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male biography of the richest kind, that the most classic and Christian author would be at a loss to make selections that would do justice, even to himself. He might conduct you to the thrones of princesses, and to the cottages of peasants, and there show you woman in her loveliest virtues. He might point you to her counsels of wisdom as treasured up in volumes alike endeared to the wise and the unwise. He might direct you to halls where science has baptized her thousands by female hands. We are not ambitious of this arduous, though delightful work; yet is there this one thing of which we are ambitious, to elevate the

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standard of female excellence. We would fain have you dwell upon those inimitably beautiful touches of female character delineated by the writers of the Old and New Testament. We would ask you to inspect, with us, the records of churches from which the young and the beautiful have gone forth to be the adornment of heathen lands. We might go with you to the graves of the departed, and there where mothers sleep, and the cypress mourns, spell out names that were the glory of their sex. We might pass with you to the evervarying scenes where woman lives not for time, but for eternity; and you might visit, with us, scenes where many a faithful servant of God complains not of the cross, because he bears it with such a helper, and no longer deems his way rugged and tedious and mournful, because he is travelling with such a comforter and friend. Let woman put on the whole armor of God, and true soldiers of the cross will not be wanting. Their armor will be bright, as hers is embellished; and as is her valor, so will be theirs. God has given woman beauty, loveliness, and self-denying courage; we have nothing to ask for her but consistent piety. Let woman be pious, and how will man feel the impulses of her piety how will this ungodly world feel the constraints of redeeming mercy, and how soon would it realize the vision of the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, coming down from God out

of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her

husband - 8

CHAPTER WI.
Čjt first 34 sittingt.

THERE are few subjects the Scriptures treat of more instructively, or even with greater solemnity, than the subject of Marriage. They reveal to us its origin, its sacred intimacies, and its great design and object. They speak of the matrimonial bond as constituting a union of the highest order, as the most exalted and inviolable of all earthly relations; and in order to put upon it the most emphatic seal of the divine approbation, they compare it to the union between Christ and his church, and consecrate its endearment and tenderness by the love which exists between the Redeemer of men and his own redeemed people. “We love him,” says the apostle, “because he first loved us.” It is the order of nature and of God, that the man should first love the woman, and that the woman should respond to the affections of the man. I find nothing in the Bible about marriages of mere expediency and interest. There are such marriages; as calculating as an algebraic equation, and as cold as the moonlight on the frozen sea. And though such marriages sometimes turn out well, the history of the domestic feuds that have embittered our world would form an instructive comment on the words, “from the beginning it was not so.” Among the first things, after the narrative of the completed creation, we have an account of the marriage of the first parents of our race. It had the sanction of God himself, for He was its immediate author. The halls where these holy nuptials were celebrated, were the primeval Paradise, overhung by the clear, blue heavens. The happy pair were the first man and the first woman. God himself was the Great High Priest. Attending angels were the witnesses; while these morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy. Ancient mythology seems to have had some traditionary and indistinct inkling of this beautiful transaction, when it represented the reciprocal attachment of the sexes as the offspring of the Zephyr and the rainbow. How much more beautiful was the simple reality, as narrated by the sacred historian | “And the rib which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man " Adam did not take his newly-created bride until she was given to him by his and her Creator. She was God's gift, and she is God's gift; it is still a truth, that “a prudent wife is from the Lord.” It is worthy of remark, that such were the ar

rangements of unerring wisdom in regard to the human family during the period of their unfallen integrity. But how much more important in its influences upon a race that is fallen With the foreknowledge of their approaching apostasy, and a far-reaching wisdom and purpose, the benevolent Deity here laid the foundation of the domestic relations. And they embosomed those restraining, conservative, and hallowed agencies destined to act on the successive generations of men, and effectively coöperate with that wondrous method of redeeming mercy which as yet lay undisclosed within his own benevolent mind, and which time, and all the institutions and events of time, exist only to unfold. This great work of mercy was to be a progressive work. It was pre-arranged for a race, not called into existence by a single act of creative power, but that sprang from a common pair, and whose progeny were to cover this outstretched globe, as the sands cover the sea-shore. The arrangement might have involved a promiscuous intercourse of the sexes; it might have been a divinely authorized polygamy to the end of the world. But it was neither of these ; it was marriage—the marriage of one man with one woman, inseparable but by death, or conjugal infidelity.

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