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"to please all men for their good to edification ;"4 but fearing no man in the discharge of our con. sciences; and neither saying nor omitting any thing, for the sake of applause, from the many or the few; or of promoting either our own wealth and power, or that of our order; to instruct, exhort, and comfort, all that are placed under our care, with sincerity, discretion, and tenderness, privately as well as publicly, as far as they give us opportunity, or we discern hope of doing service; "watching for their souls, as they that must give 66 account; "5 to rule in the Church of God with vigilance, humility, and meekness; "showing "ourselves, in all things, patterns of good "works."
The duty of you, the Christian laity, whom we are to teach, is, to attend constantly and seriously on religious worship and instruction, as a sacred ordinance appointed by heaven for your spiritual improvement; to consider impartially and carefully what you hear; and believe, and practice, what you are convinced you ought; to observe, with due regard, the rules established for decent order and edification in the Church; and pay such respect, in word and deed, to those who minister to you in holy things, as the interest and honour of religion require; accepting and encouraging our well-meant services, and bearing charitably with our many imperfections and failings.
A third relation is, that between masters or mistresses of schools, and their scholars. The duty of the former is, diligently to instruct the children committed to them, in all the things which they are put to learn-suiting their manner of teaching, as well as they can, to the temper and capacity of each; and to take effectual care that they apply
(4) Rom. xv. 2. 1 Cor. x. 33. (5) Heb. xiii. 17.
(6) Tit. ii. 7.
themselves to what is taught them, and do their best; to watch over their behaviour, especially in the great points of honesty and truth, modesty and good humour; show countenance to such as are well-behaved and promising; correct the faulty with needful, yet not with excessive severity; and get the incorrigible removed out of the way, before they corrupt others. And the duty of the scholars is, to reverence and obey their masters or mistresses, as if they were their parents; to live friendly and lovingly with one another, as brethren or sisters; to be heartily thankful to all that give, or procure them, so valuable a blessing as useful knowledge, and industrious to improve in it; considering how greatly their happiness, here and hereafter, depends upon it.
I come now to a fourth relation, of great extent and importance; that between heads of families and their servants.
When the New Testament was written, the generality of servants were, as in many places they are still, mere slaves; and the persons to whom they belonged, had a right to their labour, and that of their posterity, for ever, without giving them any other wages than their maintenance; and with a power to inflict on them what punishment they pleased; for the most part, even death itself, if they would. God be thanked, service amongst us is a much happier thing; the conditions of it being usually no other, than the servants themselves voluntarily enter into, for their own benefit. But, then, for that reason, they ought to perform whatever is due from them, both more conscientiously and more cheerfully.
Now, from servants is due, in the first place, obedience. Indeed, if they are commanded what is plainly unlawful, they "ought to obey God ra"ther than man ;"7 but still must excuse them
(7) Acts v. 29.
selves decently, though resolutely. And even lawful things, which they have not bargained to do, they are not obliged to do; nor any thing, indeed, which is clearly and greatly unsuitable to their place and station, and improper to be required of them. But whatever they engaged, or knew they were expected to do; or what, though they did not know of it beforehand, is usual and reasonable, or even not very unreasonable, they
must submit to. For if they may, on every small pretence, refuse to do this, and question whether that belongs to their place, it is most evident, that all authority and order in families must be at an end; and they themselves will have much more trouble in disputing about their business, than they would have in performing it.
Servants, therefore, should obey, and they should do it respectfully and readily; not murmuring-behaving gloomily and sullenly, as if their work were not due for their wages; but, as the Apostle exhorts, "with good-will doing ser"vice; not answering again," and contradicting, as if those whom they serve, were their equals; but paying all fit honour to their master or mistress, and to every one in the family.
They are also to obey with diligence; to spend as much time in work, and follow it as closely all that time, as can be fairly expected from them "not with eye-service, as men-pleasers," these are the words of Scripture, twice repeated there, "but in singleness of heart, fearing God."í Whatever industry, therefore, a reasonable master would require, when his eye is upon them, the same, in the main, honest servants will use, when his eyeisnot upon them; for his presence or absence can make no difference in their duty. He hath
(8) Eph. vi. 7.
(9) Tit. ii. 9.
(1) Eph. vi. 6. Col. iii. 22.
agreed with them for their time and pains; and he must not be defrauded of them..
With diligence must always be joined care, that no business be neglected, or delayed beyond its proper season; nothing mismanaged for want of thinking about it; nothing heedlessly, much less designedly, wasted and squandered; but all reasonable frugality and good contrivance shown; and all fair advantages taken, yet no other, for the benefit of those who employ them. Every servant would think this but common justice in his own case; and therefore should do it as common justice in his master's case. Some perhaps may imagine, that their master's estate or income is well able to afford them to be careless or extravagant. But the truth is, few or no incomes can afford this. For if it be practised in one thing, why not in another? And what must follow, if it be practised in all ?-that certainly which we daily see, that persons of the greatest estates are distressed and ruined by it. Or though it would not distress them at all, yet a master's wealth is no more a justification of servants wasting what belongs to him, than of their stealing it and if one be dishonest, the other must.
Now dishonesty every body owns to be a crime, but every body doth not consider sufficiently how many sorts of it there are. Observe then, that, besides the instances already mentioned, and the gross ones that are punishable by the law, it is dishonest in a servant either to take to himself or to give to another, or consent to the taking or giving, whatever he knows he is not allowed, and durst not do with his master's knowledge. There are, to be sure, various degrees of this fault ; some not near so bad as others; but it is the same kind of fault in all of them; besides that the smaller degrees lead to the greater. And all
dishonesty, bad as it is in other persons, is yet worse in those who are intrusted, as servants are; and things put in their power upon that trust; which if they break, they are unfaithful as well as unjust.
Another sort of dishonesty is speaking falsehoods, against which, I have already, in the course of these Lectures, given some cautions, and shall give more; therefore, at present, I shall only say, that, whether servants are guilty of it amongst themselves, or to their masters or mis tresses, whether against or in favour of one another, or even in their own favour, there are few things, by which they may both do and suffer more harm than by a lying tongue.
Truth, therefore, is a necessary quality in servants. And a further one is proper secrecy. For there is great unfairness in betraying the secrets, either of their master's business, or his family; or turning to his disadvantage any thing that comes to their knowledge by being employed under him; unless it be where conscience obliges them to a discovery; which is a case that seldom happens. And, excepting that case, what they have promised to conceal, it is palpable wickedness to disclose. And where they have not promised, yet they are taken into their master's house to be assistants and friends, not spies and tale-bearers; to do service, not harm to him, and to every one that is under his roof.
The other duties, of all persons indeed, but in some measure peculiarly of servants, are, sobriety, without which they can neither be careful nor diligent, nor will be likely to continue just; and chastity, the want of which will produce all manner of disorders and mischiefs in the family to which they belong, and utter ruin to themselves.
The last requisite which I shall mention, is, peaceableness and good temper, agreeing with