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may not be your lot to have a family of children. Should this be your case, it will be your duty, your wisdom, and your happiness, to be entirely submissive to the will of God. It does not become us to be anxious in this matter; for whatever he appoints is best. Therefore, if he withold the fruit of the womb, we ought to be content.
Some arguments might also be taken from the state of the times, were it necessary, to reconcile persons to the want of children.
Thus you perceive, my dear Sir, that before I end the pleasures, I am verging rapidly towards the sorrows of the marriage state. I shall therefore conclude this part of the subject, with an extract from Doctor Watts.
shall thews of the mas
THE ACCOUNT BALANCED.
His comforts and his cares ;
Than all the stars above.
Thy mighty losses and thy gains .
Are their own mutual measures;
Can reckon up thy pleasures.
Damon is half divinely blest,
Then the sweet passions mix and share ;
Nor can thy soul's remotest part
Say what a pitch thy pleasures fly,
While thy dear offspring round thee sit, Or sporting innocently at thy feet
Thy kindest thoughts engage :
Those little images of thee,
And growing props of age !
Blows from the sickly south, and brings
Relentles death sits close behind : Now gasping infants, and a wife in tears,
With piercing groans, salutes his ears, Thro' every vein the thrilling torments roll;
While sweet and bitter are at strife
In those dear miseries of life,
The pleasing sense of love awhile
And make a feeble fight:
Then every smiling pas:ion dies,
And hope alone with wakeful eyes Darkling and solitary waits the slow returning light.
Here then let my ambition rest,
When I the laws of love obey;
In equal balance ever reign,
" On this dull stage of clay :
Since half the year is day If in describing the pleasures of the marriage state, I have mixed some dark shades with the brighter scenes ; it is because God has been pleased to blend our pleasures and our sorrows, in such a man. ner, that he who enjoys the former, must also be a partaker of the latter.
Wishing you the enjoyment of all the . felicity that love and friendship can produce, :
I remain, &c.
* In treating on the Sorrows at. tendant on Matrimony, I preface my letter with the remarks of Beattie. " The real ills of life Claim the full.vigour of a mind prepar'd, Prepar'd for patient, long, laborious strife, Its guide experience and truth its guard. We fare on earth as other men have fared : Were they successful ? Let us not despair. Was disappointment of their sole reward? Yet shall their tale instruct, if it declare.
How they have borne the load,
Though I cannot retract any thing I have stated, respecting the advantages, and the pleasures, of the marriage state; being fully convinced, that they far exceed what I can describe ; yet it must be acknowledged, that he who increases his pleasures must at the same time inerease his sorrows. Nevertheless, depend upon it, that the man who remains single to escape the sorrows of the marriage state, will deny himself the enjoyment of some of the most rational, and delightful pleasures wbich are allotted to us in this world of affliction and sorrow.
I have met with many, (says Dr. John. son, who live single for the reason just mentioned ; but I never found that their prudence ought to raise envy. They dream away their lives without friendship, without fondness, and are driven to rid themselves of the time, for which they have no use, by childish amusements, or vicious delights. They act as beings under the constant sense of some known inferiority, that fills their ininds with rancour, and their tongues with censure. They are peevish at home, and malevolent abroad ; and, as the outlaws of human nature, make it their business, and their pleasure, to disturb that society which debars them from its privileges. To live without feeling or exciting sympathy, to be fortunate without adding to the felicity of others, or afflicted without tasting the balm of pity, is a state more gloomy than solitude; it is not retreat, but exclusion from mankind. Marriage has many pains, but celibacy has no pleasures.'
No man can possibly partake of the inexpressible pleasures, enjoyed by husbands, and fathers; without enduring the