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THE BLESSING OF THE CHURCH ON l of their plan. Having been too much clated MARRIAGE.
with their prospects, having fondly terminated Almighty God, who at the beginning did
their hopes in each other, and forgotten their create our first parents, Adam and Eve, and
immediate dependence on the Almighty, they did sanctify and join them together in mar
have not enjoyed that blessing from above riage, pour upon you the riches of His grace,
which is necessary to secure the permanent sanctify and bless you ; that ye may please
happiness of the matrimonial state. Him both in body and soul, and live together
Mr. Addison, and some other writers, have in holy love unto your lives' end. Amen.
occasionally treated of many little impropriMarriage Service.
eties which married persons are apt to commit. Their instructions upon these heads
are worthy of notice in their proper place ; MARRIAGE CONSIDERED RELIGIOUSLY.
but none of them that I have seen go to the
bottom of the subject. The great impropriety, We may often observe, that a sincere and the first cause of every other miscarriage, mutual affection at the beginning is not suffi is our unhappy propensity to propose a rest cient to procure a continuance of happiness and satisfaction merely in the creature. So to married persons. And this happens, not far as we attempt this, the Lord, either in from the want of amiable qualities on either mercy or in judgment, will assuredly disapside, nor through any imprudence which the point us. He will multiply the sorrows of most intimate friends of the parties can ob- those who thus presume to seek after another serve; but from an error in the foundation god; for He is jealous of His glory, and will not give it to our idols. It is the Holy Scrip- desires, and when we have sown the wind, to ture alone which furnishes us with rules or reap the whirlwind ? motives sufficient to direct and animate us in. And as it is necessary to begin this great the various relations of life ; especially in design in submission to the will of God, so this, which is of all others the most honour- ! it must also be conducted, with respect to able, the most intimate, and the most impor- the end, in subordination to His glory. We tant. It is the most honourable, as instituted cannot, consistently with our Christian proby God himself, and appointed as an emblem fession, either entreat or expect a blessing of the love and indissoluble union between upon such of our designs as may terminate Christ and His Church ; in which respect the solely in ourselves. So far as we can, upon Apostle scruples not to call it a great mystery. the closest consideration, foresee the circumIt is the most intimate, because it is expressly stances and engagements which our new ordained to supersede all other relations and relation may bring us into, it behoves us to connections ; "for this cause shall a man resolve (by Divine assistance), that we will leave his father and mother, and cleave to act in them as those who are not their own, his wife ; and they two shall be one flesh.” but “ bought with a price." And it is by far the most important, as The due observance of these two points having a necessary influence, either good or will necessarily lead to a third, namely, to bad, upon every future action and circum make choice of such a partner for life as we stance of our lives.
have good reason to believe is under the It would not be an easy task to point out same principles; and not to be so misled by and illustrate the nature, rise, and improve any plausible appearances as to unite ourment of that peculiar sympathy of soul selves with any person in whom these prinwhich takes place in those whose hearts as ciples have not in some measure taken well as hands are joined in marriage ; which place. A want of care in this matter has so far resembles the joy of a good con filled many a pious heart with anguish science that it is hard to represent it to those through all the remaining years of life. When who have not felt it, and next to impossible a truly religious person marries one who to describe it but from experience. Conjugal has no relish for spiritual things, that indi. affection, wherever it appears, exhibits the vidual is taking up a heavy burden which fairest prospect of human happiness; though can never be laid aside. How greatly must too often it is like a beautiful edifice raised the worship of God in the closet, and in the upon an insufficient foundation. But when family, be interrupted or distracted in such a it is formed and cherished under the influence case! How must the improvement of chilof true religion, it is firm and lasting.
dren and domestics be hindered, and the I write now for those, whose temper or cir force of good example lessened! How must cumstances inclining them to a married life, the Christian husband be wounded in his have yet their choice to make. Few persons, soul, when, deeply impressed with the love warm in the pursuit of their own inclinations, of God shed abroad in his heart, he would and relying on the sufficiency of their own fain look upon a beloved wife as the sharer judgments, will be either pleased or profited of his joys > by my remarks; but those who are truly
“Sure is the knot that true religion ties; serious and considerate will perhaps discover
And love that's rightly grounded never dies." their expediency. At all events, the following rules are of the utmost importance in this Or when, under distress or temptation, he matter :
needs or carnestly desires the assistance of Whoever would hope for comfort in the her counsel and prayers ; but, in either case, marriage relation must, in the first place, | can meet with no return but coldness, surprise, humbly submit himself and his designs and misapprehension ! entirely to the disposal of the Almighty, and How must it add to his grief in a time of earnestly seek the direction of His wisdom trouble, and damp his pleasures in brighter and providence. We have a promise that if | hours, to reflect on the dangerous situation we acknowledge God in all our ways He will of one whose interest is dearer to him than direct our paths ; but if we reject His offer, his own life! If divine providence takes her and choose for ourselves, what have we to from him in such estate, how deep and bitter expect, but to be filled with vicious or vain | must be his mourning! How hard will he find it to silence the bodings of his heart, THE SANCTITY OF MARRIAGE. and to resign her into the hands of that God
From Jesus Christ and His Spirit, marriage to whom, as he fiars, she lived and died
and home received a new sanction and a new a stranger! If he should be called first from her, with
position in the whole world. In spite of all what anguish must it perhaps fill his dying
the fancies, and perversions, and exaggerahours, to think that their present parting is too
tions of later times, the institution of Chrislikely to be an eternal separation ; and that
tian marriage and the blessings of a Christian he leaves her in the midst of the snares and
home are such as have indeed been worthy calamities of an evil world, without an in
of the “beginning of miracles” in Cana of
Galilee. They are the bulwarks of nations terest in those precious promises which, he
and churches; they are the salt of human knows, are alone able to support her! An
life; they are the proper sphere of every union of affection which either obviates or
human soul. A happy marriage is a new softens all other trials will in this case greatly heighten and aggravate the distress.
beginning of life ; a new starting-point for
happiness and usefulness : it is the great opThe more tenderly they love, the more sensibly they must grieve each other while
portunity, once for all, to leave the past, with
all its follies and faults and errors, far, far together, and the more awful and overwhelming their situation will become.
behind us, for ever, and to press forward How different is the experience of those
with new hopes, new courage, and new
strength into the future which opens before who are united in grace as well as in affection!
us. A happy home is the best likeness of How are their pleasures heightened, and their necessary trials alleviated, by the sense of
heaven ; a home where husband and wife, their Redeemer's love, while their prayers
father and mother, brother and sister, child are enlivened and their praises multiplied
and parent, each in their several ways, help
each the other forwards in their difficult upon each other's account. The one who may depart first can with faith and comfort
course as no other human being can; for commit the survivor to the gracious protec
none else has the same opportunities, none
else so know the character of any other; tion of their Heavenly Father. The one who may remain longest here has the unspeakable
none else has such an interest at stake in the satisfaction of knowing that the dear com
welfare and the fame, the grace and the panion is safely arrived at the haven of eter
goodness, of any one else, as of those who nal rest, and that a few revolving years will
are bone of his bone, and flesh of his flesh; re-unite them in a state of unchangeable
in whose happiness and glory we ourselves
become happy and glorious; in whose misery happiness, beyond the power of death, sin, or sorrow, for ever!
we become miserable ; by whose selfishness, weakness, and worldliness we are dragged
down to earth ; by whose purity, and nobleSPRING-Time with ONE LOVE.
ness, and strength, we are raised up, almost Two hearts together, that began
against our will, to duty, to heaven, and to Their spring-time with one love, and that | God.
Dean Stanley. have need Of mutual pity and forgiveness, sweet To grant or be received. Wordsworth.
FORBEARANCE IN MARRIAGE.
Two persons who have chosen cach other I WILL.
out of all the species, with a design to be Autumn brought an hour
cach other's mutual comfort and entertainFor Eustace, when I heard his decp “I will,"
ment, have, in that action, bound themselves Breathed, like the covenant of a god, to hold
to be good-humoured, affable, discreet, forFrom thence through all the worlds.
giving, patient, and joyful, with respect to Tennyson.
each other's frailties and perfections, to the
end of their natural lives. Addison. Thrice and four times blest are those whom
Sacred wedlock joineth twain ; Live in perfect love, contented,
Marriage is honourable in all. Never murmur nor complain. Callow. |
UNDER THE BRIDAL VEIL.
A MARRIAGE PRAYER.
Our sure defence and safeguard be,
Without Thy blessing love is vain
Beyond affection's healing care.
Avert from us the spirit's chill,
l'irgil. Of love's rich soil the flower most dear;
Turn all our promised joys to dust,
But leave that root unwither'd here.
Which turns each angry word aside,
and wherever thou dost glide. And melts away the frost of pride. Humanity a lovelier aspect wears.
Fair art thou as the morning of that land Nor let unkindness ever reach,
The tenderness of years; but teach
Our hearts to bear and to forbear.
Be ours a unity of mind,
A unity of sweetest love, Yet is thy nature full of nobleness,
A unity of faith entwined And gentle ways, that soothe and raise me so,
With the dear hope of joys above.
We know that in our hearts there lies,
With all their love, the germ of change ;
The world can break the holiest ties, MARRIAGE THE HOLIEST ORDINANCE
A breath the tenderest thoughts estrange. OF GOD.
Marriage is with us We pray, O God! that grief like this The holiest ordinance of God, whereon
Our earthly course may never see ; The bliss or bane of human life depends: 'We'd make our love a lasting bliss, Love must be won by love, and heart to heart, By resting all its hopes on Thee ! Link'd in mysterious sympathy, before
Kenny Meadows. We pledge the marriage vow, Southey.
THE WISHED-FOR DAY.