The Cursed Family, or the Evil of Neglecting Family Prayer by Thomas Risley (1630–1716)
Thomas Risley (1630–1716) was an English Presbyterian minister with a tender pastoral heart, and a fiery preacher of Christ’s Gospel.
Risley’s thesis is that wicked houses are under the curse of God, and are without his gracious keeping and fatherly care. He shows the responsibility of parents in family worship, for, to be without service to God in this way is to mimic a cursed family. As much as parents are natural parents to their children (providing food, shelter, and clothing), those in the church who have professed to be Christian parents have promised in the presence of God that their children should be virtuously brought up to lead a godly, Christian life.
Risley also explains that God’s curse is on wicked houses. Parents must take heed of being evil examples to their children, of swearing, cursing, sabbath-breaking, cheating, stealing, oppressing, coveting, lest they, by following in their footsteps, suffer eternal judgments. Parents are reminded of what it means to break their baptismal covenant, and by this causing their children to break it, undoing themselves and their children to God’s blessings for all eternity unless the mercy of Christ intervenes.
Finally, he shows that persistent wicked men and their families are subject to God’s curse both in temporal things, and in spiritual things; especially in their wicked use of performing “outward duties” of religion in hypocrisy such as prayer, hearing the word, coming to the sacrament, reading God’s word, reading good books, and conversing with others about matters of religion. Such pernicious influences of the sins of wicked families on Christ’s church and kingdom, have several consequences which must be remedied. He demonstrates this in seven concluding observations.
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Table of Contents
Serving God in the Home by C. Matthew McMahon
Meet Thomas Risley Edited by C. Matthew McMahon
A Preface to the Reader by John Howe
A Letter from the Author
Chapter 1: The General Nature of Families
Chapter 2: Concerning the Church of God
Chapter 3: The Curse of the Lord on Wicked Houses
Chapter 4: A Description of God’s Curse on Wicked Houses
Chapter 5: Evil Examples by Parents
Chapter 6: The Wicked are Cursed in Temporal and Spiritual Things
Chapter 7: Sins of Wicked Families on the Church