Monday, June 24, 2013

Thomas Vincent on the duties of children and parents flowing from the Fifth Commandment

In my Sunday afternoon exposition of Spurgeon's revision of the Baptist Catechism, I have been making frequent use of Thomas Vincent's "The Shorter Catechism Explained from Scripture" (1674; Banner of Truth ed., 1980).
Yesterday, we began to look at the fifth commandment (Exodus 20:12).  Here is an abbreviated list of Vincent's seven duties of children to parents and seven duties of parents to children (with his copious proof text references largely omitted):

The duties of children to parents:

1.      Inward honor, reverence, and estimation.

2.     Outward reverent carriage and behavior.

3.     Diligent hearkening to their instructions.

4.     Willing obedience to all lawful commands.

5.     Meek and patient bearing their reproofs and corrections, with amendment of the faults they are reproved and corrected for.

6.     Ready following their reasonable counsel, in reference to their calling, station, marriage, and any great affairs of their lives.

7.     Grateful kindness to them, in nourishing them, providing for them, and bearing with their infirmities when aged, and fallen into want and poverty.

The duties of parents to children:

1.      Tender love and care of them, especially when infants and helpless; particularly, mothers ought to give suck [nurse] their children, if they are able. 
2.     Training them up in the knowledge of the Scriptures, and principles of religion, and giving them good instructions in the laws and ways of the Lord, as soon as they are capable of receiving them.

3.     Prayer for them, and giving good examples of holiness, temperance, and righteousness unto them.

4.     Keeping them under subjection whilst young, yet requiring nothing of them but what is agreeable to the law of the Lord.  He adds, “As children must obey, so parents must command in the Lord” (Ephesians 6:1, 4).
5.     Encouragement of them by kind looks and speeches, and rewards in well-doing, together with discountenance, reproof and loving and seasonable correction of them for evil doing (Proverbs 29:15, 17).

6.      Provision for them of what is needful for the present; as also laying up for them according to the proportion of what they have, for the future (1 Timothy 5:8; 2 Corinthians 12:14).

7.      Disposal of them to trades, callings, and in marriage, when grown up, as may be for their good; therein using no force, but consulting and considering their capacity and inclination.

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