Note, 1. True merit does not go by dignity. All agree that the son in the family is more worthy than the servant (John 8:35), and yet sometimes it so happens that the servant is wise, and a blessing and credit to the family, when the son is a fool, and a burden and shame to the family. Eliezer of Damascus, though Abram could not bear to think that he should be his heir, was a stay to the family, when he obtained a wife for Isaac; whereas Ishmael, a son, was a shame to it, when he mocked Isaac. 2. True dignity will go by merit. If a servant be wise, and manage things well, he shall be further trusted, and not only have rule with, but rule over a son that causes shame; for God and nature have designed that the fool shall be servant to the wise in heart. Nay, a prudent servant may perhaps come to have such an interest in his master as to be taken in for a child’s share of the estate and to have part of the inheritance among the brethren.
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