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abroad their own fhame in fpeaking to the difcredit of their relatives; contempt of and defpifing one another. All these are quite oppofite to conjugal love
12. Against that faithfulness they owe to one another, in refpect of their bodies, is infidelity in the grofs breach of the marriage-contract, deferting and leaving one another, and defrauding one another. In refpect of their means is all idleness, mifmanagement, and waftery. And in respect of their fouls, is unconcernednefs about them, being at no pains to inftruct, admonith, and watch over one another; and if at any time they tell them of their faults, it is to their reproach, being before others, or in their paffion, fo that it can do no good. And much more then whey become fnares and hinderances to one another instead of meet helps, leading and provoking their relatives to fin against God, and ruin their own fouls.
Wives particularly fin against their husbands, by cafting off all reverence to them, carrying themfelves imperioully towards them, being difobedient, wilful, and intractable, and like Vafhti, Efth. i. 10. II. C2. who would not come to the king, when fent for by him, will not go an inch by their own will to please them. It is not their honour to command, whofe province God has made it to obey, Ezek. xvi., 30 Eph. Vd ult.
Hufbands fin against their wives in dealing untenderly with them, tyrannifing and domineering over them in a masterful way, not protecting them from the infults of others, nor providing for them; giving them that are their wives no truft, but making them like Nabal accountable to the utmott farthing, nor encouraging and praifing them when they do well; moft of all in beating them, in ute only with furious or mad men, Eph. v. 25. 29.
Secondly, As to parents and children:
1. Children fin against their parents by difobedience to them. Such are in the midft of the black roll, Rom. i. 30. and are in a near way to ruin, Prov. xxx.
17. So do they by all irreverence to them, and flight ing and difhonouring them in word and deed, Deuts Xxvi. 16. and much more by curling of them, Exod. XXI. 17. Many again fin against God and their pa rents, being unteachable, and will not hearkens to their inftruction, Prov. v. 7. ; they will not take a harp word from them, but their hearts rife against them and it too, Prov. xiii. 18.; and others, though they will bear with words, yet they are stubborn, and will not fubmit to correction, Deut. xxi. 18 19. And what will we fay of thofe that like curfed Ham make 2 jeft of their parents infirmities, waste their substance, and prove unnatural and hard-hearted to them when they are old and in distress? Prov. xix. 26. Finally, they in by difpofing of themfelves to callings or in marriage without confent of their parents, Gen. xxvi, ugg boo 34. 35.
2. Parents fin against their children many ways, while they are not concerned for them while infants; but many are careless as to the bringing up of their children to fome honeft employment, but by encou raging them in idleness, prove a fnare to them. Moft men, if they bring their children to be able to fhift for a livelihood to themfelves, think they have done enough, while they have been at pains to bring them up for God. Many will learn them to work that will not learn them to read, pray, &c. What thall we fay of thofe that will learn them to ban, fwear, lie, pick and fieal, and encourage them in fuck things? Some kill their children by cockering of them; they indulge them fondly to their ruin. And how indifcreetly will parents dote on one child by another, where it is not grace but mere fancy that makes the difference? Gen. xxv. 28. Some, on the other hand, are wofully harsh to their children, and break their fpirits, by holding them fo fhort by the head that they are driven to extremities, ufing them as drudges rather than as children, immoderately beating them when they are in a fault, and inveighing again them
want our reward from the chief Shepherd, who will give us a crown of life. If we be unfaithful, wo will be unto us for betraying our trust.
I give you a few advices.
1. Remember always that it is God whom ye have to do with. This will make you little to regard mens feud or favour, if ye do your work agreeable to God's will.
2. Study to act in dependence on the Lord; for he fends none a-warfare on his own charges. Eye his promifed affiftance when ye fet about your work.
2. Labour to believe, that the way of uprightness and faithfulness is the fure way. When a man's ways pleafe the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him, Prov. xvi. 7. He that rebuketh a man, afterwards fhall find more favour than he that flattereth him, Prov. xxviii. 23. Lets mens corruptions fay what they will, their confciences will fpeak in favour of faithful dealing.
4. Watch over your own perfons, that in your pèrfonal walk ye be blameless and exemplary, 1 Tim. iii. 1. 2. 3. If ye be untender in your walk, ye will do more hurt than ye can do good. Being honoured to be governors in the houfe of a holy God, ye must be holy as the Mafter is holy; tender in your words, circumfpect in your actions, and therefore watchful over your hearts.
5. Watch over your families. Every one that has a family, is obliged to this, and you in a fpecial manner, 1 Tim. iii. 4. 5. The finful practices of those of your family will reflect a peculiar difhonour on you, and by you on your Lord and Master. Therefore your families fhould be a church, wherein God is to be duly worshipped morning and evening; and good difcipline kept up, by admonition, reproof, and watchfulness.
6. Ye muft watch over one another, each over his fellow-elders, knowing, that any thing fcandalous in one of the fociety reflects a dishonour on the whole,
and by them on the Lord himself. And if ye be not careful on that fide, there will be little good of your watching over the flock. And thefore ftrict difcipline among yourselves is abfolutely neceffary.
USE II. As to you the people, I would exhort you to make confcience of your duty towards your officers. Alas! for the little confcience that is made of that among us. I am fure we may find matter of mourning this day in that matter.
Inftead of honouring of them, many defpife and pour contempt on them, more than otherwife they would do, thus vilely treating their facred office.
Instead of fubmiffion and obedience, what refractorinefs and fpurning of difcipline for fcandalous of fences! Some cannot endure to be told of their faults; but if we admonish or reprove them even privately, they are made worfe instead of better, and rather than take a reproof, they will give up with ordinan
Inftead of being careful of their reputation, fome will bawl out upon them, and abufe them on every occafion. And there is nothing with many more readily received, than the vomit of malicious and fpiteful fpirits against minifters and elders, which is greedily licked up, 1 Cor. iv, 13.
Hence it is that mens hands are weakened, and they are difcouraged in their work, while they fee the people of that temper, Hof. iv, 4. And hence it is that it is fo very hard to get men to undertake the office of elders; for they fee that if they engage therein, they must be the very butt of the malice and fpite of bitter fpirits; and that if they will be faithful, they engage themfelves in a fighting life, and that the ftream will go against them. But allow me to put you in mind of three things.
1. Whofe part you act in that matter. It is the part of Satan against thefe men and yourselves too. Can you fall upon a more expedite way to advance the kingdom of the devil in the congregation, than to̟,
difcourage and weaken the hands of thofe that are set over you in the Lord? Is there a fairer way to rout the army than to make their leaders ufelefs?
2. Whofe fervants they are. They are clothed with a commiffion from the King of the church; and the contempt poured on them, reaches to their Master: He that defpifeth you, fays he, defpifeth me, Luke x. 16. Will the laws of the land avenge the affronts done to a petty officer, who comes to execute the fentence of a civil court? did David feverely avenge on the Ammonites their maltreating of his fervants whom he sent on a congratulatory meffage to them, as ye find in 2 Sam. x.? and will not the Lord Jefus refent in his wrath the maltreatment of those that are clothed with his commiffion?
3. Lastly, Are ye not the profeffed fubjects of the kingdom of Chrift? why then will ye not fubmit yourselves to the laws of his houfe? why will ye not be obedient in the Lord to thofe whom he fets over you, complying with their exhortations, admonitions, and rebukes? Luke xix. 27. Why do not ye ftrengthen their hands in the Lord's work? If ye have any intereft in Zion's King, it is the work of our common Lord, which you are obliged to in a private way, as well as they by virtue of their office; and therefore ye are bound to co-operate with them in what ferves to promote the intereft of that King, whofe fervants you profefs to be.
I proceed now to confider the relation betwixt political fathers and their children; that is, magiftrates and fubjects,
First, I fhall fhew the duty of fubjects to magiftrates.
1. They owe them fingular refpect and honour, 1 Pet. ii. 17. They are to be honoured by us in our hearts, thinking of and efteeming them reverently, and carrying a reverent fear and awe of them within our breafts, 1 Sam. xxvi. 16. 17. Prov. xxiv. 21,