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place in the head, and fo fhould be capable to guide, i Pet. iii. 7.
On the other hand, the wife fhould be pliable and teachable, 1 Tim. ii. 11. yea and be ready to feek inftruction from her husband, 1 Cor. xiv. 35. She fhould be obedient to his commands and directions, ver. 34.; for in every thing wherein the law of God has not bound her up, the hufband'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 fuch heads as Chrift is to the church, Eph. v. 25.
And if men would reflect on this, it would make them very dutiful, and bear with many things, as Chrift doth, elfe we would be ruined.
2. Because thy wife is thy own flesh, thy fecond felf, ver. 28. 39. and fo undutifulness is monitrous.
3. Because the is the weaker veffel, 1 Pet.iii. 7.; for it hath pleased the Lord to exercise the woman with a fpecial measure of infirmity both natural and moral. The reasons of the woman's duty are thefe.
1. Because the woman was created for the man, 1 Tim. ii. 13. compare 1 Cor. xi. 9.
2. Because the woman was the firft that finned, 1 Tim. ii. 14. compare Gen. iii. 16.
3. Because fhe is the weaker veffel.
Use. 1. Let all such as have been or are in that relation be humbled under the fenfe of their fin in that point, and fly to the blood of Chrift for pardon. And let every one look on that relation as a ferious matter, in which people muft walk with God, and under which they are bound to fo many duties, of which they must give an account to the Lord.
2. Let hufbands and wives ftudy to make confcience of their duty one to another, and frame their life accordingly. For motives, confider,
(1.). God lays them on. Nature may ftorm at them, but they are God's commands; and whofo 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 fo does the happiness in that relation.
Laftly, Death comes, and that will diffolve the relation. Therefore before that awful event, let every one make confcience of performing their refpective duties, that they may die in peace.
As to the relation betwixt parents and children, fee Col. iii. 20. 21. Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well-pleafing unto the Lord. Fathers,. provoke not your children to anger, left they be difcouraged.
In the first of thefe 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 refpect to them. 2. The reafon of it; it is pleafing to God who has enjoined it.
In the next place, we have the duty of parents to their children. Where, 1. There is fomething fuppofed, that they muft ufe their parental power and authority over their children for their good. 2. Something expreffed, that they use it moderately, not abuse it to the irritating of them, left they crufh them, and make them heartless.
Parents and children muft carry to one another as they will be anfwerable to God, who has given them their orders. Here I fhall fhew,
1. The duties that children owe to their parents. 2. The duty of parents to their children,
First, I am to fhew 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 moft horrid abominations, Rom. i. 31. Such a natural affection did Jofeph fhew to his father, Gen. xlvi. 29. when he went to meet him, fell on his neck, and wept cn his neck a good while.
2. Reverence and fear. Their fear is to be fquared
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 loweft, fo children are moft apt to despise their mother; and they being much about her hand while young, left familiarity breed contempt, God hath expressly provided against it. They must have a confcientious regard to that authority God has given them over them, and fear to offend them, as those who to them are in God's ftead.
3. An outward reverent and respectful behaviour towards them. They ought not to be treated rudely by their children, as if they were their companions, Mal. i. 6.; but they ought to fpeak refpectfully to them, Gen. xxxi. 35. and carry refpectfully 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 fhine through the lantern, fo 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. Jofeph'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. Submiffion. They are to fubmit to their inftructions 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 fubmit to their reproofs and admonitions, to take them kindly, and amend what is amifs, Prov. xiii. 1. Yea they are to submit to their corrections, for the folly bound up in their hearts makes the rod neceffary, Heb. xii. 9. They are children of Belial indeed that will not bear this yoke of fubjection.
6. Bearing with their infirmities, and covering
them with the wings of love. Whether they be natural or moral infirmities, they would beware of defpifing or infulting them on that account, or any way expofing them, as fome foolifh youngsters are apt to do, Prov. xxiii. 22. Gen. ix. 22.
7. Following their reasonable advice, and taking alongft with them the authority of their parents in order to their calling or marriage. That children ought not to difpofe of themselves in marriage without the confent of parents, is the conftant doctrine of the Proteftant churches. And the reasons are these. (1.) The fcripture 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 confented, it is left to the parent whether to give his abufed daughter to him that has been guilty with her, Exod. xxii. 16. 17. (2.) The moft approved examples of marriage in fcripture go this way, Gen. xxiv. 3. 4. xxviii. 1. 2. & xxix. 19. Judg. xiv. 2. Lastly, The reafon 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 felf-moving fubftance, in which they have a moft 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 fuch and fuch a perfon; for confent makes marriage, and that which is forced is no confent. The child muft be fatisfied as well as the parent, Gen. xxiv. 57. So the fhort of it is, that the confent of both is neceffary, 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, fo 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. xv. 4. 5. 6. So did Jofeph,
Gen. xlvii. 12, This was a piece of duty which the Lord performed to his mother while he hung on the crofs, John xix. 27.
9. Lastly, In a word, children fhould fo live as they may be a honour to their parents; for according as they are, their parents are either credited or afhamed. Yea and when they are dead and gone, they should be reverently remembered, their wholesome advices religioufly followed, and their debts fatisfied, fo as no body may get occasion to reproach them when they
Ufe. i. This may ferve for conviction and humiliation to us all who either have had parents fince 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 thofe forisfamiliated, who by tacit or expreís confent are left to their own difpofal; but the duty of filial affection, reverence, and gratitude abideth. For motives, confider,
(1.) That parents with refpect to their children do in an efpecial manner bear an image of God, as he is our Creator, Provifor, and Ruler. So are parents those from whom under him we had our being, by whofe care and government God provided for us when we could neither provide for nor rule ourfelves.
(2.) Hence it is evident, that do what we can to them or for them, we can never make a full recompenfe, but after all muft die in their debt. But how little is this confidered 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) Laftly, Confider, that God takes fpecial notice how ye carry to your parents, Col. iii. 20. It is a piece of duty which God readily regardeth according to his promife; and the neglect thereof ufeth not to VOL. III.