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those branches of the female conduct which we have now in view. Suffice it therefore to observe, that it is highly incumbent on every mistress to unite with her husband in the discharge of those parts of duty, which in our last discourse were enforced upon him. Yes, it is of essential importance that she co-operate with him, in guarding against undue severity towards the servants; in discountenancing in them every kind of vice; in preventing their absence from home at untimely hours ; in not suffering them to keep bad company; in restraining them from an open violation of the sabbath ; in encouraging their attention to real religion ; in contriving for their frequent attendance on public worship; in requiring their regular observance of family devotion; in treating them kindly on all occasions, especially when indisposed by sickness ; in exacting from them no more labour than their strength will allow ; and in supplying them with suitable provisions. Moreover, since the mistress is generally more conversant with the servants of the household than the master, she has a better opportunity than he of obtaining a just knowledge of their dispositions, qualifications, and conduct. Hence it concerns her to improve this knowledge for their real welfare. She should do what she can, in adapting her instructions, and enforcing her admonitions, as their cases require. A similar interference to that which we have noticed in the government of children, may also be requisite in the management of servants. The influence of a mistress may be despised by them; or she may
be sensible of many glaring incon. sistencies in their conduct, with which their master may be totally unacquainted. In such cases, concealment is dangerous both to the morals and welfare of the servants. The master, therefore, ought doubtless to be informed by her of their improprieties, in order that he may have an opportunity of interposing his superior authority to prevent them.
Thus, my female friends, I have endeavoured to point out your duty as wives, as mothers, and as inistresses. Il a reformation begin in the heads of families, we may hope that the result will be glorious. family religion, and proper family-government, are essential steps to parish-reformation. And all of you will allow, I am persuaded, that this reformation is greatly needed. Let me then prevail on you, my friends, to set about these necessary branches of your duty without delay. Recollect, however, that in order to accomplish these important points, you inust be strengthened by divine grace; and consequently that it behoves you to be much in prayer that God would impart his grace
to you. Bear it also in mind, that after you have done all you can, you will still be unprofitable servants, and will have to cast yourselves on the mercy of God in Christ, that both you and your services may meet with a favourable acceptance at his hands.
THE DUTIES OF
Children and Servants.
1 KINGS, CHAPTER XVIII. VERSE 12.
INconsequence of being placed insituations which are unfavourable to the due observance of religion, many personsform excuses for totally neglecting it. The temptations to which they are exposed, the opposition to which a strict adherence to the exercises of piety would subject them, and the various domestic concerns which daily require their attention, lead them to argue that it is almost impossible conscientiously to attend to religious duties.
But such a mode of arguing is fatally erroneous. It will not bear the test either of common experience, or of the examples recorded in the Sacred Writings. The most eminent Scripture-characters, independent of living Testimonies, have most strikingly manifested that a conscientious adherence to real religion, is practicable under the most unfavourable external circumstances. We will refer to afew instances, Occupied in the numerous and complicated
concerns even of Pharaoh's household, exposed to the most abominable customs of the Egyptians, and ensnared by the most alluring temptation, Joseph was enabled to retain his integrity, and to avoid “sinning against God. Situated in the midst of idolatrous Babylonians, and surrounded by Princes and Governors, who exercised their most malignant sagacity to find an occasion against him, that man of God Daniel acted with so much wisdom, and exhibited so great purity of conduct, as to compel his most inveterate adversaries to confess, that they could find none occasion nor fault against him, except concerning the law of his God.” Presiding over the household of that impious King Ahab, and of course continually exposed to circumstances of a most opposite nature to true religion, Obadiah “feared the Lord greatly." This is the illustrious . character who says in the text, in his address to the prophet Elijah, “I thy servant fear the Lord from my youth.” In rendering these words subservient to our present design, I shall be led to shew
I. That all young persons ought to fear the Lord.
II. That this fear will render them good children to their parents, and
III. Good servants to their masters.