§. 23. Of parents prouiding things needfull for the life and health of their children.
Hitherto of the duties of parents respecting their childrens Infancie. Such as respect their childhood follow.
The childhood of a childe is •eckoned from the time that it •eginneth to be of any discreti∣on and vnderstanding till it be •t to be placed forth: euen so Many distinguish the whole course of a mans life into foure parts.
- 1. Childhood
- 2. Youth.
- 3. Man-age
- 4. Old-age.
The duties which parents for this time must performe to their children may be drawne to these two heads.
- 1. Care to bring them vp.
- 2. Care to place them forth.
For their well training vp, re∣spect must be had both to their temporall and also to their spiri∣tuall good.
Two things are required of parents, in regard of the tempo∣rall good of their children.
- 1. To nourish them well.
- 2. To nurture them well.
|Children must be well||Fed.|
Child-hood from his birth to 14. yeeres.
Youth from 14 to 25.
Man-age from 25. to 50.
Old age from thence to his death.
But for better distingui∣shing the duties which pa∣rents are to performe, I fol∣low not so accurate a diuisi∣on, but rather distinguish the degrees of age accor∣ding to the times wherein new duties are to be per∣formed: and therefore I make a distinction be∣twixt infancie and child∣hood.
Feed them in discipline, saith the Apostle.
Vnder nourishment are comprised all needfull things for *health and life: which parents ought to prouide for their children, as
1. Food, which Christ taketh for a ruled case. Whence he draweth his argument to shew that God will prouide for his children. What father (saith he) if his sonne aske him bread would giue him a stone, &c. Mat. 7. 9, 10, 11.
2. Apparell, for it is expresly noted, that Israel made his son a coat, (Gen. 37. 3.)
3. Recreation, which in young children especially is need∣full for their health. In that Zachary chap. 8. vers. 5. told the Iewes, and that in way of blessing, that boyes and girles should be playing in the streets, he implieth that it is a lawfull and meet thing, which parents should permit vnto their children. But yet the time, and measure, and kinde of recreation must be well ordered.
4. Meanes for recouery of health when they are sicke: for this end was it, that aIeroboam sent his wife to the Prophet, Page 527 in behalfe of his sonne who was sicke: that b the Ruler came to Christ for his sonne also who was at point of death; and that many others came to him for their sonnes and daughters being ill.
Whatsoeuer other things are needfull, parents to their po∣wer * must prouide for their children: else the Apostle counteth them worse then Infidels.
Both equitie and necessitie require thus much of parents.
Equitie, in that children owe all their paines and seruice to their parents while they are vnder them, and are wholly at their command, and in that regard haue no meanes to prouide needfull things but by their parents helpe. Parents therefore in all right must herein be helpfull to them.
Necessitie, in that, if the life and health of children be not well prouided for, no dutie, no seruice can be expected at their hands.