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ers of refreshment. I deny not but some little drops will turn aside, and fall from the full channel by the weakness of the banks, and hollowness of the passage ; but the main course is still continued ; and although the most earnest and devout persons feel and complain of some looseness of spirit, and unfixed attentions, yet their love and their desire secure the main portion, and make the prayer to be strong, fervent, and effectual.
Marriage is the proper scene of piety and patience, of the duty of parents and charity of relatives; here kindness is spread abroad, and love is united and made firm as a centre; marriage is the nursery of heaven; the virgin sends prayers to God, but she carries but one soul to him; but the state of marriage fills up the numbers of the elect, and hath in it the labour of love, and the delicacies of friendship, the blessing of society, and the union of hands and hearts; it hath in it less of beauty, but more of safety than the single life; it hath more care, but less danger; it is more merry, and more sad; is fuller of sorrows, and fuller of joys; it lies under more burdens, but is supported by all the strength of love and charity, and those burdens are delightful. Marriage is the mother of the world, and preserves kingdoms, and fills cities, and churches, and heaven itself.
Celibacy, like the fly in the heart of an apple, dwells in perpetual sweetness, but sits alone, and is confined
and dies in singularity ; but marriage, like the useful bee, builds a house and gathers sweetness from every flower, and labours and unites into societies and republics, and sends out colonies, and feeds the world with delicacies, and obeys their king, and keeps order, and exercises many virtues, and promotes the interest of mankind, and is that state of good things, to which God hath designed the present constitution of the world.
They that enter into the state of marriage, cast a dye of the greatest contingency, and yet of the greatest interest in the world, next to the last throw for eternity.
Life or death, felicity or a lasting sorrow, are in the power of marriage. A woman, indeed, ventures most, for she hath no sanctuary to retire to from an evil husband ; she must dwell upon her sorrow; and she is inore under it, because her tormentor hath a warrant of prerogative, and the woman may complain to God, as subjects do of tyrant princes, but otherwise she hath no appeal in the causes of unkindness. And though the man can run from many hours of his sadness, yet he must return to it again, and when he sits among his neighbours, he remembers the objection that lies in his bosom, and he sighs deeply.
The boys, and the pedlars, and the fruiterers, shall tell of this man, when he is carried to his grave, that he lived and died a poor wretched person. The stags in the Greek epigram, whose knees were clogged with frozen snow upon the mountains, came down to the brooks of the valleys, χλιήναι νοτερούς άσθμασιν ωκι
yovv, hoping to thaw their joints with the waters of the stream ; but there the frost overtook them, and bound them fast in ice, till the young herdsmen took them in their stronger snare. It is the unhappy chance of many men, finding many inconveniences upon the mountains of single life, they descend into the valleys of marriage to refresh their troubles, and there they enter into fetters, and are bound to sorrow by the cords of a man's or woman's peevishness.
Every little thing can blast an infant blossom ; and the breath of the south can shake the little rings of the vine, when first they begin to curl like the locks of a new weaned boy; but when by age and consolidation they stiffen into the hardness of a stem, and have, by the warm embraces of the sun, and the kisses of heaven, brought forth their clusters, they can endure the storms of the north, and the loud noises of a tempest, and yet never be broken; so are the early unions of an unfixed marriage ; watchful and observant, jealous and busy, inquisitive and careful, and apt to take alarm at every unkind word. For infirmities do not manifest themselves in the first scenes, but in the succession of a long society; and it is not chance or weakness, when it appears at first, but it is want of love or prudence, or it will be so expounded; and that which appears ill at first usually affrights the unexperienced man or woman, who makes unequal conjectures, and fancies mighty sorrows, by the proportions of the new and early unkindness. It is a very great passion, or a huge folly, or a certain want of love, that cannot preserve the colours and beauties of kindness, so long as public honesty requires a man to wear their sorrows for the death of a friend.
There is nothing can please a man without love; and is a man be weary of the wise discourses of the Apostles, and of the innocency of an even and private fortune, or hates peace, or a fruitful year, he hath reaped thorns and thistles from the choicest flowers of paradise ; for nothing can sweeten felicity itself, but love.
No man can tell, but he that loves his children, how many delicious accents make a man's heart dance in the pretty conversation of those dear pledges; their childishness, their stammering, their little angers, their innocence, their imperfections, their necessities are so many little emanations of joy and comfort to him, that delights in their persons and society; but he, that loves not his wife and children, feeds a lioness at home, and broods a nest of sorrows; and blessing itself cannot make him happy; so that all the commandments of God, enjoining a man to love his wife, are nothing but so many necessities and capacities of joy.
He that repents, confesses his own error, and the righteousness of God's laws, and by judging himself, acknowledges that he deserves punishment; and there
DEPENDANCE OF RELIGION ON GOVERNMENT.
fore that God is righteous, if he punishes him; and, by returning, confesses God to be the fountain of felicity, and the foundation of true, solid, and permanent joys, saying, in the sense and passion of the disciples, “ whither shall we go, for thou hast the words of eternal life?” and, by bumbling himself, exalts God, by making the proportions of distance more immense and vast. And as repentance does contain in it all the parts of holy life, which can be performed by a returning simer, (all the acts and habits of virtue being but parts, or instances, or effects of repentances ;) so all the actions of a holy life do constitute the mass and body of all those instruments, whereby God is pleased to glorify himself.
For if God is glorified in the sun and moon, in the rare fabric of the honey comb, in the discipline of bees, in the economy of ants, in the little houses of birds, in the curiosity of an eye, God being pleased to delight in those little images and reflexes of himself from those pretty mirrors, which like a crevice in a wall, through a narrow perspective transmit the species of a vast excellency; much rather shall God be pleased to behold himself in the glasses of our obedience, in the emissions of our will and understanding; these being rational and apt instruments to express him, far better than the natural, as being nearer communications of himself.
DEPENDANCE OF RELIGION ON GOVERNMENT.
Above all things those sects of Christians, whose professed doctrine brings destruction and diminution to