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TION TO CORRECTION. Imitate God in this part of paternal discipline also ; let chastisement and instruction go together: it is what the Holy Ghost urgeth upon you ; Bring them up in the NURTURE and ADMONITION of the Lord. There be two words relating to both these parental duties; in the nurture* or correftion; and it is added, of the Lord: that is, either in the chastisement, wherewith the Lord exerciseth bis children; or in the chastisement which the Lord commandeth earthly parents to exercise towards their children; this is the first duty, of which already. And then there is another word, which holdeth forththe end and design of parental correction; that is the admonition + or instruction of the Lord; in counsels and instructions taken out of the word of God, or such as are approved of by God. The sum is this, that while we chasten the flesh, we should labour to inform and form the inind and spirit, by infusing right principles, pressing and urging upon their tender hearts, counsel, reproof, and instruction, as the mat. ter requireth. This is the duty of parents, to imitate God, 10 let instruction expound correction; and with a rod in the hand, and a word in the mouth, to train up their children to life eternal. A dumb rod is but a brutish discipline, and will certainly leave them more brutish than it found them. Chastisement, without teaching, may sooner break the bones than the heart; it may mortify the flesh, but not corruption; extinguish
* Ε, παδεια.
* Εν νουθεσια.
nature, but never beget grace; but the rod and reproof give wisdom. Instruction added to correction, as it makes excellent christians, so it makes good children: there be parents that are severe and crusty enough to their children; they spare for no blows; instead of breaking them of their wills, by a wise and moderate correction, they are ready to break their bones, and their necks too sometimes, in their passions; but they never mind the other branch of paternal discipline, INSTRUCTION and ADMONITION; of such parents I suppose the apostle speaketh, We have had fathers of our flesh, who. corrected and chastened us after their own pleasure. He speaketh not of all parents; but his meaning is, there be such men and women in the world, who are most unlike to God, and in smiting their children rather please themselves, than profit cheir children; he for our profit, but they after their own pleasure, to give vent to their passion, and satify their vindictive rage and fury. And when is that? truly when the rod and reproof do not go together ; it is an argument there is more passion than judgment, more lust than love, in such chastisements. Such parents do rather betray their own folly, than take a course to make their children wise; the rod and reproof give wisdom; neither alone will do it: the rod without reproof will harden the heart, and teach the children sooner to hate the parent than to hate sin ; and reproof without the rod will oftentimes leave no impression. It is divine truth alone that must be the instru
ment of working saving grace in the heart; Sanctify them with thy truth, thy word is truth. It is the commendation of Timothy's mother, that from his very infancy, she instructed him in the scriptures, which were able to make him wise to salvation. When there is a divine sentence in the mouth of the rod, it brings wisdom and life with it.
And therefore, Othat parents would imitate the Father of Spirits in this blessed art of paternal discipline : join the word of instruction to the rod of correction ; teach as well as chastise: Reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine. () that every child might have cause to give their parents that commendation which once Augustine gave his mother, in reference to his baptisın : My mother, (saith he) “ travelled with my everlasting salvation, with more " tenderness and sorrow, than ever she did with my * first birth.” O that natural parents could bespeak the fruit of their loins, as St. Paul bespeaks his Galatians, My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you; that so they might rejoice in the sccond, more than ever they did in the first birth : why, this is done by the word and the rod. Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest, yea he shall give delight unto thy soul. What greater delight than to see your children walking in truth! and to think thus with yourselves, that, so many children God hath given you,' so many children you have brought up for God, and so many heirs for the kingdom of
heaven. Well, chastise and teach them out of the law of God, and thy children shall be blessed.
Which that they may, indeed take one short cauTION more: and that is,
ADD PRAYER TO INSTRUCTION. As teaching should accompany chastisement, so prayer should accompany teaching; God need use only the rod and the word; because the blessing is in his own hand, he can command a blessing; it is not so with us, as Paul may plant, and Apollos may water, but God must give the increase ; so the father may correct, the mother may instruct, both may do both, but God must give the blessing; and therefore christian parents, while they add instruction to correction, should add prayer to instruction; means are ours, success is God's; and therefore let us put the rod into the hand of instruction, instruction into the hand of prayer, and all into the hand of God. I knew a worthy gracious lady (sometimes living in the city) who would never use the rod; but, as with much pious instruction before; so after, would cause the child (if of capacity) or ever it stirred solemnly to kneel down, and beg a blessing of God upon it. Go you and do likewise; pray and teach your children to pray, that God would so bless correction and instruction, that both may make you and your children blessed. Amen.
Printed by W. Smith,