II. This may reprove those Parents, who labour more to make their Children rich, great, glorious in the eye of the world, than to make them gracious and glorious in the eye of God, who care not by what unjust means they scrape their wealth together, to leave behind them a rich posterity, and care not that their Children be enriched with grace; that drown themselves in perdition and destruction, for their Childrens greatness in the world. Salvian hath an excellent Me∣ditation upon the rich man in the Gospel,* that laid up much riches to∣gether. With his goods (saith Salvian) he prepareth happiness for others, misery for himself: mirth and jollity for others, tears and sorrow for himself; a short pleasure for Page 159 others, everlasting torment for himself. His heirs that possessed his wealth and substance, did game, take their ease, eat, drink, and were merry: and this poor covetous wretch was howling and roaring, weeping and wailing in Hell. Oh, what fools are those Parents, that labour more for temporal ri∣ches for their Children, than for grace and godliness! God usually crosseth such Parents in their plots and purposes: their Children after them usually do prodigally spend that wealth which the Parents wickedly scraped together: and the Parents are tormented in Hell, whiles their prodigal Children are mer∣ry and jovial upon earth: Graceless Chil∣dren are drinking and gaming and drabbing, spending their daies in mirth and pleasure, whiles the wretched covetous Father is houl∣ing, roaring, and tormented in Hell. Now if thy everlasting confusion, be either thine, or thy Childrens glory, much good may it do thee. Such Parents are the most deadly e∣nemies their to own Children. Many wicked men (like Ahab) kill, and take possession of the Vineyards and Inheritances of poor In∣nocents, and settle them upon their Chil∣dren, as firm as firm as Law can make them, to them and to their Heris for ever: But after all this, if such Parents would but cast up their Bar∣gains, Page 160 they would see, they had damned themselves to enrich their Children: and en∣riched their Children to undo them: they had brought the curse of God upon their own Souls, to leave their Children that, which should undo them and theirs. How politick was Jeroboam to entail the Kingdom of Israel to his own line! and therefore sets up two gol∣den Calves, the one at Dan, the other at Be∣thel, to hinder the people from going up to Jerusalem to worship, where King Reho∣boham was. But that very course of his, by making Israel to sin, was the ruine of him and his house. The Lord swept away the rem∣nant of his house, as a man sweepeth away dung, till all be gone, 1 Kings 14. 16.
Ye that are Parents, ye can love your selves in your own persons, and in the images of your nature, and in those that are the sup∣ports of your families, the Children which God hath given you. Therefore when you commit great sins, or leave great estates to your Children wickedly gotten, what do ye but represent the future estate of your Chil∣dren, and as it were slay them with your own inhumane and barbarous hands! Oh, how vile a person is that Father or Mother, who for a little money gotten by usury, extortion, or oppression, will leave an Estate to their Page 161 Children, and the curse of God with it, and become parricides, and embrue their hands in the blood and ruine of their own Children! Many men think no course amiss, so they may set their nests on high, and make their seed great on earth, Habbak. 2. 9. But in this they are utterly deceived, for this is the very next way to bring the curse of God upon their Children. How often is that snatch'd away by others, which men provided for their own Children, and that of Solomon is veri∣fied. The Riches of the sinner is laid up for the just, Prov. 13. 22. Thus the Estate of Haman was given unto Mordecai. Solomon speaking of an oppressour, saith, That he be∣gets a Son in whose hand is nothing, Eccles. 5. 14. Wo be to him that coveteth an evil cove∣tousness to his house. There hangs a judge∣ment over the heads of the Children, for the Fathers covetousness, as rain in the clouds, which perhaps in their Sons, or in their Grand-childs dayes may come down as a mighty flood upon their House, Habak. 2. 9. Thou hast consulted shame to thine own house by cutting off many people, and hast sinned a∣gainst thy Soul: for the stone shall cry out of the wall, and the beam out of the Timber shall answer thee, ver. 10. Such Parents are no glory of their Children.