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man to be found that has always seriously and rightly examined himself before-hand, and that has always rightly, with his heart, performed all those inward actions that are signified by the outward; or has not every man and woman rather cause to confess, that either for want of knowlege, or through their own negligence, they have not 80 examined themselves as they ought, nor so actuated their faith, nor minded the spiritual signification of the outward elements, in the time of receiving the sacrament as they ought, nor so examined themselves, after receiving, what benefit they have got to their soul thereby? I am sure I have cause to confess all this.
And where shall we find a man that has always sanctified the name of the Lord in his heart, and with his tongue, by swearing after a holy, religious, and spiritual manner; or rather, have not most men that have been called to take an oath, profaned the name of the Lord, either by swearing ignorantly, falsely, maliciously, or from some base and wicked end? And I think it is somewhat hard to find a man that never in all his life did swear, either by his faith, or by his trotb, by the mass, or by the rood, I am sure I am not the man; and he is a rare man that can truly say, he has always sanctified the name of God in his heart, and with his tongue, by admiring and acknowledging the wisdom, power, and goodness of God manifested in his works, for it is to be feared that most men do either take no notice at all of the works of God, or else do think and speak of them otherwise than the word of God warrants them to do. I am sure I am one of these most.
And he is a precious man that has always so sanctified the name of the Lord by a holy and unblameable conversation as he ought; for, alas ! many professors of religion, by their fruitless and offensive walking, do either cause the enemies of God to speak evil of the ways of God, or else do thereby cause their weak brother to stumble; it is well if I never did so; and thus have I also endeavoured to satisfy your desires concerning the third commandment.
Neo. I beseech you, sir, proceed to speak of the fourth commandment as you have done of the other three.
Evan. Well, then, I pray you consider, that, as the Lord in the third comandment doth prescribe the right manner how he will be worshipped, so doth be in the fourth commandment, set down the time when he will be most solemnly worshipped, after the right manner; and in this commandment there is an affirmative part expressed in these words, “Remember the Sabbath-day to keep it holy," &c. That is, remember that the seventh day in every week be set apart from worldly things and businesses, and be consecrated to God by holy and heavenly employments; and a negative part expressed also in these words, “In it thou shalt not do any work,” &c. That is, thou shalt not on that day do any such thing or work as doth any way hinder thee from keeping an holy rest unto God.
Neo. I pray you, sir, begin with the affirmative part, and first tell us what the Lord requires of us in this commandment.
Evan. In this fourth commandment the Lord requires that we finish all our works in the space of six days, (Deut. v. 13.) and think on the seventh day before it come, and prepare for it, (Luke xxiii. 54.) and rise early on that day in the morning, Psalm xcii. 2. Mark i, 35, 38, 39. Yea, and the Lord requires that we fit oarselves for the public exercises by prayer, reading, and meditation, Eccl. v. 1; Isa. vii. 10; and that we join with the minister and people publicly assembled, with assent of mind, and fervency of affection in prayer, Acts ii. 42; in hearing the word read and preached, Acts xiii. 14, 15, 44; in singing of psalms, 1 Cor. xiv. 15, 16; Col. iii. 16; in the sacrament of baptism, Luke i. 58, 59; and in the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, so often as it shall be administered in that congregation whereof we are members, 1 Cor. xi. 26.
Then afterwards, when we come home, the Lord requires that we seriously meditate on that portion of the word of which we have heard, (Acts xvii. 11.) and repeat it to our families, (Deut. vi. 7.) and confer of it with others, if there be occasion, (Luke xxiv. 14, 17,) and that we crave his blessing when we have done all this, John xvii. 17.
Neo. And is this all that the Lord requires us to do on that day?
Evan. No; the Lord requires us that we do works of mercy on that day, as to visit the sick, and do them what good we can. (Neh. viii. 12; Mark iii. 3—5,) and relieve the poor and needy, and such as be in prison, (Luke xiii. 16,) and labour to reconcile those that be at variance and discord, Matth. v. 9.
And the Lord doth permit us to do works of instant necessity, on that day, as to travel to the places of God's worship, 2 Kings iv. 23; to heal the diseased, Hos. vi. 6; Matth. xli. 7, 12; to dress food for the necessary preservation of our temporal lives, Exod. i. 1; to tend and feed cattle, Matth. xii. 11; and such like.
Neo. I pray you, sir, proceed to the negative part, and tell us what the Lord forbiddeth in this commandment.
Evan. In this commandment the Lord forbiddeth idleness or sleeping more on the Lord's day in the morning, than is of necessity Matth. xx. 6; and he also forbiddeth us to labour in our particular callings, Exod. xvi. 28-30; and he also forbiddeth us to talk
about our worldly affairs and business on that day, Amos viii. 5; Isa. lviii. 13; and he also forbiddeth us to travel any journey about our worldly business on that day, Matth. xxiv. 20; or keep any fairs or markets on that day, Neh. xiii. 16, 17; or to labour in seed time and harvest on that day. In a word, the Lord on that day forbiddeth all worldly works and labours, except works of mercy and instant necessity, which were mentioned before. And thus have I also declared, both wbat the Lord requires and what he forbids in the fourth commandment. And now, neighbour Nomologista I pray you tell me, whether you think you keep it perfectly or no?
Nom. Indeed, sir, I must confess, there is more both required and forbidden in this commandment than I was aware of; but yet I hope I go very near the observiug and doing of all.
Neo. But, sir, is the bare observing and doing of these things sufficient for keeping of this commandment perfectly?
Evan. O no! the first commandment must be understood in all the rest, that is, the obedience to the first commandment must be the motive and final cause of our obedience to the rest of the commandments, othetwise it is not the worship of God, but hypocrisy; as I touched before; wherefore, neighbour Nomologista, though you have done all the duties the Lord requires in this commandment, and avoided all the sins which he forbids, yet, if all this has been from such grounds, and to such ends, as I told you of in the conclusion of the second commandment, and not for the love you bear to God, and the desire you have to please him, you come short of keeping this commandment perfectly.
Neo. Sir, whatsoever he does, I am sure I come far short not only in this point, but in divers others; for though it is true, indeed I am careful to finish all my worldly business in the space of six days, yet, alas ! I do not so seriously think on and prepare for the seventh day as I ought; neither do I many times rise so early on that day as I ought; neither do I so thoroughly fit and prepare myself by prayer and other exercises before-band as I ought; neither do I so heartily join with the minister and people, when I come to the assembly, as I ought, but am subject to many wandering worldly thoughts and cares even at that time. And when I come home, if I do either meditate, repeat, pray, or confer, yet, alas ! I do none of these with such delight or comfort as I ought; neither have I been so mindful nor careful to visit the sick, and relieve the poor as I ought; neither can I clear myself from being guilty of doing more worldly works or labours on that day, than the works of mercy and instant necessity. The Lord be merciful unto me. I pray you, sir, proceed to speak of the fifth commandment, as you have done of the rest. But first of all, I pray you, tell us what is meant by father and mother.
Evan. By father and mother is meant, not only natural parents, but others also that are our superiors, either in age, in place, or in gifts, 2 Kings v. 13; and vi. 21; and xiii. 14.
Neo. And why did the Lord use the name of father and mother to signify and comprehend all other superiors ?
Evan. Because the government of fathers is the first and most ancient of all others; and because the society of father and mother is that from whom all other societies do come.
Neo. And are the duties of inferiors towards their superiors only here intended ?
Evan. No, but also of superiors towards their inferiors, and of equals amongst themselves ; so that the general duty required in the affirmative part of this fifth commandment, “Honour thy father and mother,” &c. is, that every man, woman, and child, be careful to carry themselves as becomes them in regard to that order God hath appointed amongst men, and that relation they have to others either as inferior, superior, or equal.
Neo. I pray you, sir, proceed to the particular handling of these things; and first tell us what is the duty of children towards their parents.
Evan. Why, the Lord in this commandment doth require that children -do reverence their parents, by thinking and esteeming highly of them, Gen. xxxi. 35; and by loving them dearly, Gen. xlvi. 29; and by fearing them in regard of their authority over them, Lev. xix. 3. And this inward reverent esteem of them is to be expressed by their outward reverent behaviour towards them, Gen. xlviii. 12. And this outward reverent behaviour is to be expressed in giving them reverent titles, (Gen. xxxi. 35,) and by bowing their bodies before them, (1 Kings ii. 19,) and by embracing their instructions, (Prov. i. 8,) and by submitting patiently to their corrections, (Heb. xii. 9,) and by their succouring and relieving of them in case of want and necessity, (Gen. xlvii. 12,) and by making their prayers unto God for them, 1 Tim. ii. 12.
Neo. And, sir, what be the duties of parents towards their children?
Evan. Why, tie Lord in this commandment does require that parents be careful to bring their children, with all convenient speed, in duo order, to be admitted into the visible church of God by baptism, Luke i. 59; and that they, according to their ability, do yield and give unto their children such competent food, clothing, and other necessaries, as are fit for them, Matt. vii. 9, 12; 1 Tim v. 8.
And that they train them up in learning, instruct them in religion, and endeavour to sow the seeds of godliness in their hearts, so soon as they be able to speak, and have the use of reason and understanding, Deut. iv. 10, and vi. 7, 20, 21. And that they be careful to check and rebuke them when they do amiss, Prov. xxxi. 2; and that they be careful seasonably to correct their faults, Prov. xiii. 24, and xix. 18; and that they be careful in time, to train them up in some honest calling, Gen. iv. 2; and that they be careful to bestow them in marriage in due time, Jer. xxix. 6; 1 Cor. vii. 36, 38; and that they be careful to lay up something for them, as their ability will suffer, Prov. xix. 14; 2 Cor. xii. 14; and that they be earnest with God in prayer, for a blessing upon their children's souls and bodies, Gen. xlviii. 15, 16.
Neo. And what be the duties of servants towards their masters ?
Evan. Why, the Lord in this commandment doth require that servants have an inward, high, and reverent esteem of their masters, Eph. vi. 5—7; yea, and that they have in their hearts a reverent awe and fear of them, 1 Pet. ii. 18; and this reverence and fear they are to express by their outward reverent behaviour towards them both in word and deed, as by giving them reverent titles, 2 Kings v. 23, 25, and by an humble, submissive countenance and carriage, either when their masters speak to them, or they speak to their masters, Gen. xxiv. 9; Acts x. 7; and by yielding of sincere, faithful, willing, painful, and single-hearted service to their masters in all they go about, Col. iii. 22; Tit. ii. 10; and by a meek and patient bearing of those checks, rebukes, and corrections which are given to them, or laid upon them by their masters, without grudging stomach, or sullen countenance, though the master do it without just cause, or exceed in the measure, 1 Pet. ii. 18, 20; and by being careful to maintain their master's good name, in keeping secret those honest intents which he would not have disclosed ; and, as much as may be, to hide and cover their master's wants and infirmities, not blazing them abroad, 2 Sam. xv. 13; 2 Kings vi. 11.
Neo. And what is the duty of a master towards their servants ?
Evan. Why, the Lord in his commandment doth require that masters be careful to choose unto themselves religious servants, Psalm ci. 6; and that they do instruct them in religion and the ways of godliness, Gen. xviii. 10; and that they be careful to bring them to the public exercises, Josh. xxiv. 15; and that they do daily pray with them and for them, Jer. x. 24; and that they do yield and give unto them meat, drink, and apparel fitting for them, Deut.