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er sons to experience it; thus far, theresore, tho' he was undoubtedly more ungrateful, he was more excufable, than the Gam-hke Sinner besore us, who, though a meer Worm, presumed thus to desy and attack his Maker.
He did not, however, escape aft adequate Punishment, and th.it immediately; and indeed how should he ? The Honour of therflmigbty being concerned in taking exemplary Vei.geance of such an Ofsender. Accordingly he did so, and that in such a Ma,.ner, as might be sufficient to deter every one, not altogether past Grace, from ever becoming guilty of the like. In short, the Dagger thus darted against Heaven, vanished out of Sight, and some Drops of Blood sell upon the Table besore him and his Brother-Gamesters; immediately asttr which, the Devil himself came, and carried sway this Giant in Iniquity, with such a Noise, as struck a Terror and Astonishment into the whole Country around.'
His two wicked Companions, distracted with Fear, z* well they might, at such a dreadful Judgment, used their utmost Endeavours to wipe off the Drops of Blood, th.it had fallen upon the Table, but all in vain, for the more they rubbed, the more visibly it appeared. In the mean while, the News ot this-terrible Tranfaction being spread abroad, Multitudes flocked to the Place, where sinding the two remaining Gamesters employed, as was before observed, in washingout theBioad,'h'*y immediately bound them in Chains,and conducted them towards the Prison. In their Way thitfter, however, one of t era was struck dead, and Lice, Worms, and other Vermin crawled out of him; whereupon, the People being terrisied to the last Degree at this farther Insta-ice of the Divine Indignation, aid being willing to arert the fame from
•f the Fourth Commandment. 185
themselves, put the third to Death, without any farther Tryal.
Thus were these three impious Wretches made remarkable and exemplary Monuments of the Divine Vengeance; the sirst, for his more than hellish Audaciousness and Blasphemy, and the two others, for daring to continue one Moment in the Company of such a Monster, after his having utterred such a Speech, as ought to have made them avoid the Place, as they would have done the Plague. In efsect it is observable, so far were they hardened in Iniquity, that all they were anxious about, was to wash out the Blood, lest it should remain as a Testimonial of their Wickedness; as, therefore, they were more careful of their own Credit, than ofaTtoning for their heinous Ofsence, and appeasing the Divine Anger by a hearty Contrition, and taking Shame to themselves, the Justice ot Heaven, which had mercisully spared them at sirst, leaving them room for Repentance, overtook them afterwards, and made them likewise memorable Examples of its Vengeance, not sufsering them so much as to stir from the Place (from which they ought otherwise to have fled with the utmost Precipitation) till they were apprehended, and put to that open Shame they so greatly dreaded, and had strove so sollicitoufly to avoid, by their vain Endeavours to wash out the Blood. Thus we have set, in a strong Light, the fatal Consequences of breaking the Fourth Commandment, pass we on now to the Fifth, which is also called the First Commandment of the Second Table, whose Tenor is as followeth:
C H A P. . V.
Of the good and had Consequences of the Observance, or Non-Observance of the Fifth Commandment*
HOnour riy Father, and thy Mother, that thy Days may be Lug in the Land which the Lord thy God give th thee. '"'
: This is generally faid to be the only Command' iiient.with 3 Promise, though we cannot help thinking this a Mistake, since there is a Blessing promised in general at the JSnd of the Second Commandment to all thofe who love God, and are obedient to his Laws. It is however certain, that as Solomon tells us of Wisdom, Length of Days is in her right Hand, end in her left Hand Riches and Honour, so also is the Blessing of long Lise peculiarly annexed to Obedience to this Precept; notwithstanding which, we much sear there is not so great a Regard paid thereto as might be wished, though Longevity is what most People covet. But it is sit such Persons as make shght thereof, should be told, that as, on one hand, long Lise is promised to.Obedience, so, on the other, is the contrary implied, under that very Promise, in case of Disobedience: And Solo. tnon likewise assures us, the Eye that mocð at hit Father, and de/pifeth to obey his Mother, the Ravens of the Valley shall feck it out, and the young Eagles shail tat it.
In effect, it would be well if all undutisul Children would keep this Menace constantly in their Minds i since, unless we are greatly misinformed, it was actually accomplished some Years ago in a
• :*'e of the Fifth Commakdment. 1S7
literal Sense, upon one of our own Nation ; whnse Eyes were really pecked out by Ravens iti return for his grofs Disobedience to his Parents, as the poor Wretch himself would constantly own, whenever he was asked concerning so remarkable a Judgment: Nay,, he went ta'ther still, and openly took'Shame to himself, by hanging out the Sign of the Ravens in the Valley, as a public Consession of his Guilt, and Sorrow for his Fault; which Sign is yet to be seen, the House, being at a Place of great Resort, a little Way out of Town, and weJl known by that Name to this Day, as it probably will to the World's End.
But a«, in order to our Fav'ng a r'8n' Obedience to any Law, it is absolutely necessary we should bje well informed of its Extent, lest, through Ignorance, whilst we obey it in some respects', we should transgress it in others, it is proper every one should be apprized, that, by the Words father and Mother not only our natural Parents, from whom, under God, we derive our Being, but our poetical Parents, as the King, or Queen, with all in Authority under them, as also our Ecclesiastical Parent*, under which Head are comprehended not only the Ministers of our respective Parishes, but all the Clergy in general,whom we are t > reverence, (however some of them may derogate from their facred Character,} on account of their Function.
Under the fame Head likewise is comprized, the Duty of Scholars to their Masters and Tutors, of Apprentice; and Servants to their Masters and Mistresses, of young Folks to Persons in Years, and, in short, of all Inseriors to their Superiors in Learning, Rank, or Estate. We have thus shewn, in some measure, in how great a Latitude the Words Father and Mother are to be undei stood in this Commandment, let us next consider the Word Hoitottr, which is not Ids comprehensive. The Honour, then, hereby required of us, in our sevcra/ Stations, is not that mere formal and external Regard, for which, we sear, it is too generally mistaken by most People, but an essential and substantial Reverence, proceeding from an innate Principle of Love and Gratitude, continually influencing us in all our Actions, and at all Times and Seasons.
It is not, for Instance, that Obedience shewn by Children to the Commands of their Parents, or of Subjects to their Sovereigns, or of Apprentices or Servants to their Masters and Mistresses, which an', sesonly from a servile Pear, either of corporal Punishment, or of being deprived of some temporal Advantage in case of Disobedience, but it is a voluntary Submission to all their Injunctions, howtver difagreeable to u* otherwise, merely because we know it to be their Will; it is such a Compliance with their Pleasure, as we would not evade if we could, though we might sind Means to do it without Fear of Punishment, Anger, or Loss, nay even without their Knowledge.
Many Sons and Daughters will regard their Parents whilst they are under their Eye, or are asraid their Misdeeds may come to their Knowledge, but the Moment they are escaped from thence, and have no Inspector over them, will laugh at the old Folks, and give a Loofe to their Inclinations. Many Subjects will obey their Sovereign outwardly, and not break the Law openly; but if they can sind a Loop-hole therein, and offend in Security, and within the Letter there if, as by Smug^ling.cifs. will make no Scruple thereof. In the like Mar.ner Scholars, Apprentices, and Servants, will obey their Tutors and Masters, just as far as they are apprehensive of some Inconvenience from not doing so, but will neglect and make Sport thereof, if they can do it without its being known, the Moment their Backs are turned. But this is not obeying the Fifth