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and despise the world; relieve the usual necessities of thy life, but be not sensual in thy appetite, accustom thyself to religion and spiritual things, and then much of that evil nature thou complainest of, will pass into virtuous habits. It was the saying of Xenocrates in Aristotle f, Ευδαίμονα είναι τον την ψυχήν έχοντα σπουδαίαν ταύτην γαρ εκάστω είναι δαίμονα : "Happy is he that hath a diligent studious soul: for that is every man's good angel, and the principle of his felicity."
92. VIII. Educate thy children and charges strictly and severely. Let them not be suffered to swear before they can pray, nor taught little revenges in the cradle, nor pride at school, nor fightings in company, nor drinkings in all their entertainments, nor lusts in private. Let them be drawn from evil company, and do thou give them holy example, and provide for them severe and wise tutors ; and what Alexander of Áles said of Buonaventure, Adam non peccavit in Buonaventura,' will be as truly said of young men and maidens. Impiety will not peep out so soon. It was wisely observed by Quintilians, who was an excellent tutor for young gentleman, that ourselves with ill breeding our children are the authors of their evil nature. “ Antè palatum eorum, quàm os, instituimus. Gaudemus, si quid licentiùs dixerint. Verba, ne Alexandrinis quidem permittenda deliciis, risu et osculo excipimus.” • We teach their palate before we instruct the tongue. And when the tongue begins first to prattie, they can efform wantonness before words ; and we kiss them for speaking filthy things :'• Fit ex his consuetudo, deinde 'nara. Discunt hæc miseri antequam sciant vitia esse.' The poor wretches sin before they know what it is; and by these actions a custom is made up, and this custom becomes a nature.'
Rules and Measures of Deportment when a Curse doth descend upon Children for their Parents' Fault, or when it is feared.
93. I. If we fear a curse upon ourselves or family for our fathers' sin, let us do all actions of piety or religion, justice or ! Arist. 2. Topic. c. 3.
& Lib. 1. c. 2. 7. Spalding.
charity, which are contrary to that crime which is suspected to be the enemy; in all things being careful that we do not inherit the sin. “Si quis paterni vitii nascitur hæres; nascitur et poenæ :” “ The heir of the crime must possess the revenue of punishment.”
94. II. Let the children be careful not to commend, not to justify, not to glory in, their fathers' sin, but be diligent to represent themselves the more pious, by how much their fathers were impious; for by such a contrariety and visible distance, they will avoid their fathers' shame. Ειώθασι οι πλείστοι των ανθρώπων, ουχ ούτως επαινείν και τιμάν τους εκ των πατέρων των ευδοκιμούντων γεγονότας, ως τους εκ των δυσκόλων και χαλεπών, ήνπερ φαίνονται μηδέν όμοιοι τοίς γονεύσιν όντες. “For most men love not to honour and praise the sons of good men so much as the sons of wicked men, when they study to represent themselves better, and unlike their wicked parents h." Therefore,
95. III. Let no child of a wicked father be dejected and confounded in his spirit, because his fathers were impious. For although it is piety to be troubled for their fathers' regard, and because he died an enemy to God; yet in reference to themselves they must know, that God puts on every head his own punishment. Πατρός ονείδη και τιμωρίας, παιδων ουδενί Evvéneo-Jal, said Plato. For every one is submitted to his own' fortune by his own act. The father's crime and the father's punishment make no real permanent blot upon the son. “No man is forced to succeed in his father's crime;" said Callistratus the lawyer.
96. IV. Every evil that happens to a son for his father's fault, hath an errand of its own to him. For as God is a just judge to his father; so he is an essential enemy to sin, and a gracious Lord to the suffering “person. When God sent blindness upon the man in the Gospel, neither for his parents' sins, nor his own, yet he did it for his own glory. Let the afflicted person study by all ways to advance God's glory in the sufferance, and the sharpness of the evil will be taken off.
97. V. Let not a son retain the price of his father's sin, the purchase of his iniquity. If his father entered into the fields of the fatherless, let not the son dwell there. If his
Isocrat, ep. ad Tim. Lange. p. 746.
ancestors were sacrilegious, let not the son declaim against the crime and keep the lands, but cast off that which brings the burden along with it. And this is to be observed in all those sins, the evil consequent and effect of which remain upon the posterity or successors of the injured person ; for in those sins very often the curse descends with the wrong. So long as the effect remains, and the injury is complained of, and the title is still kept on foot, so long the son is tied to restitution. But even after the possession is settled, yet the curse and evil may descend longer than the sin; as the smart and the aching remain after the blow is past. And therefore, even after the successors come to be lawful possessors, it may yet be very fit for them to quit the purchase of their fathers' sin, or else they must resolve to pay the sad and severe rent-charge of a curse.
98. VI. In such cases in which there cannot be a real, let there be a verbal and public disavowing their fathers' sin, which was public, scandalous, and notorious. We find this thing done by Andronicus Palæologus, the Greek emperor', who was the son of a bad father; and it is to be done, when the effect was transient, or irremediable.
99. VII. Sometimes no piety of the children shall quite take off the anger of God from a family or nation : as it happened to Josiah, who above all the princes that were before or after him, turned to the Lord. “ Notwithstanding, the Lord turned not from the fierceness of his great wrath wherewith his anger was kindled against Judah, because of all the provocations that Manasseh had provoked him withalk.” In such a case as this we are to submit to God's will, and let him exercise his power, his dominion, and his kingdom, as he pleases, and expect the returns of our piety in the day of recompenses: and it may be, our posterity shall reap a blessing for our sakes, who feel a sorrow and an evil for our fathers' sake.
100. VIII. Let all that have children, endeavour to be the beginners and the stock of a new blessing to their family; by blessing their children, by praying much for them, by holy education and a severe piety, by rare example, and an excellent religion. And if there be in the family a great curse, and an extraordinary anger gone out against it, there Gregoras, lib. 5. c. 81.
* 2 Kings, xxiii. 26.
must be something extraordinary done in the matter of religion, or of charity, that the remedy be no less than the evil.
101. IX. Let not the consideration of the universal sinfulness and corruption of mankind, add confidence to thy person, and hardness to thy conscience, and authority to thy sin; but let it awaken thy spirit, and stir up thy diligence, and endear all the watchfulness in the world for the service of God; for there is in it some difficulty, and an infinite necessity.
"Ω φύσις, εν ανθρώποισιν ως μέγ' εί κακών,
Σωτήριόν τε τους καλώς κεκτημένους, , said Electra in the tragedy! Our nature is very bad in itself; but very good to them that use it well.
Prayers and Meditations. The first Adam bearing a wicked heart transgressed and was overcome: and so be all they that are born of him. Thus infirmity was made permanent: and the law also in the heart of the people with the malignity and root, so that the good departed away, and the evil abode still m.
Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright: but they have sought many inventions",
For there is not a just man upon the earth that doth good and sinneth noto.
Behold, I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean ; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow: create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me P.
The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doth good. The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand and seek after God. They are all gone aside, they are all become filthy: there is not one that doth good, no, not one? O that the salyation of Israel were come out of Sion! When the Lord bringeth back the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad'.
| Eurip. Orest. 126. Priestley's edition, vol. 1. p. 215. u Esdras, ii. 3. 21, 22.
n Eccl. vii. 29. p Psal, li. 5.7. 10.
4 Psal. xiv. 1-3. Ver, 7.
o Ver. 20.
Man dieth and wasteth away, yea, man giveth up the ghost, and where is he? For now thou numberest my steps: dost thou not watch over my sin ? My transgression is sealed up in a bag, and thou sewest up my iniquity. Thou destroyest the hope of man: thou prevailest against him for ever, and he passeth: thou changest his countenance, and sendest him away. But his flesh upon him shall have pain, and his soul within him shall mourn'.
What is man that he should be clean, and he that'is born of a woman that he should be righteous ? Behold, he putteth no trust in his saints, yea, the heavens are not clean in his sight. How much more abominable and filthy is man, which drinketh iniquity like water!
Trouble and anguish shall make him afraid. They shall prevail against him as a king ready to battle. For he stretcheth out his hand against God, and strengtheneth himself against the Almighty 4.
Let not him that is deceived, trust in vanity, for vanity shall be his recompense. Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean thing? no, not one'.
I have sewed sackcloth upon my skin, and defiled my horn in the dust. My face is foul with weeping, and on my eyelids is the shadow of death. Not for any injustice in my hand: also my prayer
is Wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death ? I thank God I am delivered through Jesus Christ our Lord ?.
But now being made free from sin, and become servants of God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life : for the wages of sin is death : but the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord”.
Let not sin reign in your mortal bodies, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace b.
The Prayer. O ALMIGHTY God, great Father of men and angels, thou art the preserver of men, and the great lover of souls; thou Job, xir. 10, &c. * Job, xv. 14.
u Ver. 24. * Ver. 31. y Job, xvi. 15. 2 Rom. vii. 24. a Rom, vi. 92. b Ver. 12. 14, VOL. IX.