4th. The article of catechising, as far as the age or state of the servants will permit it to be done with decency, shall extend to them also,—And they shall be concerned in the conferences in which I may be engaged with my family, in the repetition of the public sermons. If any of them when they come to me shall not have learned the catechism, I will take care that they do it, and will give them a reward when they have accomplished it.
5th. I will be very inquisitive and solicitous about the company chosen by my servants; and with all possible earnestness will rescue them from the snares of evil company, and forbid their being the companions of fools.
6th. Such of my servants as may be capable of the task, I will employ to teach lessons of piety to my children, and will recompense them for so doing. But I would, by a particular artifice, contrive them to be such lessons, as may be for their own edification too.
7th. I will sometimes call my servants alone; talk to them about the state of their souls; tell them to close with their only servant, charge them to do well and “lay hold on eternal life,” and show them very particularly how they may render all they do for me a service to the glorious Lord; how they may do all from a principle of obedience to him, and become entitled to the “reward of the heavenly inheritance.”
To those resolutions did I add the following pages as an appendix:
Age is nearly sufficient, with some masters to obliterate every letter and action in the history of a meritorious life, and old services are generally buried under the ruins of an old carcase. It is a barbarous inhumanity in men towards their servants, to account their small failings as crimes, without allowing their past services to have been virtues; gracious God, keep thy servants from such base ingratitude!
But then O servants, if you would obtain “the reward of inheritance,” each of you should set yourself to enquire “how shall I approve myself such a servant, that the Lord may bless the house of my master, the more for my being in it?” Certainly there are many ways by which servants may become blessings. Let your studies with your continual prayers for the welfare of the family to which you belong: and the example of your sober carriage render you such. If you will but remember four words and attempt all that is comprised in them, Obedience, Honesty, Industry, and Piety, you will be the blessings and Josephs of the families in which you live. Let these four words be distinctly and frequently recollected; and cheerfully perform all your business from this consideration—that it is obedience to heaven, and from thence will leave a recompense. It was the observation even of a pagan, “That a master may receive a benefit from a servant”; and “what is done with the affection of a friend, ceases to be the act of a mere servant.” Even the maid-servants of a house may render a great service to it, by instructing the infants and instilling into their minds the lessons of goodness.—In the Appendix of Rev. Thomas Bacon’s Sermons Addressed to Masters and Servants.