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the same condescending pattern, “to love his wife

his own body,” notwithstanding her defects and misconduct; to treat her with the most persevering kindness and affectionate - sympathy; to endure hardship and meet danger, in order to protect and provide for her; to employ his authority wholly for her good, and especially in promoting her sanctification and salvation ; to admit her to a full participation of all the advantages attached to his station in life ; to soothe all her sorrows with a tender attention, and a self-denying endeavour to alleviate them ; not to despise her because of infirmities, and not to allow others to despise or injure her, “but to give honour to her “ as the weaker vessel ; to be as careful not to give her needless pain or uneasiness, as he would be not to wound his own flesh; and to give up his own humoúr, nay even sometimes his reasonable inclination, rather than ruffle her temper or give her umbrage, when by any means a temporary peevishness has been excited ; and so to behave in all things that she may find it easy to respect and esteem him. In general, both of them are required to watch over each other, to tend each other in sickness, to alleviate one another's cares and sorrows, to pray for and with one another, and to avoid whatever may hinder those

hinder those prayers.

prayers. Above all things, each of them must remember to be most attentive to their several duties, when the other is most deficient: for, if only one party at once indulge a wrong temper, or fall into misconduct, few serious interruptions of domestic harmony will follow.

To these general hints, a few more may be added of a particular nature. Sometimes it is discovered after marriage, that a mistake has been made as to the religious character of the person with whom the union has been formed. In this trying case, great care must be taken that the mind be not alienated, or amicable intercourse interrupted on that account ; and that no disgust be excited by reproach, or any expression importing repentance of the union. On the other hand, seeking wisdom and grace from the Lord, without delay, by fervent and persevering prayer, the person thus situated should constantly endeavour to bear the cross cheerfully; to win upon the other by kindness and attention; to induce a concurrence in family worship, and attendance on the means of grace; and to use a prudent caution that the circumstance may be only an affliction, and not a snare to the soul.

By whatever means a pious person is thus united with an unbeliever, the same cautions are in a measure needful, and others may be added. The apostle has expressly directed, that believers should not on any such account withdraw from their partners, but should abide with them in hopes of being instrumental to their salvation. In this case the wife, whose husband “obeys not the word,” should endeavour “ to win him without the word :" not so much by frequent and earnest discourse on re ligious subjects, (which ought to be introduced very cautiously, modestly, and affectionately,) as by a “ chaste conversation, coupled with fear,” or an union of circumspect fidelity and respectful

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submission; and to render herself agreeable to him, not by the vain decorations of elegant and costly attire, but“ by the ornament of a meek and “ quiet spirit,” and the exercise of all those holy tempers, the seat of which is in the heart, and which are “in the sight of God of great value.”! In such circumstances, it may be advisable to bear unkind usage or neglect with patience, or to wait for opportunities of mild expostulation, in humble prayer and persevering submission. Thus the cross may be lightened which a contrary conduct commonly increases ; and the best method taken of “ adorning the doctrine of God our Sa

viour,” and of giving an unbeliever an affecting proof, that the truths which he rejects are most excellent in their nature and tendency. Many of the same rules may properly be adopted by the pious husband, whose wife dislikes his religion : but in the superior relation there is a propriety in more explicitly and frequently introducing religious conversation, and in requiring attendance on the means of grace, and concurrence in family worship. In both cases, such compliances as cannot be conscientiously made should be firmly but mildly refused; and, in proportion to the degree in which a decided conduct is adopted where the will of God is concerned, an obliging and yielding disposition should be manifested where personal inclination only is at stake, or where the matter is rather expedient than obligatory.

But there is a case of still greater difficulty; namely, when a believer has knowingly married an

11 Pet. iii, 1–6.

ungodly person, after having been acquainted with the truth and will of God on this subject. In general such persons flatter themselves with the hope of being the instruments of good to the object of their choice, though the reverse is by far the more common effect. Yet this hope should not afterwards be abandoned: but deep humiliation, with earnest prayers to a merciful God, to pardon and overrule for the best what cannot now be disannulled, should be considered as above all things needful. To this the observance of the foregoing rules should be added ; and the consideration of the sin, by which the cross has been incurred, should constitute an additional motive to persevering patience, meekness, and kindness, even in return for harsh treatment: and in one way or other, the Lord will support, comfort, and rescue such humble penitents, and make all work together for good to their souls.

These hints, indeed, are very inadequate to the full discussion of so copious and important a subject; but they may throw some light upon the path of those who read them with prayer, and compare them with the sacred scriptures, from an upright desire of knowing and doing the will of God, and “ adorning the doctrine of God our Sa“ viour in all things.”

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ESSA Y XXI.

THE SUBJECT CONTINUED.

Having very compendiously stated the conduct to which the principles of the gospel will influence the believer, in respect to marriage, and in the conjugal relation, we proceed,

II. To consider the reciprocal duties of parents and children. This subject indeed has been already in great measure discussed ;1 but a few hints must here be subjoined, beginning with the duty of children to their parents. The apostle exhorts “chil“ dren to obey their parents in the Lord;” in obedience to his will, for the honour of his gospel, from grateful love to the Lord Jesus, and in imitation of his example; as this also“ is right” in itself, and required by the holy law of God. The general grounds and nature of this duty have been stated; it remains for us to consider it as practised by a believer from evangelical motives. If a young disciple have the blessing of pious parents, in honouring and obeying them he will commonly honour and obey the Lord: and gratitude for the spiritual benefits derived to him by means of their instructions, example, and prayers, will be an additional incitement to a respectful, submissive, and obliging deportment; to a steady concern for their comfort, ease, interest, and re

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