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entitled unto an admission to the marriage Supper of the Lamb. 02
Sincerely wishing, that you and your beloved may always assist and encourage each other, to fulfil the duties, and enjoy the pleasures and advantages of the married state;
The Duties of the Marriage State continued.
October 27, 1812. - MY DEAR SIR,
The performance of duties, when attended to with diligence, and in a right spirit, is always productive of great advantage. It is pleasant to reflect, that we have made it our study to serve our generation by the will of God: and our very deficiencies, if they are sanctified to us, will lead us to admire and use the gracious provision made for us in our Redeemer.
The more conscious we are of our deficiencies, and the more humble we are on account of them, the more dependant we
shall be upon the gracious influences of the Holy Spirit; through whose assistance alone we can pray as we ought, and perform the duties of our stations with propriety. For it is his office to convince us of our sins,-to'show us our need of a Saviour, -- and also to glorify the Saviour, by discovering to us, that the work which he did for us, is completely sufficient for our salvation.
Without me, says our Saviour, ye can do nothing. He has fulfilled the holy law for us, and has borne the curse due to our sins in his own person, that we might be pardoned and justified, through the work which he undertook and com. pleted as our surety.
That it is his obedience, and not our own, through which we are justified, is plain. For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.' I cannot understand what else can be meant by his being the end of the law for righteousness to every one that be. lieveth :' but, that he obeyed the law for us, that we might be justified' through his obedience-or through his righteousness, which is the same thing. For what is righteousness, but fulfilling all
the duties which God requires ? We have not performed those duties ;-but Jesus did, and that for us, that we might receive the gift of righteousness. That we might be righteous in him:--that his righteousness, namely, his life of holy obedience to the law, might be imputed to us, and be ours as mucit as if we had rendered that obedience ourselves. " That we might be found in him, not having our own righteousness, but the righteousness which is through the faith of Christ; the righteousness which is of God by faith.? That righteousness, my dear Sir, is called a wedding garment, and a garment of salvation,--a robe of righteousness. Doctor Watts very properly observes :
• The Spirit wrought my faith, and love,
The robe of righteousness.' Our adorable Saviour, however, not only lived a life of obedience, and died a death of pain and suffering for us: but he also encourages us to expect all necessary assistance from himi, to enable us to learn of him, and to be like him.
Let it then be our constant study to imitate him:--for as he loved the church,
so ought husbands and wives to love each other.
There are many little attentions to be observed in our duties, which cannot fully be described :
• Since trifles make the sum of human things,
And half our misery from our foibles springs, .O let th’ungentle spirit learn from hence,
A small unkindness is a great offence.
Corrode our comfort, and destroy our peace.' · Be watchful therefore, my dear friends, and remember to exemplify at all times,
« The gentle offices of patient love,
To maintain this affectionate regard in all its purity, married persons must place the utmost confidence in each other. The
wife must have no secrets to keep from her husband: nor must she do any thing, in which he ought to be consulted, without his knowledge and full consent. She must have no bosom friend but him. If she has any inclination that she fears he will not approve, she must either repress it, or mention it to him, in such a manner, that he may see she is willing and determined to please him, and abide by his affectionate advice.
In: like manner, the husband must avoid all reserve: he must have no secrets that cannot be trusted to his wife. Be not deceived, my dear friend, by the common but false opinion, that " a woman cannot keep a secret.” If you would maintain the spirit of the marriage covenant, your heart must safely trust in your wife, without any reserve. Keep nothing from her, but encourage her, by every possible means, to maintain unli. mited confidence in you: especially by letting her see that she is in all things as your own soul. If you are thus one in heart you have nothing to fear, she will certainly do you good, and not harm, all the days of her life.
• When mutual trust, and mutual vows,
Put all reserve to flight,