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eth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; establish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh. Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy. Ps. 37. 7, 8. Eccl. 7. 8, 9. 1 Thes. 5. 15. Heb. 6. 12. and 10. 36. Jam. 5. 7, 8, 10, 11. || Rom. 15. 4, 5. and 2. 6, 7. and 5. 3, 4. Rev. 3. 10.
Can you calmly wait God's time to fulfil his promises? Can you bear insults and injuries from men without impatience? Have you learned something of these precious lessons in the school of Christ?
131. What are some of the directions of God to the young?'
My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways. Therefore shall ye observe all my statutes, and all my judgments, and do them: I am the Lord.- Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them.- Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. Prov 23. 26. Lev. 19. 37. Eccl. 12. 1. 2 Tim. 2. 22. || 1 Kin. 2. 3. Eccl. 11. 9, 10. Tit. 2. 4-6. Gen. 39. 2, 8, 9, 23. 1 Sam. 2. 26. and 3. 19.
Have you obeyed these reasonable requirements? Will you, can you longer refuse obedience to them? Can you be so base as to withhold your choice days from the service of your GOD and Redeemer?
132. How shall the young secure all necessary, temporal, and spiritual blessings?
Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto according to thy word.- Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.- But seek ye first the kingdom of GOD, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you. Ps. 119. 9. Prov. 2. 3-5. Mat. 6. 33. || Ps. 19. 7-11. Prov. 4. 1, 10-13. (w)
What but vital piety can render the young, truly amiable, useful and happy? Will any of you choose the way of transTM gressors, rather than wisdom's ways?
(w) See Appendix, Note W.
133. What peculiar inducements for seeking the Lord in youth do the Scriptures afford?
But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of GOD.- I love them that love me: and those that seek me early shall find me.For by me thy days shall be multiplied, and the years of thy life shall be increased. Mark 10. 14. Prov. 8. 17. and 9. 11. Is. 55. 6.
Is Christ willing to receive little children to the arms of his mercy, and shall any of them refuse to come to him by penitence, faith, and love? How much love Christ has manifested towards you, and can you love and serve him too young?
134. What are some of the appropriate Scripture directions to those in middle age?
I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one. Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. But they that will be rich, fall into temptation, and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body more than raiment? 1 John 2. 14, 15. 1 Tim. 6. 9, 10. Mat. 6. 25. || 1 Pet. 3. 8-12.
Is it not immensely important that the vigour of manhood be sacredly devoted to the love and service of God? Which reigns in your hearts, the love of the world or the love of the Father?
135. What is said in the Scriptures with respect to marriage?
So God created man in his own image, in the image of GOD created he him; male and female created he them. And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone: I will make him a help meet for him. And Adam said, this is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife and they shall be one flesh.- For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of GOD. Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled; but whoremongers and adulterers Gop will judge.
Gen. 1. 27. and 2. 18, 23, 24. 1 Cor. 11. 12. Heb. 13. 4. John 2. 1, 2. 1 Cor. 7. 2-6, 29–31.
Should not pious motives govern in the selection of a partner for life? Does not true religion in both parties contribute much to the happiness of the conjugal relation?
136. Is divorce expressly forbidden by Christ, except for a breach of the Marriage covenant?
They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? He saith unto them, Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning, made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away, doth commit adultery. It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced, committeth adultery. Mat. 19. 7, 8, 4-6, 9. and 5. 31, 32. || Rom. 7. 2, 3. 1 Cor. 7. 10-13, 16.
Should not this consideration render persons judiciously cautious in the choice of a bosom companion? Is it not a violation of the spirit of these precepts for the married to be frequently wishing themselves single again for more than one cause?
137. What are some of the most important duties of husbands?
Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it. So ought men to love their wives, as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered. Eph. 5. 25, 28. 1 Pet. 3. 7. Col. 3. 19. Eccl. 9. 9. Prov. 18. 22.
Would it not much diminish domestic trials if all husbands loved their wives and dwelt with them according to knowledge?
How desirable that every husband love his wife as Christ loves the Church!
138. What are the appropriate duties of wives?
Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in Gon, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement. Prov. 31. 1012. 1 Pet. 3. 1--6. || Tit. 2. 4, 5. Prov. 19. 14. and 31. 30, 31. Eph. 5. 22, 23. Col. 3. 18.
How much the Scriptures have elevated the rank of a wife? How thankfully and cheerfully should the wife conform to these precepts?
139. What are the duties of parents?
And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.And these words which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.- For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children: That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born: who should arise and declare them to their children: That they might set their hope in GoD, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments. Eph. 6. 4. Deut. 6. 6, 7. Ps. 78. 5-7. || Deut. 32. 46, 47. 2 Cor. 12. 14. 1 Tim. 5. 8. Prov. 29. 17, 15.
How great the responsibility of parents? How arduous their
140. What promises are made to faithful parents ?
And I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them. I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. For the Lord loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off. The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him. For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my Spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring: And they shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the watercourses. Jer. 32. 39. Ps. 37. 25, 28. Prov. 20. 7. Is. 44. 3, 4. Ps. 112. 1, 2. Acts 2. 38, 39. Prov. 22. 6. and 23. 13, 14. What more encouragement to fidelity could parents ask? How can any parents neglect their children's souls?
141. Does God visit in judgment the families of negligent, and unfaithful parents?
And the Lord said to Samuel, Behold, I will do a thing in Israel, at which both the ears of every one that heareth it shall tingle. In that day I will perform against Eli all things which I have spoken concerning his house: when I begin, I will also make an end. For I have told him, that I will judge his house for ever, for the iniquity which he knoweth: because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not. And therefore I have sworn unto the house of Eli, that the iniquity of Eli's house shall not be purged with sacrifice nor offering for ever. 1 Sam. 3. 11-14. || and 4. 12-18. Ex. 34. 6, 7. 1 Kin. 1. 5, 6. How cutting must have been the reflections of Eli? How keen must be the anguish of unfaithful parents who meet their children in the regions of despair?
142. What are the duties of children?
My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother: For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.- Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother, (which is the first commandment with promise.) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. Prov. 1. 8, 9. Eph. 6. 1—3. || Lev. 19. 3. Jer. 35. 18, 19. Col. 3. 20.
Have you as children rendered all that affection and obedience to parents which the Scriptures enjoin? How base and criminal to do otherwise?