Obs. HEre we may observe that Fathers are, and ought to be the honour and glory of their Children. Or, Fathers ought so to live, that they may be the glory of their Children. I shall only insist upon the last clause of my Text. The glory of Children are their Fathers. Children are not alwayes the glory of old men, no.] foolish Children, of the Tribe of B•lial, a riotous, drunken, wan•on, blaspemous, and irreligious poste∣rity; or Children are a reproach to their Fa∣ther, Page 140 and a shame to their Mother: such crosses as do embitter all their worldly com∣forts, and bring down their gray hairs with sor∣row to the grave. Therefore the words are not to be understood de〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, of a nu∣merous posterity, of having many Children: for the more wicked Children men have, the greater reproach and sorrow. Neither are the words to be understood de〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, of fair, comely, witty Children: for though these be outward ornaments, yet they may be wantons, drunkards, very fools, and so a reproach to their Fathers. Absalom was a fair and proper man, but Davids heavy cross. Esau was a strong man, but Isaac's cross; the Spirit of God calleth him profane Esau, Hebr. 12. But the words are meant de pia posteri∣tate, of a godly posterity, of pious and reli∣gious Children: they, and only they are the glory of old men, the joy, hope, comfort, and support of their aged Parents. Such Chldren are called Olive Plants and Ar∣rows: Olive branches for cheerfulness, and Arrows for strength and protection. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate, Psal. 127. 4, 5.
So again, the words are not to be taken for all Fathers, for there are Fathers that be Page 141 disparagements, a shame, a reproach to their Children, Atheistical, drunken, blasphemous, adulterous, oppressing Fathers are the stinking reproaches of their surviving posterity; they are not the glory of their Children: so the words are not to be meant of their descent. Many glory, that they are descended of such a noble and honourable Stock, from such wealthy or antient Families. It is an extrinsecal honour and priviledge, and indeed it is the great Diana of the world. But this is nothing, if their Fathers were drunkards, whoremongers, blasphemers, persecutors, hereticks; these foul vices (like the Plague of Leprosie in the wall) make such extrinsecal priviledges to be vile and base. As it was said of Naaman the Syrian, Captain of the Host of the King of Syria, that he was a great man with his master, and honourable, he was also a mighty man in valour, but he was a Lepper, 2 Kings 5. 1. So for any one to say, that such a Gen∣tleman's Father was a drunkard, or a swearer, or an ungodly man, or the like; is a reproach, and no honour to his posterity. But it is meant of godly, wise, religious Fathers, they are a glory of their Children.