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There is nothing can please a man without love ; and if a man be weary of the wise discourses of the apostles, and of the innocency of an even and private
une, 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 it
+ Gentle SHEPHERD, Scene 2.
I shall ha’e delight
Can greater pleasure be
Is to be made of, and obtain a kiss ? See also Burns' Cotter's Saturday Night, where the children are so beautifully described :
At length his lonely cot appears in view,
Beneath the shelter of an aged tree;
To meet their dad, wi’ flichterin noise an' glee.
His clean hearth-stane, his thriftie wifie's smile,
Does a' his weary carking cares beguile,
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. She that is loved is safe, and he that loves is joyful.
HE SHOULD SET A GOOD EXAMPLE TO HIS WIFE.
ULYSSES was a prudent man, and a wary counsellor, sober and severe; and he efformed his wife into such imagery as he desired; and she was chaste as the snows upon the mountains : diligent as the fatal sisters; always busy and always faithful, she had a lazy tongue, and a busy hand.
HIS CHASTITY SHOULD BE UNSPOTTED.
ABOVE all the instances of love, let him preserve towards her an inviolable faith and an unspotted chastity, for this is the · Marriage Ring :' it ties two hearts by an eternal band; it is like the cherubim's flaming sword, set for the guard of paradise; for he that passes into that garden, now that it is immured by Christ and the church, enters into the shades of death.
Now, in this grace, it is fit that the wisdom and severity of the man should hold forth a pure taper, that his wife may, by seeing the beauties and transparency of that crystal, dress her mind and her body by the light of so pure reflections.
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 upon 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