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OF THE

DUTIES OF THE MARRIED STATE.

INTRODUCTION.

ON THE SOCIAL NATURE AND CHARACTER OF MAN.

The entire community of mankind is, in an allusive sense, justly represented as one grand and vast body; in the plan of the Creator, of admirable constitution, and most excelling order, and formed for the noblest purposes of reasonable life, intermingling benevolence, moral rectitude, and happiness. And from hence it follows, that the relations of men to men, and of each to the whole, must, while the present state of things continues, be indissoluble; their dependence mutual, universal, eternal; their right to all humane and social offices unalienable; their interests strictly united and inseparable. Thus has the Almighty source of being, and Parent of good, founded and established the widely extended community of mankind, to be enlivened and cherished by a spirit of benevolence diffuseb through all its parts; and given it a rank suiteb to its powers, amongst intelligent and moral

B

There are very

orders, the most sublime and glorious of all his works.

What the members of the natural body are to each other, and with respect to the whole body, that the rational human members are among themselves, and as parts of the complete constitution and society of men. few exceptions, that can, I think, be made to the general comparison; and scarce one perhaps, in those essential instances, on which alone the allusion is grounded. In the outward corporeal structure, there are no jarrings or contrarieties; there is no such thing as a detached member, all whose functions terminate in itself. This would introduce the utmost disorder and confusion; render the body of man, as a compound frame, quite unserviceable and useless; and blot out all the characters of adorable divine wisdom, that are now so strongly engraven upon it: nay, the consequence, in many cases, must be, the immediate and utter extinction of animal life.

On the contrary, on what does its health, its ease, its very subsistence as a sensitive machine, its ministration to the soul, and to the high purposes of reason, so evidently depend, as on the nice proportion and adjustment, and the harmonious concurring operation of its various parts? Might not a man altogether as well want a head,

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