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deformity, and natural indecency, proceeding therefrom. As for example, it unreasonably exhausts the gain and labour of the calling, when that which should maintain the house and children, and support the trade and credit of men, is trifled off in Thew and gay appearance, not only to the shame, but too often to the ruin of the husband and his dependents. The very heart of industry is broken, when it fees its fruits squan- · dred so lavishly away.
Men also, when they see the end of all their toils so near, are at last tempted to become ill husbands. It is a certain token of a bad wife, where a woman will go beyond her husband's just abilities. They should not so much then think on their family or fortune, as consider how they may best manage their family, without exceeding the bounds of an hufband's estate. Women call their marriage, changing their condition; they should remember among other senses of those words, that they change their former condition for that of their husband, be it what it will, better or worse ; and that they must suit their minds to that, which is the only way to thrive in that state.
Pride must be at the bottom, or the occasion of this exceffive costliness and gaiety; not but that it is willingly believed and allowed, that virtuous people bear as humble minds, under their costly attire, as under coarse and mean; and it is presumed, that people are not proud and haughty when they dress according to their state and condition of life. But they are accused of vanity and pride when people will exceed their quality and estates; which should be considered by all women as well as wives, since the unmarried are as guilty of this extravagance as they that have husbands. And,
Although these rules seem here to point mostly In men.
to women; yet are the men also concerned in them, and may offend against them : the reason extends to them; and if they transgress in any of these particulars, they are to blame ; and so much more than women, by how much they account themselves the more reasonable and superior creatures. Consequently, pride and vanity, and self-conceitedness, upon the score of garb and dress, vicious and loose designs, intolerable waste of time, extravagant expence, unde
, unbefitting their condition and estate, are as much prohibited to men as women by the scriptures, and are truly more shameful in man. Besides,
I cannot here forbear remarking, that it is a great reproach to the wisdom and sobriety of the men, to see the women reckon themselves so sure of gaining their designs and ends upon them, by the little arts in dressing and adorning themselves in some extraordinary manner. Is not such a practice, in effect, the same as to say, these wise and noble creatures, that are somuch our masters by design of nature, custom, and God's commands, and so superior in abilities of body and mind; are yet ensnared, by little fineries, and caught by baits as filly as the simplest birds and beasts and fishes are taken? Which is a just reflection on those who look no farther than appearances
, and are governed, not by their judgment or undere standing, but by their fancies. Be not deceived: the qualiMe ties, which should recommend people to one another, who
are to live always together, should be such as will last and continue : whereas fancy, varying upon every turn, is too weak a foundation to build the hopes of being happy upon.
So that sober married women rightly infer, that they are obliged in common prudence, to secure the affec
How to fee tion of their husbands, by putting on such good cure the qualities of the mind, as will render them accepta- husband's ble to wise and sober men, even when their beauty is decayed. And where men discern the fear of God, and a sense of religion in their wives, and see them
their affairs with wisdom and discretion, and discharge the duties of every state, mother, wife, or mistress of a family, with diligence and prudence, they cannot resist fuch qualities as these; which give them grace and comeliness throughout, and render them most lovely in the eyes of all; and will give them grace and favour in the fight of God as well as man.
XIII. A mind opposite to anger, pride, and fierceness, noi finess
, impatience, and discontent, is the greatest happiness; it keeps them eafy, and makes them
fo How to to all with whom they are conversant. For; most of the misfortunes that befal men, are more or less afflicting; as their minds are prepared to entertain them; the
same evil that overwhelms one, makes little impression upon another man. Some men grow passionate upon the least occasion; a slighting look, a doubtful or angry word, sets them on fire, whilst others bear insults and injuries, with patience and meekness. Some men are calm under great losses, others rage under little disappointments and crosses: wherefore, a meek and quiet spirit delivers them from many sufferings which the fierce, angry, and impatient are subject to.
The feed of all our passions and humours is born with us; and there is generally a predominancy of some one humour, that from our infancy bears sway above the rest, which the best education sometimes is never able to extinguish quite; for after all care, pains, art, or diligence to root it out, all men must confess that they feel in nature a tendency and byass to that side of corruption. Tho'it is certain that care and pains, and diligence, and time, and custom, and good consideration, will go a great way to correct any temper whatsoever ; and use, we say (with reason enough) is a second nature: and tho' people cannot change their tempers all together, yet they have it in their power to change them as far as God requires them to do it, viz. as far as he enables them, by reason and use to change them; and that is to prevent all mischievous effects that How from unassisted nature.
Therefore the apostle exhorts the women to aMust be dorn themselves with a meek and quiet spirit; that meek.
is, not to put off their natural temper, and be immediately changed, but so to govern themselves, as to be meek and quiet upon all occasions; that by reason and confideration they restrain themselves from falling into bitterness, impatience, and clamour : many cross accidents will happen, and they mustmeet with many provocations and fevere tryals; and if they do not arm against them, with a patient, prudent spirit, their sufferings will be doubled: they are not to be infensible, or stupid under what befals them, but to prepare that they may do nothing that misbecomes them: herein they are to exercise their reason and best abilities : matters are feldom
mended by the noise and contention that is raised; The danger they are oft-times made worse, but seldom better ; of contention. the folly or perverseness of men are not cured, nor
any unlucky accidents remedied, by fury and impatiences and those things, by indiscreet management, become too often the occasion of great mischief, which would have done little hurt. Who can compare the provocations of their anger with the events and consequences, with any tolerable fatisfaction ? Mischief and sorrow are in the midst thereof; therefore they can find no comfort therein. They who are so near related, can never comfortably reflect on their contentions with their partners and superiors, to whom they owe filence at least, and some obedience.
On the contrary, the event declares, that a meek and quiet spirit is their best wisdom and greatest interest; for, the learning people get by contention, is commonly too dearly paid for; they only find, that they have weakly lost, what they perchance
may never recover again. It is a proper question to alk, how a woman is obliged to behave herself, when she is sure her husband wan
In the case ders from her bed ? or, how far she is to exercise a of an adulmeek and quiet spirit on such ill usage, has been terous husthe subject of many enquiries : and we learn both from the laws of God and man, that in such a cafe, where it can be proved clearly, the laws of the land will, if she pleases, release her from her bands, they will leave her at liberty. But this liberty is not to be humoursome; if she again cohabit with her husband, she is presumed to have forgiven his sin, and his former trespass will not be a just occasion for her leaving him, when she thinks fit. This will
her religion and discretion ; for, she is undoubtedly obliged to claim him. procure the conversion of her husband from his evil
ways, by all the methods she possibly can ; but she is not obliged to hurt herself on his account: as far as admonitions can bring him to a sense of his injurious usage, and occasion his amendment, she will do well to endeavour it. She also engage sober people, spiritual guides, or grave relations, to work his conversion, and never with secrecy and tenderness suffer fin, when she can remove it. Yet if she be probably assured, that the man is of a churlish humour, such a son of Belial, that the very discovery of his wicked folly will harden him in his sin, or provoke hím to use her cruelly, as some
How to re
tages of a
beastly tempers do, she is not in that case obliged to endeavour to reclaim him ; for, since it is the hope of reclaiming a wandring husband, that can make such an attempt reasonable, and such hope is vain in the before supposed cases, there lies no obligation on the woman to attempt it; she is then at liberty to consult her peace and happiness, in the best manner she is able. For, so long as the prudent wife takes care that her connivance or diffembled ignorance, her compliance and her silence, or her patience and submission, give no countenance to her wicked partner to prosecute his unlawful love, she is without blame; she is not obliged to make herself miserable, by endeavouring to make him good.
A wife may permit what she cannot prevent,
and by such permission defend herselffrom wrongs; wife's meek- she may lawfully enjoy all the advantage that a li
ving with her husband can afford her, and avoid the
mischiefs that would attend a separation : in this case they have need of a meek and quiet spirit, nothing can stand them in better stead. Repeated injuries falling quick upon hasty dispositions, cut off all hope of reconcilement, and stop the way to repentance, which might have been prevented by prudent management; gentle usage wins most upon hardned minds; men are sooner persuaded by silence, when it Thews submission without sullenness,than byangry arguments. Superiority is claimed by man as his prerogative, which a meek quiet spirit will yield to him, even while it difarms him; submiffion vanquishes without resistance, whereas one dispute begets another. Meekness, patience, and forbearance are of that natural force as to remove all matter of contention; they excite a sense of shame, and gratitude, and honour, and leave the transgressor to consider the evil he has done.
ness to her self.
I. The Duty of HUSBANDS to Wives. II. Of Adultery in Husbands. III. Of Provision for Wives. Iý. Of Brotherly Love. V. Of the Duty of SERVANTS to their