Page images
PDF
EPUB

but little richer; and therefore cannot be much impoverished by the want of it. Now, in acting thus, I have served you, who refused the ransom, and have done no injury to my parent. As for your last objection, that an unworthy passion urged me to do this, I assert that it is false. Feelings of such a nature arise either from great personal beauty cor from wealth, or honors; or finally, from a robust appearance. - None of which qualities your son possessed. For imprisonment had destroyed his beauty ; and he had not suffi. cient wealth even to effect his liberation; while much anxiety had worn away his strength, and left him emaciated and sickly. Therefore, compassion rather persuaded me to free him.” When the father had heard this, he could object nothing more. So his son married the lady with very great pomp, and closed his life in peace. (3)

APPLICATION. My beloved, the son captured by pirates, is the whole human race, led by the sin of our first parent into the prison of the devil-that is, into his power. The father who would not redeem him, is the world, which aids not man's escape from the evil one, but rather loves to retain him in thraldom. The daughter who visited him in prison, is the Divinity of Christ united to the soul ; who sympathised with the human species—and who, after his passion, descended into hell and freed us from the chains of the devil. But the celestial Father has no occasion for wealth, because He is infinitely rich and good. Therefore, Christ, moved with compassion, came down from Heaven to visit us, and took upon himself our form, and required no more than to be united in the closest bonds with man. So Hosea ii. " I will marry her to me in faithfulness.” But our father, the world, whom many obey, ever murmurs and objects to this. " If thou unitest thyself to God, thou shalt lose my inheritance"-that is, the inheritance of this world; because, it is “ impossible to serve God and mammon.” Matt. vi. -" He who shall leave father, or mother, or wife, or country, for my sake, he shall receive an hundred fold and possess everlasting life.” Which may Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, vouchsafe to bestow upon us; who ith the Father, and the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth for ever and ever. Amen.

TALE VI.

OF FOLLOWING REASON.

A CERTAIN emperor, no less tyrannical than powerful, espoused a very beautiful girl, the daughter of a king. After the ceremony was concluded, each solemnly vowed that the death of the one should be followed by the voluntary destruction of the other. It happened not many days after, that the emperor went into a far country, and continued there a long time. Being desirous of proving the fidelity of his wife, he directed a messenger to inform her that he was dead. When this in

[ocr errors]

telligence was communicated, she remembered the oath which had been administered, and precipitated herself from a lofty mountain, with an intention to die. But she received little injury, and in a short space was restored to health. Her father understanding this, forbade obedience to the mandate and oath prescribed by her husband. Still, as she seemed anxious to comply with them, the father said, If

you

refuse assent to my request, quit the palace with all haste.” But she replied, " I will not do that; and I will prove, by good reasons, my right to remain. When an oath is sworn, ought it not to be faithfully maintained ? I have sworn to my husband, that I would destroy myself, if I survived him : therefore, it is: no delinquency to fulfil my vow, and I ought not to be driven from your palace. Moreover, no one should be punished for that which is commendable. Now, since man and woman are one flesh, according to the laws of God, it is commendable for a wife to perish with her husband. On which account, there was a law in India, that a wife after the decease of her lord, should

burn herself as evidence of her grief and love; or else be deposited alive, in his sepulchre. And therefore I think that it is no error to kill myself for the love of my husband.” The father answered, “ When you said that you were bound by an oath, you should have reremembered that such an obligation is not binding, because its end is deprivation of life. An oath should always be consistent with reason; and therefore your's being unreasonable is of no force. As for the other argument, that it is praise-worthy in a wife to die with her husband, it avails you not. For although they are one in the body, united by carnal affections, yet they are two persons in soul, and are really and substantially different. Therefore, neither does this afford any resource." When the lady heard these words, she could argue no farther, but complied with the request of her parent. She refrained from soliciting destruction; but though apprized of her husband's existence soon after, she neither returned to, nor forgave him.

« PreviousContinue »