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test a trivial matter, for that will the parental authority of wisdom
either give the correction the ap- and love respectable and amiable in
pearance of undue severity, or in- their eyes; and if they can allure
duce the parent to desist before the their children to choose them for
child has completely submitted. companions, counsellors, and friends
The frequency, severity, and pas-in all their undertakings, a most
sion with which children have been important point indeed will be car-
corrected, and the bad effects occa-ried.
sioned by these abuses, have preju- It is also incumbent on parents
diced numbers against the use of any to bring up their children in that
correction; but to argue from the manner, and (if they can do it con-
abuse of any thing against the use of sistent with other duties) to make
it, is universally allowed to be bad that moderate provision for them,
logic and if children were early which may, at all events, enable
taught in this manner to know that them to live comfortably in society,
the parent would be obeyed, when without being a burthen to others,
he gave a decided command, correc- or to themselves. The Christian
tion need not be often repeated, cannot consistently seek great things
and much less severity, all circum- for his family, or be desirous of ad-
stances considered, would be requi- vancing them much above his own
site in education than is generally rank in life; but he will judge it
used. For when children become best (if the Lord will), that they
reasonable creatures, that authority should not be depressed very much
which correction has established, below it, at least by his fault; for
may be maintained by arguments, that condition in which men have
reproofs, commendations, and ex- been brought up is generally the
postulations: whereas, too many safest for them.

leave their indulged children with- But the principles of the gospel
out correction, till age and habit will especially influence those who
have confirmed them in stubborn are actuated by them, to desire the
self-will, and then, by an unseason-blessings of salvation for their be-
able severity, complete their ruin; loved offspring. This will induce
for being exasperated by their them to recommend them to God
ingratitude, they find fault with in fervent, constant prayer, from
their very attempts to please them; the time that they receive their
and by harsh language and usage being; and to instil instruction into
drive them into bad company and their minds as soon as they become
destructive courses; to which case capable of receiving it. They will
the apostle especially referred, early begin to store their memories
when he said, "Fathers, provoke with wholesome words; to lead
not your children to anger, lest they their attention to the simpler parts
be discouraged" (Eph. vi. 4; Col. of the Holy Scripture; and to im-
iii. 21). On the contrary, parents press them with a sense of their
ought to use every method to render relation to God, and to an eternal
their children, as they grow up, state (especially by means of family
easy and happy in their company, worship): to bring them under the
and confident of a favourable recep- public and private instructions of
tion in every attempt to please faithful ministers; to watch for op-
them; for this tends exceedingly portunities of speaking seriously to
to keep them out of temptation, to them, and of inquiring what they
improve their minds, and to render have learned; and to encourage

them in proposing questions on re-tary influence of experienced counligious subjects, by answering such sellors, when the direct exercise as they can with propriety (Exod. of authority would endanger opxii. 26-28; Deut. vi. 6-9; Psalm position. In particular, they cerlxxviii. 6—8). They will also en- tainly should rather aim to guide, deavour to keep them from all places caution, and advise them, in respect and companies, and to remove out to marriage, than to compel or reof their way all books, &c., by which strain them in an absolute manner; their principles may be corrupted, remembering, that peace of mind, a their imaginations polluted, or their good conscience, domestic harmony, passions inflamed, even as they and a connexion favourable to piety, would lay poison out of their reach. conduce more to happiness, even in They will more decidedly reprove this world, than wealth, or a convice or impiety, than any childish fluence of all earthly distinctions. neglect or waywardness; and avoid Many directions might be added, in all converse or behaviour in their respect of the conduct to be adopted presence, which may counteract the by parents, when children appear tendency of such instructions, or to be under serious impressions; sanction the pride, avarice, sensual- but the subject is too copious to be ity, love of grandeur, envy, or ma- discussed in this place. lignity of their nature.

This is the most important per

It is peculiarly incumbent on re-haps of all relative duties; and the ligious parents to convince their neglect of it is productive of the children, as they approach to ma- most fatal consequences; for, beturity, not only that they act in all sides those parents who in various other things conscientiously, but ways are accessary to the murder of also that they are more attentive the souls of their own offspring, even to their comfort and interest, and they, who seem to regard other parts more ready to forgive their faults, of Scripture, often overlook the comthan irreligious parents would be, mand "to bring up their children though they cannot tolerate their in the nurture and admonition of vices, or concur in exceptionable the Lord" (Eph. vi. 4); and either plans of advancing or enriching by neglect leave their minds like an them, because the Scripture holds uncultivated field, or by example forth such alarming examples to and harsh treatment prejudice them warn men not to gratify their chil-against the gospel, or indiscreetly dren by dishonouring God, or in- lead them into such distorted views juring their neighbours (1 Sam. ii. of it as are of fatal tendency. In22-36). It behoves parents how-deed the methods are innumerable ever to remember the time when by which parents fail of their duty they were young, and not to thwart in this respect; and whilst numbers the inclinations of their children act as if they did not much care, when grown up, without substantial whether their offspring were happy reasons, lest they should throw or miserable hereafter, it is to be snares in their way: they should feared that few, if any, are free from rather endeavour to manifest a dis-blame on this important concern. position to concur in every thing It may here be proper to add, conducive to their satisfaction, if it that they, who in any way undercan be done consistently; that by take to bring up the children of thus encouraging their confidence others, are required in many rein them, they may have the salu-spects to perform the duties of pa

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rents to them and on the other often more estranged from each other
hand, such young persons owe a than from almost any other persons:
measure of that respect, gratitude, of such bad consequences are the
obedience, and affection to them, competitions, envies, and jealousies
which have been described as the that take place in families; and so
duties of children to their parents careful ought parents to be, not to
and this case is not altered, even lay a foundation for them by an in-
when elder brothers or sisters are judicious partiality, and not to treat
the persons on whom this charge them as matters of no moment (Gen.
has devolved. In like manner, the xxxvii. 3, 4; Prov. xviii. 19). More-
other superior relations are entitled over, they who associate so much
to a measure of filial deference and together, as young persons in this
attention; and ought to perform relation commonly do, must have
many parts of the parental office to many opportunities of influencing
their junior relatives, especially if each other's principles and conduct:
their parents be dead, or incapable these are frequently made a very
of performing it, or be wholly inat-bad use of; and false principles are
tentive to them; and they have the often instilled, and encouragement
power of bringing them up, without given to various things contrary to
burthening strangers.
their duty to God, their parents, or

III. The duties of brethren in others, even where no gross immo-
the same family towards each other, rality or impiety appear. But that
should not be wholly omitted on love which evangelical principles
this occasion. The love which is increase and direct, will not only
supposed to subsist among such be disinterested, conceding, self-
endeared relations, is the Scriptural denying, liberal, and peaceful, but
standard of that pure and fervent prudent, pious, and holy and they
affection which Christians ought to who are influenced by it, will aim,
bear one towards another: the for- by seasonable caution, counsel, or
mer therefore should not be treated expostulation, enforced by kindness
as an instinctive propensity, but and a consistent example, and ac-
regulated by precept as a Christian companied by fervent prayer, to
duty. The children of one family, guard such dear relations from
when they live much together, can- snares and dangers, to instil good
not, in the present state of human principles, and to win them to at-
nature, fail to meet with many little tend to the concerns of their souls.
affronts and injuries among them-Nor will it be improper in this case
selves, which may interrupt domes- to speak more plainly, and debate
tic harmony, unless great circum- the matter more fully with them
spection be used not to give offence (especially those who are younger
even by rudeness and uncourteous than themselves), than they should
familiarity; and a constant endea-do with parents or superior rela-
vour be made to oblige, and to ren- tions: and it is very common for
der each other easy and comfortable, the Lord to bless such endeavours,
joined with persevering forbearance, and thus to make them the founda-
forgiveness, and various concessions. tion of the most permanent friend-
For want of these attentions, per- ship. The duties of the other col-
petual bickerings and lasting ani- lateral relations who dwell much
mosities supplant brotherly love; together, are in a great measure the
and they who should be, through same.
life, faithful and tender friends, are

IV. The reciprocal duties of ser


vants and masters are the last of viz. for the common benefit of the those that belong to domestic life. whole and that he hath chosen The condition of servants differs servitude as the best situation for widely at present from what it was him; to which appointment he rewhen the New Testament was pen-quires his unreserved submission. ned: for then they were generally He should also consider the place slaves, the property of their masters; in which he lives, as the post for whose service they could not leave, the present assigned him, which he but who might dispose of them as must not relinquish without subthey pleased, or punish them with stantial reasons, and fervent prayer almost uncontrolled severity. This for direction; and if this be detercould never consist with the law of mined on, he ought to perform the "loving our neighbour as ourselves;" duties of his place without remisthough it pleased the Lord to tole- sion, whilst he continues in it. If rate and regulate it, in the judicial he want a place, he should seek a law of Moses (as he did polygamy suitable one from the Lord, in deand divorces); and the state of pendence on his providence and prothings, at the first opening of the mises, and prefer that which affords Christian dispensation, rendered it the greatest advantages for religious improper for the ministers of religion improvement, though it be somedirectly to attack a system, which what more laborious or less lucrawas inseparable from the founda- tive. And here it may be proper tions of every government then ex- to remind both servants and masisting in the world. This difference, ters, that though there are many however, gives the greater energy vain talkers and deceivers, yet there to the exhortations which the sacred are also true Christians: it is therewriters address to servants profess-fore the height of absurdity for being the gospel except, that they lievers to prefer the society of unmay now leave those places, where godly persons in any relation, bethey are ill used, or in which they cause they have been disgusted and are restrained from attending on Di-ill used by hypocrites. Men do not vine ordinances, or hallowing the throw away bank notes because they Lord's day. Yet this liberty should have been cheated by forged bills; be used with much caution: for and no disappointment should cause every place has its disadvantages, them to despair of finding the far and every master (as well as ser-more valuable treasure of a Christian vant) his faults; and men often incur master or servant, unless any one much detriment, and forfeit manifold should fancy himself to be the only advantages, through impatience un-true Christian in the land. der a single inconvenience: espe- If pious servants be favoured cially servants sometimes purchase with a situation in a religious family, a trivial increase of wages at an they should remember, that equality enormous price. The believer, there-in Christian privileges by no means fore, "who is called, being a ser-implies equality in domestic life; vant," or who finds it necessary for instead therefore of behaving with him to enter upon this kind of life, an unbecoming familiarity, or negshould remember, that the Lord hath lecting their masters' orders" as if constituted these different situations they despised them;" they should in society, for the same reasons as" count them worthy of all honour, he hath allotted the several mem- and rather do them service, because bers in the body their distinct offices, they are faithful and beloved, par

takers of the benefit" (1 Tim. vi. | by his conscientiousness. It will 1-5). And as they are conscious dispose him to strict frugality, and of much imperfection in themselves, to see that no waste be made; and they ought to make allowances for also to consult his master's incliit in them also. They should value nation in the manner of doing his the privilege of family worship very work. If he be justly blamed, he highly, even though it be not in all will learn to bear it quietly, owning respects conducted exactly to their himself wrong, and doing better mind; and they ought so to order another time; if he be blamed withall their business, that it may not out cause, or rebuked with harshinterfere with it, or with the regu-ness (not to speak of more outragelar observance of the Lord's day. ous treatment), he will endeavour Should pious servants find them- to recollect the Scriptural rule "of selves placed in families, in which not answering again" (the neglect they cannot but deem the profession of which is productive of innumeof religion to be vain; they ought rable evils, especially to servants not hastily to mention their opinion, themselves :) (Tit. ii. 9, 10): and or speak about it with harshness; that the apostle says, "Servants, be on the contrary, they should aim by subject to your masters with all fear; a good example to exhibit the dif- not only to the good and gentle, but ference between the form and the also to the froward" (1 Pet. ii. power of godliness. Even when 18-25); for though such usage they live in families where igno- may excite his passions, he will not rance and ungodliness prevail, they on recollection say, "I do well to ought not to speak freely on the be angry;" but will consider him, faults of their masters, or assume who "when he was reviled, reviled the office of an authoritative teach- not again, when he suffered he er; for no man would be pleased to threatened not;" for we are called have a spy or a reprover in the cha- to copy his example, to show the racter of a servant. Yet the Chris- reality and excellency of our relitian, thus situated, will especially gion, by doing well and suffering aim to "adorn the doctrine of God patiently; and however such a serour Saviour," by cheerful obedience vant may be neglected by an austo every lawful command, diligence tere, injurious, earthly master, yet in all the duties of his station, and he shall certainly receive a gracious faithfulness to the trust reposed in recompense from the Lord (Eph. him; remembering that his main- vi. 5-8; Col. iii. 22-25). Thus tenance and wages are the price his his principles teach him not to he master pays for his time and skill. an eye-servant and a man-pleaser, Consistency will require him to pre-attentive to his business only in his fer the credit, advantage, or com- master's presence; but in singleness fort of his master or family, to his of heart to do the will of God, and own ease or indulgence, and espe- to refer every thing to the honour cially to manifest sympathy and of the Lord Jesus, and the credit of tenderness in times of sickness and his gospel; not so much fearing affliction; to speak exact truth on man's displeasure, as disgracing the all occasions; not to purloin, or join cause of evangelical religion by his with those who defraud his master misconduct. in small matters; or even connive Such habitual behaviour, in a at such petty dishonesty, however servant professing the gospel, will sanctioned by custom, or whatever not only conduce to his own interest, contempt and ill-will he may incur credit, and comfort, but will procur

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