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CHAPTER I

comparison with which, that importance some attach, or affect to attach, to the mere appendages of worldly greatness, dwindles into insignificance, and is scarce worthy of notice.

In attempting, therefore, to give the biography, of a good man, it is a matter of very small moment to be able to trace his pedigree to what some esteem a great or illustrious ancestry. Every pious and judicious reader will regard the account as of little importance in itself considered, or as imparting little additional interest to the narrative.

Yet, it must be acknowledged that, in innumerable instances, an honourable family connexion, though contributing nothing essentially to individual worth, is a worldly blessing, wliich, among other good things, the faith and holiness of some ancestor, near or remote, have secured to his offspring. And this being the fact, every probable instance of the kind ought to be exhibited, as a proof of the faithfulness of God in fulfilling, long after their decease, promises which he had made to his children, to encourage the godly and to induce others to choose Him for their portion that keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love Him, and keep His commandments to a thousand generations. Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord, that delighteth greatly in His commandments: his seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed. Wealth and riches

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CHAPTER I

shall be in his house; and his righteousness endureth forever [Ps. cxii, 2, 3.]."

Few families, perhaps, of much reputation in society, cannot number among their several progenitors some, who, in their day, were eminent for piety: and there can be no question, but that for present influence and prosperity in the world, the children are indebted to the interest their fathers had in the divine promise, rather than, in the absence of personal religion, to any peculiar skill and enterprise of their own.

Parents, in a sense, live in their children: When God beholds the children of such as were pious, he remembers the parents and his covenant with them. I will be a God unto thee and to thy seed after thee; and the children are beloved and blessed for their father's sakes that is, in honour and affluence, are made considerable among their fellow men, and often, in the dispensations of divine mercy, enriched with the more precious blessings that pertain to salvation.

On the other hand, the seed of evil doers, as it is declared, shall never be renowned [Isa. xiv. 20.], or rather as some read it, shall not be renowned forever that






        
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