§. 64. Of Gods promise mouing children to obey their parents.
The fourth reason taken from Gods promise, is both gene∣rally propounded and particularly exemplified. Propounded in this clause (first with promise.) Exemplified in the third verse.
For the Generall. Gods promise made to the performance of any duty, cannot but be a strong motiue to stirre vs vp to performe it. Men hereby doe stirre vp, and prouoke one ano∣ther * to performe any thing. Thus Kings when they would faine haue their subiects doe this or that, promise such and such rewards vnto them: Thus masters incite their seruants, pa∣rents their children, and one man another. If the promises of men incourage vs to performe the things which they giue vs in charge, how much more ought the promise of God? Men *•re deceitfull, and may deale doubly, pretending one thing with their mouthes, and intending another with their heart, •nd neuer meane to performe what they promise: But God is faithfull and true: his words are as deeds: his promises as per∣formances; so as he neuer maketh shew of more then he means •o performe. Againe, mans power is limited; though he truly ••tend what he promiseth, yet in the performance he may faile •ither in that he knew not his owne power, but thought when •e made the promise he could haue done more then in the e∣•ent he findeth he can doe; or in that he is after wards by some occasion hindered, or disabled. But Gods power cannot be so •aitned, or hindered. Besides, men may be taken away before •etime of performing their promise is come: but God euer ••eth, and changeth not. If then mans promises be any mo∣ues to any thing, much more Gods who euer remaineth the •me. Betwixt God and man there is no proportion, no com∣•rison. *
This motiue doth exceedingly commend Gods fatherly Page 496 indulgencie towards vs, and the earnest desire he hath of our good. For he hath such power and authoritie ouer all his crea∣tures, that the very knowledge of his will ought to prouoke them to performe any dutie which he shall command: and if they obey not, he might presently execute vengeance vpon them. But considering that we are his children, and need ma∣ny allurements to draw vs on by little and little, he according∣ly dealeth with vs. He standeth not wholly and only vpon his authoritie, but addeth promises thereto: (for this is a comman∣dement with promise.) If notwithstanding all this, children refuse to obey their parents, may not the Lord iustly expostu∣late the matter with them, as sometimes in another case he did with the Israelites, and say, Iudge betweene me and these chil∣dren:*what could I haue done more that I haue not done? I gaue them an expresse charge to honour their parents: I laid it downe in the first place as a maine and principall charge: to incourage them to keepe it, I added a promise of good to redound to them∣selues: what could I doe more? Doe not they iustly deserue ven∣geance that regard none of these? Thus, in that this is a com∣mandement with promise, we see how children disobedient to their parents are both rebellious against God in regard of the commandement which they transgresse, and iniu∣rious to themselues in regard of the promise which they make to be void and of no effect. Of this particular promise see more in the first treatise, §. 97, 98, &c.