A good master well served. A brief discourse on the necessary properties & practices of a good servant in every-kind of servitude: and of the methods that should be taken by the heads of a family, to obtain such a servant.
Mather, Cotton, 1663-1728.
Page  3

A Good Master well Served

It is Written, in Tit. II. 9, 10.

Exhort Servants to be obedient unto their own Ma|sters, and to please them well in all things, no answering again.

Not purloyning, but shewing all good fidelity, tha they may adorn the Doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.

It is also Written, in 1 Tim. VI. 1, 2.

Let as many Servants as are under the yoke, count their own Masters worthy of all honour: that th Name of God, and his Doctrine be not blasphemed.

And they that have believing Masters, let them no despise them, because they are brethren: but rather do them Service, because they are faithful, and beloved, partakers of the benefit. These thing teach and exhort.

It is again Written, in Eph. VI. 5, 6, 7, 8.

Servants be obedient to them that are your Master according to the flesh, with fear and trembling in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ.

Page  4Not with eye service, as men pleasers, but as the Servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart.

With goed-will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men.

Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.

It is likewise Written, in Col. III. 22, 23, 24, 25.

Servants obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eye service, as men pleasers, but in singleness of heart, fearing God.

And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.

Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.

But he that doeth wrong, shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.

It was afterwards Written, in 1 Pet. II. 18.

Servants be subject to your masters with all fear, not only to the good & gentle, but also to the froward.

THE Great God who Formed all things, and who particularly, Formed the Spi|rit of man within him, hath Formed Us with a Sociable Disposition; which Disposition to 〈◊〉, Planted by God in our Page  5Nature, hath Positive Rules given by our God in His Word, for the Regulation of it.

The First Society, which Mankind falls, and indeed Naturally falls into, is Domestical; the So|ciety, that makes a family. Now, by the 〈…〉Nature it self, 'tis come to pass, that in such a Society there must be a Superiority, and an Inferiority; there must be some who are to Command, and there must be some who are to Obey. Accordingly, The Domestical Society is of Three Sorts; There is a Conjugal Society, or that between the Husband and the Wife; there is a Parental Society, or that between the Parent and the Child; and there is last, and lowest of all, an erile Society, or that between the Master and the Servant.

When the Providence of God, hath brought a person, into any sort of Humane Society, it is not the least Office of Religion to direct, and assist, the person, in the Discharge of the Rela|tion, which he bears to that Society. The true Religion, having a due Impression upon us, will vastly amend us, and improve us, in every Rela|tion, wherein the Providence of God hath pla|ced us. It has been a Maxime sometimes justly used; Be sure, that Religion cannot be right, that a man is the worse for having. And I will add This unto it; Be sure, if a Person seem to be Religious, but is not by Religion, made, a Better Husband or Wife, a Better Parent or Child, a Better Ma|ster or Servant, that persons Religion is vain.

Page  [unnumbered] We find therefore that the Scriptures of God often and largely insist on the Duties of men, 〈◊〉 those Relative Capacities, wherein they stand obliged unto one another. But among the rest, he Duties of Masters and Servants are pressed, with a vary frequent, fervent and pungent In|culcation; and this most especially in the Inspi|ed Epistles of the New Testament. In the Days of Primitive Christianity, there were Christianized Masters, who had much adoe to lay aside, the fierce, harsh, bruitish and bloody Usage of their Servants, whereto in their Paganism they had been accustomed; and there were Chri|stianized Servants who on the other side had much ado to maintain a due Respect unto their Masters, after they were by Regeneration ad|vanced unto the priviledges of the Gospel, and made the Sons and Heirs of God. For this Cause, the Apostles, do very emphatically De|monstrate it, that Christianity will Teach persons to be better Masters, and better Servants, than ever they were before.

Casting a careful Eye upon our Assembly, I behold here many Hundreds of persons, which have been Stated in both of these two Orders, by the God of Order. 'Twill therefore be but a part of our Stewardly Faithfulness, our Pastoral Watchfulness, to Address both of these Orders, with such Admonitions as may be agreeable unto their Circumstances.

Page  [unnumbered]〈◊〉 And First, I will have the Servants to star by, as it becomes them, till their Masters a Served before them. I must in the First plac Exhort you that are Masters, to Read seriou|ly those Paragraphs in the Oracles of God which lye next unto them, wherein the Duti•• of Servants are specified, for you will there find your Duties also, abundantly declared: an when Masters are spoken to, Let the 〈◊〉 also take all that shall be spoke, unto themselve

I. But the first of those Counsils, which as proper and needful for you is; Oh! see to 〈◊〉 You that are Masters, and have Servants, I E treat you, see to it, That you be not yourselv the Servants of the worst Masters in th World. You do a little bear the Image of Go in that Government, which you have over you Servants; but God forbid, that you should be at the same Time, the Image of the Devil, an be under the Government of that Wicked One Very Lamentable was the Curse of Canaan,〈◊〉 Ger. 9. 25. He shall be a Servant of Servant And how lamentably Cursed then will you 〈◊〉 to make your Servants, if their Master must 〈◊〉 a Servant of the Devil. Poorly sit is that man to Command others, who shall be himself Com|manded always by the Devil, and by the Earth Sensual Devilish Inclinations of his own Hear Syrs, Do you first your selves become the Ser|vantsPage  [unnumbered] of God, and then you may have Blessings in, you will be Blessings to, those that shall be|come Servants unto your selves. There is this Lesson divers times in the Bible given you, Know that you have a Master in Heaven. I say then, Learn this Lesson; and let every Master say, The Lord of Heaven shall be my Master. I remember the Servant of Abraham seem'd, as it were to value himself, upon the score of his having such a Master; said he, in Gen. 24. 34. I am Abra|hams Servant. Indeed, a Master that shall be like Abraham, an Exemplary Believer, and a Re|ligious Housholder, will give Servants cause to be ambitious of Living with him. Whereas,

Quimon obtemperas Domino, torqueris a Servo.

Our own Disobedience unto God, is often Chastised in the Disobedience, and the Misbeha|viour, of our Servants.

II. But having thus Embrace that Service, from which the biggest Master or Monarch, is not Excused, a Second of those Counsils, where|with you should now be advised is, To be as Well Advised as you can in the Choice of your Servants. It was the good Resolution of a Re|nowned Master, in Psal. 101. 4, 6. I will not know a wicked person; mine eyes shall be upon the Faithful of the Land, that they may dwell with me; he that walketh in a perfect way, he shall Serve me; He that works Deceit shall not dwell within my House, he that telleth Lies, shall not tarry in my Page  [unnumbered] sight. I beseech you, do not Choose to Har|bour in your Houses a Traitor and a Rebel a|gainst the God of Heaven; but as far as may be, Choose those to Serve you, that profess them selves willing to Serve the God, that made both you and them. It is true, and, alas, that it is true! there is too much Scarcity of Godly Ser|vants, to afford a Choice, unto us all; but if we can't have Godly Servants, yet let it not be our Choice, to have Servants, that shall be noted for any visible and notorious Ungodliness; you had better take a Serpent into your Houses, than a Profane, Swearing, Cursing, Drinking, Wanton, Thievish, Lying, Child of the Old Serpent. There are many little Ingenuities, which are used by men, for the Trials of their Servants, before they have them; the Trials of their Ca|pacity, their Sedulity, their Fidelity; but let your main Trials for your Servants be, Whether they can say, as he, in 1 King. 18. 12. I thy Ser|vant fear the Lord from my Youth. Now, a good Report, of them, is therefore to be sought for An Onesimus, a Servant Born again, will be a profitable Servant.

III. But having Chosen your Servants, and en|deavoured that they may be Choice Ones, You are now, Thirdly, to attend unto some further Counsils, about the well treating of them.

And here, there are Three things that you owe, yea, there are four things, that me not be denyed unto them.

Page  10 Even, the Moral Philosophy, of the Heathen, ••onounced, Three Things to be due from a Master, unto a Servant; namely, Work, and Good, and Discipline; [Nam Cibus sine Opere facit Servum Porcum; Opus sine Cibo, Asinum; Castiga|in sine utro{que} Canem] and, I am sure, our Chri|stian Theology, will not Release you, from any of he Debts which thus Ly upon you. Masters indeed should be Fathers unto their Servants. It was a most suitable word, which a Celebra|ted Master once had from those that were un|der him, in 2 King. 5. 13. His Servants came near, and spake unto him, and said, My Father. Thus, you should give your Servants reason to testifie concerning you, That man has been a Father to me, as long as I have Lived with him. Now, that it may be so,

The first Thing that you owe to your Ser|vants, is, Work. Let them have Work to do, and let their Work be well done; countenance them not in any Idleness, whereof there comes no Goodness. Now in Ordering the Work of your Servants, you must Lay no Sinful Com|mands upon them, nor appoint them any Evil Work. It is your Title in the Book of God, Masters according to the Flesh. You may Com|mand no further than the Flesh of your Servants; they may not by any Sin wrong their own Souls, to gratify you; nor may you Command them to do any of those things which are, the Works of the Flesh. Your Authority over your Servants, Page  11 is Derived from God; Oh! Let not that Auth|rity he employed against Him. The Master and the Servants did but bring Everlasting Ruine 〈◊〉 on one another, in that horrid Action, where we read, in a Sam. 13. 28, 29. Absalom Con|manded his Servants to Commit a most pernicio Villany, saying, Fear not, have not I Commands you? And the Servants of Absalom, it follows, 〈◊〉 as be Commanded. Send not your Servants upon the Devils Business; make not your Servant▪ the Tools of any Wickedness; Let not you Servants be bidden, like Sennackeribs, to Reproach the Almighty Lord; No, but like another A|braham, show that you would not have the Con|science of a Servant in any thing Imposed 〈◊〉 Again, in Ordering the Work of your Servants you must Lay no Cruel Commands upon their not appoint them Too Hard Work. If you must be Merciful to a Beast, you must much more 〈◊〉Merciful to a Servant, in your not Over-working of him. A Servant must not be handled like: Beast. The Strength of your Servants must b considered:

Quid ferre valent, Humeri, quid ferve recusant.

And you must so Proportion their Work to it that they may not Complain of you, as th over burdened, over driven Israelites did, of their Egyptian Taskmasters. Don't put them upon Cries and Groans, which God will hear in Hea|ven His Holy Habitation! There are some whol Countryes in the World, against whom the Page  12〈◊〉 the Servant, is dreadfully gone up unto the ord of Sabaoth. It was the Law in Israel in ev. 25. 46. Ye shall not Rule ver one another with igour. Be a Master, but be not a Tyrant: Let ot your Servants have their Lives Embittered, 〈◊〉Healths Impaired, their Bodies Macerated, 〈◊〉 your Tyranny. A David once, when he was himself, would not meddle with a thing, whereby the Blood of a Servant had been Ex|posed. Yea, 'Twas the Speech of a Generous agan, Our Servants are as our Poor Friends, and 〈◊〉 in our Houses not meerly for Servitude, but for Patronage. But this is not all you have to do, a|bout the Work of your Servants; You are also faithfull to Death your Servants the Work of hat Calling, for the learning whereof, any of hem are bound unto you. While you use them or Servants, you must so use them, that in Time hey may come to be Masters. If Servants are with you, to Learn, any Mystery in your Oc|cupation, t'will be a most Complicated, Cousenage and Robbery in you, to Conceal that Mystery from hem. Hide not from them any Ingenious or significant Part of your Trade, out of any Cove|eous, Envious, Undermining purposes. It was Enjoined about a Servant, arriving to the Period of his Prentice-ship, in Deut. 15. 13, 14. Thou shalt not let him go away Empty; thou shalt furnish him Liberally: This was that he might not be under 〈◊〉 Necessity of becoming a Servant again. Those Masters, who by letting their Servants go away Page  13 Unfurnished with the Skill of their Trades, do necessitate them unto the Second Service 〈◊〉Journey men, are guilty of a great Iniquity. But, if there be any Mystery of Iniquity in any 〈◊〉 your Trades, don't let your Servants understand any of Them. Show them not any Subtile and Shuffling Tricks, which belong to the Arts of Cheating. No, I will speak in the words of: Witty Writer, If thou art Skill'd in any Black Art keep that unto thy self, and the Devil from whence it came. If you put them upon the doing of any Fraudulent thing for your advantage, you will make them Incur that Threatning, in Zeph. 1. 9. I will punish them, which fill their Masters Houses, with Violence and Deceit.

But now, having well ordered the Work of your Servants, the Second thing that you owe to them, is, food. Let them not want their Food, nor any of that Physick, or that Cloathing, which may come under the Reckoning of, A Food Convenient for them. This is the Demand of God, in Col. 4. 1. Masters, give unto your Ser|vants, that which is just and equal. It is but just and equal, that you should Food them, and Help them, that Serve you. As for the Diet of your Servants, when they are Well, which is one thing that belongs unto their Food, this is to be Wholesome and Enough. It was said, in Luk. 15. 17. How many Hired Servants of my Fathers, have Bread Enough. They will not for Shame ask for Dain|ties. The Proverbs of the Wise man, have Stig|matized, Page  14A Servant that is Delicately brought up. Nevertheless, Bread they should have; and so much Meat, and so much Drink, as may be rea|sonably Esteemed, Enough. Our Lord ha's told 〈◊〉, The Labourer is Worthy of it. Again, As for the Relief of your Servants, when they are Ill, which is another thing that belongs unto their Food, you are to show your Compassion on them, 〈◊〉 it. He was a Detestable Amalekite, of whom was said, in 1 Sam. 30. 13. My Master left me, because Three Dayes agone, I fell sick. The Neg|lect of them, is their Sickness, will be a sort of Murder, in the Account of God: and a withold|ing of any Justice from them for their Sickness, is as Dishonourable, as Uncharitable. The Cen|turion, was a Souldier, and though the Persons of that Profession, are usually more Hard harted than others are, yet when he had a Servant lying Sick, how much concerned was he!

Once more, The Clothing of your Servants, at all Times, this also is a thing, that goes with their Food; and it should be Neat, Warm, and Modest. It is mentioned as the Character of a good Mistress, in Prov. 31. 21. She is not afraid of the snow, for her Houshold; for all her Houshold are Clothed [not, with Scarlet, as it is in our Trans|lation; but] With Double Garments. Garments for the Winter, as well as for the Summer, and Garments for the Lords Day as well as for the Week-Day; and these Double Garments, for the Sobriety of them, well becoming the Condition Page  15 of a Servant; a Master should see that a Servant may be supplied with such Double Garments But this also, is not all that pertains unto the Food of the Servants; for there are some Ser|vants, to whom Wages are by Contract Enga|ged; and it will be a Crying Sin, to Withold those Wages. When a Laban, Oppressed a Ser|vant, either by Denying, or by Delaying, of his Righteous Wages, the Righteous God Inter|poses, with a Vengeance against such a Master There are two Sentences of Sacred Writ, which fall methinks like Thunderbolts upon the Heads of such Oppressors; The One is that in Jer. 22. 13. Wo to him that uses his Neighbours Service, without Wages, and giveth him not for his Work. The Other is that in Deut. 24. 14, 15. Thou shalt not Oppress, an Hired Servant: At his Day thou shalt give him his Hire, neither shall the Sun go down upon it; for he is poor, and setteth his Heart upon it; Left he Cry against thee to the Lord, and it be come Sin unto thee.

But the Food of your Servants, being thus pro|vided for, Discipline, is the Third Thing that you owe unto them: and this Discipline is to have a twofold Aspect, The punishment of Evil 〈◊〉, and, The praise of them which do well. Faulty Servants are to be Rebuked; and some Servants are so Refractory, as to come under that Lash, in Prov. 29. 19. A Servant will not be Corrected by words; for though be understand, he will not Answer. Servants may not be Indulged in any Page  16lothful, and much less, in any Thievish, practice; and if Servants have any Ill Haunts, Drunkenness, Wantonness, Gaming, and Company-keeping, they are to be strictly Restrained therefrom. If Words will not operate upon them, you know the Portion of, The Servant who knows his Ma|sters Will, and does it not. And, yet, even the Stripes of such a Servant, must be so modera|ted with Humanity, that he may not be there|by Killed, or Maimed: Eye for Eye, Tooth for Tooth, and Life for Life, will be demanded, by the Righteous God, the Judge of the Creepled Servant. But Faithful Servants are at the same Time, to be Rewarded: We should let such Desirable Servants perceive, that they are to us, as his was to him, in Luc. 7. 2. The Centurions Servants was dear unto him. There are certain Encouragements, of Liberty to be granted unto Servants at some Seasons; and there are the En|couragements of Preferment, whereof some Ser|vants may be capable; we are to Encourage all the wayes that we can, the Servant that shall any way deserve it.

But are these Three Things, all that you owe unto your Servants? No, There is a Fourth, which is of more Importance than all the Rest; And this is, Your Care about the Souls of your Servants. It will be the Care of an Abraham, He will Command his Houshold, that they shall keep the way of the Lord. It 〈◊〉 be the Care of a Joshua, As for me and my House, we will Serve Page  17 the Lord. The Apostle says of Ministers, They watch for Souls, as they that must give an Account; Thus it may be said of Masters; They must give an Account of the Souls, that belong unto their Hou|ses. Masters, When any Servant comes to Live with you, the God of Heaven does betrust you with another Precious and Immortal Soul; a 〈◊〉 to be Instructed, a Soul to be Governed a Soul to be brought home unto the Lord. At he said, in 1 King. 20. 20, 39. Behold, one brought a man to thee, and said, Keep this man; 〈◊〉 by any means, he be missing, then shall thy Life be for his: Even so, God has brought the Soul 〈◊〉 thy Servant unto 〈…〉Soul; if that Soul be utterly 〈…〉 nothing for the Salvation of it, thy Soul shall go for that Soul. May the 〈…〉 on you, cause you, to be 〈…〉 of your Servants, that 〈…〉 ever! Jab could say, in 〈◊〉 31. 13. I despises not the Cause of my Man servant, or my Maid ser|vant. Hast thou a Man servant, or a Maid ser|vant? On! Despise not the 〈…〉 Servant But you'l say, What shall we Do? I answer; Do This for your Servants; Leave them not Unac|quainted with, and 〈◊〉 in, the 〈◊〉 of Religion. Let your Servants be able to say of you, as in Math. 22. 16. Master, the Teachest the way of God, 〈◊〉 Truth; and let then not be Ignorant of any saving Truth. Again Do This for your Servants; enquire critically Page  18 into their Spiritual Estate before God. Be pru|dently Inquisitive into their Experiences, into their Temptations, into their Behaviours. Further, Do This for your Servants; Reprove every Miscarriage that may be Discerned in them. Show them all the Paths of the Destroyer, whereto they may be Inclining, and Lovingly, Solemnly, Scripturally Chide them out of those Paths. Once more, Do This for your Servants; Re|quire them to Do the Things that will be plea|sing unto God. Charge them to Repent of Sin, Believe on Christ, and Consider their Wayes, and Prepare for their Eternity, and not Omit the Daily Devotions of a New-Creature. Especially, the Commandment Charges you, to Charge your Man servants, and your Maid servants, That they Remember the Sabbath Day, to Sanctifie it. If you will do such Things for your Servants, it will be said of you, as it was of Solomon, in 1 King. 10. 8. Happy are thy men, happy are these thy Ser|vants, that stand continually before thee. But, Oh! Do one thing more, for the Souls of your Ser|vants; That is, Prap for them, You, Prap with them, continually. There was a Prophet, that had a Servant, of whom, 'tis reported, in 2 King. 6. 17. He Prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, Open his Eyes, that he may see; and the Lord Opened the Eyes of the Young man. A pathetick, a pertinent Prayer of a Master, for a Servant; Lord, Open the Eyes of my Servant, that he may not go on blinded with Sin; and, Lord, Open the Heart Page  19 of my Servant, that he may cordially Receive the In|fluences of thy Grace! There was a Captain that had a Servant, of whom, 'tis reported, in Math 8. 7. He came, saying, Lord, my Servant Lies at home, Sick of the Palsey, grievously Tormented. E|very Master should thus be concerned in Prayer for a Servant; Lord, I have a Servant sick by Sin O bring him out of his grievous Maladies! and Lord, I have a Servant under sinful Estrangements from thee, O let him not Ly in his grievous Unrege|neracy! I have known Masters who rarely have had any Servants, but what have afterwards prov'd the Servants of God: Why, The Secret Prayers of those Masters, fetch the Spirit of God from Heaven, on almost all that Live with them. Thus ought, Masters to Pray; and in the hear|ing of their Servants too, they ought thus to Pray. There was a pious man, who had an House full of Servants; but it is reported, in Acts 10. 2. He feared God with all his House, and prayed unto God alwayes. A Praying Master, like Abra|ham, will be very like to have Servants, like un|to himself. But, Woful, Rueful, will be the Condemnation of those Prayerless Masters, whose unhappy Servants, must bring in this Testimony before the Judgment Seat of God, Lord, This man did never quicken us to Pray unto thy Majesty; we seldome heard him at Prayer, for a whole Week, or a whole Month together! Masters, Consi|der of these Things in the Fear of God: and Mistresses, Consider also, what is to be your part, in the doing thereof.

Page  20〈◊〉 But having thus fairly and fully bespoke the regards 〈◊〉 your Masters for you, and shown 〈◊〉 how concern'd I am, that you may have 〈◊〉Masters,〈◊〉 to you, O Servants, that the most of our Exhortations are to be directed. 〈◊〉 although you have your Duties, most suf|ficiently represented, in those Express Edict, from the King of Herven, wherein you may read Him speaking of you; yet it will not be miss to fetch out from those Heavenly Edicts, the particular Duties which are Incumbent on you.

There are several sorts of Servants now to|gether, in this Congregation. A Servant, accor|ding to the Apostolical Description, 〈◊〉 1 Tim. 〈…〉One that is under the Yoke; that is, One that is under the Domestical and the Despotical Disposal of another, by Other Bonds beside those 〈◊〉Nature. Some of you, are under the Yoke of Servitude, by a perpetual 〈◊〉, to those who have by Sword or Price purchased a Dominion over you. Others of you are under the Yoke of Servitude, by a Temporary Agree|ment, which you have made with some, to be subject unto them for a while upon such and such Considerations. And there are of both Sexes, both Men and 〈◊〉, under both of these Yokes.

But, Let as many Servants, as are under the Yoke, now hearken, with a very great Attention, Page  21 that the counsils which the words of the Ever liv|ing God, shall set before them. It was said, in Psal. 123. 2. behold, as the Eyes of Servants Look into the Hand of the Masters, and as the Eye of a Maiden to the Hand of her Mistress, so our Eyes wait upon its Lord our God. Thus, Let you that are Servants and Maidens, give a greater Attention unto the words of the Lord your God this Day, than e|ver you gave unto any Master, or Mistress what soever.

1. This is the first Counsil that calls for your Attention; Servants, In the first place, Become the Devoted Servants, of the Lord Jesus Christ, who is, The Lord of all. O that you might all of you e able to say, as he in Psal. 116. 16. O Lord, Truly I am thy Servant, I am thy Servant. It is Observable, That the Homage which we owe unto the Heavenly Lord, is or|dinarily described by Metaphors drawn from the Service, of an Earthly Master. Among such Metaphors, I take a special Notice of this One; That the Lords calling of a man to Serve him, is expressed by His calling of that man, unto His Feet: In the Hebrew Original of the Old Te|stament, the 〈◊〉 for, A Servant, usually is, One at the Feet of his Master. At their Tables they Lay down on Carpets, and so the Servants that waited on them, stood at their Feet behind them. Thus among the Roman Writers also. Ad Pedes, or, A Pedibus, is the Phrase for a Ser|vant:Page  22 he was a, Servs, who, Ad Pedes steterate Well then; Servants, Do you come away unto the Feet of the Lord Jesus Christ; and whatever Service you have to do for your Masters, Let something analogous to that Service be done in the first place, unto that Holy, Holy, Holy Lord Almighty. It is commanded you, in Eph. 6. 5. 6, 7. Servants, Be obedient unto your Masters, as unto Christ; Not with Eye service, but as the Ser|vants of Christ; with good will, doing service as unto the Lord. And it is again commanded you, in Col. 3. 2, 3, 4. Servants, whatever ye do, do it Heartily, as unto the Lord; for ye serve the Lord Christ. So then, This is the first Thing, that is to be urged upon you; Oh! That you would become the Sincere, and Hearty Servants of the Lord Jesus Christ! Then we shall hope to see you, Dutiful Servants unto those Masters and Mistresses, under whom our Common Lord hath Stationed you.

To bring you into this Blessed Service of the Lord, there are these Directions, which in the Name of that Great Lord, My Lord, and your Lord, I Charge you to comply withal.

First, Renounce, and, Forsake, the Service of those Invisible Masters, a Slavery to whom, is inconsistent, with the Service of the Lord Jesus Christ. Our Lord Jesus Christ hath said, in Math. 6. 24. Ye cannot Serve God and Mammon. Thus, ye cannot Serve the Lord Jesus Christ, and Serve the World, the Fresh, and the Devil. JoshuaPage  23 said unto the Idolatrous People, Ye cannot Serve the Lord. And, I say unto all, that still make sublunary Vanities their Idols, Ye cannot Serve the Lord. Hear this. All ye Unregenerate Servants! Tis possible your Service, to the Houses where you Sojourn, may for some things be Irksome Enough unto you; Oh! but you are in another Service, that would be a Million times more Irk|some, if you were not stark Dead in Trespasses & Sins. The Fashions of the World, you must Hu|mour, the Cravings of the Flesh, you must Fulfill the Temptations of the Devil, you cannot Resist. It may be said of you, as in Jer. 5. 19. Ye have served strange Gods. Wretched Servants! Oh! That you were more sensible of your horrible Captivity; When will you be Aware, when will you be Weary of it! I tell you, a Turkish, or a Spanish Slavery, is not a thousandth part so misera|ble, as the Accursed Slavery of your Souls, to the Invisible Destroyers of your Souls. But will you at length take a Course, for your own De|liverance, O Wretched Servants, that you are?

If any one should Counsel you, to Run a|way, from the Christian Masters in whose Houses you reside, he would be a Wicked Coun|sellor. A Run away Servant, is a Dishonest, and a Disgraced sort of a Creature, among all the Sober part of Mankind. It was uttered, as at Extream Reproach, upon those to whom it was offered, in 1 Sam. 25. 10. There be many Servant now adayes, that break away, Every man, from 〈◊〉Page  24 Master. They are not meet Prisoners of War, out by the Providence of God brought under further Necessities and Obligations; and yet they think of Turning Fugitives! The Devil is the Driver of those Unfaithful Servants, who Unlaw|fully Defeit the Service, wherein the Good Hand of God has fixed them; and the Unavoidable Common where unto all such Run away Servants, do generally Run themselves, would make one think that none but the Devil Driven would at 〈◊〉. Wherefore, As when a Servant hard|〈◊〉 withal, was Running away, an Angel of the Lord appeared unto that Servant, and said, in Gen 169. Return to thy Mistress, and submit thy self unto her Hands; thus, if any of you are De|signing or Desiring to Run away from your Mas|ters, I do bring you a Prohibition from our Great LORD this Day, Stay with thy Master, & submit thy self unto him; if thou wouldest not have the plagues of God, pursue thee, wheresoever thou 〈◊〉. Hearken to me, in this thing, thou uneasy Servant, and Poor Servant, If sinners entice thee to Run away, Consent thou act.

But yet, for those Invisible Masters, I mean, those Tempters, and those Tempers, which Enslave your Souls, in a Distance from God, here I will make no Scruple thus to Counsel you, O Run a|way from your 〈◊〉 Masters; as fast as you can, and is far as you can, Run away from those Hellish Task|masters! and I am certain, I am not your Coun|sellor to your Destruction, in thus urging of you. Page  25 Draw near to the Lord Jesus Christ with such a 〈◊〉 as, that, in Isa. 26. 12. O Lord, other Lords besides thee, have had Dominion over us, but now one 〈◊〉 alone. After this manner, plead with the 〈◊〉 Lord Redeemer; Lord, If 〈…〉 make the Life, I shall be Free indeed; 〈◊〉 can bear 〈◊〉 the 〈◊〉 of a man, who is my Neighbour for thy sake; but Oh! I cannot bear to be 〈…〉 and of a Devil; send me therefore, thy 〈◊〉 Spirit, O Lord, and let thy Spirit 〈◊〉 Free from the Insufferable Captivity, wherein I am sold under sin, and let me no longer be a Ser|vant of sin, unto Death, but being made Free from sin, let me become the Servant of Righteousness for|ever. And what will be the Effect of your thus pleading with the Lord! It will be that in Rom 8. 2. Made Free from the Law of Sin and of, Death. Indeed you shall Sin still, and you shall Dy still; but you shall not be under the Law or Sin and of Death. I'l tell you how I' will be; Among the Romans, there were Three states of men; there were the Slaves, and there were the Free, and there were the Enfranchised The Slaves absolutely depended on other men; the Free were altogether their own men; The Enfranchised were such as had been Slaves, and were become Free; but yet partook of a Middle state, between both. Now, the old Patrons, of such as were afterwards Enfranchised, still retained some kind of Hand upon them. Quintiian sayes, The Pa|tron might yet lay his Hand on the Enfranchised man;Page  26 he might Seize him, he might Strike him, though he might not lay him under Chains, much less take away his Life. Even so, when the Lord Je|sus Christ hath once Enfranchised thee, Sin may vex thee, Death may smite thee, but yet thou art rescued from Chains forever, nor shall thy Soul Dy by the hands of thy old Oppressors.

But herewithal, Secondly, Resign your selves up unto the Service of the Lord Jesus Christ, in giving the Consent of your Souls unto the 〈◊〉 Covenant; and let this be with you, A Cove|nant never to be forgotten. Probably, the most of you, have been Baptised in your Infancy, as being Servants Born in the House of the Lord Jesus Christ. Well, your Baptism is the Livery, which you wear of your Service to that most Illustri|ous Lord. But are you, by such an Early Anti|cipation, become the Covenant Servants of the Lord Jesus Christ? Then, Renew your Baptis|mal Covenant, and again, and again, and many Times over, Dedicate your selves unto the Ser|vice of your Saviour. And, let every one of you, from your Hearts, make that Profession be|fore the Lord Jesus Christ, in Psal. 119. 38. Lord, I am thy Servant, Devoted unto thy Fear.

Holy Apostles, have counted it their matchless Honour, to be styled, The Servants of the Lord Jesus Christ; Yea, mighty Emperours, have worn that style, as their Crown, The Vassals of the Lord Jesus Christ. Yea, the Brightest, and Highest Page  27Angels in Heaven, are the Servants of that Lord. And, will you, ye mean Servants among the worms of the Dust, be loth to come into so glo|rious a Service? Behold, the way to it. Give the Consent of your Souls, unto the Covenant of Grace; and according to the Terms of that Co|venant, as Hezekiah speaks, yield your selves unto the Lord.

There is the Tender of a New Covenant, made unto you; and even unto the Meanest, & Vilest, and most abject Slave among you all; unto the Proposals whereof, Let this be the Answer of your Conquered, and Converted Souls.

Thou Ever-blessed God; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

I am Willing to abandon all the Corrupt Interests of this present Evil World, and Return to Thee, Converse with Thee, De|light in Thee, as my best Good, and my last End for ever.

I am Willing that the Lord Jesus Christ, the only Mediator, should as a Priest, a Prophet, and a king, so all that for me, which he does for all his chosen, in bring|ing them home unto Thy self.

I am Willing, in Gratitude unto the Lord Jesus Christ, for my Salvation freely Purchased and Applied by him, to Serve him, in Constant Endeavours to Glorify him according to the Rules of his Gospel 〈…〉

Page  28 Unto all of This I am Willing, and it is 〈◊〉 Sovereign Grace that hath made me willing. May I now be kept and 〈◊〉 by the 〈◊〉 of that Grace, in all Thankful Obedience before the Lord.

Servants, Here set your Hands with your 〈…〉you let there be some Accom|〈…〉 Prophecy, in Isa. 44.5. One 〈…〉 the Lords and another shall subscribe 〈…〉 unto the Lord. Here are those 〈◊〉, which when you have Religiously Sub|〈◊〉 you will become the Servants of that 〈◊〉, who has Thousands of Thousands of Angels Ministring unto Him, and Ten Thousand Times Ten Thousand that stand before Him. I do not Ask, Whose you are. But if you truly come up to this Transaction, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, the Lord of Glory, will say of 〈◊〉, as in Ezek. 16.8. I enter into a Covenant with thee, sayes the Lord God, and they becomest mine. They are no In|considerable Persons, I assure you, that may be called, The Men of God!

But their, Thirdly, Carry your selves in the Service of the Lord Jesus Christ, according to the sit Carriage of a Servant. Be studious to Know the Service expected by the Lord Jesus Christ: Like Paul, Say before Him, Lord, what wouldst thou have me to do? Like Samuel, Say before Him, Speak Lord, for thy Servant hears; like David, Say before Him, I am thy Servant, Page  29 Lord give me Understanding that I may know thy 〈◊〉 Again, Be Ready to Do the Service Expected by th••rd Jesus Christ; never Dis|pute any of His Commandments, but say, They are all Holy and Just and Good; Esteem them not as Hard Sayings, any things that he shall says but joyn with the Psalmist, in your saying, Lord, I Esteem thy Precepts, concerning all things to be Right. Furthermore, Contrive continually, how you may be Serviceable unto the Lord Jesus Christ; and how you may do Service for Him, with all that you are & all that you have, and all that you can do; and Glorifie him with your Spirits and your Bo|dies, which are the Lords. I add, Be satisfied, with your Allowances from the Lord Jesus Christ. John said unto Servants, Be content with your Wa|ges; and Paul said, unto the Servant of the Lord Jesus Christ; Be content with 〈◊〉 things as you have. Whatever may be your Person here, prove your Godliness, by your Contentment with your Portion. If your Carnal 〈◊〉 are not in all things gratified, Meditate Servants must not be Choosers; My 〈◊〉 Master, sees it not fit for me to have these Little Things; and why should I murmur?

But Finally; Devote your selves unto the Service of the Lord Jesus Christ 〈…〉 We are very much provoked, when our Servants do Delay going where we in 〈◊〉 have sent them. Servants, I must 〈◊〉 unto the Lord Jesus Christ 〈◊〉 and I one with 〈◊〉the HastPage  30 imaginable. Your Souls are Damning every Hour, till you have gone to the Saviour of Souls; wherefore I say, Go presently; and as Jonathan said unto his Lad, Make speed, haste, stay not! Our Servants are most of them, yet in their youth; Oh! that they would not let their youth pass, before they become the Servants, of that Lord, who says, They that seek Me early shall find me. It is a Golden Sentence, in Lam. . 27. It is good for a man to hear the yoke in his youth. Servants, you are under a yoke in your youth; but that so few of you, do while you are Young, affect the Easy yoke of the Lord Jesus Christ, This is a Lamentation, and shall be for a Lamentation. It is the Precept, in Eccl. 12.1. Remember thy Creator in the Dayes of thy youth; which we may render, In the Dayes of thy Choice. Come then, young Servants, make your Choice this Day; I say, as he of old, Choose whom you will Serve. Choose wisely; and say not in your Choice, I will serve the Enemies and the Undoers of my Soul; but say, Lord, I will be thy Servant, I will desire to Fear thy Name for ever.

And now having thus bespoke your Service unto out Common Lord, the next Counsil, that must make you happy is,

〈◊〉 Let your Service unto the Matters [and Mistresses] of the Families, where you are Ser|vants, be such, that the Lord Jesus Christ may thereby be Glorified.

Page  31 It has been among the Wretchednesses of Mankind, that Servants have ordinarily been so had, as to bring a Discredit upon the very Names, which were once innocently and agree|ably used, for all that rank of people. Some Names, that formerly signified no more than Servants, now carry all the Dishonesties of Kna|very and Villay in their signification, because that Servants have so often been Dishonest. But now may God help you, Our Servants, instead of bringing a Blemish upon your own poor Names, to bring a Glory unto the Name of that Lord, whose Name indeed is Exalted far above all Bles|sing and Praise.

It is brought, as a Great Motive to make a Good Servant, in Tit. 2. 10. That they may Adorn the Doctrine of God our Saviour, in all Things: and in 1 Tim. 6. 1, 2. That the Name of God, and His Doctrine he not Blasphemed. Let me tell you, Ser|vants, The Glory of God your Saviour, is very much concerned, in your Conforming to the Laws, which are given for Servants, in the Do|ctrine of that Lord. If Servants behave them|selves holily and usefully, according to the Laws of this Doctrine, What will Ensue upon it? Why Servants do usually carry Lahorns before us; Truly, You Servants will by a wise Carriage, have your Light so shining before men, that others will Glorify your Master in Heaven, upon your Ac|count. But, if you that are Servants, professing a subjection unto the Lord Jesus Christ, shall al|low Page  32 your selves In any 〈◊〉 the Glo|ry of God your Saviour will thereby suffer excee|dingly. And of this, I have a very particular Warning to give unto you, that frequent the Private Meetings of Young People, to Pray, and Sing, and Repeat Sermons, and Confer with one another. While such Private Meet|ings are not Perverted and Abused, they will prove Real Blessings, unto the Neighbourhood; and your Masters will be glad of your going sometimes to such Nurseries of Piety. But if you give your Masters (or Mistresses) any just cause for this Reflection, That since you have gone to Private Meetings, you grow more slothful, and more sawy, and that their Busi|ness is more neglected, and that they have less Command over you; and that you keep Unseasonable Hours, and that when you are to|gether, you Talk and Hatch mischievous Things, You are but so many Impious Hypocrites. Wo to you, Servants, Hypocrites, if you make your Private Meetings the Incentives or Occasions of any Wickedness. 'Tis pitty that Satan should get so much 〈◊〉 to Reproach and Con|found the desirable Opportunities of Soul Good, which you may have at well regulated Pri|vate Meetings, as has been given, by some Servants, that have been Ungodlier Servants after their being there than they were before. I see, I mind, the Wiles of your Adversary the Devil! and therefore, I do vehemently Ad|monish Page  33 you, That you do not Endure any One Person, in your Private Meetings, whose Ma|ster shall justly set the brand of Undutiful Ser|vant upon him.

And now, What I say unto You, I say unto All; But I say such things as these.

1. Whatsoever Service you do for your Ma|sters (or Mistresses) do it as a Service unto the Lord Jesus Christ. How urgently is this noble Principles for your Service, in the Book of God set before you? You have it, in Bph. 6. 5, 6, 7 Servants, Be obedient, in single|ness of Heart, as unto Christ; Not with Eye ser|vice, as men pleasers, but as the Servants of Christ, Doing the Will of God from the Heart; with Good will, doing Service, as unto the Lord, and not unto men. You have it again, in Col. 3. 23, 24. Servants, Whatever ye do, do it hear|tily, as unto the Lord, and not unto men; Know|ing that of the Lord you shall Receive the Re|ward of the Inheritance; for ye Serve the Lord Christ. Whatever Lawful Service you are set about, Consider this with your selves, The Lord Jesus Christ, has put me into my Service, and the Lord Jesus Christ, has now bidden me do such 〈◊〉 Service; Wherefore the Service which I am now set about, I'le do it cut of Respect unto the Lord Jesus Christ; I'le do it, because the Lord Jesus Christ will be Dishouured, if Page  34 do it not. An honest man once, Cutting of Word, was ask'd. Who are you at Work for? and e piously answered, I am Cutting of Wood for God. Whatever you do in your Service, in the House, in the Shop, in the Field, or in the Ship, you may do it all for the Lord Jesus Christ; You may Sanctify all your Servile Employments, by doing them under this Consideration, The Lord Jesus Christ hath Commanded me to Obey my Master and my Mistress. It was the Speech of a Great man, The Work of a poor Milk-Maid, if it e done with an Exercise of Grace, is more glorious han the Triumphs of a Caesar. Truly, the mean|est Work that you have to do, in your Service, though it be in the Stable, or the Kitchen, you may thus render very Glorious; Do it with such a Consideration as this, Though it be a mean Thing that my Master, or my Mistress will have me to do, yet it is the Will of the Lord Jesus Christ, that I should now do it; & therefore I will do it cheer|fully. A Great King once Expressed this thing, n that verse.

Nenti fila Deus mentem Conjungit Olympo. Or,
The Hand the Wheel does Ply,
The Heart's with God on High.

I say, The Favour of the Eternal King, will e toward so Wise a Servant. And now, What Wonderful Consolation, may this be unto you' under all the Difficulties of your Service! The Lord Jesus Christ is your Master; if you Page  35 cannot spend, and stoop, for a mortal man, like your selves, can't you do it for such a Master as the Lord of Hosts? It may be, you'l have Little Pay from any man, for what you do Yea, but the Lord Jesus Christ will be you Pay master: He will Grant you Everlasting Re|compences, in that Blisful World, where not the Least Thing that has been done for the Lord shall ever be forgotten!

II. Yield unto your Masters (and Mistresses) that Reerence, which is due from a Servant unto a Master. Since by the Ordination of God, you are made Servants, don't think much o that Inferiority, which is to be confess'd by you, as long as you are Servants. It is an Apostolical Instruction, in 1 Cor. 7. 21. Art thou called, being a Servant, Care not for That For he that is called, in the Lord, being a Servant, is the Lords Free man. Even so, tho' thou shouldest be a Free man of the Lord Jesus Christ, count not thy self too Good therefore to be a Servant. The Proud Hearts of many Servants, make them dis|contented, at the Lowness of their present Station, and at the Lowliness which they must Express in their Station. But I am to remind you, That this Pride was the Sin of the Devils; the Devils could not bear to be Servants in such a Station as the Almighty God had appointed for them. Servants, be Humble; if you would not fall into the Condemnations of the Devil!Page  36 you are sometimes Proudly Enough concerned, 〈◊〉 may be, that your Clothes are no finer, and you affect an unsuitable Gayety and Gallan|try. But i you would have Ornaments indeed upon you, Then, as the Apostle speaks, you must be Clothed with Humility; that is, Wear Humility, as a Badge, of your being Servants, unto that Blessed Lord, who once took on Himself the Form of a Servant. Now one Dis|covery of your Humility, is to be, in a Reve|rent or a Respectful Demeanour towards those, whom God hath made your Masters. It was said, in Mal. 1. 6. If I be a Master, where is y Fear? You ought alwayes to Observe your Masters, with a Fear of Disobliging them; and you ought alwayes to Obeserve in your Masters,n Ordinance of God, which calls for your submissive, your Conceding, your Complying Disposition, towards them.

If your Masters are those that have the Fearf God in them, You then have not the Less,ut the more cause to Fear Them, with your most Awful Regards. The more of God there in them, the more Fear you should have o Displease them. Methinks, It should be a pleasant Thing, to Serve, a Servant of God!ea, though your selves may be as well as they, in the Lord Jesus Christ, in whom here is neither Bond nor Free; though your ••lves may have the same God, and the same race, and the same Hope, with your Masters,nd may sit at the same Table of the Lord; Page  37 Yet, hear what is required in 1 Tim. 6. 2. They that have Believing Masters, let them not Despise them, because they are Brethren; but ra|ther do them Service, because they are Faithful and Beloved, Partakers of the Benefit. Nay, but what if your Masters are without the Fear of God? Still you must not be without the Fear of them. Overlook their Failings; and be as loath to see their Follies, as Japhet and Shem were to see their Fathers Nakedness: but be mindful of the Charge, in 1 Pet. 2 18. Servants he sub|ject unto your Masters, with all Fear; not only to the Good and Gentle, but also to the Froward; Let their base Tricks be never so many. Briefly, you should Think Reverently of your Masters, and Speak Reverently of your Masters; Don't Reproach your Masters, as that wicked Servant Ziba, Slandered his of old. Preserve the Honour of your Masters Abroad, as well as at Home; and be not a sort of Spies, upon the Hou|ses of your Masters, to carry Tales abroad, whereby They may be Defamed. Instead of That, You are to Imitate your Masters in all their Laudable Properties and Practices What? Have you discerned, that your Masters are Praying Men, Honest Men, Laborious Men, Men that Walk with God, and Men every way Conscienti|ous? Learn of such Masters, or else your Masters will rise up as terrible Witnesses against you, in the Day of Gods pleading with you.

And at the same time all Sullenness, all Saci|ness,Page  38 all Impudence, in your Deportments towards your Masters (or Mistresses) is to be abo|minated, as indeed most abominable. Sad|ly was that Good Man of the East, plagued with Bad Servants, when he could say, in Job. 19. 16 I called my Servant, and he gave me no answer. Servants that will speak Nothing, when modest Answers are Expected from them, and Servants that will speak Too much with a malapert Answering again, giving it may be, Two words for One, when they are Chidden for their Faults; and Servants that must have their own way and will; these are too Irregular Things to be Endured!

III. Let your Obedience to your Masters (and Mistresses) while you are Servants be such, as will manifest that you are the Obedient Children of God. You are the Animate, Separate, Active Instruments of other men. Servants, your Tongues, your Hands, your Feet, are your Masters, and they should move according to the Will of your Masters. It you are those Eye-servants, who will Obey your Masters no longer than their Eye is upon you, know it, the Eye of the All seeing, and Almighty God, is upon you, to Condemn you, for this Disobedience. The most becoming intercourse between Masters and Servants, is that in Math. 8. 9. I say to this man, Go, and he goes; and unto another, Come, and he comes; and unto my servant, Do This, and he doth it. You should y a Ready Obedience, procure the pleasure of Page  39 your Masters, to be as well Executed, as if you Masters themselves did Execute it; and let I not be said by them, I must Command my man and do it my self. It was said, in Rom. 6. 18 His Servants ye are, to whom you Obey. You have but the Name, the meet, the bare Name of Ser|vants, if you don't Obey your Masters; and, that I assure you, is not a Little Criminal! The juCommands of your Masters, cannot be broken but at the same instant you break the Command of the most High God, whose Kingdom Rule over all. As 'tis said of Magistrates, in Rom. 13 2. Whosoever Resiseth the Power, Resiseth the Or|dinance of God; and they that Resist, shall Receive: themselves Damnation. So may it be said of Ma|sters; Their Power over you is the Ordinance O God; When you Refuse or Forget the Doing of what they have Bidden you to do, you do so far affront the Ordinance of God. So then, th Anger of your Masters is not all that you do by your Disobedience Expose your selves unto; you become obnoxious to the Anger of a Dreadful God, by your Disobedience. Think of it, Ser|vants; When you have wilfully, yea, or though but carelesly, transgressed, the Commands of you Masters, you may thus animadvert upon you selves, I have Sinned against God, in this Miscarr age!

'Tis true; Your Obedience unto your Master is to be Limited by that caution, in Col. . 22. Servants, Obey in all Things, your Masters, a|ccording Page  40 to the Flesh, in singleness of Heart, fearing of God. If your Masters put you upon the doing of any thing, that is contrary to the Fear of God, then, in the Fear of God, forbear to Obey; rather Suffer than Obey. When your Masters will have you to Cheat, or Lye, or Profane the Sabbaths, now you are to, Obey God rather than man; there is that prohibition for you, in 1 Cor. 7. 23 Be not the Servants of men A Joseph would Obey his Master, while he required of him nothing Ungodly or Unrighteous; he would not Obey his Mistress, when she would have him, to do a great Wickedness, and Sin against God.

But as long as your Masters (or, Mistresses) do give you no Commands, contrary to those in the Word of the Lord, you are so long to Obey them in the Lord. And you are all most of also do it, when the Commands of your Masters, are he very same that are in the Word of the Lord. If your Masters bid you to Read, and Hear the Word of the Lord, and Live according to the Word, and give them some account of your pro|ficiency by that Word; Obey them Conscienti|ously. Masters, It they will not Obey you in hose things, Turn them out of Doors.

IV. Let your Diligence in the Service of our Masters (and Mistresses) be such as to ren|der you Profitable and Acceptable Servants. There are many slothful Servants; and Servants, that would willingly Sleep away, or Talk away, if not Page  41Play away, all their Time: Will you now set the Brand of such a Servant? You shall see it in Mat. 25. 16. Thou Wicked and Slothful Servant. We are told, Cursed will he be who does the Work of the Lord Negligently; and I will venture to say, He who does his Masters Work Negligently, shall not be Blessed. Eliezer had a Good Master; and such was his Diligence, that he would not Eat his Victuals, till he had seen some Dispatch of his Masters Business. Jacob had an hard Ma|ster, yet such was his Diligence about the Business of that Church of a Master, that he could say, In the Day the Drought Consumed me, and the Frost by Night, and my Sleep departed from my Eyes. If Servants were thus Diligent, they might even then Serve their Masters, and themselves too, and get a fore hand wonderfully; [Though it must be still with the Allowance of their Masters, if they would honestly Do for Themselves.] It was said, in 2 Thes. 3. 10. This we Commanded you, that if any would not Work, neither should be Eat. There are Servants, of whom they say,

Sunt Omni Tempore Tardi,
Sudant quando vorant, frigescunt quando Laborant

They Eat until they Sweat, and Work until they Freeze: But the Spirit of God, has, you see, passed this Judgment on them, The worst Meat they can Eat, is too good for them. Whereas there is a Notable Prophecy concerning the Dili|gent;Page  42 you have that Prophecy in the Proverbs of Israel; 'tis in Prov. 10. 4. The Hand of the Dili|gent makes Rich; 'tis in Prov. 12. 24. The Hand of the Diligent shall bear Rule; 'tis in Prov. 22. 29. Seest thou a man Diligent in his Business? He shall stand before Kings, he shall not stand before mean men. So then, where you see a Diligent Servant, you may ordinarily Prophecy concerning him; That Servant will one Day be Preferr'd; yea, if it he possible, he'l be a Rich and a great Master, before he Dies.

But among many Instances of Diligence, which a Servant is to give, a more special one is, An Expedition in these Errands which he may be sent upon. It is one of the Proverbs, in Prov. 10. 26. As Vinegar to the Teeth, and as Smoke to the Eyes, so is the Sluggard to them that send him. There is nothing more offensive than a Servant that stays Loitering upon his Errands. Let Ser|vants go and come nimbly, and be upon the Wing in the Errands of their Masters, if they would not have the Blemish of Hateful Sluggardsy upon them. Thus, I Exhort Servants to be Obedient unto their own Masters.

V. Let your faithfulness to all the Interests of your Masters (and Mistresses) be such, that you may be, the Faithful Servants who shall a found with Blessings. Tis of the Extremest Con|sequence for you, to Act according to that Injunction of Heaven, in Tit 210. Not purloining, Page  43 but showing all Good Fidelity. The Sons of Jacob, could say, Thy Servants are True men. Our Ser|vants, We must have you to be the Children of Our Father Jacob. Of a Faithful Servant, it is said, in Prov. 25. 13. He Refreshes the Soul of his Master.

You are to be True in your Words. Oh! Ne|ver go to put off your Masters, with a Lye, in any matter whatsoever.

Dare to be True; Nothing can need a Lye;
A Fault, that needs it most, growes Two thereby.

And, I beseech you that are Masters, to for|give in your Servants any Fault sooner than, a Lye; but let that Fault Never, I say, Never go Unpunished. There was once an Atheisti|cal Servant, who would go to put a Sham upon his Master, with a Lye; his Master call'd him to an account, where he had been, and he falsely said, in 2 King 5.25. Thy Servant went no whither: but you have heard what became of that Ser|vant; the Lyer was made a Leper for ever. If you durst offer a Lye unto your Masters, to Excuse or Cover any thing amiss, I will say, What shall be done to thee, thou false Tongue? False Wretch; How will thou bear the wrath of God, when thou shalt cry for a Drop of Wa|ter to Cool the omenting Inflammations, of that lying Tongue?

But you are to be True in your Works also. Page  44 And here, as you must beware of Betraying the Secrets of your Masters, or injuring the Nests where you lodge, thus you must beware of Impairing their Estates We read of a Servant in Luk. 16. 6,7. Who basely Defrauded his Master, of no less then Twenty, yea, Fifty Per Cent but however the Forecast of such a Ser|vant, was Parabolically once improved in a Discourse of our Lord, yet the Stealing was Damnable and Horrible. Servants, In the Name of the God, who is of Purer Eyes than to behold Evil, or look upon Imquity, I do Vehemently Warn every one of you, to take heed of Wronging your Masters unto the Value of a Penny as long as you live. Never Give to Others, Never Take to your selves, of your Masters Goods, without their Leave, unto the Value of a Farthing. Mark what I say; By every Act of Dishonesty towards your Masters, you do but Entail Everlasting Disasters upon your own Assayrs. Probably your own Assayrs will afterwards be so unsuccess|ful, that you shall see, you have Impoverished your selves a Pound, by every Shilling, whereof you have Robd your Masters in such Pranks of Dishonesty Unsprosperous Dealers there are, that will never Thrive. Why not? Because they have heretofore Cheated those that Em|loy'd them, and the Lasting and Wasting Ven|geance of God will still haunt them for it. Or, 〈◊〉 it should not be so, yet by this Dishonesty you will give Incredible Wounds unto your own Page  45 guilty Souls. You must, if you are able, make some Restution, some Reparation, for the Wrongs you have done, to your Masters, but, if you are not Able to do That, you must however make a most Penitent Confession of the Wrongs: Or, else you must unavoidably perish under the Rebukes of a Righteous, a Jealous, and Unre|conciled God, throughout Eternal Ages! Thy Soul never can see Peace until the Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, who Restored that which He took not away, have melted thy Heart, so as to make thee Restore as much as thou canst, of what thou hast thus taken away. Do, Dy before this be done, and, The Tormentors of the Pit below, will Sieze and hold thy Soul, O thou Fraudu|lent Servant, until thou hast Paid the utmost Far|thing; but then, that cannot be until the very Heavens be no more!

VI. Let it be your Study to be Servicea|ble unto your Masters (and Mistresses) Really, Thoroughly, Universally Serviceable. There ha's been an old saying sometimes used. Quot Servi 〈◊〉 Hostes, A man hath so many Mischiefs, as he hath Servants. Oh! Confute that Saying, by your Doing, all the Friendly Offices that you can possibly do for your Masters, in all their Many Interests. I cannot but set before you, the Picture of a Servant, worthy to be an Exemple through all Ages; tis that of Joseph, in Gen. 39. 2,3,4,5. The Lord was with Joseph, and he was Page  46 a Prosperous man, and he was in the House of his Master, the Egyptian; and his Master saw that the Lord was with him, and that the Lord made all that he did to prosper in his Hand. And Joseph found Grace in his sight, and he Served him, and he made him Overseer over his House, and all that he had he put into his Hand. And the Lord Blessed the Egyptians House for Josephs sake; and the Blessing of the Lord was upon all that he had, in the House, and in the Field. A Servant worth Gold! Oh! make this your daily Prayer and Care, Lord, make me a Blessing to all the Family where I Live! Servants, Have you no Opportunitiesto Do Good unto your Masters? Ponder and Enquire, what you have. Often put that Question unto your selves, Which way may my Master become the better for me? You may be Serviceable to your Masters on very many Temporal Accounts; Ex|amine, How? But possibly you may be Servicea|ble to your Masters on Spiritual Accounts also. May not your Masters Children for ever fare the better for you, if you will be continually Teaching of them, and Praying for them? This would be a wondrous Thing indeed, if the Children of those, with whom you dwell, may have cause for ever to say, Blessed be God, for sending such a Servant into my Fathers House; God ha's made that Servant a Father (or a Mother) to my Soul; Had it not been for what I saw and heard of that Ser|vant, I might have been undone Eternally And may not the Other Servants of your Masters be Page  47 brought home to God, by your means, if you do watchfully take Pains with them and for them? There was once a Servant Converted unto God, by happening to over hear his Fellow Servant, Crying to God in Secret for his Conversion Yea, The Souls of your Masters themselves; May not you be Instrumental to Recover them from the Snares of Death? There was once a Noted Master troubled with a Leprosie; it was Naman; and the Addresses of his Discreet Servants, hel|ped him to the Cure of his Leprosy. It may be, thy Master has a Vice like some Leprosie cleaving unto him; and is it not possible for thee now handsomely and modestly to come unto him; and say, Syr, I pray, that you would give me Leave to do the part of a true Servant in this one thing; I perceive your Prosperity is very much Endangered, by some Temptations, whereof it would be well, if you were more aware. If I knew of any one intending to Kill you, or to Rob you, unto do you any manner of Hurt, I were a wicked Wretch, if I did not presently inform you of it. Syr, I do now know of something that intends and threatens more mischief to you than I can Express. You know Syr, What the Word of God soeaks, about the Families that call not on His Name; you know Syr, What the Word of God speaks about those that sit with vain persons; you know 'tis said, Swear not at all; and 'tis said, Be not Drunk with Wine, wherein is Excess. You'l Excuse my Freedome with you, Syr, and Believe that I desire nothing in Page  48 this World, more than your Prosperity. Speak thus into him; and if you can't Speak it, then Write〈◊〉 If thy Master, be not a Monster, he I thank hee for such a Representation: and, What knowest hou, O Servant, but thou mayst Save thy Master? However, be sure to carry thy Master in the Arms of thy Prayers unto the Lord, for His Blessing; Do this every Day that comes over hy Head, as long as thou Livest with him.

VII. Those things which may have a Tendency to make you Ill Servants. Avoid them Care|fully, Religiously, Eternally. Wherefore that you may not be Bad Servants, Abandon all Bad Courses whatsoever. And let all Mispence of Time come under your very particular Detestation: Divide your Time justly between your Masters, and your Own Souls; and Squander it not away, 〈◊〉 any of those Impertinencies, which will at all cause you with unutterable Bitterness to ut|ter that bitter Complaint, What Fruit have I of those things whereof I am new Ashamed! No, But Redeem all the Time, you can, to accomplish your selves, with such points of Knowledge and of Goodness, as may render you Amiable to all the World. There is one special Mispence of Time, whereto Servants, and others, are com|monly addicted; and that is, The Reading of〈◊〉 Romances against which, Let me become in Adviser, this Day; neither Desided nor De|spises. Those Romances usually be get, in the Page  49 unwary Readers of them, very false Notions oLove, Honour and Vertue; and the Images oServants occurring in them, are usually full oWickedness. Besides, The most of those Roman|ces, are such Foolish Tales, that the Readers instead of being the Wiser, or the Better fo them, have their minds very Sensibly thereby Tainted with a Frothy Vanity. You shall there fore find, That when you have been Reading of a Romance, you will have little Heart after wards to Read the Bible, the Book of God, and of Life. But indeed! Are Books of Devotion or Books of True and Good History so Scarce that like Swine, you have only the Husks of Ro|mances to feed upon! I say, Distemper not your Souls, with such Venemous Papers, as will ere long leave you wishing, Oh! that I could now Recal the Time which I 〈◊〉 in Reading of Silly Romances! Oh! That I had spent that Preci|ous Time, in Reading these Things that might have helped me in the Service of God and of my Genera|tion.

But of all the Pernicious Things, which do make Ill Servants, & are therefore to be shunn'd by All Servants, there is none more Pernicious than that of Evil Company! Servants, O Re|member that Caveat of Wisdom, A Companion of Fools, shall be destroyed. There are 〈◊〉, of E|vil Companions, in every Town; those 〈◊〉 i once you are in them, they will hold you fast in the Bonds of Iniquity. 'Tis in Bad CompanyPage  50 that you will get those Vicious Cursing, Swearing, Wanton, Lying, Scornful, Habits, which will render you Abhorr'd, not only by the Holy Lord, but also by all Sober and Vertuous Men. Tis in Bad Company, that you'l come to be bewitched with the Unlawful Games, of Cards, and of Dice which have in all Ages been Thundred against, by a Cloud of Witnesses, as well Pagans, as Christi|ons, and Profane the Name of God, by Playing with Pure Lots, which are Solemn and Sacred Things. Tis in Bad Company▪ that you'l hear the Words & Wayes & People of God, Scoffed at, until you your selves have Learn't like wise to Scoff at them, and Sit in the Seat of the Scorner. Your Masters are never like to have any Good of you more, if you are once fallen into the Snares of this Evil Company. Nor is this all the Lamen|tation and Mourning and Wo, which I am to pro|duce concerning you; No, This Evil Company will carry thee down with them unto the Con|gregation of the Damned for ever; and the Fiery Furnace of Hell, will be Seven Times the Hotter upon thee, for thy having of thy Old, Lewd, Mad Companions about thee, in that hideous Place of Torment. How many forlorn Servants, have I beheld upon their Death Beds, Looking upon their former Companions now visiting of them, as upon so many Toads of Egypt in their Chambers, and Crying out, with the Dimness of the An|guish, of the Second Death upon them, Oh! These Companions have been the undoing of my Soul!Page  51 Consider of these Things, O our Servants; De|part from the Tents of those Wicked Creatures, lest you Perish in all their Sins.

Thus have the Duties of a SERVANT been display'd before you. What can I say more but This? Consider with your selves, Were I my self, a Master, or a Mistress, what sort of a Servant would I desire? So, Servant, go thy way, and be thy self Such a Servant.

Let every Prentice now among you, Resolve thus, to Do his Master Good and not Hurt, all the Dayes, of his being so Related. Shall I a little Reason with the Lads? Why, Seven years will not last alwayes; Behave your selves Vertuously, until the Seven years, more or less, be Expired, and so, how meanly soever you may fare, you shall have the Continual Feast of a Good Con|science in you, all the Time of your Prentice ship; and when your Time is out, it is likely that God will multiply His Blessings upon you; Men will Respect you, Employ you, Value you; and at last, when Time shall be no more, Our Lord will set open for you, the Doors of His Heavenly Fathers House, to which you shall be welcomed, with a, Well done, Good and Faithful Servant, Enter into Joy.

Let every Handmaid, now among you, Re|solve thus to Reply unto these things, Behold; the Handmaid of the Lord, be it unto me according Page  52〈◊〉 thy Word! There was once, A Little Maid waiting on the Wife of Naaman, who brought the 〈◊〉 where she Served, into such an Acquain|tance, with the God of Israel, that they had cause 〈◊〉 praise God for ever, for such a Maiden. One Maid in a House, that shall be a Wise Vrgin were, may gloriously Enlighten it. Will you hen be such prudent, such painful, and such prayerful Maids, and so busily, so thriftily ma|nage the Things committed unto you, and have such a Motherly Regard for the Children which are perhaps to be Tended by you, as that your Mistresses may have cause to count you their Chil|dren, rather than their Servants? Even, Maid ser|vants may be among the Daughters, that shall be as Corner Stones in our Houses, and polished for the Building of the Temple.

And will not the Scores of Slaves, the poor Blacks, now also in this Assembly, Give Earnest Heed, unto these words of God? Give Ear, ye pittied Blacks, Give Ear! It is allowed in the Scriptures, to the Gentiles, That they May keep Slaves; although the Law of Charity requires your Owners to Use you, as those that have Reasonable Souls within you. Yea, 'twould be against the Conscience of any Good man, to keep you for Slaves, if he find himself unable to use you according to that Law of Charity. But the most of you, have so little cause to de|sire you being my other man slaves as you are, & where you are that it would soon make you Page  53 miserable to be otherwise. You are better Fed & better Clothed, & better Managed by far, than you would be, if you were your Own men. All that now remains for you, is to become first the Good Servants of the Lord Jesus Christ, & then, of those that have purchased you. There was a Coun|trey of Swarthy People, of whom 'twas foretold in Psal. 68. 31. Ethiopia, [or, more truly, Ara|bia] shall soon stretch out her Hands unto God. Well then, poor Ethiopians, do you now Stretch out your Hands unto the Lord; even those poor Black Hands of yours, the Lord calleth for them. Lift those Hands of yours in Petitions to the Lord; Pray constantly, as well as you can, That the Lord would make you Servants unto Himself, and Pardon you, and Accept you, and Save you, thro' Jesus Christ for ever. Set those Hands of yours to Engagements to the Lord; Vow solemnly as well as you can, That you will be the Servants of the Lord, by the Help of His Grace, as long as you Live. And be sure, that you never Stretch forth your Hands, unto any Evil; alwayes Keep your Hand from doing any Evil; do not by Fornicati|on, by 〈◊〉 by Stealing, by Lying, by Running away make your selves infinitely Black or than you are already. No, But put yourselves into the 〈◊〉 of the Lord Jesus Christ; he willing that the Lord Jesus Christ, should make you His Own. And then, for the sake of the Lord Jesus Christ be Good Servants, unto those that own you; Do for your Masters, and your Page  54Mistresses, all the Service that you can; and be orderly in every thing.

So, though your Skins are of the colour of he Night, yet your Souls will be washed White in the Blood of the Lamb: and be Entitled unto n Inheritance in Light: Though you are in Sla|very to men, yet you shall be the Free men of the Lord, the Children of God: Though you are Fed among the Dogs, with the Orts of our Ta|bles, yet you shall at length, Ly down unto a Feast with Abraham himself, in the Heaven of the Blessed. Been't you Discouraged; it will be but a Little, a Little, a Little While, and all your pains will End in Everlasting Joyes.

But if you will not be such Orderly Ser|vants, 'tis a terrible thing that I have to say un|to you. All the Sorrows that you see in this World, are but the Beginnings of Sorrows, and Little Emblems of the Sorrows that remain for you in another. Do you meet with Hunger here? You shall there be Hungry and hardly be|stead for ever. Does the Heat Oppress you here? You shall there be Tormented in a Flame hotter than that of Brimstone for ever. Does the Cold afflict you here? You shall there have Gnashing of Teeth for ever? Do you here some|times want your Sleep? There you shall not Rest, neither Day nor Night, for ever? Are you Beaten here? Why, the Devil will be your O|verseer; and you'l be Weltring under intollerable Blows and Wounds, World without End.

Page  55Masters, These poor Negroes will hardly mind what I say; I pray, do you Repeat it unto them.

And now, may the Lord bring us all to that Bliss, where Abraham the Master, and Eliezer, or Lazarus the Servant, are together With the Lord for ever! Amen.

Quamvis hoc nee a Laicis videtur Exceptum, specialiter tamen Sacerdotibus probatur Impositum, ut tales Ministros habeant qui Divinis Regulis non repugnent.

Cassiodorus, Super Psal. 100.