THUS far we have treated of the virtues or special duties which man owes to his neighbour simply as such; we are next to consider those which originate in circumstances of particular relationship. These duties are either private or public.

The private duties are partly domestic, and partly such as are exercised towards those not of our own house. Gen. xviii. 19. "I know him, that he will command his children, and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of Jehovah." 1 Tim. v. 8. "if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel."

Under domestic duties are comprehended the reciprocal obligations of husband and wife, parent and child, brethren and kinsmen, master and servant.

The duties of husband and wife are mutual or personal.


Mutual duties. 1 Cor. vii. 3. "let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence, and likewise also the wife unto the husband."

The personal duties appertaining to either party respectively, are, first, those of the husband. Exod. xxi. 10, 11. "her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage shall he not diminish; and if he do not these three unto her," &c. Prov. v. 18, 19. "rejoice with the wife of thy youth," Esther. i. 22. "every man should bear rule in his own house." 1 Cor. xi. 3. "I would have you know that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is the man." Eph. v. 25. "husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church." Col. iii. 19. "husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them." 1 Pet. iii. 7. "likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel." The contrary is reproved Mal. ii. 13, 14, &c. "Jehovah hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously —." Prov. v. 20, 21. "why wilt thou, my son, be ravished with a strange woman?"

Personal duties of the wife. Prov. xiv. 1. "every wise woman buildeth her house." xix. 14. a prudent wife is from Jehovah. xxxi. 11, &c. "the heart of her husband doth safely trust in her." 1 Cor. xi. 3, &c. "the woman is the glory of the man; for the man is not of the woman, but the woman of the man." Eph. v. 22-24. "wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord; for the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church, and he is the Saviour of the body; there <427> fore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything." Col. iii. 18. "wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord." Tit. ii. 4, 5. "that they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed." 1 Pet. iii. 1, &c. "likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands," &c. The same is implied in the original formation of the woman: Gen. ii. 22. "the rib which Jehovah had taken from man, made he a woman;" it cannot therefore be fitting that a single member, and that not one of the most important, should be independent of the whole body, and even of the head. Finally, such is the express declaration of God: Gen. iii. 16. "he shall rule over thee."[1]

Offences against these duties. Exod. iv. 25. "a bloody husband art thou to me." Job. ii. 9. "then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine in <428> tegrity?" &c. 2 Sam. vi. 20. Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David, and said," &c. Prov. ix. 13. "a foolish woman is clamorous." vii. 11. "her feet abide not in her house."[2] xiv. "the foolish plucketh it down with her hands." xix. 13. "the contentions of a wife are a continual dropping." See also xxvii. 15. xxi. 9. "it is better to dwell in a corner of the house top, than with a brawling woman in a wide house." v. 19. "it is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman." See also xxv. 24. Eccles. vii. 26. "I find more bitter than death the woman whose heart is snares and nets, and her hands as bands: whoso pleaseth God shall escape from her, but the sinner shall be taken by her." Above all, adultery: Deut. xxii. 14, 20. "I took this woman, and when I came unto her, I found her not a maid if... this thing be true," &c.

The duties of parents are inculcated Deut. iv. 9. "teach them thy sons, and thy sons sons." vi. 6, 7. "these words which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart, and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children." Prov. xiii. 24. "he that spareth his rod hateth his son; but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes." Prov. xix. 18. "chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying?" xxii. 6. "train up a child in the way he <429> should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it." v. 15. "foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him." xxiii. 13, 14. "withhold not correction from the child; for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die: thou shalt beat him with the rod, and deliver his soul from hell." xxix. 15, 17. "the rod and reproof give wisdom." Lam. iii. 27, 28. "it is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth." Deut. xxi. 18-20. "if a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father or the voice of his mother, and that when they have chastened him will not hearken unto them." Eph. vi. 4. "ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath; but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." Col. iii. 21. "fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged."

The opposites are, first, unbounded indulgence; as that of Eli the priest, 1 Sam. ii. and of David towards his sons Absalom and Adonijah, 1 Kings. i. 6. "whom his father had not displeased at any time in saying, Why hast thou done so?" Gen. xxv. 28. "Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison."

Secondly, excessive severity. 1 Sam. xiv. 44. "thou shalt surely die, Jonathan."

The duties of children are prescribed Gen. ix. 23. "Shem and Japheth took a garment —." xxiv. 15, &c. "with her pitcher upon her shoulder —." xxix. 9. "Rachel came with her father's sheep." Exod. ii. 16. "they came and drew water, and filled the troughs to water their father's flock." xviii. 7. "Moses went out to meet his father-in-law." xx. 12. "honour thy father and thy mother." Lev. xix. 3. "ye shall fear <430> every man his mother and his father." 1 Sam. xx. 32. "Jonathan answered Saul his father, and said unto him, Wherefore shall he be slain? what hath he done?" 1 Kings. ii. 19. Bathsheba went unto king Solomon... and the king rose up to meet her." Prov. i. 8. "my son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother." vi. 20, 21. "my son, keep thy father's commandment." xxiii. 22, 24, 25. "hearken unto thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old." Jer. xxxv. 5, 6. "our father commanded us, saying —." Eph. vi. 1-3. "children, obey your parents in the Lord; for this is right: honour thy father," &c. Col. iii. 20. "children, obey your parents in all things; for this is well pleasing unto the Lord." 1 Tim. v. 4. "if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to show piety at home, and to requite their parents, for that is good and acceptable before God."

Contrary to the above is the conduct of Ham, Gen. ix. 22. "Ham saw the nakedness of his father." Exod. xxi. 15. "he that smiteth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death." v. 17. "he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death." See also Lev. xx. 9. Deut. xxi. 18. "if a man have a stubborn and rebellious son —." xxvii. 16. "cursed be he that setteth light by his father or his mother." Prov. x. 1. "a wise son maketh a glad father, but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother." xix. 26. "he that wasteth his father," &c. xx. 20. "whoso curseth his father or his mother, his lamp shall be put out in obscure darkness." xxiii. 22. "hearken unto thy father that begat thee —." xxviii. 24. "whoso robbeth his father or his mother —." xxx. 17. "the <431> eye that mocketh at his father, and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it." Matt. xv. 5. "ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or mother, It is a gift... and honour not his father or mother, he shall be free." See also Mark. vii. 11, 12. Also an extravagant and preposterous regard. Matt. viii. 21, 22. "suffer me first to go and bury my father."

Analogous to the relation of parent and child are those of guardian and ward, teacher and pupil, elder and younger; in a word, of superior and inferior, whatever be the ground of distinction.

For the duties of guardians, see 2 Kings. xi. 4, &c. "he shewed them the king's son," &c.

The duties of wards. 2 Kings. xii. 2. "Jehoash did that which was right in the sight of Jehovah all his days, wherein Jehoiada the priest instructed him."

The prophet Samuel did not consider it beneath his dignity in his old age, after having exercised the most important public functions, to discharge the office of teacher in the schools of the prophets.[3] 1 Sam. xix. 20. "they saw the company of the prophets prophesying, and Samuel standing as appointed over them."

The duties of pupils. 1 Kings. xix. 21. "he went after Elijah, and ministered unto him." 2 Kings. ii. 2, 4, 6. "I will not leave thee."


The duties of the elder. Prov. xvi. 31. "the hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness." Tit. ii. 2. "that the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience."

The reverse. Job. xx. 11. "his bones are full of the sin of his youth, which shall lie, down with him in the dust." Isai. lxv. 20. "the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed."

The duties of the younger. Lev. xix. 32. "thou shalt rise up before the hoary head —." 2 Chron. xxxiv. 3. "in the eighth year of his reign, while he was yet young, he began to seek after God." Job. xxxii. 4. "Elihu had waited till Job had spoken, because they were elder than he." v. 6. I" am young, and ye are very old; wherefore I was afraid, and durst not show you mine opinion." Psal. Xxv. 7. "remember not the sins of my youth —." cxix. 9. "wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? —." cxlviii. 12. "young men and maidens..... praise the name of Jehovah." Eccles. xi. 9, 10. "rejoice, O young man, in thy youth..... but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment." xii. 1-3. "remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth." 1 Tim. iv. 12. "let no man despise thy youth," 2 Tim. iii. 15. "from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures." Tit. ii. 6. "young men likewise exhort to be sober-minded."

The reverse. 2 Kings. ii. 23. "there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him." 2 Chron. xxxvi. 9. Jehoiachin was eight years old when he began to reign..... and he did that which was evil in the sight of Jehovah." Psal. lviii. 3. "the wicked are <433> estranged from the womb." Prov. xx. 11. "even a child is known by its doings." Isai. iii. 5. "the child shall behave himself proudly against the ancient."

The duties of superiors. Ruth. ii. 4. "Boaz said unto the reapers, Jehovah be with you." Psal. xlix. 20. "man that is in honour, and understandeth not, is like the beasts that perish." Prov. iii. 35. "the wise shall inherit glory." 1 Pet. iv. 10. "as every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God."

The reverse. Prov. xxvi. 1. "as snow in summer, and as rain in harvest, so honour is not seemly for a fool." Eccles. x. 5. 6. "there is an evil that I have seen under the sun, as an error which proceedeth from the ruler; folly is set in great dignity —." Isai. xxiii. 9. "to stain the pride of all glory —."

We are forbidden to glory in nobility of birth, or in rank, however exalted. Deut. xxvi. 5, &c. "thou shalt speak and say before Jehovah thy God, A Syrian ready to perish was my father —." Job. xii. 21. "he poureth contempt upon princes." Psal. lxxv. 7. "God is the judge, he putteth down one, and setteth up another." cxiii. 7. "he raiseth up the poor out of the dust." Isai. xxxii. 8. "the liberal deviseth liberal things, and by liberal things shall he stand." John. i. 13. "which were born, not of blood —." iii. 6. "that which is born of the flesh is flesh." viii. 39. "if ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham."

Opposed to the proper duty of a superior, is an unauthorized assumption of censorial power. 1 Pet. iv. 15. "a busybody in other men's matters."


The duties of inferiors. Prov. xxvi. 8. "as he that bindeth a stone in a sling, so is he that giveth honour to a fool." Ruth. ii. 4. "they answered him, Jehovah bless thee." v. 7. "I pray you, let me glean and gather after the reapers." 2 Kings. ii. 15. "they came to meet him, and bowed themselves to the ground before him." Luke. xiv. 9, 10. "when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room." Rom. xiii. 7. "render therefore to all their dues..... honour to whom honour."

The reverse. James. ii. 2, &c. "if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring," &c.

The duties of brethren and kinsmen. Gen. iv. 7. "unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him." xiii. 8. "let there be no strife, I pray thee, between thee and me... for we be brethren." xxix. 11. "Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted up his voice and wept." v. 13. "he ran to meet him, and embraced him, and kissed him." xliii. 33. "they sat before him, the first-born according to his birth-right —." Psal. cxxxiii. 1. "behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity."

The reverse. 2 Chron. xxi. 4. "he slew all his brethren —." v. 13. "and also hast slain thy brethren of thy father's house, which were better than thyself." Prov. xviii. 19. "a brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city."

The duties of masters. Exod. xxi. 26, 27. "if a man strike the eye of his servant, or the eye of his maid, that it perish, he shall let him go free for his eye's sake." Job. xxxi. 13. "if I did despise the cause of my man-servant, or of my maid-servant, when they contended with me." Psal. ci. 6. "he that walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve me." cxxvii. 1,2. ex <435> cept Jehovah build the house, they labour in vain that build it." Prov. iii. 33. "he blesseth the habitation of the just." xiv. 11. "the tabernacle of the upright shall flourish." xv. 6. "in the house of the righteous is much treasure." xxiv. 3, 4. "through wisdom is an house builded," &c. xxvii. 23. "be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks —." xxix. 21. "he that delicately bringeth up his servant from a child, shall have him become his son at the length." Luke. xvii. 7-10. "which of you having a servant plowing...... will not rather say unto him, Make ready wherewith I may sup..... doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow not." Eph. vi. 9. "and ye, masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening; knowing that your master also is in heaven, neither is there respect of persons with him." Col. iv. 1. "masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal," &c. 1 Tim. iii. 5. "if a man know not how to rule his own house," &c.

The reverse. Prov. iii. 33. "the curse of Jehovah is in the house of the wicked." xi. 29. "he that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind." xiv. 11. "the house of the wicked shall be overthrown." xv. 6. "in the revenues of the wicked is trouble." v. 25. "Jehovah will destroy the house of the proud."

Respecting the possession of slaves, and the extent of the master's authority, see Gen. xvii. 12. "he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger —." Levit. xix. 20. "whosoever lieth carnally with a woman that is a bondmaid," &c. xxv. 44 46. "both thy bondmen and thy bondmaids which thou shalt have," &c. 1 Cor. vii. 21, 22. "let every <436> man abide in the same calling wherein he was called... art them called being a servant, care not for it." See also the epistle to Philemon. Concerning the forfeiture, by insolvency, of the rights of freedom, see 2 Kings. iv. 1 . "the creditor is come to take unto him my two sons to be bondmen." Matt. xviii. 25. "his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife," &c.

Respecting the punishment of slaves, see Gen. xvi. 6. "behold, the maid is in thine hand, do to her as it pleaseth thee." Prov. xxix. 19. "a servant will not be corrected by words; for, though he understand, he will not answer." Punishment, however, should not exceed due limits. Exod. xxi. 20, 21, 26, 27. "if a man smite his servant, or his maid, and he die —."

Respecting the manumission of Hebrew slaves, see Exod. xxi. 2-4. Levit. xxv. 39, 40. Deut. xv. 12, 13, 16, 17, &c. Jer. xxxiv.

The duties of servants. Gen. xvi. 9. "the angel of Jehovah said unto her, Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands." xxiv. 9. "the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and sware to him —." Prov. xvii. 2. "a wise servant shall have rule over a son that causeth shame —." xxv. 13. "so is a faithful messenger to them that send him, for he refresheth the soul of his masters." xxvii. 18. "he that waiteth on his master shall be honoured." Eph. vi. 5-8. "servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ —." See also Col. iii. 22, &c. 1 Tim. vi. 1, 2. "Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not <437> blasphemed: and they that have believing masters, let them not despise them... because they are faithful and beloved." Tit. ii. 9, 10. "exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them in all things, not answering again, not purloining, but showing all fidelity, that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things." 1 Pet. ii. 18, 19. "servants, be subject to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward; for this is thankworthy —."

The reverse. Gen. xvi. 4. "her mistress was despised in her eyes." 2 Kings. v. 20, &c. "Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said, Behold, my master hath spared Naaman the Syrian, in not receiving at his hands that which he brought; but as Jehovah liveth, I will run after him, and take some what of him." Prov. x. 26. "as vinegar to the teeth..... so is the sluggard to them that send him." xxvi. 6. "he that sendeth a message by the hand of a fool cutteth off the feet, and drinketh damage." xxx. 22, 23. "for a servant when he reigneth," &c.


My author and disposer, what thou bidd'st

Unargu'd I obey; so God ordains;

God is thy law, thou mine. Paradise Lost, IV. 635.

Was she thy God, that her thou didst obey

Before his voice, or was she made thy guide,

Superior, or but equal, that to her

Thou didst resign thy manhood, and the place

Wherein God set thee above her made of thee

And for thee, whose perfection far excelled

Hers in all real dignity. X. 145.

... To thy husband's will

Thine shall submit; lie over thee shall rule. Ibid. 195.

See also Tetrachordon: 'But St. Paul ends the controversy that indelible character of priority which God crowned him with.' Prose Works, II. 121, 122.


'Nevertheless, as I find that Grotius on this place hath observed, the Christian emperors, Theodosius the second, and Justinian, men of high wisdom and reputed piety, decreed it to be a divorcive fornication, if the wife attempted either against the knowledge, or obstinately against the will of her husband, such things as gave open suspicion of adulterizing, as the wilful haunting of feasts, and invitations with men not of her near kindred, the lying forth of her house without probable cause, the frequenting of theatres against her husband's mind,' &c. Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce, II. 45.


It will he remembered that Milton was reproached by his enemies with having been a schoolmaster. In the Transposer Rehearsed, written by R. Leigh, Oxon. 1673, 12mo. he is called a Latin Secretary and an English Schoolmaster, p. 128. and Salmasius in his posthumous reply to the 'Defence of the People of England,' describes him as 'ludimagister in schola triviali Londinensi.' Newton and Symmons have vindicated him from this crime with more seriousness than the charge seems to deserve.

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