O this is the cutting consideration!

(John Flavel, "The Mystery of Providence" 1678)

How many children there are among us who are drawn headlong to Hell by their cruel and ungodly parents, who teach them to curse and swear as soon as they can speak! There are many families in which little other language is heard but what is the dialect of Hell. These, like dry logs are preparing for the fire of Hell, where they must burn together.

And how many families there are, though not so profane, who yet breed up their children vainly and worldly, and take no care of what becomes of their eternal souls—so long as they can but provide for their bodies! If they can but teach them how to prosper their bodies—it is no concern to them that the devil has their souls. If they can but leave them lands or monies, they think they have very fully discharged their duties.

If you neglect to instruct them in the way of holiness, will the devil neglect to instruct them in the way of wickedness? No, no! If you will not teach them to pray—then he will teach them to curse, swear and lie.

What shall comfort you at the the time of their death, if they die in a Christless condition through your neglect? O this is the cutting consideration! "My child is in Hell, and I did nothing to prevent it! I actually led him there!"

O, what will the language be, when such parents and children shall greet each other at the judgment-seat, and in Hell forever!