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be watched, or account of the mischiefs of which they are capable..
There is no evil which petty occurrences more frequently generate than disputes, nor are there many things which it is more the interest of the married pair to guard against. “ The contentions of a wife," saith Solomon, “ are a continual dropping," Drop after drop wears a deeper impression than a thousand storms. What therefore is that unthinking woman abont, who indulges a litigious spirit on every occasion; who will debate every point, and have the last word about straws ? She is forcing her husband into a society, to which, perhaps, he has had many objections, all of which, however, are at length overcome, by the refuge it affords him from the misery of the incessant debate. It is not, perhaps, so much to the commission of the more alarming crimes, as to the frequency of frivolous disputes, that the alienation of married people from each other is to be generally ascribed. I may add, that in these irritating encounters, deeds of the worst kind have ofien had their beginning. Whatever, therefore, you forget besides, let me conjure both of you to remember the mischiefs of frivolous litigation.
After all your care, perhaps, some occasional effects of your respective weaknesses will occur. Yet it is not a few irruptions of this sort, that will throw you back in the cultivation of good nature, if you can learn to make due - allowance for constitutional infirmity in each other. Attend, therefore, to this plain lesson. It will have its advantage in suppressing an unhappy temper in many instances. Where there is a readiness to make this wise and humane allowance, the heart will be no more alienated by a little sally of temper, than by a fit of epilepsy. The paroxysm, in either case, will call forth the compassion of the spectator.
Be it remembered here, however, that we must not be called upon too frequently for this allowance, and that it will hardly ever be granted, unless the tenor of life be such as forbids a severe construction of an occasional failure. It is indeed the tenor of life that preserves or destroys affection. It is not a few brilliant expressions of love, in the midst of a vast heap of unkindnesses, that will make us enjoy the marriage union, nor is it a few deviations from the line of duty that will render it unpleasant, while the general course of life is expressive of native goodness and unquestionable affection. Make a point therefore of disciplining your own temper, and be assured that by so doing, the connexion which you have formed will be more than tolerable, it will be pleasing. The recollection of it at some period distant from its commencement will be grateful, notwithstanding there may some things occur to you in this retrospect, which you will wish had been otherwise.
Let me entreat you to bestow all the pains on this endeavour which it may require.
What equivalent can be found for good nature ! Let the husband be sober and industrious ; let the wife be chaste and frugal; by these virtues you may be preserved from some of the miseries which wait on profligacy and extravagance; but while you escape these, what willyour house be without good nature ? Not a home. By a home, we understand a place in which the mind can settle; where it is too much at ease to be inclined to rove; a refuge, to which we flee in the expectation of finding those calm pleasures, those soothing kindnesses, which are the emollients and the sweeteners of life.
All the admonitions, therefore, that I might detail on the article of temper, may be comprised in this short precept: Endeavour to make your house a home to each other. Absence from it will then be no gratification to either party. By the husband's attending to this precept, his return will be welcomed by those whom he left at home. It will not be expected with that sort of anxiety which oppresses the family of an ill-tempered man, fearful that some error unobserved by them should meet him at his entrance, and apprehensive that thereby his ar. rival will be announced to all the family, by an explosion of passion. By the wife's observance of this maxim, the husband will return with a pleasure equal to that with which he is received. “The heart of her husband will safely trust in her," as the wise man speaks. Over the door of his house he will see written, 66 SACRED TO PEACÈ," and thither, in the assurance of enjoying that repose and consolation he cannot find in the world, he will hasten from its toils and vexations.
THE INFLUENCE OF CHRISTIAN PIETY ON THE
HAPPINESS OF MARRIED LIFE. The observations which I now proceed to make are of the utmost consequence. Were I
to omit them, I should put into your hands a · very imperfect directory for your conduct in that state of life on which you have now entered. I have reserved the important subject now to be introduced for the latter part of my address, for I wish; above all things, to leave the impression of this on your minds at our parting
Whatever be our situation, there is one thing indispensably necessary to our enjoyment of the happiness it is in itself capable of yielding; we must endeavour to acquit ourselves as the servant of God in that situation. Thereby we obtain his blessing in it, without which, no condition can long be either safe or comfortable. Let the situation be social, or commercial; let it promise little, or much ; let the government of an empire, or only the care of a family, be committed to us, the observation holds equally true. The lot lies in this world, concerning which God has said to mankind, “Thorns and briers shall it bring forth unto you.” Piety, however, has resources in a world lying under such a sentence. But without this, the fool and the wise will experience one common disappointment of their respective hopes.
I persuade myself that you mean to adopt the rules I have suggested to you; yet I must apprize you, that though I should not suspect your sincerity in declaring that you intended to put them in practice, I should not expect them to be long followed, if I doubted of your having the fear of God in your heart. One cannot much depend on those resolutions which have not a genuine piety for their principle.
Nor is there, if this be wanting, any good security for continued happiness, even in those marriage connexions where the parties have joined their hands from the most sincere affection to each other. Without this, the sources of patience, resignation, forbearance, compassion, and candid allowance for natural infirmities, virtues for which there may be frequent and large demands, are small, and may be soon exhausted. Nor can it be expected that we shall persevere in the more arduous parts of that kind of self-discipline which has been mentioned, if reverence for the will of God, and an earnest desire to please him in all things, are wanting. If, therefore, you have rushed into this connexion, regardless of what is incumbent on you as immortal creatures, your business is to correct this error at the beginning. Its influence will otherwise run through the whole web. of life, and prevent