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2. Family Godliness. He that hath set up Christ in his heart, will be sure to study to set him up in his house. Let every family with you be a christian church,* every house a house of prayer. Let every householder say with Joshua, "I and my house will serve the Lord," and resolve with David, "I will walk in my house with a perfect heart."+ Let me impress upon you a few duties in neral.


First, Let religion be in your families, not as a matter by the by (to be minded at leisure, when the world will give you leave) but the standing business of the house. Let them have your prayers, as duly as their meals. Is there any of your families but have time for their taking food? wretched man! canst thou not as well find time to in? pray

Secondly, Settle it upon your hearts, that your souls are bound up in the souls of your family: they are committed unto you, and if they be lost through your neglect, they will be required at your hands. Sirs, if you do not, you shall know that the charge of souls is a heavy charge, and the blood of souls is a heavy guilt. O man, hast thou a charge of souls to answer for, and dost thou not bestir thyself for them, that their blood be not found in thy skirts? Wilt thou do no more for im

* 1 Cor. vi. 19. † Jos. xxiv. 15.

Psal. ci. 2.

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mortal souls than thou wilt do for the beasts
that perish? What dost thou do for thy chil-
dren and servants? Thou providest meat and
drink for them agreeable to their nature; and
dost thou not the same for thy beasts? Thou
givest them medicines, and cherishest them
when they are sick; and dost thou not the
same for thy swine? more particularly,

1. Let the solemn reading of the word, and
singing of psalms, be your family exercises,*
See Christ singing with his family, namely, his

2. Let every person in your families be as
duly called to an account of their profiting by
the word heard or read, as they be about
doing your own business. This is a duty of
consequence unspeakable, and would be a
means to bring those under your charge to
remember and profit by what they receive.
See Christ's example in calling his family to

3. Often take an account of the souls under
your care, concerning their spiritual states,
(herein you must be followers of Christs)
make inquiry into their condition. Insist
much upon the sinfulness and misery of their
natural state, and upon the necessity of re-

*John v. 39. Psal. cxviii. 15.

Mat. xvi. 11, 13, 15.
Mark iv. 10, 11.

+ Mat. xxvi. 30.
Mat. xiii. 10, 36, 51.

generation and conversion in order to their salvation. Admonish them gravely of their sins, encourage their beginnings, follow them earnestly, and let them have no quiet from you, until you see in them a saving change. This is a duty of very great consequence, but, I am afraid, most fearfully neglected. Doth not conscience say, "Thou art the


4. Look to the strict sanctifying the Sabbath by all your household.* Many poor families have little time else: O improve but your sabbath days as diligently in labouring for knowledge, and doing your Maker's work, as you do the other days in doing your own work, and I doubt not but you may come to some proficiency.


5. Let the morning and evening sacrifice of solemn prayer be daily offered up in all your families.† Beware be not found among the families that call not upon God's name; for why should there be wrath from the Lord upon your families? O miserable families without God in the world, that are without family prayer! What, have you so many family sins, family wants, family mercies; what, and yet no family prayers? How do you pray with all prayer and supplication, if you

*Exod. xx. 10. Lev. xxiii. 3. 2. Exod. xxx. 7, 8. Luke i. 9, 10.

+ Psal. xcii. 1, Jer. x. 25.

do not with family prayer?* Say not, "I have no time." What! hast thou not all thy time on purpose to serve God and save thy soul? And yet is this it for which thou canst find no time? Find but an heart, and you will find time. Pinch out of your meals and sleep, rather than want for prayer. Say not, "My business will not give me leave:" this is the greatest business, to save thyself and the souls committed to thee. Business! a whet will be no let. In a word, the blessing of all is to be got by prayer,† and what is thy business without God's blessing? Say not, "I am not able;" use the one talent, and God will increase it.‡ But if there is no other remedy, thou must join with thy abler neighbour; God hath special regard to joint prayer, and therefore you must improve family advantages for the performing of it.

6. Put every one in your families upon private prayer. Observe whether they do perform it. Get them the help of a form, if they need it, till they are able to pray


out it. Direct them how to pray, by reminding them of their sins, wants and mercies, the materials of prayer. This was the practice of John and Jesus.

7. Set up catechising in your families, at

* Eph. vi. 18.

+ Jer. xxix. 11, 12. 2 Sam. vii. Mat. xxv. 24.


Acts xii. 5, 10, 12. 2 Cor. i. 11.

James v. 4-12.

|| Luke xi. 1.

the least once every week. Have you no dread of the Almighty's charge, that you should "teach these things diligently to your children, and talk of them as they sit in your houses?" and "train them up in the way wherein they should go?"+ Hath God so commended Abraham, that he would "teach his children and household," and that he had many instructed servants, (see the margin) and given such a promise to him thereupon, and will you not put in for a share, neither in the praise nor the promise? Hath Christ honoured catechising with his presence, and will you not own it with your practice? Say not, They are careless and will not learn." What have you your authority for, if not to use it for God, and the good of their souls? You will call them up, and force them to do your work: and should you not at least be as zealous in putting them upon God's work? Say not, They are dull, and are not capable." If they be dull, God requires of you the more pains and patience; but so dull as they are, you will make them learn how to work: and can they not learn how to live? Are they capable of the mysteries of your trade, and are they not capable of the plain principles of religion? Well, as ever you

*Deut. vi. 6. + Prov. xxii. 6. Gen. xviii. 19. Gen. xiv. 14. Luke ii. 46.

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