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John xvi. 21. "A man is born into the world!"
A human being is brought into existence.-Of animals it may be said, A while ago they were not, and in a very short time they shall totally cease to exist: but not so this child. A while ago he was not; but once born into the world, his existence shall be as eternal as God himself.
A man, a fallen, sinful, accountable creature, is born into the world: if he lives he will soon become an actual transgressor of the divine law, and will fall under the curse denounced against them that continue not in all things written in the book of the law, to do them. And even now, because he has received a corrupt nature, he is a "vessel of wrath fitted for destruction"-" a child, "of wrath even as others." In both respects,
therefore, unless some remedy be devised and applied, "it had been good for him that he had "never been born."
But, blessed be God, he is born into that world of which the eternal son of God is become the Saviour; having assumed this very nature, but without sin and, "having made peace by the "blood of the cross," in this same nature he reigns Lord of all worlds, and is " able to save to the "uttermost all them that come to God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for "them." If then this man " born into the world" can be taught and led to trust in this Saviour, he will be "saved from wrath," and made " equal "with angels," and like unto the Redeemer, in the presence of God for ever and ever.
"This "man born into the world" (should the parent say,) is my son, by my means he has received an immortal existence: can any thing which I can do tend to render this immortality a blessing to him? May any thing which I do, or any thing which I neglect to do, conduce to render it an eternal curse? What solemn, what interesting inquiries! what various duties, what cautions, what motives do they suggest!
'In this present life this "man born into the "world" may either be a blessing or a curse to numbers. Many may have cause "to rejoice at " his birth," and to bless God for ever on that account; or his principles, his example, his influence, and exertions may be such as shall greatly increase the sum of human wretchedness and wickedness here, and of unmixed misery hereafter: so that multitudes may have reason for ever to
curse the day when he was born, or when they became acquainted with him. And, further still, these good or these bad effects may be felt by generations yet unborn.
'I the parent of this infant (whose future existence may be thus miserable or happy beyond conception, and the source of so much good or evil to others from generation to generation,) profess myself a Christian. I know not what the purposes of God may be respecting this child; but I know what he hath commanded, directed, and promised. Still he saith, " I will be a God to thee "and to thy seed." Let me then beware that I do nothing to cut off the entail of this blessing from my offspring. Still he saith, "Train up a child in "the way he should go, and when he is old he will "not depart from it." "I knew him, that he will "command his children and his household after' & him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, "to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken " of him." Let me then from the first, with fervent prayers, seek the blessings of the new covenant in Christ for this my child let me heartily and earnestly devote him to Father, Son, and Spirit, the one God of our salvation. When I receive him after baptism, let me hear my Lord as it were say, Take this child, and bring it up for me. Let me begin as soon as possible (praying for wisdom to the Giver of every good gift,) to instruct him; to restrain and suppress his self-will; to enure him to submission, while yet the will is pliable. Let me remember that maxima reverentia debetur puero.' Let me especially
set a strict guard upon my tongue and my temper, from the time when he begins to make any observation. Let me set religion before him, as embodied in a pious, cheerful, benevolent, and amiable deportment. Let me " seek first" for him (as well as for myself) " the kingdom of God and "his righteousness." Let me not indulge the desire of seeing him rich or great in this world; but only wish and pray that "he may be blessed and "a blessing" to others. Let me never forget that, in thus endeavouring to educate this child for heaven, I shall be performing the most essential service in my power to him, to all connected with him, yea and to future generations. Let nothing warp me from this course, nothing discourage my exertions, nothing cool my ardent wishes, nothing prevent my daily fervent prayers for the divine blessing on this arduous, yet delightful attempt, Then "in due season I shall reap, if I faint not."
THOUGHTS ON COL. III. 17.
Whatsoever ye do, in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus.
AT the first glance it must be obvious to every one, that this exhortation implies an unqualified condemnation of all those words and actions, which are not spoken and done "in the name of