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excessive familiarity. An habitual politeness of manners will prevent even indifference from degenerating to hatred. It will refine, exalt, and perpetuate affection.
But the best and most efficacious rule is, that we should not think our moral and religious duties are only to be practised in public, and in the sight of those from whose applause we expect the gratification of our vanity, ambition, or avarice; but that we should be equally attentive to our behaviour among those who can only repay us by reciprocal love. We must show the sincerity of our principles and professions by acting consistently with them, not only in the senate, in the field, in the pulpit, at the bar, or in any public assembly, but at the fireside.
THE DUTY OF HUSBANDS. THE following extract froin an old work on the Duty of Man, is inserted on account of its sterling sense and sound doctrine, which are more than sufficient to atone for the quaintness and antiquity of the style. ".
The apostle having said, “ Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord;" he adds, “ Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them:" leaving it as much a duty on the husbands to love their wives, as on the wives to submit themselves to their own husbands. And indeed the husband first promises to love his wife, before she promises to obey him :* and consequently as his love is the condition of her obedience, he must blame himself for her disobedience, if he has withdrawn his love. Now love of husbands to wives is being kindly affectioned to their persons. This is what is so properly called love, that nothing besides it is thought 80; and it is absolutely necessary to the making of marriage easy and happy; nothing else can do it. Religion, discretion, and good qualities, birth, education, and estate, are all to be considered in their several reasures and degrees, to make a married life lastingly happy; yet neither honour, nor respect, nor esteem, can make wives happy; but a tenderness of affection, which they had rather have; without which, the rest are formality and insipid courtship, a sacrifice without a heart towards them: hence it comes to pass that many men are counted happy, and might indeed be so, in the good qualities and discretion of their partners, who yet are otherwise, for want of this hearty affection, which will supply many defects, and make amends for many failings, will cover many faults, and make family inconveniences lighter. Therefore considering how much the happiness of a man depends upon his choice, he cannot answer it to God, or man, or himself, that marries where he does not, or cannot place
his real affections. No law obliges a man to marry; but he is obliged to love the woman whom he has taken in marriage. · The apostle well advises the husband, that, dwelling with his wife according to knowledge, he should give honour unto her, as unto the weaker vessel ; that is, should treat her with all lenity and softness, even as vessels of a weaker contexture are to be handled with greater caution and tenderness. And indeed, whoever gives himself time to consider, to what extraordinary difficulties and sufferings, God, by his order and appointment, has most unavoidably subjected and exposed the women above men, as well by their own natúral frame and make, as by a great many sad, but usual accidents, will see himself obliged, in common pity, to deal gently with them, to sustain them under their-infirmities, and by patience and forbearance to endeavour to make their burden lighter: and if he considers further, notwithstanding these disadvantages, of what singular use and benefit a good and prudent companion is, in all the vicissitudes of life; what solace in health, what comfort in sickness, what help in distress, what security in trouble is occasioned by her means; and above all, what labour and hardships, what watchings and disquietudes, as well as the many humble offices, she is content to bear, with all the cheerfulness and delight imaginable, in bringing up the children that are the delight of his eyes, and the strength of his old age; he that considers this, I say, instead of taking pleasure in opposing and insulting the wife of his bosom, will find himself bound in gratitude, and by the mutual pledges of their love, to nourish and cherish her, even as his own flesh.
When men will not consider the imperfections of human nature, nor remember their ownmistakes; if they will take advantages, and make ill-natured reflections on the weaknesses of their partners, and make them topics of upbraidings and revilings, there will be no love and mutual kindness; for all creatures are imperfect, and stand in need of patience and forgiveness; more especially in a constant conversation. And in the management of family affairs, there will' unavoidably arise occasions of disagreement; and if there be not a readiness to make the kindest construction of each other's actions, the conjugal affection will vanish away. But when a man considers as he ought to do, that it is his interest, as well as duty, to love his partner, it is worthy his choice to be a good husband; for it is the wisest thing he can do for his present ease and satisfaction.
Another duty is to prove the sincerity of his love by a strict faithfulness to the marriagebed; for a Christian marriage requires mutual
fidelity, and the performance of the promise made to forsake all other persons, and to adhere closely to each other, so long as they both shall live. This is supposed in all contracts ; and verbally expressed and actually engaged for in all regular marriages; and to this fidelity
the men are equally obliged with the women, and in the violation of it there is both injustice and perjury, because they break a solemn prómise and do a great injury. A man, perchance, may be so far gone in favour to himself, as to think slightly of his own offences: in this case let him consider whether he would not think his mother or daughter injured, if their husbands should wander from their bed in pursuit of unhallowed pleasures; and as he judges they would resent the injustice of their husbands, let him imagine that his own wife resents his, and bears it with the same discontent. Nor would I be thought to confine these reflections to the open and notorious; for the most concealed and secret frequenting of the company of lewd women will corrupt the hoarts even of those that intend to be good husbands; for the virtuous affection declines as fast as the disorderly one gains ground; it eads at best in formal cold civilities, but more commonly in hatred and aversion, in quarrel and contest, churlish or brutal usage, and sometimes in tragical events. It is a vain mistake for any husband to think he shall live easily with his partner, be her affection ever so strong to him, while he is cold to her in this particular.
Again, men should maintain their wives as becomes partners; they are friends and companions to their husbands, not slaves, nor menial servants; and are to be partners in their fortunes; for, as they partake in their troubles