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1. Explain to them, as clearly as you are able, the origin of sin and evil. Acquaint them that God made Adam and Eve, our first parents, upright, and free from every wrong disposition ; and that, had they continued to walk righteously before him, he would have recompensed their piety with a life of eternal happiness, to which, at a proper season, they would have been exalted : but that, forgetful of God, they listened to the temptations of the Devil, who assumed the form of a serpent, and plucked and tasted the fruit of the forbidden tree; and thus, by disobeying a positive command of God, they were exposed to his curse, and became the servants of Satan, under whose dominion they were brought. Inform them, that in this way they lost the image of God, in which they were created ; and became sinful, the slaves of every vice and unholy temper.

Tell them, that, in consequence of Adam's transgression, he was driven out of Eden, and forfeited the bliss of heaven, and became the subject of misery, want, and disease; that the ground was cursed for his sake; and that he and his posterity were doomed to labour and toil, yea, “to eat their bread in the sweat of their faces, until they return to the dust from whence they were taken a. Tell them, that this was the origin of sin and death, and those complicated evils and sorrows under which the whole human race groan. “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin ; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned .”

Then speak to them about the heinous nature of sin, which has been productive of so many bitter effects. Tell them never to think lightly of iniquity, a Gen, iii. 1-20.

» Rom. v. 12.

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which brought a flood of waters on the whole world in the days of Noah, when all, except eight persons, perished for their wickedness.

Inform them, on the authority of Scripture, that unrepenting sinners are not only objects of. God's anger in this life, but that in the next “ they will go away into everlasting fire, prepared for the Devil and his angels."

2. Make your children fully sensible of the depravity of their nature. Tell them, that Adam is the common stock from whom they and all mankind are sprung; and that he, by communicating a corrupt nature to his sons, has propagated that depravity which is visible in all his descendants to this day. Assure them, that in this manner they themselves became defiled from the womb, were born in sina, "and are by nature the children of wrath, even as all others e." Shew then the proof of this spiritual disease in themselves, by 'that alienation of heart from God, and enmity against His law, which they, and every unrenewed person, feel; and by those wicked thoughts, passions, and desires, which often spring up in their bosoms, and lead them to acts of rebellion against God and his righteous government'. Tell them, it could not be thus with them and with others, unless “ the imagination of man's heart was evil from his youth

You will, then, take this opportunity of exposing the folly, weakness, and guilt, of transgression in general, and of the vices to which they are addicted in particular. Decidedly, though tenderly, rebuke all sin and impiety in them, whether it be fretfulness, discontent, passion, pride, envy, malice, • Gen. vii. 1-24.

à Psalm li. 5. . Eph. ii. 1-4. Gen. viii. 21. Il Rom. viii. 7, 8.

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cruelty, revenge, lewdness, swearing, lying, stealing, slander, or profanation of sacred things.

3. Inculcate the absolute necessity of the new birth, which is essential to the salvation of sinners, and which consists in a conversion from the love and practice of iniquity to the pursuit of holiness; or, as the Catechism expresses it, in " a death unto sin, and a new birth unto righteousness;” for, “ being by nature born in sin, we are hereby made the children of grace.” Regeneration, then, is a total change of heart and life, turning men from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto the Living God, that they may henceforth walk agreeably to His will.

Tell them, that Christ declares this change to be expedient for all who are desirous of enjoying the blessings of his kingdom of grace below, or of glory above 53. Assure them, that “a clean beart, and a right spirit, is the peculiar work of God himself, who is ready to bestow the grace which alone can regenerate men, on every one who diligently seeks it Let them be directed to pray constantly to God for the renewal of their souls, that they may“ be delivered from the bondage of corruption, into the glorious liberty of the Children of God hh.”

4. Parents, impress on your offspring the duty of a religious life. Let them know that God charges all men to walk in the path of his commandments. As early as possible, therefore, point out to them the nature and the requirements of the Gospel, which enjoins us “to crucify the corrupt lusts and affections of the flesh, and to perfect holiness in the fear of the Lord ";" to take up the cross, to deny ourselves, and follow Christ in righteousness of life", 82 Cor. v. 17. 88 John iii. 3. b Ezek. xxxvi. 26, 27, 37. hh Rom. viii. 21. 12 Cor. vii. 1.. i Mark viii. 34.

by cultivating every holy disposition and grace;

such as, “ faith, hope, love, spirituality, devotion, purity, meekness, temperance, gentleness, and long-suffering.

Let them be reminded, that, by thus acting, they fulfil the conditions of their baptismal covenant, which binds them to renounce the Devil and all his works; the vain pomp and glory of the world, with all covetous desires of the saine, and the carnal desires of the flesh, so as not to follow nor be led by them; to confess the faith of Christ crucified; and manfully to fight, under his banner, against sin, the world, and the Devil; and to continue Christ's faithful soldiers and servants unto their lives' end."

Enforce a pious life by every motive adapted to work on their fears and excite their hopes. Tell them, the ungodly, who act contrary to the precepts of the Gospel, are an abomination to the Lord, who will visit their offences, if they die in impenitence, with the rod of his everlasting anger. On the other hand, declare that “the Lord loveth the righteous, and hath chosen them for a perpetual inheritance

Speak, moreover, of “the beauty of holiness;" as constituting the brightest ornament of the soul, and as shedding a real lustre around the character. Contrast it with the deformity and disgrace of a vicious conduct, which entails ruin on the transgressor.

Mention the tendency of religion to promote their own good, as well as the benefit of society. Tell them, that, by a devout life, they may be the means of stimulating others to follow their pious career, and thus to share with themselves the joys of the invisible world. But, in order to deter them from a careless or a

Gal. v. 22, 33. * Psalm iv, 3. Deut. xxxii.9.

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profligate life, frequently admonish them, that, by a wicked example in them, many will be emboldened to commitsins which may “ destroy both their bodies and souls in hell.”

Finally, as an incentive to obey and serve God, expatiate to your children on the happiness attendant on a pious life ; which brings with it the sweetest peace, consolation, and enjoyment, even here; and à crown of glory and endless rejoicing in the world to come!

5. To convince them of their native weakness, and to repress in them that spirit of self-righteous confidence so common to fallen inan, it will be needful to inform your children, that, after their best endeavours to lead a spiritual life, the gracious assistance of the Holy Ghost is absolutely requisite to enable them to live righteously as God commands". Teach them to pray unto him for renewed supplies of grace, that they may be strengthened to accomplish those things which God requires them to do; and they will be freely granted, in answer to the petitions of the sincere supplicant. Thus saith the Lord, to all who implore his aid “to make their calling and election sure:” “Ask, and it shall be given you ; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you".'

6. A conviction of their sinful condition, frailty, proneness to fall, and of the defects of their best services, will suggest to you the propriety of teaching them to cultivate the deepest humility before God. When they recollect how many times they have already departed from the obvious path of duty, they will see how little ground they have for being proud of their religious perforınances, which have 1 Tim iv.8. "Jer. 3, 23. John xvi. 13–16. Matt, vii. 7.

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