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we not then, above all things elfe, be follicitous for the Eternal Welfare of our Children? And, can it become us to engage them, for Term of Life, in fuch Practices, as, for a little Pomp and Plenty here, will render them for ever miferable hereafter? When St. Paul orders Servants to obey in the Lord, he means, that they should obferve their Mafters, fo far as Their Directions agree with Chrift's. And when he exhorts the Brethren, all to abide in their Calling with God: He intends, that their Temporal Interefts fhould be. reconcileable with, fhould indeed be fubfervient to, their future everlasting one.
The Duty we owe our Neighbour, is, in our excellent Catechifm faid, among many other things, to confift in this, that we learn and labour truly to get our own living, and to do our Duty in that State of Life to which it fhall pleafe God to call us. Our Living muft be got, but got truly, that is, juftly and honestly. We must answer the State of Life, to which God calls us; but God calls no Man to a State and Trade of Sin. And therefore, when a Calling engages any Man in Acts of Sin, or in provoking other People to Sin; When it drives him upon Methods of Falfhood and Deceit, of Lewdness, or any manner of diffolute Converfation; When the Profits propounded from it are not to be attained, fo long as Innocency and a clear Conscience are preferv'd; Thofe Gains are the Wages of Iniquity, the Price of Heaven and of Souls; That Calling is certainly unlawful, and no Advantages, no not all the Kingdoms of the World, and the Glory of them, can render it fit for a prudent Man to chufe. If, as the Laft Particular declared, the most commendable Profeffions and Practices may not go away with the Whole of us, but a great deal ought to be reserved for the Ufes of God, and a better Life: How unreafonabie, how unnatural, how barbarous a Wickedness muft it needs be, to bind our Children out to the DeC 3 vil?
vil? And yet this in effect is done, when we train them up in fuch ways of getting Wealth, as lead directly to Hell; and, that they may wear purple and fine linnen, and fare fumptuously, for a few days, expofe them almoft to the Certainty, the Likelihood at least, of crying in vain for many Ages, for a drop of water to cool their Tongues, when they shall be tormented in that flame.
Farther yet. I cannot, in this Cafe, think it fufficient, that our Children be not trained up in a direct neceffity of Sinning, but that, as much as in us lies, they be fet at a diftance, from all probable Occafions, and Allurements to it: That we confider the Infirmities of human Nature, and the frequency and ftrength of Temptations to do Evil. Hence it will follow, that fuch Profeffions, as manifeftly lay Men open to danger, Where we have Inftances of many, if not moft People mifcarrying, Where good Principles are apt to be unfettled, and hopeful Beginners generally harden and turn profligate; that all fuch, I fay, are much too hazardous, for them to be trufted with. A good and tender, a wife and religious, Father will not venture a Child in Methods of living, not only where he muft, but where it is odds he may, and where very few do not, make Shipwreck of Faith and a good Confcience.
In fhort, we ought to bear in mind continually, that our Treasure is laid up in Heaven, that our continuing City is not here, but we feek one to come: that Virtue and Piety are the only expedient, for bringing us to, and fettling us in, that blissful Place; that, confequently every Man's grand Affair is so to pass through things Temporal, that he finally lofe not the things Eternal: All our Cares therefore, all our Profpects, fhould be govern'd by that One. All our Concerns fo ordered, all the Fortunes and Pofts of our Children fo laid out; that they may not neglect the more valuable Advantages of their Souls; but fo contrive to manage the
Business of the World, as at the fame time faithfully to dispatch the Business of Their Father and Our Father, Their God and Our God.
One Word now of Advice to Children, and Servants, and all that are in a State of Subjection; and then I have done.
Now here I defire all fuch very foberly to confider, from what Hand Parents, of every Sort, derive their Authority: even from God Above. Their Obedience then to Thefe, in all lawful and honeft Commands, is Obedience to God. It is an Act of Religion, and therefore to be performed, not only with Diligence and Fidelity, but also with Zeal and Chearfulness. They do their great Father's and Mafter's Bufinefs, and purchase to themselves a fure Reward in Heaven, while their Labours deferve the Approbation of their Superiors upon Earth. Sovery merciful is God, in accepting Men's lawful Industry; fo well pleased with their Care, in any Bufinefs they are intrufted with; that he places it to account, as an Inftance of their Faithful- . nefs and Duty to himself.
'Tis true, if their Parents or Masters impofe any Terms, which they ought not to comply with; they muft obey God, whatever be the Confequence. But yet even then, when they must disobey or displease their Governors, this is to be done, upon plain and fure Grounds, and always with Modefty and Meeknefs, and good Manners. The Reafons of their Re-fufal, their own juft Vindication, their real Concern, for all fuch unhappy Occafions, are to be reprefented, in the fofteft, the humbleft, the most respectful Expoftulations, that can poffibly be thought of. Their Liberty must never be used for a Cloak of Malicioufness and Obftinacy, but as becomes the Servants of God. And, because His Servants, therefore they are not in a Condition to do any thing, which they know the Great and Common Mafter of all Man
1 Pet. ii. 16.
kind difallows. I fay, which they know he difallows; For, in order to preferve their Innocence, they fhould be very induftrious to get their Judgments inform'd aright, left otherwife they be infnared with frivolous and unneceffary Scruples, pretend Points of Confcience where there is no room for them, and decline that Obedience ignorantly, which they ought to pay, and to understand the Limits of it better. In order hereunto, they will do well, moft earneftly to beg the Directions and Affiftance of God's enlightning Spirit; For, though all have need enough, yet They who are young, and in Circumftances of Subjection, unexperienced generally, unlearned too often, Thefe are more efpecially concerned, to come to God, in the Language of the Collect for this Day, begging, that they both perceive and know what things they ought to do, aud alfo may have Grace and Power faithfully to fulfil the fame, through Jefus Christ our Lord, Amen.
The Second Sunday after the Epiphany.
Lmighty and everlafting God, who doft govern all things in Heaven and Earth: Mercifully hear the Supplications of thy People, and grant us thy Peace all the Days of our Life, through Jefus Chrift our Lord, Amen.
John xiv, 27.
6, 7, 8. The confe-
Rom. xii. 6.
Aving then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us; Whether Prophecy, let us prophefie according to the proportion of
7. Or Miniftry, let us wait on our miniftring; or be that teacbeth, on teaching:
8. Or be that exhortetb, on exhortation: be that
giveth, let him do it with fimplicity; be that ruleth, with diligence; be that fheweth Mercy, with chearfulness.
9. Let love be without Diffimulation. Abhor that which is evil, cleave to that which is good.
the Church: And, without envying them that have more, and are placed above him, or defpifing them that have lefs, and are below him, make it his bufinefs to discharge his own part diligently and confcientiously, and reft contentedly in that.
10. Be kindly affectioned one toward another in brotherly love; in bonour preferring one another.
9. Let your Love to every Fellow - member be, not in pretence and
outward fhew only, but hearty and fincere. But let Virtue and Duty be the meafure and ground of it. And do not only avoid, but hate and deteft all Wicked-. nefs, and let no confideration ever reconcile you to it: Do not only practise, but delight and perfevere in Goodness, and let nothing be able to draw you off from it.
11. Not flothful in business, fervent in Spirit, ferving the Lord.
10. Confider your felves as Brethren, and let your Tenderness and
good Offices be as becomes fuch: pay all due Regards to one another, which either the different Stations or Virtues of Men require; and let your Humility be seen in acknowledging the good Qualities of your Brethren, and respecting them above your own.
to confider the Abili
lities God hath given
him, and the Poft he hath called him to in
11. Let your Diligence and Zeal in your Duty be fuch, as be
comes Men who are doing God fervice, and (as Times and Circumftances will al- ́ low) can never do too much for such a Master.
12. Rejoycing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing inftant in Prayer.
12. When Afflictions or Perfecutions are upon you, let the hope of
a Reward keep you chearful: Endure what God fends with Contentedness and Refolution; and perfevere in your Requefts for his Grace and Mercy, though you should not, for fome time, obtain what you ask.
13. Diftributing to the neceffity of Saints: given to bofpitality.
and be very forward and eager in entertaining Strangers, are forced to flee from their own home for Religion.
14. Bless them that perfecute you, blefs and curse not. their bittereft Malice provoke you to any return of angry
15. Rejoyce with them that rejoyce, and weep with them that weep.
13. Extend your Charity for the Relief of your Fellow-Chriftians; particularly those, who
14. Pray for your Perfecutors, and let not Imprecations.
15. Be fo affectionately concerned for all Chriftians, as both to
have, and fhow, a fellow-feeling and tender refentment of all the good or evil that happens to them, especially that of their Souls.