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stile, Rom. viii. 24.25. We are saved by hope : But hope that is seen, is at hope : for
what a man feeth, why doth he' yet hope for? But if we hope for that we Jee not, then do we with patience wait for it. There is much got out of the promise, for the prefent, in hand; but still there is more in hope, to be got on the other side of death. The natural cry is, who will thew us any good ? It is hard to make children wait even for temporal good things; they would ay have all presently, whenever they take it in their head : but it is harder to get them to wait in the matter of a portion for their hearts. So they greedily embrace the prefent world. But we should labour to get them off that, and wait for happiness in another world.
II. The means to be ufed with them for that ende That is, to make God known to them. He is to ma. ny of the aged among men an unknown God, as to any saving aquaintance with him: but to young ones, he is an unknown God, so much as by report of hearsay, till the aged do tell them of him. The faving knowledge of himself God only can give : but there is a doctrinal making of him known to the rising generation : and that is our duty, Psal. xxii. ult. They shall come, and shall declare his rigbteousness unto à people ihat shall be born, that be hath done this.
Now, ye are to make him known to the rising generation, as a God in Chrift, John xiv. 9.: for as fach only he is the object of a guilty creature's trust for salvation, 2 Cor. v. 19. The blind world pretend to trust in God as an absolute God, not cying him as in Christ : but so be is a consuming fire, Heb. xii. alt. And he is not honoured, but
dishonoured by such a trust, John v. 23. In Chrift
1. As a God of majesty and glory, 2 Cor. iv. 6. There is no glass in which ye can represent to the rising generation the glory and majelty of God so lively as in Chrift. The creating a world of nothing, the deluge, destruction of Sodom, are but dim glasses, in comparison of the mystery of Christ. Here the glory of his infinite holiness, and infinite hatred of lin, his exact justice, his precise and unalterable truth, his unsearchable wisdom, most fully appear
2. As the God of grace, i Pet. 1. 10. The former view of God is apt to fill the soul with the honour, awe, and reverence of him, fit ballast for the vain heart: this view of God is apt to fill the foul with faith and love, whereby the heart may be disengaged from the vain world, and knit to him as the alone upmaking portion of the soul. In Christ ye can let them see majesty vailed with mercy, righteousness and peace kissing mutually, a crystal wall to go between them and the consuming fire.
III. The third thing is, to give the reafons why this is the true way of propagating religion, the standing to the rising generation."
1. Because all true religion begins with the knowledge of God in Christ. Hence our Lord says, John xvii. 3. This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Chrift whom thou haft sent. As long as ignorance of God continues in the soul, the prince of darkness rules there, the works of darkness go on there, and the party is on the way to everlasting darkness, Hof.iv. 6. Y.xxvii. 11. Therefore cruel are they that bring up
young ones, whether children or servants, in ignorance ; especially considering, that it is the learnning age, which season missed, the loss is seldom retrieved.
2. Because vain is that religion and knowledge that brings not the foul to betake itself to God's truth for a portion, and to renounce the world and its way, I Cor. viii. 1. Our aim in all our teaching hould be to affect the heart, to bring finners to God, to be his only, wholly, and for ever. To satisfy ourselves with filling their heads with notions of religion, while we are careless of getting their hearts to Christ, is forry service.
3. Because the right discerning of the glory of God in Christ, is the true way to bring a sinner to faith in him: Psal. ix. 10. They that know thy name will put their trust in thee. Johs iv. 10. Jefus an/wered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that faith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldst have afked of him, and he would have given thee living water. All who are brought acquainted with him, cannot chuse but take up their souls rest in him and whoever do not betake themselves to him, it is because they know him not. For his glorious cxcellency truly discerned, cannot miss to captivate the heart.
UsĘ. Make God known to the rising generation, so as they may be stirred up to give up with the vain and false world, and to betake themselves to the promise of the gospel
, therein to take God for their portion. I have given motives already, I will now give directions how to manage the work. 1. A general direction. Aim at that particular.
ly, and keep it always in your view, to teach them to know God in Christ. Never satisfy yourselves with letting them know, what God is in himself out of Chrift; for that may strike them with terror, but it will never bring them to him in faith and love. But labour to discover to them the glory of God in the face of Jesus. Shew them Chrift, and ye shew them the Father : for in him the fulness of the Godhead dwells. In his person, you may let them fee God's willingness to take mankind into union and communion with himself; in his offices, · how willing he is to teach them, justify them, and
fanctify them; in his holy birth, what a nature is pleasing to him ; in his righteous life, what a conversation he requires ; in his satisfactory death, how dreadful his wrath is against fin; and in a word, how they may be made holy and happy for ever. Therefore inculcate on them the knowledge of Christ. I urge this for three reasons.
ift, Do this, and ye do all to them. Hence says the Aportie, i Cur. ii. 2. I determined not to know any thing among you, fave Jefus Chrift, and bim crucified. When the darkness of the night fits down on ihe face of the earth, as many candles as are burning abroad, so many spots of the earth will be enlightened: but let the fun arise, and there will be light over all; for the one sun will do more than millions of lighted candles. So, whenever Christ the Sun of righteousness ariseth, that gross darkness which covers the mind, will suddenly be dispeiled. There is more of the glory of God to be seen in the face of Jesus, than throughout the whole compass of the heavens and the carth, which yet were made to declare the glory
of God. Life, eternal life, is in the knowledge of him, Joka xvii. 3.'
2dly, Neglect this, and ye do nothing to them to purpose. Hence says Chrift, John viii. 24.f ye believe not that I am he, ye Mall die in your fins. That light that is without him is but darkness, and the sparks of knowledge and religion that is with out illumination in the knowledge of Christ, will leave those that walk in the light of them, to lie down in forrow at length, John i. 9. - Not one truth is rightly learned, that is not Icarned as it centers in Jesus, Eph. iv. 20. 21.
3dly, Because the rising generation is in extreme hazard in this point at this time, beyond what they have been for many years. A religion is like to come in among them, that has no relation to Christ and his Spirit, which is in effect but refined Paganism. With some Christ is almoft drop! out of their practical divinity, and morality in doctrine is juftling out the gospel of the grace of God; and hence immorality in practice comes in like a flood. And principles are vented highly injurious to his glorious Godhead.
2. Particular directions are these.
ut, Acquaint them with God's word. Let your children be learned to read ; and your servants that cannot read, be so charitable as to teach them. And ye such servants secure that in your hiring of yourselves. And press them, and stir them up to read the scriprures ordinarily when they can do it. It is recorded of Timothy, to his hopour, that from a child he had known the holy fcriptures, which are able to make men wife unto Salvation, through faith which is in Christ Jesus,
2 Tim. iii. 15