Imágenes de páginas

which by a life of chastity I avoid. And the breach of the vow itself is a greater matter than a lustful thought.

9. So it is not every degree of good which by marriage I may attain or do, that will warrant it against a vow of chastity. Because I may do and get a greater good by chastity, and because the evil of perjury is not to be done that good may be done by it; till I can prove, that it is not only good in itself, but a duty hic et nunc' to me.

10. A man should rather break his vow of celebate, than once commit fornication, if there were a necessity that he must do the one. Because fornication is a sin which no wow will warrant any man to commit.


11. A man should rather break his vow of celebate, than live in such constant or ordinary lust, as unfitteth him for prayer, and a holy life, and keepeth him in ordinary danger of fornication, if there were a necessity that he must do the The reason is also because now the matter vowed is become unlawful, and no vow can warrant a man to live in so great sin, (unless there were some greater sin on the other side which could not be avoided in a married life, which is hardly to be supposed, however popish priests think disobedience to the pope, and the incommodity and disgrace of a married life, &c. to be a greater sin than fornication itself.) 12. If a prince vow chastity, when it is like to endanger the kingdom for want of a safe and sure succession, he is bound to break that vow; because he may not lawfully give away the people's right, nor do that which is injurious to so many.

13. Whether the command of a parent or prince may dissolve the obligation of a vow of celibate, I have answered already. I now say but this, 1. When parents or princes may justly command it, we may justly obey them. But this is not one of those accidental evils, which may be lawfully done, though unlawfully commanded. 2. It is parents that God hath committed more of this care and power to, about children's marriage, than to princes. 3. Parents nor princes may not lawfully command the breach of such a vow, (not nullified at first) except in such cases as disoblige us, whether they do it or not; so that the resolving of the main case doth suffice for all.

14. He that by lawful means can overcome his lust, to

the measure before mentioned, is under no necessity of violating his vow of single life.

15. I think that it is not one of twenty that have bodies so unavoidably prone to lust, but that by due means it might be so far (though not totally) overcome, without marriage, fornication, wilful self-pollution, or violent, vexatious, lustful thoughts. That is, 1. If they employ themselves constantly and diligently in a lawful calling, and be not guilty of such idleness, as leaveth room in their minds and imaginations for vain and filthy thoughts. If they follow such a calling as shall lay a necessity upon them to keep their thoughts close employed about it. 2. If they use such abstinence and coarseness in their diet, as is meet to tame inordinate lusts, without destroying health and not only avoid fullness and gulosity, and vain sports and pleasures, but also use convenient fasting, and tame the body by necessary austerities. 3. If they sufficiently avoid all tempting company and sights, and keep at a meet distance from them. 4. If they set such a restraint upon their thoughts as they may do. 5. If they use such a quality of diet and physic, as is most apt for the altering of those bodily distempers, which are the cause. 6. And lastly, If they are earnest in prayer to God, and live in mortifying meditations, especially in a constant familiarity with a crucified Christ, and with the grave, and with the heavenly society. He that breaketh his vow to save himself the labour and suffering of these ungrateful means, I take to be perfidious, though perhaps he sinfully made that vow. And no greater a number are excusable for continence after such a vow, than these that have bodies so extraordinary lustful, as no such other means can tame, and those forementioned that have extraordinary accidents to make a single life unlawful.

16. It must not be forgotten here, that if men trust to marriage itself alone as the cure of their lust, without other means, such violent lusts as nothing else will cure, may possibly be much uncured afterwards. For adulterers are as violent in their lusts as the unmarried, and ofttimes find it as hard to restrain them. And therefore the married as well as others have need to be careful to overcome their lust. And the rather because it is in them a double sin.

17. But yet when all other means do fail, marriage is God's appointed means, to quench those flames from which men's vows cannot, in cases of true necessity, disoblige them.


Directions for the right Choice of Servants and Masters.


Directions for the right Choice of Servants.

SERVANTS being integral parts of the family, who contribute much to the holiness or unholiness of it, and to the happiness or misery of it, it much concerneth masters to be careful in their choice. And the harder it is to find such as are indeed desirable, the more careful and diligent in it should you be.


Direct. 1. To bid you choose such as are fittest for your service, is a direction which nature and interest will give you, without any persuasions of mine.' And indeed it is not mere honesty or piety that will make a good servant, nor do your work. Three things are necessary to make a servant fit for you: 1. Strength. 2. Skill. 3. Willingness. And no two of these will serve without the third. Strength and skill without willingness, will do nothing: skill and willingness without strength, can do nothing: strength and willingness without skill, will do as bad, or worse than nothing. No less than all will make you a good servant. Therefore choose one, 1. That is healthful. 2. That hath been used to such work as you must employ him in: and, 3. One that is not of a fleshpleasing, or lazy, sluggish disposition. For to exact labour from one that is sickly will seem cruelty and to expect labour from one that is unskilful and unexercised will seem folly: and heavy, fleshly, slothful persons, will do all with so much unwillingness, and pain, and weariness, that they will think all too much, and their service will be a continual toil and displeasure to them, and they will think you wrong them, or deal hardly with them, if you will not allow them in their flesh

liness and idleness. Yea, though they should have grace, a phlegmatic, sluggish, heavy body, will never be fit for diligent service; any more than a tired horse for travel.


Direct. 11. If it be possible, choose such as have the fear of God, or at least such as are tractable and willing to be taught, and not such as are ungodly, sensual, and profane.' For, 1. "God hateth all the workers of iniquity "." And it tendeth not to the blessing or safety of your family, to have in it such as are enemies to God, and hated by him. You cannot expect an equal blessing on their labours, as you may on the service of those that fear him. The wicked may bring a curse on the families where they are (if you wilfully entertain them): when a Joseph may be a blessing even to the house of an unbeliever. A wicked man will be renewing those crimes, which will be the shame of your family, and a grief to your hearts, if you have any love to God yourselves: when a godly servant will pray for a blessing from God upon his labours, and is himself under a promise, that "whatever he doth shall prosper." 2. Ungodly servants for the most part will be mere eye-servants: they will do little more than they find necessary to escape reproof and blame: some few of them indeed out of love to their masters, or out of a desire of praise, or to make their places the better to themselves, will be diligent and trusty: but ordinarily they are deceitful, and study more to seem good servants, than to be such, and to hide their faults, than to avoid them for they make no great matter of conscience of it, nor do they regard the eye of God: whereas a truly godly servant will do all your service in obedience to God, as if God himself had bid him do it, and as one that is always in the presence of that master, whose favour he preferreth before all the world: he is more careful to please God, who commandeth him to be faithful, than to please you by seeming better than he is: he is moved more to his duty by the reward which God hath promised him, than by the wages which he expecteth from you: he hath a tender, purified conscience, which will hold him to his duty, as well when you know it not, as when you stand by. 3. Ordinarily, ungodly servants will be false, if they have but opportunity to enrich themselves by deceiving you: especially those that

a Psal. v. 5.

are intrusted in laying out money, in buying and selling. As long as I name no particular persons, I think it no untrustiness, but my duty, to warn masters whom they trust, by my experience from the confessions of those that have been guilty. Many servants whom God hath converted to his love and fear, have told me how constantly they deceived their masters in buying and selling before their conversion; even of so great sums of money, that some of them were not able to restore it (when I made them know it was their duty so far as they were able): and some of them had so much unquietness of conscience till it was restored, that I have been fain to give them money to restore, when I have convinced them of it: so that I know by such confessions, that such deceit and robbing of their masters is a very ordinary thing among ungodly servants that have opportunity,

that yet pass for very trusty servants, and are never dis

covered. 4. Also an ungodly servant will be a tempter to the rest, and will be drawing them to sin: especially to secret wantonness, and uncivil carriage, if not to actual fornication; and to revellings, and merriments, and fleshly courses by swearing, and taking God's name in vain, and cursing, and lying they will teach your children and other servants to do the like; and so to be an infectious pestilence in your families. 5. And they will hinder any good which you would do on others. If there be any in your family under convictions, and in a hopeful way to a better condition, they will quench all, and discourage them and hinder their conversion; partly by their contradicting cavils, and partly by their scorns, and partly by their diverting, idle talk, and partly by their ill examples, and alluring them to accompany them in their sin. Whereas on the contrary a godly servant will be drawing the rest of your family to godliness, and hindering them from sin, and persuading them to be faithful in their duty both to God and you.


Direct. 111. Yet measure not the godliness of a servant by his bare knowledge or words, but by his Love and Conscience.' A great deal of self-conceited talkativeness about religion may stand with an unsanctified heart and life and much weakness in knowledge and utterance, may stand with sincerity. But you may safely judge those to be truly godly, 1. Who love godliness, and love the Word and ser

« AnteriorContinuar »