« AnteriorContinua »
so shalt thou put evil away from among you.
Deut.xvii. Just so in the case of idolatry and blaf
phemy. If there be found among you man or woman, that hath gone and served other Gods, and worshipped them -- thou shalt ftone them with stones, till they die; so thou
salt put the evil away from among you. Levit.
He that blafphemeth the name of the Lord, Shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him.
And no wonder that the punishment
is the same, when the offences are so Ecclus iii. much alike. He that forsaketh his father,
is as a blasphemer.
St. Paul too seems to acknowledge the
affinity between these two vices by his 2 Tim. iii. arrangement of the offenders, blasphemers,
disobedient to Parents.
Is there need of more? The command
is express; the sanction great, on both fides; the reward distinguished; the condemnation dreadful, and yet equitable: The conscience even of the transgressor cannot but approve of it. He that is hard-hearted to him that begat, and her that bare him, to whom will he be good? What crimes will he not in time commit, who begins with this? and what punishment may he not grow up to suffer? The eye that mocketh at his father, and de- Prov. xxx. spiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagtes Shall eat it.
And in fact, what confession is more juft, or indeed more frequent, in those who are 'rought to an ignominious end, than this, That they begun their course of iniquity at home, in an obftinate ungovernable disposition, and disobedience to their parents? The progress after this was natural, through every vice to that fatal crime to be now expiated; and yet
perhaps not expiated, even by their blood; through every danger to this awful moment, when they find Almighty God faithful at least in his threatenings. They are snatched away in the midst, in the beginning often of their days; gathering thus the first bitter fruits of difobedience, and looking for the full vintage hereafter in eternal death.
CHILDREN, OBEY YOUR PARENTS IN
S the duty of children to parents is
enjoined in the cleareft manner, and under the strongest fanctions by the Law of God; so it is also required by, what is indeed the Law of God too, the voice of Nature, Reason, and Humanity.
You observe how the young of Animals appear to be committed by Nature to the care and protection of their parents: They have continual recourse to them in their wants and fears, and conform instantly to every intimation of such lawful guides and governours. The parents accordingly, on the other hand, are in a most wonderful manner both disposed to undertake this trust, and enabled to execute it.
These ties, we fee, are first formed by the hand of nature: and the child, that endeavours to break loose from this regular dependance and subjection, opposes the order instituted by providence, and the course of things. He can find no example in any other species, to countenance his unnatural wilfulness; and the voice of every creature upon earth cries out against him, and condemns him.
But Reason also in the Human species is on the same side, and strengthens the ties of nature. Regard to the publick and our own welfare will prescribe the same conduct, to which we are already