Book: THE OBEDIENCE OF A CHRISTIAN MAN & How Christian Rulers Ought to Govern

“FATHERS, move not your children unto wrath, but bring them up in the nurture and information of the Lord.” ( Ephesians 6) and ( Colossians 3) “Fathers, rate not your children, lest they be of desperate mind;” that is, lest you discourage them. For where the fathers and mothers are wayward, hasty and churlish, ever brawling and chiding, there are the children anon discouraged and heartless, and apt for nothing; neither can they do any thing aright. “Bring them up in the nurture and information of the Lord.” Teach them to know Christ, and set God’s ordinance before them, saying, ‘Son, or daughter, God hath created thee and made thee, through us thy father and mother; and at his commandment have we so long thus kindly brought thee up, and kept thee from all perils: he hath commanded thee also to obey us, saying, Child, obey thy father and mother. If thou meekly obey, so shalt thou grow both in the favor of God and man, and knowledge of our Lord Christ. If thou wilt not obey us at his commandment, then are we charged to correct thee; yea, and if thou repent not, and amend thyself, God shall slay thee by his officers, or punish thee everlastingly.’ Nurture them not worldly, and with worldly wisdom, saying, ‘Thou shalt come to honor, dignity, promotion, and riches; thou shalt be better than such and such; thou shalt have three or four benefices, and be a great doctor or a bishop, and have so many men waiting on thee, and do nothing but hawk and hunt, and live at pleasure; thou shalt not need to sweat, to labor, or to take any pain for thy living,’ and so forth; filling them full of pride, disdain, and ambition, and corrupting their minds with worldly persuasions. Let the fathers and mothers mark how they themselves were disposed at all ages; and by experience of their own infirmities help their children, and keep them from occasions. Let them teach their children to ask marriages of their fathers and mothers. And let their elders provide marriages for them in season; teaching them also to know, that she is not his wife whom the son taketh, nor he her husband which the daughter taketh, without the consent and good-will of their elders, or them that have authority over them. If their friends will not marry them, then are they not to blame if they marry themselves. Let not the fathers and mothers always take the utmost of their authority of their children; but at a time suffer with them, and bear their weaknesses, as Christ doth ours. Seek Christ in your children, in your wives, servants, and subjects. Father, mother, son, daughter, master, servant, king, and subject, be names in the worldly regiment. In Christ we are all one thing; none better than another, all brethren; and all must seek Christ, and our brother’s profit in Christ.

And he that hath the knowledge, whether he be the lord or king, is bound to submit himself, and serve his brethren, and to give himself for them, to win them to Christ.