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severity, but sometimes with condescending magnanimity to correct their faults; for the apostle commands," Parents, provoke not your children to wrath, lest they be discouraged," Col. iii. 21. And as long as they live, they ought to be to their children their first and best of counsellors.
2. That we obey the sovereign, who is the supreme magistrate, and the first governor under God. We ought, therefore, to love him with our hearts, and render to him high honours; obey his will, and fulfil his commands willingly without murmuring; we ought to pay the tribute cheerfully, to pray to God for his health and prosperity, and in time of need not to spare our very lives in defence of his honour, and in supporting him against enemies, rebels, and traitors. "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." Rom. xiii. 1, 2.
The duty of the sovereign is to endeavour to promote the peace and happiness of his subjects, to see that justice be dispensed, and transgressors punished; that the spiritual and civil powers perform the duties belonging to their offices; to reward the good, and punish the irregular and wicked; and in every thing to shew
himself a father who diligently careth for the good of his children. Also to promote the prosperity of the church, and defend her against despisers and defamers; to propagate her doctrines, and thereby civilize his subjects, and bring them to the practice of piety; for the Holy Ghost, in Isaiah xlix. 23, calleth orthodox sovereigns, "Nursing fathers to the church." This commandment farther requires men,
3. To be subject both to religious and civil governors; to love them unfeignedly; defend their honour; render them all due respect, and suffer patiently their reproofs. But the duty of the religious powers is to instruct men in the way of salvation, and recommend good morality; and that of the civil powers to administer justice, and observe that those who are subject to them perform the respective duties of their stations.
4. We are required to love our instructors and benefactors, and for ever remain grateful to them; that is, in every difficulty assist them, and on every occasion behave towards them with respect and kindness.
5. Servants are here taught to respect their masters; that is, entertain for them a filial reverence; serve them faithfully without laziness; obey them without murmuring, and even suffer their caprice with patience; not to steal from them, but to
preserve their master's property as if it were their own, and on every occasion faithfully to defend their name and honour. And masters ought to behave towards their servants like fathers; instruct them in réligion and morality; support them liberally; not lay too much labour upon them, and not burden their peasants by laying too heavy taxes upon them. They ought also to punish them with moderation, and with the intention of correcting them, and not to gratify a revengeful spirit, always remembering this warning of the apostle's, "Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven." Col. iv. 1.
6. This commandment also requires us to love our neighbours; that is, to conduct ourselves towards every one with sincerity, kindness, civility, and condescension, and to be generous and merciful. Now, active mercy feeds the hungry,
* This, and some other passages, have a direct reference to the state of such of the Russian peasantry as are the slaves of the nobility. These are bought and sold along with the lands which they cultivate, and are bound either to work three days a week for their master, in return for the fields granted them for their own subsistence, or pay him an annual tax, which is called Obrok. This he has in his power to levy, and to proportion the sum paid to the different circumstances of individuals.
gives drink to the thirsty, clothes the naked, visits those that are sick and in prison, receives the stranger with love, preserves others from harm, and labours to promote their advantage. There are also spiritual acts of mercy, namely, to guard our neighbour against sin, to instruct the ignorant in the ways of religion and piety, to give good counsels, to bear reproach not only patiently, but also to forgive it, and earnestly to pray to the merciful God for the salvation of all men. As the peace and prosperity of mankind depend on the complying with this commandment, so God has promised peculiar blessings to those who sincerely obey it.
It is unnecessary to particularize those who sin against this commandment; for all such as do not fulfil the duties enumerated above, are transgressors of it; and in breaking it the following sins are included, disobedience to parents, perverseness, murmurings, unfaithfulness, rebellion, deceit, self-love, ambition, the love of riches, niggardliness, unmercifulness, rudeness, pride, hatred, condemning of others, creating offences, and similar
The sixth commandment requires, that we should do no injury to our neighbour, either ourselves or
through others, in deeds, nor in thoughts; but, on the contrary, that we should do what we can to preserve him from all harm.
The whole human race compose a kind of society, for the prosperity of which, it is absolutely necessary, that we not only do no harm to our neighbour, as being a co-member and citizen of this world with ourselves, but that we promote his happiness as much as we do our own. Therefore, God, as the supreme governor of the world, who careth for the happiness of the human race, hath given to them this commandment. And the transgressors against this salutary commandment are,
1. Those who take away men's lives, either with arms, or by suffocation, or drowning, or poison, or in any other way. In this number must also be reckoned, those who engage in duels, boxing-matches, treachery, rebellions, unlawful war. If any one has a full desire and intention to deprive a person of his life by any one of these means, but cannot attain to it on account of circumstances which obstruct the accomplishment of his wishes, he is condemned by the law of God as an actual murderer. But judges who deliver criminals over to be executed, and soldiers who, in defending their country, kill their enemies, cannot be called transgressors of this law; for