He certainly acts as an Atheist!
(James, "The Christian Father's Present to His Children")
Fathers! Your children are immortal beings! The stamp
of eternity is upon them! Everlasting ages are before them!
They are like the rest of the human race--depraved, guilty,
and condemned creatures; and consequently in danger of
eternal misery! Yet they are, through the mercy of God,
creatures capable of attaining to glory, honor, immortality,
and eternal life. Looking upon them in this light, what
should be your chief concern for them--and what should
be your conduct towards them?
Fathers! Your children are hastening to either
eternal happiness--or eternal torment!
The man who does not make the eternal welfare
of his children, the supreme end of all his conduct
towards them, may profess to believe as a Christian
--but he certainly acts as an Atheist!
Once more let it be stated, and stated with all possible
emphasis--that the chief design of this work is to form
the pious character of its readers, and to implant those
virtues which shall live, and flourish, and dignify, and
delight--infinite ages after every object that is dear . . .
to avarice or pride,
to learning or science,
to taste or ambition,
shall have perished in the conflagration of the universe!
It is in the highest degree inconsistent, absurd, cruel,
and wicked--for a Christian parent not to be supremely
desirous of the everlasting welfare of his children! Let
a supreme concern for their immortal interests be at
the bottom of all your conduct, and be interwoven
with all your parental habits!