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out blame or cenfure, they do not approve them; but if there be a rule in fcripture, forbidding fuch and fuch actions, it condemns them by a general rule, without reciting particulars. Thus we should have known murder and adultery to have been fins in David, by their being prohibited by God, altho' the scriptures told us, that he was a man after God's own heart, and had not mentioned God's being highly displeased at them in particular.
III. Men fhould maintain them as becomes partners, whilft they live, and leave them wherewithal to fubfift, according to their eftate and condition, in cafe they furvive: in all good fenfe and reason, and the customs of our country, they are friends and companions to their husbands, not flaves, nor menial fervants; and are to be partners in their fortunes: they partake of their troubles and afflictions; and it is juft, that they should share of their fortunes. When a husband falls into decay, or any fort of calamity, he involves his wife with him; they are infeparable companions in mifery and misfortune: and what can make amends for this, but the partaking alfo in all their good fortune? Does not man expressly promife this in the matrimonial contract, by which it is provided, fhe is to have the use of things neceffary, convenient, and delightful; to be as happy as his worldly condition can make her in a marriage state. So he is unjust as well as unkind if he deny it, because the bargains for it upon her part, and he engages for it upon his. Nor does this obligation ceafe with the death of the husband; for if the wife furvives, he muft provide for her fo long as the lives, according to the quality and condition they have lived in, (if there be ability,) and according to the cuftom of the place or nation where they are.
What can be more indecent, than that they fhould fall from plenty and esteem, into a state of poverty and contempt? Whence note, that not only churlish men are to blame, who deny their wives, whilft living, what is convenient; but even the best natured men, who take no care of their fupport and maintenance, in cafe they over-live them, are properly bad hufbands; who by their profufeness or idleness, by gaming or intemperance, expose them to want and mifery, whom
Man muft provide for his wife.
they leave naked and unprovided for, at the time of age perchance, when least able to help themselves; or it may be incumbred with a charge of children to be maintained out of the widow's small income, or hand-labour. Such men in vain pretend to love and kindness, who are carelefs in this particular, and make not a provifion for their widowhood, as they are able, but leave wives deftitute and helplefs; as if the forrows of their folitary state were not fufficient to load them with trouble.
Not that I blame those men, whofe eftate, calling, or induftry, cannot competently furnish them with maintenance; but fuch who carelessly, waftefully, or otherwise when in their power, take no care When not. to prevent it.
To conclude, we vainly seek for ease and happiness in liberty, and difengagement from our duties; becaufe, it is evident that as this world is ordered, it is impoffible to be at ease, but by a faithful difcharge of the several obligations laid upon us, by the relations, we contract amongst ourselves. How can we be poffibly happy, when we cease to be § good fathers and good fons, good fubjects and good husbands, good mafters and good fervants? as we are fociable creatures, 1 we must have all the focial virtues; nor can we expect to receive any, whilst we pay no duty, to whom it is due from us. IV. The next fort of relation in a family, is that between brethren; which in the ftrict meaning of the word, denotes those only, who are defcended from the fame parents, and are united in the interest of the fame family; whose birth, education, and future fubfiftence, cannot, according to the course of nature, be expected from any other fountain than their own house. As therefore these ties are mutual, and the parent of them all should have the fame unreserved, and undistinguished love and regard for them all; fo it is the duty of fuch brethren to complete their common parent's love, by uniting their own hearts and affections, that the good education and careful endeavours, by which their parent strives to promote their prefent and future welfare, may not be in vain. And, how can brethren
The inconliving out of our proper
brethren hope to partake of their parent's bleffing, that curfe each other? How can they, who in a fpecial manner partake of each others substance, expect to live peaceably and quietly with strangers, those that are not of their own house, and with whom in the course of the world, they must have to deal with, if they be already fo unnatural, fo unfortunate in their own difpofition, as not willing, much less endeavouring, to fhew bowels of compaffion, tenderness, and affection, to those who are united to them in the next degree to their parents? And,
This love is not to vanish away in a strained complaifance, or courtly civility: it is not to be kept up in an outward fhew, with a view perchance to please the common parent, or to stifle some jealoufies, or to cover fome inexcufable defign, in taking advantage of a fincere and undefigning brother or fifter. The love of fuch a brother as this is worse than hatred, and only waits the first opportunity, like Joseph's brethren, to destroy those he pretends to love.
It must be confeffed from common experience, that there are few families fo well united in affection, as to feclude all jars, wranglings, and debates among brethren; which too often proceed from a fecret envy, when one child is preferred -inadvisedly in a parent's affections: and this is for the most part, the caufe of all differences amongst brethren. But this fhould be fo far from prompting us to break with our brother or fifter, that we should rather be convinced thereby of the neceffity there is for us to love them; to prevent the fatal confequences, which too frequently follow fuch differences to the ruin of the whole family; and fo to convince our brethren that we neither quarel with them, nor envy them any advantage, any more than one part of the body does envy another part of the fame body; which will provoke them to help forward the good of us all, as being members of the fame body. And,
Amongst fpiritual brethren alfo.
As you have heard the duty and interest of love among natural brethren, give me leave to put you in mind of that spiritual brotherhood, which subfifts amongst all the members of Chrift's church.
All christians are brethren by adoption in Chrift Jefus, who has established love as the great mark of his difciples: thereby informing us, that as God fo loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son to redeem us; to make us members of his body, the church, and children of God; fo the spiritual bond of religion should never fail to unite us all in love and charity, peace and concord. For,
It is not enough to fay we are brethren in Christ, because we are all called in one baptifm to partake of the promises through Chrift; but we must approve ourselves brethren indeed, by holding faft the profeffion of that faith, once delivered unto the faints, without wavering, never through vain curiofity, or unbounded paffion, or for any other unlawful means whatever, breaking communion with thofe, who believe and profess all neceflary truths. And therefore, as a means to promote this chriftian duty, it is neceffary also that we should shew forth our good conversation in Christ, and our love to his members, by communicating with them in all his holy inftitutions; not only continuing ftedfaftly in the apostles doctrine and fellowship, but also in breaking of bread and in prayer.
Such a chriftian temper as this, will induce those, who are well grounded in the true faith, to bear with, and not to despise the infirmities of fuch as are weak, who have been led from the truth by a too rafh or mistaken judgment, or by an erroneous education. In fuch cafes as thefe, let no man judge his brother, but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling block, or an occafion to fall in his brother's way: receive the weak in faith, but not to doubtful difputations, teaching him that which makes for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.
His weakness or error must never abate, our christian charitowards him; no not even if he be fallen into fin. It was the great end of Christ's preaching, to call finners to repentance; and how can we be brethren in Christ Jefus, if we do contrary to his doctrine and example? And therefore, if we see our brother commit fin, we are not to imitate the proud Pharifee, boafting of our own righteouf
Restore them after
nefs, and reflect, or almost make a merit of our brother's faults; but we must follow Chrift, and his apostles directions, to restore him that is overtaken, and confider ourselves, left we also be tempted. We must admonish him, and endeavour meekly to recover him from the error falls. of his way; remembring that we must not be prefumptuous of our own ftrength, but to take care while we ftand that we do not fall, or while we feek the converfion of others, we ourselves do not become caftaways. V. This command extends itself to all kinds of Servants rulers; and commands that honour and obedience, muft obey. which fervants owe to their masters, and the offices and duties which mafters owe to their fervants. A Servant owes his master no obedience against the laws of God, or the laws of his country: but a fervant, when he enters into fervice, gives up his time and labour by agreement to his mafter for wages, keeping, and protection, and must fulfil the conditions, upon which he is admitted to ferve. So that he would be unjust to waste that time, and spare that labour, that is none of his; they are his mafter's by contract, and his master ought to have the advantage of them, because fold unto them; therefore it would be as just for a master to detain part of his fervant's wages, contracted for, as it is for a fervant to waste and mifemploy that time, and spare that labour, that was his master's by contract: for a fervant has no more right to his master's money, than the mafter has right to his fervant's time and labour: the one does not stand to his bargain, and thereby he fets the other at liberty on his part. So long as juftice is the rendring to all men what Diligent. is their due, injuftice will be the detaining from any one what is their right; was it not the fervant's interest to do his duty, as it is: because moderate labour has advantages that fervants do not think on, it makes their neceffary service in time grow eafy; for, as repeated acts beget habits, and things habitual become eafy and familiar to us, fo continued labours, if done with moderation, when strength and pains are difcreetly proportioned out, beget activity, which cannot be long idle. So