Hopkins - HP BR75 .H65 1710

An Expojicion upon the And becaufc the Violation of thcfc Laws by outward and flagitious ACls pro· cceds from the latent Wickednefs and Concupifi:ence of the Heart, thcrefor; God who is a Spirit, and whofe Law and Authority can reach even to the Soul and Spirit, bath not only prohibited the grofs Perpetration of thcfe Crimes but bath ftriCUy forbidden the inward and fecret Intention of thJm, charging us ~or to harbour fo much as a Thought or Defire towards them, in the Tenth Commandment· ~~-- ' In the due performance of all thefe, confifl:s the obfcrvance of that S-econd great Command, Matt h. 22. 39 · Tnou ]halt low thy Neighbour as thy folf. I Ihall begin with the fi rfl: of thcfe, Ho'nour rhy Father, and thy Mother, which refpetls the mutual Duties of Superiors and Inferiors. And here we have a Precept and a Promife. The Precept is to Honour them. The Promire, Th~tt thy Days may be lo~g upon the Land which the Lord thy God bath givm thee. Now here we may (as formerly we have done) obfcrve a Ray of the Infinite Wifdom of God in the Order and Method of this Commandment. For after ht had prcfcribcd Laws for his own Honour, his next Care is for the Honour of our Parents, becaufe they are next under God, the Authors and Original of our Lives and Beings. God indeed is properly and primarily our Father, and of him is the whole Family in Heaven and Earth named, that is, of him they are and fubfifr· in him tilt aiL Live, and MtnJe, and have our Beings. Earthly Parents do but conveY to us that Being,· which God had beforehand laid up in ftorc for us. And thereM::uh.23. fore when our Saviom bids us to eaU no Ma;1 Father upon Earth; for one is our Father 9 • which is itz Heaven: This mufl: not be underftood, as though we ought not to £,ive that Name and Title of Father to thofe who are our Earthly Parents, the Fathers of our Ftefo, as the Apoftle !tiles them, .Heb. 12. 2. But only that their Pater... nity is not fo original, nor fo abfolute as God's, who is the Father of our Spirits; who not only forms the Mafs of our Bodies by his fecret and wonderful Artifice but creates our Souls, and by his Breath kindles in us fuch Sparks of Etherial Fir~ as !hall never be quench'd nor extinCt to aU Eternity. And therefore, though we owe to the Fathers of ourFlelh Honour and Reverence, as they arc the Inftrmnents of our Beings, yet we owe much more unto God, even tmlimited and.boundlefs Refpetl:s and Obedience, who is the prime Caufe ~nd Autho! 6f, them. But indeed, this word [Father] bath alfo another fenfe ill our Savtour s Speech. For the 1rws were wont to call their DoCtors and InftruCtors) by the Name of Fathers, and gave up themfelvcs, without Hefitation or Contradiction, to believe and follow their DiCtates. Now when our Saviour bids us to call no Man Father on Earth; his meaning is, that we mufr not fa mancipate our felvcs either to the Commands or DoCtrine of any Man , as to prejudice the Authority which God, the great and univerfal Parent of all things, chal)engeth o~er us; but frill our Obe.dience t? their l njun~ion~, and our Belief of their lnftrufhons, ought to be cannoned wtth a Subordtnatton to the Commands and Notices of the Divine Will; Yet we may call and honour others as Fathers, by yielding them a fecondary RefpeEt, fubfervient to the Honour and Glory of God. ,, Now this Command of Honouring our Parents, is very large and comprehenfive; and not to be limited only to the Grammatical Signification of the Word, but extends it felfto all that are our Superiors. And that appears, bccaufeHonour belongs principally not only to God.; bi1t fecondarily, and by way of Derivation, it belongs alfo unto thofe whom <3od the great King hath dignified, and made as it were Nobles in his Kingdom. For as the King is the Fountain of Honour within llis Dominior:s; fa God, who is the Univerfal Monarch of all the World, is the true Fountain of Honour among Mankind, ennobling fame above others by Titles and Pre-eminences which he beftows upon them ; and aH fue:h Superiours, wham he hath been pleafeU thus to raife, are to be Honoured by us as our Fathers. And therefore, Firft ; Our Governours and Magiftrates are our Fathers, and fo to be accounted and re:verenced by us. Indeed they are Parru Patr11t, the Fathers of their Country: For all Government being at the firft Domeftick and Paternal, the Father,