A Remedy for Decaying Religion

bible21020151633Oliver Heywood

For your sakes, dear Friends, I presume again to appear upon the public stage to be your faithful monitor,1 to prompt you to your duty, and to promote the work of God in your souls and the worship of God in your families. And I know not how a minister can employ his time, studies, and pen better (next to the conviction and conversion of particular souls), than in pressing upon householders a care of the souls under their charge. This hath a direct tendency to public reformation. Religion begins in individuals and passeth on to relatives, and lesser spheres of relationship make up greater: Churches and commonwealths consist of families. There is a general complaint of the decay of the power of godliness and inundation2 of profaneness,3 and not without cause. I know no better remedy than domestic piety:4 did governors teach their inferiors by counsels and examples; did they severely discountenance5 and restrain enormities6 and zealously promote holiness and then call on God unitedly and earnestly that He would efficaciously work what they cannot effect, who can tell what a blessed alteration would follow?

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