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and a conviction of the entire emptiness and vanity of every portion in which God does not form the chief part, and an earnest desire to be conformed in heart and in life to the will of his heavenly Father.
We cannot tell all the happiness to which he is introduced on earth, by having the favour and love of God turned towards him. Having been thoroughly awakened to a sense of his wretchedness while at a distance from his father, and knowing from the bitterness of his experience, that every prospect of good in which God is not contemplated, however fair, is most surely false, he values every gift only as it is an expression of the good will of the divine Giver, and as it is related to the Fountain of happiness. He is introduced into a new world,—into regions of unconfined beauty and loveliness, where the sunshine is scarcely ever darkened, and the fruits of which confer immortal blessedness. He thus forms a just estimate of the real importance of time, and of the far greater importance of eternity, and values all good, not according to its appearance, but to its real qualities and duration. The influence of the Cross, in changing his heart and views, gives him a taste for nobler food than that with which he was wont to content himself, and ever prompts him to seek his happiness in the conscious enjoyment of the favour and friendship of God.
This favour he possesses-he has its expressions in that communion with himself which God affords him,-in a deliverance from the wrath which abideth on the children of disobedience,-in the pardon of sin-and in the spirit of adoption and of filial confidence in God with which he is endued. The divine grace sustains him in distress and in danger, and forsakes him not till it has prepared for him a new heaven and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. There he shall see God, and be admitted into those blissful mansions where there is fulness of joy, and to God's right hand, where there are pleasures for evermore. There, the sun of his growing enjoyment shall never decline, neither shall the moon withdraw itself: for the Lord shall be to him an everlasting light, and the days of his mourning shall be ended.
OF RELATIVE DUTIES WHICH RESULT FROM THE
CONSTITUTION OF THE SEXES.
Though every moral obligation may be considered as included in the common division, according to which we treat of our duties to God, to our fellowcreatures, and to ourselves; yet, on account of the prominent place which they should hold in our view, and in respect of their important consequences in reference to society, I prefer discussing the duties of the marriage relation, and the crimes opposed to them, under a separate head.
ON THE ORIGIN OF MARRIAGE.
The institution of marriage naturally takes its rise from the principles implanted in human nature, and the circumstances in which mankind are placed. They are led to form this union by that tendency of their nature which is common to them with the lower animals, to continue the species ; but more especially, by the esteem of a beloved object; affection to children ; and à regard to their own virtue and happiness." Though these propensities would lead to this relation, they might not lead to it universally; at
least, so as to be productive of all the advantages which it is designed to secure to the parties concerned, and to their offspring.
Hence the importance of a divine and definite law on the subject; the nature of which we learn from Revelation. We might, indeed, infer, from the constitution and circumstances of the parents of the human race, that this institution was the subject of special enactment; and that as God made them “ male and female,” he intended they should live together as husband and wife,
But in the following passage the origin of marriage is explicitly stated by our Lord: “the Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? And he answered, and said unto them, have ye not read, that He, which made them at the beginning, made them male and female; and said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh. What, therefore, God hath joined together, let no man put asunder *."
This is the language of Christ; and the law which it contains, is, of course, designed for the human race; that is, it respects the whole posterity of Adam and Eve alike. They who are united to each other by the ties of marriage, are joined together by the ordinance of God, and are not to be "put asunder” by man. The marriage ceremony may vary in different ages and countries, being modified by the law of the land ; but the institution itself is of divine appointment.
* Matt, xix. 3-6.