페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

by our words or actions to affront or contemn them ourselves, or to provoke others so to do. Because,

The despising the persons, and exposing the conduct of our pastors, diminishes that credit and effect, man

Must not which their spiritual administrations ought to have beet

C be exposed. upon the minds of men, and makes them less capable of doing that good, which their profession obliges them to attempt; for, as much as we take from the opinion of their piety and integrity, so much we lessen their power in promoting the interest of religion, whose fate very much depends upon the reputation of those, who feed and govern the flock of Christ Jesus.

Wherefore the enemies of religion being very sensible of this, omit no opportunity of exposing their persons, and representing their facred function only as Mihalin by

Libertines. a trade, whereby they procure an advantageous subsistence; which is a mean infinuation, and may be easily confuted by these considerations.

Is it not fit that they, who quit all other methods of procuring subsistence, should live of that gospel they preach ? and though men may be swayed by in

2 Why to be

respected. terest; yet the truth and falfhood of things no *** ways depend upon it; and the measures of judging concerning them are quite of another fort. Nothing but sufficientevidence should convince an impartial man concerning the truth of what is asserted. And it is most reasonable to suppose, that they who make it their business to search into these mat ters, should be bestacquainted with the grounds of conviction, and manner of settli ch points? Besides we find that our value for the laws of the land, and the art of physick, is no ways abated by the great advantages those make, who follow the profession of either of them.

From all which duties that we owe to the minister of God's word and facraments we learn, that the contempt of the clergy, generally proceeds from a contempt The reason of religion; or when it takes it's rise from a more tempt.

of their coninnocent cause, is very apt to lead to it; because a due regard to religion can never be maintained without a proportionable respect to the ministers of that religion. That

one

N4

one proper method to increase our reward in the next world, is to do all good offices to those that are dedicated to the service of the altar; becaufe he that encourages and enables a prophet for his duty, hath his interest in his work, and confequently in the reward that belongs thereto. Such as receive a prophet out of respect to his function, shall receive a prophet's reward. So our zeal to defend the rights of the facred order ought the more frequently to exert itself, by how much the more the faithful discharge of their function exposes them to the ill-will and malice of wicked and unreasonable persons. Besides, there is no better way to maintain the peace of the church, and edify the body of Christ, than by preserving a great respect for our spiritual governors, and by submitting to their lawful commands.

X. Excellency in any thing or person demands Respect due it's proper praise and honour, and by its own proto superior abilities. per merit challenges esteem: so he who excels an

other, hath a right to be preferred before him in the esteem and value of the world; to have his light reflected with more splendor, and his excellencies resounded with higher applauses.

Consider then where the excellencies of a man is to be fought for: do they not consist in the graces and ornaments of his mind? So that he, who detains from a worthy person those acknowledgments that are due to his virtues, robs virtue itself of one of the fairest jewels, her honour and glory: he strips off her garments of praise, and buries her alive: and therefore, since to rob a virtuous person of his honour and reputation is so great an outrage to virtue itself, it must needs be highly unjust and dishonest also.

Again, the great iniquity of detraction and of lessening, or debaling mens deserved praises and commendations, is a higher injustice than to pick their purses; for he that clips a man's honour robs him of his best and dearest property; and whilft he sucks the veins of anothers reputation to put colour into the cheeks of his own, he lives upon the spoils of his neighbour ; and is every whit as injurious to him, as if he should pulldown his house to build himself another by the ruins thereof. Nevertheless, this unrighteous practice is common. This gro

velling

velling serpent lurks almost in every hedge, to snap at the pafsenger's heel.

And, as for the several degrees of nobility, titles and places of dignity, by which men are advanced above the vulgar class of mankind, they are so many marks Due to

rank and and badges of honour. It is true by virtue of this

quality. titular dignity, we are no farther obliged to reverence or esteem men, than their wisdom or virtue deserves; yet we are bound to give them their due titles, and demean ourselves towards them with that outward preference, observance, and ceremony, which their degree and quality requires, on account of that lawful authority, which has raised them to that state and condition of life. Wherefore, as titular dignities entitle men to an outward respect Due to the and observance, so also doth wealth and large pofsessions ; for, when God bestows upon one man a larger fortune and possession than on another, he doth thereby prefer and advance him into an higher sphere and condition; and when God hath set him above us, it is just and fit that we should rise and give that place to him which is of God's appointment. Though it may be a wise or virtuous poor man hath more right to our esteem than a fortunate knave or fool; yet, forasmuch as in outward rank and condition God hath preferred the latter, he hath the rights of precedency, and of outward respect and observance, and ought to be treated with greater regard and obeisance.

rich.

SUNDAY X. CHAP. X.

I. The Duty of Children to Parents. II. Their Love.

III. Their "Obedience. IV. In respect of Marriage; and V. Going to Law. VI. The Duty of PARENTS to Children. VII. In point of Education. VIII. In providing for them. IX. Of disinheriting a Child. X. The duty of a Wife to her husband. XI. Concerning her Bebaviour. XII. Her Dress. XIII. Of Contention in a married State.

ANOTHER

rents.

I. ANOTHER great branch of the parental authority, A relates to the mutual duties of natural parents and

their children. For, we are commanded to hoChildrens nour our father and mother ; that is, to love, to curso para respect, to obey, to succour, and support them.

And we shew our love to our parents, when we take such courses as will increase our natural affection : and decline all things that may lessen the same. It is so natural, fo reasonable, to love our parents, that few will own the want of it, even when they know they do not love them. And this love is to be nourished ; because the want of this affection is the occasion of our denying them that respect, obedience or support, we owe and ought to pay to them.

I I I. The affection of parents to their children Mult love deserves to be repayed with love; because the pathem.

rental love is hourly exerting itself in all the beneficial acts it can invent ; supplies all the wants of helpless infancy, secures from all the hazards of heedless childhood and unthinking youth; shapes the body, preserves it strait and upright, and keeps the limbs in order, and fits them for their natural uses; bears with many troubles and hardships : and though these matters appear so slight, and are seldom thought upon ; yet the miseries that arise where this love isabated, are not inconsiderable ; some of them have an influence on us as long as we live. Besides, this affection informs the mind, and regulates the manners, trains up the reason, exercises the memory, instructs them to argue and underst and their little affairs; and educates and fits them for greater matters: this brings them first to God in baptism, and keeps them after in the ways of religion, by instilling into them virtuous principles; by remembring them of their several duties; by encouraging them in good, with favours and rewards; and by reproving and correcting them, when evil, and deterring them from vice. These are the ways parents take to make their children happy; not to mention those endless and innumerable labours and troubles that consume their whole life, to make them happy with the good things of this world; so that if benefits can be the foundation of love in children, they must love their parents, who bestow so many upon them. ..

5 To

It is a shame then to hear children disobedient; for, tho”. parents are obliged by natural instinct, or, by principles of love and tenderness implanted in their hearts by God, to take this care of children ; and though they find their pleasure in so doing (for God who made this love necessary, made it also delightful to parents) the childrens love is the more due in return for the parental affection ; because that love is founded upon benefits received or hoped for : and whatever might move the parents, yet they designed the benefits, and the children find and feel them, and are obliged to remember them to excite them to love their parents, who have done so great things for them; who were not only the authors of their being, but also of their welfare, and present happy station. But supposing the parents endeavours after happiness should not succeed to their wishes, as very often they will not; yet if there is no want of love, the obligation is the same on the child. The sense of benefits received, or intended, and the hope of benefits to come, are the foun- why

inWhy. dation of filial love; and the parents knowing on what it is that love is truly bottomed, and desiring and approving nothing more than the love of their children, may take the greater care to secure this love, by laying such foundation for it, that it cannot easily miscarry: for, this will thew them, that although the fondness of parents will gain the love of their children, whilst they continue childish and unthinking; yet when they put away childish things, they will want some other foundation to build their affections on : the love that was built upon their play-things, will vanish when those are thrown away, and the love that should succeed will want another basis, no less than a virtuous education ; and such a reasonable and decent provision of things How to be

improved. temporal, that the older the children grow, the pro more they advance in understanding, the better they shall love their parents ; they shall sensibly feel the advantagious effects of their parents care over them. By which means it is much in the parents power to secure the love of their children.

Parents must be respected by their children, who must pay them externalhonourand civility; for as love comprizesall

« 이전계속 »