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tioned advantages and obligations) are also societies sanctified to God, then is it God's will that families, as such, should solemnly worship him; but Christian families are societies sanctified to God: Therefore, &c.
The reason of the consequence is, because things sanctified must in the most eminent sort, that they are capable, be used for God. To sanctify a person or thing, is to set it apart, and separate it from a common or unclean use, and to devote it to God, to be employed in his service. To alienate this from God, or not to use it for God, when it is dedicated to him, or sanctified by his own election and separation of it from common use, is sacrilege. God hath a double right (of creation and redemption) to all persons. But a treble right to the sanctified. Ananias his fearful judgment was a sad example of God's wrath, on those that withhold from him what was devoted to him. If Christian families as such, be sanctified to God, they must as such worship him in their best capacity.
That Christian families are sanctified to God, I prove thus; 1. A society of holy persons must needs be a holy society. But a family of Christians is a society of holy persons; therefore, 2. We find in Scripture not only single persons, but the societies of such sanctified to God. "Thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God, he hath chosen thee to be a special people to himself above all people that are upon the face of the earth'." So the body of that commonwealth did all jointly enter into covenant with God, and God to them. "Thou hast vouched the Lord this day to be thy God, and to walk in his ways; and the Lord hath vouched thee this day to be his peculiar people, that thou mayst be an holy people to the Lord." Joshua (chap. xxiv.) devoteth himself and his house to the Lord; "I and my house will serve the Lord." And Abraham by circumcision (the covenant, or seal of the covenant of God) consecrated his whole household to God; and so were all families after him to do (as to the males in whom the whole was consecrated). And whether besides the typifying intent, there were not something more in the sanctifying of all the
'Deut. vii. 6. So
Deut. xiv. 20, 21.
xxviii. 9. Dan. viii. 24. xii. 7.
first-born to God, who if they lived, were to be the heads of families, may be questioned.
The passover was a family duty, by which they were yet further sanctified to God. Yea, it is especially to be observed how in the New Testament the Holy Ghost doth imitate the language of the Old, and speak of God's people, as of holy societies, as the Jews were. As in many prophecies it was foretold that nations and kingdoms should serve him (of which I have spoken more in my Book of Baptism); and among those who should "mourn over him whom they have pierced" in gospel times, when the spirit of grace and supplication is poured forth, are" the family of the house of David apart, and their wives apart, the family of the house of Nathan apart, and their wives apart; every family, even all the families that remained apart, and their wives apart"." So Christ'sendeth his disciples to "baptize nations," having discipled them; and " the kingdoms of the world shall become the kingdoms of the Lord and his Christ." And as God saith of the Jews, "Ye shall be a peculiar treasure to me above all people; and ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation";" so doth Peter say of all Christians; "Ye also as living stones are built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people, that you should shew forth the praises of him that hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light." Mark how fully this text doth prove all that we are about. It speaks of Christians collectively, as in societies, and in societies of all the most eminent sorts; "a generation ;" which seems especially to refer to tribes and families: "a priesthood, nation, people;" which comprehendeth all the orders in the nation ofttimes. And in all these respects they are holy, and peculiar, and chosen, to shew, that God's people are sanctified in these relations and societies. And then mark the end of this sanctification, “to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God by Jesus Christ; to shew forth the praises of him that hath called your," &c.
n Zech. xi. 12-14.
o Exod. xix. 5, 6.
r Ver. 9.
P 1 Pet. ii. 5-7. 9.
Yea, it seems that there was a special dedication of families to God. And therefore we read so frequently of households converted and baptized; though none at age were baptized, but such as seemed believers; yet when they professed faith, they were all together initiated as a household. And it seems, the master's interest and duty were taken to be so great for the conversion of the rest, that as he was not to content himself with his own conversion, but to labour presently even before his baptism, that his household should join with him, that so the whole family at once might be devoted to God: so God did bless this his own order and ordinance to that end: and where he imposed duty on masters, he usually gave success, so that commonly the whole family was converted and baptized with the ruler of of the family. So Acts xviii. 8. "Crispus believed on the Lord with all his house, and they were baptized :" and Acts xvi. 32. Paul promiseth the gaoler, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved and thy house; and he and all his were baptized straightway: for he believed in God with all his house," ver. 33, 34. And Lydia is described a "worshipper of Gods:" "She was baptized and her household." And the angel told Cornelius, that Peter should tell him "words whereby he and all his household should be saved:" who were baptized accordingly. And 1 Cor. i. 16. Paul baptized the household of Stephanus. And Christ told Zaccheus, salvation was come that day unto his house, "and he and all his househould believed." So that nobleman, John iv. 53. Therefore when Christ sent forth his disciples, he saith, "If the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it, but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you." So that as it is apparently the duty of every Christian sovereign, to do what he is able to make all his people God's people; and so to dedicate them to God as a holy nation, in a national covenant, as the Israelites were : so is it the unquestionable duty of every Christian ruler of a family, to improve his interest, power, and parts to the uttermost, to bring all his family to be the people of Christ in the baptismal covenant, and so to dedicate all his family to Christ. Yet farther I prove this, in that believers themselves being all sanctified to God, it must needs follow, that
Acts xvi. 14, 15.
t Acts xi. 14.
all their lawful relations, and especially all commanded states of relation are also sanctified to God; for when themselves are dedicated to God, it is absolutely without reserve, to serve him with all that they have, and in every relation and capacity that he shall set them. It were a madness to think, that a Christian totally devoted unto God when he is a private man, if he were after made a soldier, a minister, a magistrate, a king, were not bound by his dedication, now to serve God as a soldier, a minister, a magistrate, a king. So he that is devoted to God in a single state, is bound to serve him as a husband, a father, a master, when he comes into that state; we do devote all that we have to God, whe we devote ourselves to him.
Moreover the Scripture tells us, that to "the pure all things are pure"." And "all things are sanctified to them by the word and prayer;" which is in that they are made the goods, and enjoyments, actions and relations of a sanctified people; who are themselves devoted or sanctified to God: so that all sanctification referreth ultimately and principally to God: 'Quod sanctum Deo sanctum est;' though it may be said subordinately to be sanctified to us. Seeing then it is past all doubt, that every Christian is a man sanctified and devoted to God, and that when every man is so devoted to God, he is devoted to serve him to the utmost capacity in every state, relation or condition that he is in, and with all the faculties he possesseth, it followeth, that those relations are sanctified to God, and in them he ought to worship him and honour him.
s Tit. i. 15, 16.
Yet further we find in Scripture, that the particular family relations are expressly sanctified; the family complete consisteth of three pairs of relations: husband and wife, parents and children, masters and servants. Husbands must love their wives with an holy love in the Lord, even as "the Lord loved the church, who gave himself for it, to sanctify and cleanse it by the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church"." "Wives must submit themselves to their husbands as unto the Lord; and be subject to them, as the church is to Christ." "Children must obey their parents in the Lord "." "Parents must bring up their children in the nurture and admonition of the u Eph. v. 25-27.
t 1 Tim. iv. 5. y Eph. vi. 1.
Lord"." "Servants must be obedient unto their masters as unto Christ, and as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from their hearts with good will, doing service as to the Lord, and not to man; knowing that what good thing any man doth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free; and masters must do the same to them, knowing that their master is in heaven." So that it is evident that every distinct family relation is dedicated or holy to God, and to be used to the utmost for God. I shall have occasion to make further use anon of these texts for the particular sorts of worship, though I now make use of them as for worship in general.
Arg. v. The several sorts of solemn worship in and by Christian families, are found, appointed, used, and commanded in the Scripture, therefore it may well be concluded of worship in the general: seeing the genus is in each species. But this argument brings me to the second part of my undertaking: viz. to prove the point as to some special kinds of worship; which I the more hasten to, because in so doing, I prove the general also.
II. Concerning God's worship in special, I shall speak to two or three of the chief parts of it, which belong to families.
And 1. of Teaching, under which I comprise,
1. Teaching the letter of the Scripture, (1.) By reading it. (2.) By teaching others to read it. (3.) Causing them to learn it by memory, which is a kind of catechising.
2. Teaching the sense of it.
3. Applying what is so taught by familiar reproofs, admonitions and exhortations.
Prop. 11. It is the will of God that the rulers of families should teach those that are under them the doctrine of salvation:' i. e. the doctrine of God concerning salvation, and the terms on which it is to be had, and the means to be used for attaining it, and all the duties requisite on our parts in order thereunto.
Before I come to the proof, take these cautions: 1. Where I say men must thus teach, I imply they must be able to teach, and not teach before they are able: and if they be not able it is their own sin, God having vouchsafed them Eph vi, 5-9.
* Eph. vi. 4.