Hopkins - HP BR75 .H65 1710

Fifth Commandment . rhem Rich, and to endeavour to promote as tar as in them lyts the Spiritual Good of their Souls, rhatthey may not be Rich here, and Undone eternally. For a Rich Man may be more unive~;fa·Uy infirumenta l either of Good or Eyil than o_rh~rs ~an: And there~ fore to win fuch an one to the Faith, or to preferve h1m flable m a, 1s a moft Chad. rable Work, not only to their Souls in panicular, bur to rhe Church of ChrHt, the t\fbirs of. which may be much advanced by fuch a Man's Wealth and lmerefl. And fo much for this !all Relation between Inferiors and Superiors in the Gifts of God 's Special Grace, or Common Bounty. Thus now l have at tact gone through the Mutual Duties of many Relations, forne Natural, fame Civil, fame EccleflaC\:ical, and fame Oo;;conomical; I know not with what Acceptationor Succefs. Poffibly iOme may think thefe !hings t_0omeanand uivial to be fo long infifted on: But let me tell fuch, rhlt RdaHve Dunes, as they are the moll difficult of all othersto perform, fo they arerhe belt Trials ofTrue Chrifiianity, and the Power ofGodlinefs ;. He that endeavours not towalk clofely with God in thefi:, let his Notions and Prof~ffion be never fo lofry and fublime, it will be no Uncharira· blenefs ar all to judge that all his Pomp. is but a meer Form of Godlinefs, and an Hypocritical Oftentation. Let me exhort you therefore in the Fear of God that ye would be much in pondering theft: Things. There needs no great La~our to underftand them, norto find our My!leries and Concealed Depths in them. It is true they are plain, bur they are of daily ufe; and iris but requifite that we !hould nor be long under!tanding whot we are continually ro pta.Elice. . . Let me fllbjoin bur one General Rule to this, and I have dene with it; and that is, That in all thefe Mutual Duties it is no Excuf~ for the one Party to fail of the moll: Confcientious and Careful Performance of what belongs to him, becaufe the orber dorh fo. For certainly another Man's Sin cannot excufe mine; andGod hath bound us in Duty not only to one another, but all of us unro himfel£ And therefore although they may break their Obligations and Covenantsl yet that . doth not take off our Obli· gation. Shoulcl the Father be careleiS of, and cruel to, his Child, yet this doth _got at all exempt him from paying Duty and Ob.edience unto his Father: Should a MaUer be 1yrannicat over his Servant, yet the Servant's Duty remains fiill itated and unaltered, to reverence, fear and obey, him: Should a Minj{ler be carelefs of the Flock commi11ed to his Charge, yet his People are !till bound ro give him Refpeft and Honour in regard ofhis OHice: Should a Magi!lrate tyrannize over his Subjefts, yer frill they are to own him, and obey his Commands in all Lawful Things. For M!le-adminifiration of any Offi~e, or any Aurhority, cannot cOuntenance and excufe want of Duty in Inferiors; fiiil we are as carefully to perform what God bath requir'd as if they were the befC Parents, or Magiil:rates, or Maflers, in the World: And if there be any Wrong.done, or De feE\: on their Part, we muft leave it to him to rewa1d our Confcientious Obedience, and to pun\fh their Wilful Offences. And fo likewife it is incumbent upon Superiors to perform their Duties faithfUlly andcanfcientioufly toward their Inferiors, be they never fo perverfe) ingrateful, or rebellious; for their Faults cannot excuf~ our Negleas. • And thus much for this Large and Comprehenfive Precept, Honour thy Father and thy Alothtr. . To the Precept is added the Promife as a Motive and Encouragement to Obedience, That rby Days may be long in the Land whicb the Lord tby Godgiveth tbu. And this Promife God's Faitbfulnefs flands engaged to fulfil to all that are dutiful and obedient. Now here we may obferve, that whereas the Free and Gunuine Adminiftrarion of the Gofpel promifeth Eternal Lire, and the Joys and Glories of Heaven to Believers, !he Old La~v runs generally upon Earthly and Temporal Ble!lings, and among rhem 1nfifts frequently upon Length of Days, and an Happy and Pro!perous Life as rhe Ch1efe!l Bleffmg and Highefr Expeftation of Humane Nature; which mufl ~ot be fo underflood as if the Promifcs of the Law were only for the!e BeggarIf and Terrene Concernments; but becaufe this Proced1,1re was more fuitable to the whole Syfiem of that Pedagogy wherein God thought fit to difcipline them by Types, and to lead the,m unto t~e Sun by Shadows; therefore as he allay'd his own Spiritual Worfhip wirh th!! Mrxture of very many F.xrernal Rites, and Pompous Obft:rvances fo he pro· pounded likewife their Erernal Rewards unto them by I emporal and Earthly Promifei. and by both attempered their Relig~on unto their Efi:at~ of Infancy, bringing i~ down a1 much as poffible to the Verd1El of Senfe, refervrng rbe Manly and Heroick Z z Puties