best that 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 instrust 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 is. to 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 education, perhaps by a woman that thought berfeit ufeless and unserviceable to the church. Would parents. bat 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 Chrift, would bring them then to the paflors of the church to be tied, 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 huodred or thousand goverbors of families; even to teach their children those priociples which they should have taught them long before; nor should we be put to preach to so many miserable ignorant fouls, that be not prepared by education to underftaad us; nor should we have need to shut out for many from holy communion upon the account of ignorance, that yet! have not the grace to feel it and lameat it, nor the wit and patience to wait in a learning late, till they are ready to be fellow citizens with the faints, and the houshold of God. But now they come to us with aged self 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 wise, yea, wise enough to quarrel with thc wilest of their teachers, because they have lived long enough to have been wise, and the evidence of their knowledge is their aged ignoradce; and they are readier to flee iar our faces for church-privileges, than to learn of us, and obey our inftructious, 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 unroly, that minillers have to deal but with too few but the unruly. And it is for wảnt of this laying the foundation well at first, that professors themfelves are so ignorant as most are, and that fo rany, especially of the younger fort,