Of Company in General. Rules Concerning It.
When you are in company, of whatever sort, you must amongst them walk with God.
Directions relating to this are of two sorts:
- First, showing how you should behave towards all:
- Secondly, how you should behave towards good or bad company.
- Glory to God, Matt, v.16
- Credit to religion, 1 Tim. vi.1.
- All mutual, lawful, content, help, and true benefit to each other, Gen. ii.18.
To attain these ends, your conversation must be, 1. Holy; 2. Humble; 3. Wise; 4. Loving.
First, It must be holy, 1 Peter i.15; you must, as much as in you is, prevent all evil speech and behavior, which might else break forth, being careful to break it off, if it be already begun in your company. Suffer not the name and religion of God, nor yet your brother’s name to be traduced, or evil spoken of; but in due place and manner vindicate each. Be diligent to watch, and improve all fit opportunities of introducing pious and useful conversations; even whatsoever may tend to the practice and increase of godliness and honesty.
Secondly, Your conversation must be humble. You must give all due respect to all men, according to their several places and gifts; reverencing your betters, submitting to all in authority over you, 1 Peter ii.17, Eph. v.21; esteeming others as better than yourselves, in honour preferring them before you, Phil ii.3; condescending unto, and behaving respectfully towards, those of meaner rank, Rom. Xii.16.