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YOUNG HUSBAND'S BOOK.
It becomes us, whenever we are entering upon a new and untried scene of life, to consider attentively the new duties which it renders imperative, and the new cares it imposes, as well as the new means of happiness it affords. This necessarily happens when we take upon ourselves the duties of an office, or enter upon some line of business to which we are unaccustomed. But no change of this kind is so important to our welfare, or so interesting to our feelings, as that which takes place when we assume the cares and responsibilities of married life. It is necessary in this case, not only to arrange our business so as to meet the emergencies of our situation, but to regulate our dispositions and habits in such a manner, as to promote the permanent happiness of the parties concerned.
The young husband should take a calm survey of all the circumstances of his new condition, and weigh deliberately the more important and the minor duties which he has undertaken to perform
Let him consider, that one of his first duties is to provide faithfully for the support of his family. This, you may say, we might have omitted to mention, as it is so much a matter of course a thing which no one would overlook. Perhaps it may be so in general. But some of the means by which the general design may be best promoted are not obvious to every one, and may be easily overlooked. The husband should not only be industrious and frugal in general, but he should be careful that all his habits are regulated with due 'reference to these dispositions. He should be temperate, and not easily withdrawn from his business by social or convivial enjoyments. He should be careful not to indulge in any expensive personal tastes. He should consider that a small sum disbursed daily for what is unnecessary, will soon amount to enough to portion a daughter, or educate a son. He should always be ready to sacrifice his present personal pleasure to the future well-being of those who have the first and best claim to his regard.
The claims of the wife should be regarded not only in respect to what is necessary for her present and future support, but also with relation to her situation in society. Without attempting to imitate the expensive style of living which prevails among a richer class of society, the husband should endeavour to give his family a truly respectable standing in his own class. By respectable standing we mean that which is justly proportioned to his means ; always considerably within his income, yet without meanness or penuriousness.
It should never be forgotten by the husband that the wife has made great sacrifices for his sake. She has left "her own people, and her father's house." She has given up the society of those who have been endeared to her from her birth. She has intrusted her heart and her happiness to his keeping. He must be less than man who does not regard them as a most sacred deposit, and devote every energy and every care to their perfect preservation. She must endure with him whatever misfortune may befall; she is therefore fully entitled to participate in all his prosperity, and to share equally the enjoyments which Providence may place within his reach. In adapting his style of living to his means, he should therefore always remember her claims, consult her tastes and her happiness, and while he reserves to himself the right of fixing the limit of expenditure, he should give her a fair proportion of indulgence within that limit.
The same law which imposes upon the hus. band the duty of supporting his wife, gives him a general and paramount claim to her obedience. The Scripture is so conclusive on this point, that argument is unnecessary for establishing the doctrine. “ Ye wives," says St. Peter, to be in subjection to your husbands." • The ornament of a meek and quiet spirit is, in the sight of God, of great price." " Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands," says another apostle, "as unto the Lord.” " As the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing."
The right to the wife's obedience follows necessarily from the duty imposed on him of supporting her. If he must provide the means of support, he must also be allowed to arrange and regulate the requisite provision for support; and the authority thus established extends so far into the details of domestic economy, as to give him the control in all things innocent. When the will of the wife is set up in opposition to that of the husband in the regulation of the family concerns, as sometimes unfortunately happens, it is right that his should prevail, unless he require the performance of what is morally wrong. In matters of expediency, where no moral principle is opposed, he must be supreme ; and it is his duty, as well as the interest of both parties, that he should uniformly and firmly maintain his supremacy. A woman of common sense will readily perceive the propriety of this course; and family discord will thenceforward be unknown.
The chief point for the husband's consideration with respect to this right is, the manner in which it ought to be exercised. He should remember that the rule which renders him the natural head of the family does not suppose any inferiority in the wife, any more than the law which makes one man a magistrate and another his executive officer, supposes one to he an abler or better man than the other. It is