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is the glory of the man, in whom are seen his power and authority, 1 Cor. xi.7. one who is loving and chaste to him, anl is careful of her family affairs, does him honour, and is a credit and crown to him, and makes him respectable among men; his heart safely trusts in her, and through her conduct he is lmown and respected in the gates, Prov. xii, 4. - 4. The strongest and most forcible argument of all to a good man, is the love of Christ to his church; which is the pattern and exemplar of a man's love to his wife, and most strongly enforces it, Eph. v. 25-28.
II. The duties on the part of the wife, are reverence, subjection, obe. dience, &c.
1. Reverence; and let the wife see that she reverence her husband, Eph. v. 33. which reverence is both internal and exterral; she ought to think well, and even highly of him, and not despise him in her heart, as Michal, Saul's daughter, did David her husband, 2 Sam. vi. 16. and she should speak of him and to him in a respectable manner, as Sarah did to Abraham, calling him Lord, i Pet. üj. 6. Gen. xviii. 12. - 2. Subjection and submission to him; Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, not to others; as unto the Lord, the Lord Christ, the head of every man, and so of the church; and as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing; that is, in things relating to family affairs ; not in any thing that is contrary to the laws of God and Christ; for God is to be obeyed rather than men, than any man, than husbands themselves, Eph. v. 22.. 24. and this subjection and submission is not a servile one ; not like that of servanis to their masters, or of hand-maids to mistresses, and much less like that of slaves to tyrants, or who have taken them and hold them captives; but as the body, and members of it, are subject to the head, by which they are governed, guided, and directed to what is for their good; and that in a wise, tender, and gentle manner. 3. Ohedience. The apostle directs, that wives be obedient to their own husbands, Tit. ii. 5. Sarah is an example of this; and an instance we have of her immediate and quick obedience to the orders of Abraham, Gen. xviii. 6. — 4. Assistance and help in family affairs, agreeable to the original end of her creation; guiding the house with discretion, keeping her children and servants in good order and decorum ; abiding at home, and managing all domestic business with wisdom and prudence, 1 Tim. ii. 14. Tit. ii. 5. - 5. Assuming no authority over her husband, as not in ecclesiastical, so not in domestic matters ; seeking to please him in all things, doing nothing without his will and consent, and never contrary to it; not intermeddling with his worldly business and concerns, but leaving them to him, 1 Tim. v. 11, 12. I Cor. vii. 34. - 6. Continuance with him in every state and circumstance of life ; going with him wherever God in his providence, and his business in life call hiin; as Sarah with Abraham in the land of promise, in Egypt, and elsewhere; he should do as Ruth proposed to Naomi, Ruth i. 16.
There are reasons why the wife should be found in the performance of these duties, 1. Taken from her creation, time, uneance, and end of it; Adam was formed first, and then Eve; and therefore in point of time had the superiority; the man was not made of and for the woman; but the woman was made of and for the man, and to be an hulp-meet and aseistant to him, 1 Tin, ü. 13, 1 Cor. xi, 8, 9. Gen. ii. 18. 2. From the cousideration of the fall, and her concern in it; Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, was in the transgression, at least first, and the means of drawing her husband into its and therefore it is part of the sentence denounced upon her for her transgression, T', desire siall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee, Gen ii. 16. 3. From the map being he head of the woman; and therefore she should be in subjection to him as such, 1 Cor. xi. 3. Eph v. 23. – 4. From her being the weaker vessel, and therefore standing in need of his shelter and protection
5. From her own credit and honour concerned herein; as it would be to her disfredyt and dishonour to behave irreverently, and to be disobedient; to submit
him, as is fit in the Lard, is decent and becoming, Col. ji, 18. and so to be is ornamenal to women, and the best ornament they can deck themselves wich Being in- subjection to their own husbands, ! Pei. jäi. 35. 46. The chiei argument of all is taken from the subjection of the church to Christ, Eph.. 22-24. In short, both parties should consult each other's pleasure, peace, comfort, and happiness, and especially the glory of God; that his word, ways, and worship, may not be reproached and evil spoken of through any conduct of theirs, Tib ii. 5.
OF THE RESPECTIVE DUTIES OF PARENTS
AND CHILDREN. These duties arise from a relation founded in nature. There is a natural in stinct in all creatures, even in the brutal creation, and in the more brutish part of that, to love their young, take care of them, provide for them, supply them, protect and defend them; Even the sea-monsters give fuck to thci, young ones, Lam. iv. 3. much more such an affection appears in human and rational beings; can a woman forget her sucking child ? &c. Isa, xlix. 15. on the other hand, as they are among the most wicked and abandoned of mankind who are disobedient to parents; they are in the same description of them represented as without natural affection, Rom. i. 30, 31, 2 Tim, iii. 2, 3. as such must be, as well as guilty of gross ingratitude, who require not their parents with filial love and duty for all the care and trouble, pains and expençes, they have been at in bringing them forth, and bringing them up in the world. Their performance of these duties is one part of natural religion. The aposue calls i
shewing piety, or godliness, 1 Tim v. 4. The heathens by the light of nature: taught these things; Solona, Phocylides, Pythagoras , Isocrates ", Piutarcho, and others, coupled and ranked them together, and exhorted first to honour God, and then to ho our parents';, and, indeed, parents in their exercise of their love, power, and care, greatly resemble the divine Being, as the Creator, Sustainer, Protector, and Governor of his creatures; since children receive their being from their parents, under God; who are the instruments of introducing them into the world, and of their sustentation, support, and protection in it; hence Philo observes, that the “fifth command concerning honouring parents, is placed between the two tables of the law; which seems to be done because the nature of parents is He Dopiov, a middle border, or term between immortal and -mortal ; being mortal with respect to cognation to men, and other animals, and the corruprible body; immortal, as it resembles in generation God, the parent of all.” And children are therefore under great obligation to various duties with respect unto them; with which I shall begin, and the rather, as they stand first in order, in the directions the apostle gives to both parents and children,
I. The duties of children to their parents are included and comprehended in that general exhortation, Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right, Eph. vi. 1. The persons of whom this duty is required, are children; and the persons to whom it is to be performed, are parents; by the former are meant children of each sex, male and female, sons and daughters, being in an equal relation, and in equal obligation to obedience to parents; and of every age,
from infancy to manhood; and though the power of parents over children is less when grown up, the duty of observance, gratitude, and filial reverence does pot cease; yea, may be the more increased, since it may be then better known; and children of every class, state, and condition of life, though they may be superior to parents in worldly honour, wealth, and riches, are to obey them, as the cases of Joseph and Soloinon shew. And though such who are the true and genuine offspring of parents, or who are so in a proper sense, may be chiefly - meant, yet in them are included spurious ones, and such who are children by
adoption, as Moses and Esther ; or by the law of marriage, sons and dauglitersin-law, as Moses to Jethro, and Ruth to Naomi, who were all obsequious to those to whom they stood thus related. By parents are ineant, though chiefly immediate ones, yet include all in the ascending line, as a facher's father and ino.thier, a mother's father and mother, or grand-fathers and grand-mothers, or if any
higher are living they are intitled to obedience; and, indeed, all who stand in the room and stead of parents, as adoptive ones, step fathers and step-mothers, tutors, guardians, governors, nurses, &c. whilst under their care, and in a
? Diligere parentes prima naturæ lex, ib. 6. 7. & extern. 8. 5. * Laert. vit. Solon. p. 46 6 Poem, Admon. v. 6. c Aurea Carmin. V, 1, 2.
d Parænes. ad Domonic. Orar, i. “ Περι Φιλαδελφειας, p. 479. vol. 4. f Ilowta Imov Tepec, MSTERHIDA 11 cuo yormas, Phucyl. Bytbag
&c. ut supra.
- 2. Ho
state of minority, obedience is to be yielded unto them; but particularly both parents are meant, father and mother, as it is explained in the next verse; Honour thy father and mother; fa her is put first, on account of order, of precedence and dignity; sometiines the order is inverted, to shew the equal respect that should be had to both, Lev. xix. 3.
The duty enjoined, is obedience, which includes love, honour, reverence, gratitude, and subjection.
1. Love; from whence all true obedience to God, to Christ, and to creatures flow; disobedience is owing to a want of love; such who are disobedient to prents, are without natural affections, as before observed: parents are greatly to be loved, but not more than God and Christ; He that loveth father or mother more than me, says Christ, is not worthy of me, Matt. x. 37. nour: obedience is explained by honour, Eph. vi. 1, 2. which honour lies, In thought and estimation; children are to think highly, and to entertain an honourable esteem of their parents; to which is opposed, a setting light by them, Deut. xxvii. 16. a mean and contemptible opinion of them leads to disobedience to them.—Is expressed by words; by speaking honourably of them and to them; I go, Sir, was language which carried in it honour and respect, though it was not attended with obedience, Matt. xxi. 30. Cursing father or mother with the mouth and lips, is shocking, and was punishable with death by the Levitical law, and followed with the judgments of God, Lev. xx. g. - In gesture and behaviour; as by rising up to them, and bowing before them; instances of which are in Joseph and Solomon, Gen. xlvi. 29. 1 Kings i. 19. - 3. Obedience to parents, includes fear and reverence of them, Lev. xix. 3. which is shewn by a patient bearing their reproofs, and by a sub* mission to their corrections, Heb. xii. 2. by an acknowledgment of offences Committed, and asking forgiveness of them, by concealing their infirmities, natural and moral, whether through old age or otherwise, an instance of this we havc in Shem and Japhet, Gen. ix. 21--23. – 4. Gratitude; a requiral of them for all their kindness; by taking care of them when in want and dis"tress, and in old age; so Joseph nourished his father and his family in a time of famine: so Ruth gleaned for Naomi, though only her mother-in-law; and her son Obed was by prophecy to be a nourisher of her in her old age ; and David, though in a state of exile himself, provided for his father and his mo. ther, to be with the king of Moab, til he knew how it would be with him. The Pharisees are charged with a breach of this duty, by a tradition of theirs, which wickedly excused persons from relieving their indigent parents, Matt. xv. 4–6. The heathens teach better things: Solon & pronounces such ignoble and dishonourable, who neglect the care of their parents : in Æneas may Laert. vit. Solon. I. 1.
Ergo age, chare pater, cervici imponere nostre :
Virgil. Æneid. l. 2. prope finem.
seen a speciinen of filial piety, to an aged parent, whoin he carried on his back at the destruction of Troy. The storks in the heavens may ceach inen their duty, who are careful of their dams in old age, which Aristophanes wittily calls an ancient law in the tables of the storks. - 5. Subjection and submission to their commands, advice, reproofs, and corrections. . The rule is, Chil. dren, obey your parents in all things, Col. iii. 20. not in things sinful, contrary to the laws of God, and ordinances of Christ; if parents command their children to worship another God, or a graven image; or do any thing forbidden in the first and second tables of the law; or enjoin them not 10 profess - the name of Christ, nor submit to his ordinances; they are to be rejecte:1, and, in a comparative sense, hated, Luke xiv. 26. for God is to be obeyed, and not man, not even parents, in such cases ; but in things that are lawful and right, agreeable to the will of God, revealed in his word, and even in things indifferent, which are neither forbidden nor commanded, yet if enjoined by parents are to be observed; an instance of this we have in the Rechabites, and whose filial obseryance was approved of by the Lord Jer. xxxv, 6-19. yea, also in things difficult and disagreeable to Hesh and blood; as the cases of Isaac in submitting to be sacrificed by his father, and in Jephtha's daughter, to be done unto by him according to his vow, shew,
The manner in which this obedience is to be yielded is, in the Lord, Eph. vi. 1. which may be considered as a limitation of the above rule; that it must be in things pertaining to the Lord, which are well-pleasing in his sight, which make for his glory, and are done for his sake, according to his command and will, and in obedience to it; and also in imitation of the Lord Christ, who, in his human nature, was subject to his earthly parents, and thereby left an example of filial obedience to tread in his steps, Luke ii. 51. The reason enforcing such obedience is, for it is right; it is agreeable to the law and light of nature, as has been before observed; it is agreeable to reason, and to the law of equity; gratitude demands it, that children who have received so many favours from their parents, should make some suitable returns in a way of filial love, honour, reverence, and obedience : it is agreeable to the law of God; it stands among the precepts of the decalogue, it is the fifth in order there; but, as the apostle says, it is the first commandment with promise, with a promise of long lite; which was always reckoned a great blessing, which disobedience to parents often deprives of, as in the case of Absalom.
II, There are duties incumbent on parents with respect to their children,
1. Negatively expressed; Ye fathers, provoke not your children 10-wrath, Eph. vi. 4. which may be done, - 1. By words; by laying upon them unjust and unreasonable commands, by fiequent, public, and severe cuidings, by indisurect and passionate expressions, and by concuinelious and reproachful language;
Νομος παλαιος, εν τοις των πελαργων κυρδισα, Ανes, p. 6ο4.