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E3.] Education is a blessed mean of grace. So was it to good Obadiah, 1 Kings xviii, 12. and so it was to Timothy, Tim. iii. 15. compare chap. i. 5; Why, because it is a mean appointed of God for that end, and therefore may be followed in faith of the promise, Prov. xxii. 6. Train up a child in the way he should go : and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Chap. xxiii. 14. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and Jhalt deliver his foul from hell. Auguftine's mother was a good woman; but such was his life, that it coft her many prayers and tears; and weeping to one about his case, “Go thy way,” said he to her," for it can“ not be that a son of these tears can perish ;” and so it was.
(2.) This is a great part of our generation - work, the work that we have to do for the honour of God in the world, Pfal. lxxviii. 3. 4. to do our endeavour to hand down religion and honesty to the succeeding generation, And we must give an account to God of it. And as kings must account to God for what they have done for him in their kingdoms, and minifters in their congregations, so must parents account to him for what they have done in their families.
(3.) The vows of God are upon us for that cause. These are little minded by many, but God does not forget them. As Sarah was under the bond of the covenant by her husband's circumcision; so mothers are under the bond of the covenant by the vows taken on by their husbands; and are therefore obliged to use their utmost endeavours to fulfil these vows in the education of their children.
And the due consideration of this might engage children to be obedient and pliable to the commands, instructions, and directions of their parents for their good.
I come now to the relation betwixt masters and servants, for which you may read Col. iii. 22. & iv. I. Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the Hesh; not with eye-service, as men-pleasers, but in singles
ness of heart, fearing God. Masters, give unto your fervants that which is just and equal, knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven.
The servants duty is laid down, ver. 22. Servants, obey in all things your masters, &c. Wherein consider, (1.) The duty enjoined them, obedience. (2.) The extent of it, in all things, in things religious and civil, in easier or harder pieces of service; nothing is excepted but what is finful; and that is excepted in that clause, your maflers according to the flesh; that is, the outward mạn, to distinguish them from the great Lord and Master of the conscience; in which respect we are forbidden to be servants of men, 1 Cor. vii. 2 3. and to call no man master, Matth. xxiii. 8. Therefore Joseph is commended for refusing the folicitations of his mistress to uncleanness, and Saul's servants that they would not flay the Lord's priests. (3.) The manner of it; negatively, not with eye-service, that is, when the master's eye is the measure of their work, busy before him; but if he turn his back, they flacken their hand: positively, in fengleness of heart ; that is, faithfully, as under the eye of God, to whom they muft give account,
The masters duty is laid down, chap. iv. I. Wherein, (1.) We have the duty they owe to their servants. It is taken up in two general heads. [1.] They are to give them what is just ; that is, what they are obliged to give them by strict law or condition; give them what they owe them by strict justice. [2.] What is equal; that is, what they are tied to by the law of charity and Christian meekness, though not of strict justice. (2.) The reason enforcing it is, because maiters on earth have a Master in heaven, to whom they must give an account, as of other things, fo of how they do to their servants.
Before I come to the duties of fervants and masters, two things are to be considered ; viz. who are meant by servants, and who by masters.
!: Who are meaạt by fervants. Not to speak of bond-servants or slaves, whose bodies are perpetually under the power of their masters, there being no such fervitude among us; servants who are mercenary or hirelings' are of two sorts. (1.) Domestic servants, who live in their master's family. (2.) Extra-domestic servants, who though they live not in their mafter's family, but by themselves, yet receive his wages, whether for a few days, as day-labourers, men or women; or for certain terms, as herds, hinds, &*c. All. these come under the name of servants, and owe a duty to their masters according to the law of God.
2. Who are meant by masters. (1.) There is the principal master, the master of the family, who pays the wages. (2.) There are fubordinate masters. Such are, [1.] The mistress of the family, Psal. cxxiii. 2. [2.] Fellow.fervants or others deputed by, and having power from the principal master to oversee o. thers, Gen. xxiv. 2. These must be obeyed, as having the master's authority, unless it be known that they go cross to the will and interest of the principal master. And here I shall consider,
1. The duty servants owe to their masters.
2. The duty of masters with respect to their servants.
First, I am to shew the duty which servants owe to their masters. They owe,
1. Inward reverence towards them, and fear of them, i Pet. ii. 18. Mal. i. 6. They should have a hearty respect to the character of a master, with a conscientious regard to the fuperiority that God has given them over them, wherein they are, so far, to them in the place of God, Eph. vi. 5. as unto Christ. They hould fear to offend them, to displease them by doing or cmitting any thing which they know will of. fend them, Eph. vi. 5.
2. Honour, Mal. i. 6. They ought outwardly to carry respectfully to them, whatever they be, if they be their masters, and that both in word and deed, An humbly lubiniflive and respectful countenance
and carriage towards a master, is an excellent ornament of a servant. Neither the badness of the master, nor his goodness and piety, leaves fervants a latitude in this point. Though they be bad men, yet they arc masters, 1 Tim. vi. 1. ; and if they be fellow-Christians, that takes not away the distance of stations,
3. Carefulness to maintain the credit of the family, not disclosing the secrets thereof, nor blazing abroad their infirmities. The king of Syria was troubled to think that any of his servants should be as spies upon him, 2 Kings vi. 11. And surely tale-bearing fervants must be a great plague to a family. It is reckoned among the mischiefs of an evil time, when there is no trusting of any body, that a man's enemies are those of his own house, Micah vii. 6. It is a Judaslike treachery, when men or women are brought into a house to eat their bread and work their work, to go.
abroad among others and wound their reputation, 4. Standing to the master's allowance, both in things determined by condition and not determined. Some things are determined by condition, that the servants may require ; and when the master allows that, though the servant may think it too little, he ought not to take more at his own hand. So when fervants are allowed to keep so many beasts, and no more, it is their fin to keep more; though they may think it is no fault if they can get it kept secret, it does no great wrong to the master. But that is injustice to the master, and your fin before God, in whose fight it will be reckoned theft, Gen. xxx. 23. And in things not determined by condition, as the measure of diet and liberty, certainly the master's allowance in that is to be stood to. As to their diet, it is observed of the virtuous woman, Prov. xxxi. 15. She giveth meat to her household: they do not take it at their own hand. The fecret waste that fonie make in the houses of others for their bellies, is oft-times, I believe, punished with hungry bellies when they come to their own. As for their liberty and time, it is carved out by the masters, not by the servants, ver. 15. 18. And for servants to take their matter's time to employ for themselves without their master's allowance, is injustice.
5. Meek and patient submission to the checks and rebukes of the master, not answering again, Tit. ii. 9. The ears of servants are bored to hear, and their tongues not filed to speak. It is very good reason, will ye say, when we are in a fault ; though many will not take a word in that case, without giving the master as good as he brings. But if they have done ro fault, they think they are not obliged to bear a rebuke ; but the Spirit of God does not teach so, 1 Pet. ii. 18. 19. 20. Servants, be subject to your masters with ail fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. For this is thank-worthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it, if when ye be buffeted for your faults, gje shall take it patiently?? but if when je do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently ; this is acceptable with God. It may be the master's fin to chide unrealonably, but it is the servant's fin not to bear it meekly. Sarah dealt hardly with her maid, which was her fin; yet the angel will not allow Hagar to take her heels for it, but obliges her to return and submit, Gen. svi, 9.
9. Lastly, Serving them conscientiously and honestly. If fervants expect their wages, they owe their mafter service, and God will have them to make conscience of their service. If we look to the word of God, there is much that goes to this.
(1.) Servants must be obedient and pliable to the commands of the master in all lawful things, Tit. ii. 9. Though the service required may be painful and hard, yet they ought not to refuse it. Thus Jacob served Laban, Gen. xxxi. 40. 41. without considering that he was as good a man as his master was. They that put their necks under the yoke, should resolve to bear it.
(2.) Ye should follow the master's direction in the