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P. 1
Duty to Parents.

Duty to Parents.

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Published by glennpease
BY REV. HARVEY GOODWIN, M.A.,

PROVERBS i. 7, 8, 9.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge : but

fools despise wisdom and instruction.
My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not

the law of thy mother :
For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and

chains about thy neck.
BY REV. HARVEY GOODWIN, M.A.,

PROVERBS i. 7, 8, 9.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge : but

fools despise wisdom and instruction.
My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not

the law of thy mother :
For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and

chains about thy neck.

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Published by: glennpease on Jul 04, 2014
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DUTY TO PARETS. BY REV. HARVEY GOODWI, M.A., PROVERBS i. 7, 8, 9. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge : but fools despise wisdom and instruction. My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother : For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck. MY discourse to you, Christian Brethren, will chiefly refer to the latter two of these verses, in which Solomon speaks of the duty and excellence of honouring father and mother : but I have taken the three verses for a text, because I wish you to see how that Solomon grounds the fear of God, the basis of the whole religious life, upon the duty of obedience to parents. He says, " the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, but fools despise wisdom and instruction ;" and it is to be expected from this opening, that he is about to describe the manner in which the wisdom of which DUTY TO PARETS. 263 he speaks may be obtained, that he is about to give directions for leading a holy life j and indeed, in the verses following the text, he does give some very valuable advice and very fearful warning concerning the danger of being led away into sin ; but before this come the latter two verses of the text, and in them he passes immediately from
 
the fear of the Lord to the duty of honouring our parents. Do you not see something very striking in this? "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom ; but fools despise wisdom and instruc tion : My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother," as though the only way to attain to the fear of our Father in heaven were to commence by the fear of our father on earth, as though the fools who despised wisdom and instruction were generally identical with those, who would not listen to their fathers or who forsook the law of their mothers. ow this view, which makes obedience to parents the basis of obedience to God, if a true view, is a very important one ; and that Solomon intended to put the subject in the light I have represented, is I think clear from the whole book of Proverbs: that book is, as you know, very much taken up with advice to young persons; one great burden of it is the danger of young persons being led away by bad companions and 264 SERMO XVII. by youthful lusts, and the absolute need that exists for them, that they should base their whole lives upon the great principle of fearing God and keeping His commandments: but see how often throughout the book Solomon introduces the honour of father and mother, and especially note that the whole book is written as from a father to a son, and attention is claimed to its advice on the ground of the duty which the son owes to a father. Solomon evidently considered, that the duty which the conscience teaches all hearts, which have not been tampered with, to be due to earthly parents, was the best ground upon which to build the duty
 
to God and the whole superstructure of a holy life : and in so considering he seems to me to have brought his teaching into accordance with that of the Ten Commandments; for though the commandments which contain our duty to God are placed first, as indeed they ought to be, and even as Solomon makes the "fear of the Lord" to be " the beginning of wisdom," still when those commandments have been recited we come im mediately (just as we do in the text) upon the command to honour father and mother, and we find that command distinguished from all the rest by a special sanction, a special blessing attached to the keeping of it; S. Paul calls it (you will remember) " the commandment with promise": the DUTY TO PARETS. 265 other commandments may be supposed to be kept in order to avoid punishment ; do not kill, lest thy blood be shed in its turn; do not steal, lest thou be punished; do not commit adultery, lest thou be stoned; do not bear false witness, lest thou be brought before the judge : but to honour father and mother is a command, which no human laws can support; if a man will dishonour his father and will break his mother s heart by neglect, there is no human help for it ; and yet it may be as vile a sin as theft or murder, and therefore God gives to this command a peculiar sanction of His own, and attaches a special blessing to those who keep it well ; do this commandment, not from fear of human law, but that it may be well with thee, that thou mayest be blessed in thy obedience, and that God may love thee. And I may remark, that as the Lord Jesus Christ set an example of obedience to this command by being subject to His human parents, so it was one great sign of

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