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

PAUL ( Ephesians 5) saith: “Ye masters, do even the same things to them,” (that is, be masters after the ensample and doctrine of Christ, as he before taught the servants to obey to their masters as to Christ,) “putting away threatenings,” that is, give them fair words, and exhort them kindly to do their duty; yea, nurture them as thy own sons with the Lord’s nurture, that they may see in Christ a cause why they ought lovingly to obey: and “remember (saith he) that your master also is in heaven; neither is there any respect of persons with him;” that is, he is indifferent and not partial: as great in his sight is a servant as a master. And in the 4th chapter to the Colossians saith he: “Ye masters, do unto your servants that which is just and equal, remembering that ye also have a master in heaven.” Give your servants kind words, food, raiment, and learning. Be not bitter unto them, rail not on them, give them no cruel countenance: but according to the ensample and doctrine of Christ, deal with them. And when they labor sore, cherish them again. When ye correct them, let God’s word be by; and do it with such good manner, that they may see how that ye do it to amend them only, and to bring them to the way which God biddeth us walk in, and not to avenge yourselves, or to wreak your malice on them. If at a time through hastiness ye exceed measure in punishing, recompense it another way, and pardon them another time.