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their people: besides, obedience and subjection were never enjoined by God to humour the passions, lusts, and vanities, of those who demand them from us; but we are commanded to obey our governors, because disobedience would breed seditions in the state. Thus servants are directed to obey their masters, children their parents, and wives their husbands; not from any respect of persons in God, but because otherwise there would be nothing but confusion in private families. This matter will be clearly explained, by considering the comparison which St Paul makes between the church of Christ and the body of man: for the same resemblance will hold, not only to families and kingdoms, but to the whole corporation of mankind. “ The eye,” saith he, “cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the hand to the foot, I have no need of thee. Nay, much more, those members of the body which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: and whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.” The case is directly the same among mankind. The prince cannot say to the merchant, I have no need of thee; nor the merchant to the labourer, I have no need of thee. Nay, much more, those members which seem to be more feeble are necessary; for the poor are generally more necessary members of the commonwealth than the rich: which clearly shows, that God never intended such possessions for the sake and service of those to whom he lends them; but because he hath assigned every man his particular station to be useful in life, and this for the reason given by the apostle, “ that there may be no schism in the body"

From hence may partly be gathered the nature of that subjection, which we all owe to one another. God Almighty hath been pleased to put us into an imperfect state, where we have perpetual occasion of each other's assistance. There is none so low, as not to be in a capacity of assisting the highest; nor so high, as not to want the assistance of the lowest.

It plainly appears, from what hath been said, that no one human creature is more worthy than another in the sight of God, farther than according to the goodness or holiness of their lives; and that power, wealth, and the like outward advantages, are so far from being the marks of God's approving or preferring those on whom they are bestowed, that, on the contrary, he is pleased to suffer them to be almost engrossed by those who have least title to his favour. Now, according to this equality wherein God hath placed all mankind with relation to himself, you will observe, that in all the relations between man and man, there is a mutual dependence, whereby the one cannot subsist without the other. Thus, no man can be a prince without subjects, nor a master' without servants, nor a father without children. And this both explains and confirms the doctrine of the text: for where there is a mutual dependence there must be a mutual duty, and consequently a mutual subjection. For instance, the subject must obey his prince, because God commands it, human laws require it, and the safety of the public makes it necessary; for the same reasons we must obey all that are in authority, and submit ourselves not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward, whether they rule according to our liking or not. On the other side, in those countries that pretend to freedom,

princes are subject to those laws which their

people have chosen ; they are bound to protect their subjects in liberty, property, and religion, to receive their petitions, and redress their grievances; so that the best prince is, in the opinion of wise men, only the greatest servant of the nation ; not only a servant to the public in general, but in some sort to every man in it. In the like manner, a servant owes obedience, and diligence, and faithfulness to his master; from whom, at the same time, he hath a just demand for protection, and maintenance, and gentle treatment. Nay, even the poor beggar hath a just demand of an alms from the rich man; who is guilty of fraud, injustice, and oppression, if he does not afford relief according to his abilities.

But this subjection we all owe one another, is no where more necessary than in the common conversations of life; for without it there could be no society among men. If the learned would not sometimes submit to the ignorant, the wise to the simple, the gentle to the froward, the old to the weaknesses of the young, there would be nothing but everlasting variance in the world. This our Saviour himself confirmed by his own example; for he appeared in the form of a servant, and washed his disciples' feet, adding those memorable words: “ Ye call me Lord and Master, and ye say well, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, wash your feet, how much more ought ye to wash one another's feet?” Under which expression of washing the feet is included all that subjection, assistance, love, and duty, which every good Christian ought to pay his brother, in whatever station God hath placed him. For the greatest prince and the meanest slave, are not, by infinite degrees, so distant, as

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our Saviour and those disciples, whose feet he vouchsafed to wash.

And although this doctrine of subjecting ourselves to one another may seem to grate upon the pride and vanity of mankind, and may therefore be hard to be digested by those who value them selves upon their greatness or their wealth, yet it is really no more than what most men practise upon other occasions. For if our neighbour, who is our inferior, comes to see us, we rise to receive him, we place him above us, and respect him as if he were better than ourselves: and this is thought both decent and necessary, and is usually called good manners. Now the duty required by the apostle, is only that we should enlarge our minds, and that what we thus practise in the common course of life, we should imitate in all our actions and proceedings whatsoever ; since our Saviour tells us that every man is our neighbour, and since we are so ready, in the points of civility, to yield to others, in our own houses, where only we have any title to govern.

Having thus shown you what sort of subjection it is, which all men owe to another, and in what manner it ought to be paid, I shall now draw some observations from what hath been said.

And, first ; A thorough practice of this duty of subjecting ourselves to the wants and infirmities of each other, would utterly extinguish in us the vice of pride.

For, if God has pleased to entrust me with a talent, not for my own sake, but for the service of others, and at the same time hath left me full of wants and necessities, which others must supply, I can then have no cause to set any extraordinary value upon myself, or to despise my brother,

because he hath not the same talents which were lent to me. His being may probably be as useful to the public as mine; and, therefore, by the rules of right reason, I am in no sort preferable to him.

Secondly ; 'Tis very manifest, from what has been said, that no man ought to look upon the adyantages of life, such as riches, honour, power, and the like, as his property, but merely as a trust, which God hath deposited with him to be employed for the use of his brethren ; and God will certainly punish the breach of that trust, though the laws of man will not, or rather indeed cannot, because the trust was conferred only by God, who has not left it to any power on earth to decide infallibly, whether a man makes a good use of his talents or not, or to punish him where he fails. And therefore God seems to have more particularly taken this matter into his own hands, and will most certainly reward, or punish us, in proportion to our good or ill performance in it. Now although the advantages, which one possesseth more than another, may in some sense be called his property with respect to other men, yet with respect to God they are, as I said, only a trust; which will plainly appear from hence: if a man does not use those advantages to the good of the public, or the benefit of his neighbour, it is certain he doth not deserve them, and consequently that God never intended them for a blessing to him; and, on the other side, whoever does employ his talents as he ought, will find by his own experience, that they were chiefly lent him for the service of others; for to the service of others he will certainly employ them.

Thirdly; If we could all be brought to practise this duty of subjecting ourselves to each other

VOL. VIII.

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