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place in the head, and so should be capable to guide, 1 Pet. iii. 7.
On the other hand, the wife should be pliable and teachable, i Tim. ii. 11. yea and be ready to seek instruction from her husband, i Cor. xiv. 35. She should be obedient to his commands and directions, ver. 34. ; for in every thing wherein the law of God has not bound ber up, the husband's will ought to be complied with, Eph. v. 24. Gen. iii. 16.
The reasons of the husband's duty are these.
1. Because husbands are appointed to be such heads as Christ is to the church, Eph. v. 25. And it men would reflect on this, it would make them very duti. ful, and bear with many things, as Christ doth, else we would be ruined.
2. Because thy wife is thy own flesh, thy fçcond felf, ver. 28. 39. and so undutifulness is monstrous.
3. Because she is the weaker vessel, 1 Pet. iii. 7.; for it hath pleased the Lord to exercise the woman with a special measure of infirmity both natural and moral.
The reasons of the woman's duty are these.
1. Because the woman was created for the man, I Tim. ii. 13. compare 1 Cor. xi. 9.
2. Because the woman was the first that sinned, i Tim. ii. 14. compare Gen. iii. 16.
3. Because she is the weaker vefsel.
Use. s. Let all such as have been or are in that relation be humbled under the sense of their fin in that point, and fly to the blood of Christ for pardon. And let every one look on that relation as a serious matter, in which people must walk with God, and under which they are bound to so many duties, of which they must give an account to the Lord.
2. Let husbands and wives study to make conscience of their duty one to another, and frame their life accordingly. For motives, consider,
(1.). God lays them ona Nature may storm at them, but they are God's commands; and whoło breaketh over the hedge, the ferpent will bite.
(2.) Your marriage vows and voluntary covenant engage to these. Though we forget them, God does not and will not.
(3.) Your own comfort depends upon them; and so does the happiness in that relation.
Lastly, Death comes, and that will diffolve the relation. Therefore before that awful event, let every one make conscience of performing their respective duties, that they may die in peace.
As to the relation betwixt parents and children, see Col. iii. 20. 21. Children, obey your parents in all things : for this is well-pleasing unto the Lord. Fathers,. provoke not your children to anger, left they be discouraged.
In the first of these we have, 1. The duty that children owe to their parents; and that is obedience in all things lawful. The word rendered obey points at obedience flowing from inward respect to them. 2. The reafon of it; it is pleasing to God who has enjoined it.
In the next place, we have the duty of parents to their children.' Where, 1. There is fomething supposed, that they must use their parental power and authority over their children for their good. 2. Something expressed, that they use it moderately, not abuse it to the irritating of them, left they crush them, and make them heartless.
Parents and children must carry to one another as they will be answerable to God, who has given them their orders. Here I shall fhew,
1. The duties that children owe to their parents. 2. The duty of parents to their children,
First, I am to thew the duties that children owe to their parents.
1. Singular love to them, as the parents ought to bear to them. This is called natural affection, the want whereof is accounted among the most horrid abominations, Rom. i. 31. Such a natural affection did Jofeph fhew to liis father, Gen. xlvi. 29. when he went to meet him, fell on his neck, and zept on his neck
a good while.
2. Reverence and fear. Their fear is to be squared
with love, and their love falted with fear, Lev. xix. 3. The mother is there particularly mentioned, and that in the first place, because as people are ready to break over the hedge where it is lowest, fo children are moft apt to despise their inother; and they being much about her hand while young, left familiarity breed contempt, God bath expressly provided against it. They must have a conscientious regard to that authority God has given them over them, and fear to offend them, as those who to them are in God's stead.
3. An outward reverent and respectful behaviour towards them. They ought not to be treated rude- . ly by their children, as if they were their companions, Mal. i. 6.; but they ought to speak re pectfully to them, Gen. xxxi. 35. and carry respectfully to them, Prov. xxxi. 28. This was Solomon's practice even when a king, 1 King ii. 19. ; for as the candle if lighted will shine through the lantern, so reverence in the heart will appear in the outward carriage.
4. A ready obedience to their lawful commands, Col. iii. 20.
If it be not contrary to the command of God, they ought to obey. Subjection and obedience to parents is the honour as well as the duty of children. Joseph's ready obedience to his father is recorded to his commendation, Gen. xxxvii. 13. Yea Christ himself was a pattern to children in this regard to the parental authority, Luke ii. 51.
5. Submission. · They are to submit to their instructions and directions, readily receiving them and complying with them, Prov. i. 8. Man being born like a wild afs's colt, has need to be taught. They are to submit to their reproofs and admonitions, to take them kindly, and amend what is amis, Prov. xiii. 1.
Yea they are to submit to their corrections, for the folly bound up in their hearts makes the rod necessary, Heb. xii. 9. They are children of Belial indeed that will not bear this yoke of subjection.
6. Bearing with their infirmities, and covering them with the wings of love. Whether they be nae tural or moral infirmities, they would beware of despising or insulting them on that account, or any way exposing them, as some foolish youngsters are apt to do, Prov. xxiii. 22. Gen. ix. 22.
7. Following their reasonable advice, and taking alongst with them the authority of their parents in order to their calling or marriage. That children ought not to dispose of themselves in marriage without the consent of parents, is the constant doctrine of the Protestant churches. And the reasons are these. (1.) The scripture gives the power of making marriages for children to the parents, Deut. vii. 3. Jer. xxix. 6. 1 Cor. vii. 37. 38. Yea, even after parties have consented, it is left to the parent whether to give his abused daughter to him that has been guilty with her, Exod. xxii. 16. 17. (2.) The most approved examples of marriage in scripture go this way, Gen. xxiv. 3. 4. xxviii. 1. 2. & xxix. 19. Judg. xiv. 2. Lastly, The reason is plain; for the child cannot give away any thing that is his parents against their will. Now, the child himself is the parents, a part of their self-moving substance, in which they have a most undoubted property. So when the devil was permitted to fall upon what was Job's, he fell upon his children, and killed them in the first place. Yet, upon the other hand, no parent can force a child to marry such and such a person; for consent makes marriage, and that which is forced is no consent. The child must be satisfied as well as the parent, Gen. xxiv. 57. So the short of it is, that the consent of both is necessary, and that the parent must neither force the child, nor the child rob the parent.
8. Readiness to requite their parents when they are in need of it; that as they did for them when young, so they must do for them when old or reduced to poverty. This God requires of children, 1 Tim. v. 4. It is a piece of that honour to parents which the fifth command enjoins, Matth. xy. 4. 5. 6. So did Joseph,
Gen. xlvii. 12. This was a piece of duty which the Lord performed to his mother while he hung on the cross, John xix. 27.
9. Lastly, In a word, children should fo live as they may be a honour to their parents; for according as they are, their parents are either credited or alhamed. Yea and when they are dead and gone, they should be reverently remembered, their wholesome advices religiously followed, and their debts fatisfied, so as no body may get occasion to reproach them when they are away.
Use. 1. This may serve for conviction and humiliation to us all who either have had parents since we came to the years of discretion, or yet have them. Who can say in this, I have made my heart clean?
2. I exhort fuch as have parents, whether one or more, to be dutiful to them according to the word. There is indeed a great difference betwixt children in their father's family, and those forisfamiliated, who by tacit or expreís consent are left to their own disposal; but the duty of filial affection, reverence, and gratitude abideth. For motives, consider,
(1.) That parents with respect to their children do . in an especial manner bear an image of God, as he is our Creator, Provisor, and Ruler.
So are parents those from whom under him we had our being, by whose care and government God provided for us when we could neither provide for nor rule ourselves.
(2.) Hence it is evident, that do what we can to them or for them, we can never make a full recompense, but after all must die in their debt. But how little is this considered by many, who look on what they do for their parents in a magnifying glafs, while they are blind to what their parents have done for them!
(3.) Lastly, Consider, that God takes special notice how ye carry to your parents, Col. iii. 20. piece of duty which God readily regardeth according to his promise ; and the neglect thereof useth not to
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