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The bliss our mortal state allows
Truth makes wedlock happy prove,
. I am fearful, my dear Sir, that many of our sex injure themselves, and subtract from the weight of their own character, in the opinions of their wives, by being 'too reserved, and not making them fully acquainted with all their minds. This is a very dangerous example to be set by either, and must by all means be avoided.
On the other hand, many of the fair sex lower themselves in their husbands' esteein, by not consulting them respecting the decorations of their persons, or their houses. Upon these subjects let us hear the Apostle's injunctions : « Likewise 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. Whose adorning, let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the Irair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on apparel : but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the or
nament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. For after this manner, in the old time, the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands.
Likewise ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers be not hindered.”
To whom should a woman desire to appear lovely, but to her husband ? Whose taste can she possibly consult to advantage but his ? Her person ought to be adorned only to please him. And whatever pleases him, ought to please her. The care and pains she took to please him before marriage, ought to be doubled, if possible, when she becomes his wife. This is evident from the duty enjoined her, to adorn herself with a meek and quiet spirit. Not that she is to neglect her person; far from it; but the care she takes to adorn her person, must only serve to remind her of that incomparably more valuable ornament, which she can never take too inuch pains to cultivate; which is in the sight of God
of great price : and which will be sure to make her the admiration and delight of a good husband.
Not only are all the ornaments of dress unworthy to be compared with that inward adorning; but even the much superior advantage of an elegant person shrinks into insignificance in the comparison.
" What is the blooming tincture of the skin, To peace of mind, and harmony within What the bright sparkling of the finest eye, To the soft soothing of a calm reply · Can comeliness of torm, or shape, or air, With comeliness of words, or deeds, compare ? No; those at first th' unwary heart may gain; But these—these only, can the heart retain.' There is reason however to fear, that at times some of the fair sex gratify the desire of making an agreeable appearance, without consulting the taste of their husbands;--and sometimes perhaps they venture to do it without considering the consequence. Oh let the object of love, be careful not to lose any of her loveliness : but let her remember that one of the worst afflictions that could befal her, would be for her husband to think meanly of her. And yet it would be difficult for him to avoid it, if he found her occasionally using little artifices to deceive him.
· Blest is the wife, and worthy to be blest,
And gratitude forbid desire of change.' But human nature is lamentably frail, and great allowances must be made for a variety of circumstances, which cannot possibly be described: and after all, the husband must never forget, that he must "dwell with her according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife as to the weaker vessel.'. These words, the weaker vessel, have been quoted and applied, as if the Apostle used the expression in a degrading sense: but we cannot honour that which is contempti. ble, therefore the expression can only be used to imply the feminine character, which is, and ought to be, by the just rules of courtesy, treated with respect and honour.
• Does the husband possess superiority of any kind ? It is evidently intended not to oppress, but to support. His greater strength is given for his wife's protection ; his more vigorous or profound powers of thought, are designed
to be her instructor and guide. What. ever advantage, real or apparent, each may have above the other, providence clearly wills that it should be employed for the comfort and benefit of the other. A contention of mutual affection, beneficence, forbearance, forgiveness, is the only strife which nature, reason, and decency, permit to this state and relaa tion.'
It should be considered as an object of great importance with married persons, to prevent (if possible) any dife ference of opinion from arising between themselves : but when a difference does arise upon any subject, the great art of maintaining peace, is, never to persist in any thing that is wrong; but immediately to acknowledge one's error. But suppose a case, which frequently happens, that both think themselves in the right; yet surely it can be no diffi. culty to us, to admit that it is possible to be mistaken, even though we do not see it at present. All disputes should be cautiously abstained from; but contention in anger, must absolutely be avoided. It is impossible to exchange three senten. ces in anger, without danger of interrupt. ing your peace: for those persons who love