If truly pious thou wou’dst fain appear,
And strictly Christian, whilst thou livest here,
To a small church convert thy own abode,
And make thy private house, the house of God.
Make thou a hallow’d church of thy abode,
And let thy family, like angels, be,
Where ev’ry one may duely serve his God,
According to his calling and degree.
An holy temple make of thy abode,
That all, within its walls, may daily join,
Without cessation, to adore their God,
Early and late, with harmony divine.
Instead of stones, cut out and squar’d by art,
Take thou good men, to rear the sacred wall —
Men, who have ever acted well their part —
Religious men, to build thy church withal.
Let not an ill-hewn stone be found in it,
Let not a reprobate the structure raise;
God will no rough, unpolish’d, stone admit
To rear a building, sacred to his praise.
Then cast aside each rude, improper stone;
For God will not accept of ought prophane:
Thy house must be the house of God alone,
An hallow’d temple, not the Devil’s fane.
For wicked folks, therein, the good excel,
And are more proper Satan’s fold to rear,
And be the fuel of an endless hell,
Than in the church of Jesus to appear.
One rough, uneven stone, one shapeless mass,
Will all the beauty of the work deface:
One lawless man, that does in vice surpass,
Will thee and all thy family disgrace.
Then place not in thy wall a lump unfit,
Odious to see, improper for the end;
Nor ever to thy house the vile admit,
Nor the unfaithful with the faithful blend.
Mis-shapen stones, that never felt the rule,
Will only undermine thy temple-wall:
So impious servants, of all vices full,
Will soon subvert, and cause thy house to fall.
Drive the unclean far from thy house and home,
Ere thou canst think that Jesus there will stay:
For Christ will never to thy mansion come,
‘Till the impure from thence are chas’d away.
The sons of God, and children of the fiend,
In the same church are not together seen:
No more than bees can stay, where steams offend,
Or a pure spirit dwell with one unclean.
The Great will never amongst hogs reside,
Whose stench and hideous grunt they can’t endure;
Christ and his holy Spirit can’t abide
In the same house with those that are impure.
If, in thy house, a miscreant, rebel rout,
A drunken, disobedient crew, be found,
Cast them, as sheep that are disorder’d, out,
Lest they shou’d sicken, and infect the sound.
As Ismael from Abraham’s house was thrown,
Because, against his mistress, he rebell’d;
So let the vile and sinful, from thy own,
Without the least reluctance be expell’d.
The royal Prophet never wou’d permit
A wicked person in his house to be:
A vicious servant do not thou admit
To live, for any use whate’er, with thee.
One wicked servant fixes oft a stain
On many, who deserve a good report :
Let not thou such, beneath thy roof, remain,
Nor tread the precincts of thy hallow’d court.
By men of virtue let thy work be done,
If thou wou’dst endless happiness attain;
God, with success, will all the godly crown,
Whilst foul mishap attends the sinful train.
A servant, that’s like Joseph truly good,
Will bring a blessing on his master’s head,
Whilst, Achan-like, an irreligious brood,
On thee and thine, will num’rous evils shed.
Shou’dst thou a pious servant chance to have,
God, for his sake, will all thy substance bless,
As he, in times of old, to Laban gave,
For Jacob’s sake, unparallel’d success.
Better the servant, that is good, and mild,
Who will with plenty, all thou ownest, bless,
Than the vile miscreant, that howe’er well-skill’d,
Will bring a curse on all thou dost possess.
Much better will the servant’s work succeed,
That’s harmless, quiet, and well-stock’d with grace,
Than all the labours of an impious breed,
Though strong, and aptly suited to the place.
A servant that is wise, and well-inclin’d,
His master may convert and all the house;
As the good wife may turn her husband’s mind,
And make a Christian, of a heathen spouse.
If thou hast not a pious family,
To serve thee truly in the fear of God,
Thy house will ne’er a sacred temple be,
But Satan’s den, or some vile fiend’s abode.
Servants of mighty strength will not avail,
The bus’ness of thy farm or shop, to do,
If in their duty to their God they fail,
And are not strong to do His bus’ness too.
Unless he in the faith be found sincere,
Receive not any one to thy abode;
And by no means admit a servant there,
Until he be the servant too of God.
The Church of God does not a Turk admit,
Nor any one, that of true faith is void,
To her communion : Do not thou permit
A reprobate to be by thee employ’d.
A servant, without faith, can ne’er be true
Unto his master, whether God, or man :
For ’tis the custom of the faithless crew
To sell them both, like Judas, if they can.
Get thee a set of servants to thy mind —
Servants, that know their duty to their God —
Servants, that are well-nurtur’d, well-inclin’d;
If thou wou’dst make a church of thy abode.
Be thou to all thy family a light —
A light, which shall to their improvement shine —
Be thou to them a pattern fair and bright,
In all that’s honest, moral, and divine.
Be thou a good example unto all,
In word and deed, and in thy dealings just,
Within thy parlour, kitchen, or thy hall,
Where-e’er thou art, and whatsoe’er thou dost.
Like Enoch, walk thou humbly with thy God,
For ever vigilant, for ever wise:
For ev’ry where, at church, at home, abroad,
Thy Saviour sees thee with his seven eyes.
Ne’er say, nor do, the thing that is not right,
The thing that is not strictly just and fit,
Whether thou art in the Almighty’s sight,
At church, or in the market-place dost sit.
Be thou as pure and prudent in each act,
Full as much care and vigilance exert,
Full as religious be, and as exact,
In thine own house, as if in church thou wert.
It is a debt, a debt all masters owe,
To teach their servants the true Christian lore;
That they may God and his commandments know,
Believe in Christ, and rightly him adore.
As Abraham all his family of yore
The fear of God, and his true worship taught :
So do thou teach thy household to adore
And know the Lord, and serve him, as they ought.
Teach thou thy children, teach thy servants, how
Their heav’nly Sire they truly may obey,
Teach them the Saviour, whom God sent, to know :
For that to heaven is the certain way!
The law of God, in ev’ry servant’s breast,
Implant — of that, on all occasions talk,
Whenever thou dost rise, or go to rest,
At home, abroad, when thou dost sit, or walk.
‘Tis God’s command, that ev’ry sire shou’d shew
His statutes soon unto his children dear —
Or, like Phylact’ries, on their garments sew,
That they the same, in mind, shou’d always bear.
Each night and morn, unto thy menial train,
A chapter from the holy Bible read;
Make them repeat it, if they can, again —
Make them such lives, as it has taught them, lead.
Be thou a councillor, priest, judge, and king,
Unto thy children, and domestic train,
That thou may’st all beneath thy orders bring,
And make them, in obedience meet, remain.
Be thou their Priest, the Christian faith to teach,
Be thou their Council, to advise them well,
Do thou to them the Gospel doctrines preach,
And pray that they in virtue may excel.
Be thou their king, to force them to obey,
And punish those, who hurt the Christian cause,
And to confirm them in the proper way,
By just coercion, and by wholesome laws.
Over thy household, as a judge preside,
And sentence pass in an impartial way :
Unto the good and just, rewards provide —
But punishments to those, that disobey.
Make thou a fair and equitable law,
To bind thy congregation with its bands,
And cause thy people, through a pious awe,
To live exactly as that law commands.
Teach ev’ry one his duty to his God,
And with thy finger point him out the way,
And, when he’s perfect in it, let the rod
Oblige him, though reluctant, to obey.
Observe their conduct with a father’s care,
With hand and eye their sev’ral motions guide,
Let no one by his words or actions dare,
Without due punishment, to step aside.
Let all thy family, like stars, appear —
Like stars, that decorate the brow of night,
And yield to all the country, far and near,
Instruction, honour, and celestial light.
Make all, that under thy direction dwell,
In goodness and in piety exceed:
As Noah did the former world excel
In holiness, and ev’ry virtuous deed.
Make thou thy bosom-wife to be a star,
Righteously-mild, and cheerfully-serene,
Make her, to all her sex, a pattern rare,
In words and works, throughout life’s various scene.
Make thou thy children to thy rule submit,
Make them examples to a sinful age,
Make them obey thy orders, as ’tis fit,
Like Rechab’s offspring, in the sacred page.
Make thou thy folk, to be the folk of God,
Like Philemon, in holy writ renown’d
Who made a temple of his own abode;
So much in piety did it abound!
Such pious lives make thou thy servants lead
In thine own house, as in the house of God,
Make them as cautiously in private tread,
As if they in a sacred temple trod.
Permit them not to dwell at large, at home,
Or do worse things, than if in church they were,
Nor let them a less virtuous air assume;
But make them live as regularly, there.
Permit them not to violate the least
Of God’s commands, e’er thou dost them reprove:
But soon as they shall have in ought transgrest,
Do thou their souls to true repentance move.
Permit not thou one servant of them all,
To swear by his Creator’s holy name —
Or give that person, whether great or small,
Due and condign correction for the same.
Permit them not to spend their sabbath-days
In idleness, beneath the Christian name —
In revellings, or in unrighteous ways,
Without reproof immediate for the same.
Let none amongst them hear the word in vain,
And never put in practice what they hear;
But let them talk, and talk it o’er again,
Until their progress in their lives appear.
Let none presume to go to bed at night
‘Till, on his knees, he has his homage paid —
His bounden homage — due to God of right,
Ere to repose he has his body laid.
Let none amongst them, whether great or small,
Their wonted labours any day resume,
‘Till frelly on their bended knees they fall
To worship God each morning, in their room.
Let none their hands unto the plough-tail move,
Nor let them unto any work draw nigh,
‘Till they have rais’d their minds to God above,
To beg his aid and blessings from on high.
Let no man whatsoe’er a journey take,
Ride to a fair, or sail upon the main,
‘Till he his fervant pray’r to God shall make,
That he may homewards bring him safe again.
Let no one his unhallow’d victuals eat,
Or stuff his paunch, like a voracious swine,
‘Till he has begg’d a blessing on his meat,
And gratefully acknowledg’d aid divine.
Let no one quit, like a brute beast, the board,
Where he has his ungodly belly cramm’d;
‘Till he for his support, has thank’d the Lord,
And with due gratitude his praise proclaim’d.
Whene’er thou worshippest the Pow’r divine,
Let ev’ry one unto the room repair,
And that none there’s indiff’rent or supine,
Do thou thyself take a peculiar care.
Let them not use themselves to vain discourse,
To loose expressions, or unmanly taunts —
Let them no scandal vent, or swear and curse —
No boastings use, or unbecoming vaunts.
Thy children and thy household firmly bind,
To use such words, as may their morals mend —
Words, that will please and edify the mind,
And to each auditor’s improvement tend.
Permit them not, unlucky tricks to use —
Permit them not, the simple to distress —
Permit them not, a cripple to abuse —
Permit them not, the needy to oppress.
Permit them not, to revel and carouse —
Permit them not, to swill thy drink, like swine —
Permit them not to smoke, within thy house,
The weed — that makes their backs and bellies pine.
Permit them not in fashions to delight —
To curl their locks — or costly garments wear ;
But let them still be creditably tight,
And let them all with decency appear.
Ne’er let them saunter on a sabbath-day,
To the green booths, where worldlings rendezvous,
Nor in the brutish tippling-houses stay,
(where Satan holds his revels) to carouse.
Each Sunday to thy parish-church repair,
There let thy family attend thee, all
There with the congregation join in pray’r —
There publickly on thy Creator call.
Let not thy family remain at home,
Nor during service-time behind thee stay —
Let them not loiter, near the sacred dome:
If they must play, let them the morrow play.
Lay not too cumb’rous, nor too great a load
Upon thy servants, on their working days;
But let some hours of respite be allow’d,
That they their backs, when tir’d with work, may rise.
Let them not, on the sabbaths, roam abroad,
But make them search with care the sacred page,
And do with diligence the work of God,
Ere they in any other work engage.
Instruct thy household ev’ry sabbath-day,
In psalms and hymns their Maker to applaud,
And argue with them, in a friendly way,
On their Belief, and on the word of God.
Whene’er they dine; nay, ev’ry time they eat,
By one of them be there a chapter read;
That the poor soul may have its proper meat
And due repast, whene’er the body’s fed.
Both morn and night, let some one in thy house
The service read, and for the others pray;
For ‘twou’d be better they their meal shou’d lose,
Than those the sacred service of the day.
Let not thy family, on any day,
Without its Matins and its Vespers be;
Thy sacrifice, both morn and ev’ning, pay,
For all the mercies God has shewn to thee.
Let ev’ry corner of thy house be kept
Quite clean (with nought impure let it be stain’d!)
And with the besom of repentance swept,
‘Till thou the favour of thy God hast gain’d.
Wash thou with briny tears the hallow’d ground —
Its walls, instead of stones, with virtues raise —
Let not thy altar without fire be found,
Nor without incense — such as, “pray’r and praise.”
Do thou thyself perform the parson’s part,
Do thou thyself invoke the Pow’r divine,
And make thy people, with a glowing heart,
Along with thee in each petition join.
Each honest master of a household ought
To act with care, and on a proper plan;
And, as a priest, reprove them when in fault
With the most pow’rful language that he can.
The same good order, which our church pursues,
To keep her members all beneath her sway,
Each private Christian in his house shou’d use,
To make his servants his behests obey.
Some one, or two, thy own assistants make,
Who, o’er the rest, as wardens may preside,
And thy affairs to their direction take,
And, when thou’rt absent, with discretion guide.
Thou must the morals of thy folks inspect,
And their behaviour carefully observe,
That each delinquent may in time be check’t,
And duely censur’d, as his faults deserve.
Punish the wicked, equal to his crime,
Nor ever let him uncorrected go;
Lest others shou’d transgress another time,
Because thou mercy unto him didst show.
Let each offender of his faults be told,
And be admonish’d twice, or thrice, or more,
Ere he’s expell’d, and exil’d from the fold:
But turn him out, if he’ll not then give o’er.
If thou hast hir’d a maid that is a shrew,
And does not honour to her mistress pay,
The door to her, as ’twas to Hagar, shew,
And let thy wife have, as she ought, her way.
To keep thy people idle, is not good,
Give each his task, and make him do the same:
For idleness supplies each vice with food,
And is the parent, and the nurse of shame.
See, that thy family go ev’ry night
Early to rest, and proper bed-time keep;
For ’tis a custom, far from being right,
That they shou’d go, whene’er they please, to sleep.
When it is time for them to go to sleep,
Desire of Christ on them his Grace to shed,
Desire of Christ securely them to keep,
Then take thy leave, and go thyself to bed:
But, first, exhort them on their God to call,
(With minds replete with a religious fire,
Upon their bended knees) both great and small,
Before they to their nightly rest retire:
And, lest that God shou’d take them unaware,
And unprovided, to his judgement-seat,
Conjure them all, each ev’ning to prepare,
Before they sleep, their aweful Judge to meet.
If thus thou shou’dst thy house and household rule,
Both thee and them, thy gracious God will bless,
With ev’ry Grace he’ll crowd your bosoms full,
And crown you all with ev’ry Happiness.
Christ in thy temple, then, will still remain,
Christ, when distress’d, will hear thy plaintive cries,
And, Christ will take thee, and thy menial train,
To all th’ ecstatic joys of paradise.
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Based on Keywords: enoch, hagar, unpolish, disobedient, wardens, exhort, bed-time, cumb, admonish, censur, acknowledg