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oufnels was made over to him, and fo accounted his. This, this is gofpel; this is the only way of finding acceptance with GOD: good works have nothing to do with our justification in his fight. We are juftified by faith alone, as faith the article of our church; agreeable to which the apostle Paul fays, "By grace ye are faved, through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God." Notwithstanding, good works have their proper place: they justify our faith, though not our perfons; they follow it, and evidence our juftification in the fight of men. Hence it is that the apostle James alks, was not Abraham justified by works? (alluding no doubt to the story on which we have been difcourfing) that is, did he not prove he was in a justified ftate, because his faith was productive of good works? This declarative justification in the fight of men, is what is directly to be underftood in the words of the text; “Now know I, fays Gop, that thou fearest me, fince thou haft not withheld thy Son, thine only Son from me." Not but that God knew it before; but this is spoken in condefcenfion to our weak capacities, and plainly shews, that his offering up his son was accepted with GOD, as an evidence of the fincerity of his faith, and for this, was left on record to future ages. Hence then you may learn, whether you are blessed with, and are fons and daughters of, faithful Abraham. You fay you believe; you talk of free grace and free justification: you do well; the devils alfo believe and tremble. But has the faith, which you pretend to, influenced your hearts, renewed your fouls, and, like Abraham's, worked by love? Are your affections, like his, fet on things above? Are you heavenly-minded, and like him, do you confefs yourselves frangers and pilgrims on the earth? In fhort, has your faith enabled you to overcome the world, and ftrengthned you to give up your Ifaacs, your laughter, your moft beloved lufts, friends, pleafures, and profits for GOD? If so, take the comfort of it; for justly may you fay, “We know ailuredly, that we do fear and love “GOD, or rather are loved of him." But if you are only ta'king believers, have only a faith of the head, and never felt the power of it in your hearts, however you may bolster yourselves up, and fay, “We have Airabam for our father, "or CHRIST is our Saviour" unless you get a faith of the


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heart, love, you half never fit with
Abraham, Taac in to
Ifaac, Jacob, or JESUS CHRIST, in the kingdom
of heaven. Tuo daw ob on guiñion oven show boog voo
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But I muft draw one more inference, and with that I fhall
concludes ads doid of sides

TO 10 91

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97 ? eval Learn, O faints! from what has been faid, to fit loofe, to all your world comfo and stand ready prepared to part with every thing, ing, when Gon fhall require it at your hand. Some of you perhaps may have friends, who are to you as your own fouls, and others may have children, in whofe lives your own lives are bound up: all I believe have their



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Iaars, their particular p
delights of fome kind or other. La-
me SEVE on syota 7,94, bib.
bour, for CHRIST's fake, labour, ye fons and daughters
of Abraham, to refign them daily in affection to GOD, that,
when he shall require you really to facrifice them, you may
not confer with flesh and blood, any more than the blessed
patriarch now before us. And as for you that have been in
any measure tried like unto him, let his example encourage and
comfort you.
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Remember, Abraham your father was tried




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fo before you think, O think of the happiness he now
joys, and how he is inceflantly thanking God for tempt-

ing and trying him when here below. Look up often by

the eye of faith, and fee him fitting with his dearly beloved Ifaac in the world of fpirits. Remember, it will be but a

little while, and you fhall fit with them alfo, and tell one


another what GOD has done for your fouls. There I hope
to fit with
with you, and hear this ftory of his offering up his
Son from his own mouth, and to praife the Lamb that fitteth
upon the throne, for what he hath done for all our fouls,
for ever and ever.



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Red225 The great Duty of Family-Religion,

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JOSHUA Xxiv. 15.


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562 As for me and my Houfe, we will ferve the LORD



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HESE words contain the holy refolution of pious

who having in a moft) moving, affectionate

difcourfe recounted to the Ifraelites what great things GOD had done for them in the verfe immediately preceding the <text, comes to draw a proper inference from what he had been delivering; and acquaints them, in the most prefing terms, that fince Gon had been fo exceeding gracious, unto them, they could do no lefs, than out of gratitude for fuch -uncommon favours and mercies, dedicate both themselves `and families to his fervice. "Now therefore, fear the LORD, and ferve him in fincerity and truth, and put away the Gods which your fathers ferved on the other fide of the flood." And by the fame engaging motive does the prophet Samuel afterwards enforce their obedience to the commandments of GOD, I Sam. xii. 24. "Only fear the LORD, and ferve him in truth, with all your heart; for confider how great things he hath done for you." But then, that they might not excufe themfelves (as too many might be apt to do) by his giving them a bad example, or think he was laying heavy burdens upon them, whilft he himself touched them not with one of his fingers, he tells them in the text, that whatever regard they might pay to the doctrine he had been preaching, yet he (as all minifters ought to do) was refolved to live up to and practise it himself: « Chufe you therefore, whom you will ferve, whether the Gods which your fathers ferved, or the Gods of the Amorites, in whofe land ye dwell; but as for me and my houfe, we will ferve the LORD."

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A refolution this, worthy of Joshua, and no lefs becoming, no less neceffary for every true fon of Joshua, that is intrusted with the care and government of a family in our day: and, if it was ever seasonable for minifters to preach up, or people to put in practice family-religion, it was never more fo than in the prefent age; fince it is greatly to be feared, that out of those many houfholds that call themselves christians, there are but few that ferve God in their refpective families as they ought.

It is true indeed, vifit our churches, and you may perhaps fee fomething of the form of godliness still fubfifting amongst us; but even that is fcarcely to be met with in private houfes.o. So that were the bleffed angels to come, as in the patriarchal age, and obferve our spiritual oeconomy at home, would they not be tempted to fay as Abraham to Abimilech, "Surely, the fear of God is not in this place?" Gen. xx. 11.






How fuch a general neglect of family religion first began to overfpread the chriftian world, is difficult to determine. As for the primitive chriftians,Iam spofitive, it was not fo with them No, they had not fo learned CHRIST, as falfely to imagine religion was to be confined folely to their affemBlies for public worship; but, on the contrary, behaved with fuch piety and exemplary holiness in their private families, that St. Paul often styles their house a church : Salute fuch a one, Tays he, and the church which is in his house." And, I believe, we must for ever despair of seeing das primitive spirit of piety revived in the world, till we are fo happy as to fee a revival of primitive family religion; and perfons unanimoufly refolving with good old Joshua, in the words of the text, As for me and my houfe, we will ferve the LORD." From which words, I fhall beg leave to infift on these three things.


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I. First, That it is the duty of every governor of a family to take care, that not only he himself, but also that thofe committed to his charge, "ferve the LORD.”

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II. Secondly, I fhall endeavour to fhew after what manner a governor and his houfhold ought to ferve the LORD.



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III. Thirdly, I fhall offer fome motives, in order to excite 16all governors, with their refpective houfholds, to 'ferve the LORD in the manner that fhall be recommended. po, nwo za sve of mine NAN 9.5 And Fift, I am to fhew that it is the duty of every gover in nor of a family to take care, that not only he himself, but 29. also that those committed to his charge, fhould ferve the ok at 209 y 28, 10



'm^e^g "spring of And this will appear, if we confider that every governor of a family ought to look upon himfelf as obliged to act in three capacities as a prophet, to inftruct; as a priest, to pray for and with; as a king, to govern, direct, and provide for them. It is true indeed, the latter of thefe, their Kingly office, they are not fo frequently deficient in, (ñay in this they are generally too folicitous ;) but as for the two former, their priestly and prophetic office, like Gallio, they care for no fuch things. But however indifferent fome governors may be about it, they may be affured, that God will requireè à due difcharge of theft offices as their hands. For if, as the apofile argues, He that does not provide for his own houfe," in temporal things, has denied the faith, and is worfe than an infidel, to what greater degree of apoftafy must he have arrived, who takes no thought to provide for the fpiritual welfare of his family!



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But farther, perfons are generally very liberal of their invectives against the clergy, and think they juftly blame the conduct of that minifter who does not take heed to and watch over the flock, of which the Holy Ghoft has made him overfeer: but may not every governor of a family, be in a lower degree liable to the fame cenfure, who takes no thought for thofe fouls that are committed to his charge? For every houfe is as it were a little parifh, every governor (as was be-fore obferved) a prieft, every family a flock and if any of them perifh through the governor's neglect, their blood will GOD require at their hands.



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Was a minifter to difregard teaching his people publicly, and from houfe to houfe, and to excufe himself by faying, that he had enough to do to work out his own falvation with fear and trembling, without concerning himself with that of others; would you not be apt to think fuch a minifter, to


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