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is not deeply felt. The salvation of his child is promised to him, and in the most endearing of all methods; viz. as the consequence of his labour. He, who is not a barbarian, or a brute, must wish his children to be happy, favoured of God, and beloved by his own companions, throughout eternity. To the heart of him, who knows the tenderness of nature, this desire must come home with supreme and unmingled power. The very thought of presenting one's children to the Judge, at his right hand, on the final day, and of being able to say, Behold here am I, and the children whom thou hast given me, is a thought of ecstacy, which bewilders the heart with joy. Let no parent, who is not compelled by this consideration to a duty so delightful in itself, pretend to love his children at all.
If we train up our children in the way they should go, they will enter it almost of course ; follow us to heaven; and be our companions for ever. There they will be everlasting witnesses of our tender affection to them, and our faithful care of their souls, while we were both in the present world. At their dying bed, if we survive them ; on our dying bed, if they survive us; we shall be saved, also, from the distressing reflection, that through our negligence they have been lost, and are destined to sin, and suffer for ever.
3. In this manner parents perform their prime duly.
The great end of our being is the performance of our duty. In this God intends, that we should find our happiness, and that a greater happiness, than we can otherwise attain. All parts of our duty are plainly to be regarded according to their importance. To parents, that, which is enjoined in the text, is primarily important. On their children they can usually have more and better influence, than they can possibly have on others. In a high and endearing sense, they are their property ; are united to them by the tenderest ties; are ever in their presence; and regard them with singular reverence and affection. From all these sources parents derive the power of making more, deeper, and happier, impressions, than others can make, or than they can make on others. This power God has required all parents faithfully to exert; and in Religious Education alone is it faithVOL. y.
fully exerted. To perform this duty is, therefore, the chief end, for which we are made parents; the chief good, which men are usually able to do; the chief means of glorifying our Creator. If, then, we wish to please God, to enjoy the greatest happiness in this world, or to carry our children with us to Heaven, and enjoy their company for ever; we shall not fail with deep solici. tude, watchful care, and unshaken constancy, to train them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
THE EXTRAORDINARY MEANS OF GRACE.
THE CHARACTER OF MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH.
2 CORINTHIANS vi. 14.
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers.
In the last discourse, I finished the observations, which I have thought it necessary to make concerning The Ordinary Means of Grace. In the several discourses on this subject I have endeavoured to show, that there are Means of Grace; What they are; and what is their Influence; and to answer the Objections, usually made against this scheme of doctrine. I, then, sederally considered each of these means, at some length ; and gave such directions concerning the use of them, such explanations of their efficacy, and such answers to objections against them, severally, as this System of Discourses appeared to require.
The next subject in order is
Those Means of Grace, which are of limited application : viz. Baptism; the Lord's Supper; and the Communion of Christians.
But, before I enter upon the immediate discussion of these sub. jects, it will be necessary to consider the Character, and Circumstances, of those, by whom these Means of Grace are to be
used; viz. that Collection of persons, which is denominated the Church of Christ. In examining this interesting subject, I shall,
Describe the Church of Christ, as exhibited in the Scriptures; and then,
Explain the Nature of its peculiar Ordinances and Employments.
The Church of Christ is composed of ils Ordinary Members and ils Officers. In the present discourse, I shall attempt to exhibit the Character of its Ordinary Members, as presented to us in the Scriptures.
To this subject we are naturally led by the text. Be ye not unequally yoked together with Unbelievers. The word, here translated unequally yoked, is in the Greek, "stspogug8vses, and denotes, literally, being yoked to those of a different kind; and here means being yoked unfilly, or improperly. Concerning the Communion, here forbidden, there have been various opinions.
First. It has been frequently supposed to be marriage.
That this is not a just interpretation, is evident, because there is not, before or afterward, a syllable said concerning this subject; and because the direction, given in the seventeenth verse of the context, concerning the communion, here specified, would, if marriage were intended, contradict the precept, given by the Apostle, 1 Cor. vii. 12, 13. Here the direction is, Wherefore come ye out from among them, and be ye separate, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. The precept, there is, If any Brother hath a Wife, that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him; let him nol put her away. And the Woman, that hath an Husband that believeth not, if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.
Secondly. It has been supposed, also, lo mean Common social intercourse with mankind, whether more or less intimate.
This, I think, cannot be the meaning; because the direction, above mentioned, would then contradict the declarations of the Apostle in 1 Cor. v. 9, 10, I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators. Yet not allogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolafers : for then ye must needs go out of the world.
Thirdly. It has been supposed, also, lo be Religious Communion with the worshippers of Idols.
This, indeed, is undoubtedly forbidden; as being fairly ineluded in the phraseology of the text. The worshippers of Idols are one class of unbelievers : but no reason can be given, why a particular class should be intended in the text, and not all other classes. The prohibition is general, without an exception. We are obliged to receive it, as it is : and, since the Apostle has not thought proper to limit it, we cannot warrantably annex a limitation.
That the communion, here intended, is Religious Communion, I have not a doubt. This is forbidden with Unbelievers. To illustrate the impropriety of Religious Communion with persons of this character, the questions, following the text in the 14th and 15th verses are asked by the Apostle. For this end, only, are they asked: as might easily be made evident by a particular comment, if the occasion would permit. I shall, therefore, consider the text as containing this Doctrine,
That Christians are bound not to enter into Religious Communion with unbelievers : or, what is equivalent, The Church of Christ ought to consist of Christians only.
The truth of this Doctrine is strongly exhibited in the words themselves; particularly, as they have been illustrated. The proper meaning can, indeed, be nothing else.
The same interpretation is also unanswerably evident, because,
First. There are but three kinds of Communion, of which man is capable; Marriage, Social Intercourse, and Religious Communion. I have shown, that the two first cannot be meant in this passage. The last, therefore, is meant.
Secondly. That all unbelievers are intended in the text is edident, because in the 17th and 18th verses, God says, Wherefore come ye out from among them, and be ye separate ; and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father to you; and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
These things, it will be remembered, were written to the Corinthian Church. Of the members of this Church it is said, that if they will come out from among the persons, with whom their