Filial Love by Dr. Dodd

Letter V.

Verily duty to parents is of the first consequence; and would you, my young friends, recommend yourselves to the favour of your God and Father, would you imitate the example of your adorable Redeemer, and be made an inheritor of his precious promises; would you enjoy the peace and comforts of this life, and the good esteem of your fellow-creatures—Reverence your parents; and be it your constant endeavour, as it will be your greatest satisfaction, to witness your high sense of, and to make some returns for the obligations you owe to them, by every act of filial obedience and love.

Let their commands be ever sacred in your ears, and implicitly obeyed, where they do not contradict the commands of God: pretend not to be wiser than they, who have had so much more experience than yourselves; and despise them not, if haply you should be so blest as to have gained a degree of knowledge or of fortune superior to them. Let your carriage towards them be always respectful, reverent, and submissive; let your words be always affectionate and humble, and especially beware of pert and ill-seeming replies; of angry, discontented, and peevish looks. Never imagine, if they thwart your wills, or oppose your inclinations, that this ariseth from any thing but love to you: solicitous as they have ever been for your welfare, always consider the same tender solicitude as exerting itself, even in cases most opposite to your desires; and let the remembrance of what they have done and suffered for you, ever preserve you from acts of disobedience, and from paining those good hearts which have already felt so much for you, their children.

The Emperor of China, on certain days of the year, pays a visit to his mother, who is seated on a throne to receive him; and four times on his feet, and as often on his knees, he makes her a profound obeisance, bowing his head even to the ground.

Sir Thomas More seems to have emulated this beautiful example; for, being Lord Chancellor of England at the same time that his father was a Judge of the King's Bench, he would always, on his entering Westminster Hall, go first to the King's Bench, and ask his father's blessing before he went to sit in the Court of Chancery, as if to secure success in the great decisions of his high and important office.

Dr. Dodd.