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virtuous woman ! it is to be hoped that a child trained up in the way in which he should go, by a tender mother, will never depart from it. But should the impulse of youthful passion lead him astray from the holy commandment, what means would be so likely to reclaim him as the recollection of a mother's feelings, and the consideration of her pious lessons !
In the education of her own sex, the mother seens to be more than a help meet for man. The trust chiefly, if not entirely devolves upon her, and where could it be disposed of so well? The knowledge which she has of herself, her experience of the world, and her maternal affections are all that she needs to qualify her for this arduous undertaking. A mother only can enter into the feelings, the weaknesses and the necessities of a young female, just entering on an unknown, a varying, a tempestuous and dangerous ocean of human life, for she remembers how she herself felt and feared, what she needed, how she was relieved, assisted and carried through ; and to a mother only can a young female impart the numberless, nameless anxieties which every step she takes in life must necessarily excite. When she converses with her mother she only thinks aloud. The good conduct of a mother is one of the loveliest patterns of virtue, and the hope of a mother's applause is, next to God's approbation, the most powerful motive to imitate it. The superiority of female to male youth in respect of morals is clearly deducible from the larger share which the mother has. in their common education. Behold then how much help man derives from a good wife, in the education of their common offspring ! and what pity then is it that, without great necessity, it should ever be consigned to less skilful, less affectionate and less suc. cessful hands !
2d. A good wife will help to improve and increase your estate. No man ever prospered much in the world without the consent and co-operation tio wtro, Ter nim
Augat, never so regular, so industrious, so successful, so intelligent : all goes for nothing if his wife is profuse, disorderly, indolent, or unfaithful to her trust. By much slothfulness the building decayeth, and through idleness of the hands the house droppeth through. But , how good a thing it is, and how pleasant, when the gracious intentions of God and of nature are fulfil1ed; with what spirit and perseverance will a man labor *n his vocation when he knows that his earnings will be faithfully disposed of and carefully improved : with what confidence does he resort to his study, tó trade, to his farm, to his merchandize; he will Ay over the land, and over the sea, he will meet difficulty and danger, if he has an assurance that he is not spending his time an:) strength in vain: that all is well and safe at home : that indulgent heaven has crowned all his other blessings with an help meet for him, a discreet manager of his estate, a fellow laborer with him from a sense of duty, from interest and affection. This is the portrait of a good wife drawn by the inspiration of God in 31st chapter of Proverbs which I sincerely recommend to be attentively read by each female in my parish, and in the world, at least once in every week, and may heaven bless you, my fair hearers in the resemblance.
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3d. A good wife will augment all your joys. The Hermit, the solitary, the single man is only half blest at best.
“Nature in zeal for human amity
" To social nan true relish of himself," or of any thing else in the Universe. Atone, man feels a double weight in all his afllictions while he only half enjoys the blessings of life. To enjoy the comforts of life with a full relish, man must have a companion, he must have a friend, he must be married, he must have a wife ; her company, her conversation, her affection, will add favor to the most delicious viands ; improve the beauty of the most delightful prospects ; give vivacity to the social circle ; tranquility to solitude ; music to groves ; tragrance to flowers ; brightness to the firmament ; and splendor to the sun ! social happiness ; truc and essential social happiness resides only in the bosom of love
and in the arms of friendship. Affectionate intercourse produces an inexhaustable fund of delight; it is the perennial sunshine of the soul. With what anxiety then should we endeavor to find an amiable being with whom we may form a tender tie, a close attachment, who may inspire us with unfading bliss and receive an increase of happiness from our endearments and attention ! O how grcatly do such connections increase the kind and benevolent affections of the human heart! how greatly do such dispositions, while they lead the mind to the enjoyment of domestic happiness, awaken all the virtues, and call forth all the best and strongest energies of the mind. Deprived of the chaste and endearing sympathies of Love, the species would sink into gross sensuality or mute indifference, they would neglect the improvement of their faculties and renounce all anxiety to please. But incited by love, the sexes cultivate their faculties, every intellectual energy is called into action : and by endeavoring to promote the happiness of others, they secure their own.
4th. A good wife will help to alleviate all your afflictions. It is pleasant to have a companion in solitude, an assistant in labor, a fellow partner in joy : but human life contains varieties, painful as well as pleasant--sorrow, pain, solicitude, and disappointment enter into the history of man ; and he is but half provi. ded for the voyage of life who has found an associate for his happier days only, while for his days of darkness and distress,
distress, no sympathizing partner, no help meet is prepared. But the provident care of the Almighty meets every lawful wish, every real want of man : and in bestowing on him à companion for his youth, a sharer in his felicity, a partner in his property, heaven was securing for him, at a distance, a friend in old age, a solace in affliction, a partner in want, a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. Is the Husband persecuted ? does he incur censure where he hoped for applause ? does he provoke opposition, where he hoped for co-operation ? is his good, evil spoken of? does envy shoot at him her fiery darts ?
does calumny spread over him her monster figured mantle, does slander raise aloud her opprobrious voice, and malice 'scar him with her insidious bolts ? where shall he fly for an asylum ? to whom shall he repair for repose ? let hiin retire to the sanctuary of his own dwelling, let him flee to the bosom of his own wise : and though the whole world should be shut against him, she will receive him with open arms : though the whole world should frown upon him, she will receive him with a smile. With affectionate assiduity she will remove eve ery object from his eye, every sound from his ear, every impression from his memory which is calculated to increase the painful sensibilities of his heart. She will strive by her conversation to divert, by her smiles to cheer, and by her caresses to soothe him. She will remind him of the Father of mercies and the God of all consolation : by her influence she will draw. him to the throne of divine grace : if he cannot pray for the anguish of his spirit, she will pray for him; and having found mercy for what is past and obtained grace to help in time of need, he will be able to rejoice in persecution for righteousness sake, knowing that great will be his reward in Heaven,
Is he afflicted in body ! is he wasting with pining sickness, or groaning under excruciating pain? his affectionate partner will attend him in the double capacity of nurse and physician-with what patience will she sit by him from evening to morning ! with what sympathy will she endeavour to alleviate the acuteness of his pain ! with what tenderness will she strive to sooth him to beneficial repose ! how easy the bed which she softens, how reviving the cordial which she mingles ! how potent the medicine which she administers ! and oh, how sweet the return of health after sickness when the helpmeet for him has been the means of its restoration.
5th. A good wife will help to secure your eternal salvation. Is the husband walking in the way of righteousness, Alas ! in the world he will meet with many temptations to depart from it, from which she, as a woman, is exempted, she can spend more hours in converse with Heaven and with God while he is obliged to attend to the earthly
Cares of his farm, his merchandize, or his trade. But hei exemptions and her advantages will serve the better to qualify her to become the help meet for her husband in the important interests of his soul and of eternity. Her deep and undisturbed communion with God will be improved in his behalf: the fruit of her retirement and leisure, her reading and reflection will be modestly applied to the important purposes of directing him in perplexity and succouring him in temptation. Is he unhappily led astray from the path of rectitude, the steady inAuence of her mild, gentle unostentatious piety, like a friendly angel will beckon him to return to the way of peace and
r al pleasure ; and will probably prevail when all other means have lost their effect. The inspiration of God says-ye wives be in subjection to your own husbands, that if any obey not the word, they also may without the word, be won by the conversation of the wives, while they_behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Does the Husband embrace and hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life ! this hope will be greatly enhanced by the animating prospect of enjoying it forever in her company, his piety will become more ardent hy being social, they will take sweet counsel and go to the house of God together in love, they will lift up their hearts and their voices together in the prayers and praises of the church, they will dwell together as heirs of the grace of life, that their prayers may not be hindered, and whatsoever they agree to ask concerning the salvation of their souls it shall be granted them by their common Father who is in Heaven. In these respects and in many more which might be mentioned, a good wife is really a help meet for her husband, she is a great blessing to him.
I proceed now, as was proposed, to suggest a few practical hints to the single and married of both sexes in relation to marriage. And first, This subject simply but very clearly unfolds the nature of woman, 'her station, her duty, her use, and the end for which she was made. It raises her to her proper rank and importance, and instructs her how most effectually to support them. It forbids her to aspire after rule : it secrres for her affec