§. 31. Of seruants faithfulnesse in helping one another.
Where many fellow seruants are together, faithfulnesse re∣quireth that one be helpfull to another in what they may; * as by good example, good counsell, incouragement in good courses, disswasion from lewd and wicked practises, peace and vnity, with the like. The Lord Christ expresly calleth such an one a faithfull seruant, and pronounceth him blessed.*
Example and aduice of ones equall preuaileth much with another, so as a fellow seruant may in this kinde doe more good then the master himselfe: and if by his meanes he bring his fellow seruants to be faithfull, his owne faithfulnesse is doubled and trebled; and his master receiueth a double and treble benefit thereby: namely the benefit of this good ser∣uants faithfulnesse, and the benefit of all the other seruants faithfulnesse whom he hath made faithfull.
Contrary is their practise who by their ill example cor∣rupt * their fellowes (as that euill seruant, who, when his master was away, did eat and drinke with the drunken, that is, did cause * others to be drunken with him) or by ill counsell draw one another on to euill (as the sonnes of Iaakob, who when they saw Ioseph a farre off, said one to another, Behold this dreamer*commeth, come now and let us slay him, &c. and as they, who, when they saw their masters sonne, said among themselues, This is the heire, come let us kill him, and let us seize on his inhe∣ritance) or are euer quarrelling with their fellowes, and smi∣ting them (as that forenamed euill seruant whom the Lord threatneth to cut off) or disswade one another from obedience and subiection (as they who said, Let us breake their bonds*Page 630asunder, and cast away their cords from vs; and as Sheba, who said, we haue no part in Dauid: euery man to his tents O Israel.)* These faults are very rife among seruants: whence it com∣meth to passe that there are so few good, and so many bad ser∣uants: too true is this prouerbe, One skabbed sheepe mars a whole flocke. Let there be in a great family one seruant that is pro∣fane, proud, riotous, stout, rebellious, or otherwise vicious, and all will soone be like him.
Among other parts of vnfaithfulnesse in this kinde one of the most monstrous (which yet is too too frequent) is to allure one another to vncleannesse, and men and maids to defile one another. We shewed * before, that it was vnlawfull for ser∣uants during the time of their seruice to marie without their masters consent: how abominable then is it to defile one ano∣ther? The sinne is doubled being betwixt seruants: for as it is a beastly sin in it selfe, so in the forenamed respect it is great∣ly dishonourable to their master and his house: besides that the maid so defiled is oft disabled to doe her seruice well: nay many times the charge of the childe lieth vpon the master. Thus shame and dishonour, griefe and vexation, losse and dammage all meet together, the more to gall & pierce him to the very heart. Is not this then a great part of vnfaithful∣nesse? Deserueth it not to be seuerely punished, and that openly, and publikely with shame and smart too, tht others may take warning thereby? Many vse meanes to escape the reuenging hand of man: but though they escape mans hand, they shall be sure to meet with Gods heauy vengeance: whore∣mongers God will iudge. Daily experience sheweth what mi∣sery * such wretches bring themselues vnto, and how God meet∣eth with them, and that most fearefully.