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ESSAYS FOR SABBATH READING.
THE MARRIAGE OF THE LAMB.
A state of celibacy, a single state, is not to be desired, for," it is not good for man to be alone;" besides, it is a state of many deprivations. The celebrated Dr. Johnson said, “ Although matrimony has many pains, celibacy has no pleasures.” Whether or not this sentiment be true as it regards the matrimonial connexions, it is very applicable to the state of mankind in and out of Christ ; for when in union with him, they are said to be married to him.
The marriage state has many advantages over the single state, inasmuch as there is companionship. “ Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labour; for if they fall, the one will lift up
his fellow : but woe to him who is alone when he falleth." Woman was formed correspondent to man. It has been said, Eve was not taken out of the head of Adam, which is intended to intimate that the woman is not to have authority over her husband; nor was she taken out of his feet, to intimate that woman is not to be the slave of her husband; but she was taken out of the side of the man, formed of a rib, to
intimate that she was intended for the companion of her husband. How unseemly then is it that the husband should ever seek society away from his wife —that, after the labours of the day are over, instead of hastening homewards, to enjoy his fire-side companions_his wife and children-he should be seen in the haunts of dissipation. Woman was formed to be a “help meet," a counsellor, and a comforter ; to be ever near at hand to help, to succour, to serve, to care for, and to please her husband. God said, in the institution of marriage, “ They shall be one flesh ;” as intimately united as one person, one body, one soul; they shall be inseparably united.
Married people therefore should never look for pleasure in any of its forms separate from each other, for it is unnatural; and as unnatural as separating a living body. The author just quoted says—“Matrimony doubles our pleasures by participating them, and halves our sorrows by dividing them :” that, however, must be understood where married people live in happiness, and harmony, and where they live conformed to the original intention of the institution.
A sinner living without God and without Christ in the world may, in a spiritual sense, be said to be in a state of celibacy : he has no companion but who will forsake him in death ; he has no efficient helper in the hour of trouble and the day of distress; when sick or sorrowful he has no soother-none who can “make all his bed in his sickness,” and calm his perturbed mind into heavenly serenity.
In what a lonesome, forlorn state is this to live ! to be without heavenly hope; a wretched being, in a wretched world; having a melancholy prospect beyond it, and a miserable departure out of it. A state of celibacy has no pleasures ; and, indeed, were it not the fact, there would not be