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by our words or actions to affront or contemn them ourselves, or to provoke others fo to do. Because,
The defpifing the perfons, and expofing the conduct of our paftors, diminishes that credit and effect, which their spiritual administrations ought to have be expofed. upon the minds of men, and makes them less capable of doing that good, which their profeffion obliges them to attempt; for, as much as we take from the opinion of their piety and integrity, fo much we leffen their power in promoting the intereft of religion, whose fate very much depends upon the reputation of thofe, who feed and govern the flock of Chrift Jefus.
Wherefore the enemies of religion being very fenfible of this, omit no opportunity of expofing their perfons, and representing their facred function only as a trade, whereby they procure an advantageous fubfiftence; which is a mean infinuation, and may confuted by these confiderations.
Is it not fit that they, who quit all other methods of procuring fubfiftence, fhould live of that gospel they preach? and though men may be fwayed by in- Why to be tereft; 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 fufficient evidence fhould convince an impartial man concerning the truth of what is afferted. And it is moft reasonable to fuppofe, that they who make it their business to search into these mat ters, should be best acquainted with the grounds of conviction, and manner of fettling fuch points? Befides we find that our value for the laws of the land, and the art of phyfick, is no abated by the great advantages those make, who follow the profeffion 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 of religion; or when it takes it's rife from a more innocent cause, is very apt to lead to it; because a due regard to religion can never be maintained without a proportionable refpect to the minifters of that religion,
of their con
one proper method to increase our reward in the next world, is to do all good offices to thofe that are dedicated to the fervice of the altar; becaufe he that encourages and enables a prophet for his duty, hath his intereft in his work, and confequently in the reward that belongs thereto. Such as receive a prophet out of refpect to his function, fhall 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 perfons. Befides, there is no better way to maintain the peace of the church, and edify the body of Chrift, than by preferving a great refpect for our fpiritual governors, and by fubmitting to their lawful commands.
to fuperior abilities.
X. Excellency in any thing or perfon demands Respect due it's proper praife and honour, and by it's own proper merit challenges efteem: fo he who excels another, hath a right to be preferred before him in the esteem and value of the world; to have his light reflected with more fplendor, and his excellencies refounded with higher applauses.
Confider then where the excellencies of a man is to be fought for do they not confift in the and ornaments of his mind? So that he, who detains from a worthy perfon thofe acknowledgments that are due to his virtues, robs virtue itself of one of the faireft jewels, her honour and glory: he ftrips off her garments of praife, and buries her alive: and therefore, fince to rob a virtuous perfon of his honour and reputation is fo great an outrage to virtue itself, it must needs be highly unjust and dishonest also.
Again, the great iniquity of detraction and of leffening, or debafing mens deferved praifes and commendations, is a higher injustice than to pick their purses; for he that clips a man's honour robs him of his beft and deareft property; and whilst he fucks the veins of anothers reputation to put colour into the cheeks of his own, he lives upon the fpoils of his neighbour; and is every whit as injurious to him, as if he should pull down his house to build himself another by the ruins thereof. Nevertheless, this unrighteous practice is common. This grovelling
And, as for the feveral degrees of nobility, titles and places of dignity, by which men are advanced above the vulgar clafs of mankind, they are so many marks and badges of honour. It is true by virtue of this titular dignity, we are no farther obliged to reverence or esteem men, than their wisdom or virtue deferves; yet we are bound to give them their due titles, and demean ourfelves towards them with that outward preference, obfervance, 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 refpect E and obfervance, so alfo doth wealth and large poffeffions; for, when God bestows upon one man a larger fortune and poffeffion than on another, he doth thereby prefer and advance him into an higher sphere and condition; and when God hath fet him above us, it is just and fit that we should rife and give that place to him which is of God's appointment. Though it may be a wife or virtuous poor man hath more right to our esteem than a fortunate knave or fool; yet, forafmuch as in outward rank and condition God hath preferred the latter, he hath the rights of precedency, and of outward refpect and obfervance, and ought to be treated with greater regard and obeifance.
velling ferpent lurks almost in every hedge, to snap at the paffenger's heel.
rank and quality.
Due to the
SUNDAY X. CHAP. X.
I. The Duty of CHILDREN to Parents. II. Their Love. III. Their Obedience. IV. In refpect 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 difinheriting a Child. X. The duty of a WIFE to her husband. XI. Concerning her Bebaviour. XII. Her Drefs. XIII. Of Contention in a married State.
NOTHER great branch of the parental authority, relates to the mutual duties of natural parents and their children. For, we are commanded to honour our father and mother; that is, to love, to duty to pa- refpect, to obey, to fuccour, and fupport them. And we fhew our love to our parents, when we take fuch courses as will increase our natural affection; and decline all things that may leffen the fame. It is fo natural, fo reafonable, 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 occafion of our denying them that respect, obedience or fupport, we owe and ought to pay to them. II. The affection of parents to their children Muft love deferves to be repayed with love; because the rental love is hourly exerting itself in all the beneficial acts it can invent; fupplies all the wants of helpless infancy, fecures from all the hazards of heedlefs childhood and unthinking youth; fhapes the body, preferves it ftrait 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 fo flight, and are seldom thought upon; yet the miseries that arife where this love is abated, are not inconfiderable; fome of them have an influence on us as long as we live. Befides, this affection informs the mind, and regulates the manners, trains up the reason, exercises the memory, inftructs them to argue and underft 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 inftilling 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 confume their whole life, to make them happy with the good things of this world; fo that if benefits can be the foundation of love in children, they must love their parents, who bestow fo many upon them.
It is a fhame then to hear children difobedient; 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 fo doing (for God who made this love neceffary, made it alfo 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 defigned 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 fo great things for them; who were not only the authors of their being, but also of their welfare, and present happy station. But fuppofing the parents endeavours after happiness should not fucceed to their wishes, as very often they will not; yet if there is no want of love, the obligation is the fame on the child. The fenfe of benefits received, or intended, and the hope of benefits to come, are the foundation of filial love; and the parents knowing on what it is that love is truly bottomed, and defiring and approving nothing more than the love of their children, may take the greater care to fecure this love, by laying fuch foundation for it, that it cannot eafily miscarry: for, this will fhew 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 fome 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 fucceed will want an3 other bafis, no less than a virtuous education; and such a reasonable and decent provifion of things How to be improved. temporal, that the older the children grow, the more they advance in understanding, the better they shall love their parents; they shall fenfibly feel the advantagious effects of their parents care over them. By which means it is much in the parents power to fecure the love of their chil dren.
Parents must be refpected by their children, who must pay them external honour and civility; for as love comprizes all