Imatges de pÓgina
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to it; but those children that are hopeful and well inclined to the things of God, and appear to be concerned in other duties of religion, when they begin to put away childish things, should be incited, and encouraged, and persuaded to this, that the matter may be brought to an issue. “Nay, but we will serve the Lord;" fast bind, fast find. Abundant thanksgivings have been rendered to God by many of his friends for his advice and assistance herein.

In dealing with his children about their spiritual state, he took hold of them very much by the handle of their infant baptism, and frequently inculcated that upon them, that they were born in God's house, and were betimes dedicated and given up to him, and therefore were obliged to be his servants, Psal. cxvi. 16, I am thy servant, because the the son of thy handmaid. This he was wont to illustrate to them by the comparison of taking a lease of a fair estate for a child in the cradle, and putting his life into it; the child then knows nothing of the matter, nor is he capable of consenting; however, then he is maintained out of it, and hath an interest in it; and when he grows up and becomes

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able to choose, and refuse for himself, if he go to his landlord, and claim the benefit of the lease, and promise to pay the rent, and do the services, well and good, he hath the benefit of it, if otherwise, it is at his peril. “Now, children, (would he say) our great Landlord was willing that your lives should be put into the lease of heaven and happiness, and it was done accordingly, by your baptism, which is the seal of the righteousness that is by faith; and by that it was assured to you, that if you would pay the rent and do the service, that is, live a life of faith and repentance, and sincere obedience, you shall never be turned off the tenement; but if now you dislike the terms, and refuse to pay this rent, you forfeit the lease; however, you cannot but say, that you had a kindness done you, to have your lives put into it.”. Thus did he frequently deal with his children, and even travel in birth again to see Christ formed in them, and from this topic he generally argued, and he would often say, if infant baptism were more improved, it would be less disputed.

He not only taught his children betimes to pray, (which he did especially by his own

pattern, his method and expressions in prayer being very easy and plain) but when they were young he put them upon it, to pray together, and appointed them on Saturdays in the afternoon to spend some time together; none but they and such of their age as might occasionally be with them, in reading good books, especially those for children, and in singing and praying; and would sometimes tell them for their encouragement, that the God with whom we have to do, understands broken language. And if we do as well as we can in the sincerity of our hearts, we shall not only be accepted, but taught to do better: “to him that hath shall be given."

He sometimes set his children, in their own reading of the Scriptures, to gather out such passages as they took most notice of, and thought most considerable, and write them down: though this performance was very small, yet the endeavour was of good use. He also directed them to insert in a paper book, which each of them had for the purpose, remarkable sayings, and stories, which they met with in reading such other good books as he put into their hands.

He took a pleasure in relating to them the remarkable providences of God, both in his own time, and in the days of old, which he said, parents were taught to do by that appointment, Exod. xii. 26, 27. Your children shall ask you in time to come, What mean you by this service? and you shall tell them so and so.'

What his pious care was concerning his children, and with what a godly jealousy he was jealous over them, take in one instance: when they had been for a week, or a fortnight, kindly entertained at B. (as they were often,) he thus writes in his diary upon their return home: “My care and fear is, lest converse with such so far above them, though of the best, should have influence upon them to lift them up, when I had rather they should be kept low.” For as he did not himself, so he was very solicitous to teach his children, not to mind high things; not to desire them, not to expect them in this world.

We shall conclude this chapter with another passage out of his diary, April 12, 1681. “ This day fourteen years the Lord took my first-born son from me, the beginning of my strength, with a stroke. In the remembrance whereof my heart melted this evening: I begged pardon for the Jonah that raised the storm; I blessed the Lord that hath spared the rest, I begged mercy, mercy for every one of them, and absolutely and unreservedly devoted and dedicated them, myself, my whole self, estate, interest, and life, to the will and service of that God from whom I received all. Father, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come,” &c.

CHAPTER V.

His Ejectment from Worthenbury-his Non-conformity

his removal to Broad Oak, and other occurrences up to 1672.

We are now arrived at a period in Mr. Henry's life, in which his troubles may be said to have begun. No sooner had the restoration of the king taken place, than a violent spirit of opposition to such men as Mr. Henry, was manifest throughout the nation. The rectory of Bangor, which had been held many years by Mr. Fogg, now reverted to Doctor Henry Bridgman, in consequence of

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