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BEDIENCE, GRATITUDE, AND HONOUR,
GOD AND THEIR PARENTS.
Ne of the first things pious and good christians generally
While therefore God by his spirit is striving with thee,
from the evil of thy ways, saying, “Turn ye, turn se,
ye die ?" Turn at my reproof, and I will pour out of my spirit upon you, and make myself known unto you.” Again, “ I stand at the door and knock (here is a holy stroke at the heart) if any man will hear my voice (see the universal and unlimited love of God in Christ to poor mortals) and open the door, I will come in unto him." Rev. iii. 20.
If man will open the door of his heart to his Maker and Saviour, he will come unto, or into his soul. Oh, soul! no guest in the world like this heavenly guest ; no companion, no friend in the world, like this great, this choice friend, Almighty God. Oh! “Seek him while he is yet to be found, and call upon him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts (that are evil) and turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him, and (as say the righteous, who seek the glory of God, and the goodness of souls) to our God, for he will abundantly pardon." Isa. lv. 7.
Therefore, “ Turn, turn, O turn! why will ye die," ye curious workmanship of God's holy hands, ye fine and beautiful young men and women ?
The youth should also gratefully and obediently remember their careful fathers, and indulgent and tender mothers : unto such youths God has promised a reward, the which promise I have seen fulfilled in many thousands; and God is more and more fulfilling of it every day; and will fulfil it to the end of time.
And how reasonable is it that we should remember with tenderness, our father who begat us, and not diso bey him in his lawful and just commands,, not wittingly or willingly vex or grieve him?
Pray how shall we ever be able to pay or retaliate him for all his care, and the cost and charges he hath been at in bringing us up, till we come to be young men and women? Can we ever do enough for him that hath done so much for us?
Oh! how unhandsome it is, as well as irreligious and unchristian, for young men or women, when their parents are old, and perhaps full of aches and pains, or otherwise
in years and bad health, to treat them with scorn and contempt, or be surly and churlish, and flout at and disobey their wholesome counsel and advice.
On such young people I have seen the heavy hand of God in my day, and made observations thereof, many and many a time. O! the many disobedient youth that I have seen, that have been examples and warnings to others, of the just judgement of God Almighty, upon disobedient and profane young people; and indeed too many old ones too.
But the youth are too apt to think and say, our bones are full of marrow, and our veins of blood, and our blood is warm; we cannot be so dull and heavy as old men.
Well, who hath filled, and by whose providence are your bones and veins full of marrow and blood ? Is it not God? Is it not in him ye live, move, and have your being? What hath the devil and sin to do with all this? Shall not God have the marrow of your days ? And should not youth serve him with their purest or finest blood ? And should they not be warm, and not luke. warm or cold, in and towards the things of God and heaven?
Thus to be vigorous and manly in the work of God, is truly and rightly to honour our parents, as God com. mands.
It is not to honour them with the mouth and lips only, but with the heart, and with serving God; for that is the honour spoken of in the holy scripture.
None can rightly honour their parents, who dishonour God. If a young man or woman is religious, and of a discreet conduct, and of a sober and just conversation : that indeed is a real honour to, and honouring of our parents. For, say people, when they behold just and religious youths, when their father is living, Oh, how happy is that man in his children! and indeed it is an honourable happiness: when, on the other hand, (pity! Oh, pity! pity!) how many fine youths, to look at (at a distance, to outward appearance) have, through their disobedience, and vile practice, brought down the grey hairs of their careful and tender parents, with sorrow to the grave.
And, as if their own ruin and their parents was not enough, bring, through their intemperance and foly, ruin and destruction on their posterity also ; and what their parents have with great labour gained to bring them up, and educate them till they come to maturity, they in a little time spend extravagantly and intemperately, as well as foolishly and inconsiderately; and so bring ruin and destruction swiftly on themselves and posterity.
And another subject but seldom spoken of, or handled, is the extraordinary regard we should have to oblige our mothers, and the tender care we should take to nourish and comfort them in age; and not to vex or grieve them, if we could possibly help it, for many rea. sons, besides our religious duty, as above, in relation of honour to parents.
And let us remind the youths of this age, of either sex, that in the time of the law (the law of God under the Mosaical dispensation) the disobedient youths were to be brought out of the camp or city, and all the people were to stone them to death.
It is true, our gospel dispensation, or the dispensation of our sweet Jesus, is not so rigorous; but much more mild and gentle, as to the body ; yet, as to the soul, without repentance, the disobedient to natural parents in gen. eral (besides to our Father in heaven in particular) entail upon them an eternal curse in the world to come, and many crosses and difficulties in this world. And herein the gospel exceeds the law, it gives time for repentance
, mixes mercy with judgement, and sanctifies our troubles, crosses, and afflictions, to us, through repentance and amendment of life; whereas the law in old time was esecuted without mercy or pity, and with fierce wrath, vigour, and anger.
But to return to the tender mother. Oh! the tender soul of the tender mother, how it yearns over the diso bedient son or daughter! and who that hath not a heart of flint or adamant, but would comply or yield to
the wholesome advice and counsel of so tender a parent, brought us into the world? Affection to such a near parent, one would think should constrain us to it.
dowever, if religion or affection is not so predominant, xreason do it. First, it is a rational consideration that x mother suffered many pains, and much sickness, rich thou wert the occasion of, even before thou wert pught forth into the world, besides the dolorous, bitter tigs and pains of child-birth, which have cost the life of zny a tender mother.
Ind consider the first month after thou wert born, Oh, care and tender concern, the watching, labour and rge, cannot easily be expressed! What a running to physician upon every symptom or suspicion of being
pr out of order! And must all this be forgotten? Oh ght of ingratitude! which too many poor young peoare guilty of. "hough blessed be the Almighty Lord, there are some » are truly and humbly thankful to God and their
pa. s for their being, and well-being, believing they can er fully requite him or their parents. Tow, after our first month, what a deal of fatigue and ible we give our mothers, who still, if they give us k (as many mothers do; even queens and princesses, many
noble women, not disdaining to give their <dren suck from their own breast's, which certainly Ce most natural way of bringing up and nourishing n; though, on some considerations, a nurse may be Gensed with) how do we partake of their own blood, to wasteing of their spirits, and oftentimes their flesh also. Pirely nothing but love and duty, could engage a mothto the care and fatigue which she is obliged to undergo ursing and suckling her children, especially if before Fid in the world; who can express the toil and care to dp the poor unthinking little ones quiet, and the many
ry steps and contrivances to keep them from crying? chough, by the way, when they grow up, their moth
may cry night and day too, and they take but too we notice of it: (i. e.) the rebellious, ungrateful, and
obedient youth. Oh, youth! must all this be forgotten? Must all this e no consideration with you, and bear no due weight on your minds ? Oh! certainly no: God forbid !