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uerne them, and hym they ought to reuerence and obey. And as the scholemaster doth sharpely correcte and chastiseth those schollers that wil not be ruled by his vscher, so God wil greuously punishe those children, that doeth not obey their fathers and mothers. For he hath appoynted them to be his deputies and vschers in the education and gouernance of vs his children. For God is the chefeste worker and maker of all thinges, he is the highest scholemaster, and our fathers and mothers are the instrumentes and toyles, wherby God doth worke vs, make vs and fashioneth vs. For God is the eternall and moste maruelous Creator, and he dayly doth create. But when he entendeth to make man, he maketh him not now a glod of earth (as he did when he first made Adam) but he vseth our parentes to this straunge and wondreful worke and maketh vs by theim. And this is the first and greatest benefite, that God by our parentes, doth gyue vs both bodye and sowle. And after that yonge chylderne be borne into this world, we se how they lie certen yeres crying in their cradels, not able to helpe themselues. At what tyme excepte God did nouryshe vs by our fathers and mothers, ther wer no remedie but that we muste neades peryshe. And when God doth entend to feade vs in our cradels he doth not sende downe breade from heauen (as he did manna) but he wonderfully filleth our mothers dugges full of mylke, wherwith she may gyue sucke to vs, and also he sendeth to oure fathers sufficiente riches wherby they maye brynge vp their childerne. And this is the seconde benefite, that God, by our parentes doth nurse vs, feade vs, and bryng vs vp, more tendrely then the henne doth her yong chekyns. Furthermore God sendeth vs Christian parentes, which cause vs to be baptised and grafted into Christ, and to be made the children of God. For yf our parentes were not christened we were lyke to be
wrapped in continuall blindnes and errours. (For you see no Jewes children come to be baptised) and if we should haue heathen parentes and dye without baptisme, we should be damned euerlastingly. And in case we died not in our infancie, yet we shoulde be vngodly brought vp in thouses of heathen and ynchristened parentes, and should be taught euen from oure tendre age, to hate and dispise the trew faith of Christ as we may see an example by Turkes and Jewes children, whiche vehemently hate the fayth of Christ, and amonge ten thousande of them, scase one desireth to be baptised. And this is the thirde great benefit, that God by our parentes doth bring vs to baptisme, and to Christ his churche, and doth plant in our hartes an ernest loue towardes Christes religion, that wyllyngly and gladly we become Christians.
Besides this when we be growen to suche age, that it is tyme for vs to go to schole then God teacheth vs by our parentes his most excellent doctrine, that is to saie, tharticles of our faith, the ten commaundementes, and the Lordes prayer. Furthermore our parentes do teache vs the nourture and ciuilitie of good maners, that we maye proue gentle, quiet and faire conditioned, and suche with whom, honest men wyl be gladde to kepe companye. From our parentes we haue oure countrey, (the whiche nothynge is more pleasant vnto vs) and the fredome fraunchesies and lyberties of the citie in the which we wer borne. Our parentes also leaue vnto vs oftentimes great plentie of riches and landes for our inherytance. They also teache vs diuerse waies of marchaundise, many handycraftes and al kyndes of sciences, by the which we may honestly and in the way of treuth get our lyuyng here in this worlde. And althoughe they be compelled of necessitie oftentimes to vse the aide and helpe of scholemasters, and other connyng men in diuerse kindes of faculties, yet because all these thinges be done at the commaundement, costes and charges of our parentes, therfore we ought chiefely to thanke theym for all these benefites. And this is the fourth benefite, that God by oure parentes doth teache vs the trew knowledge of hym and his word.
Now these be the chiefest causes good children, why God hath commaunded vs to honour oure parentes. And suerly they be cruell children, that do not this, seynge that they haue receyued of theyr parentes so great an heape of benefites. And trewly they were wourthye to he stoned to deathe as stubburne children were wont to be in the Olde Testamente.
Wherfore good children, obserue diligently this commaundement that you be not disobedient nor vnkynde, but honor your fathers and mothers. And here you muste not thynke that you owe this subiection onely to your fathers and mothers, but the same obedience and honor is dew also to all them whose helpe and labour your parentes doeth oftentymes vse in gouernyng and teachynge you. Of the whiche sorte be youre tutors, scholemasters, preachers, pastors, and curates, youre masters that teach you your craftes, and also the maiestrates, and common officers, for the holy scripture doth call all these fathers. And therefore when God sayth : honour thy father and mother, he comprehendeth within the boundes of thys commaundemente, all those parsons before rehersed. And this is done for these consideracions. For when the parentes do lye on theyr death bed then in theyr laste wil or testament they assigne and appoynt to theyr chyldren that be of nonage tutors, gardians, or gouernours to whom they resigne all theyr iurisdiction, which they had of God gyuen vnto theym ouer theyr children. To suche tutors or gouernours children ought to be obeydient and honour them. For suche be lefte vnto theym in the steade of theyr parentes and they nouryshe theyr pupylles or wardes and make much of them, and se that they be honestly brought vp in vertue and learnynge, and shall make a rekenyng for the same both before God and the worlde. Furthermore when that our parentes eyther be not able sufficientlye to teache vs in their owne parsons, or haue not conuenient leysure to do the same, then they committe vs to scholemaisters, preachers, pastors and curates, and make thyem theyr deputies. Therfore it is the deutie of children, reuerently to obey theyr teachers and curates. For saynt Paule sayeth. The elders that 1. Tim. v. rule well, are worthye of double honour, specialli they that labour in the worde and teaching. And saynt Peter sayeth. Obey them that are appoynted to gouerne you, for they do wake and watche for your soules, as men that shall make an accompt for the same.
Also it happeneth oftentymes, that parentes do put theyr children to other, either because they themselues are not able to fynde them, or teache theym handye craftes, or the arte of marchandyse, and when this chaunseth, then it is the offyce of chyldren to obey in all thinges and to honour euen as theyr parentes, those to whom they be thus committed and with whom they dwel. For vnto such theyr fathers and mothers haue gyuen their power and authoritie. Therfore saynte Paule sayeth. Seruauntes be obedient vnto youre mays- Ephe. vi, ters as vnto God, and so forth. But when children grow to mannes age, and then refuse to be ruled by their parentes, masters, teachers and curates, and begynne to waxe wyld and wanton and to hurte other, then the commen officers ought to chastise them. And the magistrates and superiour powers ought to be honored and feared, euen as our fathers and mothers. For by theim we be defended from our enemies, of theim we receaue lawes and statutes wherby we may liue in peace and quietnes, wherefore we ought to be glad and willynge to paye to them tribute, taxes, tollages and subsidies, wherby they
may be the better able to maintaine the tranquillitie of the commen welth. Learne therfore good childerne, that they be not onely called oure parentes, of whom we are begotten and borne, but they also be called to the honor and tytle of this name, whiche helpe them to bryng vs vp in vertue and learning. Suche be they whom we cal our tutors or gardians, teachers, masters, curates, and officers. Also this worde, honor, doth not onely containe the outwarde gesture of makyng cursey and puttyng of the cap, but they do trewly honour their parentes, whiche do feare and loue them, highly esteme them, gyue place to them, and rendre vnto them all kynde of gentilnes and liberalitie, and yet do not obbrayd them, or cast their gyftes in their teath, but do confesse that stil thei be in their parentes dette, and as yet do owe them greater thinges. And this is a great poynt of wisedome, yea in worldly policie, to acknowledge that of bounden deutie we owe to these persons aboue rehersed honor and reuerence, and that God is highly pleased with this kynde of sacryfice. And that he doth sende vnto vs by these men innumerable benefites, wherefore yf you wil be counted good and godly childerne, and please God, then kepe this commaundement, obey your parentes and euery commen officer, feare them, be obedient to their lawes and statutes, be subiecte vnto them in all thinges. Notwithstandyng yf the commen officer do byd you do any thinge expressely agaynst God, then you may not obey
him, but say with the apostle Peter, we must obey God Actes, 5. rather then men. And beware good children that you
dispise not your parentes, or vncurtesely entreat them, because perchaunce thei be simple men, rude, vnlerned, poore, weake, feable and impotent by the reason of their olde age. For of what soeuer state condition or qualitie they be, yet by them God hath gyuen vs our lyfe, he hath ordained them to be our gouernors, and (as I haue declared heretofore) by theym he hath sent vs infinite