to the Mafler q‘ a Family. 99

A Senfe of common Decency would engage you, if you pray with your Family, to avoid a great manyEwi/r, which would appear doubly Evil in a Father or a Maf- ter, who kept up fuch ReligiUus Exercifes in his Houfe; I will not now, Sir, (peak of yourfelf, for I would not Offend by fuppoling any Thing grofsly bad ofyou. But do you imagine, that if reading the Scripture and Fa- mily-Prayer were introduced into the Houfes of fome of your Neighbours, Drunltennefs and Lewdnefs, and Curling and Swearing, and profaning the Lords-Day, would not, like f0 many e=vi1 Dzmam, be quickly driven out? The Mailer of the Family would not for Shame in- dulge them, if he had nothing more than the Form of Duty kept up ; and lair Reformation, tho’ only external, and at firfi on a Kind of Conliraint, would carry with it the Reformation of many more, who have fuch a Dependance on his Favour as they would not facrifice, tho’ by a Madnefs very prevalent among the Children of Men they can venture to facrifice their Souls to every Trifle.

And may it not perhaps be your more immediate Concern, to recollect, that if you prayed with your Fa- mily, you would your/ey be more careful to a/Iflainfram all Appearance ofErvil * ? You would find out a Way to fupprefs that Turbulency of Paflion, which may now be ready to break out before you are aware, and other lmprudences, in which your own Heart would check you by faying, Does this become one, that is by and by to kneel down with his Domeliicks, his Chiidren

* and Servants, and adore Gob with them, and pray againil every Thing which difpleafes Goo, and makes-

us unfit for the Heavenly World E” I will not fay this will cure every Thing that is wrong ; but I believe you are already gserfuaded, it would often have a very good Influence. AndI fear, it is the fecret Defire of indulg- ing Tome Irregularities without fuch a Reflraint, that, infamous as fuch a Vi€tory is, hath driven out Family- Prayer from feveral Houfes where it was once maintain- ed, and hath excluded it from others. But if you have any fecret Difinclination of Heart riting againll it in this- View, it becomes you ferioufly to take the Alarm; for,

E 2 to

* 1 Ther. v. 22.