Obedience to parents is the BASIS of all order and improvement, and is not only pre-emptorily and repeatedly enjoined by Scripture, but even the heathen laid great stress upon the due performance of obedience to parents and other superiors. The young rose up and gave place to them. They solicited their opinion, and listened attentively until they had done speaking. They bowed down reverently before them, and sought opinions of their hoary men; and withheld not the reverence from them that was their due.
We read, indeed, that the Romans gave to parents unlimited jurisdiction over their children; and fathers were empowered to (and frequently did) punish filial disobedience with stripes, slavery , and even Death . "Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long on the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee," is the solemn command of the Most High ; and we may safely assure ourselves that God will not only bless the dutiful here, and hereafter, but that he will punish, in the most signal and terrible manner, all those who, by parental neglect and unfilial conduct, set at defiance his written law, and violate that holy and just principle which he has implanted in every human breast.
Youth, in particular, should constantly bear in mind, that every comfort they enjoy, all the intellectual attainments which render them superior to the savage, they owe to their parents. Think of the miseries of orphanage. The greatest loss that can befall a child, is to be deprived of pious and affectionate parents. While you are surrounded by such blessings, never be so ungrateful as to injure them by disobedience.
In their absence, their commands ought always to be observed the same as in their presence. To obey willingly, is a love of obedience. Who would not doubt the obedience of a child, when told by his superior to do as he was bid; when some minutes after, to be asked, if he had done as he was bade? I should doubt its obedience when I heard the command.
It is a great duty of the young to treat old persons with respect. The Bible commands them
May it never be said of us, that we understand our duties, yet fail in regarding them. In walking I have often observed a want of reverence which is due to the aged. Years have given them experience which is worthy of honor. If the Bible were not disregarded in this, they would at once receive the respect which is due to them. If in nations the laws are disregarded, what safety is there for the people?
When you are in school, consider it a privilege to be there, and give your time and thought to the employment which is marked for you, by your teacher. Those who think thus will keep all the rules, and consider it improper to break them. If pupils refuse to obey the directions of their teacher, no benefit can be received from their instructions.
If persons know not obedience how can they teach it to others, which may in time be their lot? A person who will not obey, is not capable of commanding obedience. They know not how to estimate a duty so valuable. Those who are distinguished by faithfully discharging their first and earliest obligations, will be prepared to act well their part in future life. They will maintain good
It is, however, certain, that in whatever situation of life a person is placed in, from the cradle to the grave, a spirit of obedience and submission, pliability of temper, and humility of mind, are required from, them; and the most highly gifted cannot pass over it, without injury to their character. Let us ever live with principles of obedience; and that with us we may carry it to our graves; and when we lay upon our beds of death, may we say to the living--live with this great duty--Obedience.