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management of the work, not only doing what you are bidden, but as ye are bidden, Pfal. cxxiii. 2. The mafter is the eye to direct, and the fervant the hand to do what is directed. That the fervant may calmly advife the mafter, there is no doubt; but they that will do nothing pleafantly, if they get not their own way of it, forget themfelves and their duty.
(3.) Ye fhould do your business chearfully, Col. iii. 23. Such a fervant was Jacob to his uncle Laban, Gen. xxix. 20. Sullennefs and going about business grudgingly, makes it unacceptable, though otherwise well done.
(4.) Ye fhould do your bufinefs fingly. This a fervant does when he does not confult his own eafe and humour, but his mafter's true intereft, truly aiming at the thriving of his affairs, carefully avoiding every thing that may tend to his lofs; and therefore purfuing his intereft when the matter is abfent as well as when prefent, aiming at his duty as under the eye of God.
(5.) Ye fhould do your business faithfully: Faithfulness is a neceffary qualification in a good fervant, Matth. xxiv. 45. Servants having their mafter's fubftance among their hands, had need to be faithful, they having occafion to wrong him easily, if they have no refpect to confcience. But the fear of God will make people faithful to men in little and in great things. They must not take of their mafter's goods to their own ufe without his allowance, Tit. ii. 10. They must be faithful in their accounts, and not give up falfe accounts, as the unjust steward did, Luke xvi. 6. nor allege falfe commiffions from their master, as Gehazi did, 2 Kings v. 22. Jacob's faithfulness was his comfort, that though he had his mafter's flocks among his hands, he was free of them, Gen. xxxi. 38.
6. Diligence and carefulnefs about their master's business, Prov. xxii. ult. Negligence and careleffness is a piece of injuftice, whereby fervants defraud their mafters, Prov. xviii. 9.; for the lofs may be all one to VOL. III. D
the mafter, whether it be procured wilfully or thro' careleffness.
7. Lastly, Readiness and quicknefs in the dispatch of bufinefs. A flothful lazy fervant is moft uneasy, Prov. x. 26. Such a one, quick and ready, was Abraham's fervánt, Gen. xxiv. 33. 56. It is an apoftolical precept, Rom. xii. 11. Not flothful in business; fervent in Spirit; for fervants fhould ply their work, and honestly employ their strength for their mafter's behoof, Gen. xxxi. 6.
SECONDLY, I come now to fhew the duty of mafters with refpect to their fervants, 1. In the choice of them and, 2. When they have got them.
First, In the choice of fervants two things are to be
1. Chriftian mafters fhould look to the converfation of those whom they take to be their fervants, that they be piously inclined, as David did, Pfal. ci. 6. left they bring an Achan into their camp. A pious fervant may bring a blefling to the mafter, as in Jofeph's cafe. It is obfervable, that Potiphar faw that God was with Jofeph, ere he entrusted him with his businefs, Gen. xxxix. 3. 4. When Jonah came to the fhipmafter, he took him into his fhip without afking queftions, but ere all was done he was made to do it, Jonah i. 8.
2. They fhould look to their fitness and ability for their fervice, Pfal. cxii. 5. So Laban had knowledge of what Jacob could do before he engaged with him; for he ftaid with him a month, Gen. xxix. 14. 15.
Secondly, When they have got them. There are two things in the general that they owe unto them.
1. That which is juft. Juft things must be done to all, and particularly to thofe that are under us. takes fpecial notice of injuftice done by fuperiors to inferiors, who cannot fo well get themfelves righted. And by the law of ftrict juftice mafters are,
(1.) To allow their fervants fuflicient maintenance, whether within or without the houfe, Prov, xxvii. 27.
If mafters get their work, it is juft they fhould allow them food convenient, whereby they may be fitted for their work. The mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn was not to be muzzled; for our fakes doubtlefs God faith it, that thofe who work fhould eat fufficiently.
(2.) To give them payment of their wages, the keeping back whereof is a great oppreffion and crying fin, Jam. v. 4. Mafters fhould beware of all fraud and deceit in this. It ftands as a blot on Laban's memory, that he did not keep conditions with Jacob, but changed his wages ten times, Gen. xxxi. 41, for which he might make fome plaufible pretence as well as others, To pay them what is infufficient, putting them off with any thing that may make up account, is unjuft, Amos viii. 6. Nay, the keeping it up, and delaying to pay them, when it is in the power of our hand, is contrary to juftice, Deut. xxiv. 14. 15.
(3.) They fhould require no more of them than they are able to do. Servants fhould not be kept idle, Prov, xxix. 21. neither fhould they be rigorously preffed above their power, but allowed convenient time for reft and refrefhment, Lev. xxv. 43. It is juft, not only because they are fellow-creatures, but fellow-Chriftians,
(4.) Overfight and direction in what they fhould do, Prov, xxxi. 27. Thus Boaz is found in the field with his reapers. It is very unjuft to find fault with what fervants do, while men will not be at pains to tell them how they would have their bufinefs done,
2. They owe them that which is equal by the law of Chriftian meeknefs and charity. Now thus they owe unto them these things.
(1.) Mafters ought to rule their fervants gently and meckly, as being of the fame blood with themfelves, Eph. vi. 9. A proud and imperious carriage does not become Chriftianity. They fhould moderate or relax threatening, not do all with them with boafting and terror, but by meeknefs draw them on.
(2.) They fhould be ready to hear them in what they have to fay. It is the character of a Nabal, that he was fuch a fon of Belial, that a man could not Speak to him, 1 Sam. xxv. 17. Job declares himself to have been of another temper, Job xxxi. 13. The advice of a fervant modeftly propofed is not to be flighted, 2 Kings v. 13. 14.; and if there be any thing they have to complain of, mafters fhould hearken thereto, and do them right, as they would have God to hearken to themselves.
(3.) They fhould be wary of hearkening to ill tales concerning them, Prov. xxix. 12. An eafinefs to believe every tale makes an uneafy life, especially ill tales concerning thofe in whom people are particularly concerned.
(4.) They ought to take care of them when they are fick, efpecially when they have none other to care for them. It is highly reasonable that they should be cared for in their fickness by thofe in whofe fervice they have spent their ftrength, Matth. viii. 6. It is noted as a piece of the cruelty of an Amalekite, that he left his fervant when ficknefs overtook him, 1 Sam. xxx. 13. I
5. They fhould encourage and fhew fpecial favour, even by letting fomething beyond condition fall to faithful and diligent fervants. This is very equal; reafon, intereft, and religion call for it, Prov. xiv. ult. For a faithful fervant is one of the beft of friends.
6. Lastly, They fhould be concerned for the good of the fouls of their fervants. For in this cafe mafters are inftead of parents to them. They fhould inftruct them in the principles of religion, and labour to train them up in the ways of godlinefs, fetting them on and stirring them up to duty, Gen. xviii. 19. They fhould daily pray with them and for them, by keeping up religious duties in their family, Jer. x. 25. And they fhould labour to bring them to the public ordinances, Jofh. xxiv. 15.; reftrain them by their authority from fcandalous and finful words or deeds, as from profaning of the fabbath, &c.; and reprove
them for their fins againft God, as well as faults against themselves; and if they will not refrain, they ought to turn them out of their family, Pfal. ci. 7.
Ufe 1. This may ferve to convince and humble .both mafters and fervants.
Ufe 2. I exhort fervants to be dutiful to their mafters. For motives, confider,
1. That in your fervice ye have two mafters, one on earth, and another in heaven, Col. iii. 23. Your mafter on earth fays, Do this fo or fo; and your mafter in heaven fays, Whatfoever he faith unto you do it, John ii. 5. And here know, (1.) That your Mafter in heaven has given you his orders how ye muft carry in fervice to men, as well as in praying, 'c. to himfelf. (2.) He fees how ye obey thefe orders. His eye is always on you. (3) He will call you to an account how ye obey thefe. (4.) He will account the fervice faithfully done fervice to himfelf; and on the other hand, undutifulness to men undutifulness to himself.
2. God himself will be your Paymafter, according as ye carry yourselves in your ftation. (1.) God will reward dutiful fervants. There is a temporal reward that God ordinarily beftows on fuch, Prov. xvii. 2. A wife fervant fhall have rule over a fon that causeth fhame and fhall have part of the inheritance among the brethren. And that is what providence lays to the hands of honeft fervants that are not fincere Chriftians. But true Chriftian fervants fhall get the reward of the heavenly inheritance, Col. iii. 24. (2.) God will reward undutiful fervants too, ver. 25. Ordinarily God writes his indignation against their undutifulness in their lot in the world; but if they repent not, the quarrel is purfued to another world. That is a fad word, Luke xvi. 11. If ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?
Let mafters be dutiful to their fervants according to the will of God. For motives, confider,
1. Ye are as fathers to them. The fifth command