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quires from all such as love him and believe in him? Christ requires us to have no will of our own, and to make the will of God our only rule of action. What hope is there that this will be done by any one who has accustomed himself to make his own will his idol? Christ requires us to be humble-minded. How hard a lesson is this for a man whose mind is filled with pride! Christ requires us to be obedient. But how can any one become so, who has grown up a child of disobedi? You may as well expect water to burn, and fire to wet,-you may as well expect a barren common, that has never been ploughed and sown, to produce a crop of good wheat,—as that a child, which has gone on year after year in pride and selfwill and disobedience to its parents, will readily or easily tear off its habits and its nature, to walk humbly and obediently before God. The thing is not to be imagined. Therefore what does Solomon say? "Train up a child in the way he should go." Train him up in obedience to his parents, while a child, in order that he may be less unwilling to obey our heavenly Father, when he becomes a man. "It is good for a man (says the prophet Jeremiah) that he bear the yoke in his youth." (Lam. iii. 27.) But what yoke? First, the yoke of obedience; secondly, the yoke of self-denial; thirdly, the yoke of the cross, which is
the sign and token of humility. This is the triple yoke, which it behoves children to bear. A child cannot be taught too early to be obedient and humble and self-denying. We must cultivate obedience in him, a goodly plant, that it may outgrow and overtop and stifle the evil stem of disobedience. We must cultivate humility in him, another goodly plant, in the hope that it may outgrow and overtop and stifle, or at least keep under, the evil stem of pride. Lastly, we must train and accustom him to habits of steady self-denial, which our Lord has recommended to us as the best of yokes for our headstrong and else unmanageable self-will. Pampering and indulging the will is like giving strong meats to a man in a raging fever. It is adding fuel to the fire. Stubbornness is an enemy that must be starved out. We cannot drive him out of the fortress of our souls, except by prayer, which brings us the help of the Holy Spirit, and by fasting, or self-denial, which starves and weakens and mortifies or kills the will.
From what has been said it is easy to perceive the excellence of the fifth commandment toward forming the character of a child, and training it up to go in that way which God desires to see us all walk in, the way of humility, of self-denial, and of obedience. These three are very closely joined together. A man can scarcely be humble and self
denying, without being likewise obedient. On the other hand, though a man may be kept from this or that crime by the dread of punishment, by shame, by the fear of consequences, by want of inclination, — though a man may be kept by motives of this sort from committing great crimes, and even from indulging in gross sins,— he will never be obedient to the whole law of love, without being at the same time humble and selfdenying. It is so even in earthly love: and this is the great blessing of earthly love, that it is a school of self-denial. There will ever be some pleasure to sacrifice, some interest to give up, some affront or slight to overlook: and how is a man to do these things, who has not learnt to practise self-denial? So that these three principles are very closely linked together. The principle of humility, which teaches us to esteem and honour others above ourselves; the principle of self-denial, which weans us from the pleasures and the treasures, the toys and joys of this world, and leads us cheerfully to forgo any of them, if it comes into competition with our duty; and the principle of strict obedience to every commandment of God, -and for his sake likewise to every lawful commandment of those men who have a claim and title to our obedience; as our parents in the first place, then our schoolmasters and teachers, the king,
and all who are in authority under him, our masters, if we happen to be servants, and our superiors of every degree.
Of this humility, this self-denial, and this obedience, what school can be so excellent as a family where the fifth commandment is duly kept? Think of these words, Honour thy father and thy mother: and see how very much they contain. It is not the mere outward act of obedience that is here required from us it, is honour,-a large word, embracing many particulars of duty, inward respect, outward reverence, and every kind of real service. So that children are called upon by this fifth commandment, not only to shew their parents the highest respect outwardly, but also to cherish the feelings of grateful love and reverence for them inwardly. Yes, children, you must obey your parents; you must wait upon them, when you grow old enough; you must perform such services for them as they may stand in need of; you must assist them in all things to the utmost of your power. In old age and sickness you must do your best to make them comfortable, not grumbling at the task, nor thinking it wearisome, but rather rejoicing that you have an opportunity of shewing your gratitude to your parents, by nursing and taking care of them in their old age, in return for all the care and nursing which you received from them
in your infancy. This, and nothing short of this, is honouring your father and your mother.
Now how much humility and self-denial, as well as how much obedience, must be learnt in the practice of these things! They cannot be done by a proud, disobedient, stubborn child, who is not ready to give up its own wishes to the wishes and directions of its parents. Thus the fifth commandment is a kind of practical school, where the child, in obeying its parents, learns to obey all to whom it owes obedience. In giving up its little fancies to please its parents, it learns the duty of sacrificing self to others. And what lessons can be more necessary? or when are these lessons likely to be learnt, if they are not learnt in childhood? So that this commandment is twofold. While it speaks directly to children, and shews them how they are to behave toward their parents, it also teaches parents how and in what spirit they are to bring up their children. Children, honour your parents, and obey them in all things; for this is well-pleasing to the Lord. Parents, bring up your children to honour and obey you teach them to honour and obey you in God's stead. So, when they pass from under your wing, may they, who have been obedient to their earthly, become obedient to their heavenly Father,