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Perhaps if you make it a rule at the return of any particular day (your wedding-day for instance) to peruse them, it might prevent you. from entirely overlooking what so much concerns the credit and the comfort of each other.
Let me request you both to charge yourselves with this task. Attend to what God teaches you on the subject; and reject, with an honest indignation, those opposite sentiments, with which the gay and profligate part of mankind daily insult both God and man. To the same fate also let those prejudices be consigned, which weakness and inconsideration traditionally adopt, and form into maxiins of folly and mischief. I would have you not only read the passages of Scripture, but examine yourselves by them. Am I this kind of person, in this relation? Did I act in such a thing agreeably to the spirit of these words ? Should any unpleasant circumstances in future arise, inquire whether they may or may not be attributed to your departure from the pattern set before you. In thus examining yourselves by the appointed rule of duty, you may discover what there is in your particular constitution to render the imitation of the pattern peculiarly difficult to you. Carry such difficulties to God: not to request him to relax his laws in consideration of them; but to obtain from him those extraordinary succours which you in particular may need, in order to act on all occasions worthy your Christian profession.
These are the marks of genuine religion, a divine, principle, which I pray may daily, acquire strength in you. In seeking the growth of vital piety, you will experience an increase of its attendant blessings. Rest not therefore in your present attainments; but endeavour to acquire more and more of the character of a real disciple of Jesus Christ. Consider every discovery or attainment in the Christian life which either of you make, as an addition to your common stock of imperishable good; and partake of it together, as those who have no interest separate from each other in any thing, This is to live together s6 as heirs of the grace of life.” Let this “ growing in grace," therefore, be a subject of frequent and earnest prayer to God for yourselves, and for each other; that you may pass your days together, as both redeemed by the same Saviour, sanctified by the same Spirit, aiming at the same end, and hoping at last to meet in the same heaven. Thus instead of being snares to each other, the too frequent bane of fond alliances, you will proceed through life, blessing and being blest to each other; by administering tender admonitions when you see each other remiss; encouragements when disheartened; or consolations when depressed.
THE EFFECTS OF CHRISTIAN PIETY IN THE
MARRIED PAIR WITH RESPECT TO THEIR
I HAVE not forgotten what was hinted in the beginning of this address:' namely, that one consequence of your union is the establishment of a household; and that hereby a power is put into your hands of contributing something to the formation of public manners. I trust that you are not willing to overlook this circumstance.
There is, at least, one duty which the spirit of piety will dictate to you in this view of things; viz. the consecration of your house by the daily returns of family worship. Let there be an altar in your house inscribed with the adorable name of your Creator. Here let the master be daily found, presenting, as the minister of God, the offerings of prayer and praise. The religious care of a family seems to be spoken of as a certain effect of real piety in that account which God gives of Abraham in Gen. xviii. 19. “I know him, that he will command his children, and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment.”
By this acknowledgment of God, a married pair evidence their reverence of his being; they draw down his blessing on their family; they diffuse a spirit of seriousness through it, and probably convey the seeds of piety into many
other families. What objects are these to the formers of a new household, and how careful should they be to unite their respective powers in endeavouring to render that effectual which has such happy tendencies. Let not only, therefore, the husband be ready to perform the duty in question, but the wife be his willing coadjutor in it. I have indeed doubted whether there were this concurrence in some houses, where, however, the duty was not omitted. I have seen the master waiting for that part of the family which the mistress ought to have seen ready to attend him at the hour of prayer. Here is an impediment to family religion, proceeding from something defective in her to whom the internal affairs of a family are principally committed. But I am obliged to confess that the irregularity in question has not always been entirely the woman's fault. The master has in some measure been chargeable with it, by not fixing a certain hour, or in appointing an inconvenient one, for the performance of this important duty.
ON THE ADVANTAGES OF ORDER IN A FAMILY.
This and many other errors you will avoid, by digesting a system of family government, and determining to adhere to it. An expedient which you will find to be a source of numberless - advantages, and much more necessary to personal and social happiness than at first may
be conceived. Assuredly things will not proceed comfortably without it. Where there is order there is silence, facility, and energy.
Among the points to which order should extend, there is none of greater importance than the proper distribution of time. Have a fixed hour for rising, for devotion, for meals. Let there be an appropriate portion of time for every office, and for the labours or recreations of every member of your family..
The Family of Eusebius. How pleasing in this respect is the house of Eusebius. He has the happiness of having a partner, who, in her province, acts with him in The maintenance of a well digested system of domestic government. There is an appointed hour for breakfast, after which (it being on the whole then most convenient) all'assemble to pay their devout acknowledgments to God for the mercies of the preceding night. After this every one withdraws to his respective employment. Some of them appear no more till the stated hour of evening worship arrives, and gives all an opportunity of coming together again. This exhibition of order which you are presented with in the morning is but a specimen of what may be seen all through the day. On a Sunday you perceive the like regularity. After breakfast the family are assembled to prayers. They are enjoined to attend this service in the same dress in which they are to appear in the house of God, that the