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The Head of the Family : SWisdom,
Thrift. The man is the head, and guide of the family ; In whom wisdom is good with an inheritance: for Through wisdom a house is builded and established: which directs him to do all things in due order ; first, to prepare his work without, and then after, to build his house: and therewith stayedness; for, as a bird that wandereth from her nest, so is a man that wandereth from his own place : and, which is the chief stay of his estate) thriftiness; for He that troubleth his own house (by excess) shall inherit the wind : and the fool shall be servant to the wise in heart: for which purpose he shall find, that The house of the righteous shall have much treasure, while the revenues of the wicked is but trouble : or if not much; yet Better is a little with the fear of the Lord, than great treasure, and trouble therewith: Howsoever, therefore, let him be content with his estate : Let the lambs be sufficient for his clothing, and let the goats be the price of his field. Let the milk of his goats be sufficient for his food, for the food of his family, and the sustenance of his maids : and if he have much revenue, let him look for much expence. For, When goods increase, they are increased that eat them: and what good cometh to the owners thereof, but the beholding thereof with their eyes ? Ec. vii. 13. Pr. xxiv. 3. xxiv. 27. xi. 29. xv. 6. xv. 16. xxvii. 26. xxvii. 27. Ec. v. 10.
Quietly, and Cheerfully. HE, that findeth a wife, findeth a good thing, and receiveth favour of the Lord: Who must therefore behave himself, 1. Wisely, as the guide of her youth : as the head to which she is a crown. 2. Chastely, Drink the water of thine own cistern, and the rivers out of the midst of thine own well. The matrimonial love must be pure and clear, not muddy and troubled ; Let thy fountains flow forth, and the rivers of waters in the streets; the sweet and com
fortable fruits of blessed marriage, in plentiful issue : But let then be thine alone, and not the stranger's with thee. This love abides no partners: for this were to give thine honour unto others, and thy strength to the cruel; so should the stranger be filled with thy strength, and (as the substance will be with the affections) thy labours should be in the house of a stranger; and thou shalt mourn (which is the best success hereof) at thine end, when thou hast consumed (besides the goods) thy flesh and thy body, and say, How have I hated instruction, and mine heart despised correction! I was almost plunged into all evil, of sin and torments; and, that which is most shameful, in the midst of the assembly, in the face of the world. Let therefore that thinc own fountain be blessed, and rejoice with the wife of thy youth: Let her be as the loving hind, and pleasant roe: let her breasts satisfy thee at all times, and err thou in her love continually: For why shouldest thou delight, my son, in a strange woman; or (whether in affection, or act) embrace the bosom of a stranger ? For the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord, and he pondereth all his paths: and if thy godlessness regard not that, yet for thine own sake, Desire not her beauty in thy heart, neither let her take thee with her eye-lids ; for because of the whorish woman, a man is brought to a morsel of bread, yea to the very busks: and, more than that, a woman will hunt for the precious life of a man. Thou sayest thou canst escape this actual defilement: Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his cloaths not be burnt? Or can a man go upon coals and his feet not be burnt? So he, that goeth in to his neighbour's wife, shull not be innocent, whosoever toucheth her. This sin is far more odious than theft: For, men do not despise a thief when he stealeth to satisfy his soul, because he is hungry: But if he be found, he shall restore seven-fold, or he shall give all the substance of his house; and it is accepted. But he, that commits adultery with a woman, is mad: he that would destroy his own soul, let him do it: For, he shall find a wound and dishonour, and his reproach shall never be put away. Neither is the danger less than the shame. For, jealousy is the rage of man : therefore the wronged husband will not spare in the day of vengeance. He cannot bear the sight of any ransom : neither will he consent to remit it, though thou multiply thy gifts. And though stolen waters be sweet and hid bread be pleasant to our corrupt taste; yet the adulterer knows not that the dead are there : and that her guests are in the deeps of hell, that her house tendeth to death; And howsoever her lips drop as a honey-comb, and her mouth is more soft than oil, yet the end of her is bitter as worm-wood, and sharp as a two-edged sword: her feet go down to death, and her steps take hold of hell : yea, the mouth of the strange woman is a deep pit, and he with whom the Lord is angry, shall fall into it. 3. Quietly, and Lovingly: for, Better is a dinner of green herbs where love is, than a stalled or, and hatred therewith: yea, Better is a dry morsel, if peace be with it, than a house full of sacrifices with strife. And if he find sometime cause of blame, The discretion of a man deferreth his anger, and his glory is to pass by an offence : and only He, that covereth a transgression, seeketh love : Ke
joice with thy wife, whom thou hast loved all the days of the life of thy vanity, which God hath given thee under the sun. For this is thy portion in this life; And in the travels wherein thou labourest under the sun. Pr. xviii. 22. ii. 17. xii. 4. v. 15. v. 16. v. 17. v. 9. v. 10. v. 11. v. 12. v. 14. v. 18. v. 19. v. 20. v. 21. vi. 25. vi. 26, vi. 26. vi. 27. vi. 28. vi. 29. vi. 30. vi. 31. vi. 32. vi. 33. vi. 34. vi. 35. ix. 17. ix. 18. ii. 18, 19. v. 3. v. 4. v. 5. xxiii. 27. xxii. 14. xv. 17. xvii. 1. xix. 11. xvii. 9. Ec. ix. 9.
4. Provident and house-wife-like. A VIRTUOUS wife is the crown of her husband : Who shall find such a one? for her price is far above the pearls. 1. She is true to her husband's bed; such as the heart of her husband may trust to, as knowing that she is tied to him by the covenant of God: not wanton and unchaste; such one as I once saw from the window of my house: I looked through my window, and saw among the fools, and considered among the children a young man wanting wit, who passed through the street by her corner, and went toward her house, in the twilight in the evening, when the night began to be black and dark, so as he thought himself unseen; and, behold, there met him (the same he sought for) a woman with a harlot's fashion; and close in heart, as open in her habit. She is babbling and perverse; whose feet (contrary to the manner of all modest wives, which only attain honour) cannot abide in her house, but are ever gadding: Now she is without the gates, now in the streets, and lieth in wait in every corner; or, at the least, sitteth at the door of her house, on a seat in the high places of the city : so she (not staying to be solicited) caught him by the neck, and kissed him, and with an impudent face said unto him, I have the flesh of peace-offerings, (both good cheer, and religion pretended) this day have I paid my vows : therefore I came forth, on purpose to meet thee, that I might earnestly seek thy face, of all others; and now, how happy am I, that I have found thee! Í have decked my bed with ornaments, with curtains, and strings of Egypt: I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon, that we may lie sweet; Come, go, let us take our fill of loves, until the morning, let us take our pleasure in dalliance: fear nothing, For my husband is not at home, he is gone a journey far off, neither needest thou to doubt his return; for, he hath taken with him a bag of silver, and will come home at his set day: sooner he cannot, this she said: what followed ? By the abundance of the sweetness of her
speech, she caused him to yield: and with the flattery of her lips, she enticed him; and straightways he follows her, as an or goeth to the slaughter, and as a fool to the stocks for correction, till a dart strike through his liver, the seat of his lust; or as a bird hasteneth to the snare, and knoweth not that it is against his own life: thus she doth. and when her husband returns, she wipeth her mouth and saith, 1 have not committed iniquity. 2. She is dutiful and obedient; by a soft answer appeasing wraih: not hateful; for whom, a whole world is moved; not stubborn, not quarrellous: for, the contentions (and brawlings) of a wife, are like a continual dropping in the day of rain: a discomfort to the husband; a rotting to the house. So, it is better to dwell in a corner of the house-top, than with a contentious woman in a wide house. And though, for society, Two be better than one ; yet It is better to dwell alone in the wilderness, than with a contentious and angry woman. For herein as his grief cannot be avoided, so his shame cannot be conceived. For, He, that hideth her, hideth the wind; and she is as oil in his right-hand, that uttereth it. self. Pr. xii. 4. xxxi. 10. xxxi. 11. ii. 27. vii. 6. vii. 7. vii. 8. vii. 9. vii, 10. vii. 11. xi. 16. vii. 11. vii. 12. xxiii. 28. ix. 14. vii. 13. vii. 14. vii. 15. vii. 16. vii. 17. vii. 18. vii. 19. vii. 20. vii. 21. vii. 22. vii. 23. xxx. 20. Ec. xv. 1. Pr. xxx. 21, 23. xix. 13. xxvii, 15. xxv. 24. Ec. iv. 9. Pr. xxvii. 19. xxvii. 16.
The good Actions, person ; provi. housewife
sion for ( (Pr.xxxi.)
In the over-sight of her Family. set forth by her
Disposition. 3. She is moreover prudent, and discreet. A wise woman buildeth her house, but the foolish destroyeth it with her own hands : and as a ring of gold in a swine's snout, so is a fair woman which lacketh discretion. 4. She is careful and house-wife-like; so as She will do her husband good, and not evil, all the days of her life: For as for her actions in her own person, whether you look to her labours: She seeketh wool and flax, and laboureth cheerfully with her hands. She riseth while it is yet night : She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms. She putteth her hands to the wheel, and her hands handle the spindle : or whether to her bargains; She considereth a field, and getteth it, and with the fruit of her hand she planteth a vineyard. She is like the ship of merchants, she bringeth her food from far: she feeleth that her merchandise is good, her candle is not put out by night : she maketh sheets and selleth
them, and giveth girdles unto the merchants; or whether to her liberal provision ; (1.) For her husband, who is known in the gates (by her neat furnishing) when he sits with the elders of the land : (2.) For herself, She maketh herself carpets, fine linen and purple is her garment : (3.) For her servants, She feareth not the snow for her family, for all her family is clothed with scarlet : (4.) For the poor, She stretcheth out her hands to the poor, and putteth forth her hands to the needy. For her over-sight of her family ; She giveth the portion to her household, and the ordinary (or stint of work) to her maids : she overseeth the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. For her speeches ; she openeth her mouth with wisdom, and the law of grace is in her tongue. Lastly, Strength, and honour, is her clothing; and in the latter day she shall rejoice. So worthy she is in all these, that her own children cannot contain, but rise up and call her blessed ; and her husband shall praise her, and say, Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou surmountest them all : Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vanity; but a wo. man that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised: Since therefore she is so well-deserving, Give her of the fruit of her own hands, and let her own works praise her. Pr. xiv. 1. xi. 22. xxxi. 12. xxxi. 13. xxxi. 15. xxxi. 17. xxxi. 19. xxxi. 16. xxxi. 14. xxxi. 18. xxxi. 24. xxxi. 23. xxxi. 22. xxxi. 21. xxxi. 20. xxxi, 15. xxxi. 27. xxxi. 26. xxxi. 25. xxxi. 28. xxxi. 29. xxxi. 30. xxxi. 31.
Correction. PARENTS and Children are the next pair; which do give much joy to each other : Children's children are the crown of the elders, and the glory of the children are their fathers: To which purpose, the parent oweth to the child, 1. Provision. A good man shall give inheritance to his children's children. All the labour, wherein he hath travailed, he shall leave to the man that shall be after him. And who knoweth whether he shall be wise or foolish? yet shall he rule over all his labour, wherein he hath laboured, and shewed himself wise under the sun.
Here are therefore two gross vanities which I have seen: the one, There is one alone, and there is not a second, which hath neither son nor brother : yet there is none end of his travail, neither can his eye be satisfied with riches; neither doth he think, For whom do I travail, and defraud my soul of pleasure? The other contrary; riches reserved to the owner thereof for their evil. And these riches perish in his evil business ; and he begetteth a son, and in his hand is nothing. 2. Instruction and good education: for,