صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

before and ar public worship; such as has been already observed, when the duty of public hearing the word was considered. 5. The whole of the day should be observed, from morning to evening; the early part should not be indulged in sleep, nor any part spent in doing a man's own business, in casting up his accounts, and setting right his shop-books; nor in carnal pleasures and recreations, in games and sports; not in walking in the fields; nor in taking needless journies. But besides public worship, men should attend to reading the scriptures, prayer, and meditation, and christian conferences; and in such pious exercises should they spend the whole day.


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small]




HAVING considered Public Worship in all its branches, I now proceed to treat of Private Worship; by which I mean, not merely the private teachings and instructions of a master of a family, to those who are under his care; nor private conferences of the saints, by which they may edify one another; nor private reading of the scriptures, which are to be searched whether the things heard in the ministry of the word are true, and which are to be read in the family for instruction; nor private prayer, in the cl set or in the family; nor private singing the praises of God, which may be performed in like manner: which are all branches of private worship, and have been touched on in the preceding Book. But what I mean by private worship, and intend to treat of, are the personal, relative, domestic, and civil duties incumbent on particular persons, in their different relations to one another; and so every other duty and good work: which all come under the name of cultus, or worship; being all to be performed with a respect to God, under his authority, according to his will and command, and in obedience to it, and with a view to his glory. In this manner all relative and mutual duties are to be performed; the subjection of wives to their husbands is to be made as unto the Lord, the Head of the man, and in obedience to him; and husbands are to love their wives, as Christ loved the church, according to his pattern and example, and as influenced by his love, Eph. v. 21, 29. Children are to obey their parents in the Lord, as being what he requires, and has encouraged by his promise; and parents, as an act of religion, are to bring up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, Epn, vi. 1, 4. Servants are to be obedient to their masters, as unto the Lord as his servants, and doing the will of God from the heart; and with good will doing service as to the Lord, and not to men, fearing God. And masters are to do their duty to their servants; Knowing that they also have a master in heaven, to whom they are accountable, Eph. vi. 5-9. Col. iii. 22—24. and iv. 1.

and subjects are to obey magistrates, as being the powers ordained of God, and magistracy an ordinance of God; and magistrates are to protect their subjects, and to be terrors, not to good works, but for the encouragement and praise of them, and for the discouragement and punishment of those that are evil, Rom. xiii. 1-4. 1 Pet. ii. 13, 14. God has a concern in all these, and men have a concern with him in them. These I shall briefly treat of in their order; and begin with the respective duties of husband and wife, which are summed up in these two general comprehensive ones; love on the one part, and reverence on thre other, Eph. . 33. and these arise from a conjugal union and marriage relation between the said parties; marriage is an union of male and female, of one man and of one woman in lawful wedlock, agreeable to the original creation of man, Gen. i. 27. Mal. ii. 15. and agreeable to the course of providence, which has been kept to ever since in all ages and nations; there being continually nearly the same number of males and females born into the world, at most as thirteen to twelve, or fourteen to thirteen; the surplusage on the side of the males, being a provision by the wise Orderer of all things for a supply for war, for the seas, &c. and by this conjugal union, male and female, become one, even one flesh, Gen. ii. 24. Matt. xix. 6. which union is therefore very near and strict, and, indeed, indissoluble but by death, excepting in one case, un faithfulness in the one to the other, by adultery or fornication, Rom. vii. 2. Matt. v. 32. and this state is to be entered into with mutual consent; indeed, with the consent of all parties who have a concern in it; with the consent of parents and guardians, under whose care single persons may be; and especially with their own consent, for none are to be forced into it against their wills; no, not by their superiors; it must be their own voluntary act and deed: and being thus entered into, it is a very honourable state; Marriage is honourable in all, Heb. xiii. 4. it being an institution of God, and that of God in paradise, by whom our first parents were directed to it, in a state of purity and innocence; God made the woman for an help-meet, and brought her to the man, proposed her to him, whom he approved and accepted of, and she becaine his wife, Gen. ii. 18-24. it was the Lord's act and deed, and to him Christ ascribes the act of marriage, Matt. xix. 6. Christ honoured it by his presence, and at such a solemnity wrought his first miracle, and manifested forth the glory of his Deity, John ii. 1, 2, 11. and what makes this state yet more honourable is, that the marriage of Adam and Eve was a type and emblem of the conjugal union of Christ and the church, Eph. v. 32. Adam was a figure or type of Christ, and among other things in his marriage; and Eve, the mother of all living, was a type of the church; Adam was first formed, and then Eve; Christ was before the church, and, indeed, before all things; Eve was formed from Adam, from a rib taken out of his side; the church has her original from Christ, and her subsistence by him; all her grace, blessings, and happiness are from him; her justification and sanctification are from him, signified by the blood and water which sprung from his pierced side. Eve was brought by the Lord

[ocr errors]


to Adam, not against her will, but with it, and by him presented as a proper match for him, which he approved and accepted of; and the church was brought to Christ, and given to him by his Father, to be his spouse and bride, whom he liked, accepted of, and betrothed to himself; and her consent is obtained by the drawings and influences of his Father's grace: and though this is no direct proof of, yet it has a favourable aspect upon; and may serve to illustrate the supralapsarian scheme; that Christ had an interest in his church, and she in him, and was espoused unto him before she fell in Adam; this marriage-transaction between Adam and Eve being before the fail. Moreover, marriage is honourable with respect to the ends of it; which even before the fall, and supposing Adam had stood, hereby he would have had an help-meet ; and the first law of creation would have been carried into execution, increase and multiply; a godly seed, a legitimate offspring would have sprung from hence; families formed and built up, and the world peopled with inhabitants; and since the fall the ends and uses of it are to preserve chastity, to prevent in continence, and to avoid fornication; as well as to answer the other ends: and particularly this state appears honourable, when the duties of it are observed by both parties; as,

I. Love on the part of the husband. Husbands love your wives, Eph. v. 25. instances of which are in Isaac, Jacob, Elkanth, and others. The nature and manner of shewing it, and the reasons of it, might be observed.

1. The nature of it.. It is superior to any shewn to any other creature whatever; as to the neighbour, who, though to be loved by a man as himself, yet a man's wife is himself, and loving her is loving himself, the other part of himself, Eph. v. 28. parents are to be loved, but a wife before them; for a man is to leave father and mother, and to cleave to his wife, chikdren are to be loved but the wife before them; as well as the husband by the wife; Am not I better to thee than ten sons? 1 Sam. i. 8. and Christ is to be loved before any relations Matt. x. 37. Luke xiv. 26. 2. It should be a love of complacency and delight, taking pleasure and delight in her person, company, and conversation, Prov. v. 18, 19. as is the love of Christ to the church, who is his Hephzibah, in whom is all his delight. 3. Should be chaste and single, as the love of Christ is, and for this reason a man should not have more wives than one, whereby his love would be divided or alienated, and hate the one and love the other, as is commonly the case; and on account of which the law provided for the first-born, of whichsoever it might be,- 4. It should be mutual; the wife is to love the husband, as the husband the wife, Tit. ii. 4. and generally her love is the most strong and affectionate, 2 Sam. i. 26. and the reason why the husband is more frequently exhorted to it, it may be is, because most wanting in the performance of it.

[ocr errors]

11. The manner, or how, and in what way it is to be expressed; not in words only, but in deed and in truth; by real facts, which speak louder than words.

1. In making all proper provision for her temporal good, signified by nourishing and cherishing her, Eph, v. 29. which include food and rainent, and all the necessaries of life; he is to provide things honest, decent, convenient, and suitable, to his rank, state, condition, circumstances, and abilities; and he that provideth not for his own, especially for his own wife, his own children and family, is worse than an infidel, Rom, xii. 17. 1 Tim. v. 3.2. In protecting her from all abuse and injuries; as she is the weaker vessel, she is to be taken. under his wing and shelter; he is to be a covering to her, as Abraham was to Sarah; which may be signified by the ceremony used at marriage, or by which that act is expressed, a man's spreading his skirt over the woman, Gen. xx. 16, Ruth iii. 9. he is to expose himself to danger, and even risk his life in her defence and for her rescue, 1 Sam. xxx. 5. 18. 3. In doing every thing that may contribute to her pleasure, peace, comfort, and happiness; he that is married is to care how he may picase his wife; nor does the apostle blame him for it; but rather commends him for it, or recommends it unto him, 1 Cor. vii. 33. Hatrea stineth up strifes, contentions, quarrels, the consequence of which is confusion, and every evil work; but love covereth all sins, conceals faults, and hides failmgs and infirmities, Prov. x. 12.4. In seeking her spiritual welfare; her conversion, if unconverted, and her spiritual peace, comfort, and edification, she being an heir with him of the grace of life; by joining with her in all religious exercises; in family-worship, in reading, in prayer, in praise, in christian conference and conversation; by instructing her in every thing relating to doctrine, duty, and church-discipline; in answer to questions she may and has a right to ask him at home, 1 Cor. xiv. 35. To ali which are opposed hatred and bitterness; Husbands love your wives, and be not bitter against them; not giving bitter language, threatening words, sour looks, and especially bitter blows; which is cruel, churlish, barbarous, and bruush, unbecoming the man and the christian.

[ocr errors]

III. The reasons or arguments enforcing this duty of the love of a man to his wife are such as follow.

1. The nearness between them, she is his own flesh; and no man ever yet hated his own flesh, which would be monstrously unnatural; she is hised, the other part of himself, and to be loved as his own body, which to love is a principle in nature, Eph. v. 28, 29, 33.2. The help, advantage, and profit he receives by her; she is provided as an help-meet for him, and becomes such to him in the affairs of the family, Gen. ii. 18. she is his companion, and which is used as a reason why he should not deal treacherously with the wife of his youth, Mal. ii. 14. she is his companion in prosperity and adversity; shares with him in his cares and troubles, in his joys and sorrows; sympathizes with him in all conditions, weeps when he weeps, and rejoices when he rejoices; she is a partner with him in the blessings of grace now, and will be a partner with him in eternal glory, 3. The glory and honour she is unto him; the woman

* Fateor insitam nobis esse corporis nostri charitatem, Seneca, Ep. 14.

« السابقةمتابعة »