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These are the little lines of a man's duty, which, like threads of light from the body of the sun, do clearly describe all the regions of his proper obligations. Now, concerning the woman's duty, although it consists in doing whatsoever her husband commands, and so receives measures from the rules of his government; yet there are also some lines of life depicted upon her hands, by which she may read and know how to proportion out her duty to her husband:
THE wife can be no ways happy unless she be governed by a prudent lord, whose commands are sober counsels, whose authority is paternal, whose orders are provisions, and whose sentences are charity.
To partake secretly, and in her heart, of all his joys and sorrows, to believe him comely and fair, though the sun hath drawn a cypress over him, (for as marriages are not to be contracted by the hands and eyes, but with reason and the heart; so are these judgments to be made by the mind, not by the sight:) and diamonds cannot make the woman virtuous, nor him to value her who sees her put them off then, when chastity and modesty are her brightest ornaments. Indeed the outward ornament is fit to take fools; but they are not worth the taking. But she that hath
a wise husband, must entice him to an eternal dearness, by the veil of modesty, and the grave robes of chastity, the ornament of meekness, and the jewels of faith and charity; her brightness must be purity, and she must shine round about with sweetnesses and friendship, and she shall be pleasant while she lives, and desired when she dies.
REMEMBER the days of darkness, for they are many; the joys of the bridal chamber are quickly past, and the remaining portion of the state is a dull progress, without variety of joys, but not without the change of sorrows; but that portion that shall enter into the grave must be eternal. It is fit that I should infuse a bunch of myrrh into the festival goblet; and, after the Egyptian manner, serve up a dead man's bones at a feast. I will only show it and take it away again; it will make the wine bitter, but wholesome.
JESUS entered into the world with all the circumstances of poverty. He had a star to illustrate his birth; but a stable for his bedchamber, and a manger for his cradle. The angels sang hymns when he was born; but he was cold, and cried, uneasy and unprovided.
All that Christ came for was, or was mingled
with. sufferings : for all those little joys which God sent, either to recreate his person, or to illustrate his office, were abated or attended with afflictions; God being more careful to establish in him the covenant of sufferings, than to refresh his sorrows. Presently after the angels had finished their hallelujahs, he was forced to fly to save his life, and the air became full of shrieks of the desolate mothers of Bethlehem for their dying babes. God had no sooner made him illustrious with a voice from heaven, and the descent of the Holy Ghost
him in the waters of baptism, but he was delivered over to be tempted and assaulted by the devil in the wilderness. His transfiguration was a bright ray of glory; but then also he entered into a cloud, and was told a sad story what he was to suffer at Jerusalem. And upon Palm Sunday, when he røde triumphantly into Jerusalem, and was adorned with the acclamations of a king and a god, he wet the palms with his tears, sweeter than the drops of manna, or the little pearls of heaven that descended upon mount Hermon; weeping in the midst of this triumph over obstinate, perishing, and malicious Jerusalem.
They that had overcome the world could not strangle christianity. But so have I seen the sun with a litte ray of distant light challenge all the power of darkness, and without violence and noise climbing up the hill, hath made night so to retire, that its memory was lost in the joys and sprightfulness of the morning : and christianity without
violence or armies, without resistance and selfpreservation, without strength or human eloquence, without challenging of privileges or fighting against tyranny, without alteration of government and scandal of princes, with its humility and meekness, with toleration and patience, with obedience and charity, with praying and dying, did insensibly turn the world into christian, and persecution into victory.‡
I have often seen young and unskilful persons
The following Extract is from the 9th of Sherlock's Discourses. Go to your Natural Religion: lay before her Mahomet and his disciples arrayed in armour and in blood, riding in triumph over the spoils of thousands and tens of thousands who fell by his victorious sword: shew her the cities which he set in flames, the countries which he ravaged and destroyed, and the miserable distress of all the inhabitants of the earth. When she has viewed him in this scene, carry her into his retirements: shew her the prophet's chamber, his concubines and wives; let her see his adultery, and hear him allege revelation and his divine commission to justify his lust and his oppression. When she is tired with this prospect, then shew her the blessed Jesus, humble and meek, doing good to all the sons of men, patiently instructing both the ignorant and the perverse: let her see him in his most retired privacies: let her follow him to the mount, and hear his devotions and supplications to God: carry her to his table to view his poor fare, and hear his heavenly discourse : let her see him injured, but not provoked: let her attend him to the tribunal, and consider the patience with which he endured the scoffs and reproaches of his enemies: lead her to the cross, and let her view him in the agony of death, and hear his last prayer for his persecutors: Father, forgive
them, for they know not what they do!"
When Natural Religion has viewed both, ask, Which is the prophet of God?
sitting in a little boat, when every little wave sporting about the sides of the vessel, and every motion and dancing of the barge seemed a danger, and made them cling fast upon their fellows ; and yet all the while they were as safe as if they sate under a tree, while a gentle wind shaked the leaves into a refreshment and a cooling shade. And the unskilful, unexperienced christian shrieks out when ever his vessel shakes, thinking it always a danger, that the watery pavement is not stable and resident like a rock; and yet all his danger is in himself, none at all from without; for he is indeed moving upon the waters, but fastened to a rock; faith is his foundation, and hope is his anchor, and death is his arbour, and Christ is his pilot, and heaven is his country; and all the evils of poverty, or affronts of tribunals and evil judges, of fears and sadder apprehensions, are but like the loud wind blowing from the right point, they make a noise and drive faster to the harbour: and if we do not leave the ship, and leap into the sea; quit the interest of religion, and run to the securities of the world; cut our cables, and dissolve our hopes; grow impatient, and hug a wave, and die in its embraces; we are as safe at sea, safer in the storm which God sends us, than in a calm when we are befriended with the world.f
PRESENTLY it came to pass that men were no longer ashamed of the cross, but it was worn upon
+ The Faith and Patience of the Saints; Serm. ix. and xi.