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Parental Anticipations and Duties

Parental Anticipations and Duties

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Luke i. 66.
What manner of child shall this be ?

Luke i. 66.
What manner of child shall this be ?

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jul 20, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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PARETAL ATICIPATIOS AD DUTIESBY HERY KOLLOCK, D. D,Luke i. 66.What manner of child shall this be ?These words were originally uttered on observingthe miracles connected with the birth of John theBaptist, the illustrious forerunner of our Redeemer.The high hopes of his future eminence that thesemiracles excited, were accomplished. He was in-deed "a burning and a shining light." His careerwas short, but important and glorious.It is not my intention, however, to confine myself to the history of the Baptist. Language similar tothat in the text is used on the birth of every infant.The parents anxiously desire to lift the veil whichcovers futurity, and would wish to have the propheticvision of Zechariah, that they might discern thefuture character of their child.This desire is natural, and even laudable, when itproceeds from proper motives and feelings, and in-cites to proper actions. But it frequently springsvol. in. 210 SERMO I.WiV.from a vain curiosity, or a wordly temper. Parentsask, " What manner of child shall this be ?'' not withsolicitude that it may adorn the doctrine of the Re-deemer, but only with an anxious wish that it maybeencompassed by all that the world idolizes.
If we would render the question beneficial to us,we must ask it,I. With a submissive temper.II. With a sense of the importance of the futurecharacter of the child.III. With a recollection of the awful charge it im-poses upon us, and,IV. With a persuasion of our dependence uponthe blessing of God, to render it holy and happy.This question should be asked,I. With a spirit of unfeigned submission to God: sub-mission exercised both as to the bounds he prescribesto our knowledge of the future, and as to his right-eous government and disposal of the child.1. Many are desirous to know more of the futurethan God has thought fit to reveal, and they are dis-posed to murmur that the events that shall befall theirchildren are hidden from them. But while with thenatural solicitude of parents you make the inquiry inthe text, repine not at the narrow limits of yourknowledge. A perfect acquaintedness with the fu-ture conditions of your offspring would not tend toyour real good ; it would serve only for curiosity, andnot for use. ay, it would be disadvantageous toyou.You would he prevented from performing present du-ty, and diverted from your daily work, by the con-tinual and unprofitable ranges of your mind to andfro in that futurity, which would then lie open, andpresent so vast a prospect to you.
MISCELLAEOUS. IIYour afflictions would be inconceivably multiplied.Every sorrow of your whole life that shall result fromyour children would be felt in every day. If thebare possibility of their misery sometimes severelyafflicts you, how keenly would you feel the certain-ty of this misery, without the ability to avert it !Could you at once perceive all the tears that thischild shall shed, all the woes that he shall endure,all the agonies that shall wring his heart, what amelancholy gloom would settle on your soul ! Howspeedily would that joy, with which you now caressyour infant, and form the dearest hopes concerninghim, be withered, were the veil of futurity suddenlywithdrawn, and he presented to you perhaps an ear-ly corpse, perhaps a profligate sinner, perhaps thevictim of poverty, affliction, or reproach !The sweetness of mercies would be diminished by thisclear knowledge of the future. All the delightwhich results from the unexpectedness of blessingswould be wrested from you. If the future presentedyou a dark and gloomy prospect respecting yourchild, you would raise no tribute of gratitude for pre-sent blessings. Did you, on the contrary, see beforeyou brighter joys, an anxiety to possess them wouldmake you indifferent to the pleasures which now en-compass you.With a clear view of the future, the Christian graceswould be impaired or entirely prevented from exercise.Then there could be no trust in God under the mostfrowning aspect of his providence ; no faith in themidst of gloom and perplexity; no hope, since, asthe apostle remarks, " hope that is seen, is not hope ;"no energetic and fervent prayer for deliverance andsupport, no exercises suited to the situation of thosewho are to " walk by faith, and not by sight." While

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