Page images

* 1 Pet. ii. 13, “Submit yourselves to every ordi* nance of man for the Lord's sake.”

The next branch of your duty to your neighI bor is to the king, and to all that are put in 1 authority under him.

If you were a king, how would you that men should do unto you? I

Honor and obey me. BB If, being a king, you had put others in autho

Drity under you, how would you desire that men di should show they honored and obeyed you ?

By honoring and obeying them.

If you were not a king, but one put in autho#rity by the king, how would you that men should do to you? Honor and obey me.

Do you remember how the centurion described the honor and obedience he received from them that were under him ?

Yes, Matt. viii. 9, I am a man under authority; having soldiers under me; and I say to

this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, 3 Come, and he cometh ; and to my servant, Do 4 this, and he doeth it. 3 True, it was on a particularly interesting occa

sion when the centurion related this, to show how he understood that diseases and all things were under the authority of the Lord; but it serves to show us the obedience due to authorities. You can, perhaps, give me some other text?

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Titus iii: 1, " Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates.

What does the Scripture say of our duty to the king ? 1 Peter ii. 17,

“ Honor the king." I would have you remark, that text is preceded by other branches of this duty, and the duty to God ; it stands thus, “ Fear God, honor the king." And I believe it adduces the fear of God as the motive for honoring the king, because if we look at Rom. xiii, 1, 2, we see how the duty to earthly superiors is enjoined. Read it.

Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God. The powers that be are ordained of GOD.' Whosoever, therefore, resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God; and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation."

I gave you a part of a text in 1 Peter ii. 13; if you give me now the whole, you will find it to sum up all these duties according to the same rule. Read it.

“ Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake : whether it be to the king, as supreme; or unto govenors, as unto them that are sent by him, for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. For so is the will of God.

Now you see, dear boys, I have been working upwards, beginning with the lower degrees, and coming up to the higher, and thus I have pro

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

ceeded from the master up to the king. But there is a higher still, which is that of duty to parents, second only to that we owe to God, and which the Lord places immediately after the four commandments which relate to our duty to Him. The fifth commandment stands simply thus, “ Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee." It is a branch of our daty to our neighbor, which the Lord calls the second commandment, on account of its following the first duties to God.

If you were a father, how would you that your children should do unto you?

Love, honor, and succor me.

As ye would that it should be done unto you, do ye even so.. Now

have these two boys standing here, who by their conduct this morning seem neither to love, nor honor, nor succor their father and mother. They reddened at this unexpected application to their case. I looked to them, and said it was very wicked. You know enough to understand you deserved to be "thumped," but if you will listen a little now, you will perhaps learn what you never knew before, especially as you have not submitted yourselves to your governor, the master of this school, in order to being taught. I shall be very glad if you learn so as to become obedient boys.

Now, remark, how engaging the duty of children to parents is made by these terms. it is not put upon bare submission, like your duty to

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

other ranks; it is not merely that honor and obedience which you owe to your king, as the principal rank of men ; but it is to love, to honor, and to, succor them. You are to love all men, but you are to have double love for your parents; they are entitled to love as neighbors or fellowcreatures, but they are also entitled to further love as your parents. They stand in the manifold capacities of master, teacher, governor, and of parents also; therefore, the honor due unto them in reverence and submission is double. You are appointed to do good unto all men; but you are especially to succor your parents, in whatever way they require it, and according to the means within your power.

Have you any Gospel rules which confirm and establish this fifth commandment of the law ?

Yes, Matt. xv. 4, and Mark vi. 10; in which passages our Lord Jesus says, "God commanded, saying, Honor, thy father and thy mother;"' and in Matt. xix. 19, and Luke xviii. 20, or thy father and thy mother : and, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."

Have you any more? Yes, the apostle Paul, in Eph. vi. 2, writes, "Honor thy father and thy mother, which is the first commandment with promise ;" and Col. iii

. 20, “Children, obey your parents in all things

, for this is well-pleasing to the Lord.” Heb. xii. 9, “ We had fathers of the flesh, which corrected us, and we gave them reverence."

Turn also to Lev. xix. 3, " Ye shall fear every


[ocr errors]

man his mother and his father;" and Prov. i. 8,

My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother."

This fifth commandment is then fully confirmed to you throughout the Scriptures; and much more might now be said in further proof of it, but this is enough for the present.

Let me put a question to your consciences, which I desire you to attend to, and answer in your heart to God. Have you endeavored to fulfil this command in your duty to your parents ? or have you been heedless of it, and behaved like those who will have nothing to do with the Lord ? By bad conduct, living like children who trouble, despise, and hate their father and mother? I paused some time, and then said, If

your heart condemn you, God is greater than your heart, and knoweth all things! If your heart is moved with desire to honor them, seek the love of God, and then will you love, honor, and succour your father and mother! Look unto Jesus, who in the days of his flesh was subject unto his parents. See how He loved, honored, and succoured His mother, even when He hung on the cross, and secured her earthly comforts beyond that period, by consigning her to the care of His beloved apostle John, forming them into the bonds of son and mother! Can you repeat the passage ?

John xix. 26, 27.“ When Jesus therefore saw his mother and the disciple standing by whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold

« PreviousContinue »