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preparation of their person's may not be deferred to too late an hour; but that, instead of spending the last minute at the glass, there may be a little time for reflection or private devotion previous to their attendance on public worship. All being thus ready at a few minutes' notice, they are easily collected, and they proceed as a united and regular family to church.
You perceive nothing like distraction in this house. 'Every one knows what he has to do; he can estimate by the punctuality which is observed, the length of the parts into which the day is divided, and can adjust his affairs accordingly. Nor is the sound judgment of the superintendents more conspicuous, than the happiness of the members of this family. Indeed, order is to be recommended from its tendency to render every one comfortable. It was, perhaps, this excellency and happy tendency of order, exhibited on a large scale, that con tributed very much to raise the royal visiter of Solomon to that high pitch of admiration, in which she exclaimed, “ Happy are thy men, happy are these thy servants, which stand and hear thy wisdom continually.” These words were the utterance of an admiration, occasioned, among other things, by “ seeing the meat of his table, and the sitting of his servants, and the attendance of his ministers."*
The hints which I have given to you are the result of observation. Invention has not been
* 1 Kings x. 1—3. - .
strained in the fabrication of this address. What it has cost me consisted only in arranging a number of reflections, which what I had seen in married life had taught me to make; and give me leave to say, that in the whole course of my observation, there is nothing that has so frequently struck me, as a cause of unhappiness to married people, as the want of religion. This defect, nearly or remotely, produces most of the miseries of a state which was designed for the happiness of the sexes. “Who hath wo? - Who hath sorrow? Who hath contentions? Who hath babbling? Who hath wounds without cause ?"_Not merely the drunkard, but all who, like him, place their happiness only in the indulgence of the senses. See that all your prospects of continued happiness are not clouded from such a cause.
THE UNHAPPINESS OF AN IRRELIGIOUS COUPLE.
The evil effects of disregarding God are seldom more shockingly exhibited than in the history of an irreligious couple. Here, where the greatest temporal enjoyments might be found, there are frequently experienced the most exquisite of human miseries. The fear of God being wanting, the union becomes a source of incessant woes. How can it be otherwise with creatures whose nature is depraved, and who, living without any acknowledgments of God, are under 'no superior influence to regulate their temper, and to prevent the violence to which ungoverned passions are subject?
The whole house becomes a scene of disorder and wretchedness, where the principals are thus at opposition with God. No just sense of right and wrong appearing there, no lessons of duty being heard in it, no instances of reverence to a Divine Governor being seen, nor any thing like an acknowledgment of his authority being expressed, in every part of that house vice is visible; and the members, for want of a common restraint and common bond of union, become the tempters and punishers of each other. Offences are given, and no principle existing that would lead them either to forgive injuries, or suppress resentment, vices and mutual offences are multiplied by each other, and the quantity of wretchedness increases to a dreadful amount. What wonder is it then, to hear of dire distress in such a family? Of horrid irruptions of inflamed minds, throwing out on all sides bitter reproaches, diabolical imprecations, or destructive weapons ? These are the visible evils which haunt the abodes of irreligion.
But these are not all. Many of the evils proceeding from this cause are concealed from public eyes. But were all the griefs, the loathings, the hatreds, the remorses, the apprehensions which are experienced, equally as conspicuous as the actions to which they give birth, we should not even then have a complete view of the case. We must follow the guilty pair into the eternal world if we would ascer. tain all the effects of their impiety. We must hear their reproaches. We must be witnesses of their recriminations. We must see them, who once exchanged vows of eternal tenderness, transformed into beings of the most hostile dispositions towards each other, and meeting only to augment their mutual accusations. This is the dreadful ultimatum to which the history of an irreligious couple tends.
Mercy, however, sometimes interposes to prevent this awful result of things. The offenders are commiserated, changed, and made happy. Light breaks in upon them, and they see at a glance the source whence all their miseries are derived : namely, a disregard of God. They repent; they are - forgiven; they are transformed, and are now no longer to be described " as hateful and hating one another."
Thus reconciled to God, and to each other, it becomes the business of their lives to repair the mischiefs which their irreligion has occasioned in the family. Their house has been polluted-it must now be dedicated to God. There, he must not only be occasionally worshipped, but honoured at all times. Nothing contrary to his supreme will can any longer be permitted to continue there. Evils are not indeed so easily removed as they are introduced, but their aim is right, and God is on their side, and when he favours a design the greatest difficulties are overcome; “ Valleys are exalted, mountains are levelled, the crooked is made straight, and the rough places are made plain." Things thus renovated, religion introduces peace, a heavenly guest, and the social endearments of a family, cemented by the fear and love of God, are experienced.
The next article shall introduce to you a religious pair, whose house afforded an exemplification of this happiness,
EVANDER AND THEODOSIA. Evander and Theodosia were both the offspring of pious parents. Their union was a natural one. It had all the qualities which accompany an attachment founded not merely on similarity of religious views: it was such an affection as they could neither suppress nor direct to another object. But though their attachment was not produced by their religion, it was nourished by it. Whatever they saw in each other's person or temper to unite their hearts, was heightened by the satisfaction they had in each other's piety, and the consequent prospects of spending an harmonious life and a blessed eternity together.
Their hands were joined, and the delicate reserves which religion taught them hitherto to observe now being unnecessary, they entered on a state blessed with all the enjoyments which an unshackled affection could yield to minds seasoned with the benevolence and