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in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. In this way may a spirit of piety be diffused far and wide, and tranfmitted perhaps from age to age as long as the world lafts.
But, on the other hand, if you neglect this duty, how pernicious may be the confequences to your country, and to pofterity? I cannot exprefs my fentiments on this fubject more ftrongly than in the words of a late pious writer, Orton's Difcourfes, p. 130. "In confe66 quence of your neglect of family-worship,
your children and domeftics may omit it in "their families, and their childrens children 66 may omit it; fo that perhaps, before the "end of the world, there may be hundreds, "and even thoufands, defcended from you, "who have in effect learned irreligion and "impiety in your houses, and from your ex. "ample; or at least have never learned reli"gion there. Their wickednefs and mifery "may be traced up as high as your neglect of family-worship, and be in fome degree "charged to your account. You had a thou"fand times better leave your families beg66 gars, than leave them enemies to God, and "ftrangers to prayer. Whereas, by a faith"ful care in this duty, you may leave a "praying feed, that shall be the support of "religion in every future age, and your joy "and crown of rejoicing at the appearance of "Jefus Chrift." I therefore befeech you who are heads of families, if you love your country, and have a regard to the best interests of
pofterity, to maintain the worship of God in your houses.
5. The laft argument by which I fhall briefly urge your complying with the refolution of Jofhua, "As for me and my houfe, we will "ferve the Lord," is the pleasure or fatiffaction attending family-worship.
What unfpeakable pleasure must it afford to a pious man, to fee his family united in the worship of the great Father of all, and to hear out of the mouths of babes and fucklings the high praises of God? What fatisfaction must it give to a devout and affectionate parent, to communicate to young minds fentiments of piety and virtue, to see them receiving with eagerness religious inftruction, and profiting by his prayers and example? What joy must arife from the profpect of their becoming ere long pillars of the church of Chrift, and bleffings to fociety? What pleafure must it yield to a master, to obferve his fervants attending with reverence on the ftated devotions of the family, and difcovering the beneficial influence of these religious exercifes, by their piety, diligence, and regularity of manners? How pleasant must it be to children of proper difpofitions, to feel the watchful and tender care of their parents about their best interests? how agreeable to join with them in thankfgiving to their heavenly Father, and in interceffions for the divine bleffing? Nothing can tend more to increase the joys of domeftic life, VOL. III. C
the endearing attachment between husband and wife, parent and child, than frequent union in addreffes at a throne of grace. Servants too muft feel much fatisfaction from the condefcenfion of their mafters, in explaining to them the principles of religion, and in joining with them in religious addreffes which relate to every member of the family. The reflection, parents, on the regular performance of this duty, will chear your minds in the time of fickness, and at the approach of death, when all fublunary enjoyments are unfatif factory.
The Subject continued.
Jos. xxiv. 15.
As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
'AVING, in the former difcourfe, fhewn the powerful inducements to familyworship, I fhall now proceed to the fecond head, To examine the apologies for the neglect of this duty.
Some fecretly imagine, though probably they will not have the confidence to avow it, that thefe religious exercifes are unfuitable to their rank and dignity. But why should you act upon an idea fo abfurd and unworthy, which you are afhamed even to exprefs? Can any rank exempt men from their duty to the Supreme Being? Hath not he appointed our different stations? is not the highest monarch dependent upon him? is not he the King of kings, and Lord of lords? It can be no degradation, therefore, of the nobleft prince who fways a fceptre, to be his own chaplain, to lead the devotions of his family, and to of fer up his tribute of humble homage to him who "bringeth princes to nothing, and counteth the judges of the earth as vanity” C 2 External
External diftinctions fhould, in a great meafure, evanish, when creatures fift themselves before their great Creator and Lord. The confcioufnefs of any favourable circumstances. in their lot, fhould lead them to a more grateful acknowledgement of him "who maketh "them to differ." Should our Gracious Sovereign invite or admit any family in this affembly to his prefence-chamber, and to a full audience, would any difdain the privilege, or think it below their acceptance? And can you then imagine, that any dignity, or affluence of fortune, can intitle you to defpife or decline approaching, in a family-capacity, to Him by whom kings reign, and princes decree juftice? Proud, unreasonable man, be afhamed of thy folly!
Again: There are fome female heads of families, who plead their fex as an apology for not maintaining the worship of God in their houfes. Now, though it be more proper in moft cafes, that a man fhould be the mouth of a family to God; yet when there is no man in the family, or when he, from age or other circumftances, is unfit for or difinclined to the duty, it appears perfectly confiftent with female modefty, and propriety, for a mother to join with her children and domeftics in recommending them to the divine favour and protection, and in bleffing the Almighty for his innumerable benefits bestowed on them from day to day. Should delicacy restrain women in the prefence of their male fervants,