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 Education is a bleffed mean of grace. So was it to good Obadiah, 1 Kings xviii, 12. and fo it was to Timothy, Tim. iii. 15. compare chap. i. 5. Why, because it is a mean appointed of God for that end, and therefore may be followed in faith of the promise, Prov. xxii. 6. Train up a child in the way he should go : and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Chap. xxiii. 14. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and fhalt deliver his foul from hell. Auguftine's mother was good woman; but fuch was his life, that it coft her many prayers and tears; and weeping to one about his cafe, Go thy way," said he to her," for it can"not be that a fon of thefe tears can perifh ;" and fo it was.
(2.) This is a great part of our generation-work the work that we have to do for the honour of God in the world, Pfal. lxxviii. 3. 4. to do our endeavour to hand down religion and honefty to the fucceeding generation, And we must give an account to God of it. And as kings muft account to God for what they have done for him in their kingdoms, and minifters in their congregations, fo muft parents account to him for what they have done in their families.
(3.) The vows of God are upon us for that cause. Thefe are little minded by many, but God does not forget them. As Sarah was under the bond of the covenant by her husband's circumcifion; fo mothers are under the bond of the covenant by the vows taken on by their husbands; and are therefore obliged to ufe their utmoft endeavours to fulfil thefe vows in the education of their children.
And the due confideration of this might engage children to be obedient and pliable to the commands, inftructions, and directions of their parents for their good.
I come now to the relation betwixt mafters and fervants, for which you may read Col. iii. 22. & iv. 1. Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the Hefh; not with eye-fervice, as men-pleafers, but in fingle
nefs of heart, fearing God. Mafters, give unto your fervants that which is just and equal, knowing that ye alfa have a Mafter in heaven.
The fervants duty is laid down, ver. 22. Servants, obey in all things your masters, &c. Wherein confider, (1.) The duty enjoined them, obedience. (2.) The extent of it, in all things, in things religious and civil, in eafier or harder pieces of fervice; nothing is excepted but what is finful; and that is excepted in that clause, your maflers according to the flesh; that is, the outward man, to diftinguish them from the great Lord and Master of the confcience; in which respect we are forbidden to be fervants of men, 1 Cor. vii. 23. and to call no man mafter, Matth. xxiii. 8. Therefore Jofeph is commended for refufing the folicitations of his miftrefs to uncleannefs, and Saul's fervants that they would not flay the Lord's priefts. (3.) The manner of it; negatively, not with eye-fervice, that is, when the mafter's eye is the measure of their work, bufy before him; but if he turn his back, they flacken their hand: pofitively, in fingleness of heart; that is, faithfully, as under the eye of God, to whom they muft give account,
The mafters duty is laid down, chap. iv. 1. Wherein, (1.) We have the duty they owe to their fervants. It is taken up in two general heads. [1.] They are to give them what is just; that is, what they are obliged to give them by ftrict law or condition; give them what they owe them by ftrict juftice. [2.] What is equal; that is, what they are tied to by the law of charity and Chriftian meekness, though not of ftrict juftice. (2.) The reafon enforcing it is, because mafters on earth have a Master in heaven, to whom they muft give an account, as of other things, fo of how they do to their fervants.
Before I come to the duties of fervants and masters, two things are to be confidered; viz. who are meant by fervants, and who by mafters.
1. Who are meant by fervants. Not to fpeak of
bond-fervants or flaves, whose bodies are perpetually under the power of their mafters, there being no fuch fervitude among us; fervants who are mercenary or hirelings are of two forts. (1.) Domeftic fervants, who live in their mafter's family. (2.) Extra-domeftic fervants, who though they live not in their mafter's family, but by themselves, yet receive his wages, whether for a few days, as day-labourers, men or women; or for certain terms, as herds, hinds, &c. All thefe come under the name of fervants, and owe a duty to their masters according to the law of God.
2. Who are meant by masters. (1.) There is the principal mafter, the mafter of the family, who pays the wages. (2.) There are fubordinate mafters. Such are,  The mistress of the family, Pfal. cxxiii. 2. [2.] Fellow-fervants or others deputed by, and having power from the principal mafter to oversee others, Gen. xxiv. 2. Thefe muft be obeyed, as having the master's authority, unless it be known that they go crofs to the will and intereft of the principal master. And here I fhall confider,
1. The duty fervants owe to their masters.
2. The duty of masters with refpect to their fer
First, I am to fhew the duty which fervants owe to their mafters. They owe,
1. Inward reverence towards them, and fear of them, I Pet. ii. 18. Mal. i. 6. They fhould have a hearty respect to the character of a master, with a conscientious regard to the fuperiority that God has given them over them, wherein they are, fo far, to them in the place of God, Eph. vi. 5. as unto Chrift. They hould fear to offend them, to difplease them by doing or omitting any thing which they know will of fend them, Eph. vi. 5.
2. Honour, Mal. i. 6. They ought outwardly to carry refpectfully to them, whatever they be, if they be their mafters, and that both in word and deed, An humbly fubmiffive and refpectful countenance
and carriage towards a mafter, is an excellent ornament of a fervant. Neither the badness of the mafter, nor his goodness and piety, leaves fervants a latitude in this point. Though they be bad men, yet they are mafters, 1 Tim. vi. 1.; and if they be fellow-Chriftians, that takes not away the distance of ftations,
3. Carefulness to maintain the credit of the family, not disclosing the fecrets thereof, nor blazing abroad their infirmities. The king of Syria was troubled to think that any of his fervants fhould be as fpies upon him, 2 Kings vi. II. And furely tale-bearing fervants must be a great plague to a family. It is reckoned among the mifchiefs of an evil time, when there is no trufting of any body, that a man's enemies are those of his own house, Micah vii. 6. It is a Judaslike treachery, when men or women are brought into a house to eat their bread and work their work, to go abroad among others and wound their reputation.
4. Standing to the mafter's allowance, both in things determined by condition and not determined. Some things are determined by condition, that the fervants may require; and when the mafter allows that, though the fervant may think it too little, he ought not to take more at his own hand. So when fervants are allowed to keep fo many beafts, and no more, it is their fin to keep more; though they may think it is no fault if they can get it kept fecret, it does no great wrong to the mafter. But that is injuftice to the mafter, and your fin before God, in whofe fight it will be reckoned theft, Gen. xxx. 23. And in things not determined by condition, as the measure of diet and liberty, certainly the mafter's allowance in that is to be ftood to. As to their diet, it is obferved of the virtuous woman, Prov. xxxi. 15. She giveth meat to her household: they do not take it at their own hand. The fecret wafte that fome make in the houses of others for their bellies, is oft-times, I believe, punished with hungry bellies when they come
to their own. As for their liberty and time, it is carved out by the mafters, not by the fervants, ver. 15. 18. And for fervants to take their matter's time to employ for themselves without their master's allowance, is injuftice.
5. Meek and patient fubmiffion to the checks and rebukes of the mafter, not anfwering again, Tit. ii. 9. The ears of fervants are bored to hear, and their tongues not filed to fpeak. It is very good reason, will ye fay, when we are in a fault; though many will not take a word in that cafe, without giving the mafter as good as he brings. But if they have done no fault, they think they are not obliged to bear a rebuke; but the Spirit of God does not teach fo, 1 Pet. ii. 18. 19. 20. Servants, be fubject to your masters with ail fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. For this is thank worthy, if a man for confcience toward God endure grief, fuffering wrongfully. For what glory is it, if when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye fhall take it patiently? but if when ye do well, and fuffer for it, ye take it patiently; this is acceptable with God. It may be the mafter's fin to chide unreafonably, but it is the fervant's fin not to bear it meekly. Sarah dealt hardly with her maid, which was her fin; yet the angel will not allow Hagar to take her heels for it, but obliges her to return and submit, Gen. xvi, 9.
9. Lastly, Serving them confcientioufly and honeftly. If fervants expect their wages, they owe their mafter service, and God will have them to make confcience of their fervice. If we look to the word of God, there is much that goes to this.
(1.) Servants must be obedient and pliable to the commands of the mafter in all lawful things, Tit. ii. 9. Though the service required may be painful and hard, yet they ought not to refuse it. Thus Jacob served Laban, Gen. xxxi. 40. 41. without confidering that he was as good a man as his mafter was. They that put their necks under the yoke, fhould refolve to bear it. (2.) Ye fhould follow the mafter's direction in the