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with bitter words, Col. ïï. 21.; indiscreet janda unt tender dealing with them with respect to their callings or marriages.
nebud Thirdly, As to mafters and servants : Suter
1. Servants fin against their masters by irreverent, disrespectful, and saucy carriage towards them, with out any respect to the honour which God calls them to give to their masters. Many are disobedient, nand will plainly tell, that they will not do what they are bidden; or if they do it, they will do it in such amant ner, as ihall vent their pride and paffion. ’: Though the scripture commands not to answer again, they wol answer, and have the last word too, and by no means will submit to reproofs. Many are:anfaithful to their masters, their service is eye-fervice, unfaithful fervice, either by their: negligence and floth bringing btheir master to loss, or by dishonesty in that which is under their hands. Some professing servants areribý their way a scandal to religion in families where they are. Others are a plague to the family by the averfiose they shew to every good thing or religious duty, as if their masters were no more concerned in them, if they work their work, Eph. v. 5. 6. desimalt voit
2. Masters fin against their fervants, not allowing them fufficient maintenance, but niggardly pinching them, keeping back their wages from them in whole or in part, and so oppressing the hireling; rigorovfly keeping them at work, inot allowing them convenient
in secret, lorattending on public ordinances. And so they ân ágainit them by continual chiding and uneasiness to them, and carelefsness with respect to their souls good, Eph.
sos Fourthly, As to ministers and people: sisuga
1. People sin againft their minifters, by their flighting and despising them, and nowise treating themras the messengers of Chrift; going on in their evib says over the belly of all warnings and reproofs, being stubborn and refusing subjection to discipline; flan
dening of them, creating them trouble, by forfakingin of ordinances, loc. or any wife making their works burdensome, or them to drive heavily in it; and to restraining prayer for them. . ,1122 Minifters fin against people by an unconcernednefs about their fouls case, laziness and undit faithfulness in discharge of their duty, "provingu Itumbling-blocks to their people by a loofe walk, andy not being earneft in prayer for them, for the bleffing of God on them and their message.
2! bid sd Ag to ruling elders and people, I have nothing tos. add to what I said before.
9. Fifthly, As to magistrates and subjects: 191. Subjects fin againft their magistrates; by carry » mg disrespectfully to them, rebelling against them, and disobeying their juft laws, reviling and speak-lis ingidespitefully of them, denying them fubjection mı and their just dues, and not praying for them. not 99.7Magiftrates fin against subjects by using their power to satisfy their lufts, and giving bad example to others, by tyranny and oppreffion, unjuft lawsunt
: and discountenancing piety and virtue, and oppo- ri fing themselves to the kingdom of Chritt." 37Sistbly. As to the aged and younger : How little refpeéti do the younger shew to the aged ! Instead of that honour due to age, people are ready to befoolt
7) forgetting that either they must come to their age :/ themselves, or die by the way. On the other handgis fes pid people carry fo to the younger, as to com mand respect by their exemplary piecy and holinelszli bati
, on the contrary, gray hairs are often found in lo the way of wickedness.
Seventhly, As to the weaker and stronger in gifts: It is often the fin of the weaker to envy the stronger, and if they can to mifrepresent them. The weak; judge the strong, and the Itrong despite and fiumble the weak.
Lastly, Equals fin against one another, undervaluing the worth, envying and grieving at the good of one another, and ufurping pre-eminence over one another.
The spring and source of all this is, (1.) Want of love to and fear of God; for while people are not in their duty to God, how should they be in their duty to man? (2.) Pride and selfishness, while every one seeks himself, and not the good of others.
These things may be very humbling to all of us. Who can fay his life is clean in any of these relations ? But even those who are very dutiful in their several relations as to the matter, may be guilty of the breach of this command, in so far as what they do in these things does not proceed from gra. cious principles ; for indeed the first command muit be carried along in all the rest,
HI. We come now to the reason annexed to this command; which is, “ A promise of long life “ and prosperity (as far as it shall serve for God's
glory and their own good) to all such as keep < this commandment."
This is a promise to encourage the conscientious períormance of the duties here required. The apostle tells us, that it is the first convmand with
promise, Eph. v. 2.
Quefl. 1. How is this command the first with promise, seeing the second has a promise alfo ?
Ans. It is the first command of the second table : for it is the most weighty of them all, as com prehending all the rest iä it ; fo that we cannot fin a. gainst the rest, but we must first break over the hedge of this which encompaffeth all the rest. For one cannot violate another's life, chastity, dc, but he first violates the honour due to him by this command. And it is the only command that has a spe. cial promise of a particular mercy annexed to it. The promise annexed to the sccond command is but
3 promile of mercy in the general, and that not particularly to those that keep that command, but all the commandments.
Jeft 2. But does the law promise any thing but to perfect keeping of its commands? and if so, what are we the better?
Ans. We must distinguish betwixt the law as a covenant of works, and the law as in the hand of Christ for a rule of life to believers. As it is a covenant of works, nothing less than perfect obedience can interest men in the promise; for the leait failure knocks off the man's fingers from the promise by virtue of the curse, Gal. iii. 10. Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. So that we can be nothing the better of this promise. But Christ being the Surety of the better covenant, having made a new covenant of grace in his blood, le takes the same law in his hands, and gives out the commands of it as a rule of life to his covenanted people, and renews the promises of it to their fincere obedience of them, i Tim, iv. 8. Godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. As for the curse of it, they hear of it no more, he having borne it away himself. And so he crowns the fruits of his own grace in them with blessed rewards. And as all thefe promises are yea and amen in him ; fo for his fake, through faith in his blood, they are obtained,
In the words we may consider tliese three things; the blessing promised, the place where it is to be enjoyed, and the regard the Lord allows his people to have to that blefling to further them in obedi
First, The blessing promised ; that is, long life; trat thy days may be long. It is a temporal mercy, a mercy much delired ordinarily by all men, and
promised to them that keep this commandment. There are four things here to be considered.
First, What is meant by mens days being long. It denotes two things.
1. Long life, Prov. iv. 10. The years of thy life fall be many. Death in its best colours has something frightful about it. It is a diffolution of foul and body, which nature shivers at. But there is no eviting of it; all must die ; they must go through that dark valley to their eternal state. But the best that can be made of it is promised here, viz. that such shall be full of days, and not be taken away till they be ripe for the fickle.
2. Prosperity to accompany that life; for non vivere, sed valere, vita eft. Long life in miseries is a continued death rather than lite. So that the na. ture of the thing teaches us, that a prosperous long life is here promised. It is a good old age, Gen. xy. 15. And thus the apostle explains it, Eph. vi. 3. That it may be well with thee, and thou mayst live long on the earth.
Secondly, That long life is in itself a mercy, and therefore is promised. There are many things that may mortify mens desires of long life.
Old age is ordinarily accompanied with a train of miseries; and the longer the godly live, they are the longer kept out of heaven. Yet there are four things that make this long and prosperous life here promised to the godly's keeping of this command, a great mercy
1. A good old age is an honouradle thing, Prov. xvi. 3.1. The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness. God commands a
particular reverence to be given to old men, Lev. xix. 32. Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honour the face of the old man. It is true, fin and wickedness spoils the greatest glory, and no inan is more like the devil than a wicked old man, 11. lxv, 20. The finner seing an hundred years old, Jhall be ac