§. 107. Of appropriating prosperity and long-life to the obedi∣ence which children yeeld to their parents.
4. Quest. Why is long-life and prosperity appropriated to this kinde of righteousnesse?
Answ. It is not so appropriated to this, as if it appertained to no other: for it is elsewhere in generall promised to the * obseruers of the whole law, and to other particular branches thereof beside this: yet in these and such like particular re∣spects * is it applied to the obedience of children.
1. Because obedience to parents is one of the surest eui∣dences of our conformity to the whole law: in that thereby we shew our respect of Gods image, and lay a good foundation for the performing of all dutie to man.
2. Because a childes performing of his dutie to his parents is vnder God an especiall meanes that they doe well, and liue long (for as rebellious children make their parents with griefe to come the sooner to their graues, so dutifull children make them to continue the longer in prosperity) the Lord in recompence promiseth to such a childe prosperity and long life.
3. Because parents are an especiall meanes to procure the welfare and long life of their children, partly by their proui∣dentPage 146care, as Noami said to Ruth, shall I not seeke rest for thee,*that it may be well with thee? and partly by their instant praier: for the faithfull praier of parents is of great force with God for dutifull children: whence hath risen the custome of chil∣drens asking their parents blessing, and of parents blessing their children. In this respect the law thus setteth forth the blessing of the fift commandement, they shall prolong thy daies.*
4. Because disobedience to parents bringeth much mis∣chiefe on childrens heads, and oft shorteneth their daies, and that many waies.
1. In that parents are oft prouoked by their childrens dis∣obedience * to disinherit them, at least to allow them the lesse portion, so as hereby it goeth not so well with them: yea some are prouoked to bring their rebellious children to the Magistrate, who by Gods law was to cut them off, so as * thereby their life is shortened.
2. In that parents are prouoked to complaine vnto God of their childrens disobedience, and God thereby moued both to lay heauie iudgements vpon such children in their life time, and also to shorten their daies: for parents complaint doth make a loud crie in Gods eares. It is said that God by cutting off Abimelech with an vntimely death rendred the*wickednesse which he did to his father.
3. In that, when parents are too indulgent ouer their chil∣dren, God doth punish the sinne both of parent and childe, by shortning the childes daies. Instance the examples of aHoph∣ni and Phinehas,bAbsolom, and cAdonijah.
4. In that disobedience to parents, is a sinne that seldome goeth alone: for an vndutifull childe is commonly a verie lewd person many other waies. Considering the prouenesse of our nature to all sinne, it cannot be auoided but that they who in the beginning shake off the yoake of gouernment, should run headlong into all riot, loosenesse, and licentious∣nesse: thus then sinne being added vnto sinne, it must needs bring mischiefe vpon mischiefe, till at length life be cut off.
Wherefore in that these mischiefes are auoided by perfor∣ming due obedience to parents, it may well be said that it shall be well with obedient children, and they shall liue long.