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language, or manners, every thing which, in the slightest degree, inay tend to encourage loose or irregular desires.

Husbands and wives will detest every thing which has a wanton aspect; and maintain a purity of heart and affection, that will preserve them from the sin of breaking their marriage vows ; which is sure to displease the Almighty, and prepare remorse and anguish for those who despise his ordi


2. Mutual love must evince the fidelity of those who are united in holy matrimony ; otherwise, its end will be defeated. This intimate union is formed for securing a constant flow of endearing kindness and attention. “ It was intended to unite the hearts of the married pair ; and to produce a pleasing and lasting friendship, from the combination of two persons, whose interests, by these means, become invariably the same. But, instead of these advantages, a want of love, in either party, perverts the state of marriage into a most grievous burthen and bondage.”

It is the obvious duty of both, therefore, to avoid strife and contention, lest they should produce indifference towards each other, which is the very bane of domestic peace and happiness. And should disputes or wrong tempers at any time lead to variance, let each, without unduly blaming the other, be ready to make all reasonable concessions, forgive every offence against themselves;-and thus strive to maintain, for the future, the utmost harmony and affection. By the exercise, of these charitable dispositions, by not aggravating each other's faults, and by strictly guarding against passion, those angry contentions


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would soon cease, which, when indulged, prove so injurious in destroying conjugal happiness.

It is not, then, without the most forcible reason that married people are exhorted, in Scripture, to manifest the strongest regard to each other. The following precept, although addressed to husbands, is equally applicable to wives. “So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth bimself. For no man ever yet bated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the Church

Here is a double standard, by which a husband and his wife are to regulate their affection towards each other. The first is borrowed from the care which every man takes to preserve his body from every thing that may injure or destroy it, and the desire which he feels to maintain its health and comfort. This anxiety for the welfare of the body shews, most clearly, the strength and continuance of that affection which should subsist between the married party. As the body always has our care, whether it be sick, weak, deformed, or hurt by accident, so no defects or infirmities, on either side, will justify the other party in withholding the tribute of love which the inarriage contract requires. Disagreeable tempers and qualities will sometimes make it rather difficult to behave with proper tenderness; yet, here, faith and patience must restrain us from every breach of a positive command.

The second rule, by which their love for each other is to be measured, is the regard which Christ bears to his espoused Church. He has carried his love so far as to die and give himself for it. And,

• Eph. v. 28, 29.

having thus purchased it, every member of his mystical body, ainidst infirmities and neglects, and even occasional affronts, experiences his tender concern, sympathy, and affection, without being forgotten or rejected. It is incumbent on married persons to shew the same tenderness and regard for each other, which the whole Church receives from its glorious Head; and not to discover any morose feelings, but to live habitually in the endearing expressions of mutual love.

The affection of husbands and wives for each other should, to preserve it from change and caprice, be founded on Christian principles. If it be built on beauty alone, as is sometimes the case, there is no security for its continuance'; for it will often happen, that those who have been enamoured of each other's appearance, when they came together, soon abate in their regard, and hạte one another as violently as they loved at first. Such idolatrous, selfish, and carnal love should be counteracted, and be succeeded by that which springs from those religious motives which will render it more permanent.

Nor will the greatest accomplishments, or the most amiable and fascinating manners, always preserve them from the danger of taking great disgust, and living unhappily together. Many, 'who were forcibly struck with the apparently good sense, demeanour, or agreeable qualities of their partners, by which they were delighted with each other at the beginning of their acquaintance, often live together in a state of miserable bickering for the remainder of their days. When the novelty of these charms has passed away, and misfortune has wrought a bitter change of condition: “ frequently the well-bred, sensible, agreeable husband or wife, changes with their cir

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cumstances, and grows a peevish, complaining, and irksome companion.”

To prevent, then, their love from sinking into disgust, or being transferred to another object, married people should pray for grace, that their regard for each other may be rational and spiritual. They must not love one another merely on account of beauty, or elegance of manners, or any external graces or accomplishments; but because their union entitles them, in obedience to the will of God, to the warmest affection. One in interest, they must be one in heart ; because God expects 'them" to dwell together in unity and godly love.'

Where conscience, and the authority of Christ, prevail, a good foundation will be laid for the exercise of reciprocal esteem and-love: but, when these are wanting, the most trifling circumstance may raise a storm of contention, that will consume the enjoyments ofthe marriagestate, and perhaps lead to a separation.

3. A desire to promote each other's spiritual welfare will be constantly maintained by all who have the least wish to glorify God, or to make their union a source of real profit to their souls. Every man, whose mind is not dead to the common feelings of nature, must feel solicitous to procure a suitable provision for his partner, that she may not be left destitute, or be forced to depend on others. : On the other hand, a wife may express the strongest attachment to her husband, and discreetly conduct his family affairs, and study to render his home and life comfortable, and yet have neither taste nor desire for the knowledge of Christ. Mutual endeavours to please each other do often exist, where, through ignorance of their duty to God, the parties live in open defiance of his sacred authority, and pro

voke his wrath ; and yet are very well satisfied with each other's conduct in this respect. This, however, though so prevalent, is a false kind of love, which has the most ruinous tendency to hurt each other's souls : it is a sort of conspiracy against the truth and government of the King of Glory, by which they encourage one another in irreligion, and become the active instruments of each other's eternal destruction.

Husbands and wives should discover their affection to each other by a mutual concern for the good of their souls, remembering this is the best proof of well-founded love. For how can they possess a true regard for each other, to the extent which the marriage contract requires, if they do not strive to save one another from the bitter pains of misery in hell ? It is their obvious duty to examine each other's behaviour, with a view to correct any errors, or to point out any faults in temper or practice, into which either of them may have fallen, before they have taken root in the heart.

They should never sanction each other in ungodliness and hatred of vital piety; but stimulate one another to pray; and contend against the corruptions of their souls ; against their pride, unbelief, and worldly lusts; by which their salvation is most endangered. They will converse together on their state as sinners, and admonish each other of the necessity of believing in Christ for redemption. They will speak of the love of God, in sending his Son into the world to instruct and save it: and they will dwell with delight on the astonishing compassion of Christ, in dying even for his bitterest enemies. They will excite each other to holy vigilance in their sacred calling as Christians, that they may

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