TWENTIETH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST THE GOSPEL JOHN 4.V.46-53 THURSDAY MEDITATION: A PLAINE PATH-WAY TO HEAVEN THOMAS HILL 1634
GOSPEL (St. John 4:46-53)
He came again therefore into Cana of Galilee, where he made the water wine. And there was a certain ruler, whose son was sick at Capharnaum. He having heard that Jesus was come from Judea into Galilee, sent to him and prayed him to come down and heal his son: for he was at the point of death. Jesus therefore said to him: "Unless you see signs and wonders, you believe not." The ruler saith to him: Lord, come down before that my son die. Jesus saith to him: "Go thy way. Thy son liveth." The man believed the word which Jesus said to him and went his way. And as he was going down, his servants met him: and they brought word, saying, that his son lived. He asked therefore of them the hour wherein he grew better. And they said to him: "Yesterday at the seventh hour, the fever left him." The father therefore knew that it was at the same hour that Jesus said to him: "Thy son liveth." And himself believed, and his whole house.THURSDAY MEDITATION
Having spoken of great ones all this while, we will now speak of little ones, and such little ones as must acknowledge all their being and breeding (which is as much as their being ) to another, and consequently are almost nothing, to wit children, in comparison of their Parents.
For that this sick youth was the sonne of this king , and consequently had his being of him, & was as it were his creature; in that his Father had so great care of his health, as to try all means, as we suppose he did, before he came to Christ; that he came to Christ himself in person, which kings use not to do; that he was so importunate to have him come to his house, that he used words of authority out of his greatness, to make Chriſt as he thought, come the sooner; to watch his opportunity when Christ was going from one place to another, thinking he would be more easily drawn a little out of his way, when he was in a journey, then to make a journey of purpose; all this, and the love he had to breed up his Sonne in moral virtue and good life, as well as in civil quality and education, that he might enjoy him, not only here in this life for a short time, but everlastingly in heaven: This I Suppose was the mark his fatherly love leveled at, or ought to be of Christian parents.
All this, I say, and the like which parents are prone to do for their children, doth so exinanite, and empty children of what they are, or have, and make them such little ones, as they are in a manner nothing in comparison of their parents.
A certain heathen Philosopher said, there were three kind of persons whom we could never requite, do what we could, to wit, the Gods, our parents, & our Schoolmasters; if he had said God, instead of Gods, he had spoken like a Chriſtian Philoſopher, a golden sentence; for God, of whom we haue our prime being, and conservation in that being, doubtless we can neuer requite, because whatſoever we do, or get, and acquire, it is by virtue of that being we had of God, and consequently what we do unto him, we do but pay him out of his own stock.
Of our parents of whom we have our secondary being and preservation, or maintenance, there is the like reason.
Of Schools Masters that giue vs our third being in literature and good manners, for so education is a third being, it being better to be unborn, as our Proverbe sayth, then unbred, the like reason is; and therefore the great King Philip of Macedon, when he had a son born, Alexander, afterwards for his valour surnamed the Great, sent word to Aristotle, the great Philosopher of the world, that the Gods had given him a son, and that he was as much bound unto them that they gave him a son in the time of Aristotle, that he might be his SchoolMaster, as that they gave him a son.
Now, if the parent were unto the child all these three together, to wit his God, his Parent, and his Schoolmaster; how much were the child bound unto him, for all three, who can never require any one of them, no not the least? how little is he then, in comparison of his parents? That the parents are, and ought to be SchoolMasters to their children, not only in that they provide them Schoolmasters, but that they themselves instruct and educate them in religion & vertue, both by example and word, which is the best learning of all, no man needs to doubt.
This being the principal benedićtion that parents have by their children, not so much to people & fill the world, as the kingdom of heaven, and they to have the merit thereof both for begetting them, and breeding them thereunto.
Thus we see that parents, are unto their children Schoolmasters, is not hard to prove, but that they may be said to be Gods, that may seem strange: but if God, said unto Moyses, I will make thee Pharaohs God, as he did, and calleth Judges Gods for the power and dominion they have ouer us in regard of the lawes, as he doth; it is not greatly to be maruailed at, if parents that have so great power and dominion over their children, be called their Gods; there being also a special commandement amongst the Ten, besides the law of nature, for children to honour their parents; which honour hath a large extent unto many duties besides, and their being a great benedićtion to children for performing it, and consequently a great maledićtion for the contrary.
Besides this, whereas in one Translation the Scripture sayth thus: He that loveth God will pray for his sins, and abstain from them, instead of these words (he that loveth God) the Greek translation have it thus, he that loveth his Father: as if God & his Father were all one in that respect.
And in another place, the great duty of a child to his Father, and consequently the power of a Father over his child, is thus described, He that feareth God, doth honour his parents, and serve them that begot them, as their Lords, in work, word, and all patience: and the punishment of children that obey not their parents, besides that their days shall not be long, nor happy, which may be gathered out of the commandment, as a contrary, to that benediction of long life, to them that honour their parents: beſides this , I say, there is another puniſhment of children that obey not their parents, as unto God, that their children will be disobedient to them, one of the greatest griefs that can happen unto a parent.
Salomons Mother gave him this commandment: Sonne, give not thy substance unto women: He brake it, and was overthrown.
Salomon gave this commandment to his sonne Roboam: Sonne let not sinners, that is to say flatterers carry thee away, nor hearken thou vnto them.
He brake it and was overthrown; a just punishment of Salomons disobeying his mother, to be disobeyed by his some, & both Querthrown thereby .
What children will now be so hardy & ungracious, as to disobey and dishonour their parents and not rather honour, & obey them as Gods, as their parents, as their Schoolmasters, and esteem themselves nothing in comparison of them, nor neuer able to requite them.