And who does not see the wonderful goodness and wisdom of God, in making this arrangement at the outset, and thus ordaining the descent of the race 2 We have but a single object before us, therefore, in the present chapter; it is to present a Scriptural account of the institution of marriage, and with special reference to the religious influence of the domestic relations. The sacred writers greatly honor the institution of marriage. “Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled.” From the equality of numbers in the different sexes, to which we referred in our last chapter, it is not unnatural to conclude that it is the duty of every man, whose condition in the world justifies the belief that he is able to sustain the responsibilities of wedded life, to become a married man. I say, whose condition in the world justifies such a belief; because no man, and no woman, has the warrant to rush heedlessly into these responsibilities, unless, with the ordinary favor of providence, there is good reason to believe that they can be sustained. Depression, poverty, crime, dishonor, mortification, and death, are too often the fruits of precipitate matrimonial alliances, not to sound the note of alarm on the ear of those who never look beyond the present moment. There are doubtless exceptions to this universal obligation to the married life, arising from the employments to which men are devoted; from the disturbed and warlike, or persecuting age of the world, like that to which the Apostle Paul's advice referred, suggesting the inexpediency of marriage to the early Christians under the bloody reign of Nero. Nor do we deny that they may also arise from those melancholy providences which bereave them of the object of their first love, and leave them desolate and beyond the reach of a second attachment. But they are exceptions only; the law itself is too wise and benevolent a law to be disobeyed with impunity. The revealed motive for the creation of woman was a beautiful motive. “And the Lord God said, it is not good that man should be alone; I will make an help, meet for him.” With all his lofty faculties, and all his divinely imparted dominion, he was alone. Amid all the fertility, and fruits, and beauty of an unsullied Paradise, and all the charms and splendor of this exterior world, unveiled and unobscured by sin, he was still alone. His Maker had so formed him, that there were high and holy sympathies in his nature which solitude could not satisfy. The air would be more sweet, the fruits of Eden more delicious, the melody of its groves and the murmur of its streams the more exquisitely enjoyed, if shared with one who, with like hallowed and affectionate sympathies, could maintain a correspondence with him in thought, and language, and emotion, and, with

him, could become the grateful and happy partaker of the divine bounty. Even in his solitude, the first man was created the happiest of the race. He was happy in the tranquillity of his own mind, and in his earthly inheritance; more than all, was he happy in his delightful and delighted fellowship with his Maker. But even the services and joys of a sinless piety would be augmented and more joyous by woman's fellowship, because it would be a twofold piety and a twofold joy. There would be another being like himself, reflecting back upon his own joyous thoughts, new admiration of the wondrous Deity; another mind uttering its responsive impulses, and at the same time, by its tenderness and susceptibility, exercising a refining influence on his own. Piety may, and often does solicit retirement. Sweet and almost unearthly are its hours of solitary communion with God and things unseen; while its purest and highest joys both in earth and heaven, are the most exalted and pure, where thought responds to thought, and love commingles with love, and praise is in sweet harmony with praise. Paradise was no monastery. The spirit and joys which our first father drew from religious sources were too full for his own single heart to hold. He would have mistaken his calling if he had been a monk; and that fair and newly-created woman, taken from his side, would have been unmindful of her high and sacred destiny, if, in accordance with the ascetic teachings of a later, and certainly not a purer age, she had taken the veil. Of all men in the world, it is not good for religious men to be alone. The Creator foresaw this in relation to the first and purest of men; and provided him an associate, meet and every way fitted to share his responsibility and his joys. The man and the woman are mutually necessary to each other; the latter to soften the sterner attributes of the former, the former to fortify and ennoble the character of the latter. Nor were it an easy matter to say which has the greater need. The vow of celibacy, either in man or woman, is a wicked vow; and is as truly the bane of piety as of joy. Although the subsequent history of the first man shows that solitary piety may be ensnared by woman's importunity and loveliness, it does not show that it is not more pure, more safe, and sweeter than the piety that dwells alone. No man is secure from temptation by becoming an anchorite, nor does he find repose by merely retiring from the noise and bustle of the world. Solitary man we do not envy. No, “it is not good for man to be alone.” In youth, woman is his charm; in manhood, his protection; in old age, his comforter. In youth, he turns from a deceitful and sickening world to her, as his garden of delights, and knows no solitude. In manhood, she is his refuge from the storms which agitate and overwhelm. While in old age, the love which, amid the perplexities of middle life, was sometimes agitated and disturbed, is found to have been all the while striking its roots the deeper. Under a wise and kind ordering of God's providence, it has become like that which gladdened the day of his espousals; and he still finds that the Zephyr breathes upon the rain'bow cloud, and that under life's waning moon, he knows no solitude so long as he is with her he loves. & Man was not created a simple unity; nor yet a trinity, but a duality. “In the day that God created man, male and female created he them ; and blessed them, and called their name Adam.” The one was constituted of the two, and the two were one. The perfect man is made up of twain. Adam was not complete without Eve; when he awoke from that deep sleep, he must have had something like the consciousness that he was but half a man. Nor did he feel that he was his whole self, until God restored the rib, and he could say, “This is now bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh.” Thus do the Scriptures honor the marriage bond. The name of the married pair becomes one; their rights and privileges, their hearts, their persons are one. Nothing may sever them but the blow which dissolves the union of the body

and the soul. “Therefore shall a man leave his

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