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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 1 Gregoras, lib. 5. c. 81. k2 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, ἐν ἀνθρώποισιν ὡς μέγ ̓ εἶ κακὸν,
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.
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 not°.
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.
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 salvation 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.
Esdras, ii. 3. 21, 22.
Eccl. vii. 29.
P Psaf li. 5.7. 10:
o Ver. 20.
⚫ Ver. 7.
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 mournR.
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 shali prevail against him as a king ready to battle. For he stretcheth out his hand against God, and strengtheneth himself against the Almighty".
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 pure".
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.
O ALMIGHTY God, great Father of men and angels, thou art the preserver of men, and the great lover of souls; thou
Job, xiv. 10, &c. y Job, xvi. 15. VOL. IX.
* Job, xv. 14.
u Ver. 24.
a Rom. vi. 22.
* Ver. 31.
b Ver. 12. 14.
didst make every thing perfect in its kind, and all that thou didst make, was very good: only we miserable creatures, sons of Adam, have suffered the falling angels to infect us with their leprosy of pride, and so we entered into their evil portion, having corrupted our way before thee, and are covered with thy rod, and dwell in a cloud of thy displeasure; behold me, the meanest of thy servants, humbled before thee, sensible of my sad condition, weak and miserable, sinful and ignorant, full of need, wanting thee in all things, and neither able to escape death without a Saviour, nor to live a life of holiness without thy Spirit. O be pleased to give me a portion in the new birth: break off the bands and fetters of my sin, cure my evil inclinations, correct my indispositions, and natural averseness from the severities of religion; let me live by the measures of thy law, not by the evil example and disguises of the world; renew a right spirit within me, and cast me not away from thy presence, lest I should retire to the works of darkness, and enter into those horrible regions, where the light of thy countenance never shineth.
I am ashamed, O Lord, I am ashamed, that I have dishonoured so excellent a creation. Thou didst make us upright, and create us in innocence. And when thou didst see us unable to stand in thy sight, and that we could never endure to be judged by the covenant of works, thou didst renew thy mercies to us in the new covenant of Jesus Christ; and now we have no excuse, nothing to plead for ourselves, much less against thee; but thou art holy and pure, and just and merciful. Make me to be like thee, holy as thou art holy, merciful as our heavenly Father is merciful, obedient as our holy Saviour Jesus, meek and charitable, temperate and chaste, humble and patient, according to that holy example, that my sins may be pardoned by his death, and my spirit renewed by his Spirit, that passing from sin to grace, from ignorance to, the knowledge and love of God, and of his Son Jesus Christ, I may pass from death to life, from sorrow to joy, from earth to heaven, from the present state of misery and imperfection, to the glorious inheritance prepared for the saints and sons. of light, the children of the new birth, the brethren of our Lord and Brother, our Judge and our Advocate, our blessed Saviour and Redeemer, Jesus, Amen.
A Prayer to be said by a Matron in Behalf of her Husband and Family, that a Blessing may descend upon their Posterity.
O ETERNAL God, our most merciful Lord, and gracious Father, thou art my guide, the light of mine eyes, the joy of my heart, the author of my hope, and the object of my love and worshippings; thou relievest all my needs, and determinest all my doubts, and art an eternal fountain of blessing, open and running over to all thirsty and weary souls that come and cry to thee for mercy and refreshment. Have mercy upon thy servant, and relieve my fears and sorrows, and the great necessities of my family; for thou alone, O Lord, canst do it.
Fit and adorn every one of us with a holy and a religious spirit, and give a double portion to thy servant my dear husband give him a wise heart, a prudent, severe, and indulgent care, over the children which thou hast given us. His heart is in thy hand, and the events of all things are in thy disposition. Make it a great part of his care, to promote the spiritual and eternal interest of his children, and not to neglect their temporal relations and necessities; but to provide states of life for them in which with fair advantages they may live cheerfully, serve thee diligently, promote the interest of the Christian family, in all their capacities, that they may be always blessed, and always innocent, devout and pious, and may be graciously accepted by thee to pardon, and grace, and glory, through Jesus Christ. Amen.
Bless, O Lord, my sons with excellent understandings, love of holy and noble things, sweet dispositions, innocent deportment, diligent souls, chaste, healthful, and temperate bodies, holy and religious spirits, that they may live to thy glory, and be useful in their capacities to the servants of God, and all their neighbours, and the relatives of their conversation. Bless my daughters with an humble and a modest carriage, and excellent meekness, a great love of holy things, a severe chastity, a constant, holy, and passionate religion. O my God, never suffer them to fall into folly, and the sad ef