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DEVOTIONS TO CHAPTER I.
Prayers for those meditating Marriage
DEVOTIONS TO CHAPTER II.
Prayers to be said by a Maiden before she enter
into the state of Marriage
DEVOTIONS TO CHAPTER III.
Office for the Evening or Morning preceding Mar-
DEVOTIONS TO CHAPTER V.
Prayer for Women with Child
THE WEDDING GIFT.
CONSIDERATIONS BEFORE MARRIAGE.
The Apostle gives no proof of his words, does not even state a motive, when he says,
Whether, therefore, ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” It seems the first principle of the Gospel, and therefore requires no proof to those who own that Gospel : it rests simply on the great fact of Christianity; and thus, whilst this rule states no motive, it appeals to the very highest. Christ gave up all His glory for us; we, in gratitude and duty, are to give up all for His glory. He gave Himself to us, and for He asks us for Himself in return.
In so important a step, then, as that of marriage, it is no more than plain Christianity that God's glory should be sought throughout : first, in deciding on the measure, whether or not it be for God's glory and the good of His Church, that we should be single or married ? and then, if married, to whom we should be married “in the Lord ?"
Then, again, the salvation of our own souls is a first principle of Christian action. What will it advantage us to gain the whole world and to lose them? All earthly happiness, the purest, the deepest, if it shuts out spiritual excellence and stunts the growth of grace, is no better than the riches of Dives; is simply part of the good things which we have in our life-time, and lose at our death ; part of the exchange for our souls, by which, having had our good things here, we cannot have them afterwards. This motive, then, also is a first principle of conduct in deciding upon marriage, upon the step itself, or upon the persons to whom those who will marry should seek to join themselves. This consideration is not the same as the former, which stands first and highest. For it may be for God's glory that we should remain single, in order that, with