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FIFTH COMMANDMENT. PART V.
COLOS. iii. 22.
SERVANTS, OBEY IN ALL THINGS
YOUR MASTERS ACCORDING TO
HE Ten Commandments are de- ·
livered, most of them, in few words, with a dignity suited to the authority by which they are enjoined, and a fimplicity answerable to the manners of that when they were fpoken. The
great capital duties of religion and mora. lity are singled out and commanded, or rather the violation of them is forbidden in plain and general terms. A fair and honest mind is the best of all interpreters. He who applies himself to the keeping of
these few commands with such a disposiMark xii. tion, will not be far from the kingdom of
God. To persons of a captious and corrupt temper, no words are sufficient; the prohibition never reaches their case; the command is never binding to them: the whole volume of the scriptures, and all the writings of all the moralists in the world, are too little to enforce a virtue on a depraved heart, and explain what men will not understand.
There are two or three duties, which I would throw together here, and make the subject of one difcourse. They are of importance, and one or other of them makes part of the duty of most persons: it is of little consequence under what
head they are arranged, provided they be
It is written, Children, obey your parents Colof. iii. in all things; in like manner, and the same words, Servants, obey in all things your Colof. iii. masters; it follows, not with eye service as men pleasers, but in singleness of heart, fearing God: knowing, that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance. Obedience and fidelity constitute a great part of what is due from a servant; and they are evidently due: obedience is immediately implied in the relation of a servant; and fidelity should accompany all the intercourse between man and man. They are plainly reasonable and right; and therefore well pleasing to God, as the discharge of filial duty is: Secondly, they are as plainly required by him; and so may be advanced at the same time into an obedience to God also: and Thirdly, He promises, we fee, himself to repay this service, as well as the other of children to
their parents, both liberally, and in a way Colos, iii. peculiarly suitable: Ye shall receive the
reward of the inheritance.
II. X. 12.
Your recompence for being good ser. vants to men, will be, that you
shall become the children of God. He will look upon you as his sons: You shall be
adopted into his family, and made heirs Rom, ii, of his heavenly kingdom. For there is no
respect of persons with him: He is the same
Lord over all. In his eye there is no Gal. ii. distinction: There is neither bond nor free: 28. 1 Cor. vii. He that is called in the Lord, being a fer
vant, is the Lord's freeman: likewise also he that is called being free, is Christ's servant. The highest angels in heaven are God's ministers and messengers, and are glorious and happy in their obedience : and the very meanest of the sons of men, if not wanting in the duties of their present
station, whatever it be, shall be advanced Luke xx. to the same likeness; for They are equal 36. unto the Angels, and are the children of God,
being being the children of the resurrection. The lowest offices become the steps of our highest advancement. Every station is holy, that is filled by a devout person. He who doth service as unto the Lord, is as he that ministereth at the altari Though your time and hands are taken up, more perhaps than they should be, by a hard master, you have your hearts and affections free. Love God, and keep his commandments, and your lot is to be envied. There is reserved in heaven for : Pet. i.4. you, an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away.
Servants, be subje&t to your masters with 1 Pet. ii. all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. For this is thank worthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. There is indeed no station of life, in which the virtue of patience will not be much wanted. It is very necessary, both for servants and masters: though the former are called to