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BY JAMES SMITH
•' Servants, he subject to your masters with all fear ; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward — 1 Peter ii. 18. Christianity is not only a friend to families in general, but to female servants in particular ; in former times servants Vv'^ere slaves, but the religion of Christ has broken the fetters, and set the captive free. But though they are freed from slavery, they are not freed from duty; servants, especially christian servants, are directed, in the ew Testament, how to conduct themselves in their situations, and toward their employers. Hear the words of the Holy Spirit to you : " Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ ; not with eye-service, as men-pleasers ; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; with good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to man ; knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free." Again : " Servants, obey in all things your masters, according to the flesh ; not with eye-service as menpleasers ; but in singleness of heart, fearing God ; 20*
234 THE servant's directory. and whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men ; knowing that of the
Lord ye shall receive the rev/ard of the inheritance ; for ye serve the Lord Christ. But he that doetli wrong shall receive for the wrong which lie hath done ; and there is no respect of persons." Again : " Let as many servants as are under the yoke, count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and His doctrine be not blasphemed; and they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren ; but rather do them service, because they are believers and beloved, partakers of the benefit." Once more : " Exhort servants to be obedient unto their ovv^n masters, and to please them well in all things ; not answering again ; not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity ; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things." See how full and particular are the directions which the Lord has given you ; and in observing them and regulating your conduct by them you will obtain respect, enjoy peace, and be crowned with the blessing of the Lord. You are to view the hand of the Lord in your present lot ; and considering it to be His will that you should be a servant, you are to serve cheerfully, as servmg Him while you obey your employers ; being persuaded that if men do not prize or adequately remunerate you for your services, your Saviour
THE servant's directoky. 235 will. You know he has said, " With what measure you mete, it sliall be measured to you again." But if you neglect duty, or get above your station, or give yourself airs, as if you were your own master or mistress. He will visit your transgressions with a rod ; He notices the insults offered
to your employers, and treats them as if offered to Himself. If you cheerfully, honestly, and constantly obey all your employer's lawful commands, you honour God, adorn the gospel, and walk in the truth ; and so doing, God will assuredly honour yo«. You are commanded to do whatsoever your employers require, if it is not sinful, and to do it heartily ; not ouly when their eye is upon you, but also in their absence ; considering yourself the servant of God, whose eye is always upon you, and whom it is impossible to deceive. He has promised you a glorious inheritance, and will bestow it of freest grace, upon all who believe and obey His word; but if you neglect your work, injure your master's property, idle away or misemploy his time, the Lord notices it, and will deal with you accordingly ; for His promises were never intended to set aside His precepts ; nor the relationship into which He has taken you, to raise you above His government. They aggravate your sins, but cannot dispense with your obedience. Your master is accountable for whatever is wrong in his conduct ; and you must give an account of yours. If your master be an infidel.
236 THE servant's directory. you are to reverence him as your master ; and to be obedient to him while his servant, even if he is ill-natured and severe. Your master's conduct towards you is not your rule of obedience ; but the precepts of God are to be your guide, and His honour your aim. If your master is a believer, a member of the same church, you are not to fancy yourself his equal, or take liberties, because he is a brother in Christ ; but be more diligent, respectful, and concerned to please him. Your aim must be to adorn the gospel, or represent it as
lovely, by its effect on your life and conduct ; pleasing, if possible, your employers in all things, not secretly taking or giving away any part of their property ; but be scrupulously honest as in the sight of God. The precepts of God being thus plain and strict, be particular as to what situations you enter ; always engage to have your christian privileges ; render your services valuable ; obtain and keep a character which answers to God's requirements, and you must do well.
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