“Let all parents consider, what a fearful thing it is to be the instruments of ruining for ever, those that receive their beings instrumentally from them, and to seek whose good they stand obliged, by all the laws of God and nature.
In vain are all your cares and studies for their bodies, whilst their souls perish for want of knowledge. You rejoiced at their birth, but they will have cause to curse the day they were born of you and say, you were solicitous for their bodies, but careless of their souls; earnest to see them rich, but indifferent whether there were gracious; you neglected to teach them the way of salvation, but the devil did not neglect teach them the way of sin. You will one day wish you had never been parents, when the doleful cries of your damned children shall bring such notes as these in your ears: "0 cursed Father! Oh cruel, merciless mother! Whose examples have drawn me after you, into all this. You had time enough, and motives enough to have warned me of this place and misery whilst my heart was tender, and my affections pliable:
Had it not been as easy to have put a Bible as a play-book before me? To have chastised me when I provoked God by sin, as when I provoke you about a trifle? One word spoken in season might have saved my soul; one reproof wisely given and set on by your example, might have preserved me. Had it not been the same pains to have asked me, child, what wilt thou do to be saved? As, what wilt thou do to live in this world? Or, had I but observed any serious religion in you, had I but found or heard my father or mother upon their knees in prayer, it might have awakened me to a consideration of my condition. In my youth I was shame-faced, fearful, credulous, and apt to imitate; had you but had wisdom as other parents have, to have taken hold of any of these handles in time, you had rescued my soul from hell.
Nay, so cruel have you been to your own child, that you allowed me no time (if I had had a disposition) for any exercise of religion; yea, you had quenched and stifled the sparks of convictions and better inclinations that sometimes were in my heart. O happy had it been if I had never been born of you, or seen your faces." This must be the result and issue of your negligence, except God, by some other hand (which is no thanks to you) rescue them from their impending ruin.”
The Works of John Flavel Volume 3 - Pneumatologia: A Treatise of the Soul of Man
source: Gene Long