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fare, and destitute of natural affection towards them?
The duty of a wife to her husband. * HA
AST thou refused to comply with those
commands in which God requires thee to obey and serve, to love and honour, thy husband ?
Art thou loving to him, and desirous to render his life as easy and comfortable as thou canst ?
Hast thou provoked him or published his faults ?
Hast thou spoken ill of him?
Hast thou given him cause of jealousy, or been unfaithful to his bed ?
Hast thou been frugal in the management of thy expenses, with respect to the circumstances and condition of thy husband ?
Hast thou squandered away thy husband's substance ?
Hast thou kept thyself within those bounds which both reason, religion, and the condition of thy husband require? Or,
Hast thou been indifferent and careless in thy carriage towards him, not forecasting to do what thou didst or mightest know would oblige and please him?
* This duty may be found explained at large in the New WHOLE DUTY OF Man, Sunday 9, Section II., &c.
Hast thou been unconcerned in his joys and sorrows ?
Hast thou neglected to recommend him to the grace and protection of God in thy prayers ?
The duty of a husband to his wife.* HAS CAST thou been faithful to the solemn
contract and engagement made in the presence of God at the entering upon the state of matrimony ?
Dost thou love thy wife, and show it in a kind, tender, and gentle behaviour towards her ?
Art thou faithful to her bed ?
Hast thou neglected to defend and protect thy wife, to maintain and provide for her ?
Hast thou been peremptory, rigorous, and magisterial in thy commands ?
Hast thou omitted to pray for her, and to share with her in all her reasonable joys and sorrows ?
The duty of a servant to his master or
FAST thou been faithful and industrious
in serving thy master and mistress ? Dost thou obey them in all lawful commands cheerfully, and in obedience to God, whose providence hath set them over thee?
* This duty may be found explained at large in the New WHOLE DUTY OF MAN, Sunday 9, Sections IV. and V.
+ This duty may be found explained at large in the New WHOLE DUTY OF MAN, Sunday 9, Section VIII.
Hast thou purloined, or stolen, or any way defrauded them of their goods, or been caréless and wasteful of them?
Dost thou not take the advantage of their absence, to be idle, or unjust to them ?
Hast thou any ways injured them in their reputation ?
Hast thou, as much as in thee lay, lived quietly and peaceably with thy fellow-servants ?
Hast thou not been spiteful and malicious against them?
Hast thou exercised that tenderness to the children in the family that was justly and reasonably expected from thee?
Hast thou prayed for thy master and mistress, and the rest of the family, in thy private prayers ? The duty of a master or mistress to a servant.* HA
AST thou treated thy servants as
Christian, and like one who believes that he has a master in heaven, to whom he must render an account?
Hast thou performed the condition thou wast obliged to, when thou tookest them into thy service ?
* This duty may be found explained at large in the New WHOLE DUTY OF MAN, Sunday 9, Section IX.
Hast thou taken care of their bodies, by providing what food was fitting for them?
Art thou reasonable and moderate in the commands which thou layest upon them ?
Dost thou admonish and correct them with calmness and gravity, when they transgress their duty ?
Has not thy severity put them upon cheating and lying ? For that will make thee a partaker with them in their sin.
Hast thou been remiss in suffering them to neglect their duty to God?
Hast thou afforded them time and opportunities for the service of God in public and private ?
Dost thou set them an example of sobriety and godliness in thy own life and conversation ? And dost thou encourage their living soberly and religiously, by proper marks of thy kindness and favour?
Hast thou been constant in thy daily devotions with thy family?
The duty of a magistrate.* HA
AST thou made it thy endeavour to be
a terror to evil-doers, and a praise to them that do well ?
Hast thou not been more intent upon thy own private interest than in advancing the common good ?
* This duty may be found further explained in the New WHOLE DUTY OF MAN, Sunday 8, Section III.
Hast thou endeavoured to inform thyself of the duty, in order to the doing of it, when thou hast been called to the office of constable, church-warden, or any other public office ?
To these duties, in general, we might add the particular duties of the people to their prince, and the laity to their ministers; but to prevent tediousness, which often cools devotion, I shall refer those that desire information upon these heads to the New WHOLE DUTY OF Man, Sunday 8, Sections I. II. and IV.
When you have once thoroughly examined yourself, and made a particular confession of the sins of your whole life, and begged pardon, there is not the same absolute necessity of such a laborious examination at your next communication ; especially if you examine yourself carefully every night, and daily repent of the evil of the day past, and are not conscious to yourself of any great and notorious sins since your last confession : for if you are not, the examination and confession only of what past since your last communicating, together with a general confession of your former sins, and a solemn renewing of your former acts of repentance, may serve the turn. But if your conscience accuses you of any culpable neglect in your last examination, of any great relapses, or of any wilful violations of your last vows and resolutions ; in these, and the like cases, it is the surest way to begin all your repentance again.
I am sensible it is not easy to enumerate all the instances of duty reducible to these three heads, concerning GOD, one's neighbour, and one's self; nor to set down the several branches and violations of them: but the method here proposed will, I am persuaded, (if carefully attended to,) assist any one in getting a competent knowledge of his own state and condition. And as the foregoing examination of our lives is in order to the confession of our sins, and that such a distinct sight and consideration of them may breed in us humble and contrite hearts ; so when we are come to a sufficient knowledge of our sins by the foregoing method of examination, our next step is to repent of them; and the first part of our repentance is to make an huinble confession of our vilencss and unworthiness in committing them.