Duties of SERVANTS

"Servants, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear. Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ. Work hard, but not just to please your masters when they are watching. As servants of Christ, do the will of God with all your heart. Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will reward each one of us for the good we do, whether we are slaves or free." Ephesians 6:3-8

God is the Creator of all things, and the disposer of all events. He is, therefore, the author of all those varieties which are to be found in nature, and of all those differences which exist in society. He who formed the sun to illuminate, and to rule, formed also the planets to be enlightened and to be governed; and he who raises the king to the throne, ordains the allotment of the servants in the house, and of the laborer in the field. There is no such thing as chance; no not in the material universe, where each bird which flies, each insect which crawls, each flower which blooms amid the desert, which man's eye never explores—is the separate production of divine power and skill, no less than the alpine height that lifts its snow-crowned summit to the skies, and receives the admiring contemplation of millions.

Nor is there any such thing as chance in society; the rank and station of the poor little servant girl in the humblest dwelling of the most obscure village, are as certainly determined by God, as the elevation of the conqueror and ruler of nations. "The lot is cast into the lap, but the disposal thereof is from the Lord." "The rich and the poor meet together, but the Lord is the disposer of their all;" that is, not simply their Creator, as men; but the disposer of their circumstances—as rich and poor. This is comforting, this is reconciling. It prevents the poor from being degraded in their own eyes, or in the eyes of others. They are not like the dust, or the dried and withered leaves in autumn, which, amid the more stately objects of nature and art, are blown about by the gusts which sweep along the surface. But they are in the place which God intended for them; and God has made everything beautiful in its place and season.

Who could have mended what he has done? What cause have we to sit down contented, and thankful, in the place which he has ordained for us! What obligation was he under to give us existence? And what did he owe to us that he should have made us rational creatures, and not formed us a beast, or a reptile? "Shall the thing formed, say to him that formed it—Why have you made me thus?"

As God disposes everything, so it is the highest excellence of a creature, to discharge the duties of his station, and to shine in the orbit, and move with regularity through the course allotted to him. A good servant is more honorable than a bad master; and a valuable subject is more honorable than a worthless prince. He who is not relatively good, is not really so; while he who acts his part well, is more truly dignified, though his rank be low, than he who stands on a pinnacle, but fails in the duty of his elevated station. What is true honor? Not riches, not rank, not beauty, not learning, not courage. No! But virtue; whether it be clad in the garb of poverty, or the robe of affluence; whether it holds the plough, or grasps the scepter. VIRTUE IS HONOR! Let all servants write this sentiment on the heart, and ever act under its influence, as the living principle of all their conduct.

In stating, after these preliminary remarks, the duties of servants, I would remind them,

First. That there are some duties which they owe TO THEMSELVES, the performance of which will constitute the best and surest foundation of those which they owe to others.

1. RELIGION takes the lead of all.

Religion is as much your business, as it is ours. You are immortal creatures, you are sinners, you are the objects of God's mercy, in Christ Jesus, and invited to seek pardon, peace, and eternal life, as well as we your employers. You have souls that must suffer eternal torments in hell, or enjoy everlasting happiness in heaven. You must be convinced of sin, repent, confess to God, cry for mercy, commit your souls into the hands of Christ by faith, be born again of the Holy Spirit, lead a sober, righteous, and godly life—or you must depart accursed into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels. God is as willing to have mercy upon you; Jesus Christ is as ready to receive you as he is us. Your soul is as precious in the eye of heaven as ours. God is no respecter of people, and is not to be considered as less friendly to your best interests, because he has placed you in service. Your situation is no excuse, therefore, for your neglecting the claims of religion. You are not to imagine that attention to your soul's concerns is not required from you. I repeat it, unless you repent, and are born again, and believe in Christ, you will perish eternally!

Your soul is your first concern, and must not be neglected for anything. Do not think that it is impossible for a person in your situation to attend to religion; for it is possible. Great multitudes of servants, both male and female, are truly pious. I have twenty or thirty in the church under my care, who are among its most consistent members. I charge you all, to live in the fear of God. Remember your Creator. Set the Lord always before you. Consider that he is ever about your path, and that you act, speak, and think in his presence. He is now the holy and ever present witness—and will hereafter be the inflexible judge of your actions.

In order to cultivate religion, do not seek employment in wicked families, where the Sabbath is profaned, the claims of piety despised and rejected, and you can have no opportunity of going to public worship. Do not dwell in a place where your sabbath is taken away from you; let no amount of wages tempt you to go to, or to remain in such a situation. Always stipulate for the privilege of going at least one part of the Lord's day, to the house of God. Insist upon it as your right, and allow nothing to deprive you of it. Endeavor to find a little time for reading the bible, and for prayer. Never go out of your room in the morning, nor lie down on your pillow at night, without reading a portion, even though it be a short one, of God's holy word, and earnestly praying for his mercy. Let religion be the basis of all your conduct, the very framework of your character, leading you to practice "whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, and pure, and lovely, and of good report."

Do not, then, as you would escape the torments of hell, do not, as you would be brought at last to the felicities of heaven, DO NOT NEGLECT YOUR SOULS. "Godliness is profitable for all things, having the promise of the life that now is, as well as of that which is to come." Your situation is a very dangerous one; you are in a very unprotected state and you need the fear of God to enable you to depart from evil. Men, and women too, of bad principles, are lying in wait for you, spreading snares for your feet, and seeking your ruin. Religion will guard you, and guide you, and comfort you; it will keep you in safety, and raise you to respectability. "Exalt her, and she shall promote you, she shall lead you to honor when you embrace her."

2. A REGARD TO TRUTH, is another very important duty, and which you will be sure to perform if you fear God. This duty you owe to your employers also; but while the discomfort of lying will be felt by them, the more dreadful consequence of that neglect will be yours.

Lying is a most hateful and wicked practice. And it is said, that "all liars shall have their portion in the lake that burns with fire." Strive to avoid everything in your conduct, that needs a lie to hide it; but if you have at any time done anything wrong, do not make one sin two, by telling a falsehood to conceal the matter. Let no temptation induce you to violate truth, rather endure the punishment, or the bitterest wrath of the severest master or mistress, than strive to avert it by a falsehood. Lying is bad policy, as well as great wickedness; for, when once detected in this vice, you will ever afterwards be suspected—even when you tell the truth.

A servant, whose word can be implicitly relied upon, will always be esteemed. Such a virtue will be made to extend a friendly covering over many little faults. Never allow yourselves to be tempted by your master or mistress, to commit a breach of truth. Inform them at once, that they must tell their own falsehoods, for that you cannot do it for them. A clerk once waited upon me, to ask me what he was to do in a situation, where he was obliged weekly to make a false written return in his own name, to defraud a public company, for the benefit of his employer. "Do," said I, with surprise that the question should have been asked me, "instantly refuse; and rather cast yourself and your family the next hour upon Providence, than ever repeat the falsehood." You must not, dare not, lie for others, any more than for yourselves. If required to adopt the modern practice of saying your mistress is not at home, when she is at the same time in the house; you dare not comply, for it is a falsehood, and as such, a sin against God. When you are put by your employers upon committing any sin, whether it be cheating, calumny, lying, or anything else forbidden by the scriptures, let your reply be, "How can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?"

3. SOBRIETY is a virtue you owe to yourselves, and also to your masters—but, as in the case of lying, the injury done by intoxication to yourselves, is far greater than that which you inflict upon them.

Beware of the besetting, impoverishing, debasing sin of drunkenness, and of everything that leads to it. Household servants, have many opportunities, and many temptations to practice this vice, if there be any propensity to indulge in it. It is impossible even for the most rigid watchfulness always to keep out of their reach the malt liquor, the spirits, and the wine; there are means of gaining access by stealth to these things, on the part of a vicious and ingenious servant, which no vigilant mistress can altogether prevent. If we cannot trust these things to the guardianship of your principles, our locks and keys will often be found an insufficient security. Do, do consider, that if the habit of drunkenness be once contracted, it is all over; and most probably you are ruined for both worlds. Let there be a distinct understanding between you and your master or mistress, what beverage you are to be allowed, both as to quality and quantity, and most sacredly abstain from touching a drop more, or a drop of anything else. Never put the decanters to your lips, when the stoppers are all out before you. Stolen drams of this kind, are double poison, they are venom for the body, and damnation for the soul; they lead to two crimes at once, drunkenness and dishonesty. Beware of the temptation which is presented at those times, when company is in the house, and when, through the supposition that extra exertion requires an additional glass, you may be led to take it, to love it, and to acquire the habit of it. I have known excellent servants, both male and female, ruined forever by intoxication.

As to workmen, the daily servants that occupy the manufactories, this vice is the damning sin that is spreading immorality, desolation, and misery through almost the whole laboring classes of the community. It is distressing, beyond the power of language to describe, to think of the effects of this most prevalent, most dreadful infatuation. How many fine, athletic forms are enervated; how many wives are brokenhearted; how many families are reduced to beggary; how many souls are damned continually, by this crime! Drunken servants are the torment of almost all our manufacturers, the curse upon our commerce, and the blight upon our national prosperity.

4. CHASTITY is a duty of infinite importance to the well being of servants.

I am now on delicate ground, and I will endeavor to step with caution—but no false refinement shall hinder me from discharging a duty, which, as a guardian of the public morals, I owe to a very large, and a very much exposed class of my fellow creatures. I will not allow a prudish and effected sentimentalism to turn away my holy and benevolent concern from the interests of female servants, nor prevent me from addressing to them the language of warning and admonition. When the miseries of prostitution are considered, and when the prevalence of this desolating crime, and all its attendant evils is at once admitted and deplored; when it is well known, that of the miserable and loathsome victims of seduction that crowd the paths of vice, a very large proportion were female servants, betrayed from the ways of virtue, in the first instance, by their masters, or their masters' sons, or their fellow servants of the opposite sex, surely it is the duty of everyone who is specially addressing young women in service, most solemnly and most pointedly to warn them against the wily arts of the basilisk seducer, who is enchanting them to their ruin.

Young women, consider the value, even in this world, of your character. With an unblemished reputation, you are respectable in servitude—your virtue is your parents' honest boast, your families' only renown, and your own wealth and honor—this will be your passport through the world, your letter of recommendation to good society, and that which will find you friends, and make them, and keep them, wherever Providence may cast your lot. But if this be lost, oh, what a poor, forlorn, withered, wretched creature you become; abandoned by your seducer, ejected from your place, disowned by your friends, you have the pains, and the cares, and the labors of a mother, but united with the infamy of a prostitute; you have to bear from without the scorn of the world, the look and language of shame-stricken, heart-broken parents, and the ceaseless reproach and remorse of a guilty conscience from within; and all this, perhaps, but as preliminary to the misery which the prostitute endures, through her loathsome course on earth—and its awful termination in hell. Take warning then, and reject with disdain and virtuous indignation, the very first encroachments that may be made, by anyone, upon the most delicate modesty and reserve.

Have you been unfortunate enough to draw upon yourself the attention of a master, or a master's son, consider, it is with the eye of lust, not of love, that he looks upon you; he may flatter your vanity by his admiration of your person, but it is the flattery of a murderer; he cannot mean anything that is honorable; his passion, that he talks of, is a base, ruffian-like, deliberate purpose to ruin you. Turn from him, flee from him with more haste than you would from a serpent or a tiger, for more than a serpent or a tiger is he to be shunned by you. Make him feel that you are his superior in virtue, though his inferior in rank. If, on the other hand, you allow him to accomplish his purpose, and decoy you to perdition, he will in cold-blooded, remorseless cruelty, abandon you and your child to a workhouse, to a broken heart, and the bottomless pit!

Act in the same determined manner towards everyone else. Preserve not only your virtue itself, but your modesty, which is its outwork. Allow neither act, nor word, nor look, in your presence, which is at variance with the most scrupulous purity. Let no prospect, nor promise of marriage, throw you off your guard. The man who acts thus, is to be regarded as a traitor, deceiving you into iniquity. He who would destroy your reputation, will not scruple to falsify his own word; the vows of such a wretch are not to be trusted. Be careful to whom you give your company. Let not an concern to leave service, and be your own mistress, drive you to accept the offer of the first individual, without considering whether he be suitable or unsuitable, who may present himself to your notice.

5. FRUGALITY is an incumbent duty upon people in your situation.

You are in very dependent circumstances. Your support depends upon your own labor, and that upon your health. You have no arm but your own to rely upon, and should therefore feel the obligation of laying up something in the day of prosperity, against the night of adversity. We are all enjoined to trust Providence, but not to tempt it. To spend all we get in vanity and useless trifles, under the idea that we shall be taken care of, in one way or other, is a presumption that generally brings its own punishment. There is in the present day, a most censurable propensity in female servants, and workwomen in general, to dress quite beyond their station. It is not easy, in some cases, to distinguish between the maid and her mistress. What abject folly is it, for a young woman to spend all her wages in gay apparel. When she is in ill health and out of work, will it be any consolation to look upon finery which she is obliged to pawn, one article after another, for her support? The love of dress has led in some instances to stealing; in others, to prostitution; in more, to poverty. Character is respectability, not dress. Harlots are generally fine and gaudy in their attire. Economize your little property, then; lay up in store for the time to come. I know several servants who have, one forty, another fifty, another one hundred pounds in the bank.

Besides, it is desirable to save from unnecessary expense in dress, that you may have a little to give to the cause of humanity and religion. The mite of the servant may mingle, in this age, with the pound of the master, to help in spreading the blessings of Christianity over the face of the earth. And it is to be poor indeed, to have nothing to give to the cause of humanity or religion.

Secondly. I now lay before you, the duties you owe to YOUR EMPLOYERS.

1. HONOR them, for they are your superiors in station. Pay them the respect which is due to them; and in order to this, cherish for them a proper respect in your heart. "Let as many servants as are under the yoke," said the apostle, "count their own masters worthy of all honor." Behave towards them with all proper humility and submission—not that you are to crouch and tremble before them, like slaves at the foot of a tyrant. Your address to them must be respectful—not crude, boisterous, and impertinent. In talking of them to others, in their absence, there should be no calling them names, no exposure of their faults, no ridiculing their infirmities. On the contrary, you should, to the utmost of your power, as far as truth will allow, defend them against the attacks of slander, and the arts of detraction.

If at any time, they speak to you with tones of anger, and in language of rebuke, you must remember the apostle's injunction, and "not answer again." You may mildly and meekly explain, and sometimes expostulate, but you must not reply in an angry and impertinent manner. Should they so far forget their duty, as to let down their dignity, and be too familiar, do not forget your place, but respectfully keep your proper distance. Everything crude in conduct, and obtrusive, insolent or familiar in language, must, therefore, be most sedulously avoided, as an essential part of servants' conduct towards their employers.

2. OBEDIENCE is founded upon respect, and is a necessary part of it. Observe the directions of the apostle Paul—"Servants, obey in all things your masters." We are of course to except those things which are contrary to the word of God; for if they enjoin anything that is manifestly sinful, you must mildly, but firmly, refuse to comply, and be prepared to take all the consequences of your disobedience. In all other matters, however self-denying or difficult, however contrary to your own views and wishes, you must submit; you are not to choose your commands, but in all things to obey.

You are to obey "with fear and trembling," that is, with reverential regard for their authority, a dread of their displeasure, and also, which is probably the apostle's meaning, with a dread of the anger of God, who, having enjoined obedience, will punish the disobedient.

You are to obey in "singleness of heart," that is, with a willing and cheerful mind; and not with a mere compulsory outside show of submission, and are to be free from all selfish personal ends, and obey from the single consideration, that it is right.

You are to do this, "as unto Christ, as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, with good will, doing service as to the Lord, and not to men." You must consider that God commands it, and therefore you are to obey them, as obeying God; they are in God's stead, in this particular, to you; and from a regard to conscience, and a respect to the divine authority, you are to do what they enjoin. "I do this," you are to say, "in reference to obedience, "not merely to please my master and my mistress, but to please God." This is turning all you do into religion. It signifies nothing, what is the nature of the thing, whether it be an act of the most menial kind, in the kitchen, the parlour, or the garden, if it be done with a view to the divine command, that very aim elevates the humble service into an expression of piety towards God, and a service that will be remembered in the day of judgment.

You are not to obey, "with eye service, as men pleasers." How many are there, who need a master's eye always upon them, to keep them industrious. No sooner is his back turned, than they are indolent and neglectful. This conduct is as vile as it is wicked—it is detestable hypocrisy, flagrant injustice, and obvious wickedness—for is it nothing that the eye of God is upon you? Is he not there? Does he not disapprove this conduct? And is it a small matter to make light of his presence? Such servants will shortly find, to their fearful cost, that the eye of God is far more to be dreaded, than the eye of the severest master.

Let it be your delight to do the will of your employers. Strive to please them in all things, and feel anxious to draw from them this testimony—"There is a servant, to whom no command, which it is in her power to obey, comes unwelcome; who never need be told a second time to do a thing; who anticipates my orders; and whose very pleasure seems to arise from pleasing me."

3. GOOD TEMPER, is of great consequence.

There are some servants who, let their work come unexpectedly, and even oppressively, receive all with a cheerful acquiescence, and are never put out of their way. Their mistresses are never afraid of telling them of unlooked for company having arrived, and extra exertion being necessary. While there are others, who, with many valuable qualities, are withal so peevish, so soon put out of temper, so cross at any little unexpected addition being made to their work, that their mistresses are in constant bondage. I like not to hear it said, "She is a very good servant, and has many excellent properties, but her temper is so bad, that I am quite afraid to point out to her, in ever so gentle a manner, the least imperfection, or to put her in the smallest degree out of her way." This is a serious blemish upon any excellence, and often proves a very great interruption to the comfort of the family, but a still greater interruption to the comfort of the poor waspish creature herself. Temper is not everything, but it is very important. Study, therefore, to be obliging, and to avoid crossness, sullenness, and passion.

4. FIDELITY is a duty of the highest rank.

What a delightful testimony is that which our Lord Jesus Christ is represented as bearing to his people at the last day—"Well done, good and FAITHFUL servant." Such also is the testimony, which it should be in our power to bear to our servants. Fidelity has reference—To the PROPERTY of your masters.

Faithful servants will not STEAL the property of their masters. There are opportunities of this everywhere if you choose to avail yourselves of them. Consider the horrible disgrace of being called a thief; and add to this, the danger in the present world—and the punishment of such a crime in the next. Write the eighth commandment upon your heart, and when tempted by a favorable opportunity to embezzle the property of your employer, let a voice more awful than thunder, repeat in your ears the prohibition, "You shall not steal." At that perilous moment in your history, let your imagination look up, and behold the flaming eye of God intently gazing upon you. In whatever profusion, money, plate, jewelry, lace, may be spread out before you—touch not, covet not! Determine, by God's grace, that though you be ever so poor, you will, at least, be honest.

Honesty is indeed the best policy, to go no higher for a motive and commendation. A single act of stealing may blast your reputation forever—even to be suspected, is dreadful—but what inestimable value is attached to a servant of tested honesty. Be honest even to scrupulosity. Touch nothing in the house in the way of eatables or drinkables, which you do not consider as belonging to you. If you want to taste the luxuries of the larder, ask for them; but do not appropriate to yourself what you think would be denied. I have read of a servant who went into the pantry, only to make free with sweetmeats, but seeing some articles of silver lying about, he took these, and went on from one degree of theft to another, until he died at the gallows. He was under the influence of a thievish disposition when he saw the silver, for he was going to take what he had no right to, and he was in a favorable state of mind to be tempted by Satan to a greater crime.

Servants should not allow themselves to appropriate any refuse articles of dress, nor give away the extra food, or other articles of the kitchen, without permission. Habits begin in acts; little sins lead on to greater ones. She that commences by taking a sweet, knowing that she is not allowed it, has violated so far, her integrity; has done something to benumb her conscience, and has taken the first step towards confirmed dishonesty. Sin is deceitful; and the way of a sinner is like the course of a ball down hill. Servants, beware of the first act of sin!

But fidelity, in reference to property, requires not only that you should not embezzle your master's property, but that you should not WASTE it. Those who carelessly waste, are almost as guilty as those who wilfully steal. You cannot be an honest servant, unless you are as careful of your employer's property—as if it were your own. Furniture, goods, provisions, must all be thus preserved. You are not to say, "My master is rich, he can spare it, and we need not be so niggardly." His wealth is no concern to you; if he chooses to waste it, he has a legal right to do so—but you have none.

Nor is this all; for fidelity requires that servants should do all they can to make their employers' affairs prosper. They should grieve over their master's losses, rejoice in his success, and so identify their feelings with his interests, as to seem as if their fortune were bound up with his. We have a fine instance of this, in the case of Joseph while he was in the house of Potiphar.

Fidelity would also lead them to give their employers information and warning when their affairs are going wrong, either through their own neglect or ignorance, or through the injurious conduct of others. They cannot be honest, if they witness in silence any fraud practiced upon them, either by their fellow servants, or by friends or strangers. Such connivance is a participation of the crime, although it should not be rewarded by any participation of the profits. A proper feeling of concern for your master's welfare would certainly lead you, if he were flagrantly neglectful of his affairs, to suggest to him, in a respectful manner, your apprehension of the consequences.

What man, except a fool or a madman, would be offended by such an appeal as the following, made to him by a servant—"Pardon me, sir, if I take the liberty of expressing my fears on the subject of your business, which I am induced to do, by a sense of my own duty, and a true love to your welfare. Your business is certainly declining, and I fear, through your being so frequently absent from it. Customers are offended by not meeting with the principal in the shop, and by finding the stock so low and ill assorted. I am so concerned for your family, and so distressed at the idea of your doing otherwise than well, that at the risk of incurring your displeasure, which I entreat you not to indulge against me, for this self-denying act of faithful service, I have determined to lay the matter before you, and to beg you to give up your leisure, to look into your accounts, and to attend more closely to your business." A servant that would do this, and in this manner, is fidelity embodied, and is a treasure beyond all price.

But faithfulness has a reference also to a master's time, for in many instances, time is property, and servants may as effectually rob their masters by idleness, as by stealing. This is always the case where they are hired by the day; and indeed, where, as in many branches of manufacture, they are paid by the piece, if by their idleness they prevent their employers from executing orders, and realizing profits, they can be scarcely called faithful. When you take a job, there should be an explicit understanding, as I have already said, how much time you are to render for the stipulated wages, and when this is known, all that by indolence you keep back, is just so much of your employer's property stolen from him.

Faithfulness has regard to the reputation of your master and mistress. You have their character in your hands, and by calumny and falsehood, may, if such a malicious disposition were in your heart, do them considerable harm, either by stating what is absolutely false, misrepresenting what is true, magnifying what is little, or exaggerating what is insignificant. Remember, it is the utmost excess of base conduct, and the wickedest kind of dishonesty, to attempt to rob them of their good name.

Then there are also secrets which it would be a very unfaithful act in you to disclose. Workmen, clerks, and apprentices, are guilty of great impropriety, if they communicate the private arts of their master's business, or lay open his relationships to anyone. Such an act is, by common opinion, an instance of criminal treachery. Female servants ought not to tell to others, what they see and hear in the families where they are placed. It is to be apprehended, that much of the gossip, and many of the reports, which circulate so much slander and detraction through society, are to be traced up to this source. You are not forbidden to form friendships with your fellow servants in other families—but to meet merely for the purpose of exchanging gossip from the respective households in which you live, is highly censurable. You should maintain the strictest silence on these affairs, and not allow the most busy and inquisitive curiosity of others, to draw anything from you. Nor are you to tell these matters, as is often done, to one particular friend; for she may tell them to one more, until at length the affairs of the family are matter of public notoriety. Your admission into a family is attended with an implied condition—that you are to keep all its secrets.

5. DILIGENCE is another duty, but is so necessarily connected with honesty, and indeed, so essentially a part of it, that much need not be said, in addition, to illustrate and enforce it. The slothful servant is a wicked one, for, in some instances, more mischief may be done by a day's idleness—than others may be able to undo by a year's exertion. The habits of a sluggard are very unfriendly to your own reputation, and to the comfort of the family by whom you are employed. Early rising is absolutely indispensable, if in addition to the duties of your station, you would attend to the salvation of your soul. And will you not sacrifice half an hour's sleep, for the purpose of seeking glory, honor, immortality, and eternal life? Diligence is opposed to sauntering, inactive, and gossiping habits; to a slow, reluctant, grudging, way of doing your work. A disposition to stint your labor, to do as little as you possibly can, and to do that little, in a careless, unneat, half-finished manner, is a great blemish in your character, and will be sure to militate against your interest.

6. GRATITUDE for kindness shown you, is very incumbent.

You ought to be thankful for having your faults pointed out, and not resentful, as too many are, towards those who are kind enough to show them what is wrong. If you have received kind attentions in sickness, and have discovered a constant solicitude on the part of your employers to soften as much as possible your labor, and to render you comfortable in your situation, you should convince them that their attentions are not thrown away upon one, who is insensible to their kindness. Especially, if they have taken pains to promote your interests, by warning you against bad company, or by endeavoring to correct your bad practices, you should be grateful for their pains, and endeavor to comply with their advice.

7. In all such cases as those mentioned, where your masters and mistresses are your friends, and confer obligations by their kindness, you should be truly and cordially ATTACHED to them.

Where there is really nothing to produce attachment, you cannot be expected to feel any. You cannot be required to feel gratitude, where you have received no favors; nor to cherish affection, where you have met with no indulgence. But all masters and mistresses are not tyrants, as some of you know by experience; for you have found in them, something, at least, of the kindness of a second father and mother. Here there are certainly strong claims upon your affection, and as they have cared for you with the kindness of parents—you should serve them with the deep interest and devoted attachment of children. They have a right to expect, in such instances, that as they have studied your comfort, you should study theirs; that when sickness invades their frame or their family, you will minister at the sick bed, by night or by day, not grudging your ease or your sleep, so that you might do them good; that when losses diminish their property or comforts, you will most tenderly sympathize with them, mingling your tears with theirs, and be willing to share with them the reduction of their usual plenty and gratification; that, in short, in all their afflictions, you will be afflicted with them, and be the sharers of all their joys.

They did not, and they could not bargain with you for such a duty as this; affection cannot be made an article of money contract; it must be given, or it is worth nothing, and indeed—bought and sold it cannot be. Instances of a generous affection of this kind, we have perhaps all known; instances of servants so attached to their masters and mistresses, as to follow them, and remain in their service through all the vicissitudes of fortune; as to descend with them from the lofty eminence and luxurious gratifications of prosperity, down into the lowly and desolate, and barren valley of poverty, there to suffer need with them; as to leave their native land, and cross the seas, and dwell in a foreign country with them; as even to find in their love for their master and mistress, a principle and a feeling, that reconciled them to all the sufferings they endured on their account.

I know a servant, who, when her master failed in business, brought down her little hoard of savings, amounting to nearly thirty pounds, and entreated him with tears to accept and apply it for the relief of his family. "Sir," said a lady to a minister who called upon her in sickness, "that girl," alluding to her servant, "who has just left the room, is a greater comfort to me than I can express. She watches me with the affection of a daughter, and the care of a nurse. When my complaints make me peevish, she contrives something to soothe me. I often observe her taking pains to discover what would add to my comfort, and often am presented with the thing I wish for, before I express it in words. I live without suspicion, for I perceive her to be conscientious, even to scrupulosity; my chief complaint is, that she takes so much care of me, that I cannot make her take sufficient care of herself."

Servants, look at this character, admire it, imitate it.

THIRDLY. There are duties which servants in the same family owe TO EACH OTHER.

There ought to be no tyranny nor oppression exercised by one over the other. This is often the case in those families which employ a numerous retinue of servants, and which admit the distinction of superior and inferior servants. There is sometimes in such households, a system of great cruelty carried on altogether unknown to the master. Some poor creatures are degraded into the condition of a slave to the other servants, and drag on a miserable existence under the heavy yoke which has been imposed upon them, by an unfeeling minion, who stands before the master's eye, and has always his ear at command.

Strive to agree with each other, for families are often disturbed by the quarrels of the servants, and the uproar in the kitchen is distinctly heard by the guests in the parlour. You should bear with one another's infirmities, and never take delight in thwarting each other. Instead of finding pleasure in converting the infirmities of anyone into a means of annoyance, and a source of vexation to her, carefully avoid whatever, by appealing to these imperfections, or bringing them into notice, would render the subject of them irritable or sullen. Never tease one another, which is too often done, especially where an individual is known to be petulant. The worst consequences have sometimes arisen from this practice.

A few days ago, I saw an individual put to the court of his country, upon an indictment for manslaughter, under the following circumstances.—His fellow servants, aware of his petulant disposition, provoked him by some petty vexations, until, in his rage, he hurled hammer at them, which struck one of them in the head, and inflicted a wound of which he died.

Never bear tales to your employers, for the purpose of exciting a prejudice against each other, and ingratiating yourselves in their favor. A supplanter is a most hateful character, at once despicable and despised.

At the same time, you are not to connive at sin; if your fellow servants do anything wrong, either in the way of drunkenness, lewdness, or dishonesty, you owe it to your master to make him acquainted with the fact. You are dishonest if you conceal the dishonesty of others, and you are a partaker of those vices which you allow to be perpetrated under your notice, without making it known.

Servants that make a profession of religion have great need to conduct themselves with singular propriety. Towards their masters and mistresses there should be the deepest humility, and the very reverse of everything that bears even a distant resemblance of spiritual pride. There must be no consciousness of superiority, no air of importance, no affected sanctity; but a meek, modest, unobtrusive exhibition of the influence of religion, in making them strictly conscientious and exemplary in the discharge of all the duties of their station. Their piety should be seen, not only in a constant concern to attend to the public means of grace, and in a regular performance of the private duties of religion, but also in making them more respectful and obedient; more meek and submissive; more honest and diligent than all the rest. That servant does not adorn the doctrine of God her Savior in all things, who does not shine in her sphere as a servant.

There are occasions when you may seek to do good to those who employ you, if they are yet living without the possession of piety. Instances have occurred, in which, such as you have been the instruments of converting their employers—and a visible, but unostentatious exhibition of eminent and consistent piety, supported by as eminent a discharge of the duties of your station, followed by a modest and judicious introduction of the subject, when suitable occasion presents itself, may by the grace of God, be blessed for the salvation of even your master and mistress.

If, on the other hand, your profession of religion be not supported by consistency; if it renders you proud and conceited; if it be accompanied by an unsubdued temper, or by habits of inattention to the duties of your place; if it makes you troublesome about your religious privileges, so that in a time of emergency or sickness, you will not give up a single sermon without murmuring and sullenness, you do not glorify God, but dishonor him; you excite a prejudice against religion, rather than produce a prepossession in its favor.

Towards your fellow servants you should be meek, obliging, and generous; assuming nothing on the ground of your piety, never disgusting them by any apparent consciousness of superior sanctity, but at the same time, never scrupling to let them know and see that you fear God. Timidly to conceal your regards to the claims of religion, or vauntingly to acknowledge them, would equally excite a bad prejudice; but to yield to them with a firmness that ridicule and opposition cannot bend, a consistency that scrutiny cannot impeach, and a humility that the reproached conscience of those who are offended cannot misrepresent, will be sure to raise admiration, and, by the blessing of God, may produce imitation.

Are any of your fellow servants living in the neglect of religion, it is your duty, in a solemn and affectionate manner, to warn them. "I knew a religious servant," says Mr. Janeway, "that after other endeavors for the conversion of one of his fellows had proved ineffectual, spent some time at midnight to pray for him; and being very importunate, his voice was heard in the next chamber, where the object of his pious solicitude lay; who, on hearing the voice of entreaty, arose from bed to listen, and was so struck with the affectionate concern that was breathed out for him, that he was converted by the prayer."

Let me now, in conclusion, exhort you to attend to the duties which have been set before you. It may be felt as a motive to this, to consider, that though you are servants, you are not slaves, as was the case with those who are addressed by the apostles, in their inspired writings. Yes, they were slaves, and yet are they admonished to give honor and service to those who held them by a tie they could not break. You are free, and your labor is voluntary; you sell it for a stipulated price, and are not degraded by your situation—nothing can degrade you but bad conduct. Your interest lies in the faithful discharge of your duties. This will secure to you peace and serenity of mind, the respect and attachment of your employers, the esteem of the public, the testimony of conscience, and the approbation of God. You will thus help to diffuse happiness through the families in which you reside; for a good servant is one of the springs of family comfort, and daily refreshes, by its pure and pleasant stream, the members of the little community in the house; who, in return, will do what they can to promote your present comfort, and provide for your future support, when the days of sickness and the years of old age shall come upon you.

Remember that God is everywhere, and his eye is always upon you. "He encompasses your path, and knows your down-sitting and uprising, and there is not a word upon your tongue, but he knows it altogether." You may have an absent master, but you cannot have an absent God. And he cites your conscience to his side, to take a correct copy, and lodge it in your bosom, of the record of your actions, words, and feelings, which he writes down in the book of his remembrance.

Time is short, life is uncertain, death is at hand, and the judgment approaching, when it will be of no consequence who was master and who was servant—but only who was holy and faithful. God is now your witness, and will be hereafter your judge. Have the promises and threatenings of the Great Master little efficacy? Are heaven, glory, and eternal happiness worth nothing? If so, what do you think of condemnation, wrath, and everlasting misery? If the former signifies little, do the latter signify no more? Then I must confess, I know not what further to say, for I have exhausted the differences of time, and the varieties of eternity. I have spread out the miseries which sin brings, and the pleasure which holiness produces upon earth; and have added to this the consideration of the eternal torment which iniquity draws upon itself in hell, aid the everlasting felicity which religion conducts the soul to enjoy in heaven—what more can I add—but simply to say, choose whether to you it shall be said in the last day, by the Lord Jesus Christ, "You wicked and slothful servant, depart accursed from me into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels!" Or, "well done, you good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord!"