« PreviousContinue »
undertaken with great Care, and many Prayers, and by the Advice and Mediation of wife and holy Perfons. A Reverend Divine advis'd all young Women to learn of Rebeccah, who veil'd her felf as foon as the faw Ifaac, to express their Modesty and Shamefacednefs, even to their Husbands themfelves, by endeavouring to gain their Hearts, not fo much by their Beauty and Dreffing, which Rebeccah might have done, as by their Modefty, and the Holiness of their Manners and Converfation.
Q. How comes it, that the Husband feeks the Wife, and not the contrary, the Wife the Hufband?
A. Because the Man feeks that which he formerly loft, that is, his Rib; which was taken from him, in the forming the Woman out of his Side; and therefore, when a Man marries a Wife, what doth he but bring back the Rib which he formerly loft?
Q. Why do the Jews break the Glafs in which the Bride and Bridegroom drink?
A. To admonish them, that all Things in this World are tranfitory, and brittle as Glafs; and therefore, they must be moderate in their Pleafures and Defires.
Q. What Custom had fome Grecians in marrying their Daughters?
A. When the Bride was carried Home to her Hufband, they used to burn, before the Door, the Axletree of the Coach in which the was brought thither; giving her to understand by that Cerenony, that the muft refrain her felf from gadding abroad, and that being now joined to a Husband, the must frame her felf to live and tarry with him, without any Thoughts of Departure.
Marry not for Beauty, without Virtue; nor for Riches, without good Conditions: Solomon, among many other notable Sentences fit for
this Purpose, faith, that a fair Woman without ⚫ difcreet Manners, is like a gold Ring in a Swine's Snout.' And if you marry for Wealth of her Portion, you will be often told: And if you marry for Beauty, then will your Sorrow be the more increased; for fhe will fay, She was blind in having thee; for fhe might have had Captain such a one; or this Gentleman, or that, or t' other; fo that you'll have no Occafion to afk one bad Word of her in feven Years; for fhe will give you enough, without asking.
If you marry a haughty Woman, you ought to have a good Estate; for you will find a proud Wife, in a low Station, will be an uncomfortable Companion, and the first, in Adverfity, that will lend a helping Hand to your Ruin.
He that marries a proud Wife, is as unhappy as he that hath a rebellious Nation to govern; for as the latter muft grant every Petition of his People, to fecure Peace in his Kingdom; fo must the former grant every Requeft of his Wife, to fecure the fame in his Family. Pride, in a Wife, makes a Man seem little; it often compels him to fubmit, where he has a Right to govern. He that hath a prudent Wife, hath a Guardian Angel by his Side; but he that hath a proud Wife, hath the at his Elbow. Pride is the Parent of Iniquity, the Innovator of Vice, the Seed of Rebellion, and the Rife of Faction: Pride loft Mankind his Paradise, the World its Peace, and made a Devil of an Angel.
These three things are well-pleafing in the Sight of God, viz. Concord between Brethren, Love and Charity between Neighbours, and a Man and his Wife agreeing well together.
It would be well if Children would confider the Obligations they owe to their Parents, to whom, next to God, they are moft indebted. We have more Reason to love them, than they have to love
us: But, 'tis true, they are led by Nature, to be infinitely kind to us, and we fhould be led by Reason, to be infinitely grateful to them: Yet we fee when Parents grow old, and need their Childrens Affiftance, how feldom is it chearfully given them! for whatfoever they do for them, feems to be more burthenfome, than what they will do, perhaps, for thofe, to whom they have no Obligation.
Unto thy Parents, yield Obfervance due,
may. bless thee, and thy Age renew.
Undertake no Action without Advice from Heaven, afking Counfel of God by Prayer: He bleffeth or blafteth our Endeavours, according as we own our Dependence upon him, and Engagements to him.
Think it not fufficient that you do not an ill thing; you must not only not do an hard thing to any; but be kind and charitable, as well as just and honeft; always endeavouring to do the utmost Good you can, by a Life of univerfal Usefulness.
Promife nothing which may prejudice thee 'in the Performance; but perform what thou haft promifed, tho' it be to thy real Prejudice. A wife Man measures his Promifes by his Abilities, and he measures his Performances by his Promifes.
Our Thoughts are weak, our Refolutions are too often broken; it must be God that works in us, by the fecret Motions of his holy Spirit, to keep us in any thing that is good. Let us, then, earneftly implore the Divine Goodness to guide us, to counsel us, to establish us; for without him we can do nothing.
The Marks of a true Converfion are admirably well exprefs'd in the Prodigal Son; he fees his Mifery and leaves it; he returns to his Father, and gives himself to him. Let us alfo forfake Sin,
and turn to God from the bottom of our Soals, and he will have Bowels of Compaffion for us. Let us be forrowful, like this young Man, for having forfaken our Father's House; and let us efteem our felves happy, for having again been received into it. Thus will our Repentance be always enliven'd with Thoughts mix'd with Love, and accompanied with Peace and Joy.
It is certainly very good to love one's Children, and it is but a Piece of Juftice to love those better than others, who are more virtuous; but it is of dangerous Confequence to give too open Marks of it; because this may be pernicious to the Beloved, by raifing the Envy of those who fee him preferr'd before them, and Fathers ought, in this Cafe, to confider, that they can scarce procure a greater Advantage to their Darlings, than to make them to be beloved of all their Brethren. And we need not wonder, if we see that a Piece of Land, or a particular Legacy given to a best beloved Son, doth excite the Envy of all his Brethren, becaufe we fee that a Coat only, which Jacob gave Joseph, was the Occafion of their great Averfion and hatred unto him.
There's no Disturbance in the Heav'ns above : And heav'nly Souls do nothing else but Love.
The Charity of Jofeph is an admirable Figure of the unparallell'd Goodnefs and Mercy of Jefus Chrift, who being fold by his own Brethren, not only forgave them their putting him to fo painful
Death; but alfo made the Blood which they fo cruelly fpilt, the Price of their Redemption, and the Balfam to cure their mortal Wounds. JoJeph's Brethren fold him to prevent and frustrate that Greatnefs which his Dreams feem'd to prefage to him; and their very felling him, became
the fure Means of his Exaltation and future Glory. Jofeph was not lifted up with Fride by his fudden Removal from a Dungeon-Darknefs, to the highest Meridian of Court-Glory: For as his Afflictions could not deprefs him; fo neither could this high, and unlook'd for, Honour lift him up: He received, with an equal and indifferent Temper, from the Hands of God, the good and evil Things of this World, and continually kept his Heart in that uniform Moderation, that in the midst of his great Power, he never had a Thought of revenging himself on thofe, who by their Calumnies had fo unjustly afflicted him.
It should be an indifpenfible Rule of Life, to contract our Defires to our prefent Condition, and whatever may be our Expectations, to live within the Compafs of what we actually poffefs.
One Man fucceeds in every thing, and fo lofes all; another meets with nothing but Croffes and Difappointments, and thereby gains more than all the World is worth.
On Providence all Accidents depend,
For their Beginning, Progrefs, and their End; Nature's Supplies will no Time fail to thee, If thou with needful Things contented be.
Unwillingly undertake a Suit of Law, and moft willingly make an End of it. Chufe rather to buy Quietnefs with fome Lofs, than to gain much by Strife and Contention; for going to Law is one of thofe lawful Things, which are very difficultly manag'd without Sin; it's rare if a Man wrongs not his Soul by endeavouring to preferve his Eftate. It was advis'd of Christ, if any Man will fue thee at the Law, and take away thy Coat, let him have thy Cloak alfo.' The Reafon is evident, left the Lawyer should come between, and ftrip you naked of your Shirt.