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DUTIES OF SERVANTS AND MASTERS.

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228 “ Teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded."

Duties of servants and masters.

On the part of servants, respect, obedience, and faithful attention to their employers' interests. “ Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh: not with eye-service, as men-pleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; with good-will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men.

“ Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed. And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren ; but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort." * Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again; not purloining, but showing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things." vants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward."u

On the part of masters, kindness, moderation, and justice in recompensing services. “ Thou shalt not oppress the hired servant that is poor and needy." « Woe unto him that useth his neighbour's service without wages, and giveth him not for his work." After servants are directed to be faithful, and to serve with good will, it is added, “ And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven ; neither is there respect of persons with him." “ Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven."y

After this brief view of some of the duties incumbent upon persons, in several of the principal relations of domestic life, allow me to beg you to consider the importance of regarding (9) Eph. v. 22-25, 28, 38. Col. iii. 18, 19. Titus ii. 4–6. 1 Pet. iii. 1,7. (1) Eph. vi. 5-8. Col. iii. 23-25.

(u) 1 Pet. ii. 18, 19, (v) Deut. xxiv. 14, 15. (w) Jer. xxii. 13.

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(s) 1 Tim. vi. 1, 2.

(1) Titus ii. 9, 10.

(x) Eph. vi. 9.

(y) Col. iv, 1.

MOTIVES FOR FILIAL DUTY.

229 those which belong to the station that you occupy. Perhaps you are the child of parents still living, whose hearts are wrapt up in you and your welfare. Consider how many solemn motives, enforced by the most encouraging or awful sanctions, urge you to treat them with filial affection, kindness, obedience, and respect. If your heart is open to the impressions of gratitude, you will render this tribute to them, who have watched over you without wearying, who have toiled for you without fainting, who have never thought they could do too much to promote your happiness, who tended you with unceasing care in infancy, and who have followed you with kind attentions even to the present hour.

If promises will encourage a devout attention to these important precepts, you are assured by an inspired apostle, that, Honour thy father and thy mother, is the first commandment with promise. An able American writer observes, “ In conversing with the plain people of this country, distinguished for their good sense, and careful observation of facts, I have found them, to a great extent, firmly persuaded of the verifi. cation of this promise in our own days; and ready to produce a variety of proofs from cases, in which they have seen the blessing realized. Their opinion on this subject is mine; and with their experience my own has coincided. Indeed, no small measure of prosperity seems ordinarily interwoven with a course of filial piety. I do not believe, that miracles are wrought for its reward. But I will say, that on the tide of providence multiplied blessings are borne into its possession, at seasons when they are unexpected, in ways unforeseen, and by means unprovided by its own forecast, which are often of high importance; which, altogether, constitute a rich proportion of prosperity; and which, usually, are not found by persons of the contrary character."*

If the spotless example of the Son of God, when he dwelt on earth, weighs with you, you have that example with all its power to enforce the exercise of filial piety. “This wonderful person, notwithstanding his great and glorious character, and sublime destination, was the fairest specimen of obedience to parents ever seen in the present world. Let children remember, that, if they have not the spirit of Christ, they are none of his. He was subject to his parents, as a child of

* Dwight.

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MOTIVES FOR PARENTAL CARE.

230 their family, until he was thirty years of age; and forgot not, when he hung on the cross, to provide an effectual support and protection for his mother. Let all children remember, when they are weary of labouring for their parents, that Christ laboured for his ; when they are impatient of their commands, that Christ cheerfully obeyed; when they are reluctant to provide for their parents, that Christ forgot himself, and provided for his mother amid the agonies of crucifixion. The affectionate language of this Divine example to every child is, Go thou, and do likewise."*

Addressing you as a disciple of the Saviour, it is right to presume that examples of an opposite description are not necessary; but perhaps some ungrateful, disobedient child may read this page. Let him consider, that in numbers of instances filial impiety has met with its just reward, even in this world. A few months ago a young man, not far from Derby, was unexpectedly killed by a blow from another man. Visiting the village where he had lived, not long after, it was stated to me that he at times had struck his mother. His guilty hand struck her that gave him being, and the hand of a neighbour struck him into eternity.

§ 4. Are you a parent, a father or a mother ? Consider how much depends on your attention to your children's eternal welfare. Consider the awful responsibility which attaches to you. Speaking of this responsibility, an excellent Christian and missionary observes, “ Every Christian parent is the pastor over his own household,' a king and a priest unto God.' How solemn the engagement to take the care of souls as a public minister ! Yet the responsibility lying upon such a person is by no means so great, as that upon parents respecting their children; not even so solemn as that which lies upon an individual in reference to his servants. Children are parts of ourselves; have derived their existence from us; and can we bear that these parts of ourselves should endure the bitter pains of eternal death ? and that through our neglect?

-Christian parent ! thou art anxious, often even to sadness, in reference to the health, the education, the opening prospects, of thy children. Every thing that threatens their health, or their earthly prospects, is deprecated with an anxiety which drinks up thy spirits. And yet all this care, and all this so

* Dwight.

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MOTIVES FOR PARENTAL DUTIES.

231 & licitude, is expended upon the body, and upon an existence

which, like a vapour, appeareth for a moment, and then vanishethi away. Perhaps you are not chargeable with a total indifference to their spiritual interests : you expect to see them at family worship ; you take them with you to attend on the services of the Christian sabbath, and you set them a good example. It may be, that you admonish them occasionally on perceiving something wrong in their tempers. But would you excuse, in your minister, such a cold, such an official, discharge of duty as this, if you saw no anxiety in him to save the souls of his hearers, if he made no pathetic, no earnest appeals to the heart and to the conscience ? If you would not excuse this in a man who is a comparative stranger to the greater part of those whom he addresses, can such an indifference to the spiritual, the eternal interests of his own offspring be excused in a parent ?

“I was blessed with a mother who frequently took. and me aside to pray with us; and often have I heard her pray with such earnestness, mingling her tears with her petitions, and throwing so much of the feelings of the mother into her prayers, that, young as I was, it went to my very heart.

“ I was lately informed, by a pious and able minister in Somersetshire, that on the evening when the first permanent religious impressions were made on his mind his pious mother was detained at home. But she spent the time devoted to public worship in secret prayer for the salvation of her son ; and so fervent did she become in these intercessions, that, like our Lord in Gethsemane, she fell on her face, and remained in fervent supplications till the service had nearly closed. Her son, brought under the deepest impressions by the sermon of his father, went into a field after the service, and there prayed most fervently for himself. When he came home, the mother looked at her son with a manifest concern, anxious to discover whether her prayers had been heard, and whether her son had commenced the all-important inquiry, What shall I do to be saved ?' In a few days the son acknowledged himself to be the subject of impressions of which none need be ashamed; impressions which lay the foundation of all excellence of character here, and of all blessedness hereafter.

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MOTIVES FOR PARENTAL DUTIES. O ye Christian mothers ! Have you thus in reference to your children, . wrestled in birth again, till Christ be formed in their hearts the hope of glory? Have you taken them aside, and prayed with them and for them, one by one? There is something most touching in such a scene, and to the heart of a child almost irresistible. It is a holy violence, put forth to snatch a darling child from impending destruction; and, like the prayer mentioned by the apostle James, will unquestionably •avail much.''

$ 5. If you are a parent, consider the happy effect which results from such pious care. Frequently active parental piety meets its speedy reward, in the early piety of the dear objects for whom it prays, and over whom it watches. Thus were the seeds of piety sown in the hearts of our Baxters and Doddridges and Wattses, and how speedy, how rich, was the harvest! In other instances instructions and prayers for a time have appeared in vain. The seed has seemed buried beneath a frozen, barren soil ; yet at length it has sprung up, and bore fruit a hundred-fold.t

* Ward's Sermons on the Design of the Death of Christ, + Many pleasing facts migl:t be adduced in illustration of this observation. One has been mentioned, another follows. A pious aged woman, a member of a church under the care of a Mr. Irish, an American minister, had one son; she used every means in her power to train him up in the nurture and admo nition of the Lord; be was the child of many prayers. The youth grew up, but was of a gay dissipated turn; she still followed him with her entreaties, faithfully warned him of his awful situation as a sinner before God, and told him what his end would be, dying in that state. One day he went to bis mother and said, “Mother, let me have my best clothes, I am going to a bal! to-night." She expostulated with him, and urged him not to go, by every argument in her power : he answered," Mother, let me have my clothes, I will go, and it is useless to say any thing about it." She brought his clothes, he put them on, and was going out-she stopped him, and said, “ My child, do not go.” He said, he would; she then said to bim, “My son, while you are dancing with your gay companions in the ball-room, I shall be out in that wilderness praying to the Lord to convert your soul.” He went, the ball commenced, but instead of the usual gaiety, an unaccountable gloom pervaded the whole assembly One said, " We never had such a dull meeting in our lives ;” another, I wish we had not come, we have no life, we cannot get along;" a third, “I cannot think what is the matter." The young man instantly burst into tears, and said, I know what is the matter, my poor old mother is now praying in yonder wilderness for her ungodly son." He took his hat, and said, " I will never be found in such a place as this again," and left the company. To be short, the Lord converted his soul. Mr. Irish baptized him. He was soon after taken ill, and he died very happy. Praying breath is never spent in vain. Baptist Magazine.

The following anecdote was lately related to me by an aged member of a Christian church: A minister of the gospel in the north of England had a dissolute son : he was an officer. The father had long sought the eternal wel. fare of his wicked child, but apparently in vain. On one occasion a remark was made to the father on the hopelessness of his son's condition. He replied by expressing his confidence, that so many prayers would not be lost. At length the father died. The son was still a profligate. Some time after his father's decease, the son was riding the horse on which his father had been accustomed to travel to preach the gospel, when a thought to the following effect

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