Wednesday, 30 September 2009


A sermon on the 2nd Commandment by Thomas Watson [part 3]
(I have tried to edit it so as to be a bit more readable ... though I have left the 'old' language in)

Visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation.

Here is the second reason against image-worship.

God's visiting in anger.
[1] 'Visiting iniquity.' Sin makes God visit. Sin is the cause why God visits with sickness, poverty, &c. Sin twists the cords which pinch us; it creates all our troubles, is the gall in our cup, and the gravel in our bread.
[2] 'Visiting the iniquity of the fathers.' One special sin for which God's visits, is idolatry and image-worship.
[3] 'Visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon their children.' Idolatrous persons are enemies not to their own souls only, but to their children. As an idolatrous father entails his land of inheritance, so he entails God's anger and curse upon his children. A jealous husband, finding his wife has stained her fidelity, may justly cast her off and her children too, because they are none of his. If the father be a traitor to his prince, no wonder if all the children suffer. God may visit the iniquity of image-worshippers upon their children.
  • But is it not said, 'Every man shall die for his own sin; the son shall not bear the iniquity of the father?' 2 Chron 25: 4, Ezek 18: 20. How then does God say, he 'will visit the iniquity of the fathers upon the children?'
  • Though the son be not damned, yet he may be severely punished for his father's sin. 'God layeth up his iniquity for his children' (Job 21: 19); that is, God lays up the punishment of his iniquity for his children - the child smarts for the father's sin. As a son catches an hereditary disease from his father, the stone or gout, so he catches misery from him: his father's sin ruins him.
1st Application
How sad is it to be the child of an idolater!

2nd Application
What a privilege it is to be the children of good parents. A religious parent does not procure wrath, but helps to keep off wrath from his child; he seasons his child with religious principles, he prays down a blessing on it; he is a loadstone to draw his child to Christ by good counsel and example. Oh, what a privilege is it to be born of godly, religious parents!

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